Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 72
  • Published : April 4, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Durkheim argued that the totem is a symbol or material expression that represents the clan or society (Durkheim 1912, pg 74). He argued that people use insignificant objects such as animals and vegetables (lizard, caterpillar, rat, plum tree) make them into totems, which they collectively worship (Durkheim 1912, pg 75). Thus those objects(totems) represent society and distinguish one society from another and when people worship their totems they are worshipping their society (Durkheim 1912, pg 75). This gives people a sense of collective live and binds people in society together. Countries also use symbols, usually plants or animals, which they put on their national flag. For example the Canadian flag has a maple leaf and the flag of Poland has an eagle. Although those symbols are associated with the specific country, a maple leaf tree does grow in Canada and there are eagles in Poland, the maple leaf nor the eagle in themselves are special or as Durkheim would say “sacred” (Durkheim 1912, pg 74). There are thousands of different kinds of trees that grow in Canada which are not considered to be Canada’s national symbol. What makes the maple leaf “sacred” is that it is projected on the Canadian flag and treated as special and unique by Canadians. It is this treatment or worshipping that makes the maple leaf special and which instills a sense of nationalism for Canadians. However, religious symbols are often found on national flags (Religion in national symbols). For instance, the flag of Slovakia has a Patriarchal cross, which is a variant of a Christian cross, which is a religious symbol (Religion in national symbols). This illustrates that religious and nationalism are intertwined and people collective (knowingly or not) worship both religion and the nation, giving them a sense of collective life

Talk about discourse?how society is more for the white
People of color of low income families are not subject to the same opportunities and resources as the...
tracking img