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Sociology Question Paper

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Topics: Sociology
New syllabus: 8 mark questions
a) Identify and briefly explain some of the ways in which religion could be said to ‘exert social control over the members of society’ (June2006)
b) Identify and briefly explain some of the ways in which functionalists see religion meeting the needs of society and / or individuals. (June 2007)

New syllabus: 12 mark questions
a)Using material from item a and elsewhere, briefly examine the extent to which religion can still be said to be functional for individuals and society (June 2002) b) Briefly examine the evidence and or arguments in favour of the view that religion can act as a force for change in society (June 2006)
c) Briefly examine post-modernist views on the nature and role of religion (June 2007) NEW SYLLABUS: 40 mark essay questions
Assess the role and functions of religious institutions and movements in contemporary society. (40) Sample A2 paper (Issued May 2000)
Evaluate the view that religion acts as a conservative force in modern society (40) Jun 2001
“The main function of religion is to provide people with a code of behaviour which regulates personal and social life.” Assess the extent to which sociological arguments and evidence support this view of religion in modern society (40) January 2002
Assess and evaluate the relationship between religion and social change. (40) Jan 2003
Assess the view that in most societies, religion functions more to cause conflict than to bring about harmony and consensus. (40) June 2003
Assess the view that sociological arguments and evidence support functionalist views of the role and functions of religion in contemporary society. (40) June 2004
‘Religion can be both a conservative force and an initiator of social change’. To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view of religion? (40) Jan 2005
“Religion may be an important way in which some social groups express their unity. However it can also contribute to social divisions and social conflict’ To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view of religion? (40) Jan 2005
‘The main function of religion today is to dull the pain of oppression’ To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view of religion today? (40) June 2005
Evaluate functionalist views on the role and functions of religion today (40) Jan 2006
Evaluate sociological explanations of the relationship between gender and religious belief and practice (40) Jan 2006
Asses the extent to which Marxist and feminist theories help our understanding of religion in society today Jan 2007
“Religious practice varies from place to place and time to time but the need for religion remains constant.” To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view? June 2007
“Religion is more a cause of conflict than of harmony in society” To what extent do sociological arguments and evidence support this view?

ESSAY QUESTIONS FROM THE OLD SYLLABUS – something similar could appear as a 40 mark question
“Religion is often seen as a conservative force in society but can also be associated with social change.” Assess the extent to which sociological theories of religion would support or refute this statement Specimen paper 1990
Assess the extent to which religion plays an ideological role in society. Illustrate your answer with examples from different societies June 91
Assess the view that religious beliefs are invariably linked to dominant social and political interests. Nov 91
Explain and assess the view that the economic structure of society can be determined by religious ideas June 92
Compare and contrast functionalist and Marxist explanations of the role of religion in society Nov 92
Evaluate the sociological arguments for and against the claim that religion is essentially a conservative force in society June 93
“Whether the function of religion in society is the promotion of social harmony or social conflict is, as yet, an unresolved debate” Explain and evaluate this statement with reference to sociological theories and studies. Nov 93
Assess the claim that the main function of religion is the contribution it makes to social integration in society. June 94
“Parsons has argued that religion is part of the cultural system in society and thereby supports its central value system.” Explain and evaluate this statement. June 95
Assess the evidence for and against the claim that religion still fulfils a number of important functions in modern societies. Nov 96 “Durkheim’s view that religion reinforces the collective conscience of society is more appropriate to an understanding of small non-literate societies, than it is to large modern and diversified societies” Critically examine this argument June 96 “The main function of religion in society is the control of weaker social groups by the more powerful.” Evaluate sociological evidence and arguments for and against this statement. Jan 97
Assess the view that Marxist perspectives on the role and function of religion have little relevance in contemporary society. June 97
Assess the view that the secularisation of modern society has undermined functionalist perspectives on religion. Jan 98 “There are many different types of religious movement in modern societies but they all act as a conservative influence on society.” Assess the sociological arguments and evidence for this view. Jan 98
Examine the view that religion is an important source of moral values in contemporary societies June 98
“Religion may encourage rather than inhibit social change.” Critically discuss this statement with reference to contemporary society. June 99
Assess the view that religion reinforces divisions in society. Jan 2000
Assess the view that in a multi-cultural society, religion is more likely to be a source of conflict than of cohesion June 2000
Evaluate the extent to which religion has lost the function of bonding communities together. June 2001

NOTE THAT MANY OF THESE QUESTIONS COMBINE EVALUATING THEORIES OF RELIGION WITH THE SECULARISATION DEBATE 

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