Thus far we have come to an understanding of how society works. Now we turn our attention to the ways that the history of religion helps us realize somethings about the forces that facilitate social ordering. One thing religion has us recognize is the process known as legitimation.

Please summarize Martin’s discussion of the following terms:

  • discourse (summarize p. 104)
  • legitimation (p. 104-106)

Note that if discourse is a societal means; legitimations is a social end.

Martin’s point on the usefulness (or not) of differentiating religious from non-religious legitimation (p.105-106) is really important for us. Summarize it in a few sentences.

Then I’d like you make sure that you are clear on Martin’s analogy, culture as toolboxes for legitimating the social order. Jot down the following seven components to this understanding:

  1. Concepts, norms, and values
  2. Traditions, rituals, and practices
  3. myths and stories
  4. Texts
  5. Icons
  6. Figures
  7. Ideologies

And Martin has a specific understanding of the social order. The things listed above result in the development of the following three things which you should write down.

  • insider/outsider boundaries.
  • social positions and social hierarchies.
  • social roles, moral norms, and behavioral codes.

To put this all in perspective, choose one item from each of the columns on page 14. Briefly show in a chart how each of them have the 7 features of legitimation and describe 3 ways they further the social order. You do not need to use complete sentences.

The Ford Motor Company logo next to an American Flag wavering.
Just a little legitimation at work at a car dealership. On a side note, people new to the United States often wonder why car dealerships have such large US flags. Put your social theory to work and think it through.