Sociology 16 Education MCQ


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A photo of thousands of people in a stadium during a megachurh ceremony
Religions come in many forms, such as this large megachurch. (Photo courtesy of ToBeDaniel/Wikimedia Commons)

Why do sociologists study religion? For centuries, humankind has sought to understand and explain the “meaning of life.” Many philosophers believe this contemplation and the desire to understand our place in the universe are what differentiate humankind from other species. Religion, in one form or another, has been found in all human societies since human societies first appeared. Archaeological digs have revealed ritual objects, ceremonial burial sites, and other religious artifacts. Social conflict and even wars often result from religious disputes. To understand a culture, sociologists must study its religion.

What is religion? Pioneer sociologist Émile Durkheim described it with the ethereal statement that it consists of “things that surpass the limits of our knowledge” (1915). He went on to elaborate: Religion is “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say set apart and forbidden, beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community, called a church, all those who adhere to them” (1915). Some people associate religion with places of worship (a synagogue or church), others with a practice (confession or meditation), and still others with a concept that guides their daily lives (like dharma or sin). All these people can agree that religion    is a system of beliefs, values, and practices concerning what a person holds sacred or considers to be spiritually significant.

Does religion bring fear, wonder, relief, explanation of the unknown or control over freedom and choice? How do our religious perspectives affect our behavior? These are questions sociologists ask and are reasons they study religion. What are peoples' conceptions of the profane and the sacred? How do religious ideas affect the real-world reactions and choices of people in a society?

Religion can also serve as a filter for examining other issues in society and other components of a culture. For example, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, it became important for teachers, church leaders, and the media to educate Americans about Islam to prevent stereotyping and to promote religious tolerance. Sociological tools and methods, such as surveys, polls, interviews, and analysis of historical data, can be applied to the study of religion in a culture to help us better understand the role religion plays in people’s lives and the way it influences society.


Durkheim, Émile. 1947 [1915]. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life , translated by J. Swain. Glencoe, IL: Free Press.

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Sociology 16 Education MCQ
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Sample Questions from the Sociology 16 Education MCQ Quiz

Question: Which theory of education focuses on the labels acquired through the educational process?


Conflict theory

Feminist theory

Functionalist theory

Symbolic interactionism

Question: What are the major factors affecting education systems throughout the world?


Resources and money

Student interest

Teacher interest


Question: Functionalist theory sees education as serving the needs of _________.




the individual

all of the above

Question: Which of the following is not a manifest function of education?


Cultural innovation


Social placement


Question: Learning from classmates that most students buy lunch on Fridays is an example of ________.


cultural transmission

educational access

formal education

informal education

Question: Which theory of education focuses on the ways in which education maintains the status quo?


Conflict theory

Feminist theory

Functionalist theory

Symbolic interactionism

Question: Informal education _________________.


describes when students teach their peers

refers to the learning of cultural norms

only takes place at home

relies on a planned instructional process

Question: What do nations that are top-ranked in science and math have in common?


They are all in Asia.

They recruit top teachers.

They spend more money per student.

They use cutting-edge technology in classrooms.

Question: The 1972 case Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia set a precedent for __________.


access to education

average spending on students

desegregation of schools

teacher salary

Question: Because she plans on achieving success in marketing, Tammie is taking courses on managing social media. This is an example of ________.


cultural innovation

social control

social placement


Question: What term describes the assignment of students to specific education programs and classes on the basis of test scores, previous grades, or perceived ability?


Hidden curriculum


Self-fulfilling prophecy


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