Sociology of Buildings

Sociology of Church

I’ll add a disclaimer to the start of todays post. Its simply an observation and one take on how buildings can be perceived to follow society – not a challenge to anyones beliefs.

Looking back in history, within many societies, until the 1900’s most all of the worlds largest buildings were churches. Looking forward from there, they have largely dwindled in comparison to that of the skyscrapers full of business, marketing and sales. With some ad-lib to his work, I think back to my studies of Durkheim and his writings around The Elementary forms of Religious Life. In part of this work, Durkheim looked at Totems as a representation of society.
When we look back in history, with the church being the largest ‘totem’ of the community, one might come to the conclusion that the morals, systems of belief and ways of living mirrored that of the communities totem. A place of spiritual, and community energy. It was the hub of a small town/village/area where people got together and shared once a week – no doubt the place where networks, ties and business also occurred (at appropriate times).
Move to ‘the Now’, and, again applying the same totem ideas, we are in a different space. No doubt peoples churches still hold true and important to many, but so too has the modern power of commercialism. Businesses and retail, their ‘totems’ rocketing into the sky, draw us as a society to flock to malls, -need, want, must have. No longer does one necessarily meet and network for some concept of a greater good, but rather to shop, or do business – to make money and get more things. Ok – well part of that argument is a little weak as without question people also networked for business and personal gain purposes at their old totem place in the last paragraph also.

I’ll leave that discussion there for now, but it was brought on from todays image. The last from the Sky Tower I will share. Looking down upon the city with my lens zoomed right in, I spotted the St Patrick’s Cathedral in an opening of surrounding buildings. In post, I converted the surrounding areas to B&W and brought the colour down just a tad on the building also.


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