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Using Material From Item A And Elsewhere, Assess The View That The Growth Of Religious Fundamentalism Is A Reaction To Globalisation

583 words - 3 pages

Globalisation is the idea that the world is getting smaller, through inter connectedness, Different societies are becoming a lot closer to each other through technology and the media as well as transport. Fundamentalism, is the opposite to globalisation, where the core beliefs are still in practice.
Anthony Giddens argues that fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation provides choice in many different areas of life, such as diversity, sexuality, careers etc, and because of this choice there is an element of uncertainty. Without globalisation, there wouldn’t be such an emphasis on fundamentalism as Giddens argues it is a relatively new term, indicating that it’s use is largely used to describe the many movements that are combating new age thinking. Bauman agrees with Giddens suggesting his own argument that postmodernity has increased the risk of making free choices, and some choose to ...view middle of the document...


Similarly Steve Bruce argued that fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation, because it threatens traditional practices and lifestyles, and once they feel threatened they develop strict rules for others to live by. However, Bruce confines fundamentalism to religions where there is one God and therefore one viewpoint, and when this authority is threatened by new age beliefs and lifestyles, fundamentalism develops, whereas it is highly unlikely that it will develop from religions where there are various numbers of God’s meaning there is not one authoritative viewpoint and therefore many interpretations can be developed, and he uses the example of Hinduism as it is described as a collection of religions.
Bruce argues that there are two types of situations where fundamentalism can originate; changes within society, and external changes to a society. The changes within society takes place largely in the West, for example the New Christian Right whereas the external influences, mainly refers to eastern societies who feel like they are being imposed upon by western beliefs.
Huntington argued that since the fall of communism, conflicts between different civilisations have worsened between each other, and argues that political differences have since become less of a problem between nations, and people use religion as a source of their identity. This creates a position of ‘us and them’, meaning the “west vs the rest” and this creates fear due to and how religion influences behaviours of the nation and individual movements. He argued that political problems are easier to solve than religious ones because religious beliefs are rooted in culture and history. However, Jackson, sees Huntington’s work as an example of western ideology that groups all eastern societies, and people as dangerous and fanatical.
Overall, the evidence suggests that fundamentalism is a result of globalisation, but origins differ and has different functions within each movement, and as the west prospers, there is more conflict between the west and the east.

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