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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.

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Introduction

´╗┐Sunday, 20 April 2014 Liam Curran Year 13 1. Using material from Item A and elsewhere, assess the view that the growth of religious fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation. 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, according to some sociologists such as Huntington, is the challenge to globalisation, returning to the roots of their religion where the core beliefs are still in practice. Some people associate fundamentalism with violence, as was the case with the 9/11 attack, but this view has been criticised by many, because not all fundamentalist groups adopt violent methods, for example creationists. Anthony Giddens argues that fundamentalism is in fact a reaction to globalisation because with globalisation comes what?s called, cosmopolitan religion which 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. ...read more.

Middle

Not all fundamentalist groups are reacting to globalisation. He also argues that Giddens fails to acknowledge hybrid movements of fundamentalist and cosmopolitan groups. Jeff Haynes in 1998 argued that we shouldn?t focus on ideas that suggest fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation, because it?s not always the same, for example conflict in the Middle east is due to the failure of the local elites to fulfil promises of raising living standards which then fuels the drive towards fundamentalism. Like Giddens, 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 doctrines for others to live by. However, Bruce confines fundamentalism to monotheistic religions where there is one God and therefore one authoritative 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 polytheistic religions because 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. ...read more.

Conclusion

This, he argues, creates a position of ?us and them?, meaning the west vs the rest as it is put, and this creates fear due to military monopoly, 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 orientalism, which is a western ideology that groups all eastern societies, and people, especially Muslims, as dangerous and fanatical, which justifies human rights abuses by the west. Therefore, Jackson aligns himself with sociologists such as Bruce, who argues that the fundamentalism comes from external influences from the west, as opposed to changes within that society which is a form of cultural defence, against the warring west, and therefore as a result of globalisation as these two different civilisations grow and become more connected. 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. ...read more.

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