Assess the View That the Growth of Religious Fundamentalism Is a Reaction to Globalisation Essay

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Assess the view that the growth of religious fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation The issue of religious fundamentalism has emerged with many associating it with Islamic terrorism. However, as Item a states, fundamentalists are not necessarily violent they may just wish to return the “true path”, the basics of their faith. Some sociologists argue that this is a reaction to globalisation and the uncertain, risk society that people face. However, others argue that changes within a society can also encourage fundamentalism. Giddens argues that fundamentalism is a reaction to globalisation. He sees society as having moved to a “late modern” phase, in which globalisation has undermined traditional norms regarding the nuclear family, gender and sexuality. People are now faced with choice, uncertainty and risk and in this environment, fundamentalism flourishes as it promises certainty with its rigid, dogmatic beliefs. Giddens argues that globalisation increases fundamentalism by providing an alternative to the risk society of late modernity. Fundamentalists may reject some aspects of modernity, they embrace others in order to spread their beliefs, for example, through the Internet, email and electronic church, suggesting that fundamentalism does not represent a total rejection of globalisation and modernity. Bauman agrees with Giddens, although he sees society as in a postmodern rather than late modern phase. He argues that postmodern society brings freedom of choice and uncertainty, undermining traditional belief, and whilst some may embrace this new freedom, others are attracted to the absolute truth of fundamentalism. However, some criticise Giddens and Bauman for focusing on fundamentalism and ignore the effects of globalisation on other non-fundamentalist religions, such as Catholicism. Haynes also argues that globalisation as a cause is too narrow a
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