Sociology Unit 3 - Beliefs in SocietyAQA --> fundamentalist question -- PLEASE HELPWatch this thread
I am stuck with doing an essay plan for this question - I have all the resources and notes but I do not know how to go about answering it in terms of 'agree AO1' or 'disagree AO2'. Does anyone have a plan or an answer ?
Exam-style questionThe past centuryhas witnessed the global growth of fundamentalist groups. These include Islamicfundamentalist countries like Iran and Afghanistan, Christian fundamentalistsin the USA, Zionist fundamentalists in Israel and Hindu fundamentalists in India.Fundamentalists tend to share the common features of having a world-view thatis based on a literal reading and strict adherence to the written word of holytexts. These texts become the source of traditional values and sometimes thecontent becomes the basis of a literal interpretation of certain truths.Fundamentalism is about the application of such ideas to a rigid faith, whichis then applied to modern-day life. Thisis a detailed introduction that gives examples of fundamentalism and explainswhat it is. While it talks about its global growth, it could be criticised fornot having enough emphasis on what factors lie behind its growth, which is whatthe question is about.Fundamentalismis rooted in words and messages of historical holy texts, such as the Bible orthe Koran. Therefore the values of fundamentalism are centred on reaffirmingessential truths as expressed in these important texts. However, the questionremains as to why fundamentalism is growing at such a pace now. Some theorists,like Bruce, explain its growth primarily in terms of an anti-West sentiment ina post-colonial world. Others have linked its growth to factors likeglobalisation. Some see fundamentalism as filling a vacuum when formerideologies decline, such as the decline in Marxism in the countries of formerYugoslavia. Others see a connection between the growth of fundamentalism andthe superficial nature of postmodern society. These ideas will be investigatedin more detail below.Thisparagraph continues to explain the nature of fundamentalism, but becomes muchmore focused on the question, offering several explanations for its growth.Bruce arguesthat fundamentalism needs to be understood as primarily anti-West sentimentthat has grown from the pressures of post-colonialism and an expanding globaleconomy. The treatment of the Palestinians and Bosnian Muslims, as well as theinvasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, appear to have created an Islamicfundamentalist backlash. It would seem that the invasion of foreign soil isparticularly antagonistic to many Muslims who can get caught up infundamentalist sentiment and values. Thisparagraph explores Bruce’s ideas about the reasons behind the growth offundamentalism.A common featureof fundamentalist movements is they are often headed by a charismatic leader,such as the Ayatollah Khomeini, who was the spiritual leader who returned toIran from exile following the deportation of the Shah. It is suggested that astrong and commanding leader is needed in order to support the call for areturn to traditional values. Another characteristic of fundamentalism is theconviction that it is right and that all other religions are wrong. Thereforefundamentalism has no time for religious pluralism and vehemently pursues an‘us and them’ mentality. It therefore follows that fundamentalists are ofteninvolved in conflict. For example, the motive behind Islamic terrorism is notonly an anti-Western response but the view that all ‘infidels’ deserve to bekilled.Thisparagraph introduces the role of charismatic leaders in the growth offundamentalism. It is followed by further discussion of the nature offundamentalism.There is someevidence of the political influence of the fundamentalist Christian Right overparticularly Republican presidents like George W. Bush. Bill Thompson (1992)sees a parallel growth of Christian fundamentalism in the UK in the form ofPentecostal Revivalists, Anglican ‘charismatics’ and House churches. He seesthese groups as ‘born again’ and the motive behind their growth as quietlyfilling a political vacuum in society, initially at local levels but one day atparliament level too. He sees local councils and school governing boards astargets for Christian fundamentalists, in order to gain power and exert theirinfluence. Theideas of Bill Thompson are unpacked in this paragraph and argued against byBruce in the next one. However, SteveBruce questions the significance of Christian fundamentalism, not only in theUK but significantly also in the USA. He notes that raising children in thefundamentalist faith is the simple reason behind the growth in the numbers ofChristian fundamentalists in the Bible Belt. Bruce goes on to argue that evenin the USA the growth of fundamentalism is more to do with the decline of mainstreamchurches. With their decline, he argues, the radical fundamentalist voice canbecome more prominent with the impression they are punching above their weight.Thereis a useful challenge and evaluation in this paragraph of Thompson’s views ofthe growth of Christian fundamentalists in the UK through the ideas of Bruce.Some people seethe growth of fundamentalism as a response to an increasingly superficialpostmodernist society. With the growth of the ‘spiritual shopper’, on the onehand, there is a polar response of individuals returning to traditional truthsfound in holy texts like the Bible or Koran. However, the actual numbers ofpeople engaged in fundamentalism or new religious movements tends to be small.Both could be genuinely described as marginal in the UK, whereas fundamentalismcould be viewed as much stronger in countries like Iran. Thisparagraph deals with the final explanation for the rise in fundamentalism.There is an AO2 evaluative point at the end.In conclusion,the factors behind the growth of fundamentalism are multiple, suggesting thatit is rarely down to just one reason. Although fundamentalism receives a lot ofmedia coverage there is a tendency for it to appear more significant than itactually is. Nonetheless it remains a formidable force and raises importantquestions about the future of religion and the secularisation debate. Thisconclusion successfully pulls the ideas of the essay together and makes abalanced overall response to the question. It summarises the apparent influenceand powerful nature of fundamentalism, but questions whether they appear topunch above their weight.
Hi, could anyone tell me three distinct problems with measuring religiosity and a short explanation if possible.
Invalid data --> religious organisations may do questionnaires with people and if people are asked 'are you religious' by a priest then they may feel obliged to answer 'yes'.
Misrepresent data --> some people may misinterpret a question 'are you religious'. They may answer yes because of what they consider as 'religious' e.g. some people who do not go to church may say 'no' and people who do go to church may say 'yes.' Another example could be 'do you go to church' and some people may answer 'yes' but that does not mean they are religious as they could be going to a wedding for a friend's sake.
--- Hope this helps. AQA June 2012 Q9) has similar answers