Religion and Globalization Essay


Religion and Globalization Essay

Religion, which Peter Berger used to describe as a “sacred canopy that covers all aspects of life” (Giddens, p. 534), is not as simple as it once was. Now many new religions and practices have evolved in this new world. Although many think that secularism is taking effect, people are actually becoming more and more religious as time progresses.

The theory of secularization is seen almost like a threat to classical religion to some because it “is a rise in worldly thinking and a simultaneous decline in the influence of religion…a decrease in religious belief and involvement and results in a weakening of the social and political power of religious organizations” (Giddens, p. 534). Those who say that the world is becoming more secular now say that religion shapes culture, tradition and history but isn't actively believed in (Thomson, Lecture on Religion).

Coming from the roots of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, religion is now more complicated than it was before. Many people define religion differently. The Oxford American dictionary defines religion as a “the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power”. To some, religion is “best understood in terms of the traditional church, others argue that a much broader view must be taken to include dimensions such as personal spirituality and deep commitment to certain values” (Giddens p. 544). Churches, which are usually a well established and clearly structured in a hierarchy of religious officials, are not the only types of religion considered. Sects and cults are also considered to be types of religion. Organizations that are usually protesting against a church are called sects. Those are less organized and smaller than churches, but if they are successful they become denominations, a more established group. On the other hand, cults are made up of a group of people who “reject what they see as the values of the outside society.

Religions form when a large group of people “join together to spread a new religion or to promote a new interpretation of an existing religion” (Guiddens, p. 549). Just like the group that established the religion of Christianity, larger than sects, these act of development is called a religious movement. According to Max Weber a relious movement usually starts out with a charismatic leader whom he describes as a leader who has “inspirational qualities [that make him capable to capture] the imagination and devotion of followers” (Guiddens, p.549).

Due to the increase in new religious movements, the number of people involved in the “traditional churches” has decreased. The new religious movements cover a number of different groups like “spiritual and self-help” groups (Guiddens, p. 549).

In the video of “The Devil's Playground”, the Amish people were people that didn't use technology, they did everything themselves. They were dedicated to God. But when their children reached their teenage years they were allowed to do whatever they wanted, drugs, sex, etc. The teenagers have a choice of either returning to their families to serve their community and their religion, or stay free to be able to do anything they want. If they decide not to return they are “shunned” and are not allowed to come back.

During the 1950's Sociologists started questioning the “insanity labels” that society claimed, and how behavior influences those labels. Talcott Parson, a functionalist sociologist, studied the sick role. He argued that the sick person obtains both rights and obligations when he or she becomes sick. The sick person is entitled to be exempt from normal social duties like being able to miss work, a duty that is an obligation if he or she wouldn't have become sick. The person who is sick is not responsible for their condition. It is unlikely that somebody gets sick or acquires a disease/virus on purpose. On the other hand, the sick person has the obligation to try to get well again as soon as possible so that he or she is able to go back to their normal activities/duties. Also, the person should become a patients by seeking help from a doctor and cooperating by taken the prescribed medicine.

“Anselm Straus, a symbolic interactionist, studied medical professionals and inquired that people have to do what's written in their scripts”. For example a doctor's script says that he needs to treat his patients, and he must do so.

The medicalization theory says that the numbers of diseases are increasing and medicine is becoming extremely powerful. It also states that we have a “disease model” of society, which means that there is always going to be something wrong in somebody's health.

Globalizing insurance companies

The health care system in the United States is messed up compared to other industrialized countries in the world. Countries like U.K, Canada, Japan and Germany have a more efficient health care system that covers the majority of its inhabitants. The United States is the “only industrialized country without a National Health Insurance” (Thomson, Lecture notes on Medicine and Health). Many U.S. citizens don't have health insurance because they have to come up on their own with the necessary money to cover their health expenses. Many attempts have been made towards a National Health Insurance but they haven't been successful (Thomson, Lecture Notes on Medicine and Health). “The American Medical Association along with the Blue Shield and Blue Cross have been triumphant at lobbying against National Health Insurance (Thomson, Lecture notes on Medicine and Health). The U.S. healthcare system is runned by either Managed care, health maintenance organizations, Medicare or Medicaid (Thomson, Lecture notes on Medicine and Health). Between 1993 and 1994, Hilary Clinton had a health care plan in mind. She proposed that employees should receive health insurance, which will be covered they their employers (Thomson, Lecture notes on Medicine and Health). Unfortunately, Clinton's attempt was unsuccessful for many reasons; first because it was short on Senate votes, second because republicans were scared that the plan would put small businesses at risk, and third because democrats didn't believed that it covered most if not all of the U.S. citizens (Thomson, Lecture notes on Medicine and Health).

Alfred Kinsey, a sociologist from the 1960's, who is also known as the “father or sexology”, started the sexual revolution. This movement spread the idea of incorporating more sexual freedom, including the contraceptive pill to allow women to enjoy sex without having to reproduce. At that time, such talks were no accepted by the society, and thus Kinsey became a controversial theme. Kinsey conducted many studies about sexuality. In one of his studies, he found that “males reach sexual peak in late teens while women in their 30's” (Thompson, Lecture notes on Medicine and Health). He based his findings on this study on masturbation. Many question the validity of his research because “he did not collect a representative sample” and also because his findings are based on people who were willing to answer such questions.

The United States government should not support because U.S. is granted more jurisdiction than it currently has, the world would be chaotic.

Globalization is defined by the Giddens book as the development of social and economic relationships stretching worldwide. In current times, we are all influenced by organizations and social networks located thousands of miles away. A key to part of the study of globalization is the emergence of a world system - for some purposes, we need to regard the world as forming a single social order (A7).

Different factors cause globalization. Information technology has created social networks in which people can communicate with each other. The widespread use of the Internet has made it possible for many people to know about what goes on around the world (Giddens, p. 659). Political changes are also contributors of globalization. For example, after the revolution of the Soviet communism, countries like Ukraine, Hungary, the Czech Republic, the Baltic states and the states of the Caucuses and Central Asia “were no longer isolated from the global community, but are becoming integrated within it” (Giddens, p.569). Another political example is the formation of the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), which bring together nation states (Giddens, p. 661). Finally, corporations that produce and market products in more than one country are also contributors to the globalization like Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Google among others (Giddens, p. 662). As a consequence of globalization work has expanded and now people move for work more than they ever had before, cultures can now exchange languages and traditions across nations more easily but also inequalities have increased. The gaps between the richer and the poor have been getting wider as a result of globalization.

Not everybody believes that these are factors of globalization; therefore three different theories have emerged about the globalization debate. The skeptics argue that globalization is not a new phenomenon and they prove that communication between countries has been around even in the 19th century. On the other hand, the hyperglobalizers believe that globalization is a very new and realistic situation that the world is facing today. Those who take a position in between these two are considered to be the transformationalists (Giddens, p. 667).

It is clear that the United States holds a lot of power, but the treatment that some countries receive from the United States is unjust. The war in Iraq is one example of the power of the United States. It is usual to protect the country from terrorists, but a war is not the best way to resolve conflicts. United States is violating the Human rights, which was recreated by the United Nations in 2006, by being in war with Iraq. United States is killing more people than the number of people who were killed in September 11. The death toll of that day in the United States was 4,206 and now the death toll in Iraq has reached 1.2 million casualties, this is 300 times more than the United States. For each American that died in September 11, 4,000 have died in the war in Iraq (Thomson, Lecture notes on Globalization). Due to the fact that United States is violating the human rights, they are not allowed to participate in the United Nations. How can a country be so selfish that it blinds it from all the harm that is causing? The United States is selfish because it only thinks about itself and not about its neighboring countries; they want to become the most powerful at any cost. The United is just creating more hatred among other countries. The United States should not be granted more power than the one it already has because it can turn nations upside down as a result of its selfishness.

Global governance seems to be necessary for the common good of all nations, but United States shouldn't participate in it, or if it does it should have limited power. It is essential that we get the means to be able to address “global issues in a global way” (Giddens, p. 681).

According to C. Wright Mills, Institutions have become centralized and overlapping. He argues that the “power of the elite rule the head of government, the economy and the military” (Thomson, Lecture notes on Government and Politics). This is the case in the United States because the government runs the military and the economy. Also, Weber believes in the concept of “democratic elitism” (Thomson, Lecture notes on Government and Politics), which is lead by charismatic leaders. Perhaps this is not always the case in the United States like when George W. Bush disappeared right after the attack of September 11.