Satvir sent me an essay to mark and he was happy to share it with you:
He also asked about what could be included in a fundamentalism answer, so here are my ideas:
– definition of fundamentalism using Steve Bruce who identifies that there are two types of fundamentalism – the Western version (NCR in USA) which is a response to liberalisation and the post colonial response (Isis, Iran and Taliban).
An exploration of examples of fundamentalism – what are their features (sects or cults – deviant; closed belief systems; extreme; high commitment etc use Troeltch)? Compare to other forms of belief such as denominations, atheism or political ideology
– discussion of why fundamentalism has occurred – apply Anthony Giddens, Stark and Bainbridge, Lyotard and Bruce (cultural defence, failure of science metanarrative and response to late/postmodernism)
– also compare to Comte’s predictions of a positive stage and Weber’s rationality (why hasn’t this occured?
– You could use functionalism, in particular, Talcott Parsons and also Norris and Engleheart to help explain that people often require security and a point to life
– also secularisation has conversely encouraged fundamentalism because the secular world allows freedoms which leave a vacuum for fundamentalism
– globalisation has also allowed fundamentalism to flourish – sharing ideas via social media etc. and it is easier to organise and mobilise
– from a Marxist perspective you could explore ideas that fundamentalism is the ultimate example of how the powerful utilise religion to socially control
– from a similar conflict perspective, feminists would also argue that fundamentalism often allows the tight regulation of women (no contraception, abortion etc in USA; stoning of women but not men for adultery in Afghanistan)
– a really good UK sociologist to use is Ramji who argues that Muslim men utilise Islam as an excuse to exploit women and often justify their patriarchal actions with religion
– another sociologist to use is Akhtar who argues that young Muslims have become radicalised by the political events in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan…
The future – will fundamentalism increase or decline? Why?