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Norris and Inglehart's "Cultural Traditions"

  • Date Submitted: 10/05/2010 05:06 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 44.8 
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Please explain how Norris and Inglehart use the “cultural traditions” factor to support the continuing existence of secularization.

The idea that secularization in developing countries and in rich nations decreases the importance of religion is not entirely true, however it is a critical factor to examine. Norris and Inglehart have attempted to explain why they both believe that although there have been trends of secularization around the world, it does not mean that the world as a whole will become less religious. It can happen that the population in particular country becomes less religious, however we cannot generalize it and say that the world as a whole becomes less religious if the country modernizes. Both Norris and Inglehart agreed that the secularization theory needed to be updated, thus they developed the theory of “existential security”. The theory of secularization based on existential security includes two axioms. The first is the security axiom and the second is cultural traditions axiom. However, for the purpose of this essay, I will focus on the second axiom.

The second axiom refers to world views were originally linked with religious traditions have shaped cultures of every nation. Even though a person has not set foot in a church, mosque, temple, etc. these values are transmitted to them. People who are not religious still associate themselves to a religious group. In addition, at times, the religious values and beliefs are upheld even though the person doesn’t attend the place of worship. This is how Norris and Inglehart attempt to explain the second axiom of their theory. The values are not always transmitted by the church. This is especially true if a person has never stepped into a place of worship. Instead, the values are transmitted through the media, and the educational system.

A good example to refer to is that of the Catholic and Protestant faith in Western Europe. Both these religions have influenced Europe greatly...


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