Religion serves several important functions or roles based on Appiah’s article ( 2006). First, it sanctions a wide range of conduct by providing notions of right and wrong. Second, it sets precedents for acceptable behavior and helps perpetuate an existing social order. Third, religion plays a large role in maintaining social solidarity. In viewing religion as a social institution, it has its impact on human societies. Integration and social control roles of religion are oriented toward the larger society. Religion is an integrative force. It offers people meaning and purpose for their lives. It gives them certain values and ends to hold in common. Religion is not being contradicted by globalization. In fact, it just gives it a different meaning which is more applicable to the modern and changing world.
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As globalization takes place, other changes are likely to follow. Religion becomes less important in many areas of thought and behavior as traditional beliefs and practices are undermined. The traditional rites and duties connected with kinship are altered, if not eliminated (Appiah, 2006, p.2). The ideas presented by Appiah are very similar to my thoughts on this subject. People from different cultures interact freely with the emergence of globalization, thus affecting the way of life of the people from different ethnicities and religions. Finally, where stratification is a factor, mobility increases as ascribed status becomes less important and achievement counts for more. Villagers now have the option to discover other communities aside from protecting their authentic culture. In order for a society to survive, it must adapt to change, hence globalization should be considered as a positive catalyst in supporting diversity while preserving culture. It is also important to view all cultural and religious variations with an assumption that one’s own culture is more humane, more “civilized”, and more advanced than others. We should place priority in understanding other cultures rather than dismissing them as strange or exotic. People are exposed to different social contexts that give rise to different norms, values, and cultures. Cultures are not contaminated when mixed with other cultures. It evolves into a mixture of cultures, norms, and values.
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