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Extra resources for The Sociology of Islam: Secularism, Economy and Politics
Generally, this includes representatives of the lower class strata of society in addition to the upwardly mobile lower class, and the middle classes. This stratum of society uses religion in order to create and maintain social solidarity and networks. These networks, in turn, are used to obtain a greater share in the marketplace. However, once those in this social strata gain a foothold in the marketplace through the use of religion and traditional networks, they begin to lose the religious foundation that brought them there.
In this context, globalization is based on three dimensions today: the first dimension is the economic structure of capitalism, especially financial capitalism, which is based on consumerism. Consumerism creates and shapes identities. In Muslim-populated societies we see the emergence of a new Islamic-oriented bourgeoisie, which is the source of societal transformations that have taken place in Malaysia, Indonesia and Turkey. In this example, the Islamic-oriented bourgeoisie controls the media and has a large share in the market.
The general assumption is that human behaviour in isolation from societal concepts of morality does not have standard checks and limits constraining it. However, without limits on the behaviour of individuals, societies cannot survive for long, and, in the long term, all societies do tend to destroy themselves in fighting over resources, prestige and power; the ‘brakes’ on this unchecked human behaviour take the form of social constructs known as morality. Moral values and culture play an important role in restraining selfishness and bringing order to society.