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Exploring The Class Cultural Anchors Of Fundamentalism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the impact of social class conditions shaped by contemporary capitalism on the continuing bond between the working class and poor and fundamentalist religion as well as between the middle and upper classes with Mainline Protestantism in the U.S. Sociologists have compiled an extensive record of research that shows an association between social class and religious affiliation. Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim analyzed the effects of living in a society shaped by inequality and agreed that one possible consequence for people is some form of estrangement or dislocation from the self, the community, or meaningful work. The chapter argues that fundamentalism is a religious subculture that represents, in part, a response to various forms of alienation which have been generated by persistent class inequality.

Keywords: capitalism; Emile Durkheim; fundamentalism; Karl Marx; Max Weber; U.S. Sociologists



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