Religion and pop culture depending on Marxism, Feminism, and Orientalism
Religion, pop culture, and Marxism
Karl Marx believed that people would understand the realities of the world only if they choose to understand the real world and it has been a major challenge to convince the masses. Popular cultures and religion go in hand in misleading the masses. For instance, a Mercedes company may publicize abandon the superstitions (Klassen, Chris p29). Religion and pop culture are the major barriers to people their product by marketing their product showing how the Mercedes is classy and can make a middle-aged man be able to attract most of the middle-aged women and fail to address how it is safe from accidents (Barnett et al. p10). In the popular cultures, it is believed that having a certain amount of wealth is good as it gives individuals the sense of identity. This paper provides the analysis of religion and pop culture using a Marxist lens.
Karl Max believed that religion is the primary reason why the proletariat accepts the conditions that they face in life (Klassen, Chris p29). Max concluded that there are two social classes, the proletariat and the bourgosie and there is considerable social inequality that favors the working class. Karl believed that the idea of religion might have emanated from the bourgosie to control the proletariat to make them work for them unconsciously. Religion makes the bourgosie to control the production sectors as the proletariat make a more significant portion of labor (Klassen, Chris p40). Marx believed that religion served a function in the society. However, he did not agree with the belief that religion is the function of everything (Barnett et al. p10). Marx found it hard to believe in things that he could not see or feel. Marx believed that religion is the basis of false hope that comforts the poor to be able to remain in the states that they are in.
Karl Marx thought that religion should be abolished as it breeds false happiness to people and be comfortable in the state that they are in (Barnett et al. p10). Without religion, it is believed that most people might strive to ensure that they make ends meet and believe that the states that they are in are not the end. Religion makes people not to work and believe in luck.
Popular culture is also among the factors that people find comfort in. Most people already have an idea of what a popular culture might entail. A popular culture is culture that is accepted by a wide variety of people (Klassen, Chris p40). Having satisfaction in the state in which an individual is in is the major disadvantage of popular cultures. Popular culture is one that is embraced by many people. Culture is the way of life of a given group of individual. There are a number of definitions that have been deduced to help differentiate popular culture from other cultures like the folk culture and the elite culture (Ammerman & Nancy p200). Some people believe that the popular culture is not necessarily the culture that is embraced by majority of individuals but the culture embraced by those who hold superior positions in government. Culture classifications depend on the size of the audience and the ways through which the culture is communicated from one group to another. The elite culture is transmitted through magazines and books. It is quite sophisticated and is likely to have a smaller audience as few people are likely to focus on reading for their soul survival. It is important to ensure that there is a proper understanding of every culture in order to define a popular culture. The folk culture includes those that are transmitted from one family to another. Folk culture can be transmitted through the marriage customs or even family recipes. The popular culture involves the transmission of the culture through a wide number of people. The process of transmission might involve the mass media like radio and television stations for their transmission (Klassen, Chris p40). The interests of understanding popular cultures have grown in the recent past following the formation of various organizations that try to make sure that the popular cultures are known. Among the organizations made based on popular cultures include the American language Association in the United States.
The relationship between religion and culture is a field of study whose interests are underway. The scholars who have interest in the study come from diverse backgrounds and believe that they need to strive to understand them, as they tend to move people in the same direction. The best way to understand the relationship between popular culture and religion is to relate them in four different ways (Barnett et al. p10). The relationship includes popular culture as a religion, religion as popular cultures, religion in popular culture and popular culture in religion.
To begin with, religion in popular culture, religion has been shown in a number of movies by the media. The popular culture is categorized favorite since it is transmitted through the mass media (Klassen, Chris p40). The involvement of various religions including the teachings of the Catholic Church makes religion part of the popular culture, as large groups of people would still embrace it. Islam and Buddhism are also welcomed in some of the popular movies transmitted through the media. Since religion is spread through the popular culture, they all work in the same direction that Karl Marx was against.
Karl Marx referred to religion as the opium of the opium of the people. Karl Marx believed that religion is a social institution in which people depend upon to get their economic and materialistic satisfaction. The human society has two major parts namely the substructure and the superstructure. The substructures are the employees to the superstructures. Karl Marx says that religion is a reflex from the real world, as it has no independent history. Marx believed that religion is like any other social institution that can be related to the societal, economic structures (Bates et al. p28). Marx believed that most of the religious doctrines relate to economics and those that do not relate to economics are all irrelevant and need to be taken down. Religion serves as the last resort when individuals fail to get satisfactory economic projections. Marx believed that religion is an illusion that is used to justify the actions that are not done by the members of the society. Marx compared religion to capitalism that takes our interests and alienates them. Religion alienates individuals from their dreams by the faith that they would be satisfied without necessarily working towards achieving them.
Religion goes in line the popular culture in a number of ways. For example, religion outlines the importance of being contented with the state in which we are. Popular culture on the others side outlines the importance of using the super ego in making judgments. Marx had three major reasons why he was against religion. He believed that religion is quite irrational and is interested in the appearances and avoids the underlying realities. Religion makes human beings lazy to the extent that they do not understand the realities and strive to maintain their status quo. Marx noted that he could not accept the teachings of the gods as long as they deny the humans the self-consciousness to understand themselves. Religion is quite hypocritical despite it having the valuable principles (Klassen, Chris p40). Despite the fact that Jesus addressed the importance of helping the proletariat, religion emerged with the oppressive Roman State.
Marx sided with the teachings of Martin Luther who advocated for individuals abilities to be able to interpret the teachings of the Bible and sided with the peasants who were against the oppressive social and economic rules. Martin Luther advocated for the new wave of Christianity that preaches the realities that face the individuals who have been economically sidelined. The Catholic Church used to preach about heaven but strived very hard to ensure that they acquire power as much as possible (Ammerman & Nancy p200). Although Marx succeeded in giving his views on religion and popular culture in general, critiques believe that he did not focus on all the aspects of religion. He only focused on specific teachings that he did not understand and made them appear as if it were a crime. Marx arguments are focused on ensuring that there are economic and materialistic realities rather than the emotional satisfaction. The emotional satisfaction makes the basis of having the religions in place. Religion is the major basis that may help individuals who had initially lost hope to focus on the best ways to get their satisfaction finally.
Religion, pop culture, and Feminism lens
The role of religion and popular culture may turn out to be a tricky topic today. The feminism lens disagrees with all the oppressive rules that are against women. Women feel that the stipulations in the religious doctrines are untrue as they are meant to make women appear as a weaker species. Some women celebrate Christianity as part of the human diversities that we have in the world (Klassen, Chris p95). Most feminist believe that religion does not give individuals the opportunity to think about the realities of life and that women can equally do the tasks that men are meant to do. This paper provides an analysis of religion and popular culture basing on feminism lens.
Feminists believe that most religions do not come out strongly to help women stand for their rights, as it should be (Ammerman & Nancy p200). The religions deny women their political, social, and reproductive rights. The religions make women weaker and do not even give the top leadership positions in the church. For example, the Catholic Church only has a history of male popes while also women are religious enough to hold the top position (Avishai et al. p6). Women have also decided to take a similar path of not getting married, and they should be given priority when it is necessary for one to become a pope. Acceptance of the religious teachings is equated to blindness. Most feminists do not accept religion as it is the basis of the alienations of women into the direction that makes them appear weaker. It is believed that the belief in God is not compatible with feminism. Religion is among the major reasons that women have not yet come out to stand as feminists because religion has blinded them. Some of the Christians have agreed to be Christian feminists whereby they agree with the just teachings of religion but are against those that make women weaker.
The feminists who are religious to take the Christian feminists stand to avoid being called the atheists as it kills their joy. Some women do not associate with the feminist movements because they have been brainwashed by religion that they would anger the gods and there are serious consequences for taking such a stand (Young et al p7). Atheists are believed not to do enough good to their fellow humans and this makes most of feminists to get such a bad identity. Most of the feminists believe that the religious beliefs in God are meant to exalt men at the expense of women (Klassen, Chris p95). Most feminists find it difficult to identify with religions. They believe that religion is the major cause of the murders of women and denial of education female in the whole world. Feminists also blame religion as the major cause of the spread of the sexually transmitted infections and rape of women in the today’s context (Avishai et al. p6). The religions stipulate that women should be submissive to their husbands who subject them to unprotected and unwanted sex causing the transmission of the sexually transmitted infections. The feminists say that women who have blindly followed religion should try to understand the teachings that have been presented by Karl Marx.
The feminists say that it is not wrong to follow the teachings provided by the religious leaders. They emphasize that women should check on how they can get a life and not get satisfied with their status quo (Avishai, et al p6). The Bible stipulates that man is the sole provider of the family. Take an instance whereby the man who is the head of the family dies. The woman would have no option other face the realities of the world that they need to find something to feed their families (Avishai, et al p6). It is important that women learn that following the religious teachings blindly would not help them. Religion allows the proletariat women to be satisfied with their existing economic and materialistic states that the feminism condemns. Feminism focuses at ensuring that women are empowered to be able to stand on their own. Feminism believes that women have been for long in religion than the rest of the genders and religion should not reward them by making them weaker. Feminism believes that faith should be a personal decision not the teachings of the religions that make women weaker.
Feminists say that men and women and men have used religion to commit unexplainable horrors and that it is pointless to continue having stood in religion. Feminist do not find the reason why people should use the Bible to condemn feminism after all the struggles that women have gone through to support religion (Young et al. p7). Women use Bible to justify the unforgivable acts that they get in. The churches preach of charity, yet the church leaders do not give the offerings from the Christians to charity. Most of the feminist movements are against the interpretations of the wishes of God from humans. Most of the females are against the religious teachings because they do not make sure that humans are equal before God.
Feminism is also against the popular cultures. The popularity of a culture depends on the methods through which it is transmitted from one group of individuals to the next. Popular culture is transmitted through the media. The media initially showed women as the weaker gender in most cases. Women are helped in the most of the movies and stories are shown on television shows (Burke, Peter p4). The feminists stood out to condemn the actions of the media sticking to the popular culture and emphasized that women should be given equal opportunities as men when it comes to the cultures of the world. The popular cultures portray women as inadequate, and the feminists are against it. The media has played a major role in the spread of the feminist ideologies.
The popular culture ensures that women are the weaker species. The feminists focus on ensuring that women get the freedom of engaging in all actions that they feel like (Burke, Peter p4). The outlines of the popular cultures did not initially give a significant position to the female in the society. Currently, it has been noted that the combination of the popular culture and feminism has a great impact on ensuring that women have a voice in the society. The popular culture through the media has the opportunity to ensure that the feminist movements are popular. Pop culture involves the narratives, images, and ideas that easily circulate within a given culture. The popularity of the culture depends on how many individuals it reaches. The higher the number, the more popular a given culture is transmitted to the masses.
Pop culture works best to satisfy the interests of those in power and those in power may define the laws that are insensitive to the needs of the females (Young et al. p7). The pop culture currently supports feminism, and gender balance is necessary for every instance. For instance, although there might be more than half of a particular genders working in a certain organization (Wright p975). The rules of many states do not allow the minority gender to be less than third the total representation. The pop culture provides for economic and political equality among all genders. The gender roles in the television show that the popular cultures greatly support the feminist movements. The popular cultures celebrate the girl child in the developing countries, and this proves that the pop culture helps in assisting the girl child to appear equally important as male are.
Religion, pop culture, and orientalism lens
Orientalism refers to the cultures of the Eastern world. Designers and writers normally do the reference to orientalism. It is believed that the religions and the popular cultures have the orientalism. Orientalism comes from the word orient that was first found in the dictionaries of the Middle East. In Orientalism, the reason why culture is termed popular depends on the superiority of the individuals who embrace it. Religion is also likely to take the course of the most superior people in a given region. This paper analyses Religion and Pop Culture using an Orientalism lens.
Two major factors have been discussed on Orientalism. Orientalism includes the principle of the political orientalism and the relevance of the orientalism in the literary context. Sometimes, popular culture is a relatively complex topic to define and elaborate. The popular culture is not just a combination of interest that may include bingo, line dancing, or bodice rippers. It takes time to decide whether a particular culture is popular or not. If an individual considers imitating the readings of other people concerning the culture popularity, then they have been oriented to think that the culture that they have read about is important. Most of the popular cultures discussed are determined by those who are in top positions because most people strive to imitate them (Klassen, Chris p133). That does not mean that the rest of the cultures are minors. The popular cultures are decided by those in top positions or have gained significant popularity. Those in lower position are not recognized concerning culture and are forced to follow the cultures of the superiors. However, it is important to note that it is not the cultures of those who are in the Middle East that are embraced as popular cultures.
Popular culture is embraced by the movies and messages that are laid to us through the mass media. Empire is one of the most interesting plays that have taken the lead in explaining how orientalism can define the popular culture (Von Stuckrad p201). The author focused on the growing literature of adventure and travel. The adventure to be able to know a number of the unknown world. The author establishes that people focus too much on things that are far rather than the things that they find close. They do not focus on improving their cultures. They focus on ensuring that other cultures rather than developing their old. Orientalism believes that the Middle East defines the today’s culture. The Empire touches on two aspects of the culture of Middle East. The first fiction is the pan-Islamic conspiracy. Though the Jewish conspiracy can be traced to the thirteenth century, the pan –Islam conspiracy can be traced back to the First World War. The story holds on the activities of the Middle East as the common cultures today. It is believed that most conspiracies by the Islam are derived from the activities of the individuals in the Middle East. From the Greenmantle in 1916, it could be traced that the Russian had managed to conquer Turks in the year. There was a little truth concerning the pan-Islam conspiracy that occurred as the Germans did not take the interest to investigate it. Conspiracies are always common in the Arab politics and cultures. The conspiracies are always against the Semites in the Arab world. Knowing conspiracy marks the basis for understanding the politics of Middle East. The conspiracies have been used in colonialism by the superpowers. The conspiracies have also been used to develop war on terrorism. It is believed that the popularity of the conspiracies is the ultimate refuge for those who are powerless. The conspiracy has gained popularity to the extent that the majority of individuals feel that it is possible to get whatever they want through getting engaged in one. The conspiracy theories make us think that it is the only way through which we can survive. The conspiracy theories that are the part of popular culture make us be far from the truth, and this is dangerous to the ways in which people think.
Orientalism is the actual basis of the thoughts of all the popular cultures that people think that they are getting engaged in. Orientalism explains various concepts through which the popular cultures are obtained and the ways through which they can be quite misleading to the society (Klassen, Chris p135). Orientalism has greatly misdirected our attention to think that the cultures of the individuals in the Middle East are superior since they succeed in most of the conspiracies. Orientalism has erased the view that some of the Arab Muslims are decadent, lazy and corrupt in such a way that they should not be admired at any given instance. Some practice racism and their cultures are still admired.
It is argued that majority of people in the world are Muslims, a belief that has been adopted from the Middle East. The religion is away through which a superior region gains dominance over the other. The Orient thinks that most of the religious stands are under the influence of the Middle East. For instance there are several Islam crusades in Spain. Through orientalism, it has been determined that Islam is one of the religions that are growing faster in the world since 2006. The rate of growth of Islam has been approximated to be at about two percent per annum. It has been established that it is the second largest religion after Christianity with about two billion believers (Wright p975). Most of the Muslims are victims of orientalism and are washed with the teachings of the Islam of culture to the extent that they do not reason beyond it. Islam has been noted to be one of the best religions that help individuals who want to be financially stable. The Muslim cultures educated individuals that if they cannot buy a good, then they need to learn to forget it (Wright p975). They should not get into loans. Muslims who are willing to give loans to the others are expected to do so without expecting interests from the borrowing. The individuals who are allowed to borrow must have the capacity to fulfil the loans within the stipulated time. The rate at which the number of Muslims grows is above the rate of growth of the world that is about one percent (Wright p975). The orientalism convinces individuals from other religions that they are going to find emotional satisfaction from other religions like Islam. Orientalism explains that the religions of the Middle East are superior to other religion. Orientalism is very strong in religion to the extent that it is almost impossible to convince individuals to move from Islam to other religions. However, it is very easy to convert individuals from other religions to Islam. The fertility rates of those in the Middle East are relatively alarming. The majority of the individuals who embrace the Islam concepts are youths.
In summary, orientalism explains why most of the religion and popular cultures focus on the activities of the Middle East. Religion may sometimes be misleading as people tend to follow the religious teachings without considering the probable negative consequences. Orientalism explains that the rate at which the number of Muslims is growing is greatly contributed to their high fertility rates. The Muslims rate of growth is higher than that of the world in general.
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