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Unformatted text preview: ctive mobilization occurs only when there is a perceived threat to the group. Samuel Huntington explains primordialism more in‐depth in his article “Clash of Civilizations.” He explains, “Civilizations are the broadest cultural identities that exist and are defined by individuals’ subjective self‐identification as members of one civilization and not another” (Samuels 154). He goes on to explain that issues such as religion are a source of social conflict because they are not up for negotiation. When communities and their beliefs come under attack, it is in their nature to defend themselves. For example in France, when the government passed legislation prohibiting certain types of clothing, the Muslims who were affected by the laws rose to protest. Groups work to preserve their identities as a group, often resisting change and definitely pushing back from attacks. Huntington also believes that individuals are born with one set of characteristics or another and that these characteristics are indisputable. Because of the fact that these characteristics are immutable and unchangeable, groups with different cultural characteristics are naturally going to clash with one another. While the logic that Huntington uses is sound, there are some parts of reality that must be taken into consideration when assessing primordialism. First of all, in order for primordialism to be accepted as totally valid, we should be able to see evidence that societies “exist and act”. Civilizations do not actually exist, though. For example, there are many different segments of Islam. No one section perfectly represents any of the other sections of Islam and if civilizations actually existed, then these segments would be unified and not clash with one another. This brings up the next flaw in the thinking behind primordialism—warfare exists between states of the same civilization. These clashes no not fit with the logic of primordialism, but somehow they still occur. In theory, civilizations that have the same nature...
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2014 for the course POL 103? taught by Professor Jackieviecelli during the Spring '13 term at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
- Spring '13
- Comparative Politics