Saturday, January 26, 2013

Urbanization



Introduction
Over a period, the global environment has experienced the rise and the emergence of urban cities. The growth and development of urban centers has been attributed to the rise in technological knowhow. Because of the increase in technological knowledge, various rates of innovation and invention have taken place leading to the rise in better facilities in the urban centers. Because of the rise in the quality of services in the urban cities, there has been a significant increase in the rate of rural to urban migration. Because of the continued migration to the urban centers, the urban centers have experienced a population explosion that has resulted in dire consequences. The role of the church in the society is decreasing because of the increase in secularization. The report has stated that more than 80% of the Canadians believe in God as the being with supernatural powers. Initially, the churches, schools and other institutions were managed by the churches under the authority of church leaders (BUBER, 49). This has significantly changed because of the emergence of urbanization and secularization. The religious individual in the urban has adopted the use of these facilities in the worship of the Lord. However, the analyses by researchers reveal that these secular modes are worship have continued to enhance deviation from religion. Of importance are the conduction of church services and the use of dances and songs in the worship of God. With the growth, of urbanization new secularization has taken hold of the churches in the urban centers and secular dance moves and terms have been adopted in the worship (Richard B. Rice, 241). In this regard, urbanization has led to secularization and reduction in the believer’s faith. Secularization has contributed to the introduction secular norms in the religious worship centers. These changing norms include changes in dress codes, worship dance moves and the introduction of slang language in worshiping places.
With the realization of the changing religious norms in the urban centers, this paper will seek to establish the contribution of urbanization towards the changes in the society and their effects on religion.
Urbanization
The analysis of documented articles denotes urbanization to mean the process where a large proportion of the population resides in the urban centers. The growth of urbanization is geared by the belief that there are improved living standards in the urban centers. In this regard, majority of the population migrates to the urban centers to acquire better living standards.  The rise in urbanization has dire consequences to the economy of a nation because it suggests an increase in the usage of the available natural and economic resources. The rise of slums has been attributed to urbanization. Low class earners inhibit the slums in the urban centers. Therefore, these areas are characterized by high insecurity and social disorders (Richard B. Rice, 207). Because of the presence of high population in the slum areas, it is difficult to maintain anonymity of an individual due to continued interactions between the slum dwellers. Because of the difficulty in maintaining anonymity, majority of the slum dwellers have attested to being influenced by other parties.
With the rise in the urbanization, the city dwellers have continued to experience significant changes in their social norms and values. The diversity of cultural norms and values of individual in the city is not manifested because of the embracement of technology and secularization. The growth of urbanization has been attributed to innovation and invention of new and better methods of performing tasks. In this regard, urbanization has resulted in omit ion of cultural norms and values and instead the people have adopted the better ways in the urban centers. In addition, urbanization has resulted in bringing people together. This has led to the dilution of cultural practices and subsequent neglect of the social norms. Urbanization has led to the adoption of westernization (BUBER, 81). This has posed significant influence on the livelihood of the population. With the adoption of westernization, the local population has neglected their social religious practices. Hence, urbanization has led to the reduction in the observance of social norms and values like religious practices.
Technology
Urbanization has been significantly characterized by technological growth. Technological advancement has resulted in significant influence towards development and derailment of religious norms and values. With the growth in technological level, new instruments for praising God have been invented. These instruments include keyboards, guitars and record players. The population in the urban centers has adopted the use of these instruments in their religious practices (Cox 45). This practice is opposed to the cultural worshiping norms where religious worshiping practices involved the use of traditional instruments. With the introduction of these new instruments in worship centers, the role of Christians and Muslims has significantly changed. Today, the religious practice adopted in the urban churches comprises the incorporation of western instruments and dances. These practices have been to secularization where the activities of non-religious institutions are depicted in the church. Secularization in the urban centers has led to the changing roles of religious practices where the functions of churches have been transformed from teaching to entertainment. I agree with the author that, “urban anonymity needs not be heartless.” (Cox 146) My agreement with the author is because of the realization that secularization is transforming the functions of religious churches and mosques; therefore, anonymity is beneficial because it does not enhance the influence from other urban dwellers. Even though, it is advisable for the city dwellers to interact and mingle with their neighbors, it is highly recommended that anonymity be maintained (BUBER, 247). It is notable that maintaining anonymity in the cities is paramount to the protection of sovereignty of the religious practices. The interaction between people residing in the urban centers leads to the derailment of the religious practices. However, if anonymity is practiced, the individual will be able to maintain their religious practices and their cultural norms and values.
Secularization and the Canadian faith
Over a period, urbanization and secularization has been significantly experienced globally.  The world at large have experienced significant contributions from the scientist. These contributions have significantly influenced the modern way of life through invention and innovation. Because of the immense contribution to the modernity and development, there are speculations and concerns that science will provide the best replacement for religion, thereby, giving rise to the idea of secularization. However, religion cannot be replaced by secularization because of the strong faith and belief in God(Cox 94). Majority of the population has developed faith and they practice Christianity by observing the people they interact with in the urban cities. Furthermore, politics has been cited as the cause of insecurity. Therefore, political matters are discussed privately to enhance moral values, decency and respect.
Anonymity
I agree with the author that “Urban anonymity need not be heartless” (Cox 192) The growth of modernization has created problems for religion. With the increase in urbanization, the political regime has gained more power. Industrialization has also taken place. Secularization has amp erred the performance of religion in the sense that individual spend more time debating on political matters than do they do debating on religious issues. Furthermore, citizens have established professions’ to encourage the growth of the economy. With the practice of professionalism, citizens have devoted much of their time towards development of industrial products and political bickering. This idea has resulted in the omission of religious responsibilities. Hence, “Urban anonymity needs not be heartless.” (Cox 27)
The rise of urbanization has led to the increase of concentration of people in the urban center. With the growth in urban population, there is a dire need for the preservation of anonymity. Interpersonal relationship of the urban dwellers is being challenged because of the presence of many people from different cultural backgrounds. In his writings, Buffer notes that increase in urban population has resulted in significant increase in the moral problems with issues regarding to courtesy and respect being on the decline. Another aspect that has been observed to decline is the decency practiced by the population in the city. In this regard, anonymity is extremely beneficial because it will seek to preserve the moral qualities of city dwellers significantly.
Changes in gospel and religious practices
Technological developments leading to the increase in urbanization has also resulted in the creation of new ideas in the worshiping centers. The analysis reveals that these new ideas emerging because of urbanization continues to clash with the customs and laws of the traditional churches. For instance, the emergence of urbanization has led to the incorporation of entertainment in religious practices (Richard B. Rice, 109). These practices incorporated are not Christian values observed by traditional churches. The incorporation of these practices has resulted in dissolution of moral standards because some members of the society have denounced their faith in order to adopt westernization.
In addition, the arguments by Buber states that the population due to urbanization and secularization has experienced radical changes. Specifically, gospel has experienced significant changes and there is a dire need for anonymity to be practiced by the believers. In contrast with the traditional laws where the Christians were tied to customs, conventions and practices, the modern Christians have the freedom of worship. Modernization requires the Christians to be responsible for their actions by making the right choice. The traditional Christians were known to take decisions from the customs and religious leaders. However, the emergence of urbanization has brought radical changes and an enhanced sense of responsibility to the population. Because of the rising adoption of the westernization and secularization, the modern Christians are being influenced by morals from other cultures (BUBER, 205). This is characterized by increasing moral decay leading to the adoption of entertainment in churches. Despite the increase in a sense of responsibility, there is a need for anonymity and control of the modern church in order to realize their hope for future eternal life.
In his writings, Hans refers to technology as a “whole some movement” (Cox 73) because technology referrers to the changing diversities of the human environment. Because of the movement to the urban cities, Hans is of the opinion that technological advancement will take its course because of environment changes. The migrants will be influenced by their moral responsibilities to adopt the changes in environmental diversities. This wholesome change will significantly influence their anonymity in the city. In this regard, Hans acknowledges the changing diversities due to secularization in the city. He also acknowledges the importance of anonymity in the city in a bid to preserve cultural morals and values.

Technological determinism vs. Cultural determinism of technology
With the changes diversities because of the emergence of urbanization and secularization, various theories were put forward to explain the complexities of the changing environment. Different theorists based on their analysis of prevailing situations propagated these theories. Technological determinisms are a theory stating that the development of social structures and values in the society are driven by technological advancement present in that society. Based on this, the technological advancement of a society influence the rate of establishment of cultural norms and values practiced in the society (Richard B. Rice, 79). On the other hand, cultural determinism stipulates that the societal culture determine the political and economic performance of a nation. The theory has been vibrant in use to establish moral cultures and preserve social norms. The use of this theory is aimed at discouraging the actions of secularization that will alter the preservation of social norms. Both technological and cultural determinism theories have been used to explain the changing diversities caused by urbanization and secularization.
Conclusion
Over a period, various countries in the world have experienced urbanization. In all cases, urbanization is attributed to the increase in technological development. With the increase in the growth of urbanization, the societal social norms and cultural values are influenced because of the migration to the urban areas. The derailment of social norms and values leads to the adoption of secularization. The practice of secularization is not accepted because it leads to the neglect of religious practices. Urbanization has the effect of influencing cultural and religious practices because the citizens adopt western methods that believe God is dead. Therefore, technology is not value neutral because it has effects in establishing urbanization and secularization.










Works cited
BUBER, MARTIN. Christian Social Ethics in a Changing World. Canada: Britannica publishers,
 1996. print
Cox, Harvey Gallagher. "secularization and urbanization in theological perspective." The secular
city (1965): 275. print
Richard B. Rice, William A. Bullough, Richard J. Orsi. The elusive eden: a new history of
            California. Canada: McGraw-Hill, 1996. print