"Free Western Societies"
What are they?
The largest western society is the United States of America. Great Britain and many European countries are western societies. New Zealand and Australia are western societies.
What is their political structure?
Western societies are democracies. This means that people over a certain age – usually 18 – can vote and elect a government that will make decisions on their behalf. If people are not happy with the government after 4 years they can vote for a new government in an election.
Why do western societies view themselves as free societies?
People in westerns societies have certain freedoms. They are free to:
- Criticise governments through; protesting, writing letters to newspaper editors, setting up their own political parties.
- Practise different religions and be critical of their own religions. People in western societies can also express the wish not to believe in God (atheism).
- Divorce and remarry, or live with partners without marrying. People of the same sex can live in partnerships.
Women in western societies are free to:
- Divorce and remarry, or live with partners without remarrying.
- Have abortions.
- Hold powerful positions in society.
- See themselves as equal to men.
- Wear any style of clothing.
Negatives about Western Societies:
- Babies (foetuses) die; ageing populations; gender imbalances eg China; low birth rates
- More STIs
- Getting arrested
- Women will take all the men’s jobs
- Religious hatred
- Exposure of bodies (male and female) eg painted bodies, “boobs on bikes”, limited amount of clothing
- Riots are more likely to happen because people can protest
- easy access to pornography, child porn
- adultery occurs
- divorce occurs and breaks the family up
- child abuse
Strict Islamic Societies
Why could some Islamic people think that Western societies are good?
- the punishments are less abusive and do not impose on human rights
- people can gain justice
- people are innocent until proven guilty
- western societies have a lot of freedoms eg the wearing of clothes.
Generalisations about Strict Islamic societies:
Most people in strict Islamic societies speaking about inequality get punished.