Masai Warriors – National Geographic Report

In the September 1999, issue of National Geographic Magazine, there is quite an interesting article that has been written by Carol Beckworth and Angela Fisher. It deals with the Masai Warriors of Kenya, and how their culture recognizes an adolescent male that is becoming a man, or entering manhood. The Masai warriors are a group of semi- nomadic people who live on the border of Kenya and Tanzania. They are a relatively small group, with only about 300,000 people in their culture.

They hunt for their food with spears, they live in small homes made out of cow dung, and their most advanced form of technology seems to be the bark shoes that they wear on their feet. They are fairly quiet, subdued people, and they seem to ignore the changing world around them. Their customs greatly differ from the outside world, and many of them would nowadays be called very inhumane and primitive. But these ways are the only ways that they know. But, unfortunately, it may not always be that way. The Masai culture finds the changing of boy to man to be a very important event in life. It is not something that will just happen on it’s own.

It is not something that takes place over the course of a decade, either. It is a very spiritual ritual that occurs over a four-day period. This event is known as Eunoto. It is a very rigorous, very challenging, and almost an inhumane ceremony. Eunoto involves the slaying of a lion, the skinning of a buffalo, sexual intercourse with prepuburtal and uncircumcised young girls, the erection of a new building for each young man involved, and very often, the hysterical trance of a young man, during which he may attempt to slay himself with a spear. The young man being initiated finally ends the ritual by having his hair cut off by his mother.

This very important event symbolizes the end of the maternal bond between the two. The morals of this culture seem to leave a little something to be desired, however. Marriage, for instance, doesn’t mean quite what it means here (although in some cases, they are more loyal to their spouses there than people are here). A man may be married to more than one wife there, and sex out of wedlock doesn’t appear to be frowned upon there. Many times before the Eunoto is carried out, the young men (18 – 19 years of age) sleep with 9- 11 year old girls. That would be very frowned upon here. But there it’s custom.

And there, the males aren’t circumcised at birth. They do that at the end of the Eunoto. This all sounds very inhumane and I disagree with it all, but I guess it’s tradition, and I can’t change that. Even this age- old ceremony is dying out, however. More and more mothers are sending their children to schools to learn a trade, which they then go and use in another world. The future of the Masai warriors is greatly in danger of becoming extinct. All there hunting is done simply with spears, and new technology will soon wipe away all of these customs and traits. Soon the Masai will no longer be such a unique culture.

Hip-Hop Culture

This essay aims to examine the importance of the Hip-Hop culture in 21st century society. It will begin with consideration of the history of Hip-Hop, discussing its stylistic adaptations, cultural preferences and concerns, referring to the studies of black culture by Ellis Cashmore and Mark Neal. Within this I will explore the ethnicity and authenticity of the culture, with reference to last years Popular Music and its Cultural Context unit.

The essay will then move on to evaluate the culture’s relationship with the media, concentrating on the well documented moral panics associated with the culture; I will make particular reference to the theories of Stan Cohen. By studying the political and historical patterns of the culture, I endeavour to discover the overall meaning which the culture has for its members and for society. It is primarily important to coin what Hip-Hop is, the dictionary definition describes Hip-Hop as: hip-hop (h p h p ) or hip hop noun. 1.

A popular urban youth culture, closely associated with rap music and with the style and fashions of African-American inner-city residents. 2. Rap music. As a culture Hip-Hop includes four main categories of expression; Mixing, Dancing, Graffiti Art and Rapping, known as MC’ing. Hip-Hop was first recognised in New York around the mid 1970s, considered as a reaction to social movements of the time. In America the 70s and 80s were subject to negative behaviour towards black communities which consisted of Jamaican and Puerto Ricans as well as African-Americans, it was argued that the ruling of Reagan led to this behaviour.

Hip-Hop culture was seen as an escape from the explosion of gang violence throughout the 1970s and 80s, providing black American youths with a space for expression, this freedom of speech led to the spreading of Hip-Hop to other cities where black communities suffered. As Tricia Rose states, It satisfies poor young black people’s profound need to have their territories acknowledged, recognised and celebrated. ‘ (Rose, 1994: p. 11, cited in Neal, 1997: p. 136) The first UK top ten Hip-Hop hit was recorded in 1979 by the Sugar Hill Gang, called Rappers Delight’.

The recognition of this song noted the continuous exchange of musical ideas between black and white. The atmosphere created between black and white musicians from Britain and America was perfect for the sounds of black British musicians to prosper. Even though the spirit of the movement within the 1970s and 80s had waned, early 1990s Hip-Hop continued to undergo negative criticism from governments who believed it was necessary to destroy the progression of the movement. Their core tactic was to incorporate Hip-Hop into the mainstream, believing that it was the authenticity of Hip-Hop which made it popular.

This commercialisation of Hip-Hop lies at the root of many changes to the culture from the early 1990s, primarily the uplifting of Hip-Hop from its communities and artistic agenda to be used as an apparatus for capitalism. Commercial hip-hop has deteriorated what so many MC’s in the 80’s tried to create; a culture of music, dance, creativity, and artistry that would give people not only something to listen to, but also liberty to express themselves and deliver a positive message to their audiences.

The majority of famous Hip-Hop artists adhere to the commercialisation of the culture by creating music that caters for mainstream consumers, they rap about sex, drugs, violence and racism, calling themselves Gangsta Rappers’, they sell an image of toughness but their lyrics lack authenticity and meaning. The sudden sensation of white rappers is solid evidence that Hip-Hop continues to be a rapidly exploding culture, integrating people of all races. Since releasing his debut album Infinite in 1996, Martial Mathers, aka.

Eminem has flooded the Hip-Hop scene with respect from his listeners and music contemporaries, but an amazing amount of negative response from society and the mass media. For Eminem, his controversial and offensive songs strike a chord with a multitude of Hip-Hop loyalists who believe they have little to lose and everything to gain. The global success of Hip-Hop is a tribute to the central role of African-American sounds and styles in the development of 20th Century popular culture, but it is also dependant upon the crossover to a diverse range of audiences worldwide.

Rap has demonstrated its ability to surpass racialised categories of the popular culture industry. Even with the move into the mainstream, Hip-Hop has maintained a distinctive set of cultural priorities. In the majority, Hip-Hop continues to emphasise its blackness’. The connection of ethnicity with authenticity is a matter of cultural pride; Hip-Hop helps to defend against the failing of black culture. Early Hip-Hop was characterised by cross-cultural approval, which is a reflection of the multi-ethnic mix of Ghettos’ and Barrios’.

The politicisation of Hip-Hop during the 1980s put emphasis on Black Nationalism, which reduced the evidence of non-black members. Hip-Hop was increasingly established as a medium for individuals of minority groups in society, it acted as an instrument for social commentary which is well suited to Hip-Hop’s foregrounding of first-person narratives based on personal experiences. The use of race as a political rather than a natural category meant that blackness’ was represented as a metaphorical condition with which other minority groups could identify.

There are many stereotypes and generalisations connected with Hip-Hop culture; the core criticism is that Hip-Hop promotes violence and negativity. Antagonists claim that Hip-Hop is offensive to many groups of people, an analysis which is based on rappers preaching about racial tension and the harsh conditions of living in black communities as the subject of most Hip-Hop songs. Since the commercialisation of Hip-Hop it is the Gangsta Rappers’ who have thrived within popular culture, rapping about sex, drugs, violence and racism.

The stylistic adaptations and cultural preferences of Gangsta Rappers’ never present a complete picture of the traditional Hip-Hop culture, lending to the limitations placed on exposure and explaining stereotypes of rap, leaving violence and sexism as seemingly promoted. Spectacular youth cultures have long occupied an important position in mass media; there is a notion that the media re-interpret sub-cultural fears and desires to emphasise the conflict between forms of youthful representation and the operations of culture industries for the purpose of mainstream society.

Central to the analysis of youth cultures, is an insistence that the mass media are not neutral critics of cultural phenomena, but have the ability to shape and exaggerate the behavioural patterns of the cultures on which they report. Moral Panic is a term first coined by sociologist Stan Cohen, he used it to describe occasions of sensationalised media alarm and he argued that:

A condition, episode, person or group of persons emerges to become defined as a threat to societal values and interests; its nature presented in a stylized and stereotypical fashion by the mass media, the moral barricades are manned by editors, bishops, politicians and other right-thinking people; socially accredited experts pronounce their diagnosis and solutions; ways of coping are evolved or (more often) resorted to; the condition then disappears, submerges or deteriorates and becomes more visible. ‘ (Cohen, 1973: p. 9)

So, in these terms distorted media coverage plays an active role in shaping events. An initially trivial event can be amplified, generating phenomena of greater significance and magnitude. The mass media are full of stories of social deviancy, from violence and murder through to a music star getting caught in possession of a gun. These stories are focused on because we like to be reassured that the way we are is normal’. Since the notion of youth cultures first came about in the post-war years, various sections of society’s youth have been singled out by the media as the personification of this deviance.

Organised crime is on the increase in the UK and many argue that much of the so called gang crime’ is inspired by the Hip-Hop culture. Artists such as Snoop Dogg, Niggas With Attitude (NWA) and the late Notorious B. I. G are frequently condemned for advocating the values of violence, intolerance and the idealisation of guns in their music, with some rap stars gaining greater prestige for their personal gun convictions. In the UK, Ashley Wallace, aka.

Asher D of So Solid Crew, was jailed for 18 months in 2002 for the possession of a revolver and live ammunition. The case study of Charlene Ellis and Letisha Shakespeare is a primary example of a media formed moral panic, relating to accusations of Hip-Hop promoting gun crime. Following a dispute at a New Years party in a hairdresser’s salon in Birmingham in the early hours of January 2nd 2003, two teenage girls were shot dead and another two were injured. 18 year old Charlene Ellis and 17 year old Latisha Shakespeare, both died in the attack.

Charlene’s twin sister Sophie, and another 17 year old, Cheryl Shaw were wounded. The four black teenagers were hit by a barrage of bullets when they left the salon. They were considered to be innocent victims of a turf war’ between local gangs. The UK Home Secretary David Blunkett, adopted a familiar line of reasoning in response to the Birmingham events. Blunkett announced that he was appalled by the lyrics in many rap and hip-hop songs and called on the record industry to stop glamourising murder and black-on-black violence.

In a similar vein, Culture Secretary Kim Howells suggested that rap groups, were at least partly to blame for glorifying gun culture and violence. In a logical twist, the argument that the two teenagers killed in Birmingham had been avid fans of rap music was also frequently quoted in the media debates about their killing. The above story is symptomatic of the moral panics involving crime and race. The policing of groups such as Niggas With Attitude and So Solid Crew reflected this increasing tendency to criminalize hip-hop artists, their music and their audiences.

Incidental and minor acts of violence were characterised by the mass media and by society as being socially insupportable; however, this did not impede the interest in Hip-Hop of youths worldwide, in fact the increasing otherness’ of Hip-Hop tempted larger audiences. As Todd Boyd correctly argues: In the past, this popularity would have been a sure sign of accommodation, as the music would have to be compromised in some major way in order to be made mainstream.

Gangsta Rap has come to prominence because of its unwillingness to do so. The music and culture industries have found ways to sell this extreme nonconformity, while many rappers have successfully packaged their mediated range for a mass audience. ‘ (Boyd, 1997: p. 63, cited in Neal, 1999: p. 162) The social and political policing of Hip-Hop incidentally corresponded with the period of abrupt commodification. The increase in popularity of music and radio programs dedicated to Hip-Hop helped the success in mainstreaming the culture.

Through Hip-Hop music videos and airplay of singles, the anti-social behaviour was embraced by youths as a way of resisting society; however, this influence was marked in stylistic adaptations rather than political movement. What made the Hip-Hop industry multi-million dollar was the youth’s consumer spirit, which influenced financial gain through style developments. The mid 1990s noted a huge increase in clothing designers and companies using Hip-Hop artists to market their products, it also saw artists such as Sean Combs (P.

Diddy) and the Wu Tang Clan creating their own clothing lines. The important point that this essay makes is that not only do youth audiences consume the products; they also procure the social status and lifestyle that these products represent. In less than thirty years, the traditions of the Hip-Hop culture have been transformed from a culture influenced by the sufferings of black communities into a multi billion dollar industry which crosses racial and class boundaries. Hip-Hop has transformed racism into a style.

In the future, I believe that the growing popularity of the Hip-Hop culture will continue. The policing of artists and their music are likely to become stricter, with parental advisory placed on increasingly offensive lyrics and with the boost in crime rates associated with Hip-Hop policing will be more specific. However, I do not believe that increased awareness and policing of Hip-Hop will lead to the waning of its popularity, if anything; I think it will continue to add to the novelty of the culture.

Shamanism Report Essay

Witch doctors, psychics, mediums, spiritualists are but just a few of the many names associated with Shamans. Many of us have heard these names echoed since childhood, but do we really know who these people are? In the United States these people are viewed as outcast; there hasn’t been a need for them in a very long time. Science, and modern technology have exiled the Shaman into the fringe of society. They remain a mystery to most, but beckon the open-minded. The Shaman is a spiritual wayfarer, that hasn’t thrived in the United States since the arrival of the white man, and his conquest of nature.

There are many definitions for shamanism, but few reveal the true nature of the Shaman. In simple terms, the Shaman is a person called upon to serve as a herald for the realm of the dead, but a Shaman is much more. A Shaman is someone who has explored, and gained a great understanding of their inner being. They can tap into the force that flows throughout the world, and manipulate it. A Shaman can alter his conscience so that he may travel to other worlds filled with objects, and various kinds of spirits.

In the spirit realm, a Shaman can gain knowledge in order to help in healing, and other matters at hand. He is a spiritual advisor, and a healer of both physical and mental ailments. A destined Shaman is typically clued in to their destiny by various forms of suffering. The most common clue is an extended illness for which there is no apparent cure. During this time of suffering, the chosen person has dreams, visions, and journeys to the spirit realms, and are usually accompanied by a guild spirit. This spiritual guild commonly informs the ill person of their fate to become a Shaman.

There is usually hesitation on the part of the chosen one, but the suffering breaks down the will of that person. In the end, the destined assumes the role as Shaman, and his suffering diminishes. With the guidance of an elder Shaman, or sometimes just their spirit guild, the new shaman is initiated into their new existence. It is a existence between this earthy realm, and that of the dead. An initiate of Shamanism goes through an significant transformation. As a result of the suffering, and rigorous training, the initiate experiences the death of his ego.

In western psychology, the ego is the part of the psyche which experiences the external world, or reality, through the senses, organizes the thought processes rationally, and governs actions (Webster’s 434). This death is a way of cleansing the Shaman’s psyche, and allowing the id to take over. According to the Webster’s definition, the id is the part of the psyche that is regarded as the reservoir for instinctual drives, the source of psychic energy, and irrational wishing (Webster’s 669). This would make sense because the Shaman taps into the instinctual knowledge, and the psychic energy.

This death is also significant because with this death of the ego all the societal norms that inhibit the powers of the Shaman are gone as well. The Shaman does dwell on the fringes of society because society tends to diminish a shaman’s connection to the life force which is so vital to their power. To be a Shaman requires an awareness of nature that is rarely found in our modern society today. Nature is where a Shaman’s power comes from. A Shaman is immersed in the natural world; avoiding the more “civilized” aspect of society. To be disconnected from nature, is to be disconnected from their source of power.

Modern civilizations have moved away from nature, and have replaced it with science and technology. One of the shortcomings of our society today is that we are so seized by our daily routines that we have lost touch with the simple joys of living on this planet. Instead of sitting outside, and enjoying nature most people in the United States simply watch television. Therefore modern society contradicts the earthly realm of the Shaman. Modern science and technology has an objective; which is to improve, and ultimately defeat nature. Nature is viewed as the enemy.

This is where the contradiction between civilized society, and the Shaman resides. Modern society fears death, and tries to defy it with the help of medical technology. Modern science has created an artificial world which relies little on nature, and more on materialistic vices. In the eyes of a Shaman, modern societies are sick with false harmony. A Shaman turns away from materialism for it seems trite, and inappropriate to them (Kalweit 242). A Shaman is knows death, and is comfortable with it. They would be horrified to walk into a typical hospital in the United States, and see a person being kept alive by machines.

I think it would seem most cruel to a Shaman. Other interesting contradiction is modern society’s fixation on time. Here in the United States we all follow schedules based on time of day, and have obsessions with past, present, and future events. A Shaman, on the other hand, transcends both time, and space; their world is without the concept of continuous time. So it would seems that the Shaman’s world, and that of modern society have very little in common. Although a Shaman could not flourish in modern societies like the United States, there would be lost spirits that could use some guidance.

I believe there are many people living in the United States that have a growing feeling of emptiness. With all the modern conveniences, they still are unhappy, even depressed. I think a Shaman could help some of these people. A Shaman could prescribe the simple, but necessary medicine to heal their sick souls. These people need to feel the connection with nature, and all things. To feel apart of something that they had lost, and to take their place in this unity of life. In the United States today, life can be so overwhelming, and chaotic.

In order to survive in this modern society, we must conform to it’s standards. These standards restrict, and deprive us in many ways. We must work in order to be self sustained, and our reward is money. Most people seem content with this because their goal in life is to be wealthy, and to be wealthy is to have a collection of material possessions. They exist solely in an external world disconnected from a Shaman’s reality, and the unity of all things. The most tragic realities of modern society is the disregard for wildlife. A Shaman shares their world with animals, and their spirits; gains much power from them.

Animal spirits seem to take a very important role in the Shaman’s journeys. Here in the United States, I can’t drive anywhere without seeing a dead animal on the side of the road. They have decreasing refuge because of modern development, and soon they will be driven out of existence just like the Shaman appears to be. After all animals are needed to maintain a balance within the life force. They are apart of us all, and would most likely affect our human psyche in a very negative way if they were to ceased to exist. The Shaman seems to be a relic of past times in most modern societies today.

Representing the primitive past from which modern science, and technology has saved us from. Has it really saved us? I think that science, and technology will most likely be the down fall of humanity. I think we’re all fools if we look at the Shaman, and see just a relic of the past. I look at what a Shaman is, and see a wiseman. Someone who might just be hope for an ailing world. It would be very beneficial for most everyone to experience a little of the Shaman’s world, and to be exposed to a sense of belonging in the life force of nature. Maybe then we could experience true harmony.

Arts of the Contact Zone

For the twelfth grade English curriculum, we had to read and learn about the Arts of the Contact Zone by Mary Louise Pratt. This essay opened up a whole new concept for us. The new term “contact zone” appeared and Pratt defined it as “social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today.

The idea of the contact zone is intended in part to contrast with ideas of community that trigger much of the thinking about language, communication, and culture. According to Pratt, the two distinctive phenomenon of the contact zone are autoethnographic text and transculturation. One of the characteristics of autoethnographic text is that it usually involves some extensive collaborating process by people of different social and intellectual classes.

Writing classes might have some significance with the contact zone because of this group effort process. During this process every marginalized and hidden voice can be heard, not to mention every individual member can learn how to form and negotiate an opinion in the outbreak of all the conflicting opinions of group members of different cultural background. In addition, transculturation is defined as “processes whereby members of subordinated or marginal groups select and invent from materials transmitted by a dominated culture”.

An example would be that they adopt some characteristics of the dominant culture as their own. In order to teach people of subordinated groups to write academic communication, we need to understand their histories and particularly their history of language. It would not be fair or effective to simply teach students from diverse backgrounds how to write in the language of power while ignoring their culture and the fact that there is a language of power.

It is important for writing instructors to teach students from the dominant community why their language is considered “legitimate” and why the dialects or languages of other communities are not. In doing this, the instructor can break down the barrier of the “imagined community. ” If the instructor does not address the issue of power in language, they run the risk of silencing their students who are not from the dominant culture and be responsible for the students that are from the dominant culture.

First of all, the contact zone class can be applied mainly to the extent of developing one’s thoughts and ideas because of its focus on conversation’ or speech. A writing process is much more than just to put what a writer intends to say into words. In addition, Pratt pointed out the utopian quality and abstract idea of the speech community. However, it is also true that in some contexts like academic setting that kind of uniform idea of speech community has functioned well to give necessary order and stability for the development of the community.

In a contact zone classroom, we are encouraged to turn ourselves to the outside world that is full of glitches and conflicts and expand ourselves by confronting all the different cultural perspectives. This is how it relates to the twelfth English curriculum because this is our last year in high school and when we go out to the real world, we need to know how it is. This essay was very educational and basically Pratt was trying to say we need to not go beyond politeness but maintain mutual respect; a systernatic approach to the all-important concept of cultural mediation.

Multiculturalism A Good Idea

Multiculturalism is a part of any country. There are Jews in Germany, Poles in Ireland, Asians in Canada and so on. I believe multiculturalism is a good idea. It provides a wealth of cultural activities, foods, and different views of life. No one is really a true Canadian besides the native people. We are all part of a vast society we call Canada. In Canada we pride ourselves in being a mosaic, so to speak,unlike the United States where they are a so called melting pot so that if it doesn’t fit they make it fit where as we change to dapt.

The many cultures existing in Canada have created a rich cultural experience. An example is our Heritage Day celebrations where we celebrate our various diversities. Did you know that the most commonly spoken language in Vancouver is Mandarin Chinese and other dialects of Chinese? People may be shocked but it’s true because we are a free country and allow lots of immigrants in. The fact is that we may have to close our doors to immigrants because sooner or later the social system will break down. We will not be egarded as the great free country that accepts so many immigrants.

Although I hope we do not come to this point,I fear it will happen. Language is a part of multiculturalism. Evidence of this can be found in some many cities and towns. You will see signs in English or French and under them, you will see German , Japanese ,Arabic etc.. Other examples of this are newspapers and media productions in varying languages. People that have a choice as to where they want to immigrate to , usually choose Canada because Canada is a great place to live according to U. N. tatistics.

Some people don’t like multiculturalism and form cults, an example of which is the KKK. They are dead set against black people and believe in white supremacy. Such people are injust and completely wrong because everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. I think that we as a world community have to go through some drastic changes in order to cope with the problems of racism, prejudice and stereotyping. We all must learn to be more tolerant and accepting of different peoples and their beliefs. In my corollary I think multiculturalism is a great thing.

The doctrine of Karma

The doctrine of Karma is a spiritual doctrine based on the theory of cause and effect. Although Karma does not exactly fit the definition of supernatural phenomenon it is a spiritual doctrine based on the philosophy that God is not responsible for the happiness or failure of an individual, rather, we as individuals are solely responsible for the consequences of our own behavior. The concept of Karma has two major interpretations; the most common approaches are to the idea of reincarnation, particularly in the West where the idea has almost no existence.

In the East, people believe in reincarnation and hold a fatalistic idea of Karma. I favor neither westerner nor easterner extremist approaches to Karma Doctrine. I on the other hand favor only the basic concept of the Karma, since it has gradually inspired me to become a better person. It has motivated me to neglect the satisfaction of my enlarging ego and instead it has encouraged me to take responsibility for my actions; hoping that with this attitude, I might one day achieve peace of body and mind. The West shows almost no interest in the law of Karma.

This is due to its strong links to reincarnation. Most westerners refuse to believe in the transmigration of souls. Believing that you could be a human being in one life and an animal in the succeeding life, is a basic idea of reincarnation that some of us refuse to accept. For example, the act of swatting a fly could be perceived as killing a person, perhaps your mother in a past life. I myself have a hard time believing in such occurrence. If in fact westerners show interest in reincarnation, it is only with a skeptical curiosity of knowing who they were in previous lives.

In the west, no serious research is done on the subject. As stated in the short story The Politics of Being Mortal, “the arrogance of Western science seeking to master rather to work with nature. “(Making Contact, pg. 618). Western society refuses to attempt a true understanding of the spiritual and mystical forces in the soul and in nature. The influence of Christianity in the Western Hemisphere has left us with the belief that God chooses to punish or reward your actions in life and perhaps in heaven or hell. “Christianity which holds the soul works out its rewards or punishments in a single lifetime.

The closest mentioning of Karma is in the biblical scripture: ‘for whatever a man sowest, that shall he reap. ‘ (Gal. 6:7)” www. sconline. com. The non-religious western believe that we are in full control of our own destiny, which we are to some extent, but that there is no greater law governing our life is not, in my opinion, entirely true. Good and bad Karma must not be regarded as a reward or punishment, but just simply as a consequence of your actions. The East is a devoted believer in reincarnation and consequently in the Law of Karma. In the east as well as in the west, Karma is viewed with extreme viewpoints.

They believe that their status in this life is a consequence of their actions in a previous life. Drastically differing from the west, easterners humbly accept their destiny and believe it cannot be changed. Unlike westerners, fatalistic eastern people are not really curious to find out what they were in the past life. The eastern society believes that the reason for having an unhappy and miserable life is due to The Law of Karma. That is, they have no doubt that they deserve the misery they are in now because of the terrible person they once were in their preceding existence.

It is within their beliefs that if they accept their punishment calmly and try to be good in this lifetime that they will be rewarded with higher status next time around. In my opinion, the acceptance of the Law of Karma on that basis is too extreme and even pathetic. The Orient’s extremist viewpoint of Karma is clearly reflected in their failure of democracy and social happiness. Both the western and eastern perspective on the principle of Karma is too extreme. The western society is too unconcerned in respect to reincarnation. Westerners also approach the doctrine of Karma in a cynic manner.

Contradictory to western opinion, eastern society holds a fatalistic attitude and no positive outlook on life. A balance has to be reached. People think that believing in the Law of Karma is believing in reincarnation. This is not necessarily true. Karma as a spiritual law, is not adjusted according to our various and conflicting definitions of success and failure. Good Karma comes about good actions that usually bring happiness to the soul at the expense of your ego. Bad Karma usually results in happiness of ego and pain to the soul.

Karma is the concept that every thought, every action that we create sets a consequence. Everything we do will produce effects, which will rebound on us for good or for ill. This is the way we experience what good and bad Karma is. Every instant we are creating Karma, we are creating our fortune right now. Good Karma is created through rendering service or good actions. You serve and you draw yourself to good energy. By giving positive energy, you set in motion a cause, the effect is love in return; that is the Law of Karma. It is basically the Law of Love.

Love strengthens the individual in a way in which he can deal with his own Karma. It is not until we find the right relationship with each other, with ourselves, nature and with whole of which we are a part, we will go on making bad Karma. Learning about the Karma doctrine has brought nothing but positive effects in my life, it has slowly enhanced my desire to become more spiritual and at peace with everyone and everything around me. “My belief is correct for me-you have to find the belief that is correct for you and it will not necessarily be the same as my belief. “

The Growing Need For The Aware

We as Americans need to become more sensitive to our use of language because with the increasing number of ethnic groups in the country one has to be cautious as to how they should define a certain group. Political correctness is a type of medium that helps us come to respect and communicate with the diverse group of races and cultures. Before we go on any further we must first define the meaning of political correctness.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, political correctness is the ideology that shows sensitivity, tolerance, and respect for another’s race, gender, sexual preference, nationality, religion, age, physical handicap, or other especially if it differs from one’s own. In other words, political correctness (better known as PC) is behavior and speech manifested in people of all race and culture that reflects an open-minded attitude towards other people present within the society today. For example, being “PC” refers to using phrases as “physically challenged” instead of “disabled” and “Asian” rather than “Oriental.

This term originated, interestingly enough, after the Civil Rights Movement and during the birth of modern feminism when many minority groups were fighting for their rights as Americans. The meaning of the words was not as significant back then as they are now. Political correctness has a completely different meaning today and it holds a lot of truths to it because it gives us that leverage to appropriately address someone without offending him or her. Many people these days are using the politically correct terms, especially business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, etc.

It is sad to say that there are many more people whom simply do not realize what they say can be insulting. There are many examples in today’s society where people haven’t been considerate of other people’s feelings and have been extremely un-PC. Most recently the so-called “shock jock”, Doug Tracht who works in Washington DC, played music by Lauryn Hill on his radio show (MSNBC local news online). Hill is the black hip-hop artist nominated for 10 Grammy awards. On air, he remarked “No wonder people drag them behind trucks. ” The statement referred to the brutal death of a black man in Texas who was dragged behind a truck.

This is not the first time Tracht has gotten in trouble for a racial remark. In 1986 at another local radio station, Tracht made a derogatory remark about Martin Luther King day. That radio station was picketed and received bomb threats from angry people before Tracht made an on-air apology. But the Lauryn Hill remark topped him over the edge and he was fired. This insensitivity was unnecessary and upset a lot of people. Another example of a more public ignorance is the name of the Washington DC pro-football team the Redskins (The Washington Post).

There are other examples in public schools, other sports teams and even restaurant names. This name is very upsetting to many people and especially to Native Americans. There are many protests that urge the capitol to change the mascot, but still is left unchanged. What does this say about Washington DC, if even our own capitol can’t be politically correct. What an embarrassment! Calling someone by a name that has the implication of negative connotations can be considered a hate crime, which is a serious offense.

Political correctness should be used as many places as possible, and it should be enforced in businesses, schools, universities, firms, sports as well as sports. Politically correct terms should be used ubiquitously, if possible. In these kinds of atmospheres it is pertinent and substantive to be politically correct because if one uses a word that is considered to be a racial slur by others, not only does one look like a bigot, but unprofessional as well. Being politically correct is very important to people because it delivers a sense of comfort and acceptance.

A further example are the African-Americans, who in this country were oppressed, repressed and suppressed for so long and have been stigmatized with the name, “nigger,” which was prevalently used by the white masters who owned black slaves. This word has a very derogatory meaning and it just simply belittles the entire black race. Words we use in everyday conversation matters a lot and it does make a difference whether one says “nigger” or “black” because this disparaging word shows a hostile attitude and ignorance.

It makes me cringe even when I read it in this paper. But sometimes, and in some cases, this word can be used among blacks as a way of manifesting their camaraderie and as a racist epithet by whites. Bennie M. Currie put it best when he wrote, “the love/hate relationship many black people have with nigger, one of the most complex, perplexing, and emotionally incendiary words in the American lexicon” (194). Today, if an Afro-American is called a “nigger” by a white person, despite the fact that it is the nineties, the insult becomes like a dagger through the heart.

It is very hurtful because those single words can evoke thoughts of slavery, struggles of the Civil Rights Movement, and the racism and hate that still haunt the nation. It brings back all the grief, sorrow, and pain that their ancestors had to go through for freedom. On the contrary, if a black person calls another person black “nigger”, sometimes it is absolutely okay because it is another way of saying my friend or my brother. Currie says: “Blacks took the loaded term nigger and disarmed it by making it a household word.

In fact, we went on to embrace it by using it to spice up poetry, rap lyrics, and many comedy stand-up routine” (195). Some are opposed to political correctness, mostly whites, because they feel that people take it to an extreme. They say that if a self-respecting black man can use it, why can’t they, and why is it a taboo for them if they were ever to refer to a black person as “nigger. ” The answer is very rudimentary because history dictates that the white race kidnapped and brought native Africans against their will, no less, to work on their plantation.

The word “nigger” represents slavery and inferiority, which everyone is willing to acknowledge. With this in mind, no black person in their right state of mind is going to let a white person call him or her a “nigger”. Whites for have oppressed Black people for so long and using an insult like “nigger” is like being treated as if he or she was a slave once again. As we come to a better understanding of the races and cultures which surround us we have to look at the positive aspects of political correctness such as having a bias-free English language, which would lead to a more civilized race.

People who are against political correctness argue that many PC phrases are unfamiliar, lengthy and more ambiguous than the former. This makes it cumbersome to implement and requires too much effort to think of the correct phrases to use. People who don’t like political correctness also say forcefully that by imposing political correctness on the general public, it in turn threatens the First Amendment, our freedom of speech. Such people need just to learn to change and that is that.

The use of a word may be more cumbersome, but also may save someone’s dignity, so then figure out which one is a better reason. Another point is that the people who don’t want to change tend to be the ones hurting people, rather than actually being hurt. Political correctness should be adopted throughout the country in addition to the whole world to develop a happier and more respectful society. Maybe the purpose of having political correctness is so that everyone could live in harmony where racial boundaries are not crossed and we could live in this ideal utopian society.

The Samurai: Warrior and Ruler of Ancient Japan

Few countries have a warrior tradition as long and exciting as Japan. It is a tradition found in the Samurai, the loyal and self-sacrificing knight of ancient Japan. The Samurai is a valiant warrior who can both appreciate the beauty of nature in that of a rose blossom but will also kill or die for his master in an instant. This well-rounded warrior was the ruling class of Japan for almost seven hundred years. He fought for control of his country and to keep Japan free from outside influences. (Turnbull 1)

This aristocratic warrior class arose during the 12th century wars between the Taira and Minamoto clans and was consolidated in the Tokugawa period. Samurai were privileged to wear two swords, and at one time had the right to cut down any commoner who offended them. They cultivated the martial virtues, indifference to pain or death, and unfailing loyalty to their overlords. Samurai were the dominant group in Japan. Under the Tokugawa shogunate, the samurai were removed from direct control of the villages, moved into the domain castle towns, and given government stipends.

They were encouraged to take up bureaucratic posts. The Hagakure, has been dubbed the book of the samurai. It was written after a century of peace around 1716. It came to be the guide of samurai ethics until the end of the feudal period. Its short passages reflect and outline the qualities that make a samurai. Yamamoto Tsunetomo expresses in the hagakure the framework and mindset of being a samurai. “Although it stands to reason that a samurai should be mindful of the Way of the samurai, it would seem that we are all negligent.

Consequently, if someone were to ask, what is the true meaning of the Way of the Samurai? ‘ the person who should be able to answer promptly is rare. This is because it has not been established in one’s mind beforehand. From this, one’s unmindfulness of the Way can be known. Negligence is an extreme thing. ” (Wilson, 17) “The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one’s aim is to die a dog’s death is the frivolous way of sophisticates.

When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one’s aim. We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaining one’s aim is a dog’s death and fanaticism. There is no shame to this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way.

His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling. (Wilson, 17) The samurai had extreme religious ideals. One samurai in particular, Tsunetomo, he began to despair of ever gaining a position as a retainer, and her began to visit a man who was to have no small influence on his life. This was the Zen Buddhist priest Tannen (? – 1680), a man of unbending integrity and will, who had resigned his post as head priest at the major Nabeshima temple as a protest against the death sentence of another priest, and when recalled, refused to return.

Zen Buddhism and the samurai had been closely related since the thirteenth century in Japan, when the Hojo regents had discovered that its vitality and rejection of life as an object of special craving had much to offer the warrior. Tannen had his own ideas concerning the relationship of Zen and the warriors. “He declares that religious matters are for old men, and if young samurai learn about Buddhism it will only bring them disaster, for they will begin to look at the world from two sets of values rather than one. ” (Wilson, 13) The warriors of early Japan bore only a passing resemblance to the later samurai.

Weaponry and armor were of a distinctly Chinese flavor, and the earliest warriors carried shields, a device evidently out of vogue even before the Heian period. Some of our knowledge of the weapons and protection the early Japanese warrior carried comes from artifacts excavated from the tombs constructed in the 4th and 5th centuries to house departed royalty. Another, just as valuable resource are the haniwa, which were clay statues evidently used as grave markers. A good number of these haniwa depict warriors, and these provide us some insight into the nature of home-grown’ Japanese armor of the time.

The horse was imported to Japan sometime in the 4th or 5th century, and quickly became a valuable commodity. Also brought over from the continent were Keiko, or suits of lamellar scaled armor. This type, which is traditionally associated with horsemen, provided the foundation from which the classic patterns of samurai armor construction would build. Just as important is the samurai’s weaponry is the code of ethics by which they lived by which is known as the code of Bushido. This term refers to the moral code principals that developed among the samurai class of Japan, on a basis of national tradition influenced by Zen and Confucianism.

The first use of the term apparently occurred during the civil war period of the 16th century; its precise content varied historically as samurai standards evolved. Its one unchanging ideal was martial spirit, including athletic and military skills as well as fearless facing of the enemy in battle. Frugal living, kindness and honesty were also highly regarded. Like Confucianism, Bushido required filial piety; but, originating in the feudal system, it also held that supreme honor was to serve one’s lord unto death.

If these obligations conflicted, the samurai was bound by loyalty to his lord despite the suffering he might cause to his parents. The final rationalization of Bushido thought occurred during the Tokugawa period, when Yamaga Soko equated the samurai with the Confucian “superior man” and taught that his essential function was to exemplify virtue to the lower classes. Without disregarding the basic Confucian virtue, benevolence, Soko emphasized the second virtue, righteousness, which he interpreted as “obligation” or “duty”.

This strict code of honor, affecting matters of life and death, demanded conscious choice and so fostered individual initiative while yet reasserting the obligations of loyalty and filial piety. Obedience to authority was stressed, but duty came first even if it entailed violation of statue law. In such an instance, the true samurai would prove his sincerity and expiate his crime against the government by subsequently taking his own life. By mid-19th century, Bushido standards had become the general ideal, and the legal abolition of the samurai class in 1871 made Bushido even more the property of the entire nation.

In the public education system, with the emperor replacing the feudal lord as the object of loyalty and sacrifice, Bushido became the foundation of ethical training. As such, it contributed both to the arise of Japanese nationalism and to the strengthening of wartime civilian morale up to 1945. The term “Samurai” means those who serve. These mystical knights served many functions in Japanese society. During time of war, they were the masters of the battlefield. In peace they were the administrators and the aristocrats. As statesmen, soldiers, and businessmen, former samurai took the lead in building modern Japan.

The Foundations Of Reincarnation

Reincarnation is the belief that after death, one’s soul keeps existing and is reborn another person or animal. It keeps reborning until it redeems itself. Then it returns to the temple of god, which the Buddhists call “Nirvana” – eternal tranquillity. Two of the many ancient tribes who believed in reincarnation are the Greeks and the Egyptians. Karma, the belief that our actions determine our future, is one of the foundations of reincarnation. For example, a person who lived a sinful life will return, after death, as an animal, as opposed to a person who lived an honest ife, who will return as a person.

Despite the resistance of many Jewish leaders, reincarnation also played a role in Judaism due to the Kabala who developed this idea. Some Jewish philosophers even believed that a soul of a sinner can enter a live man’s body and “posses” him. Special rituals were used in order to “cure” the man. T. Gomertz, a famous philosopher, thought of three very good reasons why one should believe in reincarnation: 1. It is believed that dreams are attempts of the soul to live the body. If this is true, than the soul can leave the body and it does so when a person dies. This also means that a soul can exist without a body. 2. If we assume that the soul dies with the body it is connected to, than we will have to assume there is an endless number of souls which is improbable. 3. Matter is enduring and, therefore, so is the soul. If the soul exists after death, hens it had existed before birth.

Gomertz believes the origin of this belief is in India, where it was believed that every action had a hidden reaction, other than the obvious one. This reaction is obscure at first and is only later revealed, sometimes even in the next life. Reincarnation in Different Cultures and Religions Judaism: In this religion, it was believed that a sinners soul can posses a living man.

This is called an Obsession but it’s actually very similar to reincarnation. This belief only exists in Judaism. It appears repeatedly in “The Glow” which is a book written in the 16th century. This book claims that every soul has its purpose / mission. If this mission isn’t completed, the soul returns to earth and possesses someone. It stays in this state until it either completes its mission or is banished by special rituals which are performed by the Rabby. This belief was most popular in the 16th century. At that period, in some parts, every illness was considered an obsession.

Buddhism: Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, renewed reincarnation by stating the possibility of redeeming one’s self from the endless circle of reincarnation. Reincarnation is interpreted differently in Buddhism – the Buddhists do not believe there is a soul. They believe that the force which travels from body to body is not an individual self but a stream of energy with out a definite personality. This flow of energy, which is similar to the continuos stream of a waterfall, is not eternal and at some point it redeems itself and reaches the Nirvana”. Brahminism: Reincarnation is one of the most important principles of Brahminism.

The Brahmins believe that death is not the end of our life but merely a stop on the long life we live. In this stop our future is determined. For example, a person who lived a sinful life will return to earth as an animal. Unlike someone who lived an honest life who will return as a human. Christianity: According to the Evangelists, Jesus often spoke about the rewards of the righteous and the punishments of the sinners. According to Christianity, the people who believe in Jesus and follow his foot steps will get o live eternal lives while those who are easily tempted by the evils of life will burn in hell eternally.

Different Views on Reincarnation Plato: He believed that the soul existed before life. However, he only speculated about the form it was in. In his opinion, after death, the soul either enjoyed or suffered from the consequences of its life. However, after a thousand years, the soul can either keep reincarnating or rest forever. Rudolf Steiner: He is a 20th century philosopher who came up with a new philosophical foundation for reincarnation. He based his new foundation on the heory of heredity which says that there is a significant difference between the part of heredity in man and in animal.

Much like the animal, man gets his anatomic structure from his birth parents. However, he gets his spiritually qualities from his prior reincarnations. Pitagoras: He was a Greek philosopher and mathematician. His belief was that the soul is immortal and that after death, it returns to earth and gets to be reborn. He believed that animals and humans coma from the same origin. Therefore, a person can return after death as an animal too. However, one can avoid rebirth as an animal by living an honest life.

The Hippie Movement That Arose From Vast Political Changes

Massive black rebellions, constant strikes, gigantic anti-war demonstrations, draft resistance, Cuba, Vietnam, Algeria, a cultural revolution of seven hundred million Chinese, occupations, red power, the rising of women, disobedience and sabotage, communes & marijuana: amongst this chaos, there was a generation of youths looking to set their own standard – to fight against the establishment, which was oppressing them, and leave their mark on history. These kids were known as the hippies.

There were many stereotypes concerning hippies; they were thought of as being pot smoking, freeloading vagabonds, who were trying to save he world. As this small pocket of teenage rebellion rose out of the suburbs, inner cities, and countryside’s, there was a general feeling that the hippies were a product of drugs, and rock music; this generalization could have never been more wrong. The hippie counterculture was more than just a product of drugs and music, but a result of the change that was sweeping the entire western world.

These changes were brought about by various events in both the fifties and the sixties, such as: the end of the “Golden Years” of the fifties, the changing economical state from the fifties to the sixties, the Black Panther Party, women oving into the work force, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy Jr. , the war in Vietnam, the Kent State protest, and finally the Woodstock festival. The electric subcurrent of the fifties was, above all, rock’n’roll, the live wire that linked bedazzled teenagers around the nation, and quickly around the world, into the common enterprise of being young.

Rock was rough, raw, insistent, especially by comparison with the music it replaced; it whooped and groaned, shook, rattled, and rolled. Rock was clamor, the noise of youth submerged by order and prosperity, now frantically clawing their way out. The winds of change began to sweep across America in the late fifties. The political unrest came with fear of thermo-nuclear war and the shadow that had been cast by Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The civil rights leaders were unhappy with President Eisenhower’s reluctance to use his powers for their cause, in spite of the fact that the nation was becoming more receptive to civil rights reforms.

With black organizations becoming more militant, Eisenhower needed to acknowledge the growing movement, and govern accordingly. World politics were still dominated by the conflict between the capitalist ations, led by the USA, and the Communist countries, led by the USSR. The bonds that were keeping people loyal to their leaders were breaking down. In 1960 there was a major split between Russia and China. The Chinese decided that the Russians were betraying Communism and set off on what they hoped would be the world revolution against capitalism.

During the fifties, the economic situation was in a constant state of growth. The United States were prospering and the government was clinging to the “golden years. ” The rise of the giant corporations had a profound effect on American life. A few hundred corporations controlled much of the nation’s industrial and commercial assets and enjoyed a near monopoly in some areas. The mega corporations dominated the seats of economic and political power. They employed millions of workers, a large percentage of whom populated the suburbs that were growing across the country.

The changing American economy also experienced dramatic shifts in the composition of the work force. Fewer workers went into traditional fields such as manufacturing, agriculture, and mining, and more went into clerical, managerial, professional, and service fields. In 1956, for the first time in the ation’s history, white collar workers outnumbered blue collar ones, “and by the end of the decade blue collar workers constituted only 45 percent of the work force. ” The sexual composition of the work force also changed as more and more women entered the labor market.

The influx of women into the work world that had been accelerated by the Second World War continued in the postwar period. The political groups, and the negative feelings that they harbored towards the present administration, only kindled the flames of revolution. The previous generation was clinging to the “good times” of the fifties, and the youth were ooking for a niche to call their own. With the drastic change in child population after the Second World War, divorce became less taboo. As a result, single mothers were forced into the labor market, and with these jobs came independence.

The 50’s and all its political, and social change, was only the breeding ground for the free thinking generation that was to follow. In America, a group of militant blacks called the “Black Panther Party” had been dubbed “American’s Vietcong. ” They were tired with the roadblocks and discrimination that were plaguing the civil rights leaders, like Dr. Martin Luther King. They decided to get equality by whatever means necessary. Their members had been involved in shoot-outs with the police, which were, by the radical community, dress rehearsals for the coming Armageddon.

The hippie movement was new in the early 60’s, the men only beginning to grow their hair long and some of them still wearing suits, the women as yet uncertain about fitting in. The introduction of the television in the 50’s brought a new information medium to the general public. With television, people became more informed, and developed individual opinions, instead of the bias opinions that ere “spoon fed” to them by newspapers, radio etc.. The youth began to break free of the shackles that were the fifties. They considered their parents conformists , and they wanted a way to break free of the molds cast for them.

As a reaction to the growing violence of the 1960’s, many people turned to the ideals of peace and love. Ironically, many of those who were seen to be in favor of peace – including President John Kennedy, his brother Bobby, the black civil rights leader Martin Luther King, and many unarmed civil rights workers – were themselves murdered. The horrors of the war in Vietnam dramatized what many saw s drift towards destruction, and their reaction was to seek a genuinely peaceful way of life. Across the world, youth took up the slogan “Make Love not War”, and the Love Generation emerged.

Many of these were hippies – people who dropped out of conventional society to take up a lifestyle based on peace, loving relationships and often mystical religions. Many more who were not fully hippies were influenced by their ideas and fashions, especially using the soft drug cannabis and the hallucinogenic drug LSD. “The New Era” referred to Kennedy promising vigorous attempt to manage a world hose old stabilities had broken down. Kennedy received credit for recognizing that international and domestic crises required an active response, even if that response was “mediating, rationalizing, and managerial,” a policy of “aggressive tokenism.

Abroad, the new frontier had the virtue of working towards “political stabilization” with the Russians; it was deeply committed to avoiding nuclear war – although Kennedy showed no interested in general disarmament. Meanwhile Black Americans took President Kennedy at his word and pressed for civil rights against racial discrimination. On 20 May, 1963 , “400 federal arshals (government policemen) had to be sent to Montgomery, Alabama, after a peaceful demonstration by black people had been attacked by a mob of 1500 whites. Local police had refused to act, even though this was the third attack on blacks in a week. “On 21 May, 1963, 100 whites attacked the church where the black leader, Martin Luther King, was preaching.

The demonstrators continued despite this when black Freedom Riders, calling for civil rights for blacks, marched through Alabama and Mississippi to New Orleans. 27 Black freedom Riders were arrested when they arrived in Jackson Mississippi. ” On 12 June 1964, the President Kennedy sent a Civil Rights Bill to Congress, which, if passed, would make equality a legal right. On 28 August, 1964, between 100,000 and 200,000 black people, led by Martin Luther King,” marched in Washington in support of the Civil Rights Bill. But the violence still did not stop.

In September, 1964, a black man was shot dead in Alabama, four blacks were killed when a church in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, Medger Evers of the Advancement of Colored People was murdered, and six black children were killed when a house was burnt down. Kennedy had been a controversial President. Many Americans opposed his support for black people, while others were angry at his failure to kick the Communists out of Cuba.

The extreme right wing had threatened to kill him, but no one took these threats seriously. Kennedy had been warned it was a dangerous to drive through the streets of Dallas in an open car. The President felt that he should be able to drive openly anywhere in the country, and few people expected trouble. On 22 November, 1963 as Kennedy drove slowly through crowd-lined streets of Dallas in an open car, together with his wife, Jackie, and Governor Connally of Texas, three or more shots were fired at the car. Kennedy was shot through the throat and head, and Governor Connally was also hit.

The President’s driver immediately raced for the Parkland Hospital, with Jackie Kennedy covered in her husbands blood cradling her husband’s head. With those fatal shots, came the end of “Camelot” as his administration was referred to as. On April 4 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis. That night, eighty riots broke out. Federal troops were dispatched into Baltimore, Chicago, Washington, and Wilmington. “Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley, ordered police to hoot to kill arsonists and the main looters. ” The actions by Richard J. Daley, were a sign of respect of King.

Ironically, a year before, Daley was against having King speak in the city of Chicago. King’s following had fallen off in the years leading up to his death. His moment had passed. Since the triumph of his Slema campaign, which climaxed in the 1965 Voting Rights Act, he had turned to the urban poor, but his strategy of nonviolence, national publicity, and coalition-building seemed unavailing. Just a week before his death, his hopes for a non violence march in Memphis, in upport of striking garbage workers, had been dashed by the window-smashing of a few dozen black teenagers.

King had become a hero without a strategy, but a hero he undeniably was at a moment when the larger movement craved heroes and disowned them with equal passion. For liberals, even for many black militants and radicals, he was the last black hope. When he was murdered, it seemed that nonviolence went to the grave with him, and the movement was “free at last” from restraint. There are times when an entire culture takes the shape of a single event, like rows of iron fillings lined up by the force of a magnet. What is assassination, after all, if not the ultimate reminder of the citizen’s helplessness – or even repressed murderousness?

Instantly the killing creates an abrupt contest between Good and Evil, albeit with a wrong ending. With the enlightened establishment’s great men gunned down, a self-proclaimed black revolutionary gunned down, there was an eerie feeling among the common people, a democracy of sudden death. The southern civil rights movement had been deeply bloodied, of course. Dozens of blacks were killed in the urban riots of the North from 1964 on, and, as we have lready seen, the riots of the North inspired the white radicals to start a movement of their own.

These radicals would take the form of the “Hippy. ” In 1954 Vietnam had been divided into the Communist North, under Ho Chi Minh, and capitalist South, under Ngo Dinh Diem, after the Communists had forced the French to abandon Vietnam. Since 1954 a guerrilla force, the National Liberation Front (know as the Vietcong), backed by the North, had been gradually gaining strength. The United States had been sending arms to Diem since 1954, and in 1960 President Kennedy decided to send American military advisors to South Vietnam to train Diem’s army.

Just as the black movement was fighting for equality and civil rights, the hippie movement took on the fight against the drafting of young men to Vietnam. Many protests were staged throughout the 60’s to end the war, especially the “March to End the War in Vietnam” held at the Independence memorial in Washington, 1965. During 1965, the Vietnam War intensified. The USA put more and more effort into it, and the South Vietnamese government’s lack of control became apparent. In August it was estimated that the Vietcong controlled a quarter of the country, he government about half and the rest was not controlled by anyone.

In the Vietcong area, the Communists had taken land from the few rich landowners and given it to the many poor peasants. This obviously made them more popular with the peasants. The south Vietnamese army was now too weak to fight the Communists, and the US decided it would take over the fighting leaving the Vietnamese to defend the land they controlled. The war in Vietnam increased trouble in America. Blacks pointed out that black soldiers in Vietnam suffered unfairly: “10% of the population of the United States was Black, 12. % of the American army was black, 14. 6% of the battle dead was black.

On 23 April 1967, Muhammad Ali called the war “a race war. Black men are being cut up by white men. ” On 28 April 1967, Muhammad refused the call-up to the US army. The World Boxing Association stripped him of his world title, and on 21 June 1967, he was found guilty of avoiding the draft. Muhammad Ali was given a five year jail sentence, and appealed. By the first of August 1967, so many black uprisings had taken place during the Long Hot Summer’ that a map had to be produced to show where they had taken place. 967 had been the year of the hippies, peace and love. 1968 was a year dominated by violence and ideas of revolution and change.

It was the year of New Left – socialists who rejected both capitalism and communism – whose ideas inspired students revolt throughout the world. The New Left argued that violence was caused by capitalism, and the continuing, escalating war in Vietnam, where the most powerful capitalist force was waging war on a small Asian country. As the Students moved to the Left, and the youth movement grew, so did the idea of fighting back against the State. The idea of a single world revolution, grew. On April 30, 1970, President Nixon ordered the “incursion” of Cambodia, with this announcement the students went into action.

By May 4, 1970, a hundred student strikes were in progress across the country. At Kent State University in Ohio, students burned down the ROTC building. On the same day, National Guardsman at Kent State responded to taunts and a few rocks by firing their M-1 rifles into a crowd of students, killing four, wounding nine others. Kent State was a heartland school, far from elite, the very type of campus where Nixons “silent majority” was supposed to be training. After these and many other violent incidents at protests, the intensity of the movement began to dwindle. The great changes that they were fighting for were not coming about.

The protests were not getting any sympathy or support, and greater numbers of hippies left the protests and adopted a “peace and love” side of things. The climax of the hippie movement was in Woodstock, 1969. It was where all of the violence and aggression of protesting was laid aside and the true ambiance of the 60’s was expressed. Woodstock, in June, had been the long-deferred Festival of Life. So said not nly Time and Newsweek but world-weary friends who had navigated the traffic- blocked thruway and felt the new society emerging, half a million strong, stoned and happy on that muddy farm north of New York City.

Both critics and fans concede that Woodstock has become part of the mythology of the 1960s, even if the actual event did not necessarily represent the musical or political taste of most young Americans at the time. Some say it symbolized the freedom and idealism of the 1960s. Critics argue that Woodstock represented much of what was wrong with the 60’s: a glorification of drugs, a loosening of sexual orality and a socially corrosive disrespect for authority.

Whether one is a supporter or a critic, it is undeniable that Woodstock was one of the major climaxes of the hippie movement: a culmination of all of the peace and love ideals in one place. After Woodstock, the movement was on the downswing. One could argue that Woodstock was the grand finale, with the seventies arriving soon after it and there was a general “been there, done that”(interview) mentality which created the seventies, a decade of disco, and doom, never quite living up to the intensity of the sixties. The 1960’s, then, did more than just “swing”.

Many of the values and conventions of the immediate post- war world were called into question, and although many of the questions had not been satisfactorily answered by the end of the decade, society would never be the same again. In conclusion, the hippy culture arose as a result of vast political changes occurring in North America and beyond and not as a result of drugs and music. The drugs and music were a by-product of the hippy culture, but by no means a reason for it’s occurrence. The previous pages cite the more relevant political and social milestones, which, I believe were directly responsible for he evolution of the hippy culture.

These milestones affected everyone, one way or another, either directly or indirectly. They changed the way people thought. You would be hard pressed to find someone over the age of about forty-five who, to this day, cannot remember what they were doing the day Kennedy was shot, and how they were affected by it. The sixties simply evolved; a microcosm of numerous political and social change that swept the then current generation. The hippies were simply reacting to changes in society and, in reacting to these changes, left an indelible mark on the history books of our time.

Arts of Africa

After attending several exhibits on Africa and its culture I picked one that I found most interesting. Built around 15 B. C. the Temple of Dendur was built as a shrine to the goddess Isis. Facing flooding issues from the Nile River it was given to the United States and rebuilt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Standing as it did back in Egypt to some reasonable scale, the site is one of grand status. Upon entering the exhibit the first thing to catch my eye was the wall of glass all along the right. The bright light of the sun shone in and lit the enormous area around the temple.

As I got closer to the temple I noticed the hieroglyphics carved throughout the temple. Then I noticed names carved as well and dates. As if people who came across the temple wrote their own name onto it as graffiti. As if it was a sort of paper for them to deface it as they felt pleased. I walked into the temple as for in as the velvet rope allowed me to and the most obvious thing to catch my attention was written J LIVINGSTON, JANURY 1, 1818. Written exactly as that, misspelling and all, it dawned on me that all these names written just a contemporary form of defacement but rather istory of its own.

The names seemed to come from nations wide. Names like Leonardo, which was written on the outer wall of the gateway facing the temple. The hieroglyphics depict the Egyptian culture and way of living. On the right hand side outer wall I noticed a carving of a table with objects on it, possibly an offering to Isis herself. To me the hieroglyphics are all just pictures but to a translator they tell stories about the two men, Pedesi and Pihor, sons of a chieftain, who are buried at the temple. 2 With a river flowing around it, and the sun shining upon it, the Temple of Dendur is by far the best exhibit of all.

If some sort of translation was made available to read and understand the hieroglyphics, then the visit would have been more of an adventure instead of an assignment. After a brief walk I came across the room of Nur ad Din. Coming out of Damascus around the 1700s the room is a replica of a room from Nur ad Dins home. With a water fountain setting the audio volume of flowing water for the room, the feeling of peace comes into play. Floored with symmetric designed marble and red velvet seating, the room was used to meditate and pray in. The ey word for the room was symmetric from the floor to the window shutters everything was beautifully even.

Unfortunately I could not get close enough to see the pottery and didnt understand the writings on the walls, which were possibly phrases quoted from the Koran. The Koran was a terrific expense. Seeing that thick book sitting on that stand open, with the words written in gold, I realized how much importance historical artifacts play in a culture. Take the mihrab that I saw for instance. Its amazing sea of blue mosaic enchanted me. Astonished by its craftsmanship and detailed symmetry I needed to know more bout it, and found out that a mihrab was placed in a Mosque and used to point out the direction of Mecca.

Written on the mihrab were inscriptions probably quoting the Koran. A translation wasnt made available. 3 Next up was the African Art Collection. Filled with many different types of historic artifacts from Central Africa. It had masks and pipes, musical instruments and much more. The one display to catch my eye was that of a wooden sculpture of a Chokwe seated chief. Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo witnessed many wealthy states. In these states art objects were created to how the power of chiefs. This sculpture of a Chokwe chief is one of them.

Chiefs showed theyre power by staffs, ceremonial weapons, tattoos, jewelry and chairs. This one chief is obviously showing of his status in life by his enormous headdress and his powerful stool. Another interesting carving I noticed was a Caryatid stool. It was a wooden stool of a man holding up a flat surface. It was a really well carved out stool and was used by a Luba chief. All caryatid stools were used by Luba chiefs. This one specific stool was probably carved by Buli Master, who is one of the best known African sculptures. The stool itself is held up by a standing figures stretched out fingers.

Her torso and buttocks are filled with intricate patterns. She also has a cross at the back. Looking at this artifact made me think about the Luba chief and what a privilege it must have been to actually seat upon this marvelous stool. The next exhibit I saw jumped out at me. Seeing these masked full dressed figures in cermeniol dance postions my attentions was magnetically grabbed. Looking at 4 the inserts on the bottom I noticed that the one I liked the most, the one squatting figure filled with snail shells came from the Yoruba people in Nigeria.

After learning about the culture, having a full sized, full cermenial dressed figure helped put pictures to words. This one came from a performance called Egungun, and it features dancers who reperesent ancestors. In Yoruba culture life is a constant battle between good and evil. In Yoruba life people must treat each other correctly. The Egungun songs and dance remind people of good social behavior. If misfortune is present in the village, then the dance would show the ancestors punishing the people who misbehave. This exhibit helped me realize how deep African culture is.

They play out their cultures in song and dance, in artistic visions. The next museum was a lot smaller and had one exhibit called African Forms. This exhibit was a lot more organized. It was split into sections of music, weapons, religion, furniture, vessels and textiles. Even though I was only required to view 3 of these objects I went through all of them reading each and every single insert. In some parts of Africa wealth was represented not by money or currency but by other symbols. Symbols made up of ivory or copper. Armlets and braclets that most likely havent been worn but instead used to trade or urchase.

The bracletes and armlets were all worn out and disclolored from being buried for a long time. Next I chose the Soul washers Badge from the religion section. Made up of gold and designed with beautiful symmetric patterns and coming from the Ashanti people, it was worn by a functionary as a pendant. 5 He was in charge of cleansing the soul of the chief . The badge is an ideal symbol if Ashanti belief. Imagining the man who was given the privilege to wear the badge and clean the soul of the chief was invigorating. Last, but not in any fashion least was an anklet from the Igbo peoples.

It was a fashion for Igbo women with social status to wear such anklets. If one saw the size of this anklet you can imagine the weird way of walking. The circumfrance on it was the same of that of a big pumpkin. African culture is beautiful and very artistic but at the same time proves points and teaches which was proved to me by the Egungun exhibit. The same goes to Islamic culture where the mihrabs were very well artistically designed but served a purpose as well. After attending these exhibitions one thing remains the same, African tradition and Islamic culture are a beautiful history.

English Culture Essay

The definition of culture can defined as, the behaviour patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought especially as expressed in a particular community or period. Culture in anthropology (the scientific study of the origin, culture and development of humans) defines the meaning of culture as the patterns of behavior and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share. Culture distinguishes one human group from others.

A persons culture includes their beliefs, rules of behavior, language, rituals, art, technology, styles of dress, ways of producing and cooking food, religion, and political and economic systems. Culture is the most important concept in anthropology. Anthropologists commonly use the term culture to refer to a society or group in which many or all people live and think in the same ways. Likewise, any group of people who share a common cultureand in particular, common rules of behavior and a basic form of social organizationconstitutes a society.

The characteristics of culture, People are not born with culture; they have to learn it. For instance, people must learn to speak and understand a language and to abide by the rules of a society. In many societies, all people must learn to produce and prepare food and to construct shelters. In other societies, people must learn a skill to earn money, which they then use to provide for themselves. In all human societies, children learn culture from adults.

Anthropologists call this process enculturation, or cultural transmission. People living together in a society share culture. For example, almost all people living in the United States share the English language, dress in similar styles, eat many of the same foods, and celebrate many of the same holidays. Members of a society who share culture often also share some feelings of ethnocentrism, the notion that ones culture is more sensible than or superior to that of other societies.

Ethnocentrism contributes to the integrity of culture because it affirms peoples shared beliefs and values in the face of other, often contradictory, beliefs and values held by people of other cultural backgrounds. At its worst, ethnocentrism has led people to commit ethnocide, the destruction of cultures, and genocide, and the destruction of entire populations. This happened, for example, to Jews living in Nazi Germany in the 1940s.

Cross-Cultural Management: Transformations and Adaptations

If you answered C to all three questions, you probably have a reasonable grasp of cross-cultural orientations. The growing population of international students and employees in the U. S. , the disproportionate trade deficits among countries, the popularity of international acquisitions and joint ventures, and increasing international interactions among companies today force leaders in U. S. organizations to learn to interact and communicate more efficiently with a greater variety of cultures.

The problems and results of mismanagement and miscommunication are evident daily. The problems are not likely to dissipate merely with increased interactions among other cultures, and the results of perfunctory relations and communications are not likely to improve. The responsibility for acknowledging this increasing problem and the obligation for eliminating its sources rest firmly with the organization’s leaders.

Unfortunately, many organizations are not aware of current trends or the changes occurring around them in the international business environment. An understanding of some of the aspects of intercultural interactions represents an important step toward being able to adapt to and confront these complex situations. This article discusses some of the aspects and ramifications of interacting with other cultures. A primary source of misunderstanding among cultures is the differences in values and priorities.

Some of the most common lie in the way dissimilar cultures perceive, time, thought patterns, personal space, material possessions, family roles and relationships, language, religion, personal achievement, competitiveness and individuality, social behavior, and other interrelated environmental and subjective issues. Another important source of miscommunication and misunderstanding is in the perceptions of the leaders, managers, and communicators about the persons with whom they are dealing.

For example, if people presume their values and habits are superior and more sophisticated than those of other cultures, this attitude will be reflected in the way they communicate. Some of the factors that affect intercultural relationships are outlined below. Time Americans place an exceptionally high priority on time, perceiving it as a commodity that holds value. Conserving time to them is an efficient process, a significant asset. Many cultures, conversely, place more worth on relationships and a decelerated, more relaxed lifestyle.

If an American tries to coerce others to conform to his tempo, members of other cultures may find it offensive and avoid doing business with him. They may think he or she is someone who is “more interested in business than people” or who thinks, “being punctual for an occasion or appointment is a fundamental goal of life. ” Before some business people will conduct business or interact with others, an amicable relationship must first be established.

Thought Patterns Americans declare that their past is behind them; however, some cultures believe that a person’s past is in front of him, since he can view what has happened. Americans assert that their future is in front of them; others believe that the future is behind them, because they cannot see into the future. Additionally, many Americans would like to foresee the future so they could take advantage of impending opportunities or events. Other cultures believe it fortunate that one cannot see the future because that way he or she is not exposed to negative information that would likely cause worry or pain.

In the Going International film series, George Renwick describes the Arab’s speech and thought behavior as moving in loops, whereas the American’s speech and thought behavior is direct or linear. Those unaware of these patterns could confound the process and cause negative consequences by forward, abrupt, or aggressive communication. Other thought and perceptual traditions influence behavior and communication patterns and could lead to unexpected outcomes if leaders do not take the time and effort to understand them. Personal Space

Cultures maintain unwritten rules on the distance one member remains from another in face-to-face interactions, in lines, and in public places. Although the distance is affected by the relationships of the people involved, one member of a culture may be offended if someone from another culture, in which personal distance rules are different, violates the space rule by “invading” his space. The closer conversation distance of Arabs and Africans typically makes Americans uncomfortable; Arabs and Africans may feel rejection by the lengthy personal distance of Americans.

Many Americans dislike it when another touches them on the arm or shoulder, but it is more a personal preference than a cultural rule. In some cultures, however, it is inappropriate to touch another person with the hand (especially the left hand), particularly if the party is of the opposite sex. Managers should learn the personal space and touching rules of the society in which they are working so they do not offend host nationals or make them uncomfortable. Material Possessions U. S. advertisements reinforce “more is better” or “bigger is better” values.

Business publications print annual lists of the largest corporations, the highest-compensated executives, and the wealthiest persons ad nauseam. Consequently, the attention devoted to these accomplishments prompts Americans to equate success with material wealth. Those cultures that place little or no great significance on possessions may feel that it is vulgar, greedy, and disrespectful to flaunt wealth, and cannot relate to the values held by those who do. Managers need to know the value of material possessions not only in facilitating the communication process, but also when trying to motivate those of other cultures.

Family Roles and Relationships In many societies, family roles and relationships are very traditional, personal, and predictable. The husband is the provider, the wife supervises the household, and males in the household are more valued than females. Each member of the family has a designated role and the responsibility for maintaining status quo for those roles. Peer pressures preserve the roles, and work situations and business interactions are less influential than familial responsibilities.

One American businessman became very disconcerted to learn upon his arrival in Egypt that the man with whom he had an appointment was in another city to attend the funeral of his brother. Although the death had occurred a couple of weeks earlier, the Egyptian businessman had neglected to telephone the American and inform him of the expected absence. Rather than show his displeasure at the inconvenience placed upon him, the American capitalized upon the opportunity and pretended the purpose of his trip was to express his personal condolences.

An expression of impatience or anger would have probably severed all future relations; the expression of sympathy was most suitable to the occasion. This philosophy is illustrated by a Latin American parable: “Man does not live to work–man works to live. ” To maintain open communication and good relations, family roles and relations must be honored. Language All cultures use verbal and nonverbal communication systems or languages, and each culture’s vocabulary reflects its primary values and composition.

Eskimos use many words and expressions for snow and its components, Arabs have numerous words for camels, and Americans have multiple words and meanings for computers and accessories. Although words themselves have no meaning (meaning comes from people), managers should observe and respect the role and composition of languages and other subtle cultural cues. In his book, Big Business Blunders, David Ricks details numerous problems that have developed as a result of words or behaviors in one culture or language having opposite or obscene meanings in another. ]

Even with a language, accents, usages, or differences in the way things are said can create disharmony. Terpstra and David indicate that “while an American would say that he put some gas in his truck, drove to his girlfriend’s apartment, took the elevator to her floor, and rang the doorbell, an Englishman would say that he put some petrol in his lorry, drove to his girlfriend’s flat, took the lift to her floor, and then knocked her up. ” [2] Ricks also noted some of the problems that developed as a result of a difference in the meaning of words between British and American English.

Religion Religion is the dominant force in the daily lives of some peoples, such as Arabs. Arab life revolves around prayer times, holidays, and daily events, and many occurrences are justified in the name of religion. Phrases such as “it was Allah’s will” are used as rationalizations for a major disaster or disruption of business. Successful foreign businesses operating in cultures where religion governs business and social practices are those who respect and deal with their hosts’ customs, such as prayer requirements and dietary restrictions.

Businesses should also be aware that if changes affect religious and cultural patterns, resistance from religious and government leaders could result. One can sense the problems that may occur by examining the Iranian revolution of the early eighties, when many Iranian leaders felt threatened by cultural changes that were developing. Additionally, a disregard or lack of respect for cultural traditions can result in loss of communication or business, or in consequences even more serious. Personal Achievement

Achievement is another value espoused by the traditional American businessperson. The success and prestige of our business leaders are measured by the magnitude of their organization, the amount of their compensation, and their location in the hierarchy. The larger the organization and compensation and the higher the stature, traditionally the greater the adoration. In other cultures, especially where family time is meaningful, the quality of relationships and time spent with family are the symbols of success and prestige.

When Americans (perhaps subconsciously) communicate this acquisitive attitude to a culture that does not share their achievement motivation, communication channels can be damaged or severed. Competitiveness and Individuality Competitiveness and individuality are other values supported by most American businesspersons. Within reason, competitiveness is considered a natural, desired trait. Consequently, individual ambition within an organization is encouraged and rewarded. In some international business cultures, aggressive behaviors that demonstrate individuality and competitiveness discouraged.

Instead, team spirit and consensus are valued traits. Problems, misunderstandings, or miscommunications occur when these opposing values enter into communications and behaviors. For example, in the haste to pursue business, aggressiveness can demonstrate a lack of concern that alienates many international associates. Since many cultures value modesty, team spirit, collectivity, and patience, the competitiveness and individualistic demeanor conveyed in American interpersonal verbal communications, advertisements, physical gestures, status symbols, and so forth represents unacceptable behavior.

Culture and Values Terms

High culture is a term referring to the “best of breed” (from some elitist viewpoints) cultural products. What falls in this category is defined by the most powerful sections of society, i. e. its social, political, economic and intellectual elite. The opposite of high cultural art forms, such as the opera, historic art, classical music, traditional theatre or literature; popular culture includes many forms of cultural communication including newspapers, television, advertising, comics, pop music, radio, cheap novels, movies, jazz, etc.

In the beginning of the 20th Century, “high art” was the realm of the wealthy and educated classes while popular culture or “low art” was considered commercial entertainment for the lower classes. In the 1950s and 60s the gap between high and low art closed with the rise of Pop Art. Post colonialism This term describes the situation in existence since a majority of countries have achieved their political independence from Britain and other Western European powers such as Spain, France, Portugal, Holland, Belgium and Germany.

Post colonialism describes the cultural, intellectual, political, and literary movement of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries characterized by the representation and analysis of the historical experiences of the victims, individuals and nations, of colonial power. A recent site of postcolonial change in the English-speaking world is the formal overthrowing of the “apartheid” system in South Africa. Post colonialism has transformed our sense of what we are about; and such impressive changes will naturally have important implications on English studies. Multiculturalism

Similar to Post colonialism, multiculturalism has transformed our sense of what society and culture is about. Multiculturalism describes the status of several different ethnic, racial, religious or cultural groups co-existing in harmony in the same society. The existence of multiculturalism in the Western World today has expanded the English literary world, displacing the narrow notions of literature and increasing recognition of non-Western-European genres of writing, oral performance and cultural production for example legends, histories, laws, fables, anecdotes, oratory, song, chant, and song and dance.

Culture itself is a broad term, therefore there are various views on what multicultural can mean. It can describe the existence of a multiracial society, in which case emphasis is placed on people’s physical attributes i. e. Hair texture and skin colour. It can also describe the existence of multiethnic society, where the emphasis is placed more on people’s social organisation or culture rather than physical make-up. Cultural differences of all kinds that exist in society can also describe the term multiculturalism, including differences of class, rank, caste, sexuality, gender, occupation, region, age etc.

Feminist Criticism An approach to literature that seeks to correct what may be regarded as a predominantly male-dominated critical perspective with a feminist perception. Feminist criticism places literature in a social context and uses a broad range of disciplines, including history, sociology, psychology, and linguistics, to provide a perspective sensitive to feminist issues. Feminist criticism is especially concerned with the way gender assumptions, especially about women; operate in the reading and writing of literary texts.

Feminist theories also attempt to understand representation from a woman’s point of view and to explain women’s writing strategies as specific to their social conditions. The feminist literary criticism of today is a direct product of the “women’s movement” in the 1960s. This movement was, in important ways, literary from the start, in the sense that it realised the significance of the images of women spread by literature; and saw it vital to combat them. Postmodernism Postmodernism has influenced theology, art, culture, architecture, society, film, technology, and economics.

Traditional social, art and cultural constructs are discarded and have been reinterpreted in relativistic terms. An example of post-modern thought would be the validation of homosexuality as an equally legitimate sexual expression over and against the Judeo-Christian ethic of heterosexual monogamy. In other words, previously taboo practices and beliefs are given equal validity to traditional values and norms often to the point of displacing the latter. Literary postmodernism has obvious stylistic characteristics. Features include a tendency to be non-traditional and anti-authoritarian, and to oppose the conventional process of meaning.

Post-modern experimental techniques are displayed in such literary forms as the anti novel, concrete poetry, magic realism and Theatre of the Absurd (for example Ibsen’s The Chairs). Post-modern stylistic techniques include the following: self reference, pastiche, intertextuality, eclectic approaches to matter and styles and parody. Modernism Term referring to art, literature, and music of the late 19th and the 20th century, it was a form of protest against the industrialized, militaristic, business-oriented, mechanical and bureaucratic nature of the modern world.

The period of high modernism literary modernism was the 20 years from 1910 to 1930 and some of the literary “high priests” of the movement were T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, Wyndham Lewis, Virginia Woolf, Wallace Stevens and Gertrude Stein. Literary modernism focused on breaking away from rules and conventions, searching for new perspectives and points of view and experimenting in form and style. Some modernists placed emphasis on art for its own sake. The overall results of these shifts were to produce a literature that did seem dedicated to experimentation and innovation.

After its high point, modernism seemed to retreat considerably in the 1930s partly because of the tension generated in the decade of political and economical crisis (eg. the depression). Marxist Criticism The basic Marxist assumption is that those who control a social’s economy also control, or at least influence heavily, its cultural and intellectual products. The Marxist theory of social history initially emerged in the nineteenth century. It was the product of a period of particularly turbulent social change fuelled by new sciences, new technologies and new political institutions.

As Marxist theory has been applied to the understanding of literature, it has provided an often-potent means of assessing the social significance of the literary text. Marxist criticism interprets a literary work as both a reflection and a product of economic conflict between the social classes. Some particular Marxist assumptions about social relations include: * Individuals do not have an existence independent of society. Individuals are creatures of social history. * Society is dynamic, constantly in flux.

Social change results from a dialectic of opposing forces out of which a new synthesis of society is constantly emerging–a new set of social relationships, standards and ideals. History is a record of this dialectic of social forces. * The forces fuelling this social dialectic are essentially economic in nature, and they are dramatized in tensions within and between social classes. These forces set the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in opposition to one another. * All literature is ideological.

That is, all literature reflects the social dialectic of history and directly or indirectly declares an allegiance or hostility to these forces. All literature, then, is polemical. * Good literature is consciously polemical. It is itself a force of change, fostering a dialectical consciousness in readers. The good writer is conscious of the dialectic of social forces reflected in the literary subject and seeks to make the reader aware of the dialectical predicament of society and its member-individuals. Source Dr. Tom Fish with Jennifer Perkins at http://cc. mberlandcollege.

Context refers to the multitude of factors, which shape the meanings of a text within the social framework of its reading. This framework may include particular ideas about the text’s history, but is also powerfully shaped by competing beliefs and practices in the present. Like a yo-yo craze or a catchphrase, texts can last for a long time and then disappear from circulation, perhaps to reappear later in a different form. For any text to be recognisable and readable it must draw upon already established and shared sets of meanings.

As, literate members of a culture, we employ our knowledge of other texts to make sense of what we are reading or hearing. Being aware of the context of a literary piece can help us do this. Discourse This term describes a coherent piece of spoken and/or written language in a specific context. A discourse may be a whole text (for example, a personal letter or an entire conversation), or it may be part of a text that conveys related meanings (for example, several exchanges, within a dialogue, that relate to a single theme). Discourses do not offer neutral descriptions of the world.

They actively shape the world in favour of certain viewpoints. They also compete with each other for control in certain aspects of life. Hence a discourse is a body of knowledge that regulates our understanding of a given aspect of the world. Discourses such as patriarchal, capitalist and colonial invite us to understand the world in a certain way. Ideology Literally, ideology refers to the study of ideas, the collective knowledge, understandings, opinions, values, preconceptions, experiences and/or memories that informs a culture and its individual people.

Ideology is often aligned with political beliefs, but is much broader than that, relating to any social or cultural beliefs, and these beliefs are revealed in literary or other texts. In a text, certain ideas or values will be dominant, while others will be necessarily marginalized. For instance, The Three Little Pigs reveals an ideology that values a strong home and good work ethic that lead to a stable existence. Intertextuality Intertextuality refers to the idea that texts exist in cultural and visual contexts alongside other texts.

They influence one another and often refer to one another overtly, this being a particular characteristic of postmodernist writing. In fact, all language is itself intertextual, since language always pre-exists the speaker, meaning that words and meanings are always second-hand in some sense. Individuals make sense of texts in reference to their relations with other texts, by circulating and exchanging meanings, not as small portions (eg. words) but as packages of meaning. A package of meaning could be a narrative, myth, moral or genre for example.

Soap Operas – Sociology Of The Media And Popular Culture

Traditional soap opera dialogue is not unlike the pop-artist Roy Lichtenstein’s stylised magnification of the commonplace in his satirical paintings of the 1960’s. Coupled with Lichtenstein’s oft-considered triteness of relationships, which is duplicated in soap operas, both have their critics that regard them high art or inferior pop art. Soap operas provide mass entertainment for a countless number of people of varying gender, age, ethnicity and social position.

These electronic melodramas are observed in millions of homes around the globe each day, where it is not uncommon for fans to partake in several consecutive televised soap operas a day. Dedicated spectators watching these programs have, in some cases, created a blur between fantasy and reality and consequently written letters to warn actors about impending danger. Social theorists have raised concern over these habitual and unusually involved viewing practices, proclaiming that the serial may be a vehicle for a concealed capitalist ideology that claims to be light entertainment.

Conversely, what some critics see as the poorest display of the electronic media soap operas are also revered, by some, as the vanguard of it. Theorists of the Frankfurt School, Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, wrote extensively in their book (The German Ideology), on the subject concerning the media and its’ hidden hegemonic ideologies. Antonio Gramsci’s hegemony, the study of how social dominance of one social group is held over another, led Marx and Engels materialist theories into the sphere of ideology dispensing institutions (cited in Lull; 1995; p. ).

Marx described ideologies as “the transmission of systems of signification across class lines” by communication (cited in Bennett; 1982; p. 48). This ongoing transmission of ideas, values and predisposition’s through the manipulation of public information and imagery constructs an ideology that some theorists claim sustains the material and cultural interests of its creators. A dominant ideology is a system of ideas that asserts, reinforces and advances the interests of a society’s elite socioeconomic group.

The mass media is an ideal way for the elite to reach the inferior classes on a global scale and television is the perfect medium. In the form of light entertainment programs, commercials, news, current affairs and soap operas, television has the ability to expose, dramatise, and popularise certain viewpoints to the public. Many theorists claim that the ideological perspectives that are projected through the electronic media cannot be responded to only consumed. Ward (1995; p. 24) developed the hypodermic needle’ theory where the media and its ideologies are “pumped directly into the veins” of the viewer.

Developed by Harold Laxwell, with a distinct American liberal approach to the media around the 1930’s, hypodermic needle theory assumes the media consumers to be uniform in their reactions to the programs viewed. A direct cause and effect relationship is implied which proposes that the public ingests the media text and responds predictably. Nothing intervenes between the media text and the consumer. With the first mass signs of propaganda and government brainwashing evident, during a time of world conflict, it is clear how this theory was developed.

Attributed to Gerbner and Gross (cited in Lane; 1996; p. ), cultivation thesis, comparable to hypodermic needle theory, limits the audiences capacity to oppose ideologies through media texts. The publics’ perception of crime will be shaped, according to their thesis, by how it is reported in the media. The media cultivates how they want their viewers to see the world. This theory fails to recognise the audiences’ capability of forming opinions based on empirical evidence, not just what the media wishes them to see. With the formulation of new theories came greater autonomy for the viewer.

McComb and Shaw’s agenda-setting theory (cited in Lane; 1996; p. ) allowed the public the ability to resist any underlying ideologies but the institutions that dispense the capitalist tenets still had the power to set the agenda for which the consumers then proceed to discuss. Entman’s information-processing theory (cited in Lane; 1996; p. 76) enabled the audience to block out ideals that may be unsympathetic to their beliefs and take in those that reinforce them. However, this indicates that the socio-political elite could continue to reinforce the capitalist ideology if the audience accepted their class systems as standard.

With power resting in the hands of societies socio-political elite the pieces and fragments of information propelled through the media meld into a dominant ideology supporting capitalist ideals. Media texts supporting capitalist ideologies may be images promoting consumerism or materialist concepts and the depiction of the proletariat and capitalist classes as normal. Marx and Engels saw this as not beneficial or representative of the working class and thus impeding on the formation of a revolutionary consciousness amongst its members.

Human consciousness is conditioned in a dialectical interplay between subject and object, in which man actively shapes the world he lives in as it shapes him. The two opposing forces in this dialectical interplay are the upper class, attempting to retain power over an ascending, lower class. Theorists like Karl Marx and Frederick Engels understood this class struggle to be preliminary to the relationship between information and social power on a large scale. The socio-economic elite maintains their dominance through ideologies that can be represented and communicated on a large scale, through soap operas for example.

Rather than through direct manipulation of the soap opera’s dialogue, with actors turning into the capitalist elite’s puppets, the broadcaster sends and viewer receives this embedded dominant ideology by accepting their class-based society as typical. Marx and Engels observed the mass media and other ideology dispensing institutions all perpetuating the status quo as standard. In diverse methods the church, schools, religious groups, the military and businesses all administer the dominant ideology to the public.

With the proletariat receiving similar misinformation through the mass media and other institutions, societies elite are on their way to creating a homogenous world culture. Disputing Marx and Engels premise, that the mass media is the conveyer of a dominant ideology, is the theory that soap operas are the furthest advance of pop-culture and even considered as being radical television. Television soap operas earn praise from social theorists for their continuity. Unlike motion pictures and television serials, soap operas have no discernible end to them.

A serial tells a complete story but spreads it out over a number of episodes” (Geraghty; 1991; p. 11) unlike a soap opera that spreads its storyline over years and in some cases decades, until it is cancelled by the industry executives. The British soap opera Crossroads ran for 24 years before ending in 1988. A notable difference between soap opera and a traditional male film narrative is the lack of fast-talking, maximum action in favour of extended (often-irrelevant) dialogue and an extraordinary amount of accidents, weddings and deaths.

This is all made possible with the “implied promise that they will last forever” (Modleski; 1982; p. 105). The soap opera is a derivative of the traditional radio serial, which like its television cousin is not designed to end. Roland Barthes described this inability to end as “the discourses instinct for preservation” (cited in Modleski; 1982; p. 90). An example of this desire to be without a conclusion was confirmed when a radio serial was cancelled but needed to secure an ending before its cancellation (Modleski; 1982; p. ).

Due to the abundance of parallel storylines and lack of time to end all of them, only one could be completed. Although the viewers’ desire answers about their favourite soap operas’ future there is no comprehensive ending that could wrap up all storylines. The television soap operas generate it fans with the use of “familiarity and predictability” (Geraghty; 1991; p. 15). The viewers become attached and “understand” the characters after many episodes because of the past screen events they have shared.

This familiarity and understanding is disrupted by a shift in the storyline rendering their prior knowledge of them void. This change is rousing for the fan. When there is no end in sight and the perpetual storyline becomes disconcerting this disruption creates added interest. It is this never ending feature of soap operas that some universities and social theorists have welcomed soap operas back after years of disapproval. The theorists’ interest lies with how the audience interprets the endless storyline.

Viewers have the “freedom to decode and the freedom to read oppositionally” (Woollacott; 1982; p. 102). The producers can choose what they put into the programs but they cannot dictate how it is interpreted. As with all communication soap operas do not always fulfil the message sender’s objectives of compliance when transmitting a dominant ideology. The gap between episodes is where the producer has absolutely no control over the translation of his work. It is here that viewers turn into an active audience and engage in post-episode critique with friends, co-workers and family.

Viewers then tune in the next day to receive answers to their questions, which then present them with further complications of the plot. Discussing the future of characters and storylines enables the viewers to construct alternate solutions or endings to certain situations. “The serial form and multiple plot structure of soap operas lends itself to greater potential for multiple and aberrant readings” (Geraghty; 1991; p. 18). It is the openness of the text that fosters the creation of storyline variations.

The many classes, ethnicity’s and genders that soap operas captivate provide a variety of storyline transformations and tend to align the future plot with their own ideological position. The dominant ideologies expressed in soap operas are the stereotypes associated with the viewers particular classes, genders and ethnicities whilst promoting the dominant white, patriarchal, capitalist ideals. An opposition to this ideology is what a radical viewer may propose as their alternate ending. Many viewers use these endings to resist exploitation or oppression they may encounter (Bell; 1996; pg. ).

It is the formation of subversive opposition to the creators intended message, which may counter the effects of a dominant ideology and contribute to the production of a revolutionary awareness amongst the oppressed social groups and classes. Simultaneously, the white upper class males are procuring reinforcement that their existence is the norm or something to be sought after, by creating their own plot outcomes. The citizen, regardless of class, is tolerant as long as his complete identification with the generality is unquestioned (Adorno & Horkheimer; 1977; p. 374).

It is with the upper class white male response that reflects closely the producers message because they, commonly, share the same cultural codes. Ward found that gender and age created the most alternative of textual readings (cited in Lane; 1996; p. 81). The audience creates millions of different of interpretations because the soap opera extends across the boundaries of class, race, culture, politics, education and gender. Television is thus regarded as polysemic (Fiske in Bell; 1996; p. 96). Polysemy is a concept linked to semiotics, which asserts that signs (images) have many possible meanings and interpretations.

Viewers’ numerous alterations of the messages transmitted, by the media, challenges Marxist class-ruling ideology thesis. Chamberlain states that viewers of soap operas are not merely “cultural dupes who swallow hook, line and sinker whatever is served up to them, they confer their own meaning upon the text” (cited in Bell; 1996; p. 95). Ward stresses that a dominant ideology cannot be consummated, according to reception theory, because media messages have no fixed meanings (cited in Lane; 1996; p. 79). Dominant ideologies are in perpetual conflict with polysemic text interpretations.

Polysemic texts like soap operas contain many meanings, some subversive others supportive, whilst a dominant ideology embedded in a media text, is competing for the audiences sole attention. Polysemic, or open ended, texts give people pleasure in being able to resist. This pleasure in being able to resist implies, however, that viewers are aware of an apparent ideology transmitted into their homes by the media. “Fish don’t problematise the water in which they swim, audience members don’t always analyse how their everyday environmentsshape thinking” (Lull; 1995; p. 22).

Cultural studies theorist John Fiske (1989) argues that popular television can never have a direct radical or subversive effect. Fiske (1989) maintains that no matter how much a social group subverts a text it is not going to instill in them a revolutionary spirit. It is this radicalism that would raise them from their oppression or exploitation. Fiske (1989) does not see any direct link between a reaction to entertainment and a creation of an organised opposition to particular ideologies. The effects are retained internally and not transmitted sub-culturally (Fiske; 1989).

However, he does cite that popular culture is not formed as a reaction to the dominating ideological and cultural forces but as a semiotic resistance rather than a socio-political resistance. Soap operas lend the viewers an opportunity to oppose the preferred ways of thinking handed down to them by the cultural elite. It will never eventuate into a march on parliament, but it will enable the viewer to oppose smaller institutions. An institution to be overcome on a smaller scale is the sub-ordination of women in the household, which can be achieved by a subversive reaction to the female stereotype commonly portrayed in the media.

Counter hegemonic interpretations reveal that the public has an “independence of thought, creativity, determination, and resistance that hegemony cannot destroy” (Lull; 1995; p. 40). The idea that the public has the strength to resist is quite distinct from earlier theories that claimed the audiences were unable to oppose the socio-economic elite’s transmitted ideologies. Fiskes’ theory (1989) supports the idea of audience resistance by stating that people are free to decode televised programs in any way imaginable.

This suggests that no investigation is needed into the relationship between soap opera texts and the state and class systems. The electronic media, soap operas in particular, do help transmit and maintain ideological tendencies, but the audience has the power to interpret the loaded media texts in any way they desire. They can support a message sender’s ideology or they can subvert them to suit their own ideologies. This is not to say that dominant ideologies don’t exist and aren’t capable of an influence over the public; they are.

Dominant ideologies frame perceptions and inspire interpretations that can serve the general interests of dominant social institutions. To satisfy the socio-economic elite, soap opera viewers need to attend to the messages sent as an affirmation that their current social standing is the norm. It is within the audiences’ capacity to engage dominant ideologies in soap operas to invent, manage and change their present situations. It is the viewers’ decision to whether they subvert the soap operas embedded ideologies, sustaining their radical nature, or use it to manage or maintain their current social situation.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Self-deception is a particularly destructive characteristic of West Culture. Life is The Will To Power; our natural desire is to dominate and reshape the world to fit our own preferences and assert our personal strength to the fullest degree possible. Struggle, through which individuals achieve a degree of power commensurate with their abilities, is the basic fact of human existence. Ideals of human equality perpetuate mediocrity — a truth that has been distorted and concealed by modern value systems.

Christian morality, which identifies goodness with meekness and servility is the prime culprit in creating a cultural climate that thwarts the drive for excellence and self realization. God is dead; a new era of human creativity and achievement is at hand. PREFACE Much information is available on Mr. Friedrich Nietzsche, including many books that he wrote himself, during his philosophical career. I took this as a good sign I would find a fountain of enlightened material produced by the man.

I’ve had to go through a bit of my own philosophical thoughts to put my own value judgements aside, and truly look for the contributions Nietzsche gave to philosophy. Much of my understanding came only after I had a grasp of Neitzsche’s history; therefore, I encourage you to read-up on his history before diving into his philosophy . The modern Westerner might disagree with every aspect of his philosophy, but there are many things one must unfortunately admit are true (only if you put your morality aside).

So, from here, I will present his contributions to philosophy, and do my best to delete my own opinions, other than to say that he was not the chosen topic of this paper out of any admiration. Sometimes philosophy is called “timeless,” implying that its lessons are of value to any generation. This may be hard to see in Nietzsche’s work, but we are assured that it was appropriate thought for his time. However, even Nietzsche’s critics admit that his words hold an undeniable truth, as hard as it is to accept. Perhaps this is why his work is timeless, and has survived 150 years in print.

Christianity “God is Dead! ” announced Zarathustra (better known as Zoroaster), in Neitzsche’s proudest book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-1885). Unlike many philosophers, Nietzsche never tried to prove or disprove the existence of God, just that belief in God can create sickness; and to convince that highest achievements in human life depend on elimination of God. Whether God existed had no relevance in his goal. Proclamation of the death of God was a fundamental ingredient in the revaluation of values Nietzsche advocated.

Nothing has done more than Christianity to entrench the morality of mediocrity in human consciousness. Christian love extols qualities of weakness; it causes guilt. Charity is just teaching hatred and revenge directed toward nobility. Belief in God is a tool to bring submission to the individual of noble character. ” — F. Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Hero, Morality, Nietzsche had an ideal world in mind, with an ideal government and an ideal God: the “Overman” or “Superman. ” These Gods were a product of natural selection, or Social Darwinism.

He felt, very strongly, that any kind of moral limitations upon man would only stand in the way of The Overman. “The Will To Power,” his strongest teaching, meant that The Overman should and would do anything possible to gain power, control and strength. If one showed the smallest bit of weakness or morality, he would be killed by the stronger Overman, and taken over. Thus, the advancement of The Master Race (Nietzsche’s “Master Race” will be discussed later). “Not mankind, but superman is the goal.

The very last thing a sensible man would undertake would be to improve mankind: mankind does not improve, it doesn’t even exist – it is an abstraction. “… his superman as the individual rising precariously out of the mire of mass mediocrity, and owing his existence more to deliberate breeding and careful nurture than to the hazards of natural selection. ” Master Race Nietzsche is often referred to as a pre-Nazi thinker, by his idealism of The Master Race. He was, in fact, a prime influence on the writing of Hitler’s highest men, and quoted in Hitler’s speeches.

But, his writings were mostly taken out of context, because he was very open about his distaste for “those anti- semites. ” If one is able to come from a more intelligent place, regarding the breeding of best-fit humans, Nietzsche was far beyond Hitler. Nietzsche understood the necessity for variation in a population, and especially was able to appreciate the contributions of other races and cultures. His ideal society would be a race that included select bits from many races/cultures. The only culture that he seemed to have a special appreciation for were the Polish.

He wrote, “The Poles, I consider the most gifted and gallant among Slavic people… ” Still, he wrote about his value for the Jews, as response to the growing anti-semite culture in Germany during his time: “The whole problem of the Jews exists only in nation states, for here their energy and higher intelligence, their accumulated capital of spirit and will, gathered from generation to generation though a long schooling in suffering, must become so preponderant as to arouse mass envy and hatred.

In almost all contemporary nations, therefore — in direct proportion to the degree which they act up nationalistically — the literary obscenity of leading the Jews to slaughter as scapegoats of every conceivable public and internal misfortune is spreading. As soon as it is no longer a matter of preserving nations, but of producing the strongest possible Euro-Mixed race, the Jew is just as useful and desirable as ingredient as any other national remnant. “

The Role Of The Hippie In American Culture

American society and culture experienced an awakening during the 1960s as a result of the diverse civil rights, economic, and political issues it was faced with. At the center of this revolution was the American hippie, the most peculiar and highly influential figure of the time period. Hippies were vital to the American counterculture, fueling a movement to expand awareness and stretch accepted values. The hippies solutions to the problems of institutionalized American society were to either participate in mass protests or drop out of society completely.

The government and the older generations could not understand their way of life. Hippies were often portrayed as criminals, subversive to the morals and best interest of the public. Although misunderstood, the hippie had a great impact throughout the country, still surviving today in American culture. The term hippie itself became a universal term in the late sixties. It originated in a 1967 article in Ramparts, entitled The Social History of the Hippies. Afterward, the name was captured by the mass media as a label for the people of the new movement.

Yablonsky 28) Even before this, the word hip described someone who was in and down, wise to what was going on around him. By the 1960s, some of Americas youth created a gap between themselves and their parents. They grew their hair long because it was natural and therefore considered beautiful. At first, the idea of men with long hair was absurd and society considered it a sign of homosexuality. When it became clear that the establishment felt so strongly about hair, the attitudes of young rebels changed. One young man responded after being questioned about his unkempt appearance:

Growing hair does not mean that I am or am not a homosexual. It does mean that I am willing to stand up for my rights as a human being an that includes my right to be harmless to all people. It also indicates my unwillingness to get on the treadmill of killing for a vast machine-like government. If I am scorned and called dirty because I allow hair to grow on my face and my head, then so much the better, for by this I indicate the seriousness of my belief. I scorn the society that has created this monstrous robot-like conformity that feeds the war machine as Hitler found robots to feed his war machine.

In contrast to the short crew-cut style that every young man adhered to during the fifties, the hippie popularized a diversity of hairstyles with no single ideal image to fit. The clothes worn by hippies were also chosen to express anti-establishment sentiments to the public. They tried to stay away from store-bought, expensive clothes. Their pants, shirts and dresses were made of comfortable, natural fibers like cotton and denim. Many articles of clothing were hand-crafted, such as belts, shoes, necklaces, and headbands. As poverty spread, the hippie wardrobe grew increasingly shabby.

They shopped at thrift shops and places like the Diggers Free Store. Gray, dingy, torn clothes and broken shoes became the characteristic style of the hippies. (Wolf 18) Spawned out of necessity rather than style, these clothes were another symbol of their retaliation against the system. The hippies approach toward life was much more relaxed and open-minded than the rest of society. They all agreed on the importance of brotherhood among people of all races and ethnicity. Preaching a motto of love and kindness, hippies tried to spread their beliefs into society.

By handing out flowers, singing songs, and making orations, these young people tried to make America hear its message of love. (Kornbluth 250-253) People would share resources amongst each other, making sure everyone got a portion of the food, drink, clothes that the group managed to get. This was completely opposite to the government policies favoring sharp economic inequality, allowing starvation and poverty to continue. The Diggers of San Francisco attempted to do their part, organizing free meals and handouts. (Wolf 11) This charitable display demonstrated the kindness and gentleness of the hippies to the American public.

They hoped that the rest of the population would follow in their example and help the indigent, unfortunately, they did not. The hippies, did however, gain respect in the eyes of the public as champions of the poor. Sex was a major issue associated with the hippie culture of the sixties. Society had built up barriers against intimate contact between the sexes for decades. Throughout American history, pre-marital sex was offensive and unacceptable to society. The hippies challenged these limits by practicing sexual activities spontaneously an openly.

Their promiscuity left the nation in disbelief: having multiple partners and engaging in casual sex with little emotional engagement. (Mills 112-113) The females sensuality was actually realized and flaunted. These girls did not dress in conservative, concealing clothes to hide themselves. Hippies realized the beauty of the human body, as a result they found no need to hide it. One hippies remark about the women he associated with was quite noteworthy, See the girls in the miniskirts? See the beautiful legs. Yes they lead to the ! & these girls do not tease they *censored*.

Can you take it? (Kornbluth 206). Of course, society strongly disagreed with this behavior. The deviation from the nuclear family ideal imposed upon them was a vital step for the hippies. Through this gesture, they abolished the possessiveness and materialism associated with marriage. (Westhues 41-42) Illegitimate children and unrestricted sex created a negative stigma, but it brought the hippies even more attention from the American public. Although many people did not approve of the hippie lifestyle and some turned their heads, they made a lasting impression on social boundaries.

The possibilities of sexual freedom they presented to the straights took root and eventually widened their boundaries as well. The hippies openly advocated the use of drugs to enhance the monotony of daily life and to raise awareness. Marijuana and LSD were their most prevalent drugs of choice because of their psychedelic properties. Grass had been illegal since 1937, so dealing with it was a criminal offense. The hippies used marijuana for numerous purposes, unable to find the negative effects that the government had been spreading for decades.

David Solomon, editor of The Marijuana Papers stated comically in regard to weed: Like Spearmint, it aids concentration and helps you do almost anything a little bit better. It grows hair on the palm of your hands, introduces you to a nice type of black man, overcomes impotence, improves appetite, banishes excess bat, constipation, and headaches, relieves rheumatism. In short, its a miracle drug. A pot nation is a powerful nation. Possible side effects: a feeling of dreamy nonchalance, heightened sense of awareness, bursts of introspection, mellowing attitude towards ones fellow man, especially if hes stoned beside you.

The continued use of marijuana, despite legislation and parental guidelines was another powerful means of rebellion. Many people were turned on to the hip scene by marijuana. (Yablonsky 242) Smoking grass soon spread into the suburbs and the rest of sheltered America. The popularization of LSD can easily be attributed to the hippies and the self-proclaimed leaders of the acid movement. Remaining legal until 1966, LSD gained great publicity from them and drew notoriety after it was criminalized. Timothy Learys studies were published and widely read, almost like bibles.

His book The Psychedelic Experience, and a translated version of The Tibetan Book of the Dead soon became the guidebooks for passage through a successful trip. (Westhues 40-41) Through his writing, he spread the hippie motto of Turn on, Tune in, Drop Out. Ken Keseys acid tests and his adventures with the Pranksters drew further attention to the acid movement, as it came to be known. In The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, an account of his adventures, he metaphorically states, There are going to be times, when we cant wait for somebody. Now, youre either on the bus or off the bus.

If youre on the bus, and you get left behind, then youll find it again. If youre off the bus in the first place- then it wont make a damn. Youre either on the busor off the bus (Wolfe 74). The hippies believed that LSD had the power to raise them to a higher consciousness, it helped you get on the bus. Hippies used acid limitlessly, tightening the bonds with each other and widening the gap between themselves and society. Americans could reluctantly tolerate marijuana usage, but after seeing the creative and frightening effects of LSD, would not accept the chemical in society.

Individuality and identity are two very important ideals to the hippies. They feel that the establishment tries to control people through routine methods like organized work and leisure. The idea of anything organized would instantly evoke boredom and restraint in the mind of the hippie. (Cavan 162-163) Many of these young people devoted tremendous amounts of time to doing their own thing. This could have been anything, ranging from creative endeavors like painting and poetry to merely sitting on the grass meditating. Doing ones own thing brought the person a unique sense of identity.

This gave them a different approach to finding careers than their parents tried to teach them If you get a job or something, youre even more conforming to the system, and if you dont agree with it, where do you turn? So you see you kind of invent your own lifestyle (Mills 79). The dehumanizing effect of joining the American workforce was met with the hippies decision to exclude themselves from it, avoiding its negative effects. This placed them outside of the economy, separating them from the rest of society. Of course, they were further misunderstood and even despised for their refusal to work.

Some hippies looked for solutions to the social problems plaguing the U. S. during the sixties. They staged massive demonstrations to draw attention and try to bring about change. Student activism reached a peak during the 1960s as bright, affluent college students fought against unfair legislation, abuse of human rights, racial discrimination, and U. S. involvement in Vietnam. These protestors were more than just hippies, they were the children of the upper middle class. The social status of these students ensured that their message was heard by the public and captured by the media.

Images of angry hippies burning draft cards and giving speeches to huge audiences spread across the country. During the mid 1960s, anti-war demonstrations flooded the nations capital. Led by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), some protests drew massive crowds of twenty-five thousand protestors or more. (Young 150-151) The commitment to a common was a unifying force among the hippies, surpassing any individual differences. The protests were very important because they were nationally televised, placing the hippie at the center of the American home, in the living room.

Another group of hippies thought the answer was merely to drop out of society completely. They chose to live together communally, generally in rural areas, and attempted to become self-sufficient. On these communes, they participated in food and clothing production, child rearing as well as devoting plenty of time to do their own thing. (Cavan 155) These hippies quickly learned that survival was very difficult without the aid of civilization. A commune could not function without a great deal of effort on behalf of the members. As they soon found out, organization was necessary to keep these communities running smoothly.

Because most hippies came to the communes escaping the establishment, organization was not easy to impose upon them. (Westhues 194-195) The most famous hippie community was not a farm, it was the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. People flocked from around the country to experience the phenomenon of merely being there, of being in (Perry 29-30). The brotherhood and kindness present in the community was hidden from the American public by the appearance and lifestyle of the inhabitants. Tour buses carried visitors through the neighborhood providing them with a superficial and confused view of the community:

We are now entering the largest hippie colony in the world and the very heart and fountainhead of the hippie subculture. We are now passing through the Bearded Curtain and will journey down Haight Street, the very nerve center of a city within a cityMarijuana, of course is a household staple here, enjoyed by the natives to stimulate their senses Among the favorite pastimes of the hippies, besides taking drugs, are parading and demonstrating, seminars, malingering, and the ever-present preoccupation with the soul, reality, and self-expression such as strumming guitars, piping flutes and banging on bongos. (Yablonsky 200).

The creation of hippie communities gave them a foundation in American society. Whether the public liked it or not, the hippies became a permanent part of our culture. The controversial messages of the hippies and their socially unacceptable lifestyle made them targets of very much negative publicity. They were all portrayed as drug pushers, prostitutes, and thieves by the media. (Mills 76-77) The belief that their subversive ideas could destroy societys structure and values caused people to fear them. Perhaps the most damaging publicity that the hippies received during the sixties was their association with the Manson family.

In a Newsweek article entitled Case of the Hypnotic Hippie, brutal murders and cultism are linked to a hippie world that prides itself on peace and love. In describing how normal teenagers became savage killers the author of the article states: One by one, these vulnerable yet dangerous misfits made their way to California in the late 1960s, most of them to the Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, where the hippie culture was already showing signs of strata. The trouble was that these misfits were just as vulnerable to the follies, cruelties and excesses of the hippie world as they were to those of the straight world they had abandoned.

Along with reports such as these, the public grew more cautious about the hippies. They were further ostracized, despite their acts of public kindness and gentleness. Following the 1960s, as many of these hippies grew older, the returned to normal society. They eventually bought into the establishment they once fought against, by getting married, moving into suburban homes and buying family cars. Some stubborn individuals never lost their hippie appearance and lifestyle. Many of these interesting individuals can still be seen in San Francisco and the East Village in New York.

A large number of these hippies are even conveniently located in beautiful Ithaca. Their appearance is still the same, but now hippie gear is mass-produced for the department stores. Regardless of how their lives had changed, the impression that hippies left will last forever. They demonstrated the power of Americas youth as they fought to bring about change. The hippies taught people to appreciate nature and the beauty of the human body. Most importantly, hippies broke social boundaries, setting an example that others would follow.

Multiculturalism in Canada

Canada has long been called “The Mosaic”, due to the fact that it is made up of a varied mix of races, cultures and ethnicities. As more and more immigrants come to Canada searching for a better life, the population naturally becomes more diverse. This has, in turn, spun a great debate over multiculturalism. Some of the issues under fire are the political state’s policies concerning multiculturalism, the attitudes of Canadians around these policies, immigration, the global market, and a central point is the education and how to present the material in a way so as to offend the least amount of people. There are many variations on these themes as will be discussed in this paper.

In the 1930’s several educators called for programs of cultural diversity that encouraged ethnic and minority students to study their respective heritages. This is not a simple feat due to the fact that there is much diversity within individual cultures. A look at the 1991 Canadian census shows that the population has changed more noticeable in the last ten years than in any other time in the twentieth century, with one out of four Canadians identifying themselves as black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Metis or Native. (Gould 1995: 198)

Most people, from educators to philosophers, agree that an important first step in succe4ssfully joining multiple cultures is to develop an understanding of each others background. However, the similarities stip there. One problem is defining the tem “multiculturalism”. When it is looked at simply as meaning the existence of a culturally integrated society, many people have no problems. However, when you go beyond that and try to suggest a different way of arriving at theat culturally integrated society, everyone seems to have a different opinion on what will work.

Since education is at the root of the problem, it might be appropriate to use an example in that context. In 1980, the American school, Stanford University came up with a program – later known as the “Stanford-style multicultural curriculum” which aimed to familiarize students with traditions, philosophy, literature and history of the West. The program consisted of fifteen required books by writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Aquinas, Marx and Freud.

By 1987, a group called the Rainbow Coalition argued the fact that the books were all written by DWEM’s or Dead White European Males. They felt that this type of teaching denied students the knowledge of contributions by people of colour, women, and other oppressed groups. In 1987, the faculty voted 39-4 to change the curriculum and do away with the fifteen book requirement and the term “Western” for the study of at least one non-European culture and proper attention to be given to the issues of race and gender. (Gould 1995: 201).

Because Canadian University’s also followed a similar plan, even though this example took place in the United States it centered on issues that effect multiculturalism in all North America. This debate was very important because its publicity provided the grounds for the argument that Canada is a pluralistic society and to study only one people would not accurately portray what really makes up this country.

Proponents of multicultural education argue that it offers students a balanced appreciation and critique of other cultures as well as our own. (Stotsky 1992:64) While it is common sense that one could not have a true understanding of a subject by only possessing knowledge of one side of it, this brings up the fact that there would never be enough time in our current school year to equally cover the contributions of each individual nationality. This leaves teachers with two options. The first would be to lengthen the school year, which is highly unlikely because of the political aspects of the situation. The other choice is to modify the curriculum to only include what the instructor (the school) feels are the most important contributions, which again leaves them open for criticism from groups that feel they are not being equally treated.

A national standard is out of the question because of the fact that different parts of the country contain certain concentrations of nationalities. An example of this is the high concentration of Asians in British Columbia or Blacks in the East. Nonetheless, teachers are at the top of the agenda when it comes to multiculturalism. They can do the most for children during the early years of learning, when kids are most impressionable. By engaging students in activities that follow the lines of their multicultural curriculum, they can open young minds while making learning fun.

In one first grade classroom in Vancouver, an inventive teacher used the minority students to her advantage by making them her helpers as she taught the rest of the class some Chinese words and customs. This newly acquired vocabulary formed a common bond among the children in their early years, an appropriate time for learning respect and understanding. (Pyszkowski 1994: 154)

In order to give a well rounded multicultural discussion, as James Banks explains, teachers need to let students know how knowledge reflects the social, political and economic context in which it was created. Knowledge explained by powerful groups in society differs greatly from that of its less powerful counterparts. (Banks 1991:11) For example, it should be pointed out how early Canadians are most often called “pioneers” or “settlers” in social studies texts, while foreigners are called “immigrants”.

They should realize that to Natives, pioneers were actually the immigrants, but since the “pioneers” later went on to write the textbooks, it is not usually described that way. Another important aspect students need to realize is that knowledge alone isn’t enough to shape society. The members themselves have to be willing to put forth the time and effort and show an interest in shaping their society in order for it to benefit all people.

There certainly is no easy answer to the problem of multicultural education. Proponents will continue to argue the benefits that unfortunately seem to be too far out of reach for our imperfect society. The hard truth is that it is impossible for our public school system to fairly cater to hundreds of nationalities that already exist, let alone the hundreds more that are projected to arrive during the next century. In order for us to live together in the same society, we must sometimes be willing to overlook parts of our distant past in exchange for a new hope in the future.

Our countries sense of nationalism and identity is based in our attitudes toward multiculturalism. This is one thing that separates us from the Americans or any other westernized country. In 1991 the Department of Multiculturalism and Citizenship were contracted to provide public opinion information that was to be used for developing policy, public educations and communications initiatives. (N.S.R. 1991: 2)

The research objectives were to:

Study the values and view shared by Canadians on Canadian identity, citizenship and ethnic diversity. To measure the degree of public understanding, acceptance and support of the government’s multiculturalism policy and of the distinctive elements of that policy. To establish the current character of public attitudes related to the ethnocultural diversity, racial discrimination and multiculturalism policies, as well as their role in Canadian nation building. To identify the key demographic, social and psycho-social factors which have an impact on perceptions of citizenship, multiculturalism and race relations within Canada…and to identify the thrusts for long-term public education initiatives in support of the government’s multiculturalism policies. (N.S.R. 1991:3)

The survey found high levels of Canadian values and identity. 89% of those surveyed identified with being Canadian while only 6% did not. Six in ten described a “deep emotional attachment to Canada” and 95% believe they can be proud of being a citizen as well as being proud of their ancestry at the same time.

There is much ethnic diversity in Canada and there are four out of five citizens that live in neighborhoods with some or many persons of different ethnic or racial backgrounds. In fact, 40% of people surveyed said they have family members of different ethnic or racial backgrounds. 79% said they believed “multiculturalism is vital to uniting Canada and 90% believed that promoting equality among Canadians of all origins regardless of racial or ethnic origin was important. (N.S.R. 1991:26)

One of the biggest steps forward in achieving a ethnically diverse country is the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. It was passed unanimously by the Parliament of Canada in 1988. The Preamble declares that its aim is to preserve and enhance multiculturalism by promoting the recognition of Canada’s ethnocultural diversity:

…the Government of Canada recognizes the diversity of Canadians as regards…national or ethnic origin, colour and religion, as a fundamental characteristic of Canadian society, and its committed to a policy of multiculturalism designed to preserve and enhance the multicultural heritage of Canadians while working to achieve the equality of all Canadians in the economic, social, cultural and political life of Canada…(C.M.A. 1988:3)

Our growing ethnocultural diversity requires making certain adjustments to ensure that all Canadians can participate fully in our society. The policy enables the integration of minority Canadians while encouraging our institutions to remove discriminatory barriers. (Blackman 1993: 29)

On similar lines with the Multicultural Act is the Employment Equity Act because both involve dealing with minorities. The Employment Equity Act was proclaimed in 1986 to achieve equity in employment. Employers covered by this Act must ensure that members of four general groups achieve equitable representation and participation in the work force. These four groups are women, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

This concern with members of visible minority groups and Aboriginal people, among the other groups, means that the Employment Equity Act also arises from the fact of Canada as a multicultural society. Both policies seek to gain the commitment of federal institutions to employ, manage and serve all Canadians fairly and equally. This, too, may account for some of the confusion. However, there are several important distinctions between the policies: Employment Equity focuses on the workplace, whereas multiculturalism policy, which has strong social, cultural, political and economic dimensions, has a wider scope and focuses on the whole of society.

Multiculturalism addresses all Canadians, not just ethnocultural communities. Employment Equity focuses on four designated groups: women, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. Employment Equity has an enforcement or regulatory aspect. Thus organizations that do not comply with its provisions can be penalized. Multiculturalism policy, on the other hand, is persuasive and has a political accountability mechanism, which is the annual report on implementation that is tabled before a House of Commons committee.

The issue of American culture

The issue of American culture and its globalization has raised a lot of controversy. The era of globalization is becoming the preferred term to describe the current times. The term Americanization has been around for years. It was first used when the United States was being heavily immigrated into. The new Americans began to enjoy the freedoms associate with our country and gradually began to act less like a foreigner and more like a real American. Today we are able to witness an essence of American culture almost everywhere around the world by what we call cultural icons of our times.

Sneakers, blue jeans, burgers, Hollywood blockbusters are only a few. To many, globalization is synonymous with Nike, Levi’s and MTV. In fact, the most visible sign of globalization seems to be the spread of American burgers and cola to nearly every country on earth. It crowns the United States the king of pop culture. Globalization does more than allow businesses to operate in countries all around the globe. In addition to global commerce, globalization allows for social activism, journalists, academics, and many others to work on a global stage.

According to Keith Porter, a co-host and executive producer of a nationally syndicated radio program on world affairs globalization can be both a good and bad thing. He quotes, Thomas Friedman in saying Globalization can be incredibly empowering and incredibly coercive. It can democratize opportunity and democratize panic. It makes the whales bigger and the minnows stronger. It leaves you behind faster and faster, and it catches up to you faster and faster. While it is homogenizing cultures, it is also enabling people to share their unique individuality farther and wider.

Without the role of globalization it is not possible to speak of a term called American dominant culture. The dramatic effect of globalization has and will be strengthening this term. People around the world have become less like themselves and more like each other. The most common name that puts this in front of our eyes is McDonalds. When a McDonalds restaurant opens in a foreign country, it represents the penetration of a foreign symbol into a host country.

The adoption of that symbol invariably initiates a metamorphic transformation whereby that symbol is refined within the culture in question, including the use of the products in question and the role they play in the particular cultural setting. So with the introduction of a foreign symbol into a host country like a new McDonalds restaurant, the impact is not so dramatic and the host country does not fully take in the American culture but shapes it in a way to suit their lifestyle and tastes. For example, the food and names of the food at McDonalds in Tokyo is slightly different to those in America.

In India, it serves lamb burgers and in Germany beer is available. This shows that the American formula was not as international as had been hoped, and local cultural practices had to be acknowledged. That is to say, globalization is not determined in its effects; the cultures impacted upon are not without resilience and creativity. The American culture passes through so many filters as it crosses the ocean – filters of language, values, and references – that what East Europeans are receiving for example is far from what Americans think they are sending.

The term Americanization was originally used to describe the movement during the first quarter of the 20th cent, whereby the immigrant in the United States was induced to assimilate American speech, ideals, traditions, and ways of life (http://www. encyclopedia. com/searchpool. asp? [email protected]%20Americanization. ) The times have changed, but the process of Americanization is still happening only on a worldwide scale. Ambassador Cynthia P. Schneider gave a speech at Erasmus University on the topic of Americanization.

She believes that the reasoning behind the output of American culture is because the United States is a world leader, both in terms of economic and cultural influences. It is also the same country that experiences many of the changes we call modernism (http://globalization. about. com/gi/dynamic/offsite. htm? site=http://www. usemb. nl/051800. htm. ) The United States is very accepting. We dont have standard that are written in stone that tell us what is acceptable and what is not. We, for the most part, willingly agree to change and adapt our products for change.

The United States has a democratic government that allows for free speech and the same rights for everyone in its boarders. Although the United States has a relatively low dependence on international trade for most goods, the size of its economy its international is immense (Fu-chen Lo,76. ) Since the United States is more independent than many other nations, it capitalizes on its strengths. In addition to fulfilling Americans needs, the country has begun to meet the worlds too. By exporting American products, we are not only sending out the item for consumption but also our culture.

When the topic of Canada comes up among peoples, immediately the thought of ice hockey, the Mounted Police, and beavers comes to mind. In fact, Canada has truly lost its true identity that we once knew. It is slowly being assimilated and in fact Americanized in aspects of social identity, nationality and especially entertainment. Canada is an example of how much influence one country can have over another. Canada has a population of 30. 7 million. (http://www. infocan. gc. ca/facts/index_e. html) This number is fairly small when compared to the over 280 million people living in the United States.

For almost the past one hundred years the United States has used it size and power to overtake the Canadian entertainment industry. Since the 1920s the Canadians have struggled to evict Hollywood and the mega production-distribution complexes that control theaters in Canada (http://www. tv. cbc. ca/national/pgminfo/border/filmfact. html. ) In the past few years there have been very few popular movies, tv shows and musical acts from Canada. The most popular films have been Exotica, Black Robe and Jesus of Montreal. Most Americans would not recognize the titles of these popular Canadian films.

Although these films were more popular in their homeland than in the United States, Canadian films often have a difficult time finding a large audience in their country. Canadian films collect merely between four and six percent of the Canadian box office revenues (http://www. tv. cbc. ca/national/pgminfo/border/filmfact. html. ) To ensure the continuation of the dominance in the Canadian market many American studios have established distribution offices in Canada. In 2000, the major U. S. production-distribution houses control 80-94% of the theatrical film market (http://www. tv. c. ca/national/pgminfo/border/filmfact. html. )

A few of the major studios already with offices in the country include Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney. By setting up shop in Canada these companies are almost guaranteeing their success. They will receive the best advance publicity, the longest runs, and the best theatres. On the other hand, films made by Canadian films get few previews or press kits, and very little hype. Dominance of American movies is not limited to Canada. Another example of supremacy the United States film industry has over other countries is in Germany.

In this country imported popular culture from America is common. Almost 95% of films shown in theaters in Germany are films from Hollywood (http://www. rice. edu/projects/topics/globalization/movies-germany. htm. ) Just about all of the films are dubbed in German because the audience prefers to watch the movie in their native language. The power of American entertainment is not just limited to films produced in Hollywood. The television industry in the United States is huge. Throughout the years our selection has become larger.

Since the early eighties cable television has been added to public television, followed by the satellite dish. In the last five year Direct TV has becoming increasingly popular. Not only are programs produced in the United States popular here but in nations around the globe. Syndicated television is popular all around the world. It would be near impossible for a channel to have new programming that they created running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Not only would it be hard to create that kind of volume but also production cost would be incredibly high.

Syndicated material is the answer for both of these problems. Syndicated programming is nationally produced programming that is supplied to stations (Folkerts, 188). The United States programming is used worldwide to fill in the needs of those countries that cannot provide enough material to fill the hours. It is not only popular because it fills in the gaps. Because of the expectations of the American public has about the standard of television the United States our programming is often of a higher quality than those produced internationally.

Even counties that have a strong domestic television industry have a high import rate of American television. Brazil, Mexico and Argentina import more than seventy percent of films and television series from the United States. These shows account for more than fifty percent of prime time (Thussu, 174). In countries where the television system is less sophisticated the numbers are even higher. In Latin America and the Caribbean more than sixty-two percent was imported from the United States. Thirty percent of the programming was from other countries on the continent.

Europe provided six percent of the shows while the rest of the world supplied only two percent (Thussu, 174). These numbers show the role that the United States plays in providing television for the rest of the world. Considering how much of the worlds entertainment the United States exports people may wonder why some individuals choose to complain about what they see. According to Daya Kishan Thussu, author of International Communication: Continuity and Change some countries are afraid that our programming promotes individualism and self-indulgence.

While these things are not considered to be bad or evil in the United States, other countries perceive these messages to be less than desirable. They fear that by watching American programming that often depict a people satisfying their every desire they will lose or damage traditional values such as respect for elders and the family. Many Americans, upon hearing this often scoff and say that we have a high moral system. While this may be true, the image most often projected by the entertainment industry does not suggest this.

Professor Kim Smith at Iowa State University lectured to his students that entertainment television does not represent the world we live in. It exaggerates, ignores and distorts the real world. The result is that television represents characters in a highly stereotypical manor. An excellent example of how true his beliefs are is the number one globally syndicated show is Baywatch (Thussu 168). This show hardly represents the typical American. Baywatch is not popular because of its high entertainment quality but rather because of the amount of promotion behind it.

Smith also stated that we watch these shows to be entertained and escape from the real world. The United States also portrayed as an extremely violent culture in television and film. Seventy-five percent of shows contain at least one act of violence. In these shows it is often the police, or another authority person, that is portrayed as being violent, not the criminal. In addition the majority of victims tend to be innocent random people (Smith). It is understandable that other cultures would be tentative about wanting to assimilate the United States, as it is portrayed on television.

Music Television (MTV) is one of the most flourishing world wise corporations. While most Americans think of the channel as strictly American, the company has gone global in a huge way. Think globally, act locally. The networks slogan could be the reason for their worldwide success. By targeting different areas and applying the regions individualistic music style to the channel MTV has been able to be successful all around the world. Although each channel is designed to appeal to a certain culture there is a large amount of English-language popular or rock music on all of the networks.

In 1999 MTV reached over 314 million households in eighty-three different countries and boasted that they were the most widely distributed network in the world (Thussu 172). Although MTV began in the United States, it has become amazing popular overseas. The networks biggest market is Asia that was launched in 1995. More than 107 million households in twenty countries watch MTV on a regular basis (Thussu 172). The channel broadcasts in both English and Mandarin.

MTV Asia has some real competition from its challenger Channel V. This channel is part of the star platform and claims to reach 72 million homes in Asia (Thussu 173). Europe is MTVs second largest market. Created in 1987, MTV Network Europe reaches eighty-three million homes in forty-one countries. This market has received a giant boost by the growth the increased usage of satellites and digital cable. MTV Europe is also broadcasted in English. In 1996 the channel split into four separate services. They are MTV in Britain and Ireland, MTV Central (includes Austria, Germany, and Switzerland), MTV Europe (35 counties), and MTC Southern (Italy).

A fifth service, MTV Nordic, was later added for the markets of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland (Thussu, 173). The United States is the third largest market for the MTV network with a loyal following of seventy-two million. The network is so popular that it was able to split and form MTV2. This channel shows more music video, and often will preview new and less popular artists before their appearance on MTV. MTV is a true media powerhouse. As a symbol of what is popular not only in the United State but also all over the world the network has immense influence on its viewers.

Because MTVs power of influence on what is popular, advertising on the station is at a premium. By advertising on the network companies are able to reach an influential global audience. International advertisers, especially record companies, often want to use MTVs global reach and name to market their products. .. targeting youth throughout the world would be much sought after by advertisers seeking to expand their share of the world market for specific consumer goods of interest to youth, including jeans, designer clothes, watched and soft drinks (Thussu, 173).

Globalization sped up dramatically because of leaps and bounds made in communication technology in the past forty years. Today we are no longer limited by geography because of the technological society in which we live. In addition to having a having a two-way communications system, such as the telephone, we also have a advanced mass media system. All the new technologies have greatly accelerated the globalization process. The rate at which we can communicate with others half way around the world is mind-boggling.

The United States, as well as other countries, can now export ideas through mass media in seconds with the touch of a button. Cultural globalization implies a two-way relationship. However this does not tend to be the case. An Indian novelist commented, I have yet to hear that there is any writer in the West who is waiting with trepidation to hear what a critic in India has to say about her/him (Thussu, 181). This also tends to happen with the other forms of media. Occasionally shows will take on serious issues that are of global interest.

In Gilligan Unbound, a book written by Paul Cantor, it talks about how the American made television show The X-Files poses the questionWhat would the world be like without cell phones, modems, fax machines and all the other modern communication devises (210. ) For a show that usually includes vast amounts of high-tech global technology, this is quite a leap. Americanization has been around since the beginning the twentieth century. Since then the context of the term has changed but the expansion of American culture has exploded across not only boarders but also across thousands of miles of oceans.

The technologies that have made transcontinental communications possible has ensured that the world slightly conform and make very different cultures mesh into various ones that more resemble each other. As communication techonolgy continues to become better and more powerful it will be interesting to see the changes that it will lead to. Perhaps in ten years college students will no longer be writing about the topics of globalization and Americanization. Instead they will write about the time when cultures were so very different from each other.

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God is set in the 1920’s, before secularism became dominant. It begins with the image of a mask, when he tells his son not to carve the mask of a god for the white man. The mask is a symbol of change. The whole world is changing, and the people who do not change will not survive. The old priest, Ezeulu, desires change, but he cannot do it. He cannot force himself to leave the old ways behind and adopt the new ways. Thus, he sends one of his sons to learn from the white man. He cannot do it himself.

This novel shows the life and death of an Igbo priest in a battle between traditional tribal religion and missionary Christianity. The ways in which this confrontation is played out also repeat. A Christian church is set up in a traditional village. The Christians have two attitudes regarding traditional religion. John Goodcountry’s enthusiasm inspires Oduche, the Christian son of Chief Priest Ezeulu, to capture the sacred python. Goodcountry is opposed by Moses Unachukwu, who may be open to both cultures out of pragmatic motives, since he appreciates the religious and economic power of the white man, and he hopes to profit from that power.

Ezeulu has mixed feelings. He sends Oduche to the missionaries in order to gain access to their wisdom, but he fears the aggressiveness of the new religion. However, his devotion to his god, Ulu, is unquestionable, as is seen in his participation in the New Yam festival.

Ezeulu, the main character of the novel, is sincere when he refuses to obey Winterbottom’s summons to Okperi because such behavior does not befit his sacred role. Ezeulu stands up for what he believes is right, as his god reveals it to him, even when there is no profit in it for himself. He even loses much by saying the truth. Thus, he is like a saint.

Ezeulu has a negative side too. He wonders if he is merely the tool of Ulu. Does he have any personal power, himself? Could he refuse to authorize the New Yam Harvest Festival? At the other extreme, he has bad dreams about being dishonored together with his god. As the story proceeds, Ezeulu feels more and more alienated from his community. They do not support him, and they do not even admit that he was right when they get bad effects from their headstrong actions. They go against Ezeulu’s advice, and things go bad, but they still insist that they were right and he was wrong. Worst of all, Nwaka does not even get a belly ache after he sends the young men to the other village to announce the war for the piece of farmland. In reaction, Ezeulu claims a special vision for himself and talks about sacrificing Oduche to the white man. At the same time, he feels a “haughty indifference” to the clan, which turns into a desire for revenge.

When Nwaka speaks, the people listen to his talk of war. They are afraid to go against him. But they do not listen to Ezeulu. They are not afraid of him, and they will not stand beside him, even if they think he is right. He thinks that he knows the truth about the land dispute, but he knows only the facts. The truth is deeper, that the white men will give the land to Okperi, and the white men have guns and soldiers.

Ezeulu’s son Obika walks through the night, sometimes singing and sometimes speaking. His “voice rose louder and louder into the night air as he approached home. Even his whistling carried farther than some men’s voices.” Some day, Ezeulu hopes that his son’s voice will speak for the god. But this is not going to happen. All of the old man’s dreams will die, while the culture of his people dies all around him. The white man is too powerful, and they cannot stand up against the Christian missionaries and the British soldiers. They are doomed.

His older son, Edogo, carves the mask. He sits in a dark hut, surrounded by “older masks and other regalia of ancestral spirits, some of them older than even his father. They produced a certain ambience which gave power and cunning to his fingers.” Thus, Edogo is drawing power form the old traditions. However, he is also leaving the old ways behind. He is adopting the ways of the white man. It is the only way for him to survive in the changing world.

Ezeulu’s dream after he returns from Okperi convinces him that he should not submit to the people’s wishes. After delaying the New Yam Festival, he interprets the people’s anguish as a kind of scapegoating. They are blaming someone else for their own faults and mistakes. Ezeulu’s downfall is disastrous not only for the people but for traditional religion, because the hungry people dedicate their crop to the Christian God. They see Ezeulu’s insanity as the judgment of the ancestors against his disregard for the clan he is supposed to serve. It is really just the last straw, since his son is dead and he must bury him. Now the old priest has nothing left, not even a young man to look at the stars for him when he is old and blind.

Ezeulu’s strategy of resistance has led instead to the opposite of what he wanted. Instead of reviving the cult of the ancestors, he has seen it replaced with Christianity.

Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe presents some cultural dynamic problems, such as religious conflict, disunity, and war among villages of the Igbo nation. The biggest problem is the colonial impact and cultural conflict against the British imperial rule. The novel illustrates themes like foreign cultural conflicts, western influences on African cultural traditions, patience, masculine feminine divine principles of African culture, and religions contradictions. Cultural conflict includes the colonial impact and its effects upon all aspects of Igbo and African life.

Arrow of God focuses on Nigeria’s early experience with colonialism, from first contact with the British to widespread British administration. It starts after World War I, a time when the British ruled much of the world and imposed their cultural values on the “primitive” cultures which they found.

This book explores the failure of the British to understand traditional beliefs and values of the African people. Captain Winterbottom just thinks that they are savages with no brains. The Christians just think that they are souls to be saved. In a world of change, the old priest is not flexible enough to adapt, so he is swept aside.

The story of the old priest is actually the story of all his people in all the six villages. They forget their religion, and they accept the religion of their conquerors. Ezeulu forgets first, and then the people forget. The people created the god Ulu when they united the six villages to form Umuaro. Ezeulu wrestles with the people on behalf of the god Ulu, since he forgets that Ulu was made to serve the people. They were not made to serve Ulu. The priest fails to understand his relationship to the god and the community. He is supposed to serve the community, but he is trying to force them to serve his god. This is the source of his downfall.

When Ezeulu is released from prison, it is raining, and he feels like it is healing and restoring him. But his pride will make him do the wrong thing again. He has suffered, and now he wants revenge, but he will only destroy himself and those he loves. He sees that others suffer because of their own actions, but he does not take responsibility for his own suffering. He just goes insane.

Analysis of the Human Cultural Identity

This paper is intended to contain the analysis of the human cultural identity, as seen in the following five historical cultural periods: Enlightenment Culture; Greco-Roman Culture; Judeo-Christian Culture; Renaissance-Reformation Culture; and Industrialization-Modernism Culture. It also embodies examples of each era that are clearly stated, and how they relate The cultural identity of the Enlightenment can be described as emphasizing the possibilities of human reason.

This idea can be illustrated with such examples as Thomas Jefferson, Denis Diderot, and Protestantism. Thomas Jefferson was considered among one of the most brilliant American exponents of the Enlightenment culture. He had the time and the resources to educate himself in many topics including history, literature, law, architecture, science, and philosophy. He had the motivation and the connections to apply Enlightenment political philosophy to nation-building. Denis Diderot was a French encyclopedist and philosopher, who also composed plays, novels, essays, and art.

He greatly influenced other Enlightenment thinkers with his translations of Encyclopedie ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers, sually known as Encyclopedie. He used this translation as a powerful propaganda weapon against Ecclesiastical authority, and the semifeudal social reforms of the time. Protestantism is a good example also. It is one of the three major divisions of Christianity. It displays the release of traditional religion and the movement to worldly learning and the rise of protests against the controlled way of expressing one’s self.

It allows the human himself to reason out the way that he thinks, instead of an authority telling him how to do The Industrialism-Modernism culture is a culture that represents social, conomical, and scientific advancement, as well as self-doubt, uncertainty, and alienation. These traits can be characterized with such examples as Werner Heisenberg, Epicureanism, and Eli Whitney. Werner Heisenberg was a German physicist known especially for his development in quantum mechanics and his principle of indeterminacy, or theory of uncertainty.

This theory explained how it is impossible to know specifically the position and momentum of a particle, an electron for example, with accuracy. This demonstrates the distinctive uncertainty of the culture. It created a strong trend of mysticism among cientists who perceive it as a violation to cause and effect laws. Epicureanism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Greek philosopher Epicuris. His views coincide with those of Heisenberg in the way that they display the incertitude of how it is impossible to know exactly what things will do or go.

In example, he suggested that even atoms are free to move around spontaneously, without order. Any invention or its inventor would fit nicely into this cultural topic. Eli Whitney, for instance, and the cotton gin. This invention was one of the most important, it created a very substantial movement n history. Whitney used scientific knowledge to produce a machine that produced economic progress along with the advancement of less manual labor, and The Greco-Roman culture is one of a male dominant society, and conflicting obedience views.

The idea was that men were controlled by reason, and women were controlled by passion, and that if women were not controlled by the practical reasoning men, that disastrous consequences would occur. The male prevalence in this civilization was evident in all perspectives of life including the arts that were created during this time period. For instance, the omen were portrayed as clothed, mysterious, and deviant looking and the men as nude, perfected, and authoritative. This philosophical belief, was taken to the absolute extreme.

Men were in a sense, afraid, of the disastrous situations that women might create if given the chance to do so. Hellenism and Hebraism are other Greek philosophies that deal with the ideas of how to think and act. Hellenism is the stressing to see things as they really are, right thinking, reasoning for oneself, and Hebraism is the stressing of conduct and obedience, right acting, and obeying God’s commandments. These two conflicting views were struggled with by every individual.

The Judeo-Christian culture is one of holy relics, gothic and Romanesque styles, and architectural advances. The holy relics were used to establish a higher status among churches. Such tokens as John the Baptist’s head could be found in the cathedrals across the civilizations. Another way to achieve status for a church was to build the tallest facility that was possible. The idea was that the bigger the church, the better. This led to styles such as Gothic and Romanesque. The best example of the gothic form is Chartres.

The cathedral used advances like the pointed arch and ribbed vault. The Romanesque form was characterized by flying buttresses and stained glass. The flying buttresses not only enabled the churches to be built higher, but also gave them a majestic look. The Renaissance-Reformation culture is that of a revolution of changes in western civilization. Humanism, the revival of classical learning and speculative inquiry beginning in the fifteenth century in Italy during the early Renaissance, disabled the monopolies of the church’s learning, and spread the ability to gain knowledge.

The invention of the printing press with moveable type, enabled the supply of books circulating to expand, leading to increased ideas throughout Europe. The Reformation took many forms in society, but all of them mainly deal with the idea that knowledge is power, and power was obtained easier because of the creation of the printing blocks, therefore, enabling people to change society because they were more educated. In conclusion, the preceding information illustrates the cultural periods of Enlightenment; Greco-Roman; Judeo-Christian; Renaissance-Reformation; and Industrialization-Modernism.

Cultural Diversity in Business

In their eagerness to avoid the courts and editorial pages, most firms in America, and increasingly in Europe, now pay close attention to the sex and race of the people they recruit and promote, For example, Harvard Business School has just announced that they will go out of its way to include women in its case studies, which are used in business-school classrooms around the world. In other words, schools and businesses, in order to stay out of trouble, are taking the easy way out, quotas. (Kole, MacDonald. 1997. 1)

Although some women and minorities are hired to fill quotas, the majority of them are needed to create a cultural diverse workplace. Cultural Diversity can have a positive effect and be profitable but only for some firms. A well considered strategy must accompany Cultural Diversity if profit is to be made. There are at least two reasons to expect a policy of diversity to yield profits. One difference is communication. Because many people find it easier to understand others of the same sex, or nationality, it helps to have employees from the same cultural background as your customers.

It’s not only a matter of language, but understanding the customer’s needs, tastes and the earning of their trust is vital. The recruiting of people from a different cultural background can not only improve communication with outsiders, it may also bring fresh ideas to insiders (Kole, MacDonald. 1997. 2). Businesses don’t only need cultural diversity in order to relate to customers, they need women and minorities in management. Smaller banks have traditionally selected their directors from among those who live and work in their communities.

Their reasoning is to hire people who cannot only tell the banks what the people want, but also spread the word about their products. However, many banks surveyed by the Business Times have local natives on their boards, few women are represented and almost no minorities can be found-even in areas where there is a large minority population (Kole,MacDonald. 1997. 2). Many bank CEO’s feel that the lack of minority and female representation needs to be corrected (Cochran. 1997).

“Jack Anderson, chairman and Chief Executive of Johnstown-based BT Financial Corp. he holding company for Laurel Bank, and Johnstown Bank Trust Co. states “Any right-thinking person understands the need for diversity,” he said “I think it is something we need to work toward. “(Neiser. 1997. 1)” Anderson also recognizes that there hasn’t been a large pool of candidates to choose from. His sentimates are echoed by most bank executives (Cochran. 1997). Simply put, women and minorities are being left out of the board rooms, minority customers are paying the price. Problems that Occur Due to Lack of Representation If minority groups aren’t represented in a community many problems may arise.

One of which is customer dissatisfaction. Customers that can’s communicate with their bank or other businesses can become very frustrated and unhappy if customers don’t see their group represented within a business. They may not want to be a client of that company. “The most important part of being a Community Bank is representing your community”(Cochran. 1997). With this statement made by Pam Yoakum, assistant manager of Regency Bank, one can’t help but construe that in order to fully represent a community all minority groups should be represented. Affirmative Action

In the late 1960’s and early 70’s, affirmative action was the club that the federal government used to force American companies to hire people of color and women for managerial jobs. It mandated that a company set up specific and results-oriented procedures to which the company must commit itself and apply every good faith effort to insure equal employment opportunities to all employees regardless of sex, race, religion, or national origin. Back in the 1960’s and early 70’s, affirmative action, one of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Programs, created bright visions of magnificent career possibilities for millions of people of color and women.

For the first time, masses of women and people of color could begin dreaming of a career in corporate management. Affirmative Action put minorities into the corporate environment. And now “Cultural Diversity programs are created to help companies handle their presence”(Davis. 1997. 127). These creations open more jobs including an institute for managing diversity. Affirmative action changed the face of Corporate America. Back in the 1950’s that face was almost entirely white and male. Now it also includes African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and women. But, in many instances, the white male is angry.

In just about as many cases, the white female face ranges from impassive to disappointed. The African-American face is just as often mistrusting and resentful. Chief among the reasons for the anger, disappointment, and resentment are white male “backlash” created in reaction to affirmative action itself and “downsizing” compiled to a large degree by the globalization of the American economy. At the same time the lines of conflict have been made more confusing due to the multicultural society which has evolved within the American population. This has created more groups which are fighting for power behind the closed doors of Corporate America.

Chinese and American tradition

Throughout the book, the conflict between the mothers, their Chinese tradition, and language and the daughters, their American tradition, and language are evident. Suyuan and Jing-Mei Woo are mother and daughter, respectively, who are characters that illustrate the conflict between the two cultures. In the beginning of the story, the mothers who play Mahjong tell Jing-Mei to see her long lost sisters and tell them of their mother. Jing-Mei replies, “What will I say? What can I tell them about my mother? I don’t know anything. She was my mother. 31)”

Then it occurs to Jing-Mei that “they are frightened” because in her they see “their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. (p31)” In these quotes, Jing-Mei perceives the gap that occurs between the mothers and daughters. This gap between each mother and daughter is described in later chapters. Jing-Mei Woo, who is called June in America, represents her mother’s hopes and dreams. Her mother’s name, Suyuan, meaning, “long cherished wish” speaks of this hope for Jing-Mei, whose name means “the pure younger sister (p322-3)”.

In the beginning, June is excited and dreams of what she will become. “In all my imaginings, I was filled with a sense that I would soon become perfect. My mother and father would adore me. I would be beyond reproach. I would never feel the need to sulk for anything (p. 143). ” Her mother pushes June into many areas- academics, dance, and the piano. After failing to excel at any of the areas presented to her, she feels like a failure. She sees all the hopes her mother has for June as expectations.

The final conflict comes when June performs a piano piece filled with mistakes at a talent show, which makes June believe that her mother is completely ashamed and disappointed with her. June looked through the crowd to her mothers face. She thought to herself, “… my mothers expression was what devastated me: a quiet, blank look that said she had lost everything. ” (p. 143) What June did not realize, was that the real reason why her mother was upset was not because she had not lived up to her expectations. She was unhappy because June did not care about having the best for herself.

She did not have high hopes or a passion to be successful at anything. She failed because she did not try and she did not care. This is in strong opposition to Suyuans high hopes that originate from the strong love she has for her daughter. It is not until much later in her life, after Suyuans death that June realizes just how much her mother loved her and how proud she was of her. After Suyuans death, and after June learns more of the details about her mothers past, Junes eyes open to the good intentions her mother always had for her in all of the ways that she acted.

She realizes that her mother was proud of her even though she was not a great genius at anything. After Waverly humiliated June at the dinner table by stating that the work she had done for her firm was not good enough, Suyuan attempted to display her pride in June by giving her the jade pendent she always wore, which symbolized her lifes importance. She wanted June to know that her life had value and that she just needed to develop and use her talents in order to discover this. After her mothers death, June begins wearing this necklace every day.

She also thinks back to her job and decides, “I was very good at what I did, succeeding at something small like that. ” (p. 233) Because June does not make many of these discoveries until after her mothers death, she fears that she did not appreciate her enough during g her life: Right after my mother died, I asked myself a lot of things, things that couldnt be answered, to force myself to grieve more. It seemed as if I wanted to sustain my grief, to assure myself I had cared deeply enough. But now I ask the question s mostly because I want to know the answers. ” (p. 0)

Suyuan loved her daughter more than her own life, but June did not realize this until her questions were answered and she began to understand her mothers intentions in life, and where her hopes originated. The relationship between June and her mother, Suyuan, is far from flawless, yet has the foundation of love that can never be destroyed. Amy Tan uses this relationship and all of its complications to teach the readers important themes about life. Ultimately, love between this mother and daughter prevails through all conflict, and even beyond Suyuans death, when her ‘long-cherished wish’ of uniting her daughters is fulfilled.

Also exemplifying the conflict between the cultures of mother and daughter and the misunderstanding that occurs is Waverly Jong and her mother Lindo Jong. As a child Waverly inherits her mothers “invisible strength. ” Using her invisible strength, she becomes a success at chess. Like the little girl in the parable, Waverly Jong attempts to defy her mother. She clashes with Lindo because she misunderstands her mother’s pride in her achievements. Waverly wants chess to be strictly her own achievement, part of her own separate identity.

When her mother hovers over her during her practice sessions, she feels invaded, as though her mother is somehow taking credit for what Waverly sees as her own personal strength. Moreover, her mother’s bragging and desire to show her off embarrasses Waverly. In Waverly’s next story, “Four Directions,” she continues the story of her chess playing and relates that she eventually realized that her mother’s pride actually functioned as an invisible support. Moreover, Lena St. Clair and Ying-Ying St. Clair demonstrate the conflict between mother and daughter and the misunderstandings that led to the conflict.

You throw stones in and they sink into the darkness and dissolve. Her eyes looking back do not reflect anything. I think this to myself Even though I love my daughter. She and I have shared the same body. There is a part of her mind that is part of mine. But when she was born, she sprang from me like a slippery fish, and has been swimming away ever since. All her life, I have watched her as though from another shore. And now I must tell her everything about my past. It is the only way to penetrate her skin and pull her to where she can be saved. 274)”

Ying-Ying believes that she and her daughter share the same body but Lena had sprung away to a distant shore. When Lena is supposed to mirror Ying-Ying, Ying-Ying sees Lena’s eyes as a bottomless pond. Both women are similar in that both are passive but this trait does not unite them but pulls them apart. Since childhood, Ying-Ying had been passive, resigning herself to fate. Her first marriage came about because she believed that she was meant to marry him, not from love. A while after the man leaves her, Ying-Ying meets Clifford St. Clair.

Once again she is resigns herself to fate believing that Clifford embodied a message that meant “the black side of {her} would soon go away. ” Ying-Ying passively watches Lena grow up as if they stand on separate shores. Nonetheless, she has realized that her inaction has been a bad example for her daughter. Lena, who is also passive in her marriage with Ted Jordan, is in shambles after learning that Ted has divorced her and planned to marry another. Ying-Ying resolves to share the story of her past mistakes with Lena so that Lena would gain strength from it and not be passive.

Furthermore, all the children feel the duality of their Chinese heritage and their American heritage. While the daughters in the novel are genetically Chinese (except for Lena who is half Chinese) and have been raised in mostly Chinese households, they also identify with and feel at home in modern American culture. Waverly, Rose, and Lena all have white boyfriends or husbands, and they regard many of their mothers’ customs and tastes as old-fashioned. Most of them have spent their childhoods trying to escape their Chinese identities: Lena would walk around the house with her eyes opened as far as possible so as to make them look European.

Jing-Mei denied during adolescence that she had any internal Chinese aspects, insisting that her Chinese identity was limited only to her external features. Lindo meditates that Waverly would have clapped her hands for joy during her teen years if her mother had told her that she did not look Chinese. The Joy Luck Club is now one of the best books I have read. Both the book and the movie of The Joy Luck Club were good. Since I first watched the Joy Luck Club on the television, the book was more enjoyable since both were similar. But the movie version added on and cut out parts of the book.

For example, the movie cut out the part of Bing Hsu and his death. They also cut out the fact that Clifford St. Clair put words in Lena St. Clair’s mouth and had changed her name and year. Also, the movie showed the uniting of the Ted Jordan and Rose Hsu after Rose stood up to Ted Jordan. The differences between American and Chinese cultures and the difficulties between the two were similar to the difficulties that I led in my life since I was born in America while my brother, father, and mother were born in Vietnam. Also, the difficulties that the mothers faced were similar to my own mother’s difficulties.

Even the fact that there was a gap between my parents and me since I did not share their experiences and lived in better conditions is evident in the book. It was touching reading this story since there are others who share the same experience that I have had. What was also interesting was the fact that the traits of the mothers concerning their daughters were similar to my mother’s own. When I started becoming known for winning tournaments such as spelling bees, I felt that my mom was creating expectations for me that I had to live up to while it was only aspirations that she had for me.

Also, the mothers were strict in relationships between the daughters and other boys. Moreover, the mothers usually used stories to communicate their wants for their daughters and warnings. My mother does so using old parables and Vietnamese sayings. Reading this book has made me both happy and sad since I know of others who share my experience although I don’t know the full story of my own mothers. Now, one of my hopes is to write a similar book retelling my mothers difficulties and the hopes and dreams my mothers brought to America.

Multicultural Education Essay

America has long been called “The Melting Pot” due to the fact that it is made up of a varied mix of races, cultures, and ethnicity’s. As more and more immigrants come to America searching for a better life, the population naturally becomes more diverse. This has, in turn, spun a great debate over multiculturalism. Some of the issues at stake are: who is benefiting from education, and how to present material in a way so not to offend a large number of people. In the 1930’s several educators called for programs of cultural diversity that encouraged ethnic and minority students to study their own heritages.

This is not a simple feat due to the act that there is a lot of diversity within individual cultures. A look at a 1990 census shows that the American population has changed noticeably in the last ten years, with one out of every four Americans identifying themselves as black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, or American Indian (Gould 198). The number of foreign born residents also reached an all time high of twenty million, easily passing the 1980 record of fourteen million.

Most people, from educators to philosophers, agree that an important first step in successfully joining multiple cultures is to develop an understanding of each others ackground. In 1980, Stanford University came up with a program – later known as the “Stanford-style multicultural curriculum” which aimed to familiarize students with traditions, philosophy, literature, and history of the West. The program consisted of 15 required books by writers such as Plato, Aristotle, Homer, Aquinas, Marx, and Freud. By 1987, a group called the Rainbow Coalition argued the fact that the books were all written by DWEM’s (Dead White European Males).

They felt that this type of teaching denied students the knowledge of contributions by people of color, women and other oppressed roups. In 1987, the faculty voted 39 to 4 to change the curriculum and do away with the fifteen book requirement and the term “Western” for the study of at least one non-European culture and proper attention to be given to the issues of race and gender (Gould 199). This debate was very important because its publicity provided the grounds for the argument that America is a racist society and to study only one culture would not accurately portray what really makes up this country.

Defenders of multicultural education argue that it offers students a balanced appreciation and critique of other ultures as well as our own (Stotsky 64). While it is common sense that one could not have a true understanding of a subject by only possessing knowledge of one side of it, this brings up the fact that there would never be enough time in the current school year to equally cover the contributions of each individual nationality. This leaves teachers with two options. The first would be to lengthen the school year, which is highly unlikely because of the political aspects of the situation.

The other choice is to modify the curriculum to only include what the instructor (or school) feels are the most important ontributions, which again leaves them open to criticism from groups that feel they are not being equally treated. A national standard is out of the question because of the fact that different parts of the country contain certain concentrations of nationalities. An example of this is the high concentration of Cubans in Florida or Latinos in the west. Neverless, teachers are at the top of the agenda when it comes to multiculturalism.

They can do the most for children during the early years of learning, when kids are most impressionable. By engaging students in activities that follow the lines of their multicultural urriculum, they can open up young minds while making learning fun (Pyszkowski 154). Students are not the only ones who can benefit from this type of learning. Teachers certainly will pick up on educational aspects from other countries. If, for instance, a teacher has a minority student from a different country in their classroom every year, the teacher can develop a well rounded teaching style that would in turn benefit all of the class.

Teachers can also keep on top of things by regularly attending workshops and getting parents involved so they can reinforce what is being taught in the classroom at the child’s home. While generally opposed to the idea, Francis Ryan points out that “Multicultural education programs indeed may be helpful for all students in developing perspective-taking skills and an appreciation for how ethnic and minority traditions have evolved and changed as each came into contact with other groups” (Ryan 137).

It would certainly give people a sense of ethnic pride to know how their forefathers contributed to the building of the American society that we live in today. It is also a great feeling to know that the nation can change what is felt to be wrong, in order to build a better system for our hildren. Minorities would benefit from learning the evolution of their culture and realizing that the ups and downs along the way do not necessarily mean that their particular lifestyle is in danger of extinction. Some opponents feels that the idea of multiculturalism will, instead of uniting cultures, actually divide them.

They feel that Americans should try and think of themselves as a whole rather than people from different places all living together. They go even further to say that is actually goes against our democratic tradition, the cornerstone of American society (Stotsky 64). In Paul Gannon’s article “Balancing Multicultural and Civic Education Will Take More Than Social Stew”, he brings up an interesting point that “Education in the origins, evolution, advances and defeats of democracy must, by its nature, be heavily Western and also demand great attention to political history (Gannon 8).

Since both modern democracy and its alternatives are derived mostly from European past, and since most of participants were white males who are now dead, the choices are naturally limited. If we try to avoid these truths or sidestep them in any way, we cannot honestly say we are giving an accurate description of our history. Robert Hassinger agrees with Gannon and adds that we cannot ignore the contributions of DWEM’s for the simple fact that they are just that.

He thinks that we should study such things as the rise of capitalism or ongoing nationalism in other countries, but should not be swayed in our critical thinking by the fact the some people will not feel equally treated or even disrespected (Hassinger 11). There certainly must be reasons why many influential people in our history have been DWEM’s, and we should explore these reasons without using race and sex alone as reasons for excluding them from our curriculum. When conflicts arise with the way we do things, we should explore why rather than compromise in order to protect a certain group’s feelings.

Francis Ryan warns that trying to push the subject of multiculturalism too far would actually be a hindrance it interferes with a student’s participation in other groups, or worse yet, holds the child back from expressing his or her own individuality. He gives a first hand example of one of his African-American students who was afraid to publicly admit his dislike for rap music because he felt ethnically obligated as part of his black heritage (Ryan 137). While a teacher can be a reat help in providing information about other cultures, by the same note, that information can be just has harmful if it is incomplete.

In order for students to be in control of their own identity, they must have some idea of how other look at these same qualities. Children must be taught to resolve inner-conflicts about their identity, so that these features that make us unique will be brought out in the open where they can be enjoyed by all instead of being hidden in fear of facing rejection from their peers (Ryan 136). Teachers need to spend an equal amount of time developing each students individuality so hat they don’t end up feeling obligated to their racial group more than they feel necessary to express the diversity that makes America unique.

Most immigrant come to America for a better way of life, willing to leave behind the values of their mother countries. Instead of trying to move the country that they came from into America, immigrants need to be willing to accept the fact that America is shared by all who live here, and it is impossible to give every citizen an equal amount of attention. If we are not willing to forget some parts of our heritage in favor of a set of well rounded values, then a fully integrated America will never be possible. There certainly is no easy answer to the problem of multicultural education.

Proponents will continue to argue the benefits that unfortunately seem to be too far out of reach for our imperfect society. The hard truth is that it is impossible for our public school system to fairly cater to the hundreds of nationalities that already exist, let alone the hundreds more that are projected to arrive during the next century. In order for us to live together in the same society, ewe must sometime be willing to overlook parts of our distant past in exchange for a new hope n the future. Our only chance is to continue to debate the issue in order to hope for a “middle of the road” compromise.

One particularly interesting solution is that we could study the basics of how America came about in the most non-biased way possible, not concentrating on the race and sex of our forefathers as much as what they made happen, at least during the elementary and high school years. This would leave the study of individual nationalities, which are themselves major contributing factors, for people to do at home or further down the line in their education, where they can focus on tradition nd beliefs to any extent the want without fear of anyone feeling segregated.

In order for us to function as a whole, we need to start thinking of America in terms of a whole. With just a basic understanding of other cultures, and most importantly, the tools and background to think critically and make our own decisions not based on color, sex, religion, or national origin, but on information that we were able to accurately attain through the critical thinking skills we were taught in school, we would be better equipped to work at achieving harmony in a racially varied country.

Plains Indians Essay

For many tribes of Plains Indians whose bison-hunting culture flourished during the 18th and 19th centuries, the sun dance was the major communal religious ceremony . . . the rite celebrates renewal – the spiritual rebirth of participants and their relatives as well as the regeneration of the living earth with all its components . . . The ritual, involving sacrifice and supplication to insure harmony between all living beings, continues to be practiced by many contemporary native Americans.

Elizabeth Atwood LawrenceAs the most important ritual of the nomadic Plains Indians, the Sun Dance in itself presents many ideas, beliefs, and values of these cultures. Through its rich symbolism and complicated rituals we are able to catch a glimpse into these peoples’ view of the world. A Sun Dance is held when a man feels the need to be a dancer to fulfill certain wishes, primarily “for his deliverance from his troubles, for supernatural aid, and for beneficent blessings upon all of his people. ” (Welker) It is this dancer who usually bears the expenses of the Sun Dance (Atwood), including a feast for all that comes to the celebration.

Welker) Motivations behind the Sun Dance varies slightly between tribes. The Crow held the ceremony to seek aid for revenge for family members killed in warfare. The entire event surrounding the Sun Dance generally lasts from four to seven days, though longer events exist. On the first day a tree is selected to serve as the sun-pole, the center pole for the Sun Dance Lodge, or New-Life-Lodge, as called by the Cheyenne. (Atwood) The selection of the tree is usually done by the eldest woman of the camp, who leads a group of elaborately dressed maidens to the tree to strip off its branches.

On the next morning, right as the sun is seen over the eastern horizon, armed warriors charge the sun-pole. They attack the tree in effort to symbolically kill it with gunshots and arrows. Once it is dead it is cut down and taken to where the Sun Dance Lodge will be erected. (Schwatka) “Before raising the sun-pole, a fresh buffalo head with a broad centre strip of the back of the hide and tail (is) fastened with strong throngs to the top crotch of the sun-pole. Then the pole (is) raised and set firmly in the ground, with the buffalo head facing ! toward the setting-sun.

The tree represents the center of the world, connecting the heavens to the earth. (Smart p. 527) The lodge is then built by the main dancer and his clansmen. The fork of the lodge represents the eagle’s nest. The eagle plays a large part in the Sun Dance for it is one of the Plains Indians’ most sacred animal. The eagle flies high, being the closest creature to the Sun. Therefore it is the link between man and spirit, being the messenger that delivers prayers to the Wakan-Tanka (god). (Atwood) In addition to being a messenger, the eagle also represents many human traits.

We can see what values and traits these cultures saw as being important in a person by those traits imposed upon such a sacred animal. The eagle is seen as courageous, swift, and strong. He has great foresight and knows everything. “In an eagle there is all the wisdom of the world. ” (Atwood) During the Sun Dance the eagle is the facilitator of communication between man and spirit. The Crow may be accompanied by a dancing eagle in his visions, the eagle “instructing him about the medicine acquired through the vision. ” (Atwood) The eagle’s feathers can cure illnesses.

During the Sun Dance a medicine man may use his eagle feather for healing, first touching the feather to the sun-pole then to the patient, transferring the energy from the pole to the ill. It is the buffalo, however, that makes up the main theme of the Sun Dance. In various stories it was the buffalo that began the ritual. The Shoshone believe that the buffalo taught someone the proper way to carry out the dance and the benefits in doing it. Buffalo songs, dances, and feast commonly accompany the Sun Dance. You can see from the symbolic influences of the buffalo in the Sun Dance how important the animal was to Plains Indians’ day-to-day life.

It was the buffalo that symbolized life for it was the buffalo that gave them quality of life. Plains Indians relied on buffalo for their food, clothing, shelter, and most all utensils from fly swatters to children’s toys. These peoples’ lives were intertwined with the buffalo’s. And this relationship was praised and blessed with the Sun Dance. The buffalo was incorporated in many ways in the Sun Dance. The Cheyenne held a principle that “all essential sacred items in the sun dance (be) related to the buffalo. ” (Atwood) The Lakota would place a dried buffalo penis against the sun-pole to give virility to the dancers.

This “reinforces the symbolic meaning of the ceremony as a celebration of the generative power of the sun. ” (Atwood) The buffalo skull is used as an alter during the Sun Dance. Offerings are presented to the skull, the Cheyenne stuffing the eye and nose sockets with grass, representing bountiful vegetation for the buffalo, which in turn meant healthy buffalo for the people. For others the grass represents bringing the buffalo back to life for grass is what gives the animal life. The Dakota believe that the bones of bison they have killed will rise again with new flesh.

The soul was seen to reside in the bones of people and animals, “to reduce a living being to a skeleton is equivalent to re-entering the womb of this primordial life . . . a mystical rebirth. ” (Eliade p. 159) When a Crow sliced the tip of his finger off on the buffalo skull, he was offering a piece of himself to give life to the buffalo who died to give life to him and his people. During the dance the buffalo also has a great role in the visions. The buffalo may knock down a dancer, or the dancer may challenge the buffalo by charging at it.

Passing out for too long means one was too afraid to face the buffalo. One must show courage and stand up to the buffalo before the buffalo finds him worthy to give him what he desires. At a certain point the Crow will notice he is seeing through the buffalo’s eyes, that he has become one with the buffalo. (Atwood) The Sun Dance symbolizes a resolution with the conflict between being a people that view the buffalo as wise and powerful, even closer to the creator than humans, and having to kill and eat them to survive.

Making the buffalo sacred, symbolically giving new life to it, and treating it with respect and reverence acts a s a sort of reconciliation. Without the buffalo there would be death, and the Plains Indians saw that the buffalo not only provided them with physical well-being, but kept their souls alive, too. They also believed that the buffaloes gave themselves to them for food, so the natural course to them would be to offer a part of themselves in return out of gratitude. “Thus the sacrifice of the dancers through fasting, thirst, and self-inflicted pain reflects the desire to return something of themselves to nature. Atwood)

Depending on the tribe, the dancers may go through self-inflicted torture. The gift of one’s own body is seen as the highest form of sacrifice. Dancers would have pieces of bone or wood skewered into their skin tied to the sun-pole. They would then tug and pull until the skin broke free.

This self-inflicted torture has also come to symbolize rebirth. The torture represents death, then the person is symbolically resurrected. (Eliade p. 208) “The sun dancer is reborn, mentally and spiritually as well as physically, along with the renewal of the buffalo and the entire universe. ” (Atwood) After the dancers all tear free, or after four days, the Sun Dance ends. The dancers are laid down on beds of sage to continue fasting and to recite their visions to the priest. These visions may hold new songs, new dance steps, or even prophecies of the future.

Whatever the outcome, the overall feeling for everyone present is of renewal and balance, the relationships between people and nature once again reaffirmed. (Atwood) When the camp is ready to leave all sacred items is left in a pile by the sun-pole for they are too sacred to keep for personal use. The Sun Dance Lodge is then left standing for nature to do with it as it wills. (Kehoe p. 318) >From looking at all the symbolism and ritual involved with the Sun Dance we can more fully understand the character of the Plains Indian cultures.

The Sun Dance shows a continuity between life. It shows that there is no true end to life, but a cycle of symbolic and true deaths and rebirths. All of nature is intertwined and dependent on one another. This gives an equal ground to everything on the earth. “Powerful animals exhibit both physical and spiritual powers, just as the medicine man and shaman do, and as do the grains of tobacco in the sacred pipe. ” (Smart p. 527) However, just like the rest of nature, humans must give of themselves to help keep the cycles of regeneration going.

Cultural Relativism Essay

The thesis of meta-ethical cultural relativism is the philosophical viewpoint that there are no absolute moral truths, only truths relative to the cultural context in which they exist. From this it is therefore presumed that what one society considers to be morally right, another society may consider to be morally wrong, therefore, moral right’s and wrongs are only relative to a particular society. Thus cultural relativism implies that what is ‘good’ is what is ‘socially approved’ in a given culture.

Two arguments in favour of cultural relativism are the ‘Cultural Differences argument’ and the ‘Argument from the virtue of tolerance’, the following essay will look at and evaluate both of these arguments. The cultural differences argument goes like this; ‘Different cultures have different moral codes, thus there is no one correct set of moral claims, only those that conform to the major set of beliefs within the given culture’. Firstly I am going to look at James Rachel’s (in ‘The Elements of Moral Philosophy’, Ch. 2) analysis of this argument, and secondly I would lie to give my assessment of the argument.

Rachel’s argues that this argument is not logical, as the conclusion does not follow from the factual premise. The premise makes an assertion about differences in moral beliefs. The conclusion makes an assertion about the nature of moral facts or truths. In general, he argues, one cannot assume anything about what is or is not true about the world, from premises about beliefs about the world. A culture may believe that the earth is flat, but believing so doesn’t make it so (nor does belief that the earth is round make it so). Nor does disagreement over the shape of the earth imply that there is no definite shape.

This criticism is not presuming that the premise on which the cultural differences argument is based on is false, rather that the truth of the premise cannot guarantee the truth of the conclusion. Rachel’s claim that physical facts are independent of beliefs about those facts is not justified. We never have access to the physical world apart from, or independent of, some scientific or conceptual framework. There is no “view from nowhere” which we can use to determine whether our judgements about the world are true or not. Moral facts are similar.

In both cases the truth or falsity of a claim can only be evaluated against the background of some conceptual framework or another. It is in this respect I believe that Rachel’s argument can be criticised. I would like to add a personal criticism to the cultural differences argument. The argument presumes that a moral action within a given society is correct as long as the society condones the act. I believe that this presumption is faulted given that, as history has often shown us, certain societies have been forced, or manipulated into, condoning and carrying out certain acts on behalf of the authorities within the society.

The most common example of this would be Hitler’s powerful influence over Germany during World War two that led the country to brutal monstrosities such as the Holocaust. A possible solution to this problem, I believe, would be to add a simple remark to the argument; ‘Different cultures have different moral codes, thus there is no one set of correct moral codes, only those that conform to the major set of beliefs within the given culture, given that the beliefs are not forced upon the given culture’. The argument from the virtue of tolerance is the next argument in favour of cultural relativism that I am going to look at.

The argument states that: ‘meta-ethical cultural relativism promotes tolerance of different cultural moral beliefs, thus we should accept this viewpoint, as it is the only meta-ethical position that promotes tolerance of cultural differences in moral beliefs. ‘ This argument lies on the assumption that because it is the only meta-ethical position that promotes tolerance one should thus follow it. I believe that this assumption is flawed in that a person should not follow something just because it has one favourable aspect that is not offered elsewhere.

Take for example if a scientific theory offered a solution to an unsolved problem that had not been attempted before, but lay on a scientifically impossible assumption, one would obviously not accept this theory in explaining the phenomenon. I believe this is the same for the argument from the virtue of tolerance, as one should not accept the argument just on the merit that it is the only in its field to promote tolerance. The thesis of meta-ethical cultural relativism, in my view, is neither right nor wrong, just flawed. I believe that certain moral beliefs within different cultures are justified due to the context in which they are in.

I also believe though, that absolute moral truths do exist, and cannot be judged right or wrong because of the context in which they are in. In general I believe that a society should exist in such a way that promotes the existence of that society, and exists in such a way that is beneficial for the well being of its members. I believe that certain cultures can be judged right or wrong if they act in such a way that does not uphold its existence, but on the other hand I believe that we must respect the cultures of others even where some beliefs do not live up to our standards of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.

Cultural relativism is a concept for much debate, my essay has looked at two arguments on the affirmative, namely the argument from the virtue of tolerance and the cultural differences argument. Although the arguments are insufficient to prove cultural relativism as a fundamental philosophical truth, they do provide reasons for many people to consider themselves ‘cultural relativists’, and thus give the concept a great deal of merit in meta-ethical philosophical studies.

The Kalapalo Indians of Central Brazil

The Kalapalo Indians of Central Brazil are one of a few surviving indigenous cultures that is uniquely protected by a national reserve in lowland South America. Through no effort of there own, they have been isolated artificially from Brazilian social and economic influences that reach almost every other Indian tribe in Brazil. This unusual situation has made it possible for the Kalapalos culture to be undisturbed by the outside world and the surrounding tribes. Much of Kalapalo life is run through a central concept or an ideal of behavior, called ifutisu.

This is an infinite ideological concept that is represented in many ways in social life and ideal organization among the Kalapalo. The area in which the Kalapalo live is in the northeastern Mato Grosso state called Upper Xingu Basin. There are four unintelligible languages by groups in this region. This makes the Upper Xingu Basin linguistically diverse, but with many of the groups still sharing the same social and ideological features. It is very difficult to trace back the origins of Kalapalo life because of the integration of the many different and culturally diverse groups in the Upper Xingu Basin.

So, many of systems of kinship classification, marriage practices, ceremonial organizations, status allocation, and religious beliefs are consistent with cultural rules and social practices and not with the original system. Many of the modern local groups can only reconstruct their own history which is in limited detail, these systems cant be isolated completely from the existing society. The two most important social units in Upper Xingu society are the village and the household groups.

Both the village and household can be considered corporate in that both control rights to territorial resources, acts as a unit when performing certain economic and ceremonial activities. Members of a household group are obligated to pass out food which they collect amongst themselves. Even when one cannot supply food a Kalapalo is assured of a share because everyone is treated with the same kind of respect. Despite this corporate organization, membership in villages and households is constantly changing, and there is much movement of people between group to group.

The Kalapalo society is a system wherein social units, such as the village groups and households exist only because of the individual who decides to live in these systems and choose to cooperate with one another. This is very different from other non-western societies whereas the individual acquire the responsibility to join in social units, by birth or other means of relationship to and with each other regardless of the identity of the individual themselves. The Kalapalo social organization is characterized by a flexible group membership and significant differences in the classification of individuals with certain groups.

The choices for the Kalapalo to join groups is based on the personal relationship between one another instead of certain clan membership, religious beliefs, or ancestry. The Kalapalo have an attitude towards cleanliness which encompasses all aspects of life such as; food, houses, belongings, and physical appearance. During the time of the year when manioc is being ready to be planted or when it is harvesting time, it is not uncommon to find them bathing three or four times a daily. The Kalapalos attitude towards cleanliness approaches the excessive side.

The Kalapalo believe in generosity and peaceful behavior toward every one they encounter. They reject all acts of aggression and violent expression and find it inappropriate for human beings. Instead the Kalapalo embrace an ideal of non-violence which includes suppression of anger and a passive tolerance of behavior. In Kalapalo society people are incorporated into a cycle of reciprocity and generosity . The idea of sharing takes place only along the lines of prior relations; such as kinship, friendship, or membership of the same household.

The residence of the Upper Xingu Basin are settled agriculturists, fisherman and hunting. The Upper Xingu Basin is characterized by its two seasons: The dry season which falls on the months of May and September, where intensive subsistence activity begins. New gardens are prepared and manioc is harvested. Also fishing is done at this time for the rivers are low and the water is clear. The rainy season occurs during the months of October through early April, where a decrease subsistence activities begins.

The rainy season welcomes the ripening of new various species of wild fruits. During this time river are flooded and the Kalapalo must depend on little game hunted, stored food and insects collected. Kalapalo technology is very primitive. With the restricted absence of metal and stone tools. The Kalapalo make the best of bone, tooth, and wooden implements or tools. Manioc is a rooted crop which is the major subsistence item for the Kalapalo. Kinship relationship are deemed to be the most important of social ties by the Kalapalo.

Kinship for a Kalapalo is an all-pervasive bond which extends into almost every part of their life, such as religion, economic, political and familiar relationship are all deeply influenced by kinship. The Kalapalo trace relationships through either parents regardless of sex. Second, a kindred is usually defined ego-centered: persons classed in such a unit are considered related to a specific individual. This is what the Kalapalo call otomo concept which is similar to the anthropologists concept of kindred.

The Kalapalo distinguished material and paternal filiation by making use of different symbols. These symbols define the sexual relation between parents as different from other kinds of sexual relations. The parents of a child doesnt have to be married to be declared its mother and father. What is importance is knowing who the parents are, since it is very important to establish the childs otomo relationships. Kalapalo marriage takes one of two forms. The first is an arranged marriage, which involves a girl being engaged before puberty and to a older man.

This type of marriage is marked by the giving of bridewealth, which is the payment to the girls parents and their siblings by the parents of the husband to be. The second form of marriage involves people who are lovers and takes place after the death or divorce of a spouse. The Kalapalo seek to establish the first of the two marriages, which is the arranged marriage on the basis of past relationships of kinship or affinity. The reason why arranged marriages are important is because the create alliances between persons who have prior kinship connections.

Also many of the men and women take on different types of marriage such as polyandry and polygymy. Although the Kalapalo do not have or define position of leadership, there are certain individuals whose actions have designated them into leadership roles. Kalapalo leaders are people who constantly expand and reinforce social ties. By doing this it demonstrates their ability to influence a large group of individuals and thus gains a certain amount of respect and prestige. The Kalapalo have a number of special statuses, each with certain duties and obligations to perform services, with this comes payment or rewards for duties or services done.

Some of these special statuses are anetaw village mediators between households and village groups. Oto sponsors of ceremonies, ifi are ceremonial specialist, who preform the ceremonies and then teaches others about the ceremony. Fuati are curers and diviners, persons with unusual skills in healing others. The Kalapalo do not speak of these status roles in terms of leadership but believe that a leader is a person who has achieved many great statuses and who thus stand apart from the rest of the community.

What is Y2K and What Effect Did It Present On Modern Culture

Two seemingly small digits may turn January 1, 2000 from a worldwide celebration into a universal nightmare. Affecting companies worldwide, many pay millions upon millions of dollars in order for computers to recognize the difference between the years 2000 and 1900. One of the worlds most detrimental dilemmas, the year 2000 computer bug is an extensive and interesting problem that everyone must face. The definition and implications of the Year 2000 crisis are as unique as the steps taken by modern human culture to prevent them.

Like all other tasks, computers process dates as numbers. To the outside world, date values can have numerous formats and meanings but to the internal workings of a computer, a date is just another set of numbers (Kendall 63). When expressing the year part of a date, using two digits such as “4/5/96”, the possible values for this year part range between 00 and 99. Obviously, if the year part were expressed using four digits, the values could range between 0000 and 9999 (The History and the Hype).

In real life, if one adds 1 to 99, the answer is 100. However, if one tells a computer to add 1 to 99 and also specifies that the result must be no more than two digits, the answer is 0 or 00. Now consider the effect of this numeric example on a date which expresses year values with two digits. If one takes the date “4/5/99” and tells the computer to add 1 to the year part, the result would look like “4/5/00” (Kendall 68). To most humans, this date will suggest that the year part represents the year 2000.

But, to a computer (and this is basically the problem), because the numeric representation of the year is effectively zero, the year is interpreted as 1900. According to the logical thinking of a computer, adding 1 year to 1999 results in the year 1900 (Johnson Interview). The whole question is one of interpretation. Humans can usually distinguish the intended value of a two digit year because of the context of a date within its subject matter. For instance, if one writes “I will graduate 6/1/01”, most people will automatically assume that the year they hope to graduate in is 2001.

If the person said the same thing to a computer, the chances are that the computer would interpret the same year as 1901 (Marcus 34). Basically, the definition of the Year 2000 problem is the inability of computer programs to correctly interpret the century from a date which only has two year digits (Johnson Interview). On the face of it, the specification of the problem appears to be fairly simple, and so many may think so is the solution. After all, how much of a problem can two digits cause?

As the reader will discover, those two digits will be the reason for the largest and most costly task ever undertaken by any industry, world wide. Almost all the time, the first question asked when somebody learns about the Year 2000 problem is, “How was this allowed to happen? ” (Johnson Interview). To most people, the thought that so much damage could be done; by so many people over such a long period of time and completely undetected; is absolutely beyond belief (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time). The fact of the matter is that the Year 2000 issue is there.

Programmers are aware of this problem for years. Unfortunately for us, because of the “I won’t be around in 15 years, so it doesn’t concern me” attitude the programmers display, the problem goes unchecked (Johnson Interview). It’s only because the likely implications of the Y2K crisis being almost on top of us and because companies now stand to lose large amounts of money that the issue is now finally receiving the attention it deserves (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time). When examining the underlying reason for the cause of the problem, two culprits arise.

The first, and certainly the most instrumental reason, is the issue of storage space in the 1960’s & 70’s (Blair Interview). During this era, the cost of storing data was far from insignificant. In an effort to minimize storage costs, most projects will make a drive to cut down the amount of stored data required by an application (Johnson Interview). In this conservation, there is no stone left unturned. Draining numeric storage space to the smallest possible data type often occurs. Programmers cut character storage space, and before long, dates begin to feel the cut too (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time).

At the time when only needing the two-digit year part, it is uneconomical to store the full four digits of a year, including the century (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time). Programs are able to continue processing dates as normal without ever understanding the concept of a century, so why not take out the century part altogether and save all that storage space (Marcus 35)? So, instead of storing a date as “4/5/1968,” programmers begin to store dates as “4/5/68” (The History and the Hype). Before long, the industry adopts storing dates with only two digits for the year, because of saving space (Kendall 89).

No doubt, at the time, some people will raise doubts about the long-term effect of this solution, but they are probably told that their systems will not be in place for more than a few years (Blair Interview). In fact, it’s not uncommon for corporate companies to have 20-year old applications in place now, which are core components of their major systems (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time). Apart from the obvious problems with systems which are still around today, by adopting the two-digit year as an industry standard, the industry is laying the foundations for a future problem.

Even as the cost of storage space became less of an overhead and there is no longer any need to store dates with two digit years, programmers continued to write applications which did so, partly out of habit and partly because of the need for new applications to share data in a common format with existing systems (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time). In addition to the cost of storage, the second probable reason for using dates formatted with two digit years is the question of user acceptance (Kendall 92).

In every day life, it’s usually quite rare to complete any kind of date using four digits for the year. Consider things like checks, application forms, passports etc. None of these require that the date contain a four-digit year (Blair Interview). So it’s only natural for users to expect the same level of freedom from computer software. In fact, in many departments it has become common place for new application designs to be rejected by users on the grounds that it is unreasonable to expect a user to enter dates with four digit years (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time).

From the users point of view, why should they be forced into entering a full four digit year when the software is perfectly capable of accepting and processing a short two digit year (Blair Interview)? It’s only now that the consequences of processing two-digit years are really being thought through that the flaws in this argument are beginning to show (The History and the Hype). From the technical perspective, there are two effects that could happen to a rogue application in the Year 2000.

The first sign that something may be wrong would be when the whole system crashes! In some cases, a computer program will simply not be able handle calculations using the number zero. Without going into too much technical jargon, from a programming point of view, this would be the equivalent of putting square pegs into round holes (Johnson Interview). In many ways, a complete melt down would probably be the better of the two Year 2000 consequences. This is because a system crash is possible. It is something that can be seen and hopefully corrected.

Given a system failure, a maintenance programmer should be able to identify the problem and go about fixing it (Johnson Interview). The second possible consequence of the Year 2000 problem is far more difficult to locate. In this situation, the system will continue to work without falling over, this will give the impression that nothing is wrong. However, while the program is running, errors will fill the results of date calculations (Johnson Interview). This second scenario is far more dangerous than the first because errors will creep into the data long before anybody notices that something is wrong.

If the system provides data to other systems or the data calculated by the system is used over and over again, the effects of miscalculated dates could be far reaching. Because there is no possible crash or system failure, it could be weeks before the errors are picked up, corrupting systems, sub-systems and all kinds of external data by that time (Johnson Interview). Let’s look at few examples of how incorrectly calculated dates affect ordinary business systems: Suppose one function of an accounting system is to provide a list of all invoices which have been outstanding longer than a month for the purposes of the debt collection office.

Brand new orders may be given an invoice date of 2/2/00. In this case, the accounting system would flag up these brand new invoices because they have been outstanding for over 100 years (Blair Interview)! This scenario is mild compared to some possibilities. Suppose a finance company lends money to Mrs. Jones. The loan was created on February 2, 1996 and is set to run for a period of 5 years. The finance company’s system, therefore, calculates that the expiration date is February 2, 2001 and sets a flag to stop taking payments from her account after that date.

The following day, the system calculates that the expiration date of 02/02/01 has passed and therefore decides not to take any money from Mrs. Jones’ account (Kendall, 67). There are countless possible disaster scenarios just waiting to happen to systems when the century changes, and in some cases, these problems will start to happen before the change of the century. The bottom line is, if your system calculates, processes or stores any type of date related data, it is definitely at risk from the Year 2000 issue (Blair Interview).

Everything in our world, from phone companies to the grocery store, is computerized (The History and the Hype). If Y2K takes effect, problems accessing food, money, and getting in touch with family and friends will occur. Fixing the worldwide problem requires an estimated $600 Billion (US) and analyzing millions of code (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time). This spares only a few systems from Y2K. Estimation suggests that there are 500 billion lines of application code worldwide, of which some 85 percent needing corrected (The Millennium 2000 Bug Total Y2K Repair Kit).

Various reports stated that by the turn of the millennium, as much as 50 percent of all businesses which failed to address the Year 2000 challenge will break down (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time). Managers become heavy-hearted thinking about their future as December 31, 1999 rolls in (Kendall 67). Knowing that there is going to be a disaster does not help much especially when there are few resources to handle the problem. Fearing the effects of the crisis, companies worldwide need an additional 200,000 COBOL programmers (The History and the Hype).

Because the cause of the problem stems back some twenty or thirty years, the programming languages most affected by the Year 2000 problem are older languages such as COBOL. In fact, it’s probably fair to say that COBOL accounts for most of the worlds business applications (Blair Interview). Because the Year 2000 problem is so easily identifiable with COBOL and because there are new languages, many people are under the impression that any system written using the new programming languages is completely Year 2000 ready (Gates 72). In reality, nothing could be further from the truth (The History and the Hype).

Visual Basic includes various date handling functions and procedures which are totally unaware of the Year 2000. In fact, because of the implication that these functions will work into the Year 2000, and because of over confidence in the language, applications built using Visual Basic are probably more likely to cause problems than many other languages (Gates 72). Microsoft has taken steps to correct these problems by introducing fixes to these date functions in each of the major new releases. Visual Basic 5. 0 introduces an industry accepted technique known as windowing.

This technique makes assumptions about the intended century of a two-digit year. However, the window is a fixed window that only interprets dates up until 2030, which flaws the solution. For instance, given the date “01/01/32”, Visual Basic will assume that the intended year is 1932 (Gates 72-73). The role that dates play in a business is critical to whether or not the problem will exist. Going to the problem of electrical companies, date-coding plays only a minor part in the production of electricity, but it plays a major part in the metering of electricity usage (Y2K: So Many Bugs…

So Little Time). The Senate concluded that local power blackouts will be likely, but national power breakdown is not. If they do happen it will only be for about a week, but in major metropolitan areas they shouldnt be more than 48 hours. (The Millennium 2000 Bug Total Y2K Repair Kit). The government is working laboriously to get prepared for the new millennium, but are they ready? One of the lagging branches is Social Security which keeps track of everyone in the country (Y2K: So Many Bugs… So Little Time). Next is the military, nuclear reactors, and air transport systems.

The Department of Defense reported that only 72 percent of its mission-critical systems are ready (The Millennium 2000 Bug Total Y2K Repair Kit). Also, what about the nations linked up to us? Being so far behind, they jeopardize the rest of us. Another lagging industry is hospitals and health care. Health care is one of the worst-prepared for Y2K and carries a significant potential for harm. For patient treatment, insurance claims, and pharmaceutical manufacturing and distribution, the industry relies on computers (The History and the Hype).

Fearful organizations are not the only ones suffering the millennium bug. Anyone, even a personal computer user, can be. Surfing the net would prove that the Y2K’s awareness level is growing with more sites dedicated to this problem (Blair Interview). Pessimists say that we will fall into global recession and have another depression as in the 30s era. Stock markets might fall because of companies that are not exactly ready for Y2K. ATMs and banks may not be able to transact money because of this.

Grocery stores relying on computers to deliver goods, take inventory, and even scan pricing will go down. There will be riots, looting, and world wide power outages. Home appliances will go crazy and telephones will be unusable. Planes and trains will collide into each other, gas pumps wont work, or the cars computer will malfunction so we cant go anywhere. They think that it is the end for civilization as we know it. Could they be right? Could we be going back to the Stone Age (The Millennium 2000 Bug Total Y2K Repair Kit)?

There is no magic solution, silver bullet or quick fix to the Year 2000 problem (Johnson Interview). Yes, it’s true that we can put a man on the moon, or speak to people on the other side of the planet. If we want, we can even blow the world up a thousand times over. However, we can’t fix the Year 2000 problem with one swoop of a magic wand (Blair Interview). Because of the complexity and number of different business applications, platforms, languages, technologies, programming styles and business scenarios, it is impossible to come up with a one-time, fix all solution.

Instead, the problem needs to be addressed by each company individually (The History and the Hype). Unfortunately, the only way of being 100% certain that a given application will function as expected into and beyond the next century is to physically address every single line of code and thoroughly test each function in the given application. Regardless of the size and complexity of an application, it only takes one single line of programming code to bring a system to its knees (The History and the Hype)!

Ignoring the Year 2000 computer crisisone of the most serious and potentially devastating events this world has ever encountered was of no use. Postponing it was out of the question. It set a date for us. A considerable number of people believed the end of the world was near, implicating that we would be back to stones and sticks. Be prepared for the worst and hope for the best is one way to describe the Year 2000 crisis. Even though we didnt know what exactly would happen when the double zeros struck, Y2K will definitely be a milestone in history.

History of the counterculture

The 1950’s in America were considered a true awakening of youth culture. If this is true then the 1960’s was a decade of discovery. It was a decade marred by social unrest, civil rights injustice, and violence abroad. These were some of the factors that lead to a revolution that attempted to bifurcate the fabric of American society. Teenagers were breaking away from the ideals that their parents held, and were attempting to create their own society. If they were to accomplish this they would turn the current system upside down.

In 1962, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said his most famous words: “I have a dream. ” (Constable, 144) He was not the only one who felt this way. For many, the 1960s was a decade in which their dreams about America might be fulfilled. For Martin Luther King Jr. , this was a dream of a truly equal America; for John F. Kennedy, it was a dream of a young vigorous nation that would put a man on the moon; and for the hippie movement, it was one of love, peace, and freedom. (Constable, 34) The 1960s was a tumultuous decade of social and political upheaval.

We are still confronting many social issues that were addressed in the 1960s today. In spite of the turmoil, there were some positive results, such as the civil rights revolution. However, many outcomes were negative: student antiwar protest movements, political assassinations, and ghetto riots excited American people and resulted in a lack of respect for authority and the law. However, with all the talk and the tension that this movement created it turned out to be an empty rebellion. While it did voice important concerns about civil rights, the Vietnam War, and the injustices of society.

It is important to first examine the change in music that was the fuel of the counterculture revolution. Rock n Roll was born in the 1950’s. It was this birth that allowed the counterculture to be born. Without the innovation of the Rock n’ Roll of the 1950’s the rock of the 1960’s would have never evolved. It became an outlet for the teenagers of the 1960’s to express themselves and voice their concerns about society. Rock n’ Roll emerged from rhythm and blues, a music similar to jazz played by blacks.

This kind of music started to attract white teenagers. Disc jockey Alan Freed was the one who introduced this music and later gave it the name of Rock n Roll. (Groliers, 1) Record companies distributed records played by whites but composed by blacks. Whites were frustrated because there werent any white artists and they didnt want the blacks to be the stars until Bill Haley appeared with his “Rock Around the Clock”. This typifies the racial attitudes of the decade. It showed the segregated view of society that existed among the races.

By teenagers acknowledging black music it was a move that started to separate the culture of the teenagers from their parents. Constable, 71-72) In this decade, Elvis Presley introduced a music that was sexual suggestive and outraged dull adults. In time he changed the style of the music by adopting a country and western style and became a national hero. By the end of this decade and the start of the next, Rock n Roll started to decline because it was formula ridden and it was too sentimental. Teenage audiences transferred their allegiance to Folk music.

In 1963 the renewal of Rock n Roll came when The Beatles started to play. (Frank, 13)The Beatles, for some the best rock group ever, were from Liverpool, England. Through the 60s, The Beatles dominated the record industries and with their dominant instrumentation, which included: electric leads, rhythm, and bass guitar, drums and sometimes an electric organ, changed the name of Rock n Roll to just Rock. During the 1960s, many other styles of music arose from Rock like, Motown, Soul music, Jazz-rock , Folk-rock and others. Folk-Rock the most appreciated of this derivations and was first suggested by Bob Dylan. Groliers, 1-2)

This kind of music brought to folk music a hard beat and amplification; and to Rock, a new poetic style. California was one of the major centers of rock activity and experimentation during the decade. First it was characterize for its surfing music, a very joyful music that reflected the fun people had while surfing. The Beach Boys were the ones who introduced this kind of music. At the end of the century this happy kind of music changed to a more rebellious style that was designated the name of “hippie music”. Groups that played this music were Country Joe and The Mamas and The Papas.

Along with this hippie ideas popularity of hallucinogenic drugs produced a psychedelic style of music called Acid Rock. By the end of the 60s the distinctions between Rock n Roll and Rock were evident. (Groliers, 2) The early instruments- saxophone, piano, amplified guitar, and drums had been changed to electric guitar and bass, amplified drums and other electronic devices. Not only did the instruments change but so did the ideas behind the music. For example, “to the lyrics of teenage love and adolescent concerns were added social commentary, glorification of drugs and free-association poetry”(Groliers, p. ).

Groups like The Beach Boys, Crew Cuts and The Everly Brothers were replaced by ore imaginative, non-descriptive names groups like The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and Holding Company. The Who, the most famous of these groups, were originally from England and were renowned because of their bizarre stage performances, they would destroy their instruments after their performance finished. The Who was one of the first rock groups. Another important aspect of the 1960’s that influenced the evolution of the counterculture was that of the civil rights movement.

In 1964, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, and in 1965 they passed the Voting Rights act. Constable, 153-55) The Civil Rights Movement did not just affect American minorities, but everyone who lived in the United States at the time. The momentum of the previous decade’s civil rights gains led by Reverend Martin Luther King carried over into the 1960s. But for most blacks, the tangible results were minimal. Only a small percentage of black children actual attended integrated schools, and in the South, “Jim Crow” practices barred blacks from jobs and public places.

New groups and goals were formed to push for full equality. As often as not, white resistance resulted in violence. (Constable, 148-150)In 1962, during the first large-scale public protest against racial discrimination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a dramatic and inspirational speech in Washington, D. C. during a march on the capital. “The Negro,” King said in his speech, “lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity and finds himself an exile in his own land” (Gitlin 77).

Under leaders like Martin Luther King, blacks were trying attain all the rights a white man would have. In 1965, King and other black leaders wanted to push beyond social integration, now guaranteed under the previous year’s Civil Rights Act, to political rights. Reverend King announced that as a “matter of conscience and in an attempt to arouse the deepest concern of the nation,” (Gitlin 84) he was compelled to lead another march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. When the marchers reached the capitol, they were to have presented a petition to Governor George Wallace protesting voting discrimination.

However, when they arrived, the Governor’s aides came out and said, “the capitol is closed today” (Gitlin 85). Unfortunately, the event that moved the Civil Rights Movement most significantly was the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1965. Moments after the assassination, terrible cruelty replaced the harmony. Rioting mobs in Watts, California pillaged, killed, and burned, leading to the death or injury of hundreds and millions of dollars in damage. The civil rights movement was a very important factoring in molding the counterculture.

Besides the Civil Rights movement, there was another important movement during the 1960s: the Student Movement. Youthful Americans were outraged by the intolerance of their universities, racial inequality, social injustice, and the Vietnam War. The Student Movement led to the hippie culture. This movement marked another response to the decade as the young experimented with music, clothes, and drugs. These young people became known as hippies. Hippies preached mysticism, honesty, joy, and nonviolence. Time 7 July 1967, 4-5)

In 1969, they held the famous Woodstock Festival for peace in New York, a three day concert that emphasized their beliefs. One of the chief movements that came from the Student Movement were the antiwar protests during the Vietnam War. (Time 6 Jan. 1967, 22) The United States first became directly involved in Vietnam when Harry Truman started to underwrite the costs of France’s war against Viet Minh. Later, the presidencies of Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy increased America’s political, economic, and military commitments in the Indochina region. Constable, 71-73)

Starting with teach-ins in 1965, the massive antiwar efforts centered on the colleges, with the students playing the lead roles. The teach-in approach was at first a gentle approach to the antiwar activity. But soon other types of protest grew to replace it. These demonstrations were one form of attempting to go beyond mere words and to “put direct pressure on those who were conducting policy in an apparent disdain for the will expressed by the voters” (Gitlin 30). In 1965, the United States started strategic bombings of North Vietnam, catalyzing the public opinion of what was happening in the region.

These bombings helped sustain the antiwar protests and spawned new ones, “and the growing cost of American lives coming home in body bags only intensified public opposition to the war” (Rubin 54). The antiwar movement spread directly among the combat troops in Vietnam, who began to wear peace symbols and flash peace signs in movement salutes. Some units even organized their own demonstrations to link with the activity at home. The war in Southeast Asia and the war at home dominated newspaper headlines and the attention of the White House. Only a quarter of Americans approved of his handling of the war in 1968.

The antiwar movement that began small became giant. Americans were soon shocked to learn about the communists’ massive Tet Offensive on January 31, 1968. The offensive demonstrated that Johnson had been making the progress in the war seem greater than it really was; it appeared to have no end. Johnson withdrew from the election in 1968, and the communists planned to do battle with their new enemy, Richard Nixon. Besides the unsuccessful Vietnam campaign, the United States was also involved in another unsuccessful battle: the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1963.

Now that we have examined the aspects of the counterculture, we must look at the key to the counterculture: the hippies. The culture of the hippie was meant to occur because of the tumultuous events that surrounded the decade of the 1960’s. With the development of new technology, a war against Communism, and an internal war against racial injustice, a change in America was sure to happen. As the children of the baby boom became young adults, they found far more discontent with the world around them. This lead to a subculture labeled as hippies, that as time went one merged into a mass society all its own.

These people were upset about a war in Vietnam, skeptical of the present government and its associated authority, and searching for a place to free themselves from societys current norms, bringing the style they are known for today. Eve of destruction; no satisfactionand a third motif went rippling through the baby-boom culture: adhesive love (Gitlin,200). The freedom they found came with the help of drugs. Marijuana evolved from its black and Hispanic, jazz-minded enclaves to the outlying zones of the white middle class young (Gitlin 200).

This new drug allowed a person to open their mind to new understandings and philosophies. But it wasnt just marijuana that opened the minds of the youth; a new drug known as LSD came into existence: Depending on who was doing the talking, [LSD] is an intellectual tool to explore psychic inner space, a new source of kicks for thrill seekers, the sacramental substance of a far-out mystical movement- or the latest and most frightening addiction to the list of mind drugs now available in the pill society being fashioned by pharmacology (Clark 59).

With politicians and law enforcement officers looking on the drug as a danger to society, many expert hemists set up underground laboratories and fabricated potent and pure LSDkept their prices down, gave out plenty of free samples, and fancied themselves dispensers of miracles at the service of a new age (Gitlin 214). It wasnt just the youth in America who was using these drugs. A statistic from 1967 states that more American troops in Vietnam were arrested for smoking marijuana than for any other major crime (Steinbeck 97).

The amazing statistic wasnt the amount of soldiers smoking marijuana; it was the amount of soldiers America was sending over to fight a war that nobody understood. Between 1965 and 1967, troops doubled and redoubled and redoubled twice more (Gitlin 261). In a letter to President Johnson sent by student leaders from 100 American colleges and universities and published in Time, this problem was addressed: Significant and growing numbers of our contemporaries are deeply troubled about the posture of their Government in Viet Nam.

Even more are torn-by reluctance to participate in a war whose toll keeps escalating, but about whose purpose and value to the U. S. they remain unclear. With the fear of being sent to Vietnam, many potential draftees looked for a place to run. Some went to Mexico, some went to Europe, some went to Canada, and some just burnt their draft-cards to resist the draft. For those who went to Canada, they received assistance from the Committee to Aid American War Objectors. The committee helped the young immigrants with advice and aid on the Canadian immigration laws.

For those who didnt flee, life was full of harassment from the Government. Popular music and literature help display this message of repression. Jimi Hendrix released a song titled If 6 was 9 that described his oppression: White collared conservative flashing down the street/Pointing their plastic finger at me/Theyre hoping soon my kind will drop and die… Go on Mr. business man/You cant dress like me. During Woodstock, the music festival in 69, Country Joe and the Fish sang lyrics that were both comical and intense: What are we fighting for? Dont ask me,I dont give a damn/Next stop is Vietnam… Whoopee were all gonna die.

Jerry Rubin illustrated his anger in the government, in the book he wrote while spending time in jail. We Are Everywhere describes Rubins hatred towards all authority admitting, heroin is the governments most powerful counter-revolutionary agent, a form of germ warfare. Since they cant get us back into their system, they try to destroy us through heroin (Gitlin 118). This repression of the elder generation sent the youth to accepting communities, particularly out west.

Most of the people leaving their homes came from working-class families whose parents and communities had driven them out for simply for supporting the civil rights movement. Being alienated from their towns and considered communists, they found it easy to side with the anti-war movement. It was also easy for them to discover drugs and the free-love idea that was already being spread. The new culture identified themselves with the Native Americans and their unquestionable oppression, sacramental drugs, and true ties to America.

The style that they developed was true to this philosophy. Described by Gitlin: Dope, hair, beads, easy sex, all that might have started as symbols of teenage difference or deviance, were fast transformed into signs of cultural dissidence… Boys with long and unkempt hair, pony tails, beards, old-timey mustaches and sideburns; girls unpermed, without rollers, without curlers, stringy-haired, underarms and legs unshaven, free of makeup and bras… A beard could be understood as an attempt to leap into manhood… Clothes were a riot of costumes…

Indias beads, Indians headbands ,cowboy-style boots and hides, granny glasses, long dresses, working-class jeans and flannels; most tantalizingly, army jackets. (Gitlin,215) There was a tour bus that ran through the Haight-Ashbury area n San Francisco called the Gray Line. The tours promotional brochure contained the statement: The only foreign tour within the continental limits of the United States (Sutton, 36). The significant people in the city didnt like the idea of a large hippie community growing in their city. The city didnt contain any photographs on file, nor did they dig the idea of journalists doing reports on the hippies.

Ronald Reagan thought of the hippies as someone who dresses like Tarzan, has hair like Jane, and smells like Cheetah (Gitlin, 217). But with or without such outside influences, the hippies continued to pursue their make love not war and free love attitudes. No movement in our history defines a cultural change more accurately than the hippie movement in the 60s. They had their own laws, music, clothes, and writings. The view of what a society should be was a common one to all hippies. Their ideas were important all throughout the late Sixties and early Seventies, and there is still a hippie population in America today.

The counterculture was a movement that occurred because of the environment of the 1960’s. It was created from the racial inequality, social unrest, and the growing need for the baby boomer generation to distinguish themselves from their parents. These so called hippies created a culture of their own that grew from the heavy use of drugs, a new style of rock that evolved from the rock of the 1950’s, and a sexual revolution that changed the values of society. The 1960’s had a pronounced effect on future generations. It brought about a change in civil rights, and the publics’ voicing of concerns about governmental decisions.

Symbols Of Herbalism

Using plants for medical purposes is an idea that has been around throughout history. Many different types of peoples, cultures, and religions use what is found in nature to cure their ailments, prevent illness, or prolong beauty. Many of these peoples use symbols, creams, or even watch the stars to achieve these actions all over the world. We see symbols of herbalism even as far back as the Garden of Eden.

The bible states, Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. Genesis 2:9 (1) The trees in this passage from the bible are symbols of longevity, strength and fruitfulness. Trees represented perfect beauty and complete harmony in and with nature and change. This type of symbol is pertinent throughout time. The Buddha, for example, sat under what he called the cosmic tree and reached enlightenment.

Later Buddha was reborn as a monkey and became king of the monkeys; he then divined the monkey kingdom’s downfall through a mango tree. When his divination came true he stretched himself across the gap between two trees, one of them the mango tree, and allowed himself to be used as a bridge, sacrificing himself to save his kingdom. 1 These are some of the many reasons that Buddhists of today’s world consider the tree a sacred part of nature and their lives. Another culture that considers the tree and all nature sacred is the Japanese.

Over the centuries the Japanese people have treated trees and plants with the utmost respect, and have taken care of them in the form of bonsai. Bonsai are small trees that are lovingly shaped and molded to be visually aesthetic and to seem as though the tree was older than the one who created it. Although the person may have seemed youthful, one cannot judge a book by its cover or a person by their looks. Like Bonsai, many other herbs may make people seem younger. Some herbs are said to be able to slow down the aging process, or at least the effects, and consequently make the person seem more youthful.

I must stress that herbs cannot change your features so that people might look eighteen again, but they may help people loose those wrinkles or sagging skin. The Greek physician, or herbalist, Galen (c. 130-c. 200) is credited with the discovery of cold cream. Since Galen’s time cold cream has been changed into what it is today, a mixture of chemicals and liquid paraffin. The original recipe made use of oil of roses, and spirit vinegar. Ninon (1620-1705) supposedly used cold cream with the juice of a houseleek added.

Indeed, it may have been this that kept her free from wrinkles until age seventy. Houseleek is not only good for the skin, but according to astrologers it is a plant that is generally governed by the planet Jupiter and Jupiter rules over the signs of Pisces and Sagittarius. Therefore Houseleek would be more powerful, or useful when used by a Pisces or a Sagittarius. The uses of herbs have been influenced by astrology for ages; it came to the forefront of herbalism during the fifteenth century.

Astrologers say that each planet rules a sign, and each sign will influence herbs to treat a part or parts of the body. But astrology is not the only ‘explanation’ of herbalism. People have been attempting to explain herbalism for ages. One of the many ways they have been trying to do this is through the Doctrine of Signatures. As far as can be found in my research the Doctrine of Signatures is not a book, but simply represents a body of accepted wisdom. The Doctrine of Signatures is believed to have come from the ancient world, or a time before.

According to the Doctrine of Signatures the shape or appearance of an herb can help determine their use. One example is the wild pansy, it is supposed to heal the heart because it has heart shaped leaves. Paracelsus was one of the few men who supported the Doctrine. He said that a good physician should be ready to learn from all classes of people. He thought that all people could possess useful knowledge, including those without a formal education. Many different cultures support and use herbalism. Buddhists of today learn from the teachings of the Buddha.

They do as he did, and treat all nature as if it was an extension of themselves. The Japanese also value each of their trees as an extension of themselves as well as a part of nature. They capture the beauty of an older tree in a young potted tree in an age-old custom of their people. While the Japanese found ways to make trees seem older the Greeks found ways to make people seem younger. Ages ago in Greece, cold cream was invented so that the people could be free of wrinkles and look more youthful.

Some people believe that the planets influence mixtures such as cold cream. It was during the fifteenth century that astrology came to the attention of the herbalists as an aid for their mixtures, from then on almost all herbalists used it. The Doctrine of Signatures is another aid to the herbalists in their mixtures. Herbalism is timeless; it has been relied upon since the creation of man and woman and still is. Today there are millions of herbalists all over the world and most of them still use the recipes passed on from generation to generation through their families.

The Many Types Of Cults

There are many types of cults in the world, cults are everywhere but you just do not see them. Every person in the world has been in contact with them in one way or another in many cases you cannot see them. The closest cult we know of is on Rice Lake called the Moonies led by Reverend Myung, where I have currently visited. Cults can be involved in churches and even are earliest religions are called cults. Cults are not the strongest groups’ sects are the strongest group. When you join a sect you cannot get out of them but a cult you can leave without having any problem or commitment.

Sects ill not let you out because many times it’s illegal and they are afraid that you will say something to the public. Cults sometimes are illegal to. Religious cults are in every town and village there is no definition of a cult that is accepted by sociologists and psychologist or religion many types of activities will take cult like structures, an example would be any popular trend like physical exercise this is called the physical fitness cult. Famous athletes are a big figure when it comes to cults, many times Movie stars, professional athletes will endorse a product and a trend will start, making it turn into a ult.

Also people who generate beliefs of something like flying saucer, aliens or any unknown figures can be cult. In religion when people call a church they are referring to a sacred organization having a highly structured or formalized dogma and hierarchy, but also allowing a bit of flexibility about membership requirements allowing you to go to a church and leave church when you want to. Although sects are against church attempts to accommodate to secular society. Sects believe that they are protecting a true faith or belief.

Sects tend to stay away from world events , and also they believe in a trong strict behavioral code and demand a commitment out of their people. The differences between cults and sects are sometimes the same. Many scholars do not make distinctions between the two. Cults are different because they do not expect as much commitment. Many times’ cults do not expect couples to become apart. Cults do not last as long as sects. Many times’ cults survive through a decade, and also cults allow you to come and go as you want.

Leaders of cults build around a charismatic leader who has a lifestyle dedicated to a specific spirituality group that they know other people will follow. The word Mormonism began as a small cult then grew bigger until it became a sect and eventually into a church. All the new religions followed the same thing by beginning small and getting bigger than becoming a church. Cults go back as far as we know of life, cults began to get bigger and be known throughout the world in the late 1960s and early 70s as people were better educated and better understood how they were formed and how they were run and people began to join.

During this time Youths and middle class people began to join cults because of the in thing to do and they felt more secure about themselves. Cults really started to fascinate people when Jimmy Jones cult began in November of 1978 when all attention was focused on the mass suicide in Jonestown, a similar event happened in 1993 when federal agents engaged in a shoot out with cult leader David Koresh. Modern cults have many different practices and many different ways of leadership.

Some cults have a flexible functional leadership, like the groups in the charismatic movement coming from the mainland Christian religion, other cults have people who run and orchestrate cult events, like Reverend Myung Moon leader of the unification church. The reason people are attracted to modern cults because it puts emphasis on community and on direct experience with the divine. In cults’ participants often find a level of social support and acceptance that they do not find in a nuclear family.

This makes and generates a sense of belonging to something profound and a feel of being somebody. People who often join cults such as this, join because they think they are getting something the world did not give them. Several factors have been looked at to figure why people like are modern youths join cults. Factors that were looked at were drug’s ar assignation of many unpopular presidents. Cults have been questioned about brainwashing people, and found it to be true. Cargo cults are usually neutralist and are in it for money.

The word cargo refers to foreign goods possessed by Europeans. Cult members believe that goods belong to themselves and that , with the help of ancestral spirits, the goods can be returned to them through magic religious means. Brainwashing is the process of deliberately subjecting people to physical and psychological hardship in order to alter their thoughts and attitudes, and actions. It also is a process of totally cleaning a mind of one set idea and replacing them by another thought or belief.

This is called to indoctrinate cleaning a thought and putting a completely new thought in mind. Indoctrinating can take place without brainwashing. There are 2 aspects of brainwashing they are confessions of past crimes or errors of the past and re-education to new beliefs. Prisoners sometimes are made to confess by lack of sleep and food and other forms of intense physical discomfort, also isolation from victims’ families and from familiar surroundings. Cult leaders show obedience, and humility and make other members give social pressure to the new member to make them join.

And the last thing they do is make mutual criticism and self criticism sessions, which make them have a generalized guilt feeling that all people have acceptance of new ideas is again fostered by group pressure and the anticipated reward of freedom. People who have a better understanding of psychology and neuophysiology have made larger groups create extremely effective brainwashing programs. Their techniques however have been used or centuries as inquisition making people give excited confessions from alleged heretics.

Religions sometimes use these methods like scourging, rhythmic dancing and drumming and sometimes inducing a trance like state in which the individual is open to conversion. In the 20th centuries, most noticeably by the people’s temple of Guyana, whose membership committed mass suicide. Mystery Cults are usually in the ancient times whose members believed that by means of the performance of particular secret rituals they would gain knowledge that people in the normal world would not ave and that would make a mystical union with the divine.

Mystery cults make their members feel they are god and give them a feel of immortality that they cannot be destroyed. Many times in mystery cults, cult leaders feel they died and were brought back to be god or Jesus. In todays society, cults are one of the many unfortunate aspects endure in life. Leaders of Cults should be dealt with in a more serious matter. Cult leaders are con-artists and are people that like to control others. Cults should be controlled to protect innocent citizens from being taken advantage of.

The Chinese Culture

This report is about the myths and beliefs of the Chinese culture. It’s about the stories the Chinese created to explain the world around them, and generally how they perceived their surrounding environment. This report deals with ancient myths and the people who believed them, and what the current believes of these people are. The Southwest Creation Story The Southwest creation story is a myth which explains why people are different. The myth begins by saying that there were people on earth who were all alike, meaning there weren’t people who were black, white, oriental, etc..

It states that the humans on earth all generally were the same. There were also gods who lived above the clouds in the heavens. And there was a huge heavenly ladder which started on a mountain and reached all the way up to heaven’s door. It goes on to tell a story of a man who had two children. One was a girl and the other was a boy. They lived in a house which had a huge very thick roof. The man had built the roof so thick because it rained almost every day. He hated the rain. He knew it had its benefits but too much of it ruined his crops, destroyed his livestock and every time it rained the roof of the house was destroyed.

And every time the man rebuilt it, he made it thicker and thicker. He blamed all his misfortune on the Duke of Thunder. The Duke of Thunder was one of the gods who lived in the heavens. He was the god of rain and thunder. The man dispised the Duke very much and had a pure hatred of him. Every time it rained the Duke would descend from the heavens and stand on a hilltop. There he would watch with pure delight as the rains and thunder came down harder and harder. Finally the man had had enough. One day he took his axe and waited on the hilltop for the Duke to arrive.

When the rains came so did the Duke, and the man slashed him in the back. The Duke was hurt but not killed because he was a god. The man caged him and brought him home. He put him in a corner and warned the kids not to go near him. And to especially not give him water. The next morning was a beautiful sunny one, but the Duke looked horrible almost as if he was dehydrating. The man told the children he had to go to the market and said again not to go near the Duke no matter what he does and don’t give him water. After the man left the Duke started moaning.

He begged the children to give him some water but they refused following their father’s orders. The Duke pretended he was dead with his mouth hung open and he had his lips very dry. The girl was worried, she thought he was dying so she gave him one drop of water. The Duke instantly jumped back up and tore apart the cage. The children were terrified. He came over to them and promised them that they will be rewarded for their deed. He gave them a small egg and told them to plant it in the ground and then he left. When the man came back he was shocked by what had happened.

He knew the Duke would be very angry and would punish him. So he didn’t waste any time and started to build a ship. After a month’s time the ship was finished. It was built out of the strongest material known to him. Meanwhile the egg the children planted had grown to a size of about two small people. Then one day what the man had anticipated came. Huge torrential downpours of rain started and there were tremendous floods. The man jumped into the ship he built, in his panic he had forgotten about the children. They had ran into the egg which had become soft.

The floods were so great that the man in his ship reached all the way to the door of the heavens. He banged the doors and yelled let me in! The gods didn’t want mortals in the heavens, so the Duke was ordered to recede the floods. He took the floods back so fast that the man ell back to the earth and was crushed by his ship. The children in the soft egg bounced back to the ground safely. When they came out, they saw everything was destroyed. They were the only ones left. They lived happily for a while and after some time they had a child.

Because they were brother and sister the child was deformed and died a short time later. The two kids chopped up the baby into tiny pieces and put him in a bag, and they started climbing up the heavenly ladder. The bag ripped before they could reach to the top and all the pieces fell back to earth. They fell all over the continents, and from them the new eople developed. They were different in appearance from each other depending on where they lived. This myth explains why there are people who look so much different from each other.

This myth suggests that man was more responsible for the creation of the new humans than the gods. Because of the actions of the man the people were created. The Heritage of a King This is a myth about fate. In this myth a man named Zoa chi who is a king tries to find out his fate. Zoa was a survivor. When he was little his parents were assassinated. An attempt at his life was also made but his older brother protected him. The murderer was his uncle who betrayed his father and overthrew his power. He stayed in exile with his brother until he was older.

Over the years his hatred of his uncle had made Zoa a very stern man. He had wowed to get his revenge. He became a great fighter and started a group of followers who also were against the king. Then finally the day he had been waiting for had arrived. With his small army he overpowered the kings army. Growing up on the streets had made Zoa a great strategy leader, so he was able to defeat the huge overconfident king’s army. He killed the king and took over the throne. Years went by and he himself became overconfident and selfish. He created a fantasy image of himself as a great man.

He thought that nothing on this planet could defeat him. As time went by he became just like his uncle. Absolute power had corrupted him. Then one day he declared to all his subjects that he was a god and expected to be worshipped. This was too much for the people, they rebelled but Zoa crushed all their resistance. One of his advisors told Zoa that he knew a magician who could greatly help him in keeping down further rebellions. He said that this man could see the future and help him stop protesters before they could organise nd challenged him.

The king immediately called the man to his castle. The man’s name was Hou. He told the king that there will be a man who will kill him soon. And that man would be a close relative of his. The king knew exactly whom Hou was talking about. Zoa’s son Zhuan was almost the age where he could become king if something happened to his father. Immediately Zoa ordered Zhuan to be imprisoned. He said this was another example of how clever he was, he said he saw the future and beat fate’s destiny. He even said that he was better than any other god the people believed in.

When he went to see Zhuan his older brother went with him. Zhuan pleaded with Zoa and said he would never even think of killing his own father. But Zoa didn’t believe him. He sentenced Zhuan to death. But before Zhuan could be killed older Zoa’s brother beheaded him when he facing his son. Zoa was killed by his own brother who was ashamed of what his younger sibling had become. What the magician didn’t tell Zoa was which close relative would kill him. Zoa who had become overconfident wasn’t as great as he thought he was. And he was too arrogant to not know that the gods should not be challenged.

This myth tells that becoming overconfident will eventually hurt you and that no one could beat their destiny. The Chinese in this story believed in the gods, they were very religious people and this myth tells that the gods should not be challenged. Both of these myths were written a long time ago and I don’t think that the people today still believe in these myths as strongly as the people who wrote them did. I think it’s like Halloween in our culture. We still practice the custom as the ancient people did but we don’t have as much as a strong believe in ghosts and goblins as our ancestors did.

Speak Your Mind: The Censorship Controversy in American Culture

On a rainy morning in Detroit, Michigan, a twenty-something year old man by the name of Marshall Mathers awakes to hear a pounding on his front door. After muttering a few obscene phrases, he rolls out of bed and stumbles to his front door. However, instead of facing another autograph seeker, the rapper best known by his alias Eminem (or the real Slim Shady) is face to face with two police officers. Mr. Mathers, one says, were here to serve you with an arrest warrant.

You have subjected much of Americas population to obscenity, homophobic comments, sexism, and racism, and frankly, it offends many people. We dont want culture to face your type of commentary any more. You have the right to remain silent Needless to say, this scenario would never occur in the American democracy of the present. However, many in America today are advocating censorship to such an extreme that someday events such as this may become a reality.

And, though time and time again court cases have ruled against censorship, many continue to fight to limit free speech in America. However, in restraining what the constitution guarantees, there is much at stake. Although many argue that censorship is necessary to protect Americas citizens, it violates ones freedom of speech found in the First Amendment and should therefore not be practiced. Granted, there are many reasons for advocating censorship that could be justified.

Much material that is available in magazines, at the movie theater, and on the internet is considered by many to be extremely offensive. For example, the rock band Rage Against the Machine at times seems to glorify violence. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine High School gunmen, were fond of this band, and some of Rage Against the Machines lyrics have been assumed to have inspired the boys violent act. In many cases, evil can be advocated in forms of speech, causing many to believe that in order to prevent wrong from prevailing, censorship must be practiced with a fervor.

In his essay Censorship Can Be Beneficial, Thomas Stork says, Now if we can identify certain evils, and if advocacy of those evils seems likely to encourage people to commit them, then why should we not take the next and logical step and prohibit such advocacy Must the authorities be helpless to restrain the source of the evil? (20) This statement is a logical one, for one of the American governments greatest concerns is protecting its citizens from violent acts.

Citizens of the United States want not only to be protected from violence, but they also want to keep material out of the hands of those in the American public who would not be able to handle the ideas and themes presented in such material. Who could possibly argue that small children have the maturity to view pornographic material or be exposed to extreme violence on television? Indeed, exposing young children to entertainment of this sort would be detrimental to their development. And, as one lawyer reports, many believe that pornography is harmful to adults as well.

The moral values endorsed by pornographic magazines, photographs, and videos are often considered offensive. Therefore, pornography has been met by a ethical firing squad that continues to fight to censor magazines such as Hustler and Playboy (Smolla 3-4). The ethical issues that are protested in many of the works that the public desires to have censored are at the forefront of the debate regarding First Amendment rights, guaranteeing that the debate over the concept of censorship will not die down any time soon. Ethics, however, is not the issue addressed in the First Amendment.

The Constitution is not concerned with Americans moral behavior, but rather with ensuring equal rights for all. As the document itself says, Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (qtd. in ACLU, Free Speech: American Civil Liberties Union Freedom Network 1). Therefore, neither the government nor individuals have the constitutional right to censor another persons work. People value their First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

Citizens want to be able to practice this right to any extent that they so desire. The view of forbidding censorship supports this right by declaring that any speech, even if hateful or prejudicial, is allowable, regardless of popularity. This view also allows there to be no exceptions to the right to freedom of speech. Furthermore, it allows Americans to be able to express how they feel without having to worry about political correctness. Regardless of a persons ideas on an issue, he or she has the guaranteed right to express these thoughts vocally without fear of retaliation.

Even more than having a freedom from this fear, anti-censorshipism allows citizens free thought. Censorship can greatly cripple beliefs, and furthermore it prohibits many from expressing their views. As Jonathan Rauch says in the essay Censorship is Harmful, In universities and on Capitol Hill, in workplaces and newsrooms, authorities are declaring that there is no place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Christian-bashing, and other forms of prejudice in public debate or even in private thought(27). Although prejudice is agreed to be wrong by an overwhelming majority, the risks that are taken by censoring such beliefs are tremendous.

In limiting certain types of speech, the government becomes inconsistent, unreliable, and unpredictable. Furthermore, government officials replace the constitution, and with each progressive act of censorship, more limitations on free speech are placed upon the American public. Obviously, putting more limitations on Americans would not be welcomed by most citizens, and the underlying truth is that citizens of the United States value their freedom of speech to an extent that they do not realize. Every day, citizens exercise their First Amendment rights in ways that they take for granted.

Therefore, censorship must not be permitted in the United States. However, the question still remains: How can the American public prevent some sorts of literature (e. g. pornography) from degrading society? The answer is by using discernment. Every person, regardless of age or ethical position, has common sense as well as a knowledge of right and wrong. It is each citizens responsibility to use this discernment. A parent has to use discernment in what he or she allows his or her child to watch. An individual has to use sound judgment when speaking his or her views in order to not destroy his or her reputation.

Censorship is not the answer; rather, the encouragement of using ones astuteness should be emphasized. Although the primary intention of censorship is to protect others, due to its violation of First Amendment rights, it should not be allowed. Censorship gives many a feeling of security because citizens know that what they view is controlled; however, the underlying danger is that in the process of protecting citizens, First Amendment rights will be pushed aside. Indeed, censorship should not be accepted as a form of protection.

Exercising constitutional rights is one of the greatest benefits of living in America, and American citizens should not attempt to find ways to deny these rights. Instead, these privileges should be taken advantage of, and Americans should be able to exercise their freedom of speech with no fear of the government or specific individuals retaliating. When this philosophy is practiced and Americans are able to exercise their liberty how they desire, then the United States truly becomes the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The Day of the Dead

Imagine yourself in a cemetery, commemorating your great-grandpa. Dia De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) is celebrated in Mexico on November 2nd. The Day of the Dead is one of Mexico’s traditional holidays reuniting and honoring beloved ancestors, family, and friends. To begin, the historical roots of this celebration date back to the pre-Hispanic cultures of Meso-America of the indigenous people, especially the Nahua (Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecas, Tlaxcaltec, Chichimec, Tecpanec) and others native to Mexico more than 3,000 years ago. Life was seen as a dream.

It was believed that only in dying, a human being was truly awake. Death was not a mysterious and fearful presence but a realistic recognizable character as much a part of life as life itself. When Christianity was introduced in the 16th century, religion and its symbols became part of the altars we now find in Mexico today. November 1st, All Saints Day, is when the spirits of the children, called “los angelitos” (little angels), are expected to return. Traditionally, it is a time when family members share memorable stories that would commemorate their lives together.

Secondly, there are many items that people do to celebrate the Day of the Dead. On November 2, family members clean and perhaps paint the headstones, arrange flowers, and lighting candles. Mexican families construct special home altars dedicated to the spirits of their deceased loved ones. The altars range from simple to the very elaborate and are usually filled with objects that provided pleasure to the departed person in life, including favorite food and drink. Altars dedicated to the spirits of deceased children often include toys, candy and other sweets.

I hink that building alters for the dead is a good concept. They teach the younger generations about the past, as well as commemorate the dead. No matter what kind of a person was, everyone leaves behind a legend. Some books, for example, are biographies, praising and telling about a person in the past or present. Like a book, the alters tell the history of a person. The alters tell a story of the dead individual. Alters tell the age, their likes, and many other interesting facts about the dead individuals life.

I think that these alters compensate the work of an earlier generation. The altars or “ofrendas” as they are called, also usually contain objects made from sugar or sugar sculpture known as “alfenique. ” These objects may be small animals, such as lambs, miniature plates of food (enchiladas with mole), small coffins, often with pop-up skeletons, and of course, the sugar skull or “calavera. ” The skulls are made by pouring a mixture of boiling water, confectioner’s sugar and lime into clay molds, which have been previously soaked in water.

The calaveras are decorated with paper foil for eyes and a kind of colored icing for air. Names can be added to the skull and Mexican children often exchange named skulls with their friends. I think that the skeleton represents the spirit still living after it has left it’s flesh on this earth. The spirit of an individual lives on forever. Ofrendas often include “papel picado” or Mexican cut-paper. Papel picado has a long folk tradition in Mexico and the little town of San Salvador Huixcolotla, in the state of Puebla, is known for its fine cut paper.

Although papel picado is used as a decoration for many festive occasions uch as weddings and baptisms, papel picado with themes relating to Day of the Dead is also very popular. The Mexican papel picado is similar to origami. Although origami is folded, it too has spiritual meaning. In conclusion, I think that Dias De Los Muertos is important for the family to maintain good relationships with the dead for it is they who intercede and bring food fortune to the living. It is a time to come to terms with our mortality and become aware of cycle of life and death. The Day of the Dead is a day for honoring are beloved ones.

Egypt and Mexican Culture

For many centuries people have been fascinated by ancient cultures and treasures. During the last two centuries the science of archeology and modern inventions allowed people to get inside of the Egyptian and Mayan pyramids and discover the treasures of Egyptian pharaohs and Mayan rulers. Most of what we know about Egypt we owe to the pyramids. Thanks to Egyptian belief in the afterlife we can now find out about the civilization that existed nearly five thousand years ago. Egyptian culture is not the only culture that left us its heritage in pyramids.

In America we find pyramids build by civilizations of Olmec and Maya about 7th entury CE. These pyramids had different purposes and usage then the ones in Egypt but they stand as memorials to ancient civilizations as well. Egyptian people believed in life after death. One of the way pharaohs prepared themselves for the afterlife journey was by building a pyramid and putting there all their belongings and riches. Egyptian people believed that pharaoh is the closest person to the God and treated him accordingly. That is the reason for Egyptian tombs being full with the golden jewelry, precious stones and art objects.

Most of the time art objects were not considered a treasury but they played their articular role in religious rituals. Jars were holding food and drinks for pharaohs journey, so he would not get hungry and would have food and drinks to offer to the Gods. The figurative sculptures were suppose to accompany Ka ( spiritual entity) in its lonely stay or serve as a twin for the mummy. If something happens to the mummy the ka could use the sculpture of the pharaoh for the revelation. As well as for Egyptians religion was an everyday concern for many of the Maya, whether the dynastic ruler, the zealous priest, or the humble believer.

Maya has an extensive religion structure which we can not know in details. Chac and Itzamna are the most famous gods of Mayan culture. Hunahpu and Xbalanque are among the most interesting mythical characters. One of the most crucial gods was Tlaloc, who was worshiped in various guises by the culture of Teotihuacan, the Toltec of Tula, and later Aztecs. The Maya received the cult of Tlaloc during the 4th century more or less. The Cauac Monster, also known as the Witz monster, is a dominant supernatural concept in Maya religion, as are caves, cenotes, and other holy places (Maya Civilization pars. ).

The Maya built shrines, temples, and pyramids in honor of their gods, as well as to their ings, who ruled by all-encompassing concept of Divine power. Most of Mayan pyramids are temples to the gods, not the burial tombs as in Egypt. Even though Maya sometimes buried there their rulers they always put the temple on the top of the pyramid. Egyptians had temples near the pyramid or right next to it for the ceremonial services, but it never was placed on top of the structure. Also buildings in both cultures have a lot in common in their visual characteristics they are different structures.

Egyptian pyramids originally had smooth equal sides meeting on the top in the perfect apex. Mayan pyramids look like one huge tairway towards the sky. It reminds of earliest Egyptian structures-mastabas, where one layer of stones was put onto another creating the effect of pyramid. Also The Tikal Temple on Great Plaza was originally plastered white. Then the roof comb was painted with reds, blues, and other colors to accent the different areas of sculptural decoration. These roof combs were like giant billboards, with immense portrayals of the enthroned king, larger then life size (Cities pars. ).

Egyptians never colored their religious structures. As well as in Egyptian pyramids, the stone used to construct Mayan pyramids is local imestone, obtained from nearby quarries. The ancient Maya had no stone tools but limestone is soft enough that the Maya could utilize chert tools to work the stone in to neat rectangular building blocks. Egyptian pyramids served as huge tombs and they were constructed in such a way so they would stand for thousand years. Egyptians did not know when the spirit would return into the dead body.

Pyramids were constructed of rough stone blocks laid in horizontal rows, in a polygonal shape, with triangular sides rising to meet in the apex. Some were originally as high as 750 feet. The pyramids were built by taking blocks of ranite to the workshops, measuring the blocks down the size, shaping the block and placing it into the body of the pyramid. Then on top of the built structure workers put the limestone going from the top to bottom. Egyptians left two empty rooms to place the pharaohs mummy and his belongings in. They sealed pyramids so well that it took four hundred years for robbers to get in.

It is believed that the pyramids would be standing intact today if it were not for later destruction by robbers and invaders and for use as a building material. As it is, the massive stone buildings are rising right now outside of Cairo. The interiors of these huge stone structures contain a series of a narrow passages, ending in several large chambers. The central chamber was the burial room, always reached by a passage from the north, and containing a false stone door on the west side, representing an exit for the deceased soul.

The roofs of these chambers were formed of layers of stone beams, lying on top of another, each layer weighing more then 30 tons. The passages into burial chamber was often hewn out of the rock directly from the outer edge. As well as Egyptian pharaoh Mayan rulers like Giant Jaguar was buried in his tomb with hundreds of fferings-vases, jade, jewels and so on. Mayan temple-pyramids usually contained one or more rooms, however, the rooms were so narrow that they could only have been used on ceremonial occasions and were not meant for public consumption.

Most of the Egyptian pyramids were built by six pharaohs of the Old Kingdom, and were considered sacred shrines. On the contrary to general beliefs pyramids were built by free citizens, drafted to public work, not by slaves. Thousand experts worked on the design of pyramids all year round. An extra work group about ninety-five thousand men worked on the construction site during the four month eriod of the inundation ( the time of enforced idleness for farmers, since the fields were covered with the water of Nile) (Payne 24).

The most famous Egyptian pyramids are the three pyramids five miles southwest of Giza, which is three miles southwest of Cairo. The largest pyramid, 481 feet high and 786 feet along east side of base, was built for Khufu, who reigned between 2900 and 2877 B. C. The pyramid of Khafre, who reigned about 2859 B. C. is slightly smaller, but it is on a higher ground so that the apex is higher. The smallest pyramid (yet not small at all) was built by Menkure about 2800 B. C. (Casson 5). One of the most famous sites of Mayan culture is Tikal in Guatemala.

Numerous buildings stayed almost intact at the Great Plaza: the Temple of the Giant Jaguar (700 A. D. ), the Temple of the Masks (699 A. D), and the North Acropolis. At the heart of the Temple of the Giant jaguar is the tomb of high priest. The sanctuary for worship at the top of the structure sits on a nine-tiered pyramid. In each cultures each pyramid was built for the body of only one man. Usually, caskets full of jewels, furniture in laid with ivory and gold, silver and alabaster bowls and vessels, hests filled with clothing and precious ornaments, jars filled with food and wine were put in the room next to the room with the mummy.

Among the objects found in the Egyptian pyramids were the shabtis. Shabtis are small statues in the form of nude humans, often wrapped in linen and placed in model coffins. They were inscribed with a prayer for food offerings, although they probably also functioned as alternative abode for the ka. By the Middle Kingdom (2025 B. C) the figures had become mummiform in shape, and their inscriptions clearly join the deceased with Osiris, the god of the underworld, who rose to prominence uring this period. By late Dynasty XII (1850 B. C. ) The statuettes original function as residence for the ka has expanded greatly.

Although the original identification with the tomb owner was never lost, the figures were seen primarily as workers who performed a service for the deceased, and they became known by the ancient Egyptians as shabits. Rapidly shabit-figures came to represent the deceaseds servants in the afterlife and were so popular that they replaced the model servant statues previously deposited in upper-class graves of the Old and Middle Kingdoms (Life sect. 1). One of the most important raditions in the Egyptian culture was the mummification of the dead body. According to Egyptian religion the body had to be intact in order for Ka to return.

Mummification of the dead body was a complicated and long process. The famous Greek historian Herodotus reported on the Egyptian practice of mummification: They take first a crooked piece of iron, and with it draw out brain through the nostrils, thus getting rid of a portion, while the skull is cleared of the rest by rinsing with drugs; next they make a cut along the flank with a sharp Ethiopian stone, and take out the whole contents of the abdomen, hich they then cleanse, washing it throughly with palm wine, and again frequently with an infusion of pounded aromatics.

After this they fill the cavity with the purest bruised myrrh, with cassia, and every other sort of spicery except frankincense, and sew up the opening. (Herodotus sect. 1) After these procedures were done the body was placed in natrum for saventy days. They put the body into the wooden coffin which was shaped into the man figure. Sometimes the wooden coffin was placed into the golden one decorated by precious stones and paint.

In Mayan culture we find no evidences that any techniques of ummification were used. In the humid climate of Central America it is very hard to preserve a dead body for such a long time that is needed for the mummification process. As we can see Mayan and Egyptian cultures have a lot in common. However, some major differences can be found. Mayan religion was not obsessed with an afterlife beliefs as Egyptians were.

Their pyramids were built either for Gods or as a memorial to the dead ruler or priest. Egyptians built their pyramids for the dead. Their buildings were meant to be used in the other life by the great spirits buried in them. Some visual differences also occur. Most of the Mayan pyramids are shorter then the ones at Giza site. They are not sealed forever but has an access for the priests and authorized people. The major difference is that Maya put the shrine right on top of the pyramid.

The stairs led from the ground to the top of the pyramid. This way people thought they would be closer to God. In Egypt only pharaoh was considered to be closer to God therefore an enormous buildings reaching the sky was meant to be the stairway to the heaven only for the pharaoh. Nowadays these both ancient cultures still hold many mysteries for us. Most of the things we know are based n the speculations of the scientists, not on the certain facts.

Archeologists working on discovering more and more about the ancient civilizations that existed thousand years ago but appeared much more advanced then we used to think about it. However, many of the documents, scripts and art evidences disappeared during such a long time. Robbers, invaders and weather were the reason for the huge loss of historical items that were kept in ancient Maya cities and along the Nile. I am sure that in the future many of the mysteries will be unfolded, but as for now, ancient people keep fascinate us with their enigmas.

American Indian Stories

It was approaching dusk as the conspicuous line of dark vans entered the reservation. These vehicles served the purpose of furnishing transportation for about 30 members of a Cleveland area youth group, whose mission was “to bring good news to the badlands”. In short, the group was ministering to the Indian children of the Pine Ridge Reservation, which was in close vicinity to the natural wonder found in the foothills of “the badlands”. The trip became a tradition for my church and I traveled there on three separate occasions. Each year, the team received a welcoming that could be described as anything but inviting.

In fact, the first year the trip fell on the Fourth of July and as we drove in, our vehicles were bombarded with fireworks. I could never really grasp why we were so despised. After all, our intentions were commendable. The matter became clearer after I read Zitkala-sa’s “American Indian Stories”. Within this text, a Native American expresses her beliefs that actions similar to ours serve merely in altering culture. The main character’s civilization had religious beliefs long before the white man presented his ideas. Essentially, the Sioux religion was based on nature.

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact beliefs of the group because of the deficiency of information. However from the text, some aspects can be gathered. First, it appears as though everything in nature is believed to retain a spirit. Zitkala-Sa is observing the flowers and personifies them, assuming they are possessive of a spirit by saying, “Their quaint round faces of varied hue convince the heart which leaps with glad surprise that they too, are living symbols of omnipotent thought. ” (102) Everything natural was incorporated into their religious beliefs.

Thus, the people receive refreshment of the soul through companionship with the outdoors. The narrator describes a spiritual experience as, “to seek the level lands where grow the wild prairie flowers. And they, the lovely little folk, sooth my soul with their perfumed breath. ” (101) The Indian girl turns to nature to have her spiritual needs met, which is reflective of the behavior of her people. Thus, although the concept of spirituality as the white man understood it was not incorporated into the Indian culture, the Natives did, in fact have a religion, and maintained universal beliefs and practices.

With the introduction of the “paleface” into the Indian culture, he brought with him different ideas about religion, which undoubtedly created tension. Therefore, a significant controversy in the text is over whether the white man’s intent in ministering to the children is actually in the Indian’s best interest. Because of the Quaker’s actions, innocent people had to make numerous sacrifices and deal with senseless hardships. Throughout the “School Days” section of the text, the main character expresses her feelings relative to going east and encountering a new culture.

She speaks of a deprivation of freedom, describing her experience as, “though my spirit tore itself in struggling for its lost freedom, all was useless. ”(52) Evidently, it was painful for the young girl to be so constricted and cut off from nature and her spirit. She made efforts to break free, but the opposing force was too strong. Tragically, she had diminutive power over her own destiny. Later in the text, she eludes to the forfeited treasure of faith. Her words are, “…I lost my faith in the dead roots”. 5) The influence of the white culture had clearly effected the developing Indian girl. As stated earlier, the Sioux culture is essentially based upon a belief in nature and without exposure to such customs, they are bound to diminish. Moreover, the Quakers undoubtedly forced observance of their religion, being that it consumed such a large portion of their culture. The children’s constant exposure to the white way of life and beliefs ultimately altered their identity from that of Native American heritage.

This is communicated in the words of the main character’s mother as she is speaking to Zitkala-sa, “You better give up your slow attempt to learn the white man’s ways, and be content to roam over the prairies and find living upon wild roots. ”(95) This is the only lifestyle and conviction that her mother has. She is happy and wants her daughter to enjoy a similar vitality. However, as increasing time is spent in the foreign environment, the girl begins to assimilate into their culture and religion. All of these elements accumulate to transform her identity.

This modification is not complete as the young girl is trapped in between the two without membership to either. Unfortunately, Zitkala-sa did not invest enough time in either atmosphere to adapt or accept one in particular, to follow. As a result, she was denied membership to either group and rather “floated” in an undefined realm. Zitkala-Sa was neither Native American nor White. Vividly this is portrayed in the text as, “Even nature seemed to have no place for me. I was neither a wee girl nor a tall one; neither a wild Indian nor a tame one.

This deporable situation was the effect of my brief course in the East…” (69) In a sense, she created a personal culture including both her Indian heritage and also that of the white man. Judging from the great deal of anguish and frustration Zitkala-sa encountered, it appears that the work of the Quakers was in vain and only detrimental to the children. Such was my initial response to their actions with the reading of this book. The feelings and expectations of the Indians became clear. As I look back over my previous experiences on the Reservation, I realize that we were acting in a similar fashion to the Quakers.

Our purpose was to influence them to accept our religion, which we believed to be superior, thus altering their culture. At the time, I could not comprehend the Indians’ anger and dismissal. However, from the text, I have begun to understand their response. Similar to the Quakers, our intentions were good but the outcome was not quite as beneficial as we had hoped. I think the message the author is trying to convey are the feelings of the Indians in response to actions of those like the Quakers that have continued to this day. If such were her intentions, she was quite successful in expressing her convictions.

Is High Culture Superior to Popular Culture, and if so Why

For about a century, Western Culture has really been divided into two cultures, the traditional type of ‘high culture’ and a ‘mass culture’ manufactured wholesale for the market. High culture is the arts that require some form of intellect to comprehend, so therefore can only reach a tiny segment of the population, whilst levelling accusations of elitism. High culture includes ballet; the forms of operas, operettas and symphonies; types of film; certain novels; theatre and plays.

Mass or popular culture is derived from high culture, so for every item in high culture, there is a corresponding item of lesser importance in popular culture. Forms of popular culture include television, comics and magazines, pop music and the cinema. It is acknowledged that mass culture is to some extent a continuation of the old Folk Art that grew through the Industrial Revolution as the culture of the common people. The notifiable dissimilarity is its own spontaneity and ability to satisfy the needs of the people, without the benefit of high culture.

To satisfy the popular taste, as Robert Burns’s poetry did, and to exploit tastes, in the manner of massive industries like Hollywood does, are very different indeed; folk art was a separate institution, created by and for the people; wheras businessmen’s only interest in the cultural field is to produce profit- and even to maintain their class rule fabricate Mass culture. It is accepted that mass culture began as, and to some extent still is, a cancerous growth on high culture, as shown when Clement Greenburg stated, ‘Kitsch (German term for mass culture) takes advantage of.

Fully matured cultural tradition, extracting its riches and putting nothing back’. Constantly evolving, kitsch reduces so far away from high culture as to appear quite disconnected from it. Mass culture is imposed from above, as Karl Marx recognised, onto the passive susceptibility of the ignorant masses, to which decisions lie between consumption or no consumption. It is therefore, the ‘Lords of kitsch’ that are the sole beneficiaries; mass culture integrates the masses in a form of debased high culture.

This lack of control proves the power of the mass culture businessman, shown when during the 1929 depression, when capitalism was in chaos, focus was turned from the ‘idols of production’ to the ‘idols of consumption’ such as Hollywood movie stars, creating a ‘dreamlikeworld’, a marketing heaven, for the masses to aspire to. Mass culture can therefore never be worthwhile. Commodities are imposed upon the masses, taking away freedom of choice and individuality. Instead of being related to one another as members of a community, the relation is formed with a system of industrial production, something abstract and untouchable.

The great culture-bearing elites have communities with members having an individual role and sharing similar interests. In contrast, mass society sinks to the lowest level, to that of its most primitive members, its taste complies with that of the least sensitive and most ignorant member. Members accept any idiocy if it is wholly agreed as knowledge in the capitalist superstructure. Homogenized mass culture is so rigidly democratic, refusing distinction or discrimination that it succeeds in destroying all values and dissolving any form of barriers.

The homogenizing effects of kitsch also denote a blur in age segregation. The easy access to all mass culture means that all forms of mass culture means that children are subjected to the worst kind of capitalism; that which encourages infantile regression and escape via consumption of commodities or ‘over stimulation’ resulting in growing up to quickly, and a barrage of associated problems. Without further detail, mass culture could reveal capitalism to be an exploitative class society; rather than the harmonious commonwealth openly alleged.

This makes mass culture a form of political domination, as Soviet Communism and its own kind of mass culture have shown. The conservative proposal to rescue Avant-gardeesque values of old class lines from the domination of the two great mass nations, USA and USSR, seems increasingly infallible, due to internal causes and the increasing suffocation of the Avant-garde movement by mass culture. Where class lines ever-blur, the cultural tradition is absent, the greater kitsch manufacturing abilities become, dragging any form of cultural elitism further downwards.

The result is the weakening of the intelligentsia, where work is limited to specialist fields and whose isolation keeps greatening. This is an alarming prospect to confront, considering the intelligentsia hold the key to our future development, and most importantly, understanding of us. Mass culture continually brings down the standards of the people and degrades high culture, meaning it can never attempt to be equal to, or superior to, high culture. Only a type of culture that was derived entirely from, not imposed upon, the people, such as the Folk Art movement, could ever be comparable to high culture.

The Bull Fighting

The immediate reaction of many non-Spanish people to bull fighting is that it is sick, animal killing, unmoral entertainment. To many others around the world, though, bull fighting is a sport which involves courage, skill, and power, in a struggle between man and beast. This purpose of this paper is not to discuss the moralities of bullfighting though, it is to give some information on a sport which is loved by many throughout the world.

A bull fight, or corrida de toros, consists of three matadors, and six matches, which each take about 20 minutes to complete. These fights take place n a bull fighting arena, or plaza de toros. The least experienced matador will take the first and fourh matches, and the best matador will fight in the third and last matches. The matadors are not alone. They are accompanied by three banderilleros and two picadores. The matador wears a brightly colored costume known as the suit of lights. His assistants wear less flashy costumes.

The movement from act to act in the bull-fight is divided by a trumpet blast. The first trumpet signals the paseo, or march of the bull-fighters. The second trumpet proclaims the entrance of the bull. The matador first watches his hief assistant perform some passes with the yellow and magenta cape, in order to determine the bull’s qualities and mood, before taking over himself. During this period the matador is testing the bull’s speed, power and tendencies to hook one way or the other.

Information learned now is crucial for a successful fight The third trumpet signals the entrance of the picadores, mounted on horse back, who carry long pikes with a steel tip which is prevented from going more than four inches into the bull’s flesh by a metal guard. The bull carries its head and horns high, so the aim of the picador is to weaken the massive ossing muscle (the morrillo) between the shoulder blades. When the bull charges, the picador leans out and thrusts the pike into the bull’s shoulders.

The brave bull disregards the pain and charges harder into the pike. The cowardly bull backs away and is reluctant to charge again and may be booed by the crowd. The trial of the picks is over at the bull-ring president’s descretion, but usually after 2 or 3 picks, which are spearated by a quite, or rescue, in which the bull is lured away from the horse by the banderilleros. Following the fourth trumpet the banderilleros attempt to place their anderillas in the bull’s withers, again trying to weaken the bull so that the matador is able to work more closely with it.

The banderillas are wooden sticks decorated with colored paper and with a steel harpoon on the end. The banderilleros usually run in a quarter circle leaning over the bull’s horns to place the banderillas. On the fifth trumpet blast, the matador removes his black winged hat and dedicates the death of the bull to the president or the crowd before beginning his faena. The faena is the most beautiful and skillful part of the fight. This is where the matador must prove his courage and artistry. The faena consists of a series of passes made with a muleta.

This is a piece of thick cloth draped over a short stick, which is held in the left hand. The matador also uses a killing sword, which is always held in the right hand. The classic pass is called the natural, in which the muleta is first held in front of the matador to site the bull and is then swung across and away from the matador’s body hopefully leading the bull toward it. The matador will continue to perform a number of different passes varying in skill until he has demonstrated his complete control over the charging bull. The bull is now ready to be killed.

The matador stands about ten feet from the bull, keeping the bull fixated on the muleta held low in the left hand, and aiming the sword between the shoulder blades. The matador attacks pushing the sword over the horns and deep between the shoulder blades. If the sword goes in to the hilt it is an estocada but if it hits bone it is a pinchazo. An estocada usually results in the bull dropping immediately to its knees and dying. If the bull fails to die, the matador may bring out a descabello (a sword with a short cross piece at the end) which he stabs into the bull’s neck severing the pinal cord.

Finally, the fight is over. According to the bravery and skill of the matador, they can be awarded trophies by the president. These “trophies” are actually the ears, tail, and hoof of the bull. The crowd shows their respect by waving white handkerchiefs. If the mantador feels that the were a worthy audience, he throws the trophies into the stands. In return, the people throw hundreds of flowers, which are collected by the mantador’s assistants. To me, bull fighting sounds like very interesting and exiting entertainment. I hope that some day, I have the oportunity to attend a corrida de torros.

The Differences In The Cultures

This paper outlines the differences in the cultures of the United States versus Asian Indian and Vietnamese cultures. I will look at these countries and make not only a comparison based on cultures, but also comparisons from a business perspective. Although there are many differences in general societies, some issues such as women in the workplace, and images in the media, stand across many borders. Using the United States as my comparison culture I will first discuss the customs, beliefs, and values of Americans as a society. Americans value making something of their lives in terms of family, and work from an early age.

As children we are told that we can do and be anything we want. We believe that everyone has equal opportunity to go to school, find a good job, marry and live happily every after. These ideas are actually far fetched compared with reality, but still some of the beliefs we hold true. Americans value achievement, personal success, and independence. We feel it is important to climb the ladder of success in the workforce and focus on constant improvement. Indian Culture The following are a few of the values, and beliefs of those of Asian Indian decent.

There is a heavy emphasis on family, religion and social issues. Under one roof it is not uncommon for a husband, wife and also the mother and father of the husband or wife to all be living together. When a woman is married it is custom for the mans family to take the woman into their home. Even after having children, or becoming able to support their family on their own, the couple will continue living as an extended family. Elders are seen as having wisdom, and dignity, very unlike the American culture where elderly are shunned and thought to be worthless. Religion is an important part of many people in India.

Indian people integrate religion to every aspect of their lives- from daily chores, to education and politics. Hinduism is the dominant faith; however Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism are also practiced in India. Each religion has its own dance, music, heroes, legends, pilgrimage sites, and even culinary specialties, which are all celebrated by various festivals though out communities in India. Some of the social issues that concern Indians are the promotion of democracy, freedom from discrimination, independence of thought, and rights of women and children.

The government and voluntary agencies have joined in order for the society to find ways to solve these issues and strive for equal opportunities for people from all income levels, and gender. Vietnamese Culture In Vietnam the some of the values, beliefs and customs deal with nature, scholastic achievement and family. Many businesses in Vietnam strive to make products that are environmentally safe and also produce goods with equipment that have green (eco/ozone friendly) trademarks. People will have more respect of those companies who place value in how their products are made and what goes into them.

Scholastic achievement is important to many Vietnamese and many are very strong and determined in achieving their goals. Their scholastic goals may be to finish a secondary education, or to attend a university and start their own business. Although not as focused solely on achievement as Euro-Americans, Vietnamese do have high hopes in scholastic and business arenas. Family is also a strong value in Vietnamese culture. Large families are traditional and the elderly/grandparents are taken care of buy their children, or grandchildren until they die.

Children are to live at home until they are married, at that point the woman will move in with the mans family. Polygamy was legal in Vietnam until 1959; at that point only the first wife a man took was then considered his wife, all others were dissolved. As in India, family also plays a large role in Vietnamese culture. In America it is often questioned why someone would chose to live close to his or her parents rather than break away from their family. Extended family simply is not a valued by Americans. Starting ones own family may be a big importance, however remaining close to parents, aunts, grandparents, is not as valued.

Business Perspective Mary Kay-Dallas, Texas- beauty products Companys mission- Mary Kays mission is to enrich womens lives. We will do this in tangible ways, by offering quality products to consumers, financial opportunities to our independent sales force, and fulfilling career to our employees. We also will reach out to the heart and spirit of women, enabling personal growth and fulfillment for the women whose lives we touch. We will carry out our mission in a spirit of caring, living the positive values on which our company was built. – taken from www. marykay. m Mary Kay, being one of the leading cosmetic industries aims to give women not only a quality product, but to make them become active in the company.

Following the American Dream, Mary Kay gives women the opportunity to not only buy products but also to become their own independent seller. Women are told they can achieve a multitude of success ranging from financial security to the pink Cadillac. Mary Kay values achievement in women and the idea that anyone can go from mere independent beauty rep to head of her own team of representatives in a matter of moments.

Unlike the research I found from other countries there is no emphasis on eco- friendly or environmental practices. The website for Mary Kay showed pictures of women whom belong to many different racial backgrounds, unlike the other companies. Ayurveda- New Delhi, India- beauty, skin products Companys Vision- Combii Organochems (companys creator) philosophy of activating the body to help itself, so that healing and correction can take place from within, continues to spearhead the company, to attain with its Herbline range of products, a greater level of product improvement, quality enhancement and customer satisfaction. ken from www. herbline. com Ayurveda is a product line made by Herbline, which creates beauty, skin and hair products.

This company values herbal remedies, creating products that are not tested on animals, and packaging their products in recyclable materials. With these strong values I also find it interesting that Ayurveda markets a skin lightener, which brings in more than $100 million dollar a year, but has also been a huge controversy recently in India. The advertisements seen and major celebrities in India all are more highly praised and are given better roles based on how light their skin is.

Although the company has strong environmental views, it is also contributing to a market that is causing many young girls to believe, the fairer your skin, the more beautiful you will be. That is very much the American culture, and I am sure our media influence on India has caused some of the insecurities of darker skinned women. Ayurveda does have a diversity and opportunity statement that reads- We value diversity and have clear policies and procedures to promote equal opportunities in diverse cultures. We value employees from varied backgrounds as they enrich our culture and support our commercial success.

Our group-wide Equal Employment Opportunities & Diversity Policy emphasizes that we recruit and promote employees on the basis of their suitability for the job without discriminating on grounds of race, color, ethnic or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital status, or disability. We have clear procedures to promote and monitor diversity and the Board receives regular reports on progress and how best practice is shared across the group. Im not sure how recent this statement was written but it strongly relates the Affirmative Action laws in the U. S. Whether or not these are actually followed is another question.

Companies may have these in place but still may not practice them. Sai Gon Cosmetics-Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam-cosmetics Companys Vision- The company promises to deliver products that meet customers demand about quality, prices, and timely delivery. The company will continuously improve products quality to satisfy the customers requirements. We pledge that all of our employees are properly trained to implement and maintain policy. This company has strong values on making customers happy, and also to keep up with environmental issues in order to continually improve and deliver to customers a safe non damaging product.

This concept seems surreal as an American. I rarely look to see how the products Im using are made, if they are tested on animals, or even if they are damaging to the earth. It really makes me feel ignorant and says a lot about society as a whole that we are more concerned with the actual product than with what goes into it. I could not find any diversity statements within the Sai Gon Cosmetics website, although it does state that their products are exported to U. S, Australia, New Zealand, among other countries. I did find out that Vietnam celebrates an International Womens Day, which I thought to be unique.

Personal Interviews- Priya Mani I interviewed Priya Mani, whose family is from India. Her father came to the United States to get his doctorate and he later flew back to India to be married. Priya lived there first fourteen years of her live before moving to the U. S. I asked her about life in India, and some of the major differences in the cultures. Priya told me that the culture in India, despite what Americans may think, is very diverse. There are so many languages and dialects, holidays and religions and it is almost impossible to detect where someone is from based on appearance.

I know this is Americans favorite game, look at someone and guess, Where is she from? Shes dressed a certain way and talks a certain way so she must be this is not something you can do in India, spot someone out and guess his/her whole background. When I asked Priya about religion and family I was shocked about how open she was to telling me her fears and thoughts. She went right into talking about her familys own religious practices and a few secrets she holds. My family all go to temple, and I go because I cannot fight with them. But really, I have a boyfriend, he is white and sometimes he reads me the Bible.

I had never heard things before like what I read in the Bible. I want to be a Christian, but know I cannot say anything to my family. My family thinks he is my friend; weve been together for two years. My oldest sister is engaged and she hasnt told our parents. I dont want to hide everything but I have to. My grandmother, mothers side, came to America shortly after my parents arrived. She speaks little English but I taught her enough to take the exam and become an American citizen. She is amazing; our family would be nothing with my grandmother. Living in America there is so much more freedom.

My grandmother and mother take painting and sculpting classes, my mother takes music lesson- a new instrument every week it seems! My sister and I both went to college. None of the opportunities would be open to us if we were still in India. Janine Phan Janines family came from Vietnam when she was only six, but she spends summers in Vietnam visiting family and is fluent in Vietnamese. Much like Priya, Janine talked about strong family ties and the closeness she feels to her extended family. I never really identified with my culture I guess until recently.

Someone was looking at pictures in my room of my family and me and said, Whats this, you were in the Peace Corps? Volunteered with a Chinese family? That is my family. Thats when I decided to talk to my Ba Noi, grandmother, about my culture. Im still learning a lot, but now I feel better connected to the rest of my family. When I go to Vietnam my family who are still there all ask many questions about America, most of my family came in the early 1990s but I still have some in Vietnam. And sometimes at my house I feel like I am in Vietnam. I will go home and all of my uncles, aunts, cousins, and my grandparents will all be there.

I was recently in New York and a friend of mine said, Lets go to China town! Are you kidding, I live in China town, just come to my house. I know it sounds stereotypical, and this is my own family Im talking about, but most of my aunts in American have opened nail shops, one in San Francisco and two in Tennessee. They all say to me, Graduate college and come work in nail shop if you need a job. I know they are just being nice but Im not working in the nail shop after graduation. In Vietnam the most a woman can do is sell fruits, and vegetables is seems.

Now, everyone comes to American because you can do anything, be anything you want. Sure there will be some people who tell you no, but really there are so many options. Conclusion Writing this paper has opened my eyes to many things. I have always talked about white privilege in other classes and I knew it existed, but after do the interviews and researching the countries I realized how privileged I really am. To be able to work, date and marry where or whom I want is such a blessing. I also realized that many of the stereotypes of Americans might actually be valid.

We consume so much and rarely think about our actions or what we are doing to the environment. Each of the companies abroad had environmental issues as being very important, in the American company there was nothing like that stated. This paper was a very good project, leaving our comfort zones to speak to unknown, diverse people is important. Everyone has such interesting backgrounds, stories all one has to do is sit down and ask. People arent mean, they arent rude, we are only scared to make the first move and start something. Now I know not to have that fear because maybe these people want to talk, but no one has asked them to speak.

Burial Practices of the Ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman Cultures

Ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman practices of preparing the dead for the next cradle of humanity are very intriguing. These two cultures differ in a multitude of ways yet similarities can be noted in the domain of funerary services. In the realm of Egyptian afterlife, The Book of the Dead can provide one with vital information concerning ritual entombment practices and myths of the afterlife. The additional handouts I received from Timothy Stoker also proved to be useful in trying uncover vital information regarding the transition into another life.

Regarding the burial practices f Greece and Rome, parts of Homer’s Odyssey are useful in the analysis of proper interment methods. One particular method used by the Egyptians was an intricate process known as mummification. It was undoubtedly a very involved process spanning seventy days in some cases. First, all the internal organs were removed with one exception, the heart. If the body was not already West of the Nile it was transported across it, but not before the drying process was initiated.

Natron (a special salt) was extracted from the banks of the Nile and was placed under the corpse, on the sides, on top, and bags of the ubstance were placed inside the body cavity to facilitate the process of dehydration. After thirty-five days the ancient embalmers would anoint the body with oil and wrap it in fine linen. If the deceased was wealthy enough a priest donning a mask of Anubis would preside over the ceremonies to ensure proper passage into the next realm. One of the practices overseen by the priest was the placing of a special funerary amulet over the heart.

This was done in behest to secure a successful union with Osiris and their kas. The amulet made sure the heart did not speak out against the individual at the scale of the goddess of ustice and divine order, Maat. The priest also made use of a “peculiar ritual instrument, a sort of chisel, with which he literally opened the mouth of the deceased. ” This was done to ensure that the deceased was able to speak during their journeys in Duat. Another practice used by the Egyptians to aid the departed soul involved mass human sacrifice.

Many times if a prominent person passed away the family and servants would willfully ingest poison to continue their servitude in the next world. The family members and religious figureheads of the community did just about everything in their power to id the deceased in the transition to a new life. The community made sure the chamber was furnished with “everything necessary for the comfort and well-being of the occupants. ” It was believed that the individual would be able of accessing these items in the next world.

Some of the most important things that the deceased would need to have at his side were certain spells and incantations. A conglomeration of reading material ensured a successful passage; The Pyramid Texts, The Book of the Dead, and the Coffin Texts all aided the lost soul in their journey through Duat into the Fields of the Blessed. Besides all these spells, charms, and magical tomb texts, the ancient practice of depositing in the tomb small wooden figures of servants was employed. ” These “Ushabi statuettes” as they are called, were essentially slaves of the deceased.

If the deceased was called to work in the Elysian fields he would call upon one of the statues to take his place and perform the task for him. It was not unheard of for an individual to have a figure for every day of the year to ensure an afterlife devoid of physical exertion. Just about every thing the embalmers and burial practitioners did during the process was done for articular reasons. Many of the funerary practices of the ancient Greco-Romans were also done with a specific purpose in mind. Unlike the Egyptian’s the Greco-Roman cultures did not employ elaborate tombs but focused on the use of a simple pit in the ground.

Right after death, not too dissimilar from the practices of the Egyptians, it was necessary for the persons to carefully wash and prepare the corpse for his journey. It was vital for all persons to receive a proper burial and if they did not they were dammed to hover in a quasi-world, somewhat of a “limbo” between life and death. One Greco-Roman myth that illustrates this point is The Odyssey by Homer. There is a part in Book eleven of the work in which Homer specifically addresses proper burial rites. When Odysseus wishes to contact Tiresias, he comes across Elpenor, one of his soldiers.

This particular man fell (in a haphazard fashion) to his death on the island of the Kimmerians, but did not receive a proper burial and was stuck in limbo. Elpenor begged Odysseus and his men to return to the island and care for his body. Consequently, they did return and Elpenor passed into the next world. Most likely he was buried in the same fashion other members of his society were; a pyre was probably constructed and the body placed upon it. Also placed on the pyre were items that the deceased held dear in life with the hope that they would follow him into the next world.

In order to survive in the afterlife, the deceased “is also presented with a small coin which came to be known as the ferrying fee for Charon. ” This can be likened to the Egyptian practice of introducing coinage into the tomb in some cases. Homer also speaks of the psyche, which slips out of man “at the oment of death and enters the house of Ais, also known as Aides, Aidoneus, and in Attic as Hades. ” This idea can be compared to the concept of an individual’s ba in ancient Egypt.

When someone died, an eternal part of them (their ba) would also slip out and seek out the individuals spiritual twin (their ka) in order to unite with it and facilitate a successful passage. Many times in myth, the living desired to speak with the departed. When Odysseus wishes to speak with the Nekyia in Book eleven, goats must be sacrificed and their blood was recognized as inspiring the deceased to speak. The Egyptians also were concerned with the ability of the deceased to speak in the next realm; this is exemplified in one of the most important spells in The Book of the Dead, the opening of the mouth.

When all the funerary rites had been done, the next step was to mark the spot of the deceased. “The grave is marked with a stone, the sign, sema. ” This grave stone would have the name of the soul, and often some type of epigram in verse form. Invariably near the grave, some type of guardian of the soul would be located. Lion and sphinx were found as grave markers and this idea is paralleled in the practices of the natives of Egypt. A certain “cult image” was buried with the deceased in Egypt in order to look after and more importantly protect one’s ba from being disturbed.

It also acted as a type of “purge valve” for any ba which may have been unjustly disturbed in the tomb. Burial practices aside one can note an interesting difference between these two ancient civilizations. Differences can be observed concerning how amicable the afterlife was. The Egyptians had a positive outlook. They believed that after one became Osirus, They would move into a new world, which was nice, no one had to work, and everything was very lean. One could compare their lives in the next world with the children’s classic board game, Candyland.

In this game all was fine and dandy, the “don’t worry be happy” attitude flourished, not distant from the life in the Fields of the Blessed. On the other hand, Greco-Roman afterlife was a rather dismal place. The dead Achilles summed everything up by saying to Odysseus, “Do not try to make light of death to me, I would sooner be bound to the soil in the hire of another man, a man without lot and without much to live on, than rule over all the perished dead. Needless to say, the Homeric afterlife was no Candyland.

Candyland or not, both cultures went to extremes in order to guarantee a successful voyage into the next world. The two ancient civilizations hoped that through their intricate actions the individual would be protected and prepared for their many experiences on “the other side. ” By looking at selections of Homer’s Odyssey and The Book of the Dead, one can draw many similarities between the two cultures; however, differences are also apparent due to cultural differences concerning what would happen to the departed soul.

The Importance of Bonds Shown Through Sema in Greek Song Culture

The Homeric epic, Odyssey, begins with the invocation of the muse. The muses are the goddesses of total recall. Their name is “a reminder” since in earlier times, poets had to recall then recite events since the tales were not written down. The importance of memory and recognition is a central feature in Greek song culture. The film Chunhyang gives an insight to ancient Greek song culture. Although each of these stories is from a different culture, the themes and symbolism are the same and central in both cultures. Both of these tales semaino in order to show the connection between lovers.

The importance of recalling events is an integral aspect of Greek song culture. By watching the film Chunhyang, one can gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of metonymy. Metonymy is an expression by means of a connection. In the film, Chunhyang and Mongryong exchange gifts – Chunhyang gives him a jade ring and he gives her a mirror. These gifts are little memories of each other. The connection between two individuals is shown through sema. The jade ring is one of the clearest symbols in the movie. Jade represents love in Eastern cultures.

It is fitting that the ring is made from jade since the exchange of gifts is a symbol of the love they share for each other. In addition, jade was thought to preserve the body after death and could be found in the tombs of emperors. The jade ring given to Mongryong by Chunhyang is a sema for both definitions of the word; it is a physical symbol of their trust and a physical representation of the tomb of a hero. Mongryong achieves his kleos by becoming a high ranking official and saving Chunhyang’s life. The mirror is another sema.

A mirror shows reflection and this reflection is of the memories that were shared between Chunhyang and Mongryong. A person can reflect on past events and build connections between places, objects, and people. The signs that people give to each other are important for recognition and building relationships The importance of sema can be seen in the Odyssey as well: So you see I know all about this sign [sema], and I desire to learn whether it is still there, or whether any one has been removing it by cutting down the olive tree at its roots.

When she heard the sure signs [semata] Odysseus now gave her, she fairly broke downNow, however, that you have convinced me by showing that you know all the signs [semata] of our bedhard of belief though I have been, I can mistrust no longer (23. 202-230). In this scene, Odysseus and Penelope give each other their secret signals to show their true identities. The sema in this scene is their olive marriage bed and the intricate description of how the bed was made serves to intensify the relationship between Odysseus and Penelope. The bed is a symbol of the marriage and love.

When Penelope mentions that she moved the bed, Odysseus recalls making the bed and how it is immobile (23. 182-184). It is noteworthy that the marriage bed of Odysseus and Penelope is made from an olive tree (23. 186-187). In Greek culture, the olive tree is a symbol of peace and prosperity. If the bed had been removed from the room, this action would have represented the abandonment of their marriage and union. Odysseus and Penelope’s love is essentially “rooted” in their home through their bed. The sema is a connection between lovers. Memory and recognition play a significant role in Greek song culture.

Sema is a memory cue. In both of these stories, sema is used to remember the times that the couples shared. Additionally, the jade ring and the bed are kept a secret from other people, strengthening their bond between each other. Although the use of sema in the film and the epic is for identification, it is also important for recollection. Leth means to be mentally disconnected from an event. In Greek song culture, it is valuable to recall events because when the moment [hora] of crisis comes and a person doesn’t have total recall, he will find himself in great trouble. Memory is a miracle that many people take for granted.

Recalling past events evokes strong emotions. Emotions are at the heart of what makes us human. These feelings can unite people and increase the connection between them. In song culture, the bonds and relatidsonships between two people are important. In the Odyssey, readers can see the bonds between father and son, husband and wife, self to comrades, and others. There is an ascending scale of affection for each relationship. In both Chunhyang and the Odyssey, the bond between lovers is the strongest bond of all. Through the use of sema, the Odyssey and Chunhyang show the strong bond between lovers.

In ancient Greek song culture, the bond between two people increases in an ascending scale of affection with the bond between husband and wife as the most powerful. These bonds are built through memories and the experiences that two people share. The strong relationship between Chunhyang and Mongryong, as well as between Penelope and Odysseus, is shown through the use of sema. Semas are used to recall past events and memories – an important feature of song culture. Without recollection of events, key lessons would never have been learnt and bonds would never have been shared.

Cultural Diversity in the Armenian Community

The cultural context for the Armenian person is the result of upholding and defending a way of life and values that have been maintained for centuries, for perhaps two thousand years. For that reason, although Armenians living in the United States today come from a variety of countries of origin, and may to some extent speak different dialects or even different languages, yet they have many cultural similarities due to centuries of commonality. The cultural similarities among the Armenians can be seen mainly in three different areas: Spirituality, historicity, and family.

Spirituality refers to the perspective of that which is valued in life, and that which must to be upheld and defended under any and all circumstances, regardless of the social environment and surrounding conditions. Historicity refers to that which has been traditionally done, the Armenian way of life,’ – both that which is important and perhaps not as important. Whereas spirituality may refer more to content,’ the important values in life, historicity refers more to the living process,’ how the important values in life are attained.

Family on the other hand is the everyday living environment within which spirituality and historicity are applied and lived out. Family’ in the Armenian community refers to more than the family of origin or the nuclear family. Instead, it includes both of these along with all of the extended family and even the small surrounding community. These family ties are much more important and influential in the decision making process than would initially appear, therefore, they must be acknowledged and understood.

All Armenians may not uphold the same spirituality, historicity, and family values, however, they would still approach life’s decisions based on these cultural categories. The Armenians living in the United States, especially those who live in large communities tend to discover opposing trends between the culture in which they were brought up, and those of the dominant culture in which they have to live, work, interface, and survive. Working at the Berjikian Law Firm Vicken Berjikian established the Berjikian law firm in 1983, as a criminal defense and personal injury firm.

In the past 17 years the Berjikian Law firm has grown to become established and well known in the Armenian community. The Berjikian law firm is a culturally diverse place to work, Mr. Berjikian, the owner has employed not only family members but also in the past, he has employed attorneys who have came in every shape and culture. At Berjikian law firm the atmosphere is homely, and the employees are made to feel that they are family. In the Armenian community family’ refers to more than the biological family.

Instead, it includes the people in the workplace. An example of this is when the Armenian community, voted The Berjikian Law firm as the number one attorney office in Glendale when the Glendale Newspress published the best of 2000 readers’ choice on April 26 of this year. Jack a member of our group, has been employed as a paralegal at the firm since December 96. Jack’s younger sister is the receptionist. The other paralegal is the owner’s sister-in-law who has been with the firm for over 13 years.

Orly Talmor a Jewish civil attorney, has been with the firm for over eight years. Orly met her present husband Marc Goldberg while both working at the law firm. Erik Rutkowski a Polish criminal workers comp and personal injury attorney, joined the family team last year. Employee cross-cultural communication Some employees at the law firm, understand that cross-cultural communication includes the ability to successfully form, foster, and improve relationships with members of a culture different from their own.

It is based on knowledge of many factors, such as the other culture’s values, perceptions, manners, social structure, and decision-making practices, and an understanding of how members of the group communicate–verbally, non-verbally, in person, in writing, and in various business and social contexts. For instance, It is human nature to carry stereotypes and prejudices–it is in the air we breathe. We can challenge and control our prejudices and biases to some extent (at least the expression of them–i. e. discriminatory behavior).

What we can’t easily change is the system we are part of, the fact that our identity gives us a relative advantage or disadvantage whether we seek to have it or not. Therefore, some miscommunication is expected due to cultural behavior. Communication among the firms’ employees is mainly done in the English language, however, there has been some tension among the different cultures in the workplace. The Armenian employees feel comfortable speaking the Armenian language without trying to insult others in their presence, but the non -Armenian employees sometimes feel that they are being talked about.

The Armenian language must be spoken because it is the primary language among the clients. Language is not the only cultural difference at the law firm. For example, Armenians tend to be non-confrontational. Instead, they communicate in the most indirect manner hoping not to hurt the other’s feelings or dignity. This makes even some of the most basic conversations difficult to decipher for other cultures. On the other hand, the Jewish culture tends to be more covert and the Polish culture is more direct and outspoken.

For example, when the Polish attorney used profanity towards the boss’s sister-in-law the Armenians at the firm were shocked and frustrated by this behavior . Most humans do not intend to be narrow-minded or biased; experience has led us to think our viewpoint is “natural” or “obvious. ” Cross-cultural communication challenges our ethnocentric attitudes over and over again. This is why inter-cultural communication is important, and why people may respond with anger, frustration, or denial. Client cross-cultural Communication

For centuries Armenians have lived under foreign domination. Although people had become law abiding citizens, but generally the attitude under those oppressors had been: “Don’t trust them! What do they know about us?! ” This can be very problematic for the relationship between the Armenian client and the helping professional because the latter represents authority’ to the Armenian. This includes not trusting written communication, because to an Armenian a handshake and the words that come out of someone’s mouth mean more than something as impersonal as written communication.

However it is part of the California State Bar Rules and Conduct, that whatever affects the clients in a good way or in a bad way they have to know the status of their file and the status must be communicated in writing. This makes it hard to be productive because legally communication must be done in writing, but the clients insist on meeting face to face. This means that the firm is expected to communicate eighty percent of the time with its clients face to face, because they do not trust or understand the legal jargon.

The clients believe writing is not trustworthy. They want to hear you explain their situation face to face, this they view as a more honorable system and Armenians trust what you said more than the written documents. Sometimes clients who have a case with the firm will show up without an appointment and expect to be accommodated right away. This is very time consuming because we have to stop what we were doing to go up front and see what they want. Most of the time they were passing by and wanted to get the status of their file.

This we understand and it will take us about five minutes to explain to them what is happening with their case and they will be on their way home. Then our office has individuals who have no case with us whatsoever, they will come up to our office with a question that they want us to answer. Now, this is one thing that can be very frustrating, because not only do we have to stop what we are doing because these individuals forgot to call and make an appointment to see us.

These individuals are also aware that we do not handle the kind of case that they want us to help them with. Just by seeing these kinds of individuals, it takes anywhere from twenty five to thirty minutes easily to answer their question and tell them that we do not handle these kinds of cases and to refer them to an Attorney who specializes in that particular field. The other ten percent of the firm’s clients are very busy individuals and they prefer not to meet face to face but are more interested in verbal communication than written or in person.

Upon receiving a status letter or any other letters regarding their case and without opening the letter not knowing if there is a check inside or a paper which needs to be signed, they will call us and ask us what is it that we have sent them in the envelope. These clients prefer to do the communication via the telephone, because they know that it is a waste of their precious time to come in if they can find out the answer to their question in less than five minutes by telephone.

Some of the clients will call us and demand to get an appointment to come in and see us and we try to accommodate our busy time for these clients and the firm tries to fit the appointments between others and these clients have the nerve not to even show up and stand the firm up. Some who have an appointment will call about five to ten minutes before their appointments and try to conduct the meeting over the telephone. The other ten percent are satisfied with the written communication.

They will actually read the letter and will not call us and make us explain the documents we have mailed to them. The Armenian client expectations are very high. They expect you to do what ever you tell them that you will do. For example, if you promise or even mention that the case will take from four to five months from beginning-to-settlement, they expect this to be true because you have told them it will and they literally believe you and take your word honestly because of your experience with other cases that you had during your career.

These clients are impatient and they worry if the case takes longer and they will call and question your expertise. Sometimes we may say that we will call back in five minutes, then forget that we promised to call back in five minutes. It is a human mistake, and the clients will take that literally, they expect a telephone call within five minutes, if they do not receive a call within those five minutes they will feel insulted and will not trust what you tell them next time.

The law firm had many clients, even to this day that when they get into an accident they have already calculated how much they will receive from the settlement and they will go out and borrow money from other individuals, like a relative, or even neighbors, thinking that when the case settles they can repay their loans. Most of the cases are false, even with my experience I can not be sure of how much a case will settle for. I could give an approximate guess, but that is not good enough.

Some clients take your guess as the exact amount and if the case does not settle for that amount, they get upset. Conclusion As a professional gains an insight into the Armenian personality, and develops insights into their way of valuing and communicating to others, he or she is capable to more effectively reach out and help persons and families. All these lead to better and higher quality, as well as more timely services to clients, and a sense of satisfaction for both the client and the professional.

The relationship between the Armenian client and the legal professional is a complex one. It is full of issues that go beyond giving them legal advice or filing a law suit on their behalf, it includes issues relating to a person’s cultural context. In fact, generally the actual legal issues sometimes become secondary, or at least not as central in the person’s priorities. At the beginning, such a relationship can cause great frustration and waste of time in the legal professional’s attempt to provide the appropriate service.

Eventually, these communication issues can cause delays in providing professional service, and lead to extra unnecessary legal expenses. The correct understanding of a client’s cultural situation by the legal professional can lead to a higher quality of service, and lower costs. As difficult and complicated as this situation may sound, it is still not impossible. In fact, most experienced professionals learn over the years to relate to the Armenian culture.

The Life of the Egyptian Bedouins

The Bedouin people of Egypt can easily be described as a people with no place to call a home. Studying the Bedouins show that they have a deep and unique culture. They do not get involved in politics, and they live a humble and modest life. The Bedouin Nomads of Egypt are predominantly Muslim. Therefore, their beliefs, practices and rituals will be the same as that of a common Muslim. I will discuss the doings of Muslims but more importantly, I will concentrate on the beliefs and other aspects that make the Bedouin people unique and different from other Muslims.

In Islam, there is something known as the five pillars. These five pillars detail how to carry on your religious duty. The five pillars of Islam start off with the belief in the oneness of God and Muhammad as his prophet, as well as belief in all other prophets before Muhammad. The next pillar is prayer. Prayer must be carried out five times a day. The first prayer called Fagr (streak of light) must take place between when the first light of the day is seen until 10:00 am. The second prayer called al-duhr (noon prayer) should be done between noon and the next prayer which is the asr (afternoon) prayer.

The fourth prayer of the day is the Maghrib (sundown) prayer. The last prayer is called the Isha (night) prayer. If any prayer is missed at any time of the day for any reason, it can be made up at a later time. The next pillar of Islam is al-sowm (the fast). Muslims must fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. Muslims engage in this practice in order to gain endurance and compassion for the poor. The fourth pillar of Islam is zakah (charity), every Muslim is asked to give a fraction of their money to the poor. This fraction is usually a percentage of their wealth.

The final pillar is the Hajj (journey to Mecca), a mature Muslim must visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia at least once in their life. A Muslim that visits Mecca seven times in their lifetime can visit the Dome of the Rock is Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock is the second most holy place in the world for Muslims. Most reputable literature written on the Bedouins were written by anthropologists that have spent time and traveled with them. One of these anthropologists, Joseph J. Hobbs, spent two years with the Ma’Awa Egyptian Bedouins.

Through these travels he was able to document the stories and traditions of these desert people. It is most fascinating that the Bedouins of Egypt live off of the deadest land in the world. They travel from place to place looking for the highest proliferation of plants for their ibexes and gazelles to feed. They depend on these animals not only for food but also for money. Small animals such as ibexes and gazelles can be sold for a good wage after they are grown. Bedouins can invest in a camel using money that they get from selling these small animals.

The Bedouins have a symbiotic relationship with camels. The camels can be used for transportation as well as food. Bedouins take great pride in their camels often treating them as a member of the family. It is not uncommon to see a family posing with their camel in a photograph. Marriage with the Bedouins is the next most popular topic of conversation after camels. Many of the practices and rituals that take place before marriage are similar to those of other Middle Eastern societies. There is a strong preference for marriage between a man and his bint’amm, (Cole p. 71) that his paternal uncle’s daughter.

The Al Murrah tribe do not allow their women to marry down into a group that is of lower social status. Men are allowed to marry a woman from a lower social group but the children will not be considered full members of the tribe. The major requirement that must hold true is that members of the tribe marry someone of equal social status, even if the perspective spouse is from a different tribe. The practices that follow the death of an Egyptian Bedouin are simple and swift. As the news of a death spreads, people come together and raise their palms and pray the Exhortation:

Praise be to God, Lord of Creation, The compassionate, the merciful, King of Judgement Day! You alone we worship, and to you alone We pray for help. Guide us to the straight path, The path of those whom you have favored, Not of those who have incurred your wrath, Nor of those who have gone astray. (Hobbs, p. 65) The dead should be buried as quickly as possible. The body is wrapped in seven layers of white sheet. A grave is dug six feet deep and the body is placed in with the head facing Mecca. Cemeteries are usually located near a source of water, this offers the luxury of ritual washing.

This location also strengthens the bond between the dead and the living. People as people come to water they have the opportunity of visiting the cemetery. Rituals are carried out fifteen and forty days after the burial. On the fifteenth day, the family of the deceased gather to eat dates and sweets and recite the Exhortation. On the fortieth day, they slaughter a sheep or goat and leave some food and water on the grave. (Hobbs, p. 65) This is only symbolic unlike the ancient Egyptians that gave offerings to the Gods in order to insure safe passage through the underworld.

The nomadic Bedouins pride themselves with their abilities of making use of things at hand, they feel that this distinguishes them from settled people. They believe that they are better than settled people in that they do not rely on anyone else for their survival. They do not rely on technological advances but use them to make life easier. It was only recently that automobiles were introduced into Bedouin life. Hobbs tells of a story that captures the spontaneity and creativity of the Bedouins. “In upper Wadi at-Tarfa, a desolate plain of sharp limestone, we blew out one tire and then our only spare.

In this waterless district, there was no chance that we could walk to safety. The only option was to fix a tire but we had no repair kit. Saalih envisioned a most unlikely solution. Out best spent tube had a four inch gash. He bunched the rubber around this tear like the skin of an accordion and punched a steel nail through the folds as I watched in dismay. Around this he wrapped a piece of clothe torn from his headscarf. He secured this patch by tying my leather shoelace tightly around the nail. We inflated the tire and drove nervously sixty-eight miles into Ras Gharib. ” (Hobbs, p. 54)

The uniqueness of creativity of the Bedouin tribe is slowly diminishing. Elder Bedouins tell of how the younger members of the tribe seem to grow increasingly lazier and less dependent on themselves for survival. An elder Bedouin illustrates this with more detail. “In the old days people weren’t lazy. In the old days people climbed mountains to fetch ‘irn to cure their waterskins. They ground millet by hand in their millstones. They made garments from cloth they bought at the market. When these got too worn to wear, they made blankets of many colors from them. They wove great wool houses.

People are lazy now and don’t make wool houses. Before people made waterskins from ibex or gazelle, instead of using jerrycans. Now they buy flour instead of grinding grain. They are getting more lazy. Years from now you will find them staying by the water all the time! ” (Hobbs, p. 55) Studying the Nomadic Bedouins of Egypt is most fascinating. They seem to be a people that love their life and work to make the most of it. They live off of the deadest land in the world and take great pride in doing so. Nomadic Bedouins illustrate that mankind can inhabitat most any environment and prosper with great endurance.

The Essence Of Pop Culture

I spent some time online trying to answer my question and time after time I was led to the same direction: pop culture is what we see, hear, speak, and are otherwise exposed to on a daily basis. The infomercials we see late on television, the billboards we see on the side of the road, the junk mail we receive, the links on the web pages we visit, and the radio commercials we hear all tie together to form this idea of pop culture. These, plus many other aspects, form our minds and teach us how to be culturally smart.

To be culturally smart is to understand and know pop culture. For example, if someone were to say “BUD! ” it is automatically assumed that they would get a “WIES” in reply. If a person were to say “Just Do It! ” Nike would be directly thought of. What elements define “Pop Culture? ” Television stars, such as Drew Carey; musicians, such as Santana; public figures, such as Monica Lewinski; politicians, such as Bill Clinton; athletes, such as Michael Jordan; large corporations with their slogans; and movies are all, but not limited to, pop culture.

In a Journal I found online of a study of pop culture, it compared the link of religion and a pop culture icon, Star Wars. The study was conducted with people and it read: “The comparisons and shared philosophies behind earthly religion and Luke Skywalker’s adventures, compound into many different avenues. It is easy to see that the intertextuality working between holy scriptures and the astral script of Star Wars produces an icon that just as readily accepts believers and disciples into its signification, as it does those moviegoers who seek a more temporal escape from reality.

Why do many suspend belief while watching Star Wars and not while reading the bible? If Luke doesn’t seem to sway you in the direction of the force, play with the transcendence of Skywalker like the Vatican plays with the text of the bible, and soon you’ll have a new icon of salvation. ” This section from the journal explains that people are not looking at the full picture of the Bible (Christianity in this case) and believing it, yet they believe in something called “the force. ” This is a good example of how pop culture can be intertwined into our lives.

Showing how people will believe movies, maybe because they see it, but yet not believe in a possible salvation. Not all pop culture is like that. Look at the Jerry Springer Show. It is a cultural icon for college students everywhere. It’s the allure of crazy people and wild stories that attract people to watch it. He has become forever an American figure and will always be associated when some one brings up a story about a fight and they then say “hey you remember that Springer Show?

This show represents the corrupt side of society, which we do not see on a normal daily basis, except for on the show. It is typical American culture just as Wrestling is now becoming. They both offer a wild show for entertainment and also shows a darker side of the society. As a society and culture, we decide what pop culture is. Our actions and reactions are read by the media and the rest of society to build around what we want, ultimately creating “Pop Culture. ” There is not a bias for these ideas considering that everything that surrounds us, including history is pop culture in a way.

People decided what the times were then, as in pop culture, and it also plays a part in “official” history. Today people like Bittney Spears, Christina Aguilara, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and other teen bands are landing the label “pop icon” easily. All they had to do was appeal to the public. These young musicians are at the top of their game and we put them there. They drove their way into our current pop culture whether it was their outstanding sounds or their outstanding sex appeal.

This sex appeal, another part of current pop culture, binds itself to the human hormones and takes advantage of it as a marketing scheme. In the culture this song was created in, it is perfect because most people who were listening to Billy Joel’s music were of age where they knew of these events as recent happenings or recent “cultural” history. His message, showing the importance of history, could be applied to pop culture forever by reflection of the past for answers for the future.

Culture vs Race

Anthropologists have always had their discrepancies with the word culture and its background significance. There have been numerous definitions that have filtered through the field, yet not one that everyone can accept or agree with. Franz Boas, an anthropologist in the early 20th Century, and his students, had a difficult time figuring out the objective of what culture is. Culture is about learning and shared ideas about behaviour. Although Boas and his students had a slightly different idea in mind. They ultimately reached a conclusion, a definition of culture in their view that is a contradiction in terms.

Boas sates that, culture was expressed through the medium of language but was not reducible to it; more importantly, it was not race. Culture became everything race was not, and race was seen to be what culture was not; given, unchangeable biology, (Visweswaran, p. 72). Not only focusing on culture, but anthropology has a substantial connection as well. Anthropology is the field in which the study of cultural and biological variations among human groups is studied. The difficulty that some people have with characterizing culture is that they associate it with race, whereas that is not the case. The two are remarkably distinct.

Race is something biological, a genetic trait that is innate, while culture is something that is educated and experienced. Kamala Visweswaran and Lila Abu-Lughod are two well distinguished anthropologists that are currently teaching at Universities in the United States. In their own articles, they speak about culture through an anthropologists view and detail their own opinions within. They may have some different opinions but each has their own strong arguments that prove their points. Lila Abu-Lughods article Writing Against Culture, was written in 1991, and was published inside the book, Recapturing Anthropology.

Within the article, she discusses culture and many problems with it. The title of her article speaks for itself, writing against culture. There are many issues that she brings up about culture, and various influential strategies for shifting over from the culture concept. She reflects on culture and its need to be redefined. In her discussion of culture and difference she opens with, most American anthropologists believe or act as if culture, notoriously resistant to definition and ambiguous of referent, is nevertheless the true object of anthropological inquiry, (Abu-Lughod, p. 3).

She illustrates how essential culture is to anthropology and how anthropology helps to balance culture, as well as its ties with race. She considers culture and race as opposites. Culture is learned and can change, (Abu-Lughod, p. 144), and race is something inborn. Although she can only depict and explain the concept of culture, and how it has become necessary and not the reasons behind it. Lila Abu-Lughod also writes about feminism in regard to culture. It has been important for most feminists to locate sex differences in culture, not biology or nature, (Abu-Lughod, p. 4).

There have been many cultural differences between women and men, a different voice perhaps from Anglo-American feminist Gilligan and her followers, (Abu-Lughod, p. 145), as well as an explanation of the differences, whether through a socially informed psychoanalytic theory, a Marxist-derived theory of the effects of the division of labour and womens role in social reproduction, an analysis of maternal practice or even a theory of sexual exploitation, (Abu-Lughod, p. 145).

With that there has been an increasingly large demand for more women oriented culture, a place where they can express themselves and learn about their gender culture, and not that of men. That is to say, if women share something in common, it is not the result of a universal bodily maturational process but of mutually experienced interpolations of race, class, and sexual orientation through patriarchal formations, ( Visweswaran, p. 79). One of the strategies that Abu-Lughod states is ethnography of the particular, which in part is assumed to upset the culture concept.

It is a fact that anthropologists write about what they study and in turn many generalize that what they are observing is quite the same or similar throughout. Generalization, the characteristic mode of operation and style of writing of the social sciences, can no longer be regarded as neutral description, ( Abu-Lughod, p. 149-150). Moreover, writing against culture is to shift from writing in generalized terms. Ethnography of the particular is a way to write in more familiar terms as well as to write about the particulars.

And the particulars suggest that other live as we perceive ourselves living, not as robots programmed with cultural rules, but as people going through life agonizing over decisions, making mistakes, trying to make themselves look good, enduring tragedies and personal losses, enjoying others, and finding moments of happiness, (Abu-Lughod, p. 158). The second article is written by Kamala Visweswaran, Race and the Culture of Anthropology, which was published in the American Anthropologist Magazine, in March of 1998.

She discusses culture, although in a slightly different manner then Abu-Lughod and she elaborates more on the connection with race. Her main argument within the article she states clearly at the beginning, Multiculturalism and culture studies have emerged as counterdisciplinary formations that radically foreground race and racial identity precisely because the modern anthropological notion of culture cannot so do, (Visweswaran, p. 70).

She quotes and details a lot of what Franz Boas studied and wrote in his books and incorporates it with her own views on race and culture. Boas himself had more of a race theory, then a theoretical view on culture, although he later fixed that. It was rather the distinctions Boas made between race, language, and culture that provided the foundation of a Americanist anthropology, with each term tending toward the provenance of a particular subdiscipline, (Visweswaran, p. 71).

Although Boas was a very racist and prejudice man, he did influence much thought about culture and anthropology. When discussing the Negro problem in society in conjunction with anti-Semitism, (since he was a member if the Nazi party), he associated it with blood, since he is comparing blood towards a secondary race. His thoughts on the black population was that if they got enough white blood in their bodies through transmissions, that their colour would dissolve and become white, which would solve the racial and cultural problem.

In other words, if culture which represents race and racial identity, were to be Aryan then the blood would be superior and the race would have high biological quality. A place where Boas wanted everyone to be the same and there would be no racial or cultural problems. With this new connection to anthropology, the American Anthropological Association, passed a resolution denouncing Nazi racism: Anthropology provides no scientific basis for discrimination against any people on the ground of racial inferiority, religious affiliation or linguistic heritage, (Visweswaran, p. ).

The solution is not to replace culture with race but to keep the two terms in contructivist tension with one another, (Visweswaran, p. 79). Anthropology cannot strive without culture, yet there must be a distinction with race. Culture is something that society is taught and learned, while race is something biological, and something to be proud of. Boas and his ideas were not yet educated as to what culture means. He was overlooking and only saw his own perspective. Culture creates this diverse world and in turn race creates life with culture.

Egypt, A Mixture Of Well Educated And Uneducated People

The majority of people have various ways of viewing cultures. Because of close-mindedness and lack of cultural education, people have a difficult time interacting with different societies. I feel that people shouldn’t stereotype because this might lead to misjudgment. For example, I have personally experienced this type of stereotyping of my Egyptian culture. Although people view Egypt as a plain desert with camel riders, my experience from living there shows Egypt to be a developing civilized country with a great history .

People think about Egypt in this manner because of the media. The news primarily exposes the uncivilized parts of the country. For instance, the well known news broad-casting channel CNN showed the circumcising of a young girl on the television screen. This is a harsh way to introduce a culture to people. Often, CNN shows cases of the Egyptian desert with camel riders. This narrow perspective influences the society’s view of our culture. Another example is an article in the National Geographic magazine about Egypt (written by Peter Throux in April 1993).

The writer described the country as smoggy, dirty, over-populated and with traffic problems. The article introduced Egypt as a superstitious culture which was graphically proven in a picture shown in the article. This picture showed the head of a woman with the body of a snake. This picture gives the reader the impression that Egyptians believe in black magic. Whenever the media introduce a culture, they should mention all the positive and the negative aspects of that specific culture.

For instance, whenever you watch a program about the United States of America back home, you see only sky-scrapers and big luxurious cities. This doesn’t portray the entire United States. In reality, Egypt is a mixture of well educated and uneducated people. I have lived there for many years and from experience, I think it’s an interesting country. Egypt has the Nile River which supports the cities around it with water and green areas. In Egypt, the government encourages the people to move away from the cities and start agricultural communities with great facilities.

This encouragement helps provide more agricultural areas and more jobs for the Egyptian people. This enrichment has stabilized the currency for six years and has also improved the growth of the national income. In Egypt, here are the “pyramids” which are symbols of the Egyptian pride. Temples, churches and mosques show a great art of design. These buildings are not just constructions, they are decorations and a history for all generations.

This history has motivated the Egyptians to continue their modern progresses. It has also influenced the Egyptian traditions. For example, the Egyptian ancestors passed down many traditions. These traditions emphasize respect for elders and family. In conclusion, my view is that culture has it’s good and bad qualities. The negative ones in the Egyptian culture are the traffic, extensive paper work with certified signature), hard-to-find housing and beggars. This occurs because of the over population problem.

The Egyptian government is trying to fix this problem by doing everything possible. I wish every person could view the Nile River at night, the historical sites (such as the pyramids) and the beaches of the red sea, to fully understand the beauty of nature in this part of the world. Egypt is mentioned in the holy book Quran as a secure country with generous people living in it. I wish everyone could see the world with an open mind, rather than with an eye of ignorance and prejudice.

The Kalapalo Indians of Central Brazil

The Kalapalo Indians of Central Brazil are one of a few surviving indigenous cultures that are uniquely protected by a national reserve in lowland South America. Through no effort of there own, they have been isolated artificially from Brazilian social and economic influences that reach almost every other Indian tribe in Brazil. This unusual situation has made it possible for the Kalapalos culture to be undisturbed by the outside world and the surrounding tribes. Much of Kalapalo life is run through a central concept or an idea of behavior, called ifutisu.

This is an infinite ideological concept that is represented in many ways in social life and ideal organization among the Kalapalo. The area in which the Kalapalo live is in the northeastern Mato Grosso state called Upper Xingu Basin. There are four unintelligible languages by groups in this region. This makes the Upper Xingu Basin linguistically diverse, but with many of the groups still sharing the same social and ideological features. It is very difficult to trace back the origins of Kalapalo life because of the integration of the many different and culturally diverse groups in the Upper Xingu Basin.

So, many of systems of kinship classification, marriage practices, ceremonial organizations, status allocation, and religious beliefs are consistent with cultural rules and social practices and not with the original system. Many of the modern local groups can only reconstruct their own history which is in limited detail, these systems can be isolated completely from the existing society. The two most important social units in Upper Xingu society are the village and the household groups.

Both the village and household can be considered corporate in that both control rights to territorial resources, acts as a unit when performing certain economic and ceremonial activities. Members of a household group are obligated to pass out food which they collect amongst themselves. Even when one cannot supply food a Kalapalo is assured of a share because everyone is treated with the same kind of respect. Despite this corporate organization, membership in villages and households is constantly changing, and there is much movement of people between the group to group.

The Kalapalo society is a system wherein social units, such as the village groups and households exist only because of the individual who decides to live in these systems and choose to cooperate with one another. This is very different from other non-western societies whereas the individual acquires the responsibility to join in social units, by birth or other means of relationship to and with each other regardless of the identity of the individual themselves. The Kalapalo social organization is characterized by flexible group membership and significant differences in the classification of individuals with certain groups.

The choices for the Kalapalo to join groups is based on the personal relationship between one another instead of certain clan membership, religious beliefs, or ancestry. The Kalapalo have an attitude towards cleanliness which encompasses all aspects of life such as; food, houses, belongings, and physical appearance. During the time of the year when manioc is being ready to be planted or when it is harvesting time, it is not uncommon to find them bathing three or four times daily. The Kalapalos attitude towards cleanliness approaches the excessive side.

The Kalapalo believe in generosity and peaceful behavior toward everyone they encounter. They reject all acts of aggression and violent expression and find it inappropriate for human beings. Instead, the Kalapalo embrace an ideal of non-violence which includes suppression of anger and a passive tolerance of behavior. In Kalapalo society people are incorporated into a cycle of reciprocity and generosity. The idea of sharing takes place only along the lines of prior relations; such as kinship, friendship, or membership of the same household.

The residence of the Upper Xingu Basin has settled agriculturists, fisherman, and hunting. The Upper Xingu Basin is characterized by its two seasons: The dry season which falls on the months of May and September, where intensive subsistence activity begins. New gardens are prepared and manioc is harvested. Also, fishing is done at this time for the rivers are low and the water is clear. The rainy season occurs during the months of October through early April, where a decrease subsistence activity begins.

The rainy season welcomes the ripening of new various species of wild fruits. During this time river are flooded and the Kalapalo must depend on little game hunted, stored food and insects collected. Kalapalo technology is very primitive. With the restricted absence of metal and stone tools. The Kalapalo make the best of bone, tooth, and wooden implements or tools. Manioc is a rooted crop which is the major subsistence item for the Kalapalo. Kinship relationship is deemed to be the most important of social ties by the Kalapalo.

Kinship for a Kalapalo is an all-pervasive bond which extends into almost every part of their life, such as religion, economic, political and familial relationship are all deeply influenced by kinship. The Kalapalo trace relationships through either parent regardless of sex. Second, a kindred is usually defined ego-centered: persons classed in such a unit are considered related to a specific individual. This is what the Kalapalo call Otomo concept which is similar to the anthropologist’s concept of kindred.

The Kalapalo distinguished material and paternal filiation by making use of different symbols. These symbols define the sexual relationship between parents as different from other kinds of sexual relations. The parents of a child don’t have to be married to be declared its mother and father. What is important is knowing who the parents are since it is very important to establish the child’s Otomo relationships. Kalapalo marriage takes one of two forms. The first is an arranged marriage, which involves a girl being engaged before puberty and to an older man.

This type of marriage is marked by the giving of bridewealth, which is the payment to the girl’s parents and their siblings by the parents of the husband to be. The second form of marriage involves people who are lovers and takes place after the death or divorce of a spouse. The Kalapalo seek to establish the first of the two marriages, which is the arranged marriage on the basis of past relationships of kinship or affinity. The reason why arranged marriages are important is that they create alliances between persons who have prior kinship connections.

Also, many of the men and women take on different types of marriage such as polyandry and polygamy. Although the Kalapalo does not have or define a position of leadership, there are certain individuals whose actions have designated them into leadership roles. Kalapalo leaders are people who constantly expand and reinforce social ties. By doing this it demonstrates their ability to influence a large group of individuals and thus gains a certain amount of respect and prestige. The Kalapalo have a number of special statuses, each with certain duties and obligations to perform services, with this comes payment or rewards for duties or services are done.

Some of these special statuses are anew village mediators between households and village groups. Oto sponsors of ceremonies, if are a ceremonial specialist, who perform the ceremonies and then teaches others about the ceremony. Fuat is curers and diviners, persons with unusual skills in healing others. The Kalapalo do not speak of these status roles in terms of leadership but believe that a leader is a person who has achieved many great statuses and who thus stand apart from the rest of the community.

Rave Culture and Its Effects on Popular Culture

What is a rave? Raving is a highly subjective experience. One person’s best rave is another person’s worst. Any attempt to analyze rave culture must recognize the highly personal factor of the experience. Author Daniel Martin defines a rave as a long period of constant energetic and stylistic dancing exhibited by a large group of people in a hot, crowded facility providing continuous loud House music and an accompanying strobe lit psychedelic light show (78). But what effect does the rave scene really have on popular culture? Since the beginning of this culture there has been much controversy on the legality of what goes on in the scene.

Through the history, music, people, spirituality we are introduced to one of the newest things affecting pop culture today. Rave culture can be traced back to Native American religious ceremonies. It can be traced back to the sixties Be-Ins and Love Ins and Acid Tests. It can be traced back to anarchist revolutions in Italy and France. It pulls energy from many different directions. It had its origins in Chicago and Detroit disco clubs and gay dance clubs, and also in progressive music from England such as Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode.

England and America traded musical influences back and forth during the late seventies-early eighties until techno finally started to be formed. The actual rave movement, however, combining this new music with dancing, occurred in England. At almost the exact same time, raves started popping up in Manchester and Ibiza, a noted English vacation spot, in late 1987 and early 1988. At this same time, the rave phenomenon was taking hold in Germany, most notably in Berlin (Jordan 30). The popularity of raves grew in both countries, and soon the intimate all-night dance parties were drawing thousands of kids.

They were also drawing DJs from the United States. Author Joel Jordan talks about the beginning of this movement when he states, In the early nineties, the rave scene began moving across the Atlantic to America, fueled by American DJs eager to take this incredible thing back home, and English DJs eager to expand their horizons (34). The first U. S. raves were held in San Francisco, long noted for its liberal and psychedelic culture. From here, they moved to Los Angeles and the rave scene was born in California. (Jordan 40). The rave scene that was born in America was one of complete illegality.

It began when Frankie Bones, a New York native and one of the U. S. DJs that was spinning in England, saw that the scene was moving into America, and wanted to bring it to his hometown of Brooklyn. He started a series of parties called Stormrave in early 1992. The parties started out small, 50-100 kids, and Frankie resorted to projecting videos of the massive raves in England to show kids what it was all about. It was during this period of Stormraves that many DJs made their debuts. Now household names among ravers, Sven Vath, Doc Martin, Keoki, Josh Wink and many others began their careers at Frankie’s Stormraves.

It was in December of 1992 that the rave scene started growing. Frankie held a party at an abandoned loading dock in Queens that drew over 5000 kids from New York and neighboring states (Redhead 60). According to rave myth, this was when Frankie made his speech about peace, love, unity, and respect, which were to become PLUR, the foundation of the American rave scene. It was also during this rave that three guys from Milwaukee decided to come check it out. These guys later were to form Drop Bass Network, based in Milwaukee, and now one of the bigger promoter groups in the country.

Joel Jordan explains, They also introduced the scene to the Mid-West. The rave scene grew in America in 1993 and 1994 (56). While the rave scenes in England and Germany were becoming commercial empires, the American rave scene still had its fresh idealism. There were now raves happening across the country, in all of the states. The music at a rave is techno, primarily electronically created music that generally has a high level of bass. It tends to be fast-paced, running from between about 115 Beats Per Minute (BPM) to 300 BPM, with the most common being about 120 BPM to 140 BPM (Jordan 78).

Barnard describes techno by its slavish devotion to the beat, the use of rhythm as a hypnotic tool. It is also distinguished by being primarily, and in most cases entirely, created by electronic means\” (44). Normally at a rave, a DJ \”spins\” to create the music that the ravers hear. The act of spinning is the art of mixing songs together using different pitches, different speeds, and an equalizer to create an ever-flowing, ever-changing wall of sound. In effect, artists record techno songs, which are then reinterpreted and mixed with other techno songs, creating a spontaneous new song. Techno has its origins in gay dance clubs and hip-hop.

Chicago DJs began mixing their dance music with a drum synthesizer and house was born: The classic House is simple: a four quarter beat: 1 2 3 4 in a not too fast tempo(120 beats per minute) at about the speed of the heart of the dancer. On the 2 and 4, there is a snare drum or hand clap; in between 1 2 3 4 of the bass drum, you hear hi hats. The tracks are finished with some happy/swinging sounds and a simple melody. (Swertz) From house, came acid house, which involved adding the Roland 303, a synthesizer that was able to produce different layers and pitches. It contains a deeper psychedelic sound of trippy waves.

Then the music continued to evolve, into techno, both \”Detroit\” style and Hardcore. Experts New Order and Kraftwerk describe it as a fusion of American P-funk and European synthesizer music (qtd. in Swertz 1). Hardcore is basically a really hard and really fast version of Detroit techno. From here, we get further permutations. Breakbeat uses hip-hop samples and reggae tunes. Jungle uses a lot of percussive bongo and drumming sounds, as well as bringing in chants. Darkside utilizes minor chordal progressions to create an \”evil\” feeling. Trance was developed, very melodic and hypnotizing music that tends to be on the slow side.

Author Swertz states The basic beat is 1 2 3 4, hence techno, and 140+ BPM. The hi hats between the four beats are louder than in other genres. The bass can go higher and lower. The tracks are finished with dreamy and spacey sound scapes (2). Dancing is, to an extent, yet another reiteration of the music. The music that the DJ creates spontaneously is a text. Author Roberts explains, \”The dancer then in turn re-interprets this text through movements of the body… the \”reader\” therefore, whether in the role of dancer, DJ, or user of sampling technology contributes a mindset that is culturally specific and productive in itself\” (87).

Rave dancing can be highly stylistic, or extremely vulgar. The beat is the driving force. Whether one is doing highly choreographed dance moves or simply thrusting their body back and forth ceases to matter. It is losing oneself to the beat, becoming one with the music by letting the music control your movements. Ravers are a unique crowd. While rave culture espouses individualism, a come-as-you-are mentality, there are definitely many similarities among ravers in general. A unique aspect of rave culture is the fashion.

There is a definite sense of individualism within the rave fashion scene; you are likely to see someone in jeans, someone in black vinyl pants, or someone in costume. However, many people fit into a definite \”typical raver\” mold. For males, baggy pants are the norm. A very tight shirt, no shirt, or a sweatshirt is also common for males. For females, it gets more interesting. The typical rave girl has short hair; it is often in barrettes. She wears a baby doll dress, or pants and a cut off tee shirt. She is often sucking on a pacifier. Infantilism in general is very predominant among ravers.

Pacifiers, stuffed animals, lollipops, and shirts emblazoned with cartoon characters are common. In a sense, this embodies the culture. It is a regaining of innocence and a chance to forget about problems for a while. Drugs have been a part of the rave scene since the beginning. In England, the rave scene originated with MDMA or Ecstasy. In America, it was LSD or acid. At first, acid and occasional marijuana use were the only drugs seen at raves in America. Then, Ecstasy and other drugs moved in. Drugs are a frequent topic of debate among ravers.

Some think that drugs should be done away with entirely. Others think that only drugs that increase the vibe should be allowed, namely marijuana, LSD, and ecstasy. Ecstasy or MDMA was created in 1912 and patented by the pharmaceutical company E (Robson 138). MDMA causes a massive release of sarotonin, which is thought to play and important role in regulating mood, sleep, hunger, sexual activity, and it is also known to increase ones senses. The drug is almost always swallowed, but can also be snorted or injected into a vein and the effect usually lasts around 5 hours or so.

Some short-term effects from ecstasy use are clumsiness, drowsiness, fear or anxiety, depression, racing heart, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. The most numerous users are young, energetic ravers who consume this drug for several reasons. Music becomes physically pleasurable and strangers become people to be loved. Ecstasy broke down egos. It was a perfect fit with the happy family that the rave scene was trying to create. However, as greed has taken hold within the scene, Ecstasy is no longer pure. (Robson 141). It is usually cut with baking powder, or worse, various pesticides and poisons.

There are many other drugs, though not as popular as ecstasy, present at a rave. Cannabis, or Marijuana is usually smoked and is said to be relaxing and stimulating. LSD or Acid is a hallucinogenic or psychedelic drug usually absorbed into little pieces of paper called blotter. Speed is a stimulant drug, which produces alertness, confidence and raises levels of energy and stamina. GHB, sometimes referred to as the date rape drug, usually comes as an odorless liquid and is classified as a sedative-hypnotic and usually causes a user to feel dizzy and sleepy, often causing loss of consciousness.

Magic mushrooms contain psilocybin and are classified as a psychedelic drug with effects similar to those of LSD. Ketamine or Special K belongs to the class of drugs called \”dissociative anesthetics,\” and produces a hallucinogenic effect. Another dissociative anesthetic, nitrous oxide, is inhaled and results in temporary loss of motor control. The use of alcohol is also commonly used before or during a rave (Robson ch. 9). There is a tangible energy that goes along with dancing to extremely loud beats with hundreds of other people.

Raves are a shared experience. A sense of unity often develops among ravers, in which, personal creeds, race, gender, age, sexual preference and everything else that our society places so much emphasis on simply fades into the background. \”There is a magic moment that can happen at a rave, explains Steve Redhandwhen everyone is dancing you experience a feeling of collective organism, and I think people that have had this experience view the world differently afterwardsthe world is not made up of individuals vying for power, but ratherone throbbing thing\” (45).

Another phrase commonly thrown around in circles of ravers is that of PLUR, which stands for Peace, Love, Unity and Respect. In many senses, PLUR is the dogma that ravers believe in. The rave scene has always existed as separate from mainstream society, an underground movement, a movement labeled as deviant by those in the mainstream. When the scene started, everything was done on an illegal basis. After a year or so of straight illegality, promoters made a conscious effort to secure spaces where their parties would not be busted.

Promoters must receive permits to use buildings for parties, and for sound, and many times the cops must be involved and present at a rave to assure that things are under control. There is definitely a beauty to the rave scene but at the same time it has been corrupted by commercialization, and the fears society has from this growing culture. The rave scene has become swamped in commercialism. When it started to grow in popularity, it was inevitable that some kind official would notice. The first officials to notice were police, and then city governments.

Then, it naturally moved to the boardrooms of major companies. (Martin 79) They have attempted to portray the rave scene in movies such as Groove, and Go which comes up way short in doing anything beyond simply enlightening the uninformed as to what a rave is composed of. The rave scene is being appropriated into mainstream culture. In a way, this is the best defense that society could have ever used against the rave scene. As the rave scene becomes more popular, fewer people are going to create a temporary loving space, and more people are going to be on drugs.

It is now common to see kids sitting against the wall snorting crystal meth or shooting heroin, drugs that have never been a part of the scene. American society is fickle. Fads do not last long. Electronica is the next big thing and is covered in Time and Newsweek. American consumers are gobbling it up. Punk music, grunge/alternative music, rap, all of these were once the next big thing. The rave scene will be appropriated, for a while. Then, a new big thing will come along that society latches onto. What remains to be seen however, is whether the rave scene is strong enough to survive.

Cause of the Culture wars

Even a casual observer of the American culture cannot help but be impressed by the increasing degree of polarization not only of American politics, but of cultural values and even lifestyles and attitudes. There seems to be an endless array of conflict – not just minor differences of opinion, but major conflict – even resulting in violence and murder. The results seem to be applauded or abhorred – depending on whose side you are on. The outcome of this conflict could not be more important – it is nothing less than the survival of Western civilization.

This is because the roots of this conflict run far deeper than most people realize, and its consequences far more serious. For example, one of the major battlegrounds is over civil rights for homosexuals. On the one side, there are conservatives who claim that homosexuals are seeking special rights and have a gay agenda calculated to secure those special rights. On the other side are liberals who believe that homosexuals are a repressed minority who suffer discrimination and bigotry, and that homosexuals deserve minority status and rights.

The liberals who represent that view believe that government should not involve itself in the private lives of individuals, provided it cannot show a compelling state interest in doing so. Many conservatives, on the other hand, believe that the government should be based on a view of governance inspired by their interpretation of Christian culture, rooted in the Bible. Why are the two views at such loggerheads? Why are they willing to fight each other, even to the death? It is because of a basic, fundamental change that has taken place in Western civilization.

The change is the result of two technological innovations that have fundamentally changed how Americans and Western societies in general are organized and how these people relate to each other. The first is mass transportation. For the first time in human history, it is possible begin a journey on one continent in the morning and be on another continent in a different part of the world before the sun sets that same day. And at a price that can be afforded by a large percentage of the world’s population. It is also possible to pick up and move on short notice, to follow a career or find more acceptable neighborhoods or living conditions.

The second is mass communications, especially worldwide television broadcasting. Again, for the first time in human history, it is possible for an individual to make his voice heard by people around the world, and in so doing, make his opinion known. And every evening, the opinions expressed by ordinary people regarding events that have affected them, are seen and heard by viewers around the world. Again, people living in the poorest villages in India and Africa see these events in a world they have never known before.

The results have undermined the very basis on which civilizations have been organized since the first stirrings of civilizations in Mesopotamia and East Asia. For millenia, people have had a commitment to their home town for no other reason than that they were stuck there. They couldn’t move. Even if they had the physical means, there was often no job or other economic opportunity that made moving away from the birthplace possible. For this reason, most people were forced to remain in the same community, and few were willing to risk the ire of their neighbors.

It was a clear reality that these people would be part of the rest of their lives, and it was vitally important to get along by going along. Now that is no longer the case. Mass transportation has made it possible to change hometowns and find a more workable or pleasant living and working environment. And since people can, they often do. Americans move more frequently with each passing year. The result has been a lack of commitment. Why make an effort to know your neighbors when you are going to be gone in a year or two anyway? Or they may even be gone before you! So why get to know them? Why settle a dispute? Just move away!

We no longer have the incentive to settle disputes and go along to get along. So we no longer feel a commitment to our communities, and cheap mass transportation is the reason why. But why all the acrimony? It is because the very basis of civilization as we know it has been undermined. That basis is patriarchy, and it works like this: Since time began, since the origins of humanity, right up until about 7,000 years ago, societies were organized around women. Contrary to what most people think, archaeologists tell us that in ancient hunter-gatherer societies that did not live in villages, women ruled the roost.

They told men when to hunt and what to gather. They were responsible for rearing the children. They did the work and since men were dependent on them, the women called the shots. Men seemed to be along for the ride, and were considered inferior in status. This is reflected in the religions of the period – gods were almost always female in gender and were benign of character (fertility goddesses and the like). About 7,000 years ago, a remarkable change occurred. Almost all over the world at about the same time, people settled down in villages with agricultural economies. What made this event occur was the invention of the army.

To defend resources, favored hunting grounds and the most productive flora, armies had to be raised to defend the group from its enemies. The logical people to do the defending were the men, who weren’t responsible for anything else. So here you have available manpower and someone is needed to organize it. Well now, any good tyrant can spot the makings of a deal here: If the men subdue the women so they can be required to raise lots of sons for the army, and if the men will join the tyrant’s army, the tyrant will give him status – for the first time, the man in the family will call the shots.

All the tyrant demands in return is that the man subjugate the women in his life and that he maintain political loyalty and the willingness to go into battle. There was an increase in family size, since women no longer were in control of their fertility and men were needed for the army. With the increase in family size, agriculture became important as a means of supporting the increasing population. The rise of agriculture made centralized governments under control of the tyrant neccessary because of the need to organize the production and distribution of resources.

The patriarchial tyrant was the perfect organizer to make it all happen. And so it began. With the development of the army, societies now began to have an investment in male dominated governments that quickly became so deeply ingrained in culture, that most people assume they are genetic in origin. This was reflected in new religions that revolutionized human spirituality. Gone were the benign fertility goddesses (or at least they were sublimated), and they were replaced by fierce, warlike gods intended to intimidate.

These gods not only were intended not just to intimidate enemies, but to strike fear into the hearts of the tyrant’s subjects. That way it isn’t neccessary to station a platoon of soldiers in every village. The king can simply rely on the fear of the gods, of which he was usually pretended to be one (or at least a descendent). It is from this period that the Old Testament arises. And it is why the Old Testament begins with the laying down of the law — this is what the new religion demanded: obedience to God (and by implication, His representative on earth, the tyrant and his government).

So therefore men became dominant in our society not because of any inherent biology, but because of thousands of years of cultural conditioning. The curtain falls. Millenia pass. The curtain rises. It’s the twentieth century, and women, who have been subjugated by a myth for centuries and complaining about it all along, all of a sudden can be heard, because of the forum provided by new forms of technology, cheap mass transportation and communications. Not only are they being heard, but what they are saying makes sense. And the old patriarchial order isn’t having any of it.

For one thing, it undermines the old power base. For another, it undermines the old male claim to status. It’s not just the women. It is repressed minorities as well. Why? Because now, for the first time, they can complain and be heard. And when the complaints make sense, they offend the old order based on the status quo and subservience to the king and his government. Often called liberals or secular humanists, these people along with defectors from the patriarchial camp want nothing to do with the order that has oppressed them, and have asked for a new arrangement, based on genuine equality.

It is even becoming apparent that the tyrant and his ways of doing things are obsolete. For one thing, the tyrant’s army can not only destroy the enemy in hours or minutes, but the enemy’s army can destroy his with similar dispatch. Armies have become so destructive that the most powerful are no longer deployed against each other — too much destruction would result. For another, the king can’t do anything without all his subjects — and his enemies — knowing it almost immediately.

It is no accident that slavery did not end nor did democracy take root in the world until cheap movable type made printed material and early forms of mass transportation made the wide dissemination of knowlege possible. For a third, cheap mass transportation has made international borders porous and increasingly difficult to control, even to the point of irrelevance in many cases, especially in the third world. Now, with television, the impact of mass communications has become much more dramatic.

It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, and now television brings thirty of them from around the world right into the home every second. The results couldn’t have been more dramatic. Now, for the first time, one can watch the governing process in another country as closely as if one were in that country. And all the arguments and ideas are heard and understood, even when they reflect poorly on that tired old patriarchial tyrant and his minions. But the old order is having none of it. Among the conservatives, there is a firm belief in the rightness of the old patriarchy.

One hears the slogans: My country right or wrong, my country, a woman’s place is in the home, keep ’em at home, barefoot and pregnant! And for God’s sake keep ’em out of the military! There are serious proposals being floated to control the content of television, even though as satellite technology progresses, the ability to control that content erodes. This erosion played no small part in the collapse of the thoroughly patriarchial Soviet empire. The patriarchy isn’t giving up easily. It uses all the old justifications, whether they are relevant or not, whether they are true or not.

And often, the principal justification is an old one indeed – religion. We even see the spectacle of serious proposals for the American army being increased in size and influence when no credible threat to America remains, and for the American nation, founded on secular democracy, to be turned into a theocracy, with an old-style patriarchial religion in charge! The more the old patriarchists feel threatened, the more they retreat into the old time religion. It justifies their fears and their prejudices.

It makes repression acceptable, because it is for God (often Jesus) and king (America was founded on Christian principles! ). Thus, that which was originally invented to support the patriarchial order becomes its principal justification! So here is the basis of the culture war. The millenia-old patriarchial order says its this way because it is natural and God ordained it this way and women and minorities saying we are oppressed and we demand to be heard and our rights honored. Neither side is willing to concede to the other. But neither side has all the answers to the problems that Western civilization faces.

The rebelling minorities certainly do not have the answers to the inevitable conflicts that will and are arising between themselves. The patriarchialists ideas were founded on a myth and can’t survive the intense scrutiny of the new media of idea exchange. So the war begins. On its outcome, hang the fate of Western societies. Get it right, and we will have a more honorable and just society, based on genuine equality in which the concept of self determination is truly honored. Get it wrong, and we will enter a new dark age, based on ruthless repression and rejection of technologies and ideas that have unquestionably been liberating.

Types of cults in the world

Cults There are many types of cults in the world, cults are everywhere but you just do not see them. Every person in the world has been in contact with them in one way or another in many cases you cannot see them. The closest cult we know of is on Rice Lake called the Moonies led by Reverend Myung, where I have currently visited. Cults can be involved in churches and even are earliest religions are called cults. Cults are not the strongest groups’ sects are the strongest group.

When you join a sect you cannot get out of them but a cult you can leave without having any problem or commitment. Sects will not let you out because many times it’s illegal and they are afraid that you will say something to the public. Cults sometimes are illegal to. Religious cults are in every town and village there is no definition of a cult that is accepted by sociologists and psychologist or religion many types of activities will take cult like structures, an example would be any popular trend like physical exercise this is called the physical fitness cult.

Famous athletes are a big figure when it comes to cults, many times Movie stars, professional athletes will endorse a product and a trend will start, making it turn into a cult. Also people who generate beliefs of something like flying saucer, aliens or any unknown figures can be cult. In religion when people call a church they are referring to a sacred organization having a highly structured or formalized dogma and hierarchy, but also allowing a bit of flexibility about membership requirements allowing you to go to a church and leave church when you want to.

Although sects are against church attempts to accommodate to secular society. Sects believe that they are protecting a true faith or belief. Sects tend to stay away from world events , and also they believe in a strong strict behavioral code and demand a commitment out of their people. The differences between cults and sects are sometimes the same. Many scholars do not make distinctions between the two.

Cults are different because they do not expect as much commitment. Many times’ cults do not expect couples to become apart. Cults do not last as long as sects. Many times’ cults survive through a decade, and also cults allow you to come and go as you want. Leaders of cults build around a charismatic leader who has a lifestyle dedicated to a specific spirituality group that they know other people will follow.

The word Mormonism began as a small cult then grew bigger until it became a sect and eventually into a church. All the new religions followed the same thing by beginning small and getting bigger than becoming a church. Contemporary Cults Cults go back as far as we know of life, cults began to get bigger and be known throughout the world in the late 1960s and early 70s as people were better educated and better understood how they were formed and how they were run and people began to join.

During this time Youths and middle class people began to join cults because of the in thing to do and they felt more secure about themselves. Cults really started to fascinate people when Jimmy Jones cult began in November of 1978 when all attention was focused on the mass suicide in Jonestown, a similar event happened in 1993 when federal agents engaged in a shoot out with cult leader David Koresh. Modern cults have many different practices and many different ways of leadership.

Some cults have a flexible functional leadership, like the groups in the charismatic movement coming from the mainland Christian religion, other cults have people who run and orchestrate cult events, like Reverend Myung Moon leader of the unification church. The reason people are attracted to modern cults because it puts emphasis on community and on direct experience with the divine. In cults’ participants often find a level of social support and acceptance that they do not find in a nuclear family.

This makes and generates a sense of belonging to something profound and a feel of being somebody. People who often join cults such as this, join because they think they are getting something the world did not give them. Several factors have been looked at to figure why people like are modern youths join cults. Factors that were looked at were drug’s war assignation of many unpopular presidents. Cults have been questioned about brainwashing people, and found it to be true. Cargo Cults Cargo cults are usually neutralist and are in it for money.

The word cargo refers to foreign goods possessed by Europeans. Cult members believe that goods belong to themselves and that , with the help of ancestral spirits, the goods can be returned to them through magic religious means. Brainwashing Brainwashing is the process of deliberately subjecting people to physical and psychological hardship in order to alter their thoughts and attitudes, and actions. It also is a process of totally cleaning a mind of one set idea and replacing them by another thought or belief.

This is called to indoctrinate cleaning a thought and putting a completely new thought in mind. Indoctrinating can take place without brainwashing. There are 2 aspects of brainwashing they are confessions of past crimes or errors of the past and re-education to new beliefs. Prisoners sometimes are made to confess by lack of sleep and food and other forms of intense physical discomfort, also isolation from victims’ families and from familiar surroundings. Cult leaders show obedience, and humility and make other members give social pressure to the new member to make them join.

And the last thing they do is make mutual criticism and self criticism sessions, which make them have a generalized guilt feeling that all people have acceptance of new ideas is again fostered by group pressure and the anticipated reward of freedom. People who have a better understanding of psychology and neuophysiology have made larger groups create extremely effective brainwashing programs. Their techniques however have been used for centuries as inquisition making people give excited confessions from alleged heretics.

Religions sometimes use these methods like scourging, rhythmic dancing and drumming and sometimes inducing a trance like state in which the individual is open to conversion. In the 20th centuries, most noticeably by the people’s temple of Guyana, whose membership committed mass suicide. Mystery Cults Mystery Cults are usually in the ancient times whose members believed that by means of the performance of particular secret rituals they would gain knowledge that people in the normal world would not have and that would make a mystical union with the divine.

Mystery cults make their members feel they are god and give them a feel of immortality that they cannot be destroyed. Many times in mystery cults, cult leaders feel they died and were brought back to be god or Jesus. Conclusion In todays society, cults are one of the many unfortunate aspects endure in life. Leaders of Cults should be dealt with in a more serious matter. Cult leaders are con-artists and are people that like to control others. Cults should be controlled to protect innocent citizens from being taken advantage of.