The human society

Human relationships have always been dynamic. Change and adaptability have gone hand in hand with the passage of time for human society. Systems have been developed to regulate, direct and control the resources of this society. The systems are referred to as governments and the resources as the populace or inhabitants and forces of production. A government must be dynamic in its nature reflecting the change in society. At times these systems have resisted the necessity to adapt with its components (Society) creating a deficit between the system and those it regulates.

As the deficits develop, they cause nstability, and could lead to revolution. 1 Theories have been developed to explain the systemic phenomenon called revolution. This paper will discuss three modern theories and apply them to the English revolution of 1640. The first theory, developed by Carl Marx (Marxism), will address the economic evolution in English society. This theory will emphasize and explain how the shift from a feudal/mercantile system to capitalism affected English society.

The second, called the Resource Mobilization Theory (RMT) developed by Charles Tilly, will explain how the English organizations (the Crown and he Parliament) effectively obtained, amassed and managed resources. Samuel Huntington’s, “Institutional Theory”, will argue that the existing government at that time was unable to incorporate the demands and personnel that the socio-economic changes created. Marxism was formulated in the 19th century. Carl Marx and his associate Frederick Engels observed the socio-economic changes that were transpiring in Britain.

England was the dominant world power and had the largest industrialized economy during the 1800’s. The development of the factory and the institution of the assembly line created a large emand for workers. This demand was satiated by migrating peasant from the rural areas in England and Ireland to developing urban centers. As these urban centers or cities evolved using industry as the economic backbone for the population, a large number of factory workers were accumulated to operate the machinery in horrid conditions. These workers, which would be termed as the peasantry under a feudal system, were now the working class or proletariat.

They entered cities with hopes of bettering their lives and survival. Though revolution never took place in England during this period, it allowed Marx to study ndustrialization, urbanization and imperialism. The theory of Marxism has three basic concepts: historic materialism, forces of production and relations of production. Historic materialism is defined as a society’s past performance and present capabilities of satisfying the basic means of life. Humankind’s basic needs of eating, drinking and shelter need to be met properly. The forces of production (technology, capital, the infrastructure of society, etc. are important for the simple fact of who ever controls them controls the society. The last aspect of Marxism, the relations of roduction, deals directly with the relationships between classes of people (the aristocracy, the middle-class and the working class). 2 Marxism includes a predictive analysis of socio-economic structures. Using history, logic and the dynamic nature of humankind as guidelines, Carl Marx attempts to map out a sequence of events which will eventually lead to utopia (anarchy). In his work, Das Capital, Marx details the six steps.

These steps are primitive socialism, feudalism, capitalism, socialism, communism and then anarchy. The evolution of the English economic system during the 16th and 7th centuries points to a shift from feudalism to capitalism. This shift is exemplified by the enclosures. The landlords began to fence their property in the common land areas. The “commons” were large plots of grazing and farmable lands that were used by both farmers and artisans. When the land-owners and manorial lords began to partition these lands the concept of private ownership of property was introduced to the socio-economic system.

During the time period of the 16th and 17th centuries the crown’s economic base began a gradual decline. This economic shrinkage ame to a spearhead during the reign of Charles I. The monarchy favored a monopoly market system over a competitive one. The purpose for this position was for taxation and control of the profits. As the artisan and merchant populations increased, the policy of the crown began conflicting with economic growth. This created instability in three areas. First, the English monarchy needed money to support its army which insures social compliance.

The second area of contention was the restraints and interference the Crown initiated on the rising middle-class. Thirdly, the rise of the bourgeoisie created competition or the state sanctioned monopolies, reducing its profit. Howard Erskine-Hill refutes Marxism. He states that neither . . . “the ‘rise of the gentry’ . . . ideas concerning resistance to rulers . . . nor even the narrowing financial base of the Tudor and Stuart monarchy . . . determined the outbreak of the Civil War . . . They are circumstances . . . contributing to an outcome which was not inevitable. “4 Jack A.

Goldstone, in his work Revolutions, argues that once historical data is carefully examined Marxism falls short. The Marxist reasons for the revolution are factors, but its scope of analysis is to arrow. “. . . the neo-Marxist view. . . with its focus on elite politics and the failings of Charles I run into difficulties when confronted with evidence. “5 An example of this “evidence” that Goldstone refers to, are the enclosures. The land owners had support from the farmers who resided on the land. The parties that were affected by enclosure movement were the artisans and merchants.

These merchant and artisan, or rather Marxism rising bouroeisie, were the unfortunate targets of this policy. The rising English Bourgeoisie used the land to satisfy there needs for resources (i. . wood for fire and craftsmanship). Thus, a new theory must be introduced to explain the factors leading to and the Revolution itself. Charles Tilly, in his work, Political Conflict Theory, introduce the theory of “Resource Mobilization”(RMT). The two aspects of RMT are government and those who contend with the government for power.

Power is defined as control of the resources. The resources are capital, means of production and personnel. 6 There are three characteristics to the RMT7 that help further explain the revolution. First, two or more organizations (government ncluded) must claim the right to rule and control government. The conflict between the Crown and the Parliament during the 1640’s meet this criteria. King Charles I during his rule attempted to close the rift between Catholics and Protestants. This policy was disturbing to the English populace.

However, the brunt of this new policy was felt in Scotland and perceived was a direct assault on their religious organizations. The Scots rebelled and amassed a army to invade England an emancipate themselves from Charles I’s authority. The King needed to acquire funds to raise an army so he called Parliament into session. After 6 years of silence, Parliament was aggressive against the crown. Instead of strong support for the King, they came with a list of grievances which needed to be addressed. 8 It is this aggression which characterizes an organization contending for power in the government.

The second characteristic, is the commitment of a significant amount of the population to each organization. In January 1642, the King attempted to arrest five MP’s (Members of Parliament). Having failed, the King traveled north to an important port which was also a military stronghold, as well. Parliament denied him access. This was a definite sign of the waning power of the King. Charles I traveled to Nottingham to raise his standard. People began to rally behind the King. Parliament severely underestimated the influence of the Charles I and the idea of the monarchy.

A significant amount of people rallied behind the King and the Civil War soon followed9. The third, and the most applicable, is the incapacity of and/or the unwillingness of the government to suppress the challenges for power. The King was desirous to put down the Scots, and eventually Parliament, after it was called into session (long Parliament). He was ncapable in raising an army earlier without Parliament’s appropriation of the necessary funds to pay an army. 10 Therefore, the opponents of the Crown were given space to develop and acquire resources.

Resource Mobilization Theory focuses on the leadership of both the revolutionary organization and the government in power. The three above stated characteristics of England in the 1640’s, only emphasizes the short term factors for the revolution The fact that Parliament is actually part of the government provides a complication in the application of RMT. However, Parliament was struggling against the King o acquire more control over resources. The King showed himself as a bungling statesman in dealing with parliaments demands and grab for power.

This is a classic example that shows what happens when “carrot ideas”11 are implemented without discretion and supervision. It could be argued that Charles I lack of sensitivity to the people was the cause for this lack of discretion. Even with the application of two theories, a satisfactory explanation of both the factors leading to the uprising and the revolution itself are lacking. A third theory must be brought to this case study. Samuel Huntington’s, “Institutional theory”, argues that there are inherent tensions between political and economic developments.

If there are large economic changes in society then there must be political change to guide the modifications which are taking place, as well as, incorporating new social developments. 12 England’s Crown during the 17th century was lacking in ability to be dynamic. Trade and production began to increase so did the population. This increase created a middle-class in England. The middle-class consisted of artisans, merchants, land owners and landlords these classifications are not all inclusive). Competition between the middle-class and state encouraged monopolies became evident during this time.

There was a definite power shift away from property to the people. 13 Another long term factor lies within the King’s policy toward the Catholics. This relaxing of tensions between the Protestants and Catholics was not viewed as favorable by the rising gentry (Middle-class). A form of Protestantism referred to as Puritanism was the main belief system of the gentry. This was an extremely conservative sect of protestantism, religious toleration was not cceptable to them14. This was another social development which Charles I “over-looked”.

Institutionalization was never a reality in British politics during this period in history. The organizations that existed in the English monarchy during the early 1600’s were unable to promote value and stability. The system became rigid and unadapting to the demands for change made by new socio-economic factors. The constant attempts by both the Crown and the Parliament to subordinate one another removed their ability to reach a compromise. Thus, there is not one theory that can be used to satisfy all of he causal factors, institutional developments and socio-economic changes of the English revolution of 1640.

Marxism addressed the changes the English economy made creating capitalist markets and free trade. It maps out the general factors which helped lead to capture and execution of the King of England, Charles I. Resource Mobilization Theory argued in more specific terms, defining that the organization which controls the resources has the power. It clarifies the power struggle between the Crown and the Parliament. Short term factors, present before and during the revolution, were emphasized by RMT. The last theory presented by this paper was Institutional Theory.

It explained, in long term factors, the causes leading to the revolution by discussing the rise of the gentry, economics and religious intolerance. There is no single theory to explain every relevant factor present in revolution. However, the application of a select number or combination of theoretical approaches, helps to establish a proper framework for analysis of revolutions. Despite all of the ground breaking research and theorizing being done on revolution, it still remains a phenomenon and can not be predicted.

Adoption: The Process

Adoption is metamorphosing into a radical new process that is both sweeping the nation and changing it. But this process is not an easy one, there are many steps to go through. Through research it is made a lot easier. Adoption is a also a highly visible example of a social institution that has benefits from and been reshaped by both the Internet and the exponential growth of alternative lifestyles, from single to transracial to gay. It is accelerating our transformation into a more multicultural society; even as it helps redefine out understanding of “family.

The process includes three main steps including a type of adoption, the techniques for location a baby for adoption, arranging a successful adoption, the steps at the hospital, and lastly the legal issues in adoption. There are many types of adoption in California, more then any other in the country. The reasonable amount of time it takes to adopt a child is about a year. “Independent adoption is an alternative to agency adoption and is the means by approximately 85 percent of all newborns are adopted in California.

Since that is the most popular that is the type that I am going to concentrate. The reason that it is the most popular is because of four factors. The first is because the independent agency is flexible, secondly it allows the birth mother to personally meet and select adoptive parents, thirdly it allows the adoptive parents to quickly locate the birth mother rather Smith 2 then waiting several years for the agency to do it for them, and lastly the child can be placed in the home of the adoptive parents immediately after birth instead of waiting in a foster home.

By law the birth mother must personally place the child with the adoptive parents. That does not mean she has to do it physically it just means she must personally select them. The birth mother is permitted to release her child into the adoptive parents custody as soon as the hospital discharges the baby, usually 2-3 days old. Generally when the child is six-eight months old the adoptive parents can go to court to permanently finalize the process.

A new birth certificate is prepared after the adoption is granted by the court. Independent adoption fees and costs can vary dramatically. Most adoption attorneys charge between 3,000 to 4,000. The adoption attorney is assisting the adoptive parents in quickly locating a birthmother, obtains background and health information about birth parents, examines the case for potential legal or practical difficulties, and prepares the necessary legal documents and appears in court when necessary.

The techniques of finding a baby for adoption through an independent agency. First thing that needs to be done is to select and adoption attorney. Things to consider when choosing an attorney is remember like all professionals there are good ones and there are bad ones. Consider the quality of their service, depth of their knowledge, and fairness of their fees. The following groups and individuals can provide you with important insight and inside information regarding finding an attorney.

The independent adoption social services offices the office is assigned to you is based upon what county Smith 3 ou live in, public adoption agencies but they have little relation to independent adoption, private adoption agencies which will have knowledge of local attorneys, physicians may be familiar with adoption attorneys in their community, and adoptive parent associations this is an association formed by adoptive parents which they share information about adoption.

Networking is important it refers to “getting the word out” to make as many people aware that you are interested in adopting. When done correctly, it can work effectively. A photo-resume letter is a way to network to birth mothers. This should be done in no formula because you want the birth mother to know you. The letter should be about one page long, you need to include a picture, explain why you are pursuing to adopt, brief description of yourself, and another tip is to hand sign each letter.

Arranging a successful adoption, finally the waiting pays off- you learn that the birth mother has expressed an interest in you and wants to meet you in person to determine if you are the right adoptive parents. There are some key issues to explore in determining if the birth mother is emotionally ready and sincere regarding adoption planning. You want to be aware of the birth mothers due date because ideally you want to be in contact with her in the last couple months of her pregnancy.

You also want to be concerned with the birth parents health history. The independent agency with ask the birth parents to fill out a health questionnaire. You should also ask the mother to sign a Release of Information form that will allow her physician and the hospital to release her information. Personal motives is also a topic you want to explore. There are some risky Smith 4 reasons for wanting adoption. If the birth mother is putting the child up for adoption just to satisfy her parents demands or because of the boyfriend, those can be very risky.

There are also steps that need to be clear at the hospital which are more important in an adoption then a traditional birth. Some things that need to be taken before the birth are the hospital needs to be chosen, the Health Facility Minor Release is a form that needs to be filled out by the birth mother to release the child directly to the birth parents. The birth mother can also chose to chose a room on or off the maternity ward. The reason that one chooses off the maternity ward is because it is away from the parents who are bringing their baby home.

When the baby is born the hospital usually lets the adoptive parents see the baby, visiting hours usually don’t apply. The birth mother is still the legal parent and so only she can authorize any medical procedures regarding the child during the hospitalization. Before the baby is discharged the hospital will examine the baby and authorize the child’s release. Do not worry if the mother has chosen a name for the child different from the one you have chosen. Your Petition for Adoption will state how you wish to change the child’s name, and a new birth certificate will be made by the court.

Society and Technology

“Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. ” Although written long ago these words by, Ralph Waldo Emerson still hold true today. Everyday in society people are making improvements, however, but these improvements also have equal drawbacks. Today we are using cutting edge technology to improve every aspect of our daily lives. For instance in today’s society the fields of Communication and Medicine are constantly advancing yet they both create significant losses. Technology has helped increase the speed of communication and decrease its cost.

However, at the same time it has caused people to become more impersonal with each other. In earlier times the major form of communication was for people to visit each other and go to public meeting places. One of the next major advances was the telephone. Due to the telephone people no longer went to the public meeting places as often as they used to. As time goes on, new advances still allow people to contact and communicate with each other more easily. These advances such as faxes, beepers, and electronic mail, although seemingly making life easier, each help to decrease the earlier forms of communication.

The field of medicine, like the field communication, also displays what Emerson was trying to say. This field too, which had many advances, has also caused many difficulties. As scientists and doctors try to come up with cures for the many diseases we have today, they are also making new ones. For example, when scientists went to Africa in search of a cure for a disease, they came back with monkeys that were contaminated with the Emboli virus. Today in Russia there are military bases where Russian scientists are creating thousands of germs and viruses to use in germ warfare.

These germs and viruses are capable of killing thousands of people instantly. As technology continues to advance and society moves “forward”, people continue to use the less personal forms of communication, and create new problems in the field of medicine. The fear of becoming a society, which communicates only through machines, and creates new disease, is becoming greater with time. For all of society gains there are equal drawbacks. So as in Ralph Waldo Emerson words “society never advances. “

Classless America Essay

The myth of a “classless” American society coupled with social stratification impedes race relations in the U. S. far more than any racial differences. The never ending struggle of the “have-nots” to become one of the “haves” produces a frustration and feeling of oppression that acts as a catalyst for spawning racial tensions. Minorities see the majority of wealth in the hands of the white population and feel that the wealth is unevenly distributed. Whites hear of government programs for minorities and feel as if they are lazy or just looking for a handout. This occurs and stereotypes are formed.

Combine all of this with the United States system of “dual welfare”and the perfect environment for racial strife is created. In our “classless”society of false hope the working class and poor are continually seeking opportunities to excel that just aren’t there. They have been led to believe that intelligence and ambition are key contributors to one’s success. This belief lays blame on the unsuccessful themselves, even if they do possess ambition and intelligence. These people are in a never ending cycle of struggle, followed by minimal rewards, which eventually produces a frustration that sometimes leads to desperate measures.

Cornell West expands on this with the following statement : “. . . homicidal assaults by young black men on one another are only the most obvious signs of this empty quest for pleasure, property, and power” (Race and Racism p. 123). This statement shows the extremes one will go to in his “empty quest” for a better life. This is not only happening 2 to blacks by blacks. It is happening to all races by all races. People hear of events like these and categorize them as a racial crime or a racially motivated crime just because the victims may be of a different race.

As West’s statement demonstrates the killings ccur as a means to an end, the end being a better life. In our ever diversifying melting pot of a country, same race victim and criminal crimes are becoming less and less statistically likely anyway. Events such as these don’t occur because of race. They occur because of the frustration and desperation bred by the false hope that hard work and determination leads to success. It is no mystery that most of the wealthy people in America are white. West again points out (Race and Racism p. 124) that 86% of the wealth in the United States is owned by only 10% of the population.

In this 10% the number of minorities is minute. The wealth owned by this few is there because they have kept it in their families throughout the generations. These are the same super-rich bloodlines as that of 150 years ago. These families were rich when no minorities (and hardly any whites for that matter) were. Almost everyone was working class or poor besides them. Minorities are aware of this uneven wealth distribution and this leads to resentment. Our government tries to compensate for this through special programs for minorities.

When this occurs whatever groups are not receiving compensation see the other as lazy or as taking a handout. In 3 turn this leads to resentment. Different groups begin stereotyping each other due to the resentment which evolved through unequal wealth distribution, which itself is a product of our “classless” system. So in turn stereotypes that Mexicans are lazy, African Americans steal, Whites cannot dance and White men have small penises, Jews are ultra- thrifty, Lesbians are men haters, Gay men all like antiques, and Asians are shrewd at business and all stick together, are in all probability (definitely) unfounded.

Despite the fact that these stereotypes are unfounded, much of the resentment may not be. Here in the United States as much, if not more, money is spent on programs for the rich as is spent on programs for the poor. Donna Langston points this out with the following statement: “We have a dual welfare’ system in this country whereby welfare for the rich in the form of tax- free capital gain, guaranteed loans, oil depletion allowances, etc. , is not regarded as welfare” (Race And Racism p. 129).

Here Langston compares the welfare of the poor (food stamps, w. i. c. edicaid, etc. ) with the welfare of the rich (tax-free capital gain, guaranteed loans, etc. ). These few examples of “welfare” for the rich are just the tip of the iceberg. Before you come to any premature conclusions consider the following. The majority of corporations in the United States are owned by Whites. Each year these White owned corporations get $125 billion dollars in the from of corporate welfare. 4 This is money that could be used on the less fortunate, who are mainly minorities, but instead it is funneled into primarily White owned corporations.

People hear of this and once again assume that this is based on race, thereby making it a racial issue. It’s not, it is a class issue. Billions and billions of dollars are spent each year on national defense for the United States. Who really benefits from this the most, the wealthy or the poor? Of course everyone benefits somewhat, but the rich benefit considerably more. If the United States was invaded and taken over by another country the decrease in the quality of living for the rich would be far greater than that of the poor.

In all actuality the lifestyle change of the poor would probably be somewhat minimal. Consider the millions and millions of dollars that are spent each year on the United States Coast Guard (which is under the D. O. T. ‘s budget, and not the national defense budget) and the waterways that it protects. How often is it that you see a yacht traveling on the U. S. waterways filled with poor people or minorities? How many poor people even own a boat? These waterways are mainly used by the United States White upperclass. And what about the tax dollars spent on police and fire protection?

Of course these are necessities, but who benefits more? The rich have more material possessions that can be stolen or destroyed. And last but not least is our countries system of social security. Every race in the country pays the same percent of social security at about six percent. The only people 5 exempt from this standard six percent is the “green minority”. Once a person reaches the income level of $60,000 or more they top out, that’s as high as one can go. The higher the income above $60,000, the lower the percentage they pay.

If someone makes 50 billion dollars a year they pay the same amount as someone making $60,000 a year, or roughly about $3,600. So theoretically, if you were to take a husband and wife that each make $30,000 a year, the combined amount that they pay in is equal to the amount that Bill Gates pays in. There’s something about this whole system that just doesn’t seem proportionately correct. It seems like the percentage sacrificed should be the same across the board. All the examples I have given may seem like this paper is about the wealthy and the poor, and not about racial differences in the United States.

If it does there is a reason for that. The upper class or super rich, whichever you want to call them, receive more benefits than the poor. The upper class is mainly white and the poor and working class are a mixture of all races. This gives the appearance that assistance is based on race, when it’s not. It is based on class. People see these events and make generalizations and this in turn leads to racial tension. If steps are taken to make “classless America” a reality, then these racial tensions would ease.

The 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 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 1960’s and early 70’s 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 today’s 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 myth of a classless American society

The myth of a classless American society coupled with social stratification impedes race relations in the U. S. far more than any racial differences. The never ending struggle of the have-nots to become one of the haves produces a frustration and feeling of oppression that acts as a catalyst for spawning racial tensions. Minorities see the majority of wealth in the hands of the white population and feel that the wealth is unevenly distributed. Whites hear of government programs for minorities and feel as if they are lazy or just looking for a handout. This occurs and stereotypes are formed.

Combine all of this with the United States system of dual welfareand the perfect environment for racial strife is created. In our classlesssociety of false hope the working class and poor are continually seeking opportunities to excel that just aren’t there. They have been led to believe that intelligence and ambition are key contributors to one’s success. This belief lays blame on the unsuccessful themselves, even if they do possess ambition and intelligence. These people are in a never ending cycle of struggle, followed by minimal rewards, which eventually produces a frustration that sometimes leads to desperate measures.

Cornell West expands on this with the following statement : . . . homicidal assaults by young black men on one another are only the most obvious signs of this empty quest for pleasure, property, and power (Race and Racism p. 123). This statement shows the extremes one will go to in his empty quest for a better life. This is not only happening 2 to blacks by blacks. It is happening to all races by all races. People hear of events like these and categorize them as a racial crime or a racially motivated crime just because the victims may be of a different race.

As West’s statement demonstrates the killings ccur as a means to an end, the end being a better life. In our ever diversifying melting pot of a country, same race victim and criminal crimes are becoming less and less statistically likely anyway. Events such as these don’t occur because of race. They occur because of the frustration and desperation bred by the false hope that hard work and determination leads to success. It is no mystery that most of the wealthy people in America are white. West again points out (Race and Racism p. 124) that 86% of the wealth in the United States is owned by only 10% of the population.

In this 10% the number of minorities is minute. The wealth owned by this few is there because they have kept it in their families throughout the generations. These are the same super-rich bloodlines as that of 150 years ago. These families were rich when no minorities (and hardly any whites for that matter) were. Almost everyone was working class or poor besides them. Minorities are aware of this uneven wealth distribution and this leads to resentment. Our government tries to compensate for this through special programs for minorities.

When this occurs whatever groups are not receiving compensation see the other as lazy or as taking a handout. In 3 turn this leads to resentment. Different groups begin stereotyping each other due to the resentment which evolved through unequal wealth distribution, which itself is a product of our classless system. So in turn stereotypes that Mexicans are lazy, African Americans steal, Whites cannot dance and White men have small penises, Jews are ultra- thrifty, Lesbians are men haters, Gay men all like antiques, and Asians are shrewd at business and all stick together, are in all probability (definitely) unfounded.

Despite the fact that these stereotypes are unfounded, much of the resentment may not be. Here in the United States as much, if not more, money is spent on programs for the rich as is spent on programs for the poor. Donna Langston points this out with the following statement: We have a dual welfare’ system in this country whereby welfare for the rich in the form of tax- free capital gain, guaranteed loans, oil depletion allowances, etc. , is not regarded as welfare (Race And Racism p. 129). Here Langston compares the welfare of the poor (food stamps, w. i. c. edicaid, etc. ) with the welfare of the rich (tax-free capital gain, guaranteed loans, etc. ).

These few examples of welfare for the rich are just the tip of the iceberg. Before you come to any premature conclusions consider the following. The majority of corporations in the United States are owned by Whites. Each year these White owned corporations get $125 billion dollars in the from of corporate welfare. 4 This is money that could be used on the less fortunate, who are mainly minorities, but instead it is funneled into primarily White owned corporations.

People hear of this and once again assume that this is based on race, thereby making it a racial issue. It’s not, it is a class issue. Billions and billions of dollars are spent each year on national defense for the United States. Who really benefits from this the most, the wealthy or the poor? Of course everyone benefits somewhat, but the rich benefit considerably more. If the United States was invaded and taken over by another country the decrease in the quality of living for the rich would be far greater than that of the poor.

In all actuality the lifestyle change of the poor would probably be somewhat minimal. Consider the millions and millions of dollars that are spent each year on the United States Coast Guard (which is under the D. O. T. ‘s budget, and not the national defense budget) and the waterways that it protects. How often is it that you see a yacht traveling on the U. S. waterways filled with poor people or minorities? How many poor people even own a boat? These waterways are mainly used by the United States White upperclass. And what about the tax dollars spent on police and fire protection?

Of course these are necessities, but who benefits more? The rich have more material possessions that can be stolen or destroyed. And last but not least is our countries system of social security. Every race in the country pays the same percent of social security at about six percent. The only people 5 exempt from this standard six percent is the green minority. Once a person reaches the income level of $60,000 or more they top out, that’s as high as one can go. The higher the income above $60,000, the lower the percentage they pay.

If someone makes 50 billion dollars a year they pay the same amount as someone making $60,000 a year, or roughly about $3,600. So theoretically, if you were to take a husband and wife that each make $30,000 a year, the combined amount that they pay in is equal to the amount that Bill Gates pays in. There’s something about this whole system that just doesn’t seem proportionately correct. It seems like the percentage sacrificed should be the same across the board. All the examples I have given may seem like this paper is about the wealthy and the poor, and not about racial differences in the United States.

If it does there is a reason for that. The upper class or super rich, whichever you want to call them, receive more benefits than the poor. The upper class is mainly white and the poor and working class are a mixture of all races. This gives the appearance that assistance is based on race, when it’s not. It is based on class. People see these events and make generalizations and this in turn leads to racial tension. If steps are taken to make classless America a reality, then these racial tensions would ease.

The Detriment That Society Can Cause To Its Inhabitants

Society’s role and how it defines each individual has always played a big role in how we as people are supposed to conduct ourselves. Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the roles of men and women were defined specifically. Men were expected to be the “bread-winners”, the person that supported the wife and the children with no help from the outside world. The male role was defined as the superior and dominant gender in society that looked down on females. The female’s role in life was to be the child-bearer, or the person who took care of the house and raised the children.

That time period was the start of the women’s rights movement where women were not willing to accept second billing to the male gender. They wanted equal opportunities and equal treatment. The main problem at that time was the frame of mind that the male gender was in. They were taught to take no help from people and to be self-reliant and self-dependent. In the play A Doll House, society’s restraints and expectations on men and women created problems for many of the characters. At the beginning of the story, Nora reveals to Mrs. Linde that she has committed an illegal act and has broke the law.

Nora’s husband was very sick and the only way for him to get better was for him to go to Italy. There was no way that they could afford the trip on their income. To pay for the trip, she borrowed money from one of the bank employees, Krogstad. Then to pay him back, she worked odd jobs and bought the most inexpensive clothing, and used the money she saved towards paying Krogstad back. Nora has committed a serious crime by forging the signature of her grandfather. She did not want to go to him because she did not feel right going to see him in that condition.

Her intentions, however, for not telling anybody deal with living to her role that society has laid out for woman. Nora was not scared because she committed a crime, but she had helped a person of the “superior gender”. What would Tolvald think if he found out that Nora had paid for the trip and planned out this whole scheme? Tolvald would have been devastated by the news if he found out that Nora paid for the trip herself. Nora says, “For heaven’s sake no! Are you serious? He is so strict on that subject. Besides- Torvald, with all his masculine pride- how me. That would just ruin our relationship.

Our beautiful, happy home would never be the same. ” (1194) The last part of that quote is very interesting, because the “happy home” is a farce. Nora is telling a lie and has created a very deceitful relationship between her and Torvald. The only reason that Nora is telling the lie is to prevent a catastrophe that the truth will cause. The catastrophe would result because of society’s restraints and expectations placed on the characters. One of the big events of the story was whether Tolvald would consider not firing Krogstad. Tolvald had two reasons or motives not to hire Krogstad.

First of all, Nora was trying convince Torvald to keep Krogstad on the job, so that Krogstad would not reveal the truth about where Nora got the money. Torvald said that Krogstad was a crooked individual who does not have any respect towards him, “But I hear that he is quite efficient on the job. But he was a crony of mine back in my teens- one of those rash friendships that croup up again and again to embarrass you later in life. Well, I might as well say it straight out: we’re on a first-name basis. And that tactless fool makes no effort at all to hide it in front of others.

Quite the contrary- he thinks that entitles him to take a familiar air around me, and so every other second he comes booming out with his “Yes, Torvald! ” and “Sure Thing, Torvald! ” I tell you, it’s been excruciating for me. He’s out to make my place in the bank unbearable. ” (1212) Torvald was all about power, and made up an excuse about not wanting to hire Krogstad because he forged signatures and was a crooked individual. The real reason that Krogstad was not going to be rehired was because he did want anybody else to be placed on the same pedistal as him.

He thought he was so superior that Krogstad threatened his position as a superior being. Society’s expectations of the male being the independent, above all beings, was the main contributor to why Krgostad was never rehired or was allowed to retain his job. Another reason why Torvald was unwilling to keep Krogstad at the bank was because of the threat to his manhood. Torvald did not want a woman to dictate what decisions were made, because he was concerned with what the community would say if they found out. Torvald says, “And just pleading for him you make it impossibvle for me to eep him on.

It’s alrady known at the bank that I’m firing Krogstad. What if it’s rumored around now that the new bank manager was vetoed by his wife. ” (1212) Torvald all along was saying that he was a man of honor and did not want people who were crooked. He was not about to let a woman tell him what to do, and risk the dominance had a that time over woman. Men were expected to live on their own and receive no help from others, especially women. He fell into the trap of what society expected and tried fulfilling those qualities.

Another person who fell into the trap of society’s expectations was Nora. Nora, though could not accept that role and left before she was totally consumed. She had helped out the family in so many ways. Obviously she took care of the family and cleaned the house, but she contributed in so many other ways. She saved the family because Torvald, the bread winner, was on his way to mental and physical ruin. He was working so many hours and was heading for burnout. She, through incredible fortitude, saved enough money to save Torvald, but that was still not good enough.

Torvald could not accept the fact that Nora, a woman, was a factor in his recovery. Torvald wanted to recover on his own, with no assistance. Nora realized that no matter what, she was going to be a “doll” and that if she did not do anything she was going be controlled by her husband forever. Society’s rules at that time, stated that the female’s role was to raise the children and clean the house. They were to let the male bring in the money and take care of the family in tough situations. She wanted a personality of her own, “I must learn to be competent, Torvald. 1237) Nora could not accept the role Society had allocated her and so she left that identity in pursuit of a new one.

Society’s restraints and expectations placed upon the characters in the play led to many problems for the characters. The characters could not live up to what was expected of them. Back in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, females were considered the inferior gender and experienced many problems. The men, however, had to live up to a certain standard which they felt difficult to attain. When society determines how people should act, then they can never express their true identity, and problems are inevitable.

The Surprising Moby-Dick

Moby Dick was not the novel I expected. I was under the impression that it would be about seafaring and the whale Moby Dick. Instead, Moby Dick is a story about Captain Ahab’s obsession. There is very little in the story about the revenge itself, just about Ahab’s monomania. Out of 465 pages, only forty-two of them deal with the actual battle between Ahab and Moby Dick.

The novel places very little emphasis on actual seafaring. Ishmael never even steps on a boat until page seventy-four. Even when the ship finally leaves port, the mention of anything involving sailing or the life of sailors is kept to an absolute minimum.

There is, however, plenty of emphasis is on whaling, the anatomy of whales, and their behavior. The book goes into great detail describing the whalers of Nantucket, and gives in-depth explanations of the different types of whales, quoting several outside sources in the process. The narrator mentions the awesome size of the sperm whale, and how few books even try to describe it. He also shows great respect for people who go whaling, and describes the camaraderie that forms between them. This is an annoying inconsistency in the novel, since Ishmael (the narrator) tells the reader that he has never been on a whaling ship before, and has never seen a live whale.

The first twenty-three chapters focus on Ishmael’s thoughts and actions. He introduces the reader to whaling and describes the Pequod. After the ship sets sail, he seems to vanish from the story. At certain intervals, however, he plays minor roles, and it is Ishmael that survives to tell the story.

From chapter twenty-four onward, the novel is almost completely about Ahab hunting for Moby Dick. He has the blacksmith construct a special harpoon, made from the finest iron, and soaked in the blood of the three harpooners. The forging of the harpoon is somewhat ironic, since the rope attached to that same harpoon is what drags Ahab to the bottom of the sea.

Despite Ahab’s apparent madness, he still seemed able to reason clearly. He carefully and methodically located the region of the sea that Moby Dick is most likely to be in (an almost impossible task, considering the size of the Earth’s Oceans). When he first set sail, Ahab’s original plan was to hunt only Moby Dick and ignore other whales. Once he realizes that his men will abandon him if they do not make some sort of a profit while at sea, he encourages them to hunt other whales and boosts the morale of the crew.

Ahab is definitely the hero of Moby Dick, but he is a tragic hero. Everyone in the novel who knew Ahab prior to losing his leg considered him to be a great man, and one of the finest captains ever. After the loss of his leg during the first battle with Moby Dick, Ahab’s tragic flaw appeared. He was obsessed. He wanted revenge, and nothing else. Ahab considered Moby Dick to be the embodiment of all that is evil. This monomania is what sent the Pequod halfway around the world to the Pacific Ocean, where Ahab (and almost everyone else on the Pequod) died.

Ahab becomes focused on his one view of the whale. Ahab’s preceives the whale as the embodiment of evil. The whale’s white color lends an ambiguity to the image of the whale as evil.

The great White Whale, Moby Dick, symbolizes many different things. The first thing it represents is Ahab’s anger. The whale’s body is deformed, as is Ahab’s. The whale is driven by animalistic rage, mirroring the anger in Ahab. Ahab thinks Moby Dick is a monster, but it is really Ahab who has become the monster. The whale serves as a scapegoat for Ahab’s miserable existence.

Another thing Moby Dick can represent an unreachable goal. He is a legendary whale, and the object of a wild and exciting chase through three oceans. And, despite the efforts of the Pequod, they never defeated him. The whale was a goal that no one could achieve, but people still destroyed themselves trying.

One odd thing about the novel is that despite all the pain, death and destruction Moby Dick has caused, I do not consider the whale to be evil or monstrous. In fact, I was almost happy to see the whale turn on his hunters and destroy them. I cannot fully appreciate all the feeling about whales that the novel attempts to create.

When Moby Dick was written, whales were thought of as dumb brutes. They were found in large enough numbers that people hunted them endlessly, and never worried about killing them all. Whaling was an admired profession. People needed whale oil for their lamps. Spermaceti oil was used to make perfume and other cosmetics.

In today’s society, things are radically different. Whales are thought to be just as intelligent–if not more intelligent–than humans. Some scientists believe they have a complex language, something not mentioned in the book at all. Whales are an endangered species, almost hunted to extinction. In fact, many countries have outlawed whaling. Most people consider whaling to be cruel and inhumane. The Japanese are despised worldwide for continuing to hunt them. Television programs portray them in a positive light. Whale are mammals that nurse their young and breathe air, just like human beings. They are not giant fish. Today’s children are taught to respect whales, and are taken to aquariums to be educated about them.

After the invention of the electric light bulb, whale oil lamps were no longer used. Modern cosmetic products contain no spermaceti oil. Their manufacturers proudly make claims that no animals were harmed while making the cosmetics.

The real “dumb brutes” in the novel are not the whales, but the whalers. They are uneducated about the true nature of their prey. In a sense, Moby Dick was simply exacting revenge for the centuries of pain and death mankind has inflicted on whales.

In the time of Herman Mellville, man’s dominance over nature was idealized. Today, we are taught to respect and preserve our environment. This different frame of reference makes it very difficult to appreciate the symbolism in this novel. The main focus of the novel, however, is on obsession and its destructiveness.

One of the most important elements in a great literary work is universality. The main idea of the novel (destructive obsession) is universal, even though the symbolism is not. Moby Dick was clearly a great novel, although it was nothing like what I expected.

Les Miserables: Short Review

In his novel, Les Miserables, author Victor Hugo makes a strong statement about society being the cause for evil in man. Les Miserables is based on a poor man, Jean Valjean, who was arrested for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s starving baby. Valjean is sentenced to 20 years for his crime, and, when he is released, he is shunned for his past, which he has more than paid for. Society turns him out at every turn for his past crime, and will hear no excuses for his deed. With this scenario, Hugo shows the cruelty of a ‘civilized’; world that would cause a man to suffer unending prejudice for stealing a single loaf of bread to feed a small child.

As the ill treatment continues, Valjean becomes more and more bitter toward society. He probably would have been pushed too far, and would have lashed out against his aggressors, if he had not been shown kindness by the church. Valjean was taken in by a kindly Bishop, who fed him and offered him a place to stay. Valjean, however, had already fallen partially from the light of reason and when all the others were asleep he stole the silver dinner ware and fled into the night. This act again can be blamed on society for Valjean, realizing that because of his criminal record he would probably never again be able to obtain a job and support himself, saw stealing the silverware as his only choice.

Had he not been caught and returned to the Bishop, Valjean probably would have been forced into a life of corruption. However, to his surprise, the priest told the police he had made a present of the silver to Valjean. He even gave Valjean the two silver candlesticks he had not taken. When the police left, the Bishop explained his action, saying that with his act of kindness, he had bought Valjean’s soul for god and that Valjean must now live a life of good in return. Valjean was saved from his downward spiral of decay, showing the author Hugo’s high regard for some parts of the Church. However, Valjean continually tried to turn his life around, and although many times it seemed as if he had succeeded, his past and an ignorant society always caught up with him, forcing him to once again flee to rebuild his life.

Hugo also uses the Thenardiers as an example of society’s corruption. They may even be Hugo’s ultimate view of society’s problems. They are a family of despicable thieves and con-artists. They first appear when they agree to take in Cosette, but only so that they can later force Fantine to pay them endless expenses for Cosette’s well-being. Of course, the Thenardiers never intended for any of the money to be used on Cosette. Instead, they spend it on themselves and their own daughters.

The endless bills sent by the Thenardiers become so great, Fantine can barely support herself, because she sends all her money to Cosette. Eventually, the foreman of the factory learns Fantine has a daughter and no husband. Because of the society they live in, he and the other workers believe she must be a whore and she is fired. With no other choice, Fantine must sell herself to make money for her daughter. As the Thenardiers continue to demand more money, the stress becomes too great and Fantine sickens and dies as a result – yet another example of Hugo’s opinion of a sick society.

The Thenardiers next appear conning wealthy families into giving them money with letters of pity. One of their potential victims is Valjean, who had taken Cosette from them years ago. When he brings his donation, which the Thenardiers believe to be too paltry, they attack Valjean, until the police arrive and stop them. Unfortunately, Javert has recognized Valjean and he is once again forced to go into hiding to escape society’s prejudices.

As the story continues, Thenardier continues to appear and cause trouble for all around him. He organizes a small unsuccessful gang to murder Valjean. After their failing, Thenardier goes into hiding. He next appears in the sewers and charges Valjean, who is carrying a half dead Marius, to unlock the gate. Thenardier would surely have left them to die, however he did not recognize Valjean or Marius, both being covered in filth. Eventually, he did realize who he had seen and went immediately to Marius’s house to make one final attempt to ruin Valjean. Fortunately, his plan back-fired and he only succeeded in improving Marius’s opinion of Valjean.

Hugo created a more than adequate window into his view of society’s problems with Les Miserables. He showed how a civilized society can in many ways be very uncivilized. To show his beliefs, he uses the example of Jean Valjean, a man condemned to a life of running and hiding from the accusations of society, all for stealing a single loaf of bread to feed a starving child. Despite turning his life around and doing whatever he could to help those in need, he was still forced to run and hide whenever his past was discovered. He had been branded evil by society and nothing he did could ever change that.

Hugo then introduced us to a family that represented everything wrong with society, the Thenardiers. They exemplified the greed, deceit, uncaring, and corruption of society, constantly doing harm to those around them. Hugo does not, however, believe that society is all-encumbering, for he does allow Valjean to die happy. If one is strong enough in will and desire, one can defeat society’s corruption. Unfortunately, in Hugo’s view, few possess that strength.

Black Like Me & Beloved: Critical Analysis

Some people looking at society today tend to think that the racial prejudice of the past has nearly been done away with. Others, however, those who are still the recipients of racial prejudice in their every day lives see our society very differently. Those who think that racial prejudice is getting better may only be fooling themselves or–perhaps more likely– in some way are trying to deny the prejudice they themselves carry.

Prejudice against blacks is still very much a part of our society. White society still denies many Negroes equal opportunities for a decent standard of living, for education, for personal advancement, and for self-expression. In John Howard Griffins Black Like Me we see examples of this type of prejudice and oppression. Although the book was published over 30 years ago, the examples of the prejudice that Griffin encountered are still relevant and worthy of further evaluation today.

Another book worthy of our consideration is Toni Morrison’s, Beloved , which gives us an idea of the life that the slaves led in America before their emancipation, and the price some where willing to pay to make sure neither they nor their children ever had to experience it again.

In this paper I will use the theory of institutional discrimination to critically evaluate Griffin’s, Black Like Me. The theory of institutional discrimination states that discrimination is rooted in the institutions that run our society. I will also evaluate Morrison’s, Beloved using the theories of gendered racism and ideology and oppositional culture. Gendered racism is discrimination based on sex and gender. Ideologies are created by the dominant group to further and legitimatize its actions. Oppositional culture is what the people of color, or others suffering from discrimination do to survive the ideologies of the dominant group.

Griffin’s, Black Like Me takes the reader into the Deep South before the Civil Rights Movement and shows what it was like to be black in the South. In the Preface, Griffin states, “I could have been a Jew in Germany, a Mexican in a number of states, or a member of any ‘inferior’ group. Only the details would have differed. The story would be the same.”

The first example of Institutional discrimination that I will evaluate is when Griffin is at the YMCA coffee shop talking to a small group of men. The elderly man who runs the coffee shop tells him about how the white people are trying to divide the black race. They do this by singling out the lighter skinned, better looking, and more stylishly dressed Negroes, and try and instill in them a condescending attitude toward the darker “Uncle Tom” Negroes. This is a good example of institutional discrimination.

The whites are trying to make the lighter skinned Negroes think they are accepting them more, but in actuality are trying to get the lighter skinned Negroes to help further discriminate against there own racial color. We see later in the book that this has worked. There is the example of Christophe a nicely dressed black man addressing the blacks on the bus as ” punk niggers” (Pg.56) and then speaking in German and telling them how stupid they are. Institutional discrimination has put it in the mind of Christophe that he is some how better than these other blacks because he is more white in looks and learning.

Another example of institutional discrimination occurs on page 46. Griffin is walking down a street in New Orleans:
… I walked toward Brennan’s, one of New Orleans’ famed restaurants . . . I stopped to study the menu . . . realizing that a few days earlier I could have gone in an ordered anything on the menu. But now, though I was the same person with the same appetite . . . appreciation . . . and wallet, no power on earth could get me inside this place for a meal. I recalled hearing some Negro say, ‘You can live here all your life, but you’ll never get inside one of the great restaurants except as a kitchen boy.’

The above passage represents just one of many instances where he was barred from entering an establishment solely based on his pigmentation. As stated before, Negroes were not permitted to enter many restaurants, but libraries, museums, concert halls, and other culturally enhancing places were also barred to him even though by that time there was no formal law against them entering. This is institutional discrimination. These museums, concert halls, etc. are perpetuating the discrimination of blacks.

The many stereotypes of blacks being intellectually inferior made it easier to deny them access because they did not have the mental capacities to appreciate what was being inflicted on them. It became apparent to Griffin that because the black population was widely undereducated, they would never be able to successfully compete in life with whites.

One of the things inhibiting their education was the inferior quality of their “separate but equal” schools and the inability to enter cultural establishments such as libraries and museums. The whites used these culturally inflicted deficiencies to their advantage to keep the black population subordinate–thus perpetuating institutional discrimination.
There is the example of Griffin as a black hitch hiking. He encounters all kinds of stereotypes for blacks, stereotypes that are perpetuated through institutional discrimination. Griffin started getting picked up once it got dark and had this to say on page 87:

A man will reveal himself in the dark, which gives an illusion of anonymity, more than he will in the bright light. Some were shamelessly open, some shamelessly subtle. All showed morbid curiosity about the sexual life of the Negro, and all had, at base, the same stereotyped image of the Negro as an inexhaustible sex-machine with oversized genitals, and a vast store of experiences, immensely varied. They appeared to think that the Negro has done all of those “special” things they themselves have never dared to do. They carried the conversation into the depths of depravity. I note these things because it is harrowing to see decent-looking men and boys assume that because a man is black they need show him none of the reticences they would, out of respect, show the most derelict white man.

These are but a few examples of institutional discrimination Griffin encountered. Black Like Me is full of instances were Griffin is called names, threatened by men on the street, receives hate stares and is subject to questions about his “black” sex life. The details Griffen relates in Black Like Me is of hatred and racism directed toward him and others like him on account of their color of skin. The account he related showed America and the world that race relations in the South were not the pretty pictures they were often painted to be. Instead, he showed the daily struggle of the blacks to survive within the institutional discrimination that was and still is so prevalent in our society.

Beloved is another book that sheds light on a past that has led us to be where we are today in race relations. Beloved is an account of flashbacks, memories, and nightmares with a variety of different characters. That character Sethe is presented as a former slave woman who chooses to kill her baby girl rather than allowing her to be exposed to the physically, emotionally, and spiritually oppressive horrors of a life spent in slavery. Beloved is full of ideologies that the dominate white group uses to keep the blacks down. There are also examples of gendered racism and oppositional culture, as these blacks try and survive the ideologies of the whites.

Beloved gives us potent images of the gender racism perpetrated by Schoolteacher, a brutal overseer, and his nephews in their rape of the slave woman Sethe. What was stolen from Sethe was her sense of herself as a woman deserving of protection and respect from men. Sethe’s rape defiles her before both black and white men. Her husband, Halle, watching from a secret place, goes mad from impotent rage.

He’s impotent to do anything about it. This is an example of gendered racism. Sethe is raped at the hands of white men and can do nothing about it. Sethe has no way to seek compensation for what she endured; the men are her “superiors” and know that they can get away with this rape. If Sethe were a white woman this crime would not have blown over so easily. This is not to say that white indentured servants where never raped, but it is because Sethe was black that made here condition so hopeless and without remedy.

The whites had many ideologies that justified the cruel abuse that they put on black slaves. These ideologies obviously make it easier for the slave owners to mistreat their slaves. A good example of a basic ideology that the whites had can be found on page 190 of Beloved. Schoolteacher is accusing Sixo of stealing some shoat, Sixo insists that he didn’t steal it. He admits that he ate it and then gives his explanation for doing so:
Sixo plant rye to give the high piece a better chance. Sixo take and feed the soil, give you more crop. Sixo take and feed Sixo give you more work.

Clever, but Schoolteacher beat him anyway to show him that definitions belonged to the definers–not the defined.

Sixo tells him that he is just trying to improve Schoolteacher’s property. Schoolteacher has to put him in his place, telling him in a sense, “Don’t think that,” the white man will think and instruct for him. This is an ideology that is seen throughout this time, that the white man will dictate everything that the slaves do, from eating, working, sleeping, family issues and sexual issues.

Another example of the ideologies that where created by the whites is found on page 151. Here you see one way that the whites justified their actions. Sethe has just killed her baby and tried to kill her boys and Denver to keep them from the life Sethe fears at sweet home. Placing her children outside the horror of slavery, even if it meant taking their lives, was in her mind a justified act of love, nothing more. Schoolteacher has just left this disturbing scene, we then read:

All testimony to the results of a little so-called freedom imposed on people who needed every care and guidance in the world to keep them from the cannibal life they preferred.

Here the whites justify the enslaving of blacks by saying that they are incapable of handling freedom, and need to be taken care of by the white “civilized” people. This is an ideology that puts the blacks below the whites, and even below the level of a human being.

The last example of an ideology that I will site is found on page 237. This is where schoolteacher is teaching the boys. He has asked them to describe one of the slaves. One of the boys is describing Sethe. Schoolteacher tells them to put “human characteristics on the left; her animal ones on the right.” This is where the ideologies take root in society. Schoolteacher is putting it into the minds of these young white boys that the slaves are animals–or at least less than fully human. This will aid these young boys in their future abuse of blacks. These boys will grow with an ideology that they are superior to all blacks and that you can treat the blacks as animals.

In order to endure the ideologies that the whites had, the blacks would create an oppositional culture that would serve as a shield against the discrimination and abuse that they suffered at the hands of the whites.

An example of oppositional culture can be found on page 88 of Beloved. Here Baby Suggs preaches the gospel of love in the clearing: “a wide open space cut deep in the woods nobody knew for what.”:

In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don’t love your eyes; they’d just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off, and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face ’cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, you!

This beautiful speech given by Baby Suggs tells her people that they need to love, she gets specific using references to the whites not loving them. Her sermon does not advocate a heaven delayed until death, but the promise of a better life on earth, but that life must come from the people themselves.

Another way the blacks would deal with these white ideologies was through song. There is the song that Sethe sings that her mother sang to her about button eyes (pg. 100). There were the songs Paul D would sing that he learned on the chain gang (Pg. 49-50). Song has been a way for the black people to escape, from their oppression up to present day. Song has taken them to another place and let them tell their story.

Black Like Me and Beloved both sing of the oppression that the white people have put on the blacks. From Griffin being talked to as though he was less than human to Sethe being beaten and raped while pregnant. These graphic illustrations of how institutional discrimination and ideologies in the past have enabled and condoned the terrible treatment white society gave this people may be more crude and open than the prejudice that often exists in American society today, but the difference in outward manifestation is one of degree only–the institutional and ideological bases are still there condoning and sanctioning the unequal treatment accorded blacks in our society today. And the resulting harm to black society, children and adult is still there–often just as scarring and harmful as the earlier physical beatings, rapes, and physical separation.

Black songs still today evoke the pain and suffering that institutional discrimination, gender racism, and discriminatory ideology have left on black society in America. Those songs are a force for the black people still today–a way for them to remember and deal with their past and hope for their future. Ben Harper sings:

Exactly how much will have to burn
Before we will look to the past and learn
We walk along this endless path
Which has led us in a circle
So here we are right back
We can’t let our future become our past
If we are to change the world
Won’t you tell me
Tell me please
How many miles must we march
When I was a baby I was not prejudice
Hey how about you
This was something that I learned in school
Something they taught us to do
We can’t let our future become our past
If we are to change the world

Anthem Paper

“We do not think of them as Liberty 5-3000 any longer. We have given them a name in our thoughts. We call them the Golden One. But it is a sin to give men names which distinguish them from other men. Yet we call them the Golden One, for they are not like the others. The Golden One are not like the others.”

In Anthem, by Ayn Rand, the character Equality 7-2521 writes this passage about the female character Liberty 5-3000. He states that he (rather, we’, since he still refers to himself in the plural) has given her a name, other than the noun and number she was assigned. Throughout the book, the significance of names is that, among other things, they imply independence, and freedom from the collective we’ of society. A name is inherent to the person to whom it belongs, and by having a name, the Golden One automatically rises above the other members of the city. The fact that her name is given to her by someone else, as opposed to being chosen by herself, implies possession. By naming her in his thoughts’, Equality has made her inherently his as well. Her name is a part of her identity which belongs to him, since he is the one who has bestowed it upon her.

The name itself is a statement of individuality for both Liberty and Equality. For her because it singles her out among the others as being better and worth naming. For Equality, it is a testament to how much he has progressed in his thinking. He calls her the Golden One, implying singularity and individuality in a society which forbids both concepts. It’s interesting to note that despite taking this step towards the realization of the “I” and the “Ego”, Equality still thinks of himself in the plural. Despite having singled out the Golden One by giving her a name, he still refers to himself as Equality 7-2521′.

The idea that it is a sin to give men names which distinguish them from other men’ is fundamental to any society attempting to be conformist and generic. Names provide a sense of self, and with that, the concept of individuality. By giving it’s members numbers, the society steals away their identity and the idea that a person is in control and possession of themselves. By naming Liberty 5-3000, Equality gives her more control and power over herself than is allowed to any members of the society.

The Golden One are not like the others’, ends the passage. While physical descriptions aren’t abundant in the book, we are given the sense that Equality and the Golden One are physically superior to everyone else. The society as a whole is portrayed as grey, and drab, and shapeless. The shapelessness implies the indistinct nature of the collective, as well as the lack of desire to seek out truth and individuality. In contrast to this, the Golden One is very beautiful, in that her features are very defined, and she stands out among the gray masses. Equality, who is also taller and aesthetically better than his brothers’, singles her out among the rest because she represents a deviation from the uniform, collective norm.

Anthem Review

As the novel opens Equality 7-2521 states that what he’s doing is a sin. In his society it is a sin to do things that do not involve others, and the words he thinks and writes are for no one eyes to see or hear, but his own. In his society everyone thinks the same, and if you were to be the different one you would be sent to the palace of correction and detention. Equality 7-2521 actually had a mind of his own. As you can see Science fascinated him. For example in chapter 1 while it was dark Equality 7-2521 would sneak into a dark tunnel in which he would spend 3 hours doing scientific research, and experiments.

He would also steal manuscripts from the scholars, and every night he would study. This went on for two years. The difference between Equality 7-2521 and his society is that he actually wanted to succeed, while the rest of his society would settle for what they were told to be. The “glass box”, can also be referred as a light bulb. After countless nights of experimenting, Equality 7-2521 succeeds in connecting the power of electricity to re-invent the electric light. This invention that he came up with can benefit to society, but he doesn’t know how to tell them.

Remember, you can’t do anything that others can’t do. That was the philosophy that the society believed in. He figured that since the council wouldn’t appreciate his work, he would rather show his invention to the scholars. When the World Council of Scholars arrives in his city, he will present to them, as his gift, the “glass box with the power of the sky.” One night while Equality 7-2521 was working on an experiment in his tunnel, he totally lost track of time. He rushed out, and then the council questioned him on why was he late. Equality 7-2521 refused to answer and therefore he was sent to the palace of correction and detention. He was able to escape and retreat back to the tunnel. He found everything the same way that he had left it. He was then getting prepared for the arrival of the scholars.

The World Council of Scholars, arrive and that’s when Equality 7-2521 decides to sneak into the room. He shows his invention to the scholars, but the scholars are disgusted by him. They didn’t like the fact that he was a sagacious person, and proved to be smarter than them. The scholars told him that his invention must be destroyed, because what he invented must be for everyone’s sake, but his own. Equality then realizes that his invention was for his own sake. He then feels bad about his invention, and feels that he has committed a big sin.

When I look at the word EGO, I see the opportunity to live a free person. The human mind requires freedom, a successful life on earth requires it, and therefore the soul thirsts for freedom. Equality 7-2521 also looks at the word EGO as freedom, because he is no longer to be judged. He is now living in a world where he can think on his own and won’t be considered a sin. He is now free from the society that was holding him back. The collectivist society in which Equality 7-2521 lives is similar to Nazi communist states of the twentieth century. The council of this society did not allow for any individual to think freely.

The council wishes to expunge from human nature all thoughts of individuality. Instead of everyone having their individual name, they named them by groups such as Equality, International, Solidarity, and so on. This society was also forbidden to have friendships, and romance. The reason that this collectivist system was successful was because it forbade humans from speaking or even thinking of the word “I.” The states main weapon against individualism is the basic but effective form of thought control that it practices.

Society has mandated, under punishment of death, that all first-person references are with the plural “we,” even when the reference is to a single person. If you think about it, this story is pretty much like a futuristic Dark Age. Some of us may think that this could never happen to us, but it already did. Before the Renaissance age we all lived in a dark period that was known as the Dark Age. So you can actually say that history does repeat itself.

The Psychedelic Sixties

“Look what’s happening out in the streets!” What better line to epitomize the feeling of the Americans throughout the chaos and turmoil of one of the most memorable decades in United States history, than this quote in the Jefferson Airplane song “Volunteers?” The people of the time were utterly awestricken by the horrors they were being forced to endure, and they decided they would do the best they could to publicize their total disgust for the United States’ approach to its people. The 1960’s was a decade to remember, a decade that drastically changed the lifestyles of so many people in the Western World. Not only were the people’s lifestyles changing, but their country and government were undergoing various drastic and permanent transformations. Politics, ways of living, and beliefs were among the most prominent elements of change in the United States. At the beginning of the decade, the country grasped an optimistic attitude toward the future. The gradual improvement in relations between the U.S.A. and Russia made it seem that a nuclear war might yet be avoided. It looked like the country may actually prosper after the ever-so-powerful blow from World War II.

During this time of optimism, a “youth revolution” took place in dress, music, and values, and as a result, accepted ideas about sex, politics and religion were challenged. While at some points they tried to stray away from all the politics, many of these young people took lead roles in a great deal of the political unrest that swept over much of the world. This political unrest often ended in violence, which was a growing and disturbing feature of the 60’s. Another social aspect that coincides with the 60’s is the many civil rights movements and protests. By 1960, many people hoped and prayed for the equality of races in America, but still, as 1960 began, Jim Crow remained the law of the land. As a result of utter frustration, groups like the Freedom Riders and the Black Panthers along with leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X decided to step out in society and defend what they knew was right.

During that “youth revolution,” many other changes were brought about, including the change from the happy and colorful “swinging” aspect of the early 60’s to the new mood of the hippies in the later 60’s. These hippies rejected society’s values and believed in “dropping out” and refusing to take part in the “rat race” for jobs and money. This group of youths referred to as hippies developed a whole new “counter-culture,” which included a minority of the “fake” hippies who merely saw the “counter-culture” as a fashion rather than something they believed in deeply.

The group of hippies proclaimed itself an “alternative society,” and favored very simple and communal living which included free experimentation with drugs, free experimentation of sex, and a strong commitment to “peace and love.” These political and social changes such as the civil rights movements and the new “counter-culture” had lasting effects on one specific element of the decade: rock and roll music. Rock and roll musicians were not much different from any other Americans in that they were forced to go through the same hardships as the rest of the people, such as racial discrimination and unjust government, or Establishment.

The main difference is that many of the “other people” (the people of everyday society) did not have the same opportunity to express their feelings with the world. The frustration with racism and prejudice was blatantly obvious in many acts due to the genre’s increasing aggression and hostility. Also, the country’s cry for peace and love was exemplified no better than by rock musicians on stage. In their search for something different, the youth and rock musicians attempted to find a path leading them away from their problems and the country’s problems. When the “counter-culture” was first introduced to the public of America, the older generations and the “Establishment” thought it was the worst possible thing that could happen to the country. But, in persevering through the hard times during the many civil rights movements and the tolerance of the “counter-culture,” rock and roll was able to prove to the country that it could and would have a positive and lasting effect the world of music.

New political and social developments and disputes started to rise up all around the country, and the public began to take shape around the new ways and attitudes. One element of society which blatantly responded to the actions of fellow Americans and the Establishment was the rock and roll music. The Establishment’s failure to comply with obvious needs for discriminated people.

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in rage all the time.” This is what James Baldwin had to say about the harsh sentiments and powerful echoes among the African American lifestyle in America in 1961. The fifties had seen so much progress in the struggle for equality in races with Supreme Court involvement and various Negro boycotts, but Jim Crow still prevailed as the law of the land in the early 60’s. Although the Supreme Court had passed multiple laws to limit discrimination, like integration in schools, the white community showed massive resistance to these laws, continuing to enforce Jim Crow. The Negro community’s immense frustration in the whites ignoring the laws resulted in countless episodes of African Americans’ fight for what they deserved. One notorious action that four black college freshmen committed in Greensboro, North Carolina was entering a Woolworth’s five-and-dime store, neatly dressed and polite, sitting at the whites-only lunch counter, and ordering coffee. Upon ordering their coffee, the four men were refused any service, and they remained in their seats for the remainder of the day, until the store closed.

The men were infuriated by the utter disrespect given to them for the sole reason that their skin was a little darker than the white people were. That was February 1, and the next day, the students returned with 20 companion, then again for the third day in a row with more than 60 African Americans who were fed up with the discrimination. The students’ courage and will power made the news, which encouraged students all around the country-even some whites-to sit in the wrong section of the store, to the point that two months after that initial “sit-in,” the trend had spread to 54 cities in nine states. These actions greatly affected many opinions about the segregation in stores, and after only a few months, lunch counters in San Antonio, Texas, Nashville, Tennessee, and Greensboro, North Carolina were all integrated. These actions did have a large impact on the progress of the Negro’s stepping up to racism, but they also had a huge impact on music.

Folk music found a topical voice as the civil rights movements grew, and the controversy in Greensboro, along with many similar activists’ responses to inequity were direct events leading to the electrification of the folk scene. Folk music was the lighter, slower style of rock and roll in the early 60’s, and the “folkniks,” folk musicians, had developed a fundamental belief that honest songs had the power to cut through commercialism, hypocrisy, injustice, inequality, war, and man’s inhumanity to man.

These aspects of folk music made it the ideal type of rock and roll to cry out against discrimination of Negroes. Folkniks had always sung songs of freedom and justice, but the many different events concerning civil rights gave them a specific and urgent issue that directly changed their emotions towards the music, as well as the meaning of the music. The songs prior to the civil rights movements consisted of lyrics pertaining to America’s grass roots glories and old slave songs, but the reality of the present horrors in their society successfully eliminated the illusory air of slave songs and spirituals. At that point, they felt they needed to sing about their immediate concerns.

Because many folkniks were white musicians with immense sympathy and love for the African American culture, numerous voyages were organized in which the northern musicians traveled to the “Deep South” in an attempt to have the opportunity to fully identify with the blacks during such harsh times. The folkniks integration with the Negro community in the South brought about a heavy spiritual bond between the civil rights crusaders and the folkniks. In a sense, the movement leaders teamed up with the folkniks, resulting in the injustice’s criticism from more than just one source. Joan Baez and Robert Allan Zimmerman, or Bob Dylan as the world knew him, were the first of the folk musicians to fuse rock’s electric sound with the social and political content, starting an entirely new feeling and sound of rock and roll.

Many people say Bob Dylan was the most influential American rock musician of the sixties. The music Dylan made in the mid-60’s revolutionized rock and roll by transposing the corruption of the country’s society into his music, making room for a new and different sound. Although Dylan and Baez were the pioneers in the establishment and rise of the popularity of folk music, it was Joan Baez who really blended civil rights and rock and roll together to display it to the entire country. Baez wanted to show the country how the musicians felt about the mistreatment of blacks, and that they intended to do something about it. On August 28, 1963, Joan Baez led over two hundred thousand people in Washington, D.C. in singing “We Shall Overcome.” This single action by Joan Baez showed the country that the folkniks did, in fact, care about what was happening in their country. In reflecting on this day (which was the day of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech), Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. stated that this “song [was] the soul of [the] civil rights movement.”

Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were very prominent civil rights leaders in 1960’s. King’s initial collaboration with Joan Baez made a huge impact on civil rights and rock and roll. He was one of the many Negroes who was not afraid to stand up to the country and relay to them what he believed. Through his passive actions as a charismatic leader, King took a step forward in society and inspired hope and resolution to the disheartened African American culture. While King took the more peaceful approach to the civil rights movement, Malcolm X took a more aggressive stance.

In a group of angry African Americans in the United States, Malcolm X called himself the angriest. Malcolm’s childhood marked the beginning of his anger due to his father’s death he believed to have been a white supremacist action, and his mother’s complete insanity. Malcolm believed in radical racial separatism, but he stated that his sole reasoning for wanting to be separate from the whites was because of their cruel and dishonorable treatment of African Americans. Other than the fact that they brutalized his people, Malcolm had no hard feeling towards whites, but he said if they were going to be violent, he was going to be violent.

Although Malcolm X and King had two very different opinions about what should become of the relations between whites and blacks, they each wanted the same thing: equality. They each wanted black people to have the same rights to the same things white had rights to. Their frustration with the American community and their ability to hypnotize their followers made Malcolm and King very prominent leaders of the civil rights movements, implementing great change in the music of the time. As previously stated, King’s more peaceful approach to the problems of discrimination were a huge influence on the folk aspect of rock and roll in allowing the folkniks to sing about peace and injustice, but Malcolm X’s approach to the injustice brought about a more aggressive element to rock.

Although many of the bands that ventured to the United States during the “British Invasion” were not personally affected by the actual racism, their style of music from the time they traveled to America until they became an extremely large aspect of American entertainment, was drastically altered from the happier, more “swinging” sound, to a harder pumping, more aggressive sound. The racism in the country did not affect the attitudes of bands like the Beatles, the Animals, the Rolling Stones, and The Who, but the racism affected the people these bands wanted to entertain and impress.

When people are upset about something, the easiest way to let out the steam can be to get involved in violent or aggressive activity like a loud and edgy sounding concert. One of the best bands to put on a performance that would get your anger pumping was The Who. They established their reputation in America with their explosive live performances. Many people called The Who a regular wrecking crew due to the lead singer, Roger Daltrey’s, twirling his microphone above his head, and guitarist, Pete Townshend’s, hard, rhythmic solos, while at the end of the show Townshend and drummer Keith Moon smashed their instruments to pieces. The foreign musicians easily saw the anger in the United States due to the injustice in racial equality, and they were able to transform the sound of rock and roll into a more appealing sound for the circumstances. This new sound would prove to be a giant step in the history of rock and roll music, opening doors to an entire new array of sounds.

The youth of America thought these new, hard-rocking sounds that developed out of the overbearing essence of anger were a very positive addition to rock and roll. The rough edge to the music was just what the people needed in order to feel that they were not the only ones going through the times of such hardship and sadness. The older generations of 60’s people were completely appalled by the rebellious and risqu attitude of the new wave of rock music. The teenage girls wanted to wear dresses and skirts that were above their knees, and the dry cleaners would charge the cleaning of dresses and skirts by inch.

The older generation’s utter disapproval and disgust of the new way of music was to be expected, because rock and roll was changing, and change is what people fear most. The people who enjoyed the music before it started to change did not want a different type of music to overcome what they like. People are scared of what is different because they are not initially comfortable with the situation; they are too closed-minded to merely inch away from their comfort zones and try something new. The closed-minded view of the older generations caused parents and the Establishment to become very upset with the style and culture influences on the youth by bands like the Beatles, Ten Years After, The Yardbirds, and The Who. If they had known what was coming, they never would have started to complain about the early 60’s.

The depressed and aggressive mood of the musicians of the early 60’s along with the fun and free attitude of the “swinging” British bands was heavily dampened by the introduction of the counter-culture. Fueled primarily by psychedelic drugs, rock music, and heady optimism, hippies, as they were popularly known, developed a counter-cultural party that swept across America with hundreds of thousands of young people who had begun to question the values of the Establishment. Rather than troubling themselves with political and social orthodoxy, they turned on to attitudes like peace, love, and personal freedom.

The epicenter of the counter-culture movement started in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, in a neighborhood know as Haight-Asbury. One may ask “Why San Francisco?”. The answer is publicity. One of the most famous music magazines at the time was Rolling Stone, a San Francisco-based magazine with all the latest news on the most popular artists of the time. The popular “psychedelic” bands of San Francisco and the popularity of magazines like Rolling Stone are the direct effects of what brought the youth to San Francisco. Another appealing aspect of the Haight-Asbury district was that it was a hassle-free place to buy acid, live cheaply, and search for the sorts of values they couldn’t find at home. The Gray Line tour bus that traveled through Haight-Asbury district in 1967 described it as follows:

You are now entering the largest hippie colony in the world and the
very heart and fountainhead of the hippie subculture. You are passing
through the Bearded Curtain. Marijuana 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
and group discussions about what’s wrong with the status quo; malingering;
plus the ever present preoccupation with the soul, reality, and self-expression,
such as strumming guitars, piping flutes, and banging on bongos.

The inhabitants of Haight-Asbury were very happy people, reflecting the spirit of freedom and experimentation that had spread across the entire country. The counter-culture’s unique style of rock and roll was know as psychedelic rock, and was a direct representation of the spirit of freedom, Psychedelic rock, also known as “acid rock,” was primarily influenced by drugs, with the intent to musically re-create the “trips” induced by mind-expanding drugs. The people smiled and danced and got high and loved everybody.

It seemed like everybody was just so happyor was that just the drugs? This new rock and roll style that was influenced primarily by drug use developed some of the most significant rock and roll acts in the history of rock. Bands like Jefferson Airplane, the Moody Blues, Status Quo, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Pink Floyd, and the Grateful Dead all rose out of the psychedelic rock scene acting as dominant additions to the rock and roll generation, conveying the mellowness, bright hallucinations, and occasionally dark and disturbing side effects of marijuana, LSD, and other drugs.

The two most prominent and influential bands of the psychedelic movement were the San Francisco-based Grateful Dead, and Britain’s Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd started out as a blues band, but they took that sound, and transformed it into a sound nobody had ever heard before. They used overly amplified electric guitars to produce an endless array of roaring feedback, as well as a variety of other bizarre electronic effects, which became the band’s new experimental sound.

While Pink Floyd was influencing rock and roll from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Grateful Dead was turning out to be the most enduring band to come out of the late 60’s. Led by Jerry Garcia, the Dead, more than any band embodied the free, experimental spirit of the counter-culture movement. Although their albums were very popular among the hippies, they were never able to capture the excitement of their live performances in the studio. The Dead was re-known for their instrumental jams, which made up the performances, lasting up to four hours. A great deal of hippies followed the Grateful Dead around the country on their entire tour, calling themselves deadheads, and attending every show on the tour.

One of the most famous elements of the counter-culture movement was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Woodstock, as it is called, was held in Bethel, New York, August 15 through 17. Among the huge number of bands to play were Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, the Who, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shankar, Santana, and Country Joe and the Fish. This immense counter-culture rock festival was an accident waiting to happen. At the start of the planning, the towns of Woodstock and Wallkill, New York denied the organizers any permission to stage in their town. At the denial, a farmer named Max Yasgur loaned his land for the festival. Almost 400,00 people showed up and were admitted to the show without pay, due to the lack of security and low number of tickets sold. In the end, no catastrophes occurred at Woodstock, but the organizers went bankrupt from the lack of ticket sales.

Woodstock would turn out to be the last and happiest affirmation of the counter-culture spirit, which was dissolving in the face of media attention, public hostility, political violence, and an epidemic of hard drugs. Maybe the reason people remember the muddy, wet, and sleepless experience-Woodstock-with such zest is because it was the last stab of a culture that appeared so happy. Whatever the reason, the era of psychedelic rock and the counter-culture proved to have one of the most influential, lasting, and positive impacts on the sound and attitude of rock and roll music as a whole.

The Major Cause of Homosexuality

The origins of human sexuality and homosexuality in particular have puzzled philosophers, theologians and ordinary people for thousands of years. In scatter cultures, homosexuals have been regarded as a normal part of life, however, same sex attraction to most cultures have been treated as an unforgivable sin or a terrible crime. Many psychologists and psychiatrist had attempted to treat and counsel the homosexuals. In our social norm, male attracts to female and female attracts to male. To everyone this is a natural and biological urge. However, there is a significant minority who attracts to their own sex. Its about five percent of the population in the world.

There are many opposing viewpoints of whether it derives from variation in our genes or our physiology, from the intricacies of our personal history or from convergence of these? Is it for that matter a choice rather than a compulsion? Chances are no one factor or study can alone explicate and clarify the human sexual orientation. However, there are evidences that prove being gay is not a choice. The nature of homosexuality primarily comes from ones biological sexual orientation and the environment is just a source to bring forth or repress the behavior.

Many researchers and scientists have long search for the distinguishable brain structures, the biochemistry in the human brains to differentiate the differences to classify between the two obvious sexes we now have in our society, male and female. Such sex differentiation of the brains structure is called sexual dimorphism. . (LeVay/ Hamer 22)
The first significant observation of sexual dimorphism performed in an animal laboratory. Roger A. Gorski, a professor at University of California, Los Angeles, conducted an experiment on rats. In 1978, Gorski examined the rats hypothalamus, a region at the base of its brain that is involved in instinctive behaviors and regulation of metabolism.

He discovered there is a group on front of the hypothalamus is several times larger in millimeter of the male rats compared to the female rats. The cell group is very small but it could be easily observed on a stained slice when being viewed under a microscope. More interestingly, Gorskis finding applied to the sexual orientation between males and females. That particular group of cell is known as the medial preoptic are has been involved in the sexual behaviors typically displayed in males. For instance, if there is a male rat has a injury medial preoptic area, he apparently couldnt indifferent to sex with another female. From the study of Gorski and his co-workers, we now know the androgen is the typical male hormone and the estrogen is the female hormone played a major role in bring about dimorphism during the fetus development. (LeVay/Hamer 23)

Another finding also involved with Gorski and his colleagues at U.C.L.A, especially with his student, Dr. Laura S. Allen. They also found the dimorphic structure in the human brain. A cell group named INAH3, shorten for the third interstitial nucleus of the anterior hypothalamus, in the medial preoptic region of the hypothalamus is about three times larger in men that in women. (LeVay/Hamer 23)

Animal studies make available a good deal of evidence for biological basis of disease, but in this case, sexual orientation. Through a careful exploitation of hormone level on rats, Gorski as been able to produce male rodents that demonstrate feminine behavior and injected into the female fetus that develop with the male fetus and it appear to be masculine because of the male testosterone. They also look and act more like males. In addition, they are less attractive to male mice (Gorman 60)

Related to Gorski and Allens study, Simon LeVay, a British biologist and neurologist at San Diego Salk Institute, who is also gay, performed another study for Biological Studies, in 1990. LeVay decided to check whether INAH3 or some other cell group in the medial preoptic area varies in size with sexual orientation as well as with sex. LeVay conducted an experiment on the hypothalamus in autopsy specimens from nineteen homosexual men, all of whom died of AIDS and sixteen heterosexual men, six of whom had also died of complication of AIDS. After encoding the specimens to eliminate all the bias that could skew the outcome.

LeVay carefully sliced the hypothalamus into serial slices. He measured their cross-sectional areas and their thickness under a microscope. LeVay has concluded the sexually dimorphic nucleus INAH3 were significantly larger than of female and smaller in male homosexuals than in straight men and similar in size to the nucleus of female. In some gay men, this group altogether nonexistent; this is statistically proven in 1 in 1000 gay men. LeVay hypothesized that this is a biological factor and possibly genetically based has influenced in the brains of homosexuals to become feminized. (LeVay/Hamer 25)

William Byne, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Medical Center decided to challenge and test LeVays finding. Byne compared the brains of nineteen heterosexual men and seven women and found the male nuclei were larger, as LeVay had initiated. Byne came up with several arguments that other factors could also influenced the cause of homosexuality but chosen not to publish his result until he can rule out all the possibilities that could contradict his argument. He is also collecting numerous human brains for a comparison of gay and straight males. (Horgan 26)

There are many conservatives who disapprove of homosexuality and have the intense hostility with the concept of gay gene and have traditionally argued against it. But this is because those conservatives do not understand the implications that lie behind the gay gene. Homosexuality is life left-handedness. Its neither chosen nor a psychological illness. Since the homosexuality exposed and became a controversial issue in United States in the last three decades, many conservatives argue, Homosexuality is a chose lifestyle, like vegetarian. Its a disease like schizophrenia. (Burr 22). But since scientists had proven those are not completely cases of homosexuality and it clearly a biological development like and it does not correlate with any environment factors.

Scientists has classified homosexuality is a trait. For every trait they studied, clinicians and biologists often assemble a trait profile of the sum total they have gathered in their studies. The trait usually shows up in the population as two orientation. Ninety-two percent of the population usually has the majority orientation and about eight percent has the minority orientation. Either the two traits are non-pathological and chosen. The minority orientation runs in the families has a name of maternal effect given by the geneticists which men always receive it from their mother.

If it is inheritable, as demonstrated by the fact those identical twins, whose are naturally clones are far more likely to share the minority orientation than siblings who are not twins. For example, handedness, right- handed holds the majority orientation in the populations that the left-handed holds the minority orientation. This theory could apply to the homosexuals and heterosexuals. Heterosexuality accounts roughly ninety-five percent of the population while the homosexuality is the minority orientation, which holds the other five- percent of the population. Clearly family, social norms, friends, teacher or school education cant make you to become gay, which is a minority orientation. (Burr 24)

Dean H. Hamer of National Cancer Institute studied the DNA from forty pairs of homosexual brothers and found thirty-three of them share genetic markers on the X-chromosome in a region know as Xq28. X chromosome is one of the two sex determined chromosomes. It is always inherited from mothers. Genes are arranged along 46 chromosomes and each chromosome contains tiny coils of DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, which carries the instruction to manufacture a particular body substance. There was no such similar sharing in the same region among heterosexual men.

Researchers have not yet compared the homosexuals genetic information to the other group. The finding does not explain all the homosexuals; seven out of forty homosexual brothers did not have the common genetic factor. The explanation for this is it might cause by other unknown genetic influence. (LeVay/Hamer, 27-29). Since the DNA strand is long enough to contain hundreds of genes. Hamers team has not found the gene that makes some men gay but the Xq28 is one of the possibilities of the gay gene (Begley, Sharon, Hager, Mary)

If homosexuality is inherited and the male homosexual gets the gay gene from the X-chromosome of his mother, then arent that twin brothers and other siblings of the family have a good chance of being genetically influenced by that trait. Looking for linkage, Hamer has conducted a random survey and a survey with families with gay brothers between the maternal and paternal relatives. The possibilities of maternal uncle and maternal cousin through aunt have the highest percentage of being gay. Its from 7.3 % to 12.9% compared to the paternal uncle and cousin through aunt of 3.9% to 5.4%. Why are most gay men relatives are gay on their mothers side of the family? The possibility is a man has two chromosomes, X and Y. The Y chromosome is the sex chromosome and any traits that on the X chromosome pass to the child come mostly from his mother. Chances are she had inherited those traits from her side of the family. (Hamer/Copeland 111)

In 1985, Richard C. Pillard and James D. Weinrich conducted the first modern study on the pattern of homosexuality runs in families. The random pooled data for men show that about 57% of identical twins, 24% of fraternal twins and 13% of brothers of gay men are also gay. For women, 50% of the identical twin, 13% of sisters of the lesbians are also lesbians.(LeVay/Hamer 26)

Data of homosexuality combined and analyzed, it showed a good possibility of family clustering of sexual orientation becomes evident for both sexes. But others say this finding reveals another significant problem with a born gay conclusion.

The argument against the data indicating above is if homosexuality is inherited then identical twin brothers who share 100% of their genes should have 100% chance of being gay instead of 57%? The respond to this argument is in a gene there are two alleles. For example of Huntingtons disease, it comes in two alleles. One is to suppress the gene and the other activates the disease. Therefore, the baby has a 50% to 50% change of his identical twin brother will get the same gay trait.

Another example is Type 1 diabetes; this disease has only 30% active, so in another word, you could only have 30% chance of this gene will become activate. Therefore two identical brothers could have share the same gene for diabetes but one might develop it and one might not. The activeness of the gay gene is only 50%, for that reason, some twins do not share the same sexual orientation unless there is something that triggers those alleles to activate. There are traits that emerge at the different time of life, some at the beginning and others that emerge later on in time. (Kangas 20)

Another explanation is after the fertilized egg separated into two individuals. The DNA sequence might have a few changes and that could lead to the personality as well as the sexual orientation differences. This has not been proven, but it could be one of the possibilities of why identical twins do not have 100% chance of being gay. Bailey and Pillard say their research indicates that male sexual orientation is substantially genetic. Research on social factors has proven fruitless, with no evidence that parental behavior or even parents homosexuality affects the childrens sexual orientation. (Pillard 32)

Applying the homosexuality to the gene concept, New York psychiatrist Kenneth Paul Rosenberg believes that we, as people, should be more open-minded to the study of homosexuality because it could help to fight for gay and lesbian rights in this society. Hopefully it also could decrease an escalating hate crime rate and the discrimination toward homosexuals.(Horgan)

Like any genetic research, finding the gene sequence is time consuming and expensive. The finding of Huntingtons disease took about a decade and cost millions of dollars. What are the advantages of the studys outcomes and who will be effects by it? Human sexual orientation is no ordinary topic or study. Its at the center of a fierce debate involving politics, the law, religion, ethics and the origins and meaning of human behavior. Many legal experts felt the evidence for a genetic link to homosexuality would strengthens the evidence for immutability and therefore cause tighter scrutiny of laws that permitted discrimination against gays and lesbians in housing, employment, or participation in the political process. Others, though, argued that immutability was a red herring and that the real issue was equal protection, not biology.

There were also ethical, medical and economic issues involved as well. Although scientists did not provide any test for the still hypothetical gay gene but we are heading in that direction. If such test were developed, might parents decide to screen the fetus for homosexuality, just as they do for Down syndrome and other genetic defects? Would some doctors regard homosexuality as a genetic defect that should be cured and weeded out of the population? Would insurance companies charge men with the gay gene more on coverage or refuse to serve them because they have a higher risk of AIDS faced by gay men? These are questions that worried many people.

In addition, homosexuals are frequently the targets of discrimination and violence. The treat of violence and discrimination is an obstacle to lesbian and gay peoples development. In a 1989 national survey, 5% of the gay men and 10% of the lesbians reported physical abuse and/or assault47% report some form of discrimination over their lifetime. Other research has show similarly high rates of discrimination or violence toward homosexuals (Yahoo.com, APA Q&A)

Personally I do hope the genetic surgery will reveal the true nature of homosexual and find the right loci of the gay gene in the near future. Optimistically with finding of the biological influences on the gay gene can help to eliminate the discrimination and the escalating hate crimes rate toward the homosexuals. Homosexuals are normal people like the heterosexuals. They have feelings and their sexual orientation of attracting the same sex is innate. They have no control over this destiny. Counseling, therapy or the environment cant change this so since we cant convert this then why dont we accept this and give those homosexuals all the respects and rights that they deserve like any other heterosexuals.

Work cited

Answer to Your Questions about Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality. APA Public Communication. *http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/orient.html. *
Begley S.; Hager M. (July 26, 1993) Newsweek. Vol. 122 Issue 4 Does DNA Make Some Men Gay? P59 2/3p, 1c
Burr C. (Dec 16, 1996) Weekly Standard. Suppose There Is a Gay Gene What Then? P 22-26
John, H. (Nov 95). Scientific American, Vol. 273 Issue 5, Gay Genes, Revisited p26, 5/6p, 1c
Kangas S. (1999) Homosexuality Is Biologically Determined. Homosexuality: Opposing
Viewpoints. Mary E. Williams, Greenhaven Press. 17-21
Gorman, C. (Sept 9, 1991) Time Magazine. Are Gay Men Born that Way? P 60-61
Pillard R. (1999) The Causes of Homosexuality Are Probably Genetic. Homosexuality: Opposing Viewpoints. Mary E. Williams, Greenhaven Press. 27-34

Glass Ceilin

The glass ceiling starts to form itself very early on. From the moment a woman enters the work force after college, she is faced with much discrimination and unjust belief that she will not be able to do as well of a job than a man. A man and a woman, who both have the same education and training for a job, will have a considerable gap in their yearly income. In a first year job, a man will make approximately $14,619 compared to a woman who will make only $12,201. That is a pay gap of 17%(Gender Pay 1). There is no reason why there should be any gap in their incomes during the first year of their jobs.

They have both had the same formal education and both have the same qualifications necessary for the job, yet they are being treated unequally. The woman has not shown herself to be incapable of accomplishing her job and has given her employer no reason to doubt her commitment to her career other than the simple fact that she is a woman. And this discrimination does not go away.

After five years of constant working, at the same rate and level as each other, the pay gap actually increases. A male will get paid an average of $28,119 while a female only receives $22,851 (Gender Pay 1). This is how things have been done for years. The man typically gets paid more money and holds more executive jobs than women do, simply because they are males. A man will be paid an average of 47% more than females in the course of their lives (Gender Pay 1). Although this is wrong, this has been tradition for so long, both men and women have accepted this way of thinking as right and have just gone along with it.

There have been changes in regards to women in top positions within the last few years. However, although those advances are positive, they are still no where equal. A certain statistic may say that there has been a 14% increase in the number of women in executive jobs for a certain company. However, although that increase is no doubt positive, it fails to tell the true story.

That increase is only increases from a very minute number, if not zero, of women who previously held that position. Another thing that that statistic fails to mention is that the most of them include women in that position as that company from all of its worldwide locations. In other words, only 14% of executives around that world for a certain company are women (Misleading 1). So even though this may be an improvement on womens behalf from years ago, it is still no where equal. Men and women must work hard together to make things equal.

Its not the profession that has the glass ceiling, someone has put it there (Brower 162). Men need to change their attitudes and actions towards women in the workplace. They need to abandon believing that they are superior to women. Most men truly believe that a woman is simply not capable of doing as well of a job, or better, than a man can do. Therefore, they become extremely unsupportive of women and fail to recognize their accomplishments. They decline to give women raises, higher executive positions, more responsibility and overall respect.

Many men have very subtle and low-key ways of showing their discrimination. These men know that it is unlawful to discriminate against women, so they do it ways that can have no reprimanding consequences. They will go out to lunch, dinner or drinks with the guys, claiming that it is just a time for male bonding. But the truth of the matter is that most business relationships develop over these bonding times therefore, leaving the female employees out of the equation (Brower 160). Other men are not so subtle. Male bosses often deliberately overlook a female employee for a promotion by making bogus credentials that only a male would be able to fulfill (Brower 162). Men arent planning to become pregnant and take maternity leave as often as a woman does.

My mother has come into contact with both types of men. She has been scanned over for a business lunch or dinner just because she is a woman. She has also had male clients wish to speak with the man in charge instead of talking to her (Brzostowski). These are the types of men who put up the glass ceiling for women. They still carry prehistoric thoughts that women cannot be committed to a career because they belong at home, taking care of the house, and raising the family.

Women in the past never had many rights. In the past, a womans power was always restricted over her own future. They were forced to depend on the men. In society, the men were the ones who represented the women. A woman was depicted as her husbands wife and her childrens mother. These women worked in the home usually producing cloth, sewing, or being a cook or nurse to her family. But this is the year 2000. Women want to be independent, they want to succeed in a career for themselves, hey want it alland they can to it all.

But another thing that men fail to understand is that some women do not have a choice. Some never get married or have a family of their own, so they have no choice but to throw themselves into their job. Others are single parents, divorced or widowed, needing to work in order to support themselves and their children. Men and their unfair and preposterous beliefs toward women in the workplace makes it sometimes impossible for women to have any chance of succeeding. But it also causes many women to believe that they are not equal and that it is okay for them to be treated differently from men.

Male dominance has been prevalent since the earliest records of man, because of this; women in most societies have been at a disadvantage in most aspects in life. Since the industrial revolution the importance of the traditional’ farm household activities of women, like agriculture and textiles, have long been taken over by factories. Since most men now work away from home, the basic lower-status housework has been solely put upon the women.

This division of labor caused even more dominance over females, basically making the female a subordinate worker to the dominating boss (husband). This gender discrimination is so deeply rooted in our society that it causes problems for women in every aspect of their life. This oppressed minority which is actually a statistical majority of the U.S. population is exploited at work, school, at home, in the media, and in politics, with one type of oppression reinforcing another. This interior colonization of women is undoubtedly ignored and is taught and basically accepted since the conception. Segregation starts in the very first minutes that a young boy and girl is born.

The boy gets wrapped in the little blue blanket and the girl gets put in the little pink blanket. Girls are looked upon as pretty and delicate, while the little boy, who practically looks the same, is seen as big, strong, and very attentive. No matter how little this situation seems it shows how the genders are being put into two different categories from day one, thus making the discrimination between the two sexes seem normal before the children even have a chance to see themselves for who they are. As these young girls grow up, they are exposed to even more gender stereotyping.

It starts with their earliest readings in children books; where they find women only doing feminine actions and jobs, while males in the books are the ones doing courageous acts and jobs, taking the initiative to overcome impossible situations. As these girls start to grow up, the mass media, through the means of advertisements in newspapers, billboards, TV, and magazines, only see women pictured in feminine situations. For example, according to the textbook, ads for women generally tend to put them with beauty (modeling, make-up, fashions, and beauty) and household (cooking appliances, cleaning appliances, and food) themes.

Having women being judged generally by their attractiveness, basing their self esteem on beauty (furthering their sex object identity), simultaneously banging the housewife identity into their heads. On the other hand the mass media tends to portrait the males in manly advertisements judging them primarily on what they do. These portraits that are painted by the mass media further the patriarchal society that is already established, and helps make gender domains stronger. All families in America, for a long time, have been based upon established roles between the husband and wife. Through the presence of these womens roles and mans roles the two genders are suppose to act a certain way. Since these roles have been a part of the American culture for so long, women are expected to be subordinate to men.

For example, making them dinner after work, doing the laundry and conception and care of children. They lose much of the major decision making of the family, since society regards the male bringing in money so highly. This lack of power within the family is so institutionalized it gives them such meaningless position when it comes to major things in their life such as: employment, laws, politics, and even their very own body. This meaningless position can be seen in the idea that women do not even get rewarded when they do play the womens role. Women do not get praised for their bearing of children or household work, nor do they gain any power within their family for this.

The power that men hold over women keeps them in a constant state of subordination. This power conflict over women has become so severe that it is not all to uncommon for a man to go so far as to beat his wife. The amount of physical and sexual abuse of women in this society proves this point well. Domestic violence is the most common injury to women, statistically proven millions of women are yearly abuse by their male counter parts. Women in relationships are expected to give themselves, whether willingly or not, to the mans sexual inhibitions. Another point that shows mans thought of his power over women is the idea of rape in America. The males aggression and lack of respect for women in America make the U.S. have, by far, the most women raped every year.

But, because the society is so male dominated these problems are not easily solved. Law officials are often quick to blame the women on most accounts. This patriarchal gender stratification has been carried out of the family and into the work place also. Because men look at females through the womens roles, they have not been able to compete with men in job positions, incomes, or advancement within the work place. Men, with the idea of women being less capable, are quick to judge women, even if their have better credentials. a common problem for women trying to break into traditionally male occupations is the pre-existing male information and support network.

This remains a problem once women are hired. For example only relatively recently have women workers broken into traditionally male-dominated sectors of the auto industry. Until gender stratification is abolished at the family level women will never have equal opportunities in other aspects of life. When women and men are taught from birth that women are mentally and physically inept compared to men the gender roles will prevail. Womens role and mens roles in society will only slowly improve unless some drastic changes are made. It is not an easy thing to change such an institutionalized social order. Huge efforts at the legislative, in the court, law enforcement, Constitutional rights, and especially by man itself are at need to adjust the society in order for equality and equity of women to happen.

Women are the first who need to change in this situation in order for there to ever be a modification and a shatter of this glass ceiling. They must believe that they can not only succeed, but also that they deserve a chance to succeed. Because the notion that women do not belong in the workplace has been around for so long, women have started to believe that they have no place in a career and at least have no place in the upper level, executive job. A friend of mine puts it best when she stated, Everyone around me believed that it was the mans right to get a promotion before me or the other women in our department, so I just kind of accepted it too.

Until one day I realized I deserved it just as much-if not more-than they did. (Budzinski). Believing that they deserve a better job and equal treatment is the first step that a woman needs to take. Although she will come across many men who will try to hold her back, a woman needs to press on. There are a few simple, obvious success factors that a woman can follow to help her succeed first. Firs, a good track record of achievements will show her boss that she has the attitudes to handle a higher executive position. She has to have the willingness to take career risks.

A woman cannot be afraid of herself. She must go out there and give it her all, even if it means taking some risks. But most importantly, she must have the desire to succeed. She has to want it bad enough, and be willing to do whatever it takes to make is as far as she want to go (Center for Creative et al 24-32). There are many other things that a woman can do, but these are just examples of some basic rules that she can follow. But they will not help if she does not believe. Any woman has the potential to break down the glass ceiling; they just have to use their assets to the best of their ability.

It is true that things are getting better for women in the workplace. They are beginning to make little cracks in the glass ceiling, but things are still no where near to being equal. In order for that to happen, men and women need to work together as a team. Men, as well as women, have to do their part. They both must first believe that women are equal to men, then they must act upon it. It is possible.

It is an uphill battle every day, but if we continue to show these men that we are not going away, and if we make our voices heard, they will have no choice but to listen to us and make changes (Brower 160). Women and men move up in their companies to a point, but eventually you find that men keep moving and women stop(Brower).

Women belong in the kitchen. Women are the ones who should take care of their children. Men bring home the bacon. These types of standards were placed upon men and women many years ago. According to old ways of thinking, men are the ones who are supposed to go out into the real world and make all the money. But these old ways of thinking are still the current beliefs too. The men are the ones who are supposed to support their family and do all of the manly handiwork around the house.

Women are supposed to be the passive ones. They are the ones who clean the house, do the shopping, cook, and take care of the children. Stereotypes and social norms play a huge role in the earnings differences between males and females. I agree with her that these two factors did play a huge role in our society explaining differences by sex. Most women decided to get married, become pregnant, and stay home to raise the children, while the men went to work to support the family. This demanded womens jobs to be different from mens with less stress, tension, and physical strain.

This difference existed because traditionally the mothers were required to stay home and raise the children. Women are not traditionally the working types. But as the years have gone by, women have become tired of being passive and want to have their own career and own life. However, something stands in their way—the glass ceiling. This ceiling is an imaginary one that exists for women in the workplace. It represents a line that few women are ever able to cross throughout their lives.

On the other side of that line exists a world of corporate executives, heightened responsibility and higher paying jobs. This is an area that most women can never get to because of that glass ceiling. In the year 2000, the glass ceiling still exists. This ceiling cannot be broken until women are treated as equals. The only way that equality will come about is if both men and women modify their beliefs and actions.

I think that today some women are still silent about not being promoted and having different results of earnings than the men even though having equal experience and education. This silence will always exist among some women causing a difference of earnings among men and women to exist for some time still. Also, some firms tend to hire men more often than women for many reasons. A man is known to be more aggressive than a woman is. Some firms tent to advance more men than women and segregate the different occupations that exist in the firm by their sex. These are basically social norms placed by people in our society due to the major one that men are the dominant figures and that they always will be.

I think that a huge impact on the difference among earnings between men and women is because they each enter the labor force with different reasons, tastes, expectations, or maybe qualifications. One of them may be able to work longer hours or in an unpleasant environment where in return they receive higher pay. Most of us will probably agree that this description fits a mans role more than a womans does. This would be one stereotype that can cause a woman to earn less than a man would. Because women tend to concentrate more on low-paying jobs, their earning rates are lower compared to men.

Large earnings differentials exist among male and females occupations and probably will for the next decades. Women might have made some progress toward integrating these occupations due to the fact of human capital investments. For example, many moms go back to college after raising their kids to earn a better degree so that they can obtain a higher income job. But these women still have not reached equality with men regarding earnings. Many women are reentering the labor force after staying home to raise young children. Slow income growth continues to encourage the need for dual-earner families; ranks of single women are growing also.

These trends might continue to grow and develop where the working women can become the majority of the workforce in the future. There really cant be any policies implemented to address this difference in earnings. Our society has placed stereotypes and social norms that will always exist among us. Women must be allowed to compete freely in all occupations; but they must me undercut. They must demand and receive equal wages for equal work. But women now work for pay in greater numbers, in more occupations, and far more years of their lives than ever before, but too many still settle for compensation far below what it should be, and too many still find their potential curbed by the glass ceiling.

The Comparative Method

Sociologists have embraced what is known as the comparative method as the most efficient way to expose taken-for-granted ‘truths’ or laws that people have adopted. But what is this comparative method and how does it work? Are there any advantages/disadvantages to exposing these false ‘truths’. What forms or variations of the comparative method exist? In the pages to follow I will attempt to give you some insight and understanding of what the comparative method is, and how it works.

The comparative method, simply put, is the process of comparing two things in our case societies, or the people that make up society) and seeing if the result of the comparison shows a difference between the two. The comparative method attempts to dereify (the process of exposing misinterpreted norms. Norms that society consider natural and inevitable characteristics of human existence) reified (the human created norms or ‘truths’) beliefs. Obviously there are various ways in which a nomi (a labeled, sometime constructed, norm or truth) can be exposed. Which form of the comparative method should one use however?

The answer, whichever one applies to the ‘truth’ in question. For example, you certainly would not do a cross-gender form of comparison if you wished to expose whether or not homosexuality has always been feared and looked down upon by most people throughout history. No, rather you would perform a historical comparison of two or more different societies to see if these beliefs always existed, or, whether or not this is a newly constructed belief. Let’s look at little more closely at the above mentioned historical comparison and see how the comparative method works with a specific example.

There is no question that in today’s western society there is a lot of fear nd trepidation towards people who are labeled ‘homosexual’. The question we will attempt to answer however is whether or not it has always been like this and is this a universal truth. In ancient Greek societies people had a very different opinion of men that slept with men. For example, it was considered quite an honor for a family with a young boy under the age of 10, to be given the privilege on an older man of high society taking their son into his house. The young boy would go and live with this older man.

The older man would have sex with the young oy on a regular basis until the boy developed facial hair. It was not until then that the boy was considered a man. Society thought that an older mans, of great reputation, semen would help the boy develop into a fine young man. Once the boy developed the facial hair, the sex between the two would stop. The older man’s job was finished. Obviously this would be considered an atrocious and disgusting act these days. The older man in this case would certainly go to jail for the ‘crimes’ that he had committed.

However, in Ancient Greece this was not only considered perfectly normal, ut as I already stated, it was an honor and a gift that not every boy was ‘lucky’ enough to be given. Therefore, we can conclude from this comparison that homophobia, as we know it, is not a natural truth, nor is it a universal belief. Rather it is a socially constructed belief that many people have taken for granted as an inevitable part of human existence. It is important at this point to clarify something however. It is said that the role of the sociologist is a descriptive one as opposed to a prescriptive one.

That is to say that the sociologist should describe the arious practices, customs and structures that exist in various societies rather than suggest to people which one is actually the correct belief or the ‘real’ truth. Cross-gender comparisons is another commonly used comparison used to reveal socially constructed truths. In Carol Gilligan’s book ‘In a different voice’ we find a fine example of a cross-gender comparison. She states that most people believe that the majority of people, both men and women, view morale issues in the same way.

However, through empirical data collection, Carol Gilligan concludes that this is not most often the case. Rather, she states that men tend to approach moral issues quite differently than women. Where as men view morale issues with a “don’t interfere with my rights” view, women focus more on the “responsibility” end of the morale involved. Thus we can conclude, thanks to the comparative method, that the constructed truth that all people view morale issues the same is not a correct one. Another quick example of a cross-gender comparison would be that of the house-wife.

Still today most men view the role of the married woman as one that involves being a house-wife, in the traditional sense of the term. However, women today certainly would not view themselves in the same manner. The data collected from a comparison such as this could help to dereify this socially constructed truth. Cross-class comparisons is also a comparison commonly used when attempting to expose constructed truths between two classes. i. e. lower-class, upper-class, middle-class. For an example I refer to my lecture notes. Our professor gave us a fine example of a cross-class comparison involving his own life.

He was from a middle-class family and attended a public school where he got involved with various kids from the middle and lower class. He grew up in this type of environment and accepted it as the his life as the way society was. To him, there was not another lifestyle. This was life. Several events occurred and because of these events our professor was moved, by his parents, to a private school. This private school and the ‘new’ society that accompanied it resulted in a form of culture shock for him. All of a sudden he was placed in a new world, a world that he never even knew existed.

As you can see, our professor socially constructed the view that society was like the one that he lived in when he went to his public chool, hung around with middle and lower-class friends, and did what middle and lower-class kids did. When he was afforded the chance to compare that type of lifestyle to one of the upper-class he dereified his constructed view and his eyes opened to a new reality and a new view of the way society was. Another major comparative form is that of the cross-generational. This one is fairly straight forward. The name basically says it all.

In fact, it’s much like the historical comparison method but on a much smaller scale. I believe that in order for it to be termed cross-generational, the enerations that are being analyzed have to be living at the same time. Otherwise it becomes a historical comparison. Karen Anderson gives an example of a cross-generational comparison in her book Sociology : A Critical Introduction (1996, pg. 12). “Canadians pride themselves on their tolerance and lack of prejudice. But we do not need to look very far into our history to find examples of taken-for-granted understandings that have led to discriminatory and prejudicial treatment.

Some segments of the population have been classified as undesirable and thus as unwanted or undeserving outsiders… Anderson is pointing out that the constructed view in Canada is that we pride ourselves on the fact that we have very little prejudice in Canada. She goes on to point out that this is not at all the case. She gives the example of Canada’s history of immigration. She discusses the fact that a lot of Chinese people were allowed to immigrate to Canada, much to the dismay of current residents and already established European immigrants, during the time when the transcontinental railroad was being built.

Sir John A. Macdonald was the Prime Minister at this time and defended his eputation by telling the people of Canada, who were very disturbed by his actions, that the Chinese immigrants would live in Western Canada just temporarily. To reassure the people further Macdonald said “… no fear of a permanent degradation of the country by a mongrel race”. This would be considered horrific these days. Most Canadians would not even realize that their country was very closed to the idea of the immigration of certain types of people.

The social idea that Canada is, and always have been, a very tolerant country is exposed as a false, constructed truth through this ross-generational comparison. Finally we come to the last major comparative form. That of the cross-cultural. Cross-cultural comparison consists of comparing two societies or cultures in an attempt to reveal and expose some socially constructed ‘truths’ in order to prove that they are not universal but rather they are relative to each society. There are literally thousands of differences between almost every culture that people would be surely shocked to learn of.

For the next example I will show how the cross-cultural comparative method dereifies some of the onstructed so-called universal-truths that people in our society may have. India differs in it’s customs considerably from that of Canada or Northern America. For example, in Western Civilization families sit together when they attend church, in India this is not acceptable at all. Men and women must sit on opposite sides of the church. Men and women in India for the most part will not eat together, whereas in Western civilization it is a common practice and is actually looked upon as a good time for a little family bonding.

In India it is considered rude to eat with both hands at he table. The right had is solely used for eating and the left for drinking. Obviously we have a completely different practice in Western society. Another shock that a Westerner might face if he/she were to travel to India would be the fact that it is still considered a major social impropriety for a man to even touch a woman in public. In North America public displays of affection can been seen everywhere. . (Stott, John. Down To Earth. 1980. Pg. 12-15) These are all prime examples of Western universal truths that are exposed when compared to another culture.

One of the major benefits for exposing these truths through the comparative method is the fact that dereifying accepted truths leads to a decrease in ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the act of interpreting all societies through one’s own cultural lenses and believing that there idea of truths are the only correct ones. This could lead to the imposing of one’s own beliefs onto other societies. In other words, comparing, exposing, and dereifying helps educate and eliminate ignorance when it comes to social ‘truths’. However, there is a danger to exposing social constructs.

It ould lead to one taking on the perceptive of a radical relativist (all truths are correct) or a nihilistic view (the belief that all truths are relative and therefore there are no truths). Obviously this is a very negative, and possibly a destructive, way of thinking. As you can see, the comparative method is an essential part of a sociologists practice. Without it there would be a lot of confusion and misunderstanding between people and societies. Hopefully I have shown by example the various forms of the comparative method and how each of them applies to society and how they attempt to expose falsities.

Problems In Today’s Society

There are many problems right now in the society. Some of these problems can be easily solved, or can be impossible to solve depending how bad it is. Many people think these problems should be solved by the governments, since they are in charge. But we can also solve these problems if we get together. Not all the problems, but some that can be solved. I think the three major problems in the society today are: unemployment, violence, and pollution. The first problem in the society right now is unemployment.

Many people oday are either unemployed or underemployed. Some of these people just stay home and collect their welfare cheque every month, when they should go out and at least try to get a job. If there are more people like this, the country would be poor and therefore the government would have to collect more taxes. Also the standard of living would decrease because of their income that is way below the average income. Right now, there is also a big gap between the low income people and the high income people and this is becoming a problem.

Low ncome people are starting to get lower wages and higher income people are starting to get higher wages. Another problem in the society is violence. Today, there are many violence in the streets, some schools, and also in the media. These violence in the streets can cause the neighbourhood to become a bad place to live. This will cause people not to go there or move in there because of these violence. There are also many violence and gangs in some school, causing some of the school to be very unsafe to go.

With these violence and gangs, students will robably be afraid of these people. In addition, the media can contain violence too. These violence, can cause kids to do what ever is on TV. For example, my little brother likes to watch wrestling and he sometimes does wrestling moves on me for no reason and thinking it’s fun. Even though it doesn’t hurt me because I’m bigger than him, he might hurt someone smaller in school or something. The third problem in the society today is pollution. Many things these days cause pollution such as cars, air conditioners, refrigerators, factories,

CFC cans, etc.. All these things together can cause a pollution problem in the society today. The CFC cans used to be a serious problem to the ozone layer, but luckily it was taken off the market. Refrigerators and air conditioners are also a problem to the zone because of the liquid called freon. These machines use this liquid that makes it cold, but when these liquids are released from damaging the machine, it releases a gas that breaks down the zone layers. In addition, cars also can cause a lot of pollution because of the carbon monoxide t produces.

This would cause the air to be bad, cause global warming, which would cause the earth to have longer summers or vice versa, longer winters, and would also cause acid rain. In conclusion, unemployment, violence, and pollution would consider to be the three major problems in the society today. People and the government should get together and try to solve these problems in order to make this planet a safe and good place to live. If these problems are not solved, there might not even be an Earth in the future to live on.

The Ku Klux Klan

The Ku Klux Klan is a secret society based on hatred and violence. The Klan claims that it stands for only law-abiding rallies and activities, but the Klan has been known for having hypocritical views throughout its existence. No matter where the Klan is headed, violence is sure to be the destination. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan claim that the Bible is on their side. They claim that the Bible condones their activity. Nowhere in the Bible is killing thy neighbor encouraged. They claim they are not out to destroy America, but rather to save it.

How is it possible to save America with hate and violence? The Klan xists only to hold onto the beliefs of the Confederacy, but hanging on to the past only adds to the destruction of the future. Holding on to the past is bad enough when the past is full of pleasant memories, but the Klan is hanging on to the hate and ignorance of the South in the 1800s. The Ku Klux Klan has always attempted to reach their goal of instilling fear and intimidation in the minds of everyone they cross. The Klan has undergone four stages after its establishment and the last stage is still on the rise.

The Klan has a distinct origin, a four stage revolution, distinct symbols, recruiting requirements, and strong olitical beliefs. Formed in the 19th century, the Ku Klux Klan has attempted to instill fear in the minds and the hearts of black citizens in the United States. The Klan was first organized on December 24th, 1865 in the Law Office of Judge Thomas M. Jones. There were six people who organized the Klan. They included Calvin E. Jones, John B. Kennedy, Frank O. McCord, John C. Lester, Richard R. Reed, and James R. Crow. This information is proclaimed on a wall in Pulaski, Tennessee.

It was unveiled on May 21, 1917 by the widow of Captain Kennedy, who was the last of the six founders to pass away. The origin of the Ku Klux Klan was described in a thirty page pamphlet published by Mr. and Mrs. William B. Romine of Pulaski. It read: As the Klan stood primarily for purity and preservation of the home and for the protection of the women and children, especially the widows and orphans of Confederate soldiers, white, the emblem of purity was chosen for the robes. And to render them startling and conspicuous, red, emblem of the blood which Klansmen were ready to shed in defense of the helpless, was chosen for the trimmings.

Also, a sentimental thought was present in adopting the color scheme, as white and ed were the Confederate colors. Be it said to the credit of the women of the South who designed and made with their own hands more than four hundred thousand of these Klan robes for both horses and riders, not a word was said by these women to anyone about them and not one single secret concerning them was ever revealed. -page 8 of Ku Klux Klan, A Century of Infamy by William Pierce Randel This account was published in 1924. The six founders were unable to fill a complement of den officers. At first there was no Grand Scribe.

The original den leader, Frank McCord was called Grand Cyclops; his chief lieutenant, known s Grand Magi, was Captain Kennedy. James Crowe was chosen Grand Turk, a kind of marshal or master of ceremonies. Calvin Jones and Captain Lester were Night Hawks, or couriers, and Richard Reed was the first Lictor or outer guard. New titles were created for the next few members to join. After these positions were filled, the new members were to be called Ghouls. The name of this secret organization was one of the first things that was discussed. They wanted a name that was original and one that would send a tingle down the spine of their victims.

The title came from a Greek word kuklos which means a band or circle. James Crowe suggested that the word be split in two and changing the last letter to an x. This gave them the name Ku Klux. Then John Lester remarked that all six founders were of Scottish descent, therefore he proposed that clan be added to the end, but spelled with a k for consistency yielding the Ku Klux Klan. This name was much better than the proposed Clocletz. Clocetz was the name of a phantom Indian chief who the Negroes from Georgia had feared, but they decided that it was too unoriginal.

After the name was established, the Ku Klux Klan needed to have a set structure to maintain order. The structure was founded by one of the most educated founders, John Kennedy. Since he had briefly attended Centre College in Kentucky, he had observed some details about how fraternities were structured. Since the structure of fraternities helped establish other organizations, it seemed that this was a perfect model to follow in the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan. Now that the name and structure were established, the Klan needed uniforms. The color white was chosen for the reason that the KKK stood for purity.

They decided to wear robes and hoods to intimidate their much hated counterparts, the Blacks. The Ku Klux Klan has gone through an evolution over the course of time and it has endured four phases; Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movements, revival after World War II, and present day activity. The first evidence of the Ku Klux Klan was during Reconstruction. The Klan began as a prankish organization that targeted Blacks and Republicans. The first Klan was a secret society established in the Southern states during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War.

It was founded at Pulaski, Tennessee in the fall of 1865 as a social club. The sudden attempt at enfranchisement of blacks, by passage of the Reconstruction cts of March 1867, and also of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution, created serious problems of political and social readjustments. Local politicians and their white supporters, known as scalawags, and Northerners, known as carpetbaggers, who went south hoping to profit in one way or another by the manipulation of the black vote, added to the confusion and uncertainty. Many Blacks were exploited by their new found friends and turned to them for help.

The Ku Klux Klan was formed to intimidate Blacks. They used bizarre rituals and wore pointed hoods and draping gowns to help intimidate Blacks. From 1868 to 1871, the Klan reached the height of its power. The movement was really a revolution against many of the aspects of Reconstruction, and was also a revolt to overthrow local and state governments. At the first meeting for the KKK in Nashville, Tennessee, General Nathan B. Forrest, a famous Confederate cavalry leader, was chosen as Grand Cyclops, or president. The Klan was separated into local dens and they adopted a set of principles.

They are as follows: 1) to protect the weakened and to relieve the injured and oppressed, 2) to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and laws passed in conformity thereto and to protect the states nd the people from invasion of any source, and 3) to aid in the execution of the laws and to protect the people from unlawful seizure and trial except by their peers. The Klan spread from Tennessee to the Carolinas and especially Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. In Louisiana, white radicals formed a group that was different than the KKK only in name.

They referred to themselves as the Knights of the White Camellia. Other similar organizations were referred to as the White League and the Invisible Circle. The Klan had a large group of members, but the members were not as evident as hoped. Local groups were soon were branded as utlaws; therefore, were condemned. In 1871 and 1872, the government introduced the Force Laws to break up these local groups and to control local elections. The Ku Klux Klan continued to participate in their activities until they had accomplished all of their goals.

They vowed to continue protecting the white people, reducing the black vote, expelling undesirable carpetbaggers and scalawags, and nullifying those laws of Congress that in a sense would put white Southerners under control of a party largely supported by black voters. By 1877, when Rutherford B. Hayes became president and the federal troops had been withdrawn as upport of local governments, the original Klan had been disbanded. The second, or the modern 20th-century, Klan was formed by William J. Simmons on Stone Mountain, near Atlanta, Ga. in 1915 as a fraternal organization devoted to the principles of white supremacy.

It was a new organization, linked only by name and tradition to the original Klan. By 1919, Edward Clark Young and Elizabeth Tyler, publicity agent and fund raisers, had joined with Simmons. Klan activities were now not only directed against blacks, but also against Roman Catholics, Jews, and the foreign-born. This Klan became dedicated to protecting the purity of the ative-born, white, Anglo-Saxon Americans and claimed a higher morality and dedication to religious fundamentalism.

Because the Klan was not sectional in its appeal, its influence spread to other parts of the country outside of the South. Mysterious meetings around fiery crosses, with members masked, hooded, and robed in sheets, became symbolic of the Klan. The tactics they used were to instill fear upon their counterparts. They used whippings, tarring and feathering, branding, mutilating, and lynching as tactics to present intimidation and fear. Following investigations into the Klan finances and isclosures of money making in 1921, Young and Tyler resigned and Simmons was replaced as head of the Klan by Hiram W. Evans.

The Klan reached the height of its power in the early 1920s, when it probably had between 4,000,000 and 6,000,000 members. As a political force the Klan was effective and promoted the election of many officials on the local level. In 1924, the Klan helped split the Democratic presidential convention. Thereafter their influence began to wane, and public sentiment of the Klan grew, especially after the conviction for murder of the head of the Indiana Klan. There was a rise of Klan activity during the 1928 residential campaign, when Al Smith ran on the Democratic ticket.

The ranks of the Klan, however, continued to deteriorate. During the 1930s, the Klan was reduced to a regional, ineffective organization in the South. In the late 1930s, it had some association with the German-American Bund. When the U. S. government tried to collect back taxes in 1944, the remnants of the Klan again disbanded. The third stage came after World War II. The Klan was again revived in Georgia in 1946 and similar organizations arose throughout the South as the movement for increased civil rights for blacks developed after World War II.

Klan ctivity increased after the 1954 Supreme Court desegregation decision and became more intensive following the passage and enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the decision by the vast majority of Southern political leaders to comply with the law. Many bombings and murders were attributed to the Klan, including the 1965 killing of Mrs. Viola Liuzzo, a civil rights worker, for which three Klansmen were convicted. President Lyndon B. Johnson called for a congressional investigation of the Klan by the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

In 1966 seven leading Klansmen were indicted for contempt of Congress for refusing o produce Klan records. In 1973, convictions were handed down against five men who, as Klansmen, bombed school busses in Pontiac, Michigan. Klan strength is variously estimated at 15,000 to 30,000 members active in 15 states. The Ku Klux Klan seemed to have all of the odds against them, but they seemed to again reestablish itself in the present day. The Klan was again revived for the fourth stage. Every time the Klan reappeared, they came with more anger and weaker beliefs than the last.

This is the main reason the Klan has lost meaning every time it has reappeared. The new Klan differs from the original dramatically. All current members are ignorant radicals out to save the world. The present-day Klan has been convicted recently of burning Black churches. This proves that the Klan is not just ignorant, but yet hypocrites of their beliefs. No where in the Bible does it say burn thy neighbors church down. The Klan is portrayed on television by uneducated, drunk, and violent men who portray themselves as protecting their ancestors.

Their ancestors had to form a secret society because they lost the Civil War, but were too scared to give up their old lives. Again they were grasping on to the past instead of solving problems by looking ahead to the future. Instead those great ancestors have passed on their beliefs to these Neo-Nazis on television. The present-day Klan is the most confused. All of the other phases of the Klan have been true to their beliefs, but this recent Klan has incorporated the beliefs of the Ku Klux Klan with those of Hitlers Nazis.

The Klan/Neo-Nazis stand for mainly the hate and jealousy of African-Americans. Most of the other beliefs have diminished, but the hatred towards Blacks has expanded to fill the empty hole left open by all of the other missing beliefs. The new Klan is known for their extreme beliefs and actions. They preach with violence. Even though they are short on members, they use extreme tactics that would have never been considered in the past. The present-day Klan stands for only shallow beliefs including hate, jealousy, and anger that is expressed through violence.

The Ku Klux Klan is known for their trademark symbols. Almost all Klan groups use the Blood Drop symbol that was made popular in the 1920s. It represents the blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for the white Aryan Race. Another symbol is the crosswheel that was made popular during the 1970s, the 4th Era. It is a cross in a circle. In the crosswheel, it is evident that the Christian cross, the heel of creativity, the circle of unity, motion, and also the ancient Aryan symbol for the sun are all present. The cross that is set ablaze is another signature symbol acquired by the Ku Klux Klan.

The reason that the cross is lit has been described. From the sacred pages of the Holy Bible comes the sad sweet story of the Holy Cross of Calvary. This Holy Cross is our symbol of sacrifice and service, and a sign of the Christian religion. It was sanctified and made Holy almost 2000 years ago by the suffering and blood over 50 million martyrs who died in the most Holy Faith. The Cross stands in every Klan Den as a onstant reminder that Jesus Christ is our Criterion of character and His teachings our life blood, bought Holy, sanctified and sublime.

This old Cross was bathed in the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and became transformed into the symbol of faith, hope, and love. Today it is used to rally the forces of Christianity against the ever increasing hordes of an anti-Christ and the enemies of America and the White Race. We light the Cross with fire to signify to the world that Jesus Christ is the light of the world. Where the Holy Cross shall shine, there will be dispelled evil, darkness, gloom, and despair. The Light of Truth dispels ignorance and superstition as fire purifies gold and silver, but destroys wood and stubble.

So by the fire of the Cross of Calvary, we cleanse and purify our virtues by burning out our vices with the fire of His Word. Who can look upon this sublime symbol, or sit in its sacred Holy Light without being inspired with a holy desire and determination to be a better person? By this Holy Light of the Cross, we will perservere. – KKK. com quoted by a Klansman on why they light the cross. Recruiting for the Klan was never thought about when it was established. One of the first decisions that was to be ollowed by the Klan everywhere was new members were not to be sought out.

Joining the Klan was each individual decision. The den officers do not push people to join the Klan. Although the Klan does not recruit, people interested in joining have to meet certain qualifications. They are as follows: No person is allowed in our ranks who can not declare an unqualified allegiance to the Constitution of the United States. No person is allowed in this Movement who can not pledge themselves to the protection, preservation, and advancement of the White Race. No one is allowed in this movement who can not practice real Brotherhood.

Only pure White Christian people of non-Jewish, non-Negro, non-Asian descent who are at least eighteen years old and who pledge to dedicate their lives to this cause can enter the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Those under the age of eighteen can join the Klan Youth Corp. with parental consent, and then become a full member of the Knights when they turn eighteen. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is strictly a law-abiding organization. Every member is sworn to uphold the law and the principles of justice, and he will not conspire with others to commit any unlawful or violent crimes.

The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan cocedes the right of very Christian citizen the right to worship God as he sees fit, and will not tolerate denominational dissentation of any nature. All White Christians must unite, at this juncture in history. The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Movement is not an open membership organization. Only those who meet 100% of the qualifications are allowed to join the Klan. Although the Ku Klux Klan is extremely influential in politics, members claim that the KKK is not a political affiliation.

They add that if it was a political affiliation, the beliefs that would be introduced are as follows: Reassert Americans White Christian Heritage. Return prayer to school. Stop all non-white organizations. Drug testing on all welfare recipitants. Quarantine all Aids carriers. Make the purchase of US Industry and property illegal to foreigners. Do away with free trade that harms the American worker and employ a policy of protectionism. Workfare not welfare. People work for their checks, so should they. Troops on our South border to stop illegal immigration.

Stop reverse discrimination by doing away with Affirmative Action. Declare all laws attempting to enforce gun control as unconstitutional. The Klans political beliefs are clearly out to benefit only the white conformist who rejects what society has ndergone. Society today offers equality for every American citizen. The Klan is against this because they do not like that they will have to work for their jobs just as hard as immigrants do. Klan members want society to hand them what ever they want even though they are the under qualified applicant.

Equality should not bother anyone who is not afraid of working hard for what they want. Nothing will be handed out on a silver platter in todays society, regardless of what the Ku Klux Klan has to say. Complaining, criticizing, and envying will not produce anything except for hatred for the working man, or in todays society, the working woman. The Ku Klux Klan has endured and overcame many obstacles to stay around and distort childrens minds. The Klan has been around for a long time, and unless they are stopped, will be around for a long time.

The Ku Klux Klan is a secret organization that helps segregate the United States by color or beliefs. The Klan helped to preserve racism and because members are ignorant, they will not mingle and learn to understand other cultures. Hating the unknown is just an easy and safe way to live. If the Klan attempted to understand other cultures, maybe they could begin to realize that everyone is alike in one way or another. The most effective technique in destroying the Klan is education. Education is the tool for prevention.

If children are not educated that the Ku Klux Klan stands for evil purposes, these children may fall into the Klans evil empire. Educating the youth along with the society is the only effective way to disband the Ku Klux Klan and secret groups of this nature. The key is to never forget what happened with the Klan so this world will never have to endure the hardships that the Ku Klux Klan has provided. The Ku Klux Klan has undergone a revolution of four stages after their origin in Tennessee and can be identified by their distinct symbols.

Freud Foucault and Society

Aristotle once stated in Metaphysics that, “All men by nature desire Knowledge. ” If one accepts the claim that knowledge is power, then it will be logical to assert that all people want power. The person or persons that have knowledge also acquire the power of that knowledge.

In Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish he clearly shows the power-knowledge relationship that is prevalent in society both on the large and small scale, and how these affect society as a whole. Whereas, Sigmund Freud who has mastered the discipline of psychotherapy, which he uses to help others without this knowledge clearly demonstrates the power of knowledge.

In Sigmund Freud’s Studies on Hysteria there are studies which show this use of power-knowledge to unlock problems in their mind creating the hysteria for which they suffer. These two authors use their power of knowledge in much the same way by bringing to light the problems that confront the individual. However, they both would have a different point of view on the use of this power. In Discipline and Punish, Foucault looks to shock the reader and get the attention of the reader immediately with his depiction of torture and death at the outset.

This has a compelling effect, and different uses of power. The first one being evident, that is the physical power. The other form of power is not so evident. It is the effect of this power on the mind of the individual. The punishment and extraction of information has gone from being a very physical and public ritual and evolving later to a private ceremony hidden behind walls, and consisting of mental torture. The individual wants to feel that punishment is carried out in some moral way. However, this way is not moral but simply a veil from society’s view.

This way one can pretend it is not going on. This book is intended as a correlative history of the modern soul and of a new power to judge; genealogy of the present scientifico-legal complex from which the power to punish derives its bases, justification and rules, from which it extends its effects and by which it masks its exorbitant singularity (Foucault P. 23). Even though the intended use of this power is to punish, it filters itself into everyday life and these turn out to be the rule which society is to live by.

Power in society according to Foucault is power to make people do things, not repress them. The first evidence of this power is within the family. The parents in a family have the power over their children. This is due to two reasons. The first is because they are physically more powerful. The second reason is because they have more knowledge. As an individual grows he/she gains more knowledge, through experience, which increases their power within the society. However, they still have very little of the power to get others to do what they want.

The individual then goes to school where again they are confronted with the power-knowledge relationship. In this case the teacher/professor has the power, the student really is at their mercy. The student does what the teacher/professor says because the student knows that in order to advance in society they will have to continue to gain the knowledge to achieve the power. The teacher/professor is the key to that power. The way the individual is subjected to this power only changes when they have mastered a discipline.

We should admit rather that power produces knowledge (and not simply by encouraging it because it serves power or by applying it because it is useful); that power and knowledge directly imply one another; that there is no power relation without the correlative constitution of a field of knowledge, nor any knowledge that does not presuppose and constitute at the same time power relations (Foucault P. 27). Are we making ourselves better off in society through the power of knowledge? There are some points we should take a look at: First, is enlightenment of power-knowledge a source of freedom or simply further incarceration?

Education has been trying to teach the individual in hopes that he/she will help to better society through improved knowledge, but what one finds out is simply they are falling deeper into this trap of power-knowledge. Is the individual becoming more or less humane through becoming educated? It becomes clearly evident that as a society, we simply just put what we do not want to see behind physical or mental barriers, but that is not making us more humane. We are still imprisoned by these barriers. Second, has there truly been progress in forms of punishment throughout history?

Society’s way of punishing the individual throughout history has definitely changed. Punishment has gone from horse quartering to life imprisonment, but can we say that one is better than the other is? Also, are human rights universal throughout society, or are they simply changing according to the rules which society sets for itself? Third, are we creatures of conformity? Society sets the standards to which we are constructed; the way we talk, how we act, etc…. This is what society calls “the norm,” that is how the people making up the society should behave.

This led to the development of social statistics that constitutes the average. Therefore, what was once a decision about right and wrong, is now viewed as measurement of the amount of deviation from the norm. A perfect example lies within the United States criminal justice system. Instead of regarding murder as simply murder, law officials must determine what to what degree the murder was committed. This process will in turn decide how far from the norm the criminal’s behavior was and thus attach an appropriate punishment.

Fourth, there is no salvation to be found in politics. Power is relations of force. Power is not a property, it is a relation. Therefore, it can not be equated with anything; it is dispersed throughout society. This simply means individual people are powerless within society. It is important to note that collectively however, people do potentially have a wealth of power. People in a society have different abilities that need to be recognized. The structure of politics will not change by substituting neither individuals nor entities within the structure.

The societal constraints we put on ourselves have resulted in both physical and mental complications. They can all be attributed to the mind’s inability to deal with these constraints. This is evident in the cases of Anna O. and Elizabeth Von R. When one falls out of the so-called “norm” they may develop a “defense hysteria” which could manifest itself into both physical and mental irregularities.

Sigmund Freud through his mastery of psychotherapy helps those that have fallen out of “the norm” to return to a normal life. In the case of Anna O. he is thoroughly distraught over the caring for her sick father. Freud must seek the answers to a varied number of abnormalities, which Anna exhibits during various periods she is responsible for her father. Hysteria stems from the suppression of different memories, which act out in someway physically and/or mentally. It is this suppression that must be brought to light in her case or in that of others, that are experiencing hysterical symptoms of a similar or different nature. One way to do this is through hypnotism, like in the case of Anna O.

This allows Breuer, Freud’s colleague, to unlock the mind of Anna O. in the hope to discover what is troubling her. The patient’s ego had been approached by an idea which proved to be incompatible, which provoked on the part of the ego a repelling force of which the purpose was defense against this incompatible idea. This defense was in fact successful. The idea in question was forced out of the consciousness and out of memory (Freud P. 269). In Anna O. ‘s case when all these memories were brought to the forefront, her symptoms ceased.

Foucault would find disagreement in the handling of the case of Elizabeth Von R. by Freud. Freud in this case as in others is trying to make the implicit, explicit, but the way in which he achieves this goal is different. There is physical handling of the patient in this case. Freud applies pressure to the head of Elizabeth Von R. to extract information from her. While the pressure was applied she was able to recall the memories, and when it was removed the sensation went away. Foucault would see this as a way of seducing information/memories from the patient.

Much the same way information was extracted through torture earlier in history, with less severity, but yet solicited. As in both cases discussed, the patients were suffering from a defense hysteria. These could both be equated to the standards society sets for itself. Take the case again of Elizabeth Von R. , she was largely confronted with her affections for her brother-in-law. In society, it was unacceptable to have certain feelings for one’s brother-in-law; therefore she was forced to repress those feelings which in turn became physical abnormalities.

It can also be noted that the patient has the control over the repression. Elizabeth Von R. would hold back giving information until after several attempts, this would show either her power over that knowledge, or her degree of repression. A violent opposition started against the entry into the consciousness of the questionable mental process, and for that reason it remained unconscious. As being something unconscious, it had the power to construct a symptom. This same opposition, during psychoanalytic treatment, sets itself up once more against our efforts to transform what is unconscious into what is conscious.

That is what we perceive as resistance. We have proposed to give the pathogenic process, which is demonstrated by the resistance, the name of repression (Freud 286). Foucault brings to light the way in which the individual is affected by the large and small segments of society. He demonstrates the power-knowledge relationship that the individual is also subjected to in everyday life. With this knowledge, is it possible to change the way in which our society affects us?

There really is no way in which we can rid ourselves of the power-knowledge relationship. If society changes one thing, it will lead to an affect on something else. Therefore, we must remain aware of this power-knowledge relationship, so there is no hidden power relations. The individual will then be liberated in self-knowledge. As long as there are standards that we have to live by, there will always be hysteria in the individual, leading to the need for the discipline of psychotherapy and individuals like Sigmund Freud.

Social Darwinism Essay

In his most famous book On the Origin of Species, Darwin included four major arguments: that new species appear; that these new species have evolved from older species; that the evolution of species is the result of natural selection; and “that natural selection depends upon variations and the maintenance of variation in spite of the tendency of natural selection to eliminate ‘unfit’ variants” (403). After Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, Herbert Spencer(1820-1903) took hold of Darwin’s theory of natural selection and applied it to society as well as evolution.

He strayed from biology to society. Spencer’s ideas became known as Social Darwinism. The theory of natural selection holds that only the most well-adapted individuals in a population will survive and reproduce. These successful individuals pass on their adaptive advantage to their offspring. Over many generations, the process ensures the adaptation of the entire population to its environment. This holds true in the jungle, but it was Spencer who coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” to describe the competition among human individuals and groups.

He argued that human progress resulted from the triumph of more advanced individuals and cultures over their inferior competitors. Wealth and power were seen as signs of inherent “fitness,” while poverty was taken as evidence of natural inferiority. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Social Darwinism was used to argue for unrestrained economic competition and against aid to the “unfit” poor. The theory was also used to justify racist and imperialist policies in Europe and the United States.

Social Darwinist ideas fell from grace in the early 20th century; Herbert Spencer’s reputation as a philosopher and social theorist toppled with it. Spencer once wrote of society. These are the traits that societies have in common with organic bodies. And these traits in which they agree with organic bodies and disagree with all the things entirely subordinate the minor distinctions: such distinctions being scarcely greater than those that separate one half of the organic kingdom from the other. The principles of organization are the same and the differences of application.

Having exhaustively spelled out the elements of the analogy between society and the features of biological organisms, he concludes that there is more than an analogy between them. Societies are organisms. Beyond the exact definition of Darwinism, many people found personal applications to the scientific doctrine. Not only was survival of the fittest an established truth in nature, it was also more than evident in human society. Many people, after reading the benefits associated with reproduction of the strong, began to place human activity under the scrutiny of science.

Those who found that the principles of Darwinism advocated their personal goals in society took great lengths to spread the word of Social Darwinism. This was a doctrine that called for free competition among humans and a setting in which the dominating class was the major contributor of offspring. A further example would be: We see that in the rudest state of society, the individuals who were the most sagacious, who invented and used the best weapons or traps, and who were best able to defend themselves, would rear the greatest number of offspring.

The tribes, which included the largest number of men thus endowed, would increase in number and supplant other tribes. (Crook, 23) The primary supporters of Social Darwinism included the hard-nosed capitalists who fought for laissez faire. These people wanted an economic market that was free from outside regulation. They contended that the system itself, like nature, had inherent systems of checks and balances. Favorable variations would be preserved and unfavorable ones would be destroyed. Because the stronger and more cunning fox survives, he passes on his positive traits and furthers the entire species genetically.

Similarly, the stronger and more successful businessman weeds out his unskilled competitors. This allows the entire system to progress and provides positive examples for future generations to follow. If there was a “natural order” to nature which, if left alone, would progress to the survival of the fittest, then any tampering with that order would strike against natue and weaken society. If nature had an iron law, then justice, equality, and natural rights were fiction. There were no rights against a nature which sanctions ruthless competition. Any principles not found in the jungle, should not be found in society.

This justification through scientific law promoted acceptance because science was held in high regard at the time. When lectures, publications, and even private conversations tackled the controversial issue of business regulation, people cited the principles of Social Darwinism time and time again. By providing firm scientific principles that could be used as evidence on popular issues, Social Darwinism consumed discussions and spread wildly. These concepts and laws that Social Darwinism entails were obviously more widely accepted by the upper classes and business men who would benefit most by this organization of natural selection.

While this didn’t leave the lower classes with nothing, it did increase competition and productivity in economic society. But although the idea and theory of Social Darwinism is relatively straight forward, its impact on the progress of man and society is not so easily seen. As social Darwinism supports “survival of the fittest,” it is only through this that we can see what influence it had on societies progress. The theory contends that all human progress depends on competition. Social Darwinists believed that this competition was a natural process and any interference with this process would have perilous results.

Because society is made up of a number of different people, who fall into different classes, social Darwinism worked for some but not for all. It brought the men who were already in power into greater control, but kept the lower classes and minorities at a stand still. A friend of Darwin once wrote him, saying: Remember what risk the nations of Europe ran not so many centuries ago of being overwhelmed by the Turks, and how ridiculous such an idea now is! The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turks hollow in the struggle for existence.

Looking to the world at no very distant date, what an endless number of the lower races will have been eliminated by the highest civilized races throughout the world (Crook, 25) William Graham Sumner(1840-1910) was a Yale professor and was influential on economic matters in the United States in the second half of the 19th century. Also a Social Darwinist he believed that “The millionaires are a product of natural selection. ” Like Spencer before him, Sumner, wrote many essays about his firm belief in laisse-faire, individual liberty, and the innate inequalities among people.

He viewed competition for property and social status as a good thing that eliminated the ill adapted and preserved racial soundness and cultural strength. For William Sumner, the middle class Protestant values of hard work, thrift, and sobriety were worthy of high praise because the set the stage for wholesome family life and sound public morality. He was against any reforms to help the poor because, in his view, creation of a welfare state would put excessive economic burdens on the middle class whose members would have to pay for it through taxation.

Social Darwinism still, and always will, exist in the present day, in some respects. Although now is not a period known as Socialy Darwinistic, it can be found in the modern day class system. “Survival of the fittest” is still a theory that drives many a man to succeed and strive for greatness. It is not such a solid or segregated system as was in the past, but it is none the less there. If a man is born into wealth, he usually retains that wealthy status of high society his entire life. But in the modern nation, the chance to achieve greatness is given to all, regardless of the class the are born into.

But as these people come to power and others fall, the are positioned in classes, which usually leads to marriage and breeding inside those classes. Because of this children are still born into segregated positions in society. This is unavoidable in any structured society. In this respect, Social Darwinism has always existed in our society and this specific incident did not have a positive or negative effect on society. As a whole Social Darwinism inevitably served as an aid to social progress, because it had an impact on modern society.

Along the lines of Darwinistict thought, a species must evolve to adapt to his surroundings. Humans follow the same pattern as all species in this effect. Society as a whole is always changing and evolving to fit its surroundings, and in doing so, is progressing, whether in a positive or negative direction. When the question is asked, “Did Social Darwinism have a positive impact on society? ,” there is no way to answer, because society is a constantly changing organism. The only thing that can be taken as fact is that Social Darwinism did have a large impact on today’s modern society.

Totaltarian Society Essay

Living in a society with limited freedom of expression is not, in any case, enjoyable. A Totalitarian society is a good example of such a society, because although it provides control for the people, it can deny them a great deal of freedom to express themselves. The fictional society in George Orwell’s “1984” stands as a metaphor for a Totalitarian society. Communication, personal beliefs, and individual loyalty to the government are all controlled by the inner party, which governs the people of Oceania in order to keep them from rebelling.

Current society in America is much more democratic. It contrasts with Orwell’s society of 1984 because communication, personal beliefs and the people’s loyalty to the government are all determined by the individual. In order to keep the people of Oceania in conformity with the desires of the governing Inner Party; the Inner Party controls several aspects of the people’s lives. Communication, for one, is controlled for the benefit of the nation. Newspeak is a modified version of language that is enforced upon the people in order to limit their expression.

Syme and Winston, two middle-class workers in Oceania, discuss the concept of Newspeak. Syme reveals that he supports the system, demonstrating how he has been brainwashed by the Inner Party who enforces the system. “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words… You haven’t a real appreciation for Newspeak, Winston… Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thougtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. (p. 46)”

One can detect from this quotation that the people of Oceania, as a group, have been brainwashed by the Inner Party to use only Newspeak. Syme, for one, understands the purpose of it, and he still complies with the system because he has been trained to do so. The concept of Newspeak is designed to control personal beliefs of the citizens by limiting their form of expression as Syme explains. But when the governing system is not followed, Thought Police are used to prevent thoughts that oppose the nation. “How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork.

It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. (p. 6)” There is no doubt that – through both Newspeak and Thought Police – the system of government in “1984” has adequately prevented the people from thinking against it. When all this surveillance is placed on the people, they learn to comply with their country and eventually begin to value it automatically. At the end of the story, after Winston is accused by the Thought Police of thoughtcrime and is tortured, he finally conforms to the general thoughts of Oceania. “He had finally won the victory over himself.

He loved Big Brother. (p. 245)” This quote indicates that the inner party has done everything that was necessary to preserve Winston’s loyalty to the nation. Even Winston, who at one time was against his government, has now been “fixed” to support it and love his leader. The government of Oceania has gone to great lengths to change Winston’s mind, and as always, they have gotten what they desire. America in 1999 is much different from Orwell’s 1984 because, for one, freedom of expression is a dominating factor in American communication.

In conversation as well as newspapers and magazines, a variety of views and opinions are openly expressed. Censorship is not enforced to a high degree. As an example, demonstrations and protests are often held which counter certain governmental policies; laws or propositions are often spoken out against in public. The fact that these rebellious actions are not punished by the government proves that the government of America is much more lenient than that of “1984”. The expression of such a variety of beliefs comes from the freedom of individual beliefs.

The government does not maintain the thoughts and opinions of the individual; the government does not have a system to control the thoughts of the individual. This is why one commonly sees such a variety of beliefs and ideas spread in advertisements and media. For instance, while there are often advertisement for meat, leather or fur products in magazines and such, other advertisements often try to suggest a more humane treatment of animals, therefore contradicting the idea that animals should be killed for human consumption.

The modern American government fully allows any given belief of the individual people. And because our beliefs vary, our opinion of the government can vary. While some people support their nation, others defy it because they have the independence to do so. Neo-Nazi skinheads traditionally wear an American flag upside down on their clothing or burn the flag. There is no policing that prevents people from doing this because the government gives them the freedom. All in all, modern Americans have an extremely high level of freedom regarding all forms of expression.

The story of “1984” reflects a society that totally contrasts with America today. While Orwell’s objective was primarily written to exaggerate the Totalitarian/Communist and other conditions of society surrounding him, “1984” presents an important guide to life for modern Americans. Just as a major objective of learning American history is to ensure that we do not repeat our mistakes, “1984” can give warnings to both government systems and individuals regarding how society should not be controlled. The vigorous control system presented in the book stands as a method by which no American would want to live.

The West, a form of society

The West was a form of society rather than an area. It is the term applied to the region whose social conditions result from the application of older institutions and ideas to the transforming influences of free land. By this application, a new environment is suddenly entered, freedom of opportunity is opened, the cake of custom is broken, and new activities, new lines of growth, new institutions and new ideals, are brought into existence. The wilderness disappears, the \”West\” proper passes on to a new frontier and, in the former area, and a new society has emerged from this contact with the backwoods.

Gradually this society loses its primitive conditions, and assimilates itself to the type of the older social conditions of the East; but it bears within it enduring and distinguishing survivals of its frontier experience. Decade after decade, West after West, this rebirth of American society had gone on, and left its traces behind it, which reacted on the East. The history of our political institutions, our democracy, is not a history of imitation, of simple borrowing; it is a history of the evolution and adaptation of organs in response to changed environment, a history of the origin of new political species.

In this sense, therefore, the West has been a constructive force of the highest significance in our life. The West, as a phase of social organization, began with the Atlantic coast, and passed across the continent. But the colonial tidewater area was in close touch with the Old World, and soon lost its Western aspects. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the newer social conditions appeared along the upper waters of the tributaries of the Atlantic. Here it was that the West took on its distinguishing features, and transmitted frontier traits and ideals to this area in later days.

On the coast were the fishermen and skippers, the merchants and planters, with eyes turned toward Europe. Beyond the falls of the rivers were the pioneer farmers, largely of non-English stock, Scotch-Irish and German. They constituted a distinct people, and may be regarded as an expansion of the social and economic life of the middle region into the backcountry of the South. These frontiersmen were the ancestors of Boone, Andrew Jackson, Calhoun, Clay, and Lincoln. Washington and Jefferson were profoundly affected by these frontier conditions. The forest clearings have been the seed plots of American character.

Here then, is the problem of the West, as it looked to New England leaders of thought in the beginning and at the end of this century. From the first, it was recognized that a new type was growing up beyond the mountains, and that the time would come when the destiny of the nation would be in Western hands. The divergence of these societies became clear in the struggle over the ratification of the federal constitution. The interior agricultural region, the communities that were in debt and desired paper money, opposed the instrument; but the areas of intercourse and property carried the day.

The most obvious fact regarding the man of the Western waters is that he had placed himself under influences destructive to many of the gains of civilization. Remote from the opportunity for systematic education, substituting a log hut in the forest clearing for the social comforts of the town, he suffered hard-ships and privations, and reverted in many ways to primitive conditions of life. Engaged in a struggle to subdue the forest, working as an individual, and with little specie or capital, his interests were with the debtor class. At each stage of its advance, the West has favored an expansion of the currency.

The pioneer had boundless confidence in the future of his own community, and when seasons of financial contraction and depression occurred, he, who had staked his all on confidence in Western development, and had fought the savage for his home, was inclined to reproach the conservative sections and classes. To explain this antagonism requires more than denunciation of dishonesty, ignorance, and boorishness as fundamental Western traits. Legislation in the United States has had to deal with two distinct social conditions. In some portions of the country there was, and is, an aggregation of property, and vested rights are in the foreground.

That in the conflict between these two ideals the government has always held an even hand would be difficult to show. But free lands and the consciousness of working out their social destiny did more than turn the Westerner to material interests and devote him to a restless existence. They promoted equality among the Western settlers, and reacted as a check on the aristocratic influences of the East. Where everybody could have a farm, almost for taking it, economic equality easily resulted, and this involved political equality. Western democracy included individual liberty, as well as equality.

The frontiersman was impatient of restraints. He knew how to preserve order, even in the absence of legal authority. If there were cattle thieves, lynch law was sudden and effective: the regulators of the Carolinas were the predecessors of the claims associations of Iowa and the vigilance committees of California. But the individual was not ready to submit to complex regulations. Population was sparse; there was no multitude of jostling interests, as in older settlements, demanding an elaborate system of personal restraints. Society became atomic.

There was a reproduction of the primitive idea of the personality of the law; a crime was more an offense against the victim than a violation of the law of the land. Substantial justice, secured in the most direct way, was the ideal of the backwoodsman. He had little patience with finely drawn distinctions or scruples of method. If the thing was one proper to be done, then the most immediate, rough and ready, effective way was the best way. It followed from the lack of organized political life, from the atomic conditions of the backwoods society, that the individual was exalted and given free play.

The West was another name for opportunity. Here were mines to be seized, fertile valleys to be preempted; all the natural resources open to the shrewdest and the boldest. The United States is unique in the extent to which the individual has been given an open field, unchecked by restraints of an old social order, or of scientific administration of government. The self-made man was the Western man’s ideal, was the kind of man that all men might become. Out of his wilderness experience, out of the freedom of his opportunities, he fashioned a formula for social regeneration, –the freedom of the individual to seek his own.

He did not consider that his conditions were exceptional and temporary. Under such conditions, leadership easily develops, –a leadership based on the possession of the qualities most serviceable to the young society. In the history of Western settlement, we see each forted village following its local hero. Clay, Jackson, Harrison, Lincoln, were illustrations of this tendency in periods when the Western hero rose to the dignity of national hero. The Western man believed in the manifest destiny of his country.

On his border, and checking his advance, were the Indian, the Spaniard, and the Englishman. He was indignant at eastern indifference and lack of sympathy with his view of his relations to these peoples, at the shortsightedness of eastern policy. The closure of the Mississippi by Spain, and the proposal to exchange our claim of freedom of navigating the river, in return for commercial advantages to New England, nearly led to the withdrawal of the West from the Union. It was the Western demands that brought about the purchase of Louisiana, and turned the scale in favor of declaring the War of 1812.

Militant qualities were favored by the annual expansion of the settled area in the face of hostile Indians and the stubborn wilderness. The West caught the vision of the nation’s continental destiny. It is important to bear this idealism of the West in mind. The very materialism that has been urged against the West was accompanied by ideals of equality, of the exaltation of the common man, of national expansion, that make it a profound mistake to write of the West as though it were engrossed in mere material ends.

It has been, and is, preeminently a region of ideals, mistaken or not. It is obvious that these economic and social conditions were so fundamental in Western life that they might well dominate whatever accessions came to the West by immigration from the coast sections or from Europe. Nevertheless, the West cannot be understood without bearing in mind the fact that it has received the great streams from the North and from the South, and that the Mississippi compelled these currents to intermingle. Here it was that sectionalism first gave way under the pressure of unification.

Ultimately the conflicting ideas and institutions of the old sections struggled for dominance in this area under the influence of the forces that made for uniformity, but this is merely another phase of the truth that the West must become unified, that it could not rest in sectional groupings. For precisely this reason the struggle occurred. In the period from the Revolution to the close of the War of 1812, the democracy of the Southern and Middle States contributed the main streams of settlement and social influence to the West.

Even in Ohio the New England leaders soon lost political power. The democratic spirit of the Middle region left an indelible impress on the West in this its formative period. After the War of 1812, New England, its supremacy in the carrying trade of the world having vanished, became a beehive from which swarms of settlers went out to western New York and the remoter regions. These settlers spread New England ideals of education and character and political institutions, and acted as a leaven of great significance in the Northwest.

But it would be a mistake to believe than an unmixed New England influence took possession of the Northwest. These pioneers did not come from the class that conserved the type of New England civilization pure and undefiled. They represented a less contented, less conservative influence. Moreover, by their sojourn in the Middle region, on their westward march, they underwent modification, and when the farther West received them, they suffered a forest-change, indeed. The Westernized New England man was no longer the representative of the section that he left.

He was less conservative, less provincial, more adaptable, and approachable, less rigorous in his Puritan ideals, less a man of culture, more a man of action. As might have been expected, therefore, the Western men, in the era of good feeling, had much homogeneity throughout the Mississippi valley, and began to stand as a new national type. Under the lead of Henry Clay they invoked the national government to break down the mountain barrier by internal improvements, and thus to give their crops an outlet to the coast. Under him they appealed to the national government for a protective tariff to create a home market.

A group of frontier States entered the Union with democratic provisions respecting the suffrage, and with devotion to the nation that had given them their lands, built their roads and canals, regulated their territorial life, and made them equals in the sisterhood of States. At last these Western forces of aggressive nationalism and democracy took possession of the government in the person of the man who best embodied them, Andrew Jackson. This new democracy that captured the country and destroyed the older ideals of statesmanship came from no theorist’s dreams of the German forest.

It came, stark and strong and full of life, from the American forest. But the triumph of this Western democracy revealed also the fact that it could rally to its aid the laboring classes of the coast, then just beginning to acquire self-consciousness and organization. The next phase of Western development revealed forces of division between the northern and southern portions of the West. With the spread of the cotton culture went the slave system and the great plantation. The small farmer in his log cabin, raising varied crops, was displaced by the planter raising cotton.

In all except the mountainous areas, the industrial organization of the tidewater took possession of the Southwest, the unity of the backcountry was broken, and the solid South was formed. In the Northwest this was the era of railroads and canals, opening the region to the increasing stream of Middle State and New England settlement, and strengthening the opposition to slavery. A map showing the location of the men of New England ancestry in the Northwest would represent also the counties in which the Free Soil party cast its heaviest votes.

The commercial connections of the Northwest likewise were reversed by the railroad. The West broke asunder, and the great struggle over the social system to be given to the lands beyond the Mississippi followed. In the Civil War the Northwest furnished the national hero, –Lincoln was the very flower of frontier training and ideals, –and it also took into its hands the whole power of the government. Before the war closed, the West could claim the President, Vice-President, Chief Justice, Speaker of the House, Secretary of the Treasury, Postmaster General, Attorney General, General of the Army, and Admiral of the Navy.

The West had furnished the leading general of the war. It was the region of action, and in the crisis it took the reins. The triumph of the nation was followed by a new era of Western development. The national forces projected themselves across the prairies and plains. Railroads, fostered by government loans and land grants, opened the way for settlement and poured a flood of European immigrants and restless pioneers from all sections of the Union into the government lands.

The army of the United States pushed back the Indian, rectangular Territories was carved into checker-board States, creations of the federal government, without a history, without physiographical unity, without particularistic ideas. The later frontiersman leaned on the strong arm of national power. We are now in a position to see clearly some of the factors involved in the Western problem. For nearly three centuries the dominant fact in American life has been expansion. With the settlement of the pacific coast and the occupation of the free lands, this movement has come to a check.

That these energies of expansion will no longer operate would be a rash prediction; and the demands for a vigorous foreign policy, for an interoceanic canal. For a revival of our power upon the seas, and for the extension of American influence to outlying islands and adjoining countries, are indications that the movement will continue. The stronghold of these demands lies west of the Alleghenies. In the remoter West, the restless, rushing wave of settlement has broken with a shock against the arid plains.

The free lands are gone, the continent is crossed, and all this push and energy is turning into channels of agitation. Failures in one area can no longer be made good by taking up land on a new frontier; the conditions of a settled society are being reached with suddenness and with confusion. The West has been built up with borrowed capital, and the question of the stability of gold, as a standard of deferred payments, is eagerly agitated by the debtor West, profoundly dissatisfied with the industrial conditions that confront it, and actuated by frontier directness and rigor in its remedies.

For the most part, the men who built up the West beyond the Mississippi, and who are now leading the agitation, came as pioneers from the old Northwest, in the days when it was just passing from the stage of a frontier section. And now the frontier opportunities are gone. Discontent is demanding an extension of governmental activity in its behalf. In these demands, it finds itself in touch with the depressed agricultural classes and the workingmen of the South and East. The Western problem is no longer a sectional problem; it is a social problem on a national scale.

The greater West, extending from the Alleghenies to the Pacific, cannot be regarded as a unit; it requires analysis into regions and classes. But its area, its population, and its material resources would give force to its assertion that if there is a sectionalism in the country, the sectionalism is Eastern. The old West, united to the new South, would produce not a new sectionalism, but a new Americanism. It would not mean sectional disunion, as some have speculated, but it might mean a drastic assertion of national government and imperial expansion under a popular hero.

Power In Society

A world of system designed to keep people in unjust and unequal positions is held in place by several interrelated expression of power over: political power, economic power, physical force, and ideological power (Bishop, 1994: 36). So, we can say power is defined as a possession of control, authority or influence over others. In terms of power of dominant groups over subordinate groups, we define power as domination of one group of people over another in major important spheres of life.

Power inequities have been in existence throughout the history of humanity and the ways of manifestation evolved from extreme overt oppression to subtle, covert oppression. Three major forms of power inequalities discussed in this paper are based on property (class), domination whites over others (race) and men over women (gender). Property owners as a dominant group have power over a subordinate group who do not own property. Karl Marx, one of the greatest economists of the XIX century, defines domination from the purely economic point of view.

To Marx, a class is defined according to the ownership and control of the means of production; and therefore two major classes present in capitalism are bourgeoisie and proletariat. Bourgeoisie owns and controls the means of production. Proletariat, on the other hand, owns nothing and it sells its labour as a commodity in return for money. The power presented here is this constant antagonism between those who own and control and those who do not possess the means of production. By possessing control over these means of production, they ultimately control labour force itself.

Bourgeoisie makes proletariat to work long hours with less pay, makes workers comparative with jobs, and alienated workers just make enough for living. For if you are forced to sell your labour force as a commodity in order to survive, you are treated by those who buy this same commodity not differently that any other commodity available on the market that is necessary for the multiplication of capital. In Marx’s time, workers lacked bargaining power through unions, legal strikes or sabotage (Grabb, 1997: 17). As a result, they could not form a united front against employers, and give themselves a power of collective resistance.

In our society, we still can recognize basic elements of Marx’s theory. Today, at the end of twentieth century, capitalism is still a strong and developed system that will most likely remain to be so for some time. One thing that has changed is that through the establishment of workers unions, the gap between bourgeoisie and workers has narrowed. The 8-hour work – 8-hour rest – 8-hour sleep system that Marx proposed seems to be in place in many of the countries around the world. Despite these accomplishments, the power over subordinate group still exist.

Grabb argues that oppression on the class basis may seem absent in capitalist societies today, because workers are legally free to choose whether or not to accept to work for a capitalist (Grabb, 1997: 16). But, are workers really free to decide? In other terms, what are their options? For a worker who, by definition, does not own means of production, there is no other choice to earn a living than to sell his/her labour to the capitalist. Contrary to Marx’s theory that bases class inequality only on the economic ground, Webber adds two more components, prestige, and political power.

He argues that those who are members of dominant classes, status groups, and party associations are able on the whole to exact compliance to their wills, on a regular basis, from the remaining population (Grabb, 1997: 54). In the previous centuries, this compliance was accomplished by physical force when violent social action was absolutely primordial(Grabb, 1997: 54). However, in the late twentieth century, different forms of domination emerge, i. e. control over communication and media, control of innovation and developments etc. Therefore, we can conclude that class antagonism is present, only it is changing in form.

Today, the capitalist class owns and controls the media, and therefore controls what information is disseminated to the rest of the population through TV, newspapers, Internet, etc. According to Anne Bishop, ordinary people are constantly exposed to the version of the truth carried by these information media, a version of the truth acceptable to the owners of the media (Bishop, 1994: 38). The large businesses are the ones funding the research and development activities, and they are in a position to control the direction of innovation and the impact of the innovation of our society.

For example, large business owners contributed funds for the developments in the computing field and made it impossible for an individual to function at the end of this century and not own a PC. Another example, large corporations that move to countries which do not have law about minimum wage so in that countries workers are paid less. And also neither politicians nor capitalists influence our thinking, such as actors, writers or athletes. Power inequalities related to racism issue have its base in one, dominant group-whites, labeling the other groups as inferior and restricting their rights.

According to Miles a society that is dominate by white is racist (Class notes). Beliefs and images categorize people of real or attributed differences when compared self whites (subject) with other(object) (Miles, 1989: 11). Racism is socially constructed by white over the course of history. The way racial power over subordinate group were manifested range from institutionalized overt racism to covert polite racism that is very common in our society. The example of the institutionalized racist system is the apartheid system in South Africa.

In that society, all whites, regardless of their origin enjoyed comparatively greater rights, simply based on their skin color. Legal policies, laws and regulations were created to visibly separate population of black people from whites. This system was a combination of an institutionalized racism and red neck racism, because not only was it legal to discriminate against blacks, but the people were proud of doing it. However, black people as a subordinate group of South Africa provided resistance through various actions; sabotage, protests, strikes, riots and finally won the fight for their freedom.

According to Henry Frances, racism is, and always has been, one of the bedrock institutions of Canadian society. The most obvious example is the treatment of Aboriginal people. Besides introducing the system of indirect rule and segregation through various Indian Acts, British (whites) as dominant group imposed norms from their society on Aboriginal people. British failed to recognize that Aboriginals have their own culture, customs, social organization and values that guide their everyday living.

All Aboriginals were labeled Indians not recognizing the diversity of various tribes. To justify their actions toward Aboriginal people, British used stereotypes to label them as uncultured and uncivilized, and decided that it is their job to bring Aboriginal people to the greater states of civilization by enforcing European norms in Canadian society (Frances, 2000: 121-123). One of the policies in 1857 even allowed for the voluntary release from the Indian status for the individuals of good character, which was a direct attack on the integrity of the Aboriginal community.

This attempt to destroy the identity and the firm land base of the Aboriginal community was recognized and was resisted by Aboriginal people through a non participation in this process (Frances, 2000, 129). The above oppression of Aboriginal people by British (whites) was a systemic type of racism that is deep rooted and built in the system to a degree that it was normalized. Another example of racism in Canadian history is a Canadian immigration policy that for a long time favored white people, predominantly West and North Europeans.

Asian and South Asian people were allowed to enter the country only if there was a temporary demand for unskilled labour. However, the workers were never allowed to bring their families since this was viewed as a threat in terms of increasing numbers of Asians present on Canadian soil (Frances, 2000, 67-75). In 1960s, the immigration policy was changed to a point system, so that people are not discriminated by their race, but admitted to Canada on the basis of their education, age, knowledge of language, skills, etc. Nevertheless, covert racism on the society level still exists.

One of the most common instances is a requirement of Canadian work experience for any type of employment in Canada. This is discriminatory practice that targets racial minorities and prevents them from getting suitable employment. Their work options became limited to positions for unskilled labour, even though the studies show that immigrants on average have higher level of education than Canadians. The reason for this is that Canadian system fails to recognize the education and credentials obtained in immigrants’ country of origin (Frances, 2000: 93-95).

These unwritten policies present barriers for new immigrants and reserve the high earning positions for white Canadians. The way the racial minority immigrants resisted the domination of the white Canadians is by creating their own communities that provide them with a security and support lacking outside of their community borders. Oppression of women is evident in past centuries as well as in today society. Previously, women were believed to be the property of men, and they were considered to be subordinate to their husbands and to men in general.

This domination was so strong that at the certain point in history it was a husband’s right to kill a wife or to physically molest her if he so wished. Men as a domination group determined what roles are suitable for women and what are not, and excluded women from any form of power in the society. This concept of a women’s role was socially constructed by men so that is naturally defined to fulfil roles that are important for men’s well being (Hubbard, 1998: 32). Power relationship and inequalities on the basis of gender are present in all spheres of life because norms and rules are defined by the dominant group: men.

An obvious example of this is a question of a gender-based language. Analysis of the language shows that it has sexism deep rooted in it; words such as woman has it root in word man, or he makes males linguistically visible and she linguistically invisible, and another word is history but not herstory and so on. This clearly shows the domination of males and ignores and negates an existence and significance of female population. Other aspects of gender inequalities are skills and body. Masculine skills are more mechanical and logical, better paid and males enjoy higher status.

On other side feminine skills are delicate and more soft which lead to low paid and low status. Third one inequality is gender bodies. Woman’s body is seen as a sexual and woman is sex objects in males’ eyes that can lead to sexual harassment. Again sexual harassment is way of male domination and controlling woman trough sex. There have been attempts to change the gender-based nature of language, differentiation trough skills and stop sexual harassment. However, it is difficult to do this because our environment is based on dominant culture values and attitudes, which are again determined by male population.

As a result of oppression, women formed an active social movement: feminist movement. Only in the second part of the twentieth century has this movement gained strength, since women previously were dependent on their husbands economically and in other way, and their awareness was not on the appropriate level to provide organized resistance to the oppression. At a certain point in history, women organized unions in order to fight for better work conditions and salaries for women. However, the tradition union organizations showed their limitations since they were based on labour process in the male domination workplaces (Curtis, 1993: 306).

In today’s society, when men and women are considered to be equal by law, a systematic sexism is still present. Work of women, as a housewife is under valued since it does not have a specific financial value assigned to it. This is automatically degrading since ours is a male dominated society in which everything of value has a financial value. Women in the workplace still have a glass ceiling that prevents them from obtaining a position of power in the hierarchy created and dominated by man.

Some attempts have been made to address this issue, i. Employment Equity Policy, a policy created by government, still dominated by man. In order to come to final liberation, women need to fight for it on the united from, and attempt to gain equality on all aspects of life, from recognition of their housewife role to access to the positions of power. However, the power struggle between genders will always exist, for once females become equal, the male populations will start feeling endangered and oppressed, and will start providing resistance to female domination.

Inequalities on the basis of class, race and gender still exist today as they existed long time ago but they are not so ready visible as before. One has to get inside the society and get more involved in it to truly experience the nature of this relationship. Nevertheless, we learn everyday about many successes in fighting racism, fighting job related inequality between a male and a female, and in my opinion this society is on the right track. By openly discussing many issues that until recently were not allowed to be discussed, we are in better position to understand each other and our society as a whole.

Medias Importance to Society, In Spite of Adverse Effects

It has been said that the media is a bad influence on society. This is true in some cases, but we have to also add this to the statement; society also influences the media by what it chooses to promote or watch. Media is a very important part of society today. Even with its adverse effects, we could not live without it. To start with, it is only fair to ask why society thrives off the media. Society, at least the past few generations have always had an influence from media in some form or another.

Media in most circumstances is a way for the members of society to keep themselves informed on what is happening around them, which is even more vital with our world becoming globally connected. Media is also a major source of entertainment. Some forms of media are made for the sole purpose of entertaining the masses. However, the media is forced to produce entertainment that the society requests. So, if society is the one requesting the type of media being produced, how can we blame media for producing it?

We ask, What are these adverse effects being produced by the media? This topic is broad enough to be covered in a paper of its own but can basically be summed up in a few major parts: desensitization of society, general sense of fear and chaos, disconnection from God and morals, loss of imagination, and an excuse for laziness. Studies have found that by the age of sixteen years, most children have watched more television than they have spent time in school (Witt 322).

The Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy also questions the intent of some news programs, mentioning scientific research asking whether or not they are promoting science or sending out information they do not comprehend, thus generating scientific noise (Fitzpatrick 95). All of these are things that have stemmed from the mass broadcasting of an individual’s ideas through the media that are picked up by many. But, can we blame the media? For almost everything produced is produced with a target audience in mind, a group of people who want to and are willing to pay for the production of that media source.

Yet, we cannot leave out the positive effects of the media. The media is a tool for mass communication, entertainment, and knowledge, all of which are important to the way the society, as individual communities and as a whole global community, functions. Amy Dickinson, who worked for a network station and also claims to be an avid television watcher, says that television must be taken in moderation and should be done as a family activity. She states that media can be a positive influence when presented in the proper way (Dickinson 114).

In most cases, it is just easier to look at the flaws in something before realizing the positive effects it has. Again, sit back and take a look at how much we depend on the media in our lives, how it affects us in either a negative or positive way, and then we must make our decisions about the media. No matter what opinion we may have, similar or different, we all know the media is not going to be disappearing, but will only be growing. Therefore, if we do foresee problems with the way media and society influence each other, we need to correct them before we as a society become even more attached to its presence.

Social Structure Report

This essay will begin by describing the three spheres that tie society together. The main institution of society is the family or household which is broken up into thousands of units. Secondly, it will discuss the economic institution and its ties to the family. The use of labour power and how that effects the power struggle with the capitalist marketplace will also be discussed. Lastly, the political institution of government will be shown along with its relationships to the family and the families ability to create reform and change regulation. One of the main institutions in society in the household or family.

It is here that almost all the consumption in society takes place. It is also here that almost all the labour power in society originates. The make-up of the family is not as “cut and dry” as it once was. The nuclear family is dead and what has replaced it has put all old theories about the family to the test. One major change has been the rise of the dual-earner family. In 70% of households today there is no single breadwinner. (Burggraf, 1997:54) Women’s position in the family has been changed radically from that of one-hundred years ago. Three important issues have been raised about women’s position in the family.

One is that the development of gender inequality within the family is a result of the changing economy. This being the extra accumulation of property in private households. The second issue is that capitalism being the only form of economy we are familiar with pushes for the working of every family member to create a strong economy. Lastly, the evolution of the family dispersed from economic development and instead become a more social issue. (Wilson, 1982:37) Because the position of women in the family has been so altered from past history, projections made, even forty years ago, are increasingly wrong.

Though, even with the changing structure of the family the economic labour power has not significantly increased. The role of housewife in the post-industrial age was just as important to women as today’s dual earning household. The housewife was the counter-part to the husbands role of breadwinner. It was the wife who cleaned the husbands clothes, prepared his food and provided emotional support, without which he could not fulfill his role as breadwinner. (Burggraf, 1997:174) With the evolution of the labour market and capitalist economy with the ever increasing consumption of the family unit the homemaker was called to enter the workforce.

In 1901 only 12% of Canadian women were economically active, however, in 1961 there were 29. 5% economically active. (Wilson, 1982:71). This percentage has gotten exponentially bigger with time. In 1981, 54% of women with dependent children were economically active. (Purdy, 1988:203) Another facet of the economic family unit is reproduction. The goal of the family unit is to produce children, which in turn expands the labour force, which creates a larger economic base. In Canadian families the emphasis is on quality not quantity and because of this there are gaps in the unskilled labour force.

It is only through immigration that the capitalist economy has been able to keep up with the demand for cheap unskilled labour. (Purdy, 1988:229) So the value of labour power is determined outside capitalism, in non-capitalist units that maintain and reproduce labour power… families. Corporations produce wealth in the form of goods and services and a can last well beyond an individuals life span. Capitalism is a powerful institution with holds on the economy, political state and family as well. The payment of wages allows the corporations to grow and continue to produce goods and exploit workers. (Bailey, 1974:127)

Families consume. In the modern era, most families are not units of production and consumption, mainly just consumption. They do not accumulate wealth, but simply take the wage and spend it on commodities that satisfy their needs. As Karl Marx put it, “if I exchange a commodity [labour power] for money, buy a commodity for it and satisfy my need, then the act is at an end. ” (Smith, 1982:29) Families have a limited life span, related to the cycle of growth and decline of individual family members. The family, unless it has property, will inevitably decline to be replaced or reborn in new formations down the generations.

Wages earned allow families to survive and reproduce labour power, in the form of children. It is the children that will outlive the family and become the new labour power. Working for wages allows those with economic activity to support the non-wage-earning members of the household, young and old, caring and dependent. In the spirit of support the family acts with altruism to aid reproduction and in turn this aids the reproduction of the capitalist enterprise. (Smith, 1982: 105) Marx put it like this : The maintenance and reproduction of the working-class is, as must ever be, a necessary condition to the reproduction of capital.

But the capitalist may safely leave its fulfillment to the labourer’s instincts of self-preservation and of propagation. (Smith, 1982:106) If Marx is correct in his ideology then the family will be forever in the service of the controllers of the economic and political states. Already the family is related to these two institutions in a number of ways. The economy and household/family are seperated easily in the modern era. As already stated above, the family of today is primarily a consumption unit, while the economic state is filled with units of production and consumption as well, it produces wages and employment.

Other creations of economy are; capitalist welfare programs (company housing, welfare, pension programs), corporate taxes and employer contributions. (Dickinson/Russell, 1986:13) The families main tie to the economic state is through labour power. Jack Wayne, in his essay “The function of Social Welfare in a Capitalist Economy” writes: The reproduction of labour power is, however, private; it generally takes place outside the jurisdiction of capital, in families and households, and is separated from the circuit of capital.

The use value of labour power is, of course, of interest to the capitalist, but it is determined by processes and undertakings that occur behind ‘closed doors’. The only point of intervention available to the capitalist is the wage. (Dickinson/Russell, 1986:79) It is the wage that ties the economic state and family together, and allows the corporations or as Marx calls them capitalists to harness the labour power for their own needs. There is only one form of labour that is not totally governed by the capitalist market and that is domestic labour. Domestic labour is characterized by a very low level of division of labour.

The same person (usually the housewife) does a range of activities which, in the social spheres are carried out by specialists. Some examples of this are catering, education and health businesses. Secondly the products of domestic labour do not have to be sold on the market for the labour to be recognized at useful. This makes domestic labour a non-market production. Lastly the labour-power is not offered on a market and therefor makes up non-waged labour (housework is non-paid). (Gouverneur, 1983:7) Closely tied in with the economic state is the political state.

The taxes ….. om the economic market feed the collective consumption of the government and legislation and boards from the government provide occupational health and safety standards. The government also provides a stabling influence on the changing economy. As far as the family is concerned the State provides redistribution of transfer payments and substitute wage programs. The government also strengthens the social welfare net and provides charity and philanthropy to those in need. Labour market regulation allows the regulation of child labour laws and gives more bargaining power to families and wage earners.

One major form of this is the ability to strike and discuss minimum wage legislation. (Dickinson/Russell, 1986: 17) Saskatchewan, under the first socialist government in North America the CCF, was the first to give wage-earners the right to go on strike in 1944. It took Ontario twenty years to give its provincial residents the same right. Households and families units of ,individual consumption, use this increase in labour power to provide more taxes, if not out of the good of their hearts then for government stability, to the political state.

Thus, the family unit helps balance the power struggle the government has with the ever increasing economic sphere in a symbiotic relationship. In “The State and the Maintenance of Patriarchy: A case study of family, labour and welfare legislation in Canada”, Jane Ursel writes: An important role of the state in class societies is to ensure a balanced allocation of labour and non-labour resources between the two spheres of production and reproduction so that the system is maintained both in the long and short term…. e state is the guarantor of the rules of class and the rules of patriarchy and must insure that one system does not disrupt the other. (Dickinson/Russell, 1986:154)

The government uses its control to regulate and perpetuate the status quo and the family is a part of that. However, she does not believe that the patriarchal system is all bad. She continues to write: Patriarchy is important because the state cannot (inspite of some ill-fated attempts) legislate procreation. It must instead set up a system via family, property and marriage laws which will serve to translage social and economic requirements into compelling household imperatives.

The characteristic feature of familial patriarchy is its pronatalist dynamic. This results from the nature of the interaction between class and patriarchy which creates a dterminant relation between productivity and procreation at the household level. (Dickinson/Russel, 1986:157) The family can change these regulations as well. According to what has been discussed so far the definition of a family would be a non-capitalist unit in which the maintenance and reproduction of labour power takes place. (Bailey, 1974: 34)

The Websters Dictionary describes a family as “a group of related things or people”. 990) However, the Canadian government defines the family as “now-married couple (with or without never-married sons and/or daughters of either or both spouses), a couple living common law (again with or without never-married sons and/or daughters of either or both partners) or a lone parent of any marital status, with at least one never-married son or daughter living in the same dwelling. (Statistics Canada, 1994:10) Because the governments definition of family lets several groups that may still be considered families “slip through the cracks”, this gives bargaining power to the family unit yet again to change government regulation.

The Canadian government still does not recognize same sex couples, three generations living in the same household and individuals living apart from spouses and children. In 1991, 424,950 individuals aged 18-25 lived with non-relatives, in institutions, or by themselves. This represents over 20% of the age group. (Statistics Canada, 1994:19) One aspect of the political sphere that the family continually challenges is gender equality. Starting with the latter part of the nineteenth century where waves of feminist protest egan throughout the western world.

Women organized in groups starting at the family level and gaining support from other women’s groups. One of the first cases early feminists argued before the government was their collective right to vote. As early as 1916 in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba women were given the right to vote, this increased the families power with swaying the political sphere… it essentially doubled it. (Wilson. 1982:119) The women’s movement appeared to lose its momentum after women gained the right to vote.

But although women’s groups were no longer held together by a single goal. They continued to fight for women’s rights on several fronts. The YWCA and Canadian Business and Professional Women remained active in support of women’s issues. However, it wasn’t until the 1960’s that the movement regained its previous strength. (Wilson, 1982:125) Women in families are not the only ones who have argued with the political sphere and won some political rights. Some Gay families or same-sex couples have won the right to adopt children and in some American states get married.

The Modern family depends heavily on the all the institutions of society for support. Where in the past the family was independent, now it needs the bonds created through long access to each sphere either political or economic. The labour power generated by the family unit gives it he bargaining power to compete head to head with the ever growing and dominant labour market and government bureaucracy. But because the family is the smallest group and is based on individual consumption it can seem over-taxed when dealing with mighty corporations and large political states.

However, in the global market-place the power lies in the hands of those that control the labour and the consumption. Currently, the family institution relies on the economy and political state, but as the bargaining for labour power continues the family is emerging as the dominant force. As new evolutions of families are being allowed to participate in our culture, more power will create more labour and more reproduction. It is a basic fact that history repeats itself, maybe the family will gain the dominant role it had before the industrial revolution and mercantilism.

Struggles of Asian Indians and their major contributions

Their struggle as immigrant minority and major contributions to the American society Asian Indians come from an area with the second largest population in the world, but form only one of the smallest minorities in the United States. America was influenced by their religious and political beliefs long before the first immigrants arrived in the 19th century. The congressional act of 1947 granted them citizenship. Now, Asian Indians hold many important occupations (students, teachers, writers, musicians, scientists). Their most important contributions are geared toward engineering and the sciences.

India was in a great shape up until the end of 19th century. When British arrived, the country was depleted of its wealth and resources. The poor had no choice but to come to the United States (The Land of the Free and the Land of Opportunity). The United States, due to the abundance of jobs and scarcity of labor, became a “Mecca” for immigrants from all over the world. The United States, in the nineteenth century, remained a strong magnet to immigrants, with offers of jobs and land for farms. Asians and Italians came for work, Russians came to escape persecution, and Jews came for religious freedom.

Immigrants from all over the world including Europe, China, and Japan wanted to experience the freedom of improving your life and being able to take care for one’s family. East Indians represented a big group that wanted to take part in American culture. The large majorities from India were Punjabis, from a region called the Punjab. Most of these immigrants were young men, between 16 and 35 years old. They left their families in India, and came here in small groups of cousins and village neighbors. Thus, the family and community ties remained very strong. They had several reasons to come to America.

They were repressed by the British rule and had no land to farm on. To make matters worse, famine devastated India from 1899 to 1902. Thus, large-scale immigration began in 1906, when six hundred Asians applied to enter the United States. They came here in hopes of changing their lives around. Unfortunately, they soon found out that life in America was very challenging. Many Indians were farmers back in India, but when they came to the United States they had to take jobs no one else would. They also encountered prejudice. Whites sometimes associated the Asian Indian immigrants with blacks, Chinese, or Japanese.

Very often, Asian Indians were blamed for the violence directed towards them. Whites did not want or try to understand Indian culture and traditions. The Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore (a winner of the Noble Prize in literature) traveled to North America. When he applied for entry to the United States, Tagore encountered difficulties and when he finally made it to the country, he experienced racial prejudice in Los Angeles. He cancelled his tour and returned to India, saying in disgust, “Jesus could not get into America because, first of all, he would not have the necessary money, and secondly, He would be an Asiatic.

Despite of everything they encountered, the immigrants still believed that the life they left behind was much worse than thy life they faced in America. Another major problem Asian Indians faced came from the white population. Many people felt threatened by the increasing multi-cultural population. Many Indians had limited opportunities to advance their careers due to prejudice. Frustrated because of their current situation, they opened their own businesses, which gave them a lot more freedom and control of their own lives. Furthermore, whites taunted the Indians because of the color of their skin and wearing of traditional turbans.

They were called by insulting names such as “rag-heads” and treated as inferior beings. A California Sikh who came from India at that time said, “I used to go to Maryville every Saturday. One day a drunken white man came out of a bar and motioned to me saying, ‘Come here, slave! ’ I said I was no slave man. He told me that his race ruled India and America, too. ” Assimilation has always been an important part of American life. Furthermore, American immigrants found out that assimilation is not a one step process. They were forced to complete several steps on their way to being American.

It was especially difficult for Indians because of their appearance (skin color, clothing, and distinctive speech). In East India, property ownership is a matter of pride. Unfortunately Indians were denied that simple right until 1947. Presently, Asian Indians own upward of 40 percent of all the motels in America with rooms of 150 and less. Asian Indians are following in the tradition of other immigrants, entering occupations or businesses that involve the entire family, said Bruce Stave, chairman of the history department at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

No figure exists, he said, yet stereotypes persist because when high numbers of immigrants become employed in specific occupations, their visibility is obviously greater. Another reason why Asian Indians go into motel business is because it provides work for the entire family. Each family member can clean carpets, fix broken equipment, and paint if necessary. Shah, who has owned the Coronet Motel in Berlin for five years, is an assistant foreman for Advanced Products Co. in New Haven. His wife, Pretta Shah, runs the motel and takes care of the family.

Sometimes when she comes to the registration counter, her diaper-clad son trails behind her. Not all the new comers are professional and well educated. These people opened their own small businesses such as restaurants and clothing stores, which serve many ethnic communities. Many people are under an assumption that someone who is called a Hindu follows the religion of Hinduism, which is not true. Some immigrants were Hindus, others were Muslims, and yet others were Sikhs. They follow a religion of Sikhism, a blend of elements from Hinduism and Islam.

Back in their homeland Sikhs and Punjab were thought of a soldiers by the British government. To demonstrate their religious commitment, they never shaved their beards or cut their hair. They wore turbans, for their faith required them to cover their heads in their temples. Many of them share the name Singh (lion), a sacred to Sikhs. Many immigrants also tried to retain their diet based to religious beliefs. For example, Muslims don’t eat pork and Hindus are vegetarian. On the other hand, Sikhs eat mostly vegetables, fruit, and milk.

The major conflict between the old and the new is centered directly around the family life. The roles of husband, wife, and their children are strictly governed by their traditions. Many young people aggravate at the rules imposed by their parents, who seem much stricter than other American parents. One of the most difficult issues between the parents and their children has been the idea of dating. The idea of dating is unheard of in an Indian culture. Parents arrange the marriage between their children, and both kids have limited contact with each other until the wedding.

Women marry very young based on Western standards, and men have total control over their wives, which are considered to be property of their husbands. This idea of an arranged marriage helps Indian couples to stay within the Indian cast system, which means that you cannot marry someone below yourself. It also has to do with the wealth of the bride or groom’s family. Fortunately, Indian kids raised in the United States understand that love is a very important determining factor in marriage. They do not learn this in their family homes, but when they go to school, their ideas of authority and making one’s own decisions are questioned.

Asian Indians have greatly contributed to the Americas’ well being. For example, in 1893, Swami Vivekananda came to the United States. His eloquence and enthusiasm made him on of the most popular speakers in the assembly of religious leaders from all around the world. His ideas and thoughts have influenced many American Philosophers and historians such as Aldous Huxley, Will Durant, and Christopher Isherwood. The East Indians have had other contributions in the fields of art and education. One of them is Zubin Mehta; a very well known music conductor and music director.

His technical ability when conducting has made him famous around the world. In addition, Ravi Shankar, one of India’s outstanding musicians has influenced American Jazz as well as popular music. He has popularized music of the sitar, a Hindu instrument resembling a guitar. Mr. Shankar teaches sitar at the University of California’s Los Angeles Department of Ethno-Musicology. Boston is a very good example of a city that attracts immigrants of different nationalities. Boston universities attract many bright students from around the world, and the booming high-tech industry attracts a well-educated immigrant population.

Foreign-born residents – 13 percent of the state’s population of 6 million – say that software, the Internet, and biotechnology provide a discrimination-free arena in which they are judged, by what they can do. And they do a lot, either through tenacity or with advantages of being educated in school systems superior to the American system. Also many bright students, who were denied acceptance to prestigious Indian schools, come to America and are easily accepted to top-notch colleges, including Harvard.

Asian Indians contribute to our society in a variety of ways, ranging from deciphering our genetic code to observing the stars. Many Asian Indians work in the medical field improving the technology and prolonging our lives. Other Americans of East Indian descent have made important contributions in the field of education. Such as Santha Rama Rau; in the field of American literature and Dr. Chakravakti; professor of oriental religions and literature at Smith College in Massachusetts. Many came to this country with hopes of some day returning to their homeland.

Fortunately, once they saw the opportunity for a better life America offered, they decided to stay. Asian Indians were significantly changed by this experience; especially the second generation (children). In a positive way, they also have been changing America. Because of them, America became richer and more multicultural. When they left their homes in India, they faced years of hardships and prejudice. Fortunately, this bold move was not without benefits for both Indians and Americans.

A Democratic Society

Throughout time the debate upon which is the best system of government has been an ongoing debate. Somewhere between the realms of democracy, socialism, fascism, communism, and monarchism lies the answer to the perfect system. Traditionally speaking, North America has always tried to remain democratic in ruling. The democratic system, unlike it’s alternatives, encourages equality and liberty among the people which in modern society, makes it the most attractive system of government today. Arguably, equality is the goal of many governments today.

But what one ust realize is that equality cannot be reached without giving someone else inequality. While democracy influences equality, communism and socialism frown upon the very idea that all people should be treated equal. The very idea that all men are created equally is very misleading. All men are not created equally. Human beings are unequal in essence because they are unequal in most physical and psychological characteristics along with health, intelligence, and emotional balance. For most of us, living amidst inequality is common. Equality is said to be having the same rights and freedoms as everyone else.

In modern society this is very true to a certain extent. The only thing equal about people is that we are all born and eventually we all die. In North America, I believe that equality among people is nearly impossible. The education is the main source of the problem. Education itself created inequality between children at an early age. Since no two persons are created equally, they will not have the same opportunities, nor will they make use of opportunities offered to all people like the education system. One of the most important things to a person living in North America is liberty.

LibertyLiberty can be defined as limited only be laws established on behalf of the community . To a certain extent, this enables people to be in control of their own lives. The individual has the right to choose how they conduct their lives. In the U. S. people rely on the Bill of Rights to protect themselves from government and other people. This bill of rights includes freedom of speech, press, and assembly. Among these freedoms is also the freedom of religion and freedom from unreasonable searches by the law. In Canada we have a similar system called the Bill of Rights and Freedoms that s made up with similar beliefs of it’s counterpart.

Liberty is possibly the most important attribute in American and Canadian society. What people want is the ability to make their own decisions and go about life with the freedom to do so. In a democratic society, people are able to voice their opinions to government and ultimately play an important role in the make up and organization of society. To a new nation, these attributes of our society are quite attractive. Many new nations today are making the switch to democratic government. The problem with this is that most of these nations have never been emocratic before.

Therefore, new nations are having great difficulty because such a switch is not easily accomplished. To develop a democratic society it has taken some more more than an entire century. These new nations tend to rush the change and in the end they become frustrated because such a switch is not as easily accomplished as thought. The features of a modern democratic state are firstly a society dedicated to the preservation of rights and freedoms. From that, a government system must adhere to developing a form of government which encompasses the values of a working society.

In other words, a government for the people, run by the people, and a system into which they have invested. An excellent example of a nation that comprises the rights and freedoms of its people is Canada. As a nation we live by our rights and freedoms and use them as a guide to act accordingly. We the people, as part of Canadian society, are able to participate in the workings of our country. This is represented in our political cycle. I call our political system “the feedback cycle”. In this cycle, demands and supports are inputted into the administration, voted on, and ventually outputted into society and the cycle continues.

Our political system enables us to have our say through representation of an elected official in government. Ultimately, the power is not solely in the hands of government. When people are unsatisfied with government they take the necessary steps to replace the person or people that are not doing their job properly. Affirmative action programs are put in place to increase the number of minorities in the work place. But again, this creates inequality because there is not an equal opportunity for all races to get the job is they still practice iscrimination. By this I am referring to the discrimination of white males.

I agree that there are not enough ethnicities represented in our work place but I also strongly believe that if a person is qualified for a job than skin color shouldn’t matter. This statement can work both ways too. If a person of black skin applies for a job, and is better qualified for the job than a white person, but still is not granted the job than not only is it racist but by not hiring the black person the position is not being properly filled. Nothing is gained accept for an insufficient worker. Since we live in a democratic society, people are assumed to have the same opportunities and chances as the next person.

So in my belief, affirmative action is failing society and causing more inequality. Affirmative action will never be a solution to racism. It is more a way of controlling racism. Ideologically, affirmative action is a great idea but in our society racism plays such a major role that it only makes the problem of racism worse. To racists, when things like affirmative action show up it only enrages them further. Seeing a person with white skin losing a job to omeone who looks different is the last thing some racist wants to see. To the disbelief of many there is such a thing as equal opportunity.

We are told we are all equal by our government but why aren’t we all treated equally then? The answer is because it has taken far too long for goverment to step in and state that all men deserve the same opportunities despite their skin color or race. And in the end it doesn’t matter how much power a government has. It will never be enough to abolish hundreds of years of racism. Government is the most powerful institution crated by man. Power is limitless. Since government cannot be under the same moral limits as individuals there are two limits on power; 1-moral, 2-constitutional.

Morally, a government has its limits just as you or I have ours. Constitutionally, the government has it’s rules and we must follow them. Social order would collapse if private individuals considered themselves free to break the moral law when their interests require it. Since constitutionalism is how we arrange to situate our liberty to the state, then constitutionally speaking we are in charge of ideals and conduct preached to us by government. So in way government s a way of telling ourselves that although morally we know what is correct we are not capable of doing so without outside interference.

In other words we know that it’s wrong to commit a crime but we choose to have police watch over us to make sure we don’t break the law. The whole idea that society needs police to watch over us to keep us from doing what we already know is wrong is absurd. This leads me to believe that society is incapable of moral thinking. Why would someone do something they know is wrong. The answer is because society makes it ok for people to make mistakes. Perhaps punishments are not trong enough but I tend to agree with the theory of natural law.

Our society will never overcome its barbaric ways if we do not use morals and our better judgment. When speaking about freedom it is necessary to state that although being able to live your life as you choose, no person is ever guaranteed freedom. Yes we are free to make our own choices but the word freedom leads you to believe one may do what ever they please. But that is not the case. You are free to make your own choices but when you make the wrong one and break the law your liberty is taken away. Without one’s liberty you are in control of the state nd unable to make your own choices.

It is almost like freedom is suppressed. When a person is no longer at liberty they cannot make their own decisions and they fall under government restraints. The only way you may be able to guarantee freedom is to follow certain conditions specified by government which tell you how to conduct your life. The structure of government provides a constitutional system to show us how to act accordingly. Liberty is far more likely to be attained if all conditions are abided by a society as a whole instead of for instance a place that does not meet these conditions. A democratic society cannot function properly without liberalism.

Liberalism is an ideology. It is a whole way of thinking. To be liberal means you are optimistic. Liberty and equality are the two things that separate our society from that of a communist or fascist government system. With things like the civil rights movement our society is slowing becoming more aware of the world beyond that our immediate environment. Ethnic groups and minorities are better represented our society than they were fifty years ago. You can no longer discriminate against someone because of there skin color which makes our orld a more politically correct environment.

Being democratic gives all people an equal chance to prove themselves in life. One thing I have learned about democracy is that is important to be open and not to think in the same mind set. Rules are meant to be broken. I have always thought that part of being democratic means making room for new ideals and theories that make society function better as a whole and in the end be more capable in handling problems in society. With all this in mind, freedom is in the hands of the individual and it is their choice what to do with it.

Stereotypes: Are they a problem

Why do women and men communicate so differently? Could it be that genetics play a factor? I believe so. In general, males are much stronger and more aggressive than females are. This directly effects how the two genders communicate. For example, women tend to offer suggestions and give reasons, whereas men tend to give demands without reason. We live with these differences everyday, and although we do not always understand these differences, we have come to accept them. We stereotype women as the weaker more emotional gender. They are the homemakers. Men are seen as the caretakers of their families, the financial providers.

They are stronger and more dominant gender. What importance does this have in society? How does it effect society? Many women feel that they do not have the same privileges as men. On the other hand, some men say it is unfair that so much more is expected from them compared to what is expected from women. To me these sound like simple complaints. Stereotypes should not be seen as wrong, because in most cases they simply highlight the differences between men and women, unfortunately there are always exceptions, and sometimes stereotyping can result in conflict.

Primarily stereotypes are not wrong, they exist because of the very istinct differences between men and women. Almost all stereotypes hold at least some truth. For instance, men say women want to talk too much and are too emotional. Deborah Tannen explains in her article “Put Down That Paper and Talk to Me” that women feel the need to talk with those they are close to in order to compromise and build relationships (Tannen, 229, 9). So the men are right, women do feel the need to talk a lot in relationships.

What is so bad about a stereotype that is true? Yes, there are those men and woman who do not reflect the set image. For instance, some men stay home nd take care of their children, which is traditionally known as a woman’s job, and some women are the financial providers for their families. Just because the stereotype claims women stay home and men go to work, does not mean this is the case in every situation. Our society has come far over the past decade. Stereotypes today have very different meaning than they did many years ago.

Stereotypes mean most do, not all do. It is perfectly acceptable in today’s day and age for a woman to work and leave her husband home with the kids. In fact may people respect it. Unfortunately, there are instances in which stereotyping does create problems. Some people over emphasize the existence and legitimacy of stereotypes as a whole. For example, the men or women who openly express their disapproval for those who do not follow traditional male and female roles have caused severe conflict with feminists and male advocates.

According to them, men and women should never pursue a life outside of the traditional setting. These beliefs are completely outdated. Very few people continue to live such old fashioned lifestyles. On the other hand, the feminists and male advocates who say that stereotypes are unfair and believe men and women should be considered equal, are just as guilty of tereotyping society. In the article “Real Men Don’t, Or Anti-Male Bias in English,” Eugene August argues that it is unfair that our society excludes males as parents (August, 217, 7).

Those such as August are accusing everyone of being completely biased against the opposite sex. It seems hypocritical that they would fight for equality and then label our entire society as being sexist. Our society has changed so much over the years. Most do not feel that male and female roles are set in concrete. Except for the few situations which result in conflict, stereotypes should not be seen as unjust. Men and women are very different, and stereotypes simply highlight the most common differences.

Feminist and male advocates fight to say we are all equally alike, but this is untrue. Science can prove we are both physically and mentally different. Why would we want to be equal? What fun would it be if we were exactly alike, if we spoke the same “language. ” The little games men and women play with each other while conversing would be lost. The question everyone asks himself or herself after talking with someone of the opposite sex, “I wonder if there’s something there? ” would cease to exist.

The Importance of Literacy

Try and imagine our society without a common language. This could be quite a hard idea to fathom. Allow me to assist you. If this hypothetical idea were in fact true, a typical conversation between two individuals would be as follows: one of the two would begin the conversation by making noises representing their language, the other person would not understand these noises and respond with unrecognizable noises to the first individual. As you can well imagine, this would get quite frustrating.

Rita Mae Brown describes literacy as, “a social contract, an agreed upon representation of certain symbols” (420). If he symbol’s (letters) meanings are not agreed upon by those attempting to communicate, then interpreting one another becomes difficult. Simply stated, literacy is very important. Society has proven time and time again, it will reward those individuals who are competent and impede those who are not, whether expressed in terms of employment opportunities (job success) or just on a social level.

One need look no further than their everyday activities in order to realize how important literary skills are. Without adequate literary skills one may not be able to identify on a label the correct amount of medicine to give a hild, or read and interpret a sign giving instructions on what to do in case of a fire. These two examples bring perspective to literacy’s importance. Nevertheless, recent surveys have indicated that, “4. 5 million Canadians, representing 24 percent of the eighteen-and-over group, can be considered illiterate” (“Adult Illiteracy” 5).

Illiteracy is truly a problem within Canada. Although many groups are working to render the problem of illiteracy, much work still lies ahead. As our society moves on into the next century literacy is proving vital to economic performance. Without basic literary skills in one’s possession they ill become lost in our rapidly changing society. The modern worker must be able to adapt to the changing job-scene. This often means gathering new skills and knowledge from printed material, whether instruction manuals, computer programs, or classroom training (text books).

It is quite commonly the case that highly skilled jobs require a high level of literacy. Therefore, literary skill level is an important factor in predicting an individual’s economic success. It will affect an individual’s income, their employment stability and whether they even receive employment opportunities. Presently, our world revolves around literacy. Simply being literate allows one to continuously upgrade one’s literary skills to a higher level. It allows one to stay informed of happenings in and around the world through mediums such as newspapers and magazines.

Knowing current news about what is going on in this ever changing world of ours is the key to staying ahead. Another thought to ponder is this, we rely on those with high literacy levels to record and document findings and happenings for future generations to reflect on. These writings would most likely be dull and inaccurate or would not exist at ll without our current levels of literacy. When viewed from a social standpoint, literacy remains just as important as when viewed from the economic standpoint.

Linda Macleod of the National Associations Active in Criminal Justice, points out that, “65 percent of people entering Canadian prisons for the first time have trouble reading and writing, low literacy is part of a constellation of problems that can limit choices in life and thus lead people to criminal activity” (20). Somebody in possession of a high level of literacy will most likely be well informed and tend to make wiser decisions. By obtaining this level of literacy they have also gathered a large vocabulary giving them many words to choose from to express their ideas and feelings.

Conversely, many would agree that a conversation with one who has a good grasp of the English language is always more delightful than with one who is less educated. Literacy can act as a window, opening one’s view to the world. Presently, we are being bombarded with information, news, trivia and gossip (not that this is always a positive feature in our lives). Without sufficient literary skills one cannot even absorb any of this information. These people ill miss out on many of life’s benefits, socially as well as economically. Without sufficient literary skills one would have a tremendously difficult time functioning in our current world.

Think about your average day, consider how many times you refer to your literary skills to aid you, could you function without those skills? Finding an address, reading a map, reading a menu, performing a bank transaction, these are just a few common tasks that require your literary skills. Also, when looking at the importance of literacy to our nation, its value is evident. High levels of literacy throughout all sectors of Canada’s orkforce are necessary, “low literacy levels of workers’ affect Canada’s ability to perform in the increasingly competitive international marketplace” (“Literacy” 7).

Literary skills become building blocks. First creating a well- educated society, then a highly skilled labour force which can compete and adapt to the changing market. These factors lead to an increase in economic growth within the nation which in turn, results in a higher standard of living for its people. As our society moves forward into the future, a higher level of literacy will become more important to one’s level of success. Where would our society be without our ability to exchange knowledge and information?

How many times have you made a purchase that read on the outside – instructions inside? You and I think nothing of this, and in a sense take our gift for granted. For many, deciphering written instructions is a near impossible task, asking for assistance does little more than to further lower their self esteem. Literacy is important. To truly seize the benefits possible in one’s life it has to be accepted that literacy is the key. Society will continue to reward skilled individuals and disadvantage those who are not.

Social Layering Of Victorian Society

Social classes have been around since the dawn of civilization where you were classified by the survival skills that you possess and your ability to use them. Unfortunately also since the dawn of civilization there has been the conflict between the upper classes looking down upon the people below them. The Victorian era was no different lifestyles were most commonly meager and those who had a more luxurious lifestyle avoided contact with the other class. The main difference between these classes is their dress. During the day men usually wear a lounge suit.

This suit resembles what is now the three-piece suit. The lounge suit first became popular in the 1850s, it was very large and baggy but developed in the 1860s to the more tailored version. This suit was most common because of its economical price. Most often men wore this suit in plaid with just the top one of the four buttoned. Though other suits of the time had buttons covered with fabric, collectively silk, the lounge suit buttons were not. These lounge suit were daily wear for the wealthier groups and those with a job did not require manual labor, for the lower class this suit was most likely their best.

Evening wear, however, consisted of a black tail coat black pants and white vest or black vest. The shirt and bow tie were also white and heavily starched. A gentleman would also were white gloves coming in contact with a lady’s bare hands was considered crude not to mention the fact that the seat from a man’s hands could stain a woman’s dress. Another thing that separated the classes is the behavior when in the ballroom and in the company of a woman. When in the ballroom men and women where to be as well behaved as possible, as is today.

Men had more controlling positions than ladies and were required to escort a lady anywhere in the ballroom. It was considered taboo to be seen wandering without an escort. Other rules include the ejection of loud talking and/or laughing and also a married couple should not dance together but if they do this is a display of a husband’s abundance of care for his wife. A lady furthermore, cannot refuse to dance with one gentleman and then accept another gentleman in the same dance. Men would often help a lady over a bad crossing or down from a difficult coach without even know them and continue on like nothing had happened.

When meeting a lady for the first time she is not required to say anything in return immediately whereas men are required to not only life their hat but to speak right away. Ballroom manners were of course reserved for the upper classes. Though the people of high social standing were often though of as perfect they to had their own dirty secrets. Although on the surface the gentlemen of this era seemed more polite and restrained they are no better than the men of today are. These gentlemen spit, which went along with the mostly American behavior of chewing and smoking tobacco.

This was done most frequently outright by the lower classes. Unlike the lower classes the wealthy had rules even when inviting someone to visit. The more working class citizens would simply walk over or send the message though someone that might see them later. The affluent would, like in the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations, send out a formal invite rarely asking in person. Also common were visiting cards. While not readily used by common people the visiting card held much importance to the well to do.

So many factors were accounted for when giving and receiving a greeting card, fashion of engraving, texture, and even when it was left would send a message to the recipient. Not to be confused with a business card, a visiting card served as a way to keep track of that had invited you and where unlike business cards, which suggested that, you need to pay a debt to the company. If the receiver lived far away it was, however, acceptable to mail it either folded in half if it is for the whole house or folded at the corner if it was for a lady. Transportation also separated the classes.

The lower class most commonly walked while the more prominent took a coach or the newly invented train. The train was not the same train that you think of today. The majority of train resembled coaches without the horse. Today we have engineers, conductors, first class, coach, cars, roofs on all the cars, lights, and heat. Then engineers and conductors were called drivers and guards. The cars were referred to as carriages. The carriages were separated from each other and there was no way to move from one section to the next. The more “economical” carriages were cattle cars which had no roof or any form of protection from the elements.

Riding in these cars meant arriving at your destination frost bitten and beaten. The first class carriages were not much better they had protection from the wind and rain but they were still cold. The only way that a person could keep warm was the ask the guard for a metal foot warmer which was filled with hot water. Carriages also had no light to see at night passengers often brought their own candles. Trains also lacked bathrooms and dining cars, passengers also brought these women could bring chamber pots and men could bring hoses to put under their pants.

If they chose not to then they would have to wait for the next station, which could be awhile since the fastest train was a sluggish 55-mph. The classes of the Victorian era had one last division and this was in their schooling. While the more money holding children would have a governess if you were a girl and a clergyman if you were a boy. This was the children’s schooling until they went off seek higher education. The less wealthy children were taught a trade early in life and were working at a very young age, school was not the first priority.

This was not, after all, satisfactory for the church because the thought of child not know god because they could not read alarmed them that was when the church started Sunday school. These formed what is now elementary schools, whose popularity gained them a grant of 30,000 pounds. The schools were much like colleges today with what they called monitors ,now teacher’s assistants, and student to teacher ratio of 500-1. As you can see the classes of the Victorian era were just as layered and contrasted as today or any other time the wealthy take only the best whereas the poor try to be like the wealthy.

Chivalry Towards Ladies

We live in an age where the brutality and the vigilante justice of the knight errant is no longer acceptable for people with positions of stature in society. While courage and honor are still praised by society, one rarely finds a man true to his word regardless of cost. Chivalry towards ladies is sometimes mistakenly decried by those supporting equality for women. And Courtly love, in it’s modern form, is frowned upon. Those who might have a keen sense of justice often have only indirect methods of fighting for the right — legislation just can never be as satisfying as clouting a knave over the head with the flat of a lade.

It seems that justice in American society is often tempered by compromise, rather than a blacksmith. Skill at arms is more often attained as an exercise, rather than a useful tool, and strength of body, while glamorized, is degraded by large numbers of “men of the mind. ” Chivalry is a lot like ethics; it is a governing principle concerning fair play as far as medieval combat among your peers was concerned. Do not attack an unarmed knight – allow him to arm himself first, if you unhorse your opponent and your opponent is still able to fight, get off your horse to fight, etc. air play with honor and respect.

At the end, there still was a winner, and the winner ended up with more respect and admiration from those concerned that had he fought without chivalry. What am I getting at? Capitalism can be much the same way. American businesses have taken advantage of this system though, a system that one can cheat in and get away with, instead of being honorable and respectable institutions that children could look up to. So many things are like this that I just shake my head and sigh when I think about them – is American just a scam?

Where did all the honor and respect go? In “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” Gawain made a promise to the huntsman to give him whatever gifts he received that day in exchange for whatever gifts the huntsman received that day. On the third and final day of Sir Gawain’s visit, he received a green girdle from the huntsman’s wife, who was his secret lover. The only reason that he accepted it was because he, like Lancelot, had fear in his heart; only Gawain’s fear was dying.

The huntsman’s wife told Gawain that the girdle had magic powers and would protect him from his ate, for the next day Gawain was going to fulfill a promise that he had made to the Green Knight and get his head chopped off. At the end of the day, when Gawain met the huntsman to exchange gifts, he did not give the huntsman the girdle, and broke his promise so that he would fulfill his promise to the Green Knight. He, like Lancelot, betrayed the code of chivalry for their own purposes. The most prominent example of Arthur’s “great” honor is depicted in the story “Day of Destiny.

In the story King Arthur and his knights have one the arduous battle against his half son Mordred’s army. The only one’s left standing on the field is King Arthur and two of his knights Sir Lucan and Sir Bedivere. Lucan says to Arthur “sir, let him be,” “for he brings misfortune. And if ye pass this unfortunate day ye shall be right well revenged. And, good lord, remember ye of your night’s dream and what the spirit of Sir Gawain told you last night, and God of His great goodness hath preserved you hitherto.

And for God’s sake, my lord, leave this battle field, for yet be here three alive, and with Sir Mordred is not one alive. And therefore if ye leave now, this wicked day of destiny is past! Arthur’s response to Sir Lucan’s speech is “Now come death, come life,”. What this proves is that Arthur shows his honesty and loyalty to his promise; the purpose of the killing was to kill Sir Mordred and that exactly is what transpired in the end.

In the movie “Excalibur” that we had viewed in class, Lancelot attempts to be honest by refusing the love and attention of Guenevere. Nevertheless he becomes enchanted by the beauty and charm of the lady and he falls for her. Although obviously disobeying the Knights code of honor he continues his affair with Guinevere. Although people lways endeavour to be as honest and just, a honourable knight cannot afford to deceive anyone, because consequences could have an adverse affect on them later. Honor is not a virtue.

It is the essential quality that accrues to a man when other people view them as being virtuous-i. e. they honor them. The drive for honor earns a knight or man-at-arms renown, his fame, his good name. It is always a very strong motivator for some soldiers. Honor in a personal sense is often confused with such ‘public’ honor, but I say rather that this is not honor but integrity. Chivalry is a romantic ethic, doomed to failure; Arthur fails ecause he had too much pride in himself although his heart was in the right place his mind never was.

But I come away from good events with a heart full of courtesy and generosity, with a strengthened sense of my own honor, and with a little more courage and persistence in the face of a less than ideal world. That is the reason that during the Middle Ages warriors and rulers at their leisure turned to dreams. That is the reason we today are drawn to these virtues of chivalry. We may never live out a romantic ethic, but it is a food as nourishing as any at the table, and a wealth as dear as any coin of the time.

Myth Of A Classless

The myth of a classless American society coupled with social stratification impedes race relations in the U. S. far more than any racial differences. The never ending struggle of the have-nots to become one of the haves produces a frustration and feeling of oppression that acts as a catalyst for spawning racial tensions. Minorities see the majority of wealth in the hands of the white population and feel that the wealth is unevenly distributed. Whites hear of government programs for minorities and feel as if they are lazy or just looking for a handout.

This occurs and stereotypes are formed. Combine all of this with the United States ystem of dual welfareand the perfect environment for racial strife is created. In our classlesssociety of false hope the working class and poor are continually seeking opportunities to excel that just aren’t there. They have been led to believe that intelligence and ambition are key contributors to one’s success. This belief lays blame on the unsuccessful themselves, even if they do possess ambition and intelligence.

These people are in a never ending cycle of struggle, followed by minimal rewards, which eventually produces a frustration that sometimes leads to desperate measures. The Summer Stragedy, The Filling Station, Southeast Arkanasia, The Southern Road and Mending Wall are the stories and poems that depict the life of a different classes people in a society. One way you can read Mending Wall by Robert Frost is that it is about a man who rebuilds the wall seperating his property from his neighbours.

This man, this person created by Gray doesn’t seem to believe there is a use for the wall as he [the neighbour] is all pine and I [the persona] am apple orchard, but his neighbour believes that good fences make good neighbours. The persona tries to change his neighbour’s opinion by trying to put a notion in his head? ut his neighbour seems to just ignore him. So the person gets annoyed and thinks of him as an old-stone savage. This is a very simple situation which we can all relate to. But, if we read deeper into the poem we may find the meanings that Robert Frost wanted us to see.

Firstly, as we know that this persona is against the building of walls where not necessary we find that it is this persona that initiates the re-building of the wall. I let my neighbour know beyond the hill. This gives the reader something to think about. It puts questions in the reader’s mind as to why he would initiate this if he doesn’t think it’s ecessary. One reason may be that this persona enjoys the company of his neighbour – but he gets frustrated with him. Maybe this person is a lonely person and any company is good company. They meet to walk the line.

Maybe through mending the wall between them they are mending their friendship. These are all viable options and as we read further into the poem we may understand to a greater extent why he does this. When the two start building the wall the reader may notice that words such as we and our are used giving the feeling of cooperation and companionship. The persona once calls this task an outdoor game which onnotes feelings of enjoyment, cooperation, competition. The fact that they walk the line one on a side gives a visual image in the readers mind and may remind them of a tennis game.

I must emphasize that what is being told in the poem is from the personals point of view, not directly Frost’s, so the reader must beware and realise that it is possible that the persona is wrong in some of his comments. There where it is we do not need the wall. This comment being straight to the point makes the reader feel as if the persona is denying the fact that it is the wall that brings the two men together to cooperate with one another and o converse with one another (to a certain extent).

The line directly after this comment segregates the two from one another by contrasting the type of people they are with each other. He is all pine and I am all apple orchard. the fact that this statement comes directly after the comment on the uselessness of the wall suggests that it is these kind of attitudes that puts a barrier between people thus segregating them from one another. Personification of the personas apple trees is used to explain to the reader just how much this persona undermines his neighbour. My apple trees will never get across, and eat the cones under his pines.

Even though this comment is light-hearted and almost humorous it gives the reader the impression that the person thinks of himself as a more intelligent person than his neighbour thus feeling that he needs to explain why the wall is unnecessary. The roots of human nature are sunk deep into our history and experiences. When in our own lives we are to find the basis of our human nature, we must look to our early years, the formative years. Now take for example if we placed a newborn in the wild or in a high-class, ell-mannered, wealthy family.

The human nature of the newborn in the wild will be exactly that, wild and chaotic. While on the other hand the newborn in the well-mannered society will be well mannered and moralistic. However, in the stories The Summer Stragedy, the description of the old couples and the dialogues between Jennie and Old Jeff Patton reveal the life of family who live among the lower class of society. Human nature is defined by the values that are taught and the values that society defines, if there are no societal values, human nature is doomed and lessened to that of wolves.

The Puritan society

The Godly beliefs and punishments followed by the Puritans stemmed from their English experience and complete involvement in religion. The Puritan society molded itself and created a government based upon the Bible and implemented it with force. Hesters act of adultery was welcomed with rage and was qualified for serious punishment. Boston became more involved in Hesters life after her crime was announced than it had ever been beforethe religious based, justice system formally punished her and society collectively tortured her.

Based upon the religious, governmental, and social design of the society, Hesters entire existence revolved around her sin and the Puritan perception thereof; this association breaks way to society significantly becoming involved in her life. The importance of a social framework for the new society, where the Church would be all encompassing, developed from the teachings of such religious reformers as John Wycliffe and John Calvin. The Church would be directly involved in the running of the community and its regime.

Enforcing such laws established by scripture read from the Bible, the government disciplined Hester for her committed sin. The Puritans considered the Bible as the true law of God that provided guidelines for church and government. They wished to shape the Church of England to meet their ideals, emphasizing Bible reading, prayer, and preaching in worship services. They simplified the ritual of the sacraments and also wanted more personal and fewer prescribed prayers. The Puritans stressed grace, devotion, prayer, and self-examination to achieve religious virtue while including a basic knowledge of unacceptable actions of the time.

Obtaining virtue was expected to secure order and peace within the Puritan community. The Church officials, who played a direct role in the government, calculated the penalties for various sins. When sins arose, the government took the role as chief executive of corrective punishment and instituted castigation. Hester found herself very much a part of the local Church and governments heavy hand. Everyone was aware of her sinful act, for she was placed on a scaffold amidst the entire people for a painful viewing.

The religious morals instilled in the Puritan society caused her much pain long after the public humiliation. Permanently symbolized as a sinner, Hester was branded for life with a cloth letter worn on her bosom. For years after the letter was first revealed on the scaffold, Hester was associated with the sin and the scarlet letter. Because the Puritans contoured religion, social life, and government together, each member of the society was involved in the religion, social life, and governmenteverybody in Boston saw the A on Hesters chest in the same light.

Also, each member thought alike and quipped at Hester and her child. The two became objects for jest and were made fun of as an exhibition every time they ventured into town. Hester furthered her interaction with society and in doing so also increased the amount of ridicule she received. With the motive to penalize herself, Hester set forth towards her social life, which she thought God had appointed to her [as] punishment for her sins.

The chastisement received by Hester in the novel was based upon the Puritan religious, social, and governmental beliefs, structured into a single ideology, which was formed from their English experience and complete commitment to religion.

The Church and the government, one in the same, sentenced Hester to a life of embarrassment, first upon a scaffold, later with a symbol. The cloth letter presented on Hesters chest opened a door for continuous public humiliation and involvement. Hesters sin enveloped her and caused the Puritan society, because of its moral and collective structure, to become the most significant aspect of her life.

Society’s Restraint to Social Reform

Of the many chatted words in the social reform vocabulary of Canadians today, the term workfare seems to stimulate much debate and emotion. Along with the notions of self-sufficiency, employability enhancement, and work disincentives, it is the concept of workfare that causes the most tension between it’s government and business supporters and it’s anti-poverty and social justice critics. In actuality, workfare is a contraction of the concept of “working for welfare” which basically refers to the requirement that recipients perform unpaid work as a condition of receiving social assistance.

Recent debates on the subject of welfare are far from unique. They are all simply contemporary attempts to decide if we live in a just society or not. This debate has been a major concern throughout history. Similarly, the provision of financial assistance to the able-bodied working-age poor has always been controversial. On one side are those who articulate the feelings and views of the poor, namely, the Permissive Position, who see them as victims of our society and deserving of community support.

The problems of the poor range from personal (abandonment or death of the family income earner) to the social (racial rejudice in the job market) and economic (collapse in the market demand for their often limited skills due to an economic recession or shift in technology). The Permissive View reveals that all participants in society are deserving of the unconditional legal right to social security without any relation to the individual’s behaviour.

It is believed that any society which can afford to supply the basic needs of life to every individual of that society but does not, can be accused of imposing life-long deprivation or death to those needy individuals. The reason for the needy individual being in that situation, hether they are willing to work, or their actions while receiving support have almost no weight in their ability to acquire this welfare support. This view is presently not withheld in society, for if it was, the stereotype of the ‘Typical Welfare Recipient’ would be unheard of.

On the other side, the Individualists believe that generous aid to the poor is a poisoned chalice that encourages the poor to pursue a life of poverty opposing their own long-term interests as well of those of society in general. Here, high values are placed on personal choice. Each participant in society s a responsible individual who is able to make his own decisions in order to manipulate the progression of his own life. In conjunction with this opinion, if you are given the freedom to make these decisions, then surely you must accept the consequences of those decisions.

An individual must also work part of his time for others (by means of government taxing on earned income). Those in society who support potential welfare recipients do not give out of charity, but contrastingly are forced to do it when told by the Government. Each person in society contains ownership of their own body and labour. Therefore anything arned by this body and labour in our Free Market System is deserved entirely by that individual. Any means of deducting from these earnings to support others is equivalent to criminal activity. Potential welfare recipients should only be supported by voluntary funding.

For this side, welfare ultimately endangers society by weakening two of it’s moral foundations: that able-bodied adults should be engaged in some combination of working, learning and child rearing; and secondly, that both parents should assume all applicable responsibilities of raising their children. (5) In combination of the two previous views, the Puritan View basically nvolves the idea that within a society which has the ability to sufficiently support all of it’s individuals, all participants in the society should have the legal right to Government supplied welfare benefits.

However, the individual’s initiative to work is held strongly to this right. Potential welfare recipients are classified as a responsibility of the Government. The resources required to support the needy are taken by means of taxation from the earnings of the working public. This generates an obligation to work. Hence, if an individual does not make the sacrifice of his time and energy to ontribute their earnings to this fund, they are not entitled to acquire any part of it when in need unless a justifiable reason such as disability is present for the individual’s inability to work.

The right to acquire welfare funds is highly conditional on how an individual accounts for his failure in working toward his life’s progression by his own efforts. Two strong beliefs of the Puritan Position are; Firstly, those on welfare should definitely not receive a higher income than the working poor, and secondly, incentives for welfare recipients to work must be evident. The distinction between the “deserving” and “non-deserving” poor is as vident now as it was in the Poor Laws of the 16th and 17th centuries. 1)

The former were the elderly, the disabled, the sick, single mothers and dependent children, all of whom were unable to meet their needs by participating in the labour force and, therefore, were considered worthy of receiving assistance. The latter were able-bodied adults who were often forced to do some kind of work as a condition of obtaining relief as a means of subsistence. Those who refused this work requirement were presumably not really in need.

Throughout our own history of public assistance, the non-deserving poor always got harsher reatment and fewer benefits than their deserving counterparts. Due to it’s mandatory nature, historically, workfare has been viewed as a forceful measure. Two other program strategies are now in use as well. Namely, a service strategy, and a financial strategy. (8) The former includes support services for the work participant, such as counselling, child care, and training. The latter includes a higher rate of benefits for those who participate in work programs than someone would receive from social assistance alone.

To actually show that workfare does not work, we must observe the United States, which has had federally mandated workfare programs for welfare recipients since 1967. Although the research on American workfare programs is inconclusive to some extent, many findings suggest that workfare is ineffective in reducing welfare costs and moving people from the welfare rolls into adequate employment. It was found that low-cost programs with few support services and a focus on immediate job placements had extremely limited effects.

These did not produce sizable savings or reduce poverty or reduce large numbers of people from welfare. (9) Furthermore, While expensive programs with xtensive supports and services were more likely to place people in employment, there was a definite point of diminishing returns where the expenses outweighed the benefits. (10) Even the limited success by some American workfare programs is highly questionable. Largely missing from the research is the discussion of workfare’s major limitation: The lack of available adequate jobs.

In the wide scheme of things, it doesn’t matter whether the program is mandatory with no frills or voluntary and comprehensive if there are no jobs to fill. This is the “Achilles Heel” of all workfare programs. Even if some individuals manage o find jobs and get off welfare, if the unemployment rate for the area does not change, it is obvious that there has already been a displacement of some people in the workforce. What actually occurs is a shuffling of some people into the workforce and some out, with no net increase in the number of jobs.

Workfare only increases the competition for jobs, it doesn’t create them (except for those who manage and deliver the programs, generally not welfare recipients). In addition, the few jobs that workfare participants do get tend to be either temporary, so the person returns to welfare, or low-paying with inimal benefits, so that people are not moved out of poverty, but merely from the category of “non-working poor” to “working poor”. (11) Another issue largely ignored in Canada as well are health and safety conditions affecting workfare participants.

For example, in New Brunswick an unusually high accident rate has been reported among welfare recipients who took part in provincial work programs. Given the overall failure of workfare programs to reduce welfare expenditures, reduce poverty, and move people into adequate and permanent jobs, workfare should not even be discussed as a viable social reform option today.

Politicians and the business establishment only call for workfare because it helps to protect their privileged positions in our society. Workfare serves to preserve the status quo by: i. reating the illusion that politicians are actually doing something meaningful about the deficit and welfare. ii. increasing the reserve pool of available labour which can be called upon at any time to carry out society’s dangerous and menial jobs. iii. increasing the competition for scarce jobs, which tends to keep wages down and profits up. iv. reinforcing the attitude that people on welfare are largely responsible or our economic and social ills, that they are lazy, deviants who will not work unless forced to do so.

Workfare creates the assumption that unemployment is caused by personal choice or lack of work ethic. However, due to the fact that we have well over one million people in Canada actively looking for work, this is a ridiculous assumption. Fifteen thousand people lined up one day in Oshawa in January to apply for one of a few hundred possible jobs at General Motors. The problem is not one of a lost worth ethic or personal pathology. The problem is a lack of jobs, and workfare undoubtedly does nothing to compensate or eliminate this problem.

Discrimination Against The Elderly

American society has been described as maintaining a stereotypic and often negative perception of older adults. This negative and/or stereotypic perception of aging and aged individuals is apparent in such areas as language, media, and humor. For example, such commonly used phrases as over the hill and an old fart denote old age as a period of impotency and incompetence. The term used to describe this stereotypic and often negative bias against older adults is ageism.

Ageism can be defined as “any attitude, action, or institutional structure, which subordinates a person or group because of age or any assignment of roles in society purely on the basis of age”(Webster 25). As an ism, ageism reflects a prejudice in society against older adults. The victims of bigotry and prejudice are generally referred to as minorities. This is not because they are necessarily fewer in number, but because they are deprived of the rights and privileges of the majority (the Aged 4). Ageism, however, is different from other isms (sexism, racism etc. , for primarily two reasons. First, age classification is not static. An individual’s age classification changes as one progresses through life.

Therefore, age classification is characterized by continual change, while the other classification systems traditionally used by society such as race and gender remain constant. From this we can conclude that denial of old age is a principal source of bigotry against those who are old now (the Aged 4). Second, no one is exempt from at some point achieving the status of old. Unless they die at an early age, they will experience ageism.

The later is an important distinction as ageism can affect an individual on two levels. First, the individual may be ageist with respect to others. That is they may stereotype other people on the basis of age. Second, the individual may be ageist with respect to self so ageist attitudes may affect the self-concept. We live in a culture that reveres youth. To be young is to be alive, sexy, and full of energy. To be old is to be “senile,” “worthless,” and having “one foot in the grave”(Online 1). This is the attitude most often seen in modern society.

In general there are at least nine known major stereotypes that reflect prejudice towards senior citizens. These include illness, impotency, ugliness, mental decline, mental illness, uselessness, isolation, poverty and depression(Ageism 20). This discrimination allows the rest of us to separate ourselves from older people and view them as less than fully human(Online 1). So how old is old? Where do we draw the line? Well, around the 1900s in the United States old age began in ones thirties because the life expectancy was about forty-seven. In todays society most younger people define old age as somewhere in the sixties.

When people get into their sixties, however, they define old as ten years older than me (Discrimination 6). When it comes to employment old age, there is a slight difference, especially when jobs are tight. Ageism may start at age forty-five or even younger. Companies can usually cut costs by replacing top older workers with younger, cheaper employees. Once fired, workers over the age of forty-five often face permanent employment because of todays ever-changing technology(Discrimination 14). This form of ageism has come to be referred to as economic ageism.

Research on ageism has come a long way. It is still relatively problematic, however. The use of primarily younger populations to study ageism represents a problem with ageism research. The bulk of ageism research utilizes children, adolescents, or young adults as subjects and examines their perception of older adults. Only a small amount of studies have examined the views of the population whom the construct affects most, older adults. Those studies, which have used an older subject population, have unfortunately used mainly institutionalized individuals as subjects.

As a result, they do not represent the vast majority of older adults. Another problem with much of ageism research is that it only examines the negative stereotypes of old age. More recent studies have suggested that while attitudes toward the aged are increasingly positive, they are still stereotypic. Therefore, ageism has been expanded to include positive stereotypic images. Elders have made substantial gains in status. Critics have recently begun to declare that various programs and services for seniors only have become positive ageism.

However, this is rarely acknowledged, much less studied(Ageism 17). Two additional problems are mainly theoretical in nature. First, ageism research rarely examines or attempts to understand the causes of ageism. So, while much theoretical work has been conducted concerning the factors contributing to ageism, little experimental research has been conducted in this area. Second, ageism research rarely examines the interaction between ageism and other isms. As many individuals are in a position to experience more than one prejudice, the interaction between these prejudices needs to be examined.

For instance when ageism is combined with sexism, it is called double jeopardy. The term for ageism, sexism, and racism collectively against one person is triple jeopardy(Ageism 11). Ageism, along with every other prejudice, is an appalling subject to face. It is not just going to go away. Great advancements toward ending ageism have been made in the United States. Congress passed a bill called the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prevents people from getting fired for being too old. Various groups such as the American Association of Retired Persons have been formed to fight for senior citizen rights.

Life expectancy has risen thirty years in the past century. Since 1960, there has been a 100 percent increase in those over the age of sixty-five and a 274 percent increase of those over eighty-five. The so-called baby boom generation, those Americans born in the 1950s are seventy-six million strong and will make up sixteen percent of the population in at least ten states by 2020(the Aged 251). It is expected that the life expectancy will exceed 100 by the end or the twenty-first century. That is just something to think about. We have no choice but to deal with the ageing process as individuals.

With all this in mind, I believe the following quote sums up the entire paper and my values instilled in me as a younger person. We are all growing older, every day. Which means, if you live long enough, someday you too, are going to be a senior citizen. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to approach everyone you meet with kindness and respect, no matter what their age. We all have something to contribute and when we look beyond labels, we include people of all ages within the circle of our community. That way all of us become richer as we share in each other’s life experiences(Online 1)

Music throughout society

We’ve been talking a lot about social rituals. Well, just what exactly is a social ritual? Social rituals are, basically, traditions or customs that a society has followed for many years. For example, in America, most people follow the custom of dating. In Israel, they tend to follow the tradition of arranged marriages. Yet, in some countries, they use courtship. Even though all three of these approaches to finding a mate are different, they all are very similar because they are all Social Mating Rituals. Now, of course, mating isn’t the only social ritual.

The way our culture responds to and views death is a social ritual in and of itself. So is the way we do warfare. The way we eat and the way we clothe ourselves are also social rituals. One of the most interesting social rituals, in my opinion, is music. The music we listen to and the way it is used to influence us is much different then it used to be. With the start of the 20th century, music was just beginning to play a huge part in the rapidly maturing United States. For centuries, music had always been used to entertain people around living rooms and campfires.

It had always contained the ability to manipulate the emotions and feelings of a listener. But, as America started to prosper and business began to boom, people began to realize the potential money making qualities of music and the music entertainment industry was born. Today, it’s one of the biggest industries ever. An artist can have his music heard by thousands to even millions of people. Instead of entertaining just a few hundred people, artists go on tours around the country or even the world, playing music in front of millions of people (Ennis, 1992).

With the wide audiences available to artists, music became one of the best ways to advertise and to influence people with ideas and such. Many artists knew this to be true and took advantage of it. Music rapidly began to influence every aspect of American lives. It was heard in their homes, cars, offices, theaters, movies, elevators and countless other places. Music made it’s way everywhere. The songs that were sung defined what every American loved and worked for. It gave people hope and joy, as well as bringing out every other emotion possible.

Music was around during the bad times as well as the good. When people were down there were songs they could relate to, and when they were happy there were songs they could sing and dance to (Ennis, 1992). In the 1920’s the first pop music began with the big bands. They were a popular choice for many listeners, but new forms of it were already starting to branch. Swing and Jazz soon became very popular styles of music. They mainly consisted of several trumpets, saxophones, and even stringed instruments. A deeper bass, piano and percussion then supported them.

Jazz got it’s influence from African-American folk music, such as ragtime, fife and drum bands, string bands and spirituals. Because of the newness of Jazz music, it exploded though out the United States quickly. Jazz had a huge impact on the people of the early 1900’s. It lessened racism to some degree, and started opening people’s minds to other forms of dancing, which was considered an indecent act among many societies. African-American people gained a little more acceptance through Jazz music with their smooth ability to improve the already great sound of Jazz.

Such artists as Joe “King” Oliver and Louis Armstrong were huge and made a big impact on not only Jazz, but also many people living in the U. S. at the time. Through the jazz style, music was beginning to widely influence Americas’ culture (Stuessy, 1990). After World War I was winding down and Jazz was hitting it’s peak, anther new kind of music was once again emerging. Rock ‘n’ Roll emerged from the newly developed Jazz music. In 1955, Rock ‘n’ Roll took off with Bill Haley’s song “Rock Around the Clock”. The American people loved it for it’s exciting, heavy beat and it’s hypnotic power over people causing them to dance.

Rock was very popular among the younger crowds, especially with the teens. It related to the topics many young people were interested in. Rock musicians wrote songs about school, cars and young love. Many teens in the United States at this time loved it because they could relate to what the songs were saying, although some people believed it brought out the worst in people. Parents of the children often thought the style suggested ideas of rebellion and sin (Palmer, 1995). With the idea that rock was bad, it was in the begging struggle for popularity. On the other hand, it ended up gaining even more popularity.

One person named Elvis Presley hit the music scene and ended up having a huge influence on rock. His radical dances and catchy tunes shocked and amazed everyone. Instantaneously, people were in love with his music, attitude and view on life. At the arrival of rock and musicians like Elvis Presley, the American people were starting to be changed forever (Peters, 1984). Currently, Rock ‘n’ Roll is now the most popular form of music in the United States, the 1960’s were very turbulent and the music was there the whole time supporting the protesting, outrages and violence.

War in Vietnam, women’s rights, and Black rights were all big issues in the 60’s. The people had a new spirit at this time. They were very liberal and did not stay quiet. When they felt they had to speak their mind, they did. Rock music was one of the key element that gave the protesting Americans a way to speak out against the government and authority. It was the mass media through which people communicated and were influenced by. Almost every song in the 60’s had a message of protest, especially about Vietnam.

Peace was on all people’s minds. Bands like “Jefferson Airplane”, “The Beatles” and “The Who” all had songs crying out about peace and stopping the war. One of the most popular protests was the music festival called “Woodstock. ” It had great importance in spreading the word of peace and rebellion. The music was very successful in bringing these common feelings to the young people during this time. Because of much of music’s message of rebellion and protest it often encouraged the use of drugs and free love.

Some say, that if Rock were not around during this time period, a lot of the drug problems and immorality wouldn’t be so prevalent today. Then again, others say that if it hadn’t been around, a lot people would not have spoken their mind, therefore many more people may have been killed in Vietnam, and issues very important today may have never been brought to the attention of the people living in the United States. In either case, we can see by this short little history in America’s social ritual of music, that it has influenced our culture greatly (Palmer, 1995).

Every town all over the world has different classes within the community

Every town all over the world has different classes within the community; some are rich, some are poor, some have a better reputation than others. Whether you’re working in an office building and have the highest education or you’re working at the local McDonalds and earn 5$ an hour, everyone is important making a working community. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee however, the different classes are not treated equally and because it is in the 1930’s, there is also a race issue.

The Cunningham’s have a good reputation although they are really poor the citizens of Maycomb respect them for who they are, as Scout describes The Cunningham’s never took anything they can’t pay back- no church baskets and no scrip stamps. They never took anything off of anybody; they get along on what they have. They don’t have much, but they get along on it” (Lee 20). People mostly leave them alone. Dolphus Raymond is a white man married to an African American woman and everyone just leaves him alone.

Dolphus Raymond explains to the two kids “I try to give’em a reason you see. When I come to town, which is seldom, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey – that’s why he won’t change his ways. He simply can’t help himself, that’s why he lives the way he does” (Lee 228). Dolphus Raymond is considered a low part of the community, because he is married and had kids with an African American woman, yet he is a “class” higher than African Americans because he is white.

The Finches, the main characters of the book, is a very well respected white family in the community, and most likely one of the wealthiest too. The Finches also have a long family history in town, back to one of the oldest in Maycomb. They are also looked upon a little different because Mr. Finch, the father to the two children in the book defends Tom Robinson an African American against a white man for raping his daughter. The children also experience some sort of racism at school because their dad does what he does.

Tom Robinson, a well working African American, and works so much to keep food on the table for his family, is well respected throughout the community. He obeys the laws and pays his bills, but his word can not be taken over a white man such as Mr. Ewell; the poorest white man in the ommunity, with little over half a dozen children, living in a dump. In the book, there is a testimony about Tom Robinson raping Mr. Ewell’s daughter, Mayella. Everyone in town knows that Mr. Ewell is lying, and that he made it up, but Tom Robinson is convicted guilty because he is African American and Mr. Ewell is white. It was proven that Tom Robinson did not rape Mayella, and even though Tom Robinson had a better reputation, worked well, and cared well for his family and others, even the poorest white man with the worst reputation, had the word over a black man’s in the 1930’s. Mr. Finch made it clear that the Jury thought about saying he was innocent “That Jury took a few hours.

An evitable verdict, maybe, but usually it takes’em just a few minutes” (Lee, 253) All the characters in the classes have an important role in the book, some more than others. In Maycomb, Alabama, these people are all important to each other and they mostly help each other. Some like to be left alone, while others enjoy being in company. The fact is that the most poor, lying, white man could send an African American that has done nothing and is actually proven so, to jail, because it is a white man saying so, is true acism can be in a little town like Maycomb, where everyone knows each other.

Even today’s day there is racism in communities, not so much because of skin color, but their class, and their reputation. But without different classes, a community wouldn’t exist. They are both important. In To Kill a Mockingbird the people are looked down upon if they are an African American, but if they are poor but have a good reputation, such as the Cunninghams, they will get along fine, but if they have a bad reputation such as the Ewells, they might not receive any help from any neighbors.

The Progressive Era

The Progressive Era was a period that showed the goals and contradictions found in American society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Theodore Roosevelt summed up the Progressive/Reform feeling in his “Square Deal” speech – that it was all about morals, not economics. His goal was the “moral regeneration of the business world. ” He preached that it was wrong for some people to get ahead in business and politics by tricks and schemes, while others were cheated out of the opportunity.

This was the kind of talk that millions of Americans from all areas of society could understand and respond to. Roosevelt simply acted in the interests of the common working man, fixing things that they found unjust. For years, the poor and immigrants were unhappy with treatment from their big-business employers. Their long working hours and exploitation of children were, among other things, exposed by the Muckrakers. The Muckrakers were journalists who exposed corruption in business and politics and made many of their readers angry.

These new reformers took over the old Populist idea that the government should work for the public’s economic well being. Reform groups near the turn of the century were interested in the moral changes of the way the government and businesses were run. They wanted the government to be more open and listen to the people. Also, they wanted the government to put more effort into protecting the well being of all citizens. This would require government action to regulate business, improve public health and safety and make sure that every citizen had the chance to succeed and to be happy.

Today there are also many reform groups. Just like the progressives of the early twentieth century, modern reformers are trying to change things for the better. One modern reformer is Ralph Nader. Nader is a leader in the consumer-protection movement. He organized investigative teams of young lawyers, consumer specialists, and students, popularly called Nader’s Raiders, to conduct surveys of numerous companies, federal agencies, and the U. S. Congress. Nader is a controversial man; his investigations have at times been criticized as biased against big business and government.

Cesar Chavez was another modern reformer. The issues that he dealt with included: Women Farmworkers, Farmworker Health Issues, and Migrant Labor. Many issues that progressives of the early 1900s dealt with are the core of many of todays issues, however there are still some reforms that are different than those of a hundred years ago. American reform movements have generally been started as a rebellion against the control of big businesses and corrupt government. The poor conditions of schools and the entire education system at the turn of the twentieth century were a major cause for reform.

That reform movement has influenced the entire education system and has made it better and more suitable for students. Civil rights for African-Americans and women was just beginning to become an issue in the late 19th century. Many progressivists spoke out for suffrage for women and equal rights for black people. Today, civil rights for minorities is still a big cause for reform. There are many different oraganizations whose goal is to reform the way society, the government and businesses treat any type of minority, including Hispanics, homosexuals and Native Americans.

However civil rights is just one of the many causes of modern reform groups. Others include reform of huge companies and monoplolies, welfare programs, education systems and many, many other issues. A reform movement is a shout against people, businesses, governments or ideas that are morally corrupt. Not all reform movements are successful in making an actual change, however even if a significant change isnt made their message is still shared with the public. Reform group leaders are usually involved in the government and have a strong charisma, which helps them convey their message.

Jesse Louis Jackson is one of America’s strongest political figures. Over the past three decades he has played a major role in just about every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice. Reverend Jackson has been called the “conscience of the nation” and “the great unifier,” challenging America to establish just and humane priorities, and bringing people together on common ground across lines of race, class, gender, and belief.

Years before they were common positions, Reverend Jackson was advocating national health care, a war on drugs, dialogue with the Soviet Union, and negotiations in the Middle East. His strong stand against apartheid in South Africa in 1984 made it an issue on the national conscience. Jesse Jackson’s two presidential campaigns broke new ground in U. S. politics. His 1984 campaign won 3. 5 million votes, registered over a million new voters, and helped the Democratic Party regain control of the Senate in 1986.

A strong point of Reverend Jacksons work has been his commitment to the youth. He has visited thousands of high schools, colleges, and universities, encouraging excellence, and challenging your people to stay in school and away from drugs. Jesse Jackson has also been a major force in the American labor movement. He has worked with unions to organize workers, mediated labor disputes and he has probably walked more picket lines and spoken at more labor rallies than any other national leader. In 1986, Jesse Jackson founded the National Rainbow Coalition of which he is President.

The Rainbow is a national social justice organization devoted to empowerment, education and mobilization. Reverend Jackson is also the author of two books: Keep Hope Alive and Straight from the Heart. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Civil rights leader, and one of the world’s best-known advocates of nonviolent social change. In December 1955, after Montgomery civil rights activist Rosa Parks refused to obey the city’s policy over segregation on buses, black residents launched a bus boycott and elected King as president of the newly formed Montgomery Improvement Association.

His house was bombed, and he and other boycott leaders were convicted on charges of conspiring to interfere with the bus company’s operations. But, in December 1956, Montgomery’s buses were desegregated when the Supreme Court declared Alabama’s segregation laws unconstitutional. In 1957, seeking to build upon the success in Montgomery, King and other black ministers founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As president, King emphasized the goal of black voting rights when he spoke at the Lincoln Memorial during the 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom.

Southern black college students started a series of sit-in protests in 1960. Although King sympathized with their movement and spoke at the founding meeting of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee SNCC in April 1960, he soon became the target of criticisms from SNCC activists. Even King’s joining a student sit-in and his arrest in October 1960 did not calm everyone down. Then King and his staff started a major campaign in Birmingham, Alabama, where white police officials were notorious for their anti-black attitudes.

In 1963, clashes between unarmed black demonstrators and police with attack dogs and fire hoses generated newspaper headlines throughout the world. Mass demonstrations in many communities came together in a march on August 28, 1963, attracting more than 250,000 protesters to Washington, D. C. Addressing the marchers from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech. In 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize. Despite the praise, King faced strong challenges to his leadership. In 1966, King encountered strong criticism from “black power” spokesperson Stokely Carmichael.

Shortly afterward, white counter-protestors in Chicago physically assaulted King during an unsuccessful effort to transfer nonviolent protest techniques to the North. Nevertheless, King remained committed to nonviolence. After his death, King remained a controversial symbol of the civil rights struggle, revered by many for his martyrdom on behalf of nonviolence and condemned by others for his rebellious views. Jacob Riis was America’s first journalist-photographer and one of the first muckrakers. He was known as the “Emancipator of the Slums” because of his work on behalf of the urban poor.

His brutal documentation of sweatshops, disease-ridden tenements, and overcrowded schools stirred up public indignation and helped effect significant reform in housing, education, and child-labor laws. Riis lived in poverty in New York City for some time before he found a job with a news bureau in 1873. He became a police reporter for the New York Tribune and the Associated Press in 1877. Horrified by immigrant life, he began a series of exposes on slum conditions on New York’s Lower East Side. In 1884 he was responsible for the establishment of the Tenement House Commission.

In 1888 he left the Tribune for the Evening Sun and began work on his book How the Other Half Lives. Riis was among the first photographers to use flash powder, which let him photograph interiors and exteriors of the slums at night. He worked at first with two assistants but soon found it necessary to take his photographs himself. Mainly a writer, he wanted pictures to document and authenticate his reports, and to supply the vividness that would ensure attention. Sections of How the Other Half Lives appeared in Scribner’s magazine in December 1889.

The full-length book attracted immediate attention upon publication some months later and was reprinted several times. It had a powerful and lasting effect on movements for many kinds of social reform. For the next 25 years Riis continued to write and lecture extensively on the problems of the poor. He published over a dozen books, including his autobiography, The Making of an American (1901), and many articles. He became known as “the father of the small parks movement” after his success in creating a park in the infamous Mulberry Bend section of lower Manhattan.

Jane Addams wrote eleven books, one of the most famous being Newer Ideals of Peace. She also wrote hundreds of articles on a variety of subjects such as, industrial conditions, suffrage, civil rights, child welfare and many more. The legacy of Jane Addams began with a trip to Europe with two college friends. A stop in Londons East End showed her terrible poverty that came with industrialism. In England she also saw Toynbee Hall, a settlement house where students form Oxford and Cambridge helped to teach workingmen.

This made Addams and her friend Ellen Gates Starr read every piece of literature on the works of social reform that they could find. When they returned from Europe, both Addams and Starr considered the possibilities of setting up settlement houses in the many run-down streets of Chicago. After visiting many locations, they decided on the former mansion of a wealthy businessman that was serving as a rooming house in an Italian neighborhood in Chicagos overpopulated West Side. This became known as Hull House.

The main reason for doing this was for the poor, but another factor that played a role in this was to break away from the traditional roles given to women of that time. The Hull House was given plenty of work to do. Addams and Starr took care of the children of working mothers, they arranged for medical care of the sick, and they even tried to fight against the waste and rubbish in the streets which had spread disease throughout the neighborhoods. Addams and Starr tried to enlighten and educate the women and children who struggled with daily poverty.

Over time, interest in helping the poor had risen greatly. Addams traveled and spoke to womens clubs, church groups, and college students. Addams was unique not because she was helping the poor, charity was fairly common, but because of all that she gave up to live and help in the slums of Chicago. The impulse to reform strengthened in the 1890s, as settlement houses became more known and widespread. Addams pioneering efforts made her an obvious leader as her lectures and writings gave her the loudest voice of reform.

Settlement houses demanded recreation facilities in crowded cities, better sanitation facilities, and protection for female workers, abolition of child labor, improvement of education, and womens suffrage. In the Spring of 1898, Addams became more involved not only with community concerns, but national concerns as well. After the US declared war on Spain, violent crime had immediately risen in the streets of Chicago. Over time, her complaints and protests reached the top as Charles R. Crane, a close friend of President Woodrow Wilson, sent the President a letter urging him to meet with Addams after he returned from Europe in 1915.

Of course she is the best we have and has been received everywhere as a spiritual messenger…. Added to her great spiritual power is wonderful wisdom ad discretion. Every woman in the land and most men would be cheered by knowing that you and she were in conference. As the US entered World War I, it seemed as if those who tried to stop the war, including Addams, became more hated than applauded for their efforts to prevent worldwide involvement. She declined to work with the Red Cross because it had become part of the military and used to war to rally for their own support.

Despite recurring illnesses, Jane Addams worked for a way to give women a strong role in society as well as a sense of patriotism by keeping peace achievable but not seeming to go against the nation. Her dream was to give every child the happy childhood she had by giving them the safe feeling of, being held up in a pair of dusty hands to see the heavy stone mill wheels go around. Theodore Roosevelt was an historian, a biographer, a statesman, a hunter, a naturalist, and an orator. His emormous amount of literary works include twenty-six books, over a thousand magazine articles and thousands of speeches and letters.

In 1889 President Harrison appointed Roosevelt as a member of the Civil Service Commission of which he later became president. He kept this office until 1895 when he became the director of the Police Department of New York City. The New York City police department was extremely corrupt when Roosevelt took over his post. Roosevelt would find as an ally in his war against this corruption, Jacob Riis, the author of How the Other Half Lives, a book on the poor living conditions in New York’s slums.

Riis was familiar with the city and its corrupt police force and how it operated. Bribery was not only rampant, but accepted behavior, with the payments being divvied out from patrolman up through the ranks. This was made all that much more apparent when the Rev. Charles Parkhurst, from the Presbyterian Church on Madison Avenue began a crusade against the corruption of the police force. With Roosevelt in charge, this behavior would no longer be acceptable. In 1897 he joined President McKinley’s administration as assistant secretary of the Navy.

While in this office he actively prepared for the Cuban War, which he saw was coming, and when it broke out in 1898, he went to Cuba as lieutenant colonel of a regiment of volunteer cavalry, which he himself had raised among the hunters and cowboys of the West. He became very famous as the leader of these Rough-Riders; whose story he told in one of his most popular books. Roosevelt was elected governor of the state of New York in 1898, he would have sought reelection in 1900, since much of his work was only half done, had the Republicans not chosen him as their candidate for the second office of the Union.

He held the vice-presidency for less than a year, succeeding to the presidency after the assassination of President McKinley on November 14, 1901. In 1904 Roosevelt was elected to a full term as president. The ideals of the twentieth century were built on the work of reform groups. Reform groups still play a large part in changing the way large corporations and the government are run. Because of the constant need for change and reform, the turn of the twentieth century to the twenty-first could be called a progressive era just like the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century was.

Violence In Entertainment And Its Effect On Society

Does entertainment influence society’s attitude towards violent behavior? In order to fully answer this question we must first understand what violence is. Violence is the use of one’s powers to inflict mental or physical injury upon another, examples of this would be rape or murder. Violence in entertainment reaches the public by way of television, movies, plays, and novels.

Through the course of this essay it will be proven that violence in entertainment is a major factor in the escalation of violence in society, once this is proven we will take all of the evidence that has been shown throughout this paper and come o a conclusion as to whether or not violence in entertainment is justified and whether or not it should be censored. Television with its far reaching influence spreads across the globe. Its most important role is that of reporting the news and maintaining communication between people around the world.

Television’s most influential, yet most serious aspect is its shows for entertainment. Violent children’s shows like Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and adult shows like NYPD Blue and Homicide almost always fail to show human beings being able to resolve their differences in a non-violent manner, nstead they show a reckless attitude that promotes violent action first with reflection on the consequences later. In one episode of NYPD Blue three people were murdered in the span of an hour.

Contemporary television creates a seemingly insatiable appetite for amusement of all kinds without regard for social or moral benefits” (Schultze 41). Findings over the past twenty years by three Surgeon Generals, the Attorney General’s Task Force on Family Violence, the American Medical Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other medical authorities indicate that televised violence is harmful to all of us, but particularly to the mental health of children (Medved 70-71).

In 1989 the results of a five year study by the American Psychological Association indicated that the average child has witnessed 8,000 murders and 100,000 other acts of violence on television by the time he or she has completed sixth grade. In further studies it was determined that by the time that same child graduates from high school he or she will have spent 22,000 hours watching television, wice as many hours as he or she has spent in school (Bruno 124).

In a study by the Centers for Disease Control, published by the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), it was shown that homicide rates had doubled between the introduction of television in the 1950’s and the end of the study in 1994. In that same study other possible causes for the vast increases in violence were studied, “the ‘baby boom’ effect, trends in urbanization, economic trends, trends in alcohol abuse, the role of capital punishment, civil unrest, the availability of guns, and exposure to television”(Lamson 32).

Each of these purported causes was tested in a variety of ways to see whether it could be eliminated as a credible contributor to doubling the crime rate in the United States, and one by each of them was invalidated, except for television. Children average four hours of television per day, and in the inner city that increases to as much as eleven hours a day, with an average of eight to twelve violent incidents per hour. It is also interesting to note that violence occurs some fifty-five times more often on television than it does in the real world (Medved 156).

FBI and census data show the homicide arrest rate for eventeen-year-olds more than doubled between 1985 and 1991, and the rates for fifteen-and sixteen-year-olds increased even faster. Movies also add their fair share to the problem of violence in society. “Researchers have established that copycat events are not an anomaly. Statistically-speaking, they are rare, but predictable, occurences. Television shows, novels, but especially movies-all can trigger copycat violence” (Medved 72).

As recently as November of 1995, New York City officials believed that the burning of a toll-booth clerk was a result of copycat violence, resulting from similar scene in the movie Money Train. In 1994, Nathan Martinez shot and killed his stepmother and half sister after watching the movie Natural Born Killers at least six times. “Later, Martinez, who had shaved his head and wore granny sun glasses like Natural Born Killer’s main character Mickey Knox, reportedly told a friend, “It’s nothing like the movies”(Purtell 57).

In a 1993 film, The Program, there was a scene showing college football players lying in the center of a highway in an attempt to show their courage and dedication to their sport. This movie was later blamed for inspiring eal-life imitators; (one of whom died). In numorous experiments based at pre-schools, researchers have observed children playing before and after seeing violent movies and television shows. “Following the violent program the children’s play is invaribly more aggressive. They are much more likely to hit, punch, kick, and grab to get their way.

In other words, violent entertainment teaches children how to use aggression for personal gain” (Medved 75). It is also hard to believe that movies like Rambo III with one hundred and six killings and Terminator 2 which showed countless killings lus a nuclear holocaust have at one time had their own line of children’s action figures even though both movies are rated R. One must seriously consider the idea that the movie studios are targeting a younger and easily influenced main audience. The ancient Greeks believed that violence should never be shown on stage, because people imitated what they saw.

Because of this they would only show the results of violence in order to deter any violent activity. The Greeks slowly but surely moved away from this idea as did other playwrights, and by the late 1500’s a new writer with a new view on violence was beginning to write plays. His name was William Shakespeare. Many critics were bothered by Shakespeare’s failure to follow the rules of the ancient Greeks, especially the rules concerning violence, but they also objected to Shakespeare’s comic sexual passages, which they considered vulgar.

Shakespeare was a writer during what has historically been called the Elizabethan era. Shakespeare’s plays reflect the shift from optimism to pessimism in Elizabethan society. “Elizabethans were keenly aware of death and the brevity of life” (Info Find), but death and violence fascinated the Elizabethans. “They flocked to the beheadings of traitors hose heads were exhibited on poles and watched as criminals were hanged, and they saw the rotting corpses dangle from the gallows for days” (The Student Handbook 2: 591). Elizabethans, literature and lives were very violent.

In Shakespeare’s play Hamlet all the main characters die through murder or suicide, all of which is shown on stage. Those critics who say excessive violence has only become a common occurence in today’s entertainment, should watch Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus with its’ stage direction, “Enter a messenger with two heads and a hand” (Klavan 98), or they should atch as quarts of stage blood are poured all over the “victims” in that same play. Novels, just like television, movies, and plays can cause violence. Throughout history novels have been the cause of violent behavior.

Those who say people can’t be influenced by books, should really look into the influence that a book called Uncle Tom’s Cabin had ten years prior to the Civil War. In 1851 Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published. The novel told of the hardships and cruelties faced by African-American slaves in the south. The novel popularlized the abolitionist movement and is believed to have been a major ause for the Civil War, which even though a noble cause, resulted in over 500,000 deaths (The Student Handbook 2: 592). In 1980 Mark Chapman, a former mental patient, shot and killed John Lennon.

When asked why he did it, he indicated that he got the idea to kill Lennon from J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye (590). He felt that he and the main character in the story, Holden Caufield, were very similar because they were both angry social outcasts, who were recovering from a mental breakdown (590). Violence is prominent in children’s novels too. R. L. Stine’s novel The Babysitter III, tells of decapitating a baby and in Christopher Pike’s novel, Monster, there is a graphic description of the effects of a shotgun being fired at a person’s head at close range.

Roderick McGillis, a professor of English at the University of Calgary and author of a book on children’s literature, has written that, “What disturbs me is that we’re developing in our culture, in our cities, a kind of siege mentality. A lot of thes books reinforce this, make it sort of normal to think that the world is a place in which violence can erupt at any moment” (Gray 54). With all of this evidence t is hard to ignore the fact that violence in entertainment can cause violence in society. This paper has now shown that there are copycat kilers who get the idea for their crimes from entertainment.

It has also been shown that the more violent movies and television children watch the more likely thay are to become aggressive and violent. Violence in entertainment and society is not isolated to the present, it was also very prominent in the writings of Shakespeare. With the evidence showing that violence in entertainment causes real life violence, it is very hard to say that violence in entertainment is justifiable. When little children and adults alike, fall victim to entertainment’s violent influence it is not justifiable and it is especially not justifiable when violent entertainment creates real life victims.

Is censorship the answer to the problem of violent entertainment? Should we tell people what they can or can’t read or watch? The simple answer to this question is no, we can’t censor violent entertainment. The First Amendment clearly states that: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise therof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the ress, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The instinct to censor is the tragic flaw of utopian minds. “Our first job,” said Plato in his classic attack on the democratic system , “is to oversee the work of the story writers, and to accept any good stories they write, but reject the others” (Klavan 96). If the government ever did censor violent entertainment who knows where they would stop, or even if they would. Perhaps they would try to censor violent speech or try to censor the speech of those who disagreed ith the actions of the government.

The simple message is don’t promote censorship, because it could easily get out of hand, and as the old saying goes “the road to hell is paved with good intentions. ” There are then only two ways to get rid of the violent entertainment in our lives: we could shame those who make the violent movies, television shows, books, and plays, into having a social conscience, making them be less prone to creating violent entertainment; or we could simply solve the problem ourselves, with a push of a button, or the turn of a page.

Perfect body and Creatine

In today’s society, a lot of emphasis is placed on how you look. Almost everybody wants that “perfect body”. But with all the things people have to do, not many are willing to put in the time to get it. So there must be an easy way to get it. Right? Not too long ago people steroids. They injected horse testosterone into their veins to increase the amount of muscle mass produced from lifting. But after a while, some professional athletes and high profile people started showing the side effects that are associated with them. For example, Lyle Alzado, a popular star in the NFL, developed a brain tumor and died.

This scared lot of people and the recreational uses of steroids decreased. With the dangers of steroids well known people started looking for other substances to give them an edge. Bee pollen, carnitine and chromium picolinate, were among the things people tried. Of course none of these worked. But now there is a product on the market that has been proven to significantly enhance athletic performance in the areas of power, strength, and muscle mass. This substance is Creatine Phosphate. When you exercise you obviously burn energy. There are many things involved in this process. The energy that you burn is called Adenosine

Triphosphate, ATP. This molecule has very high energy bonds between the phosphates and the rest of the molecule. Your body breaks these bonds releasing the energy for use and changing the molecule to ADP (di-phosphate). Since the body has a relatively low supply of ATP, it needs to convert the ADP back into ATP. Creatine helps to speed this process along. Creatine is an amino acid made in your liver and stored in In the diet it is found in milk, steak, and some fish. Although scientists have known about it for about 160 years, studies on it have After the publication of test results in 1990, the area of creatine upplementation has exploded.

Now almost everyone knows what it is and someone who is using it. As was stated earlier, creatine helps speed up the process of converting ADP back into ATP. So it is logical that if you increase the amount of creatine you should increase the conversion rate. The daily requirement of creatine is about two grams. Most of the creatine supplement products recommend taking ten times that amount for the first week or so to saturate your muscles, and five grams a day to maintain it. In most published studies the logic is correct; if you increase dietary creatine you increase stored creatine.

With the increase of stored creatine there should be an increase in conversion time. In most of the studies that I have seen this is true. There is also a relationship between the amount of hydration in a muscle cell and the amount of work it can do. Creatine makes the cell retain water and therefore should increase the amount of work individual cells can do. But this is not all that it does. In many studies, along with increased recovery time, creatine showed to increase muscle mass, explosive power and strength. In one study groups of athletes put on five to seven pounds of lean muscle mass in a month.

These results were far better than athletes receiving a placebo in the same study. Some critics state that the increase in muscle mass is mostly water, but there are studies that say there is an increase in the size of Type II muscle fibers. With the increase in mass there should be an increase in power. In the same study the athletes saw a thirty percent increase in bench-press. With an increase in strength and recovery time there is an increase in Although creatine supplementation has shown results in particular areas, it doesn’t help everyone. The supplements are pretty expensive and ith the recommended dosage, they go pretty fast.

If you are not serious about training or are a weekend warrior you may see results but you will pay for them. But if you are seriously into bodybuilding, creatine will help you see gains. Also, athletes that perform short burst sprints with little recovery time will benefit from creatine. Basketball and football players in particular. But if you are an endurance athlete such as a marathoner or a sprinter there are studies that show that creatine supplementation may slow you down. Some think it is from the weight gained. There are also people ho are immune to its effects.

They are officially called “nonresponders”. These people are studied little and it is not known why they are immune or who these people are. Since studies on creatine loading have only been going on for less than a decade, it is still unknown what long term effects the extra creatine will have. Some researchers fear that, with the amount of extra creatine contrived through the diet, the body might stop producing it. The only way we will find out the negative effects of long term use is time. The sales of creatine supplements are very strong, so a lot of people are using it.

Argument on Global Overpopulation

On our planet, there are almost six and one half billion people, and more are being born every second. Some estimates say that every second, twenty-eight people are born, while another ten die. This results in a net gain of eighteen people every second of every day, non-stop. Humans, homo sapiens, have been in existence for at least ten thousand years, although it has been disputed exactly how long. Now consider that over 90 percent of our species population growth has occurred in only one percent of our existence. These are staggering facts.

Surely we see signs of such growth in our own communities, perhaps in the form of a new supermarket or neighborhood where weeks earlier stood a forest. However drastic something like this may seem at our local level, it absolutely pales in comparison to what is happening at the global level. In the United States we have an extremely high standard of living, and are able to accommodate such growth by consuming ever more resources. But what about the poorer developing nations that have thrice the rate of growth, and not even a fraction of our available resources?

In order to ease the strain on the planet and ourselves, the issue must be addressed that the global population explosion is way out of control. Why have the population levels risen so sharply in the last few centuries, and particularly, decades? There are several reasons, many of them associated with newer technologies. Drastic improvements in the areas of medicine, sanitation, and nutrition have meant people are living longer and consuming more resources throughout a lifetime. Also, infant and child mortality rates have gone way down in most countries due to these advances.

So there are more people living into and past their reproductive years, thus intensifying the cycle. But overpopulation does not simply mean there are many more people. It means that the giant escalation in the number of humans is becoming more than what the Earth is capable of providing for with the available resources. It so happens that we are at a perilous crossroads: as our numbers are becoming more and more, our resources are not increasing to accommodate the masses, but rather are becoming less and less.

Valuable topsoil reserves are being depleted at an alarming rate, making available less farmland to grow food for the burgeoning masses. By the end of this century, the amount of arable land will be less than half of what it was in 1951. While the US and other developed nations are beginning to make the transition to become less reliant on fossil fuels, the demand is only projected to increase due to the many other poorer nations that will not be able to institute expensive new technologies while in the midst of their ongoing growth and industrialization.

Even water, the most basic and vital human resource of all, is becoming a valuable commodity in places like Africa and the Middle East, where the large amounts of people are contributing to the polluting of already scarce water supplies. Developing nations, often known as third-world countries, are the first to feel the real impact of overpopulation. As they are usually suffering economically, this prevents them from instituting effective educational systems and technologies to attempt to conserve resources. There is also a correlation between poor countries and higher birth rates due to several reasons.

Since many of their economies are agriculturally driven, parents tend to have large families, reasoning that another mouth to feed is acceptable when it means two more hands helping with the labor. Also, since the educational systems are substandard, many people either are ignorant of or do not have access to methods of birth control. The end result is the dire scenario explained earlier: increasing people depending on decreasing resources. So what are we to do in order to combat this encroaching global catastrophe?

First of all, the United States needs to stop being so hypocritical and set an appropriate example. While we chastise other nations for wanton environmental destruction and skyrocketing birth rates, we continue to expel more harmful emissions than all the other nations on the list of the top five polluters combined. Just to pose a rhetorical question: does it seem right that a nation with 5 percent of the worlds population consumes 40 percent of its resources? Just because we as a nation are aware of this problem sadly does not necessarily mean we are willing to alter our comfortable lifestyles to combat it.

Only by changing our wasteful ways will we help lead the rest of the world in the ongoing battle against overpopulation. Argument on Global Overpopulation On our planet, there are almost six and one half billion people, and more are being born every second. Some estimates say that every second, twenty-eight people are born, while another ten die. This results in a net gain of eighteen people every second of every day, non-stop. Humans, homo sapiens, have been in existence for at least ten thousand years, although it has been disputed exactly how long.

Now consider that over 90 percent of our species population growth has occurred in only one percent of our existence. These are staggering facts. Surely we see signs of such growth in our own communities, perhaps in the form of a new supermarket or neighborhood where weeks earlier stood a forest. However drastic something like this may seem at our local level, it absolutely pales in comparison to what is happening at the global level. In the United States we have an extremely high standard of living, and are able to accommodate such growth by consuming ever more resources.

But what about the poorer developing nations that have thrice the rate of growth, and not even a fraction of our available resources? In order to ease the strain on the planet and ourselves, the issue must be addressed that the global population explosion is way out of control. Why have the population levels risen so sharply in the last few centuries, and particularly, decades? There are several reasons, many of them associated with newer technologies. Drastic improvements in the areas of medicine, sanitation, and nutrition have meant people are living longer and consuming more resources throughout a lifetime.

Also, infant and child mortality rates have gone way down in most countries due to these advances. So there are more people living into and past their reproductive years, thus intensifying the cycle. But overpopulation does not simply mean there are many more people. It means that the giant escalation in the number of humans is becoming more than what the Earth is capable of providing for with the available resources. It so happens that we are at a perilous crossroads: as our numbers are becoming more and more, our resources are not increasing to accommodate the masses, but rather are becoming less and less.

Valuable topsoil reserves are being depleted at an alarming rate, making available less farmland to grow food for the burgeoning masses. By the end of this century, the amount of arable land will be less than half of what it was in 1951. While the US and other developed nations are beginning to make the transition to become less reliant on fossil fuels, the demand is only projected to increase due to the many other poorer nations that will not be able to institute expensive new technologies while in the midst of their ongoing growth and industrialization.

Even water, the most basic and vital human resource of all, is becoming a valuable commodity in places like Africa and the Middle East, where the large amounts of people are contributing to the polluting of already scarce water supplies. Developing nations, often known as third-world countries, are the first to feel the real impact of overpopulation. As they are usually suffering economically, this prevents them from instituting effective educational systems and technologies to attempt to conserve resources. There is also a correlation between poor countries and higher birth rates due to several reasons.

Since many of their economies are agriculturally driven, parents tend to have large families, reasoning that another mouth to feed is acceptable when it means two more hands helping with the labor. Also, since the educational systems are substandard, many people either are ignorant of or do not have access to methods of birth control. The end result is the dire scenario explained earlier: increasing people depending on decreasing resources. So what are we to do in order to combat this encroaching global catastrophe? First of all, the United States needs to stop being so hypocritical and set an appropriate example.

While we chastise other nations for wanton environmental destruction and skyrocketing birth rates, we continue to expel more harmful emissions than all the other nations on the list of the top five polluters combined. Just to pose a rhetorical question: does it seem right that a nation with 5 percent of the worlds population consumes 40 percent of its resources? Just because we as a nation are aware of this problem sadly does not necessarily mean we are willing to alter our comfortable lifestyles to combat it. Only by changing our wasteful ways will we help lead the rest of the world in the ongoing battle against overpopulation.

A view of modern society

I wrote this to try and take the reader on a journey. What you read here is a direct reflection of the current state of our society. I want to point out to you, the reader, exactly what is happening in the undercurrents of the digital frontier. Each image and video clip that you witness is part of the greater whole of the new Internet society that we all live in. It is your voice that has made this view popular. We are all fed up with the bland and tasteless media that is shoved down our collective throats day after day.

When you go outside and see a billboard for GAP clothing or SONY consumer devices you may not realize that you are being programmed with each glance. We are constantly being molded, and we’re so used to it that we don’t even realize it anymore. It is their job to make you consume. To think up the most captivating and alluring commercials to imprint the memory of the specific product they are offering to your mind. Each individual mindshare, or thought that they imprint on you is considered a capitalist victory. To convince us who are already content with what we already own that we need what we don’t already have.

When you call up your mother and ask her if she has seen the latest commercial advertising khaki slacks, and you tell her how much you enjoy it when the image freezes then pans around like magic… you are doing exactly what they want you to do. We vote actors into office to make decisions pertaining to the survival of our race — our race being humanity. There is no longer black or white, yellow or brown. The glorious gift of mass communication has eradicated any once standing belief that one tribe is superior over another. That is a benefit, not a fault.

I am a firm believer that any form of prejudice against another person based on sexual preference, physical makeup or material wealth is an inbred weakness in our genetic programming. The next step in our evolution is to expand past this floating ball of dirt and spread outwards. We have done all that we can on this rock and now it is time to move on to bigger and better things. Our lives may be meaningless as individuals (it is our own ego that makes us think we are important) but as a whole we do have some importance in the Grande scheme of things.

If we could only overcome our ignorance based on cosmetic differences, the time that we spend on this festering piece of crap would be far more rewarding. Whether you believe in God, Allah, Buddha, atoms or gargoyles, it makes no difference. When you are dead, you are dead. You revert to where you originally came from, so don’t try and fight it. We all have the choice to end our lives when we see fit, but suicide is just used as a means of escape for those of us too weak to continue.

We get into a state of mind — our brain is flooded with self-terminating chemicals that make us truly believe that now is the time to end things, when in fact it is just the lack of serotonin or other chemicals in our brain that makes us believe that we are doing what needs to be done. Suicide is useless unless you are 80 years old and dying of cancer. If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look like something like the following: h 14 from the Western Hemisphere, both North and South 6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth h All 6 would be from the United States h 80 would live in substandard housing h 50 would suffer from malnutrition h 1 would have a college education When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent. (Phillip M Harter, MD, FACEP Stanford University, School of Medicine) Let me reiterate in laymen’s terms: Screw the status quo. Live for yourself. Be independent from what the mainstream dictates what you should and shouldn’t do. Above all, survive.

On Revenge and Medea

Revenge and vengeance are basic tools of human instinct. Whether society chooses to accept or blind itself to this fact, it is an indisputable truth. Francis Bacon examines this truth in “Of Revenge”, a view of society and literary characters that reflects the strive for vengeance. However, “Of Revenge” deeply underestimates the corruption of the human spirit and soul. It completely disregards the presence of the basic human instinct which thrives on the manipulation and destruction of others, for the sake of satisfaction.

Though Bacons inferences to the book of Job or Solomon are perfectly viable to a character that chooses to take revenge after they have been wronged, to believe that “no man does evil just for the sake of evil” annihilates any complete sense of credibility that Bacons thoughts imply. The authors aspirations of the seeking of revenge solely as a means of retribution for oneself, and not to satisfy the evil within the human soul, is a beautiful and idealistic hope which belongs in some earthen utopia.

Unfortunately, it has no bearing on the modern world. Though the beliefs of Bacon expressed in “On Revenge” fulfill the traits of characters such as Medea, they neglect the human thrive for meaningless vengeance in characters such as Shakespeares Iago. Euripidess Medea uses the theme of the search for revenge in order to instigate the downfalls and deaths of many characters. This theme is expressed through the character of Medea, who fits directly into the mold laid out in the guidelines of “Of Revenge”.

Medeas search for revenge commences after her husband, the famous Greek hero Jason, leaves her for the power and prestige of the daughter of the King of Corinth. Medea becomes distraught over the news, especially after she reflects upon all that she had destroyed for Jason. She murdered her brother, was willingly ostracized from her homeland, gave Jason two sons, and killed most of Jasons enemies using her knowledge of black arts. In short, Jasons inability to remain faithful to a woman who obsessed over him, causes Medeas search for vengeance.

The wrongs committed by Jason with respect to Medea mirror Bacons belief that “revenge makes a man but even with his enemy” as well as “we are commanded to forgive our enemies; but never read that we are commanded to forgive our friends”. In this case, Medea cannot forgive her husband and takes revenge by murdering the king of Corinth and his daughter, Jasons fianc, as well as murders Jasons two sons. Though this form of revenge is cold-blooded and sadistic, Bacon would have believed that Medeas actions were justified due to the wrongs Jason committed against her.

It is for this reason that the character of Medea is carefully crafted to fit Bacons mold of a person seeking revenge, as well as illustrates the importance of the theme of revenge in the play. Though Bacons views are illustrated through Medea, they are grossly disproportional to the character of Iago in Shakespeares Othello. Bacon quotes, “there is no man doth a wrong for the wrongs sake”. However, Iago is considered one of the most disgusting and vengeful characters in literature that destroys the lives of innocents for his own behalf.

In fact, the only substantial ploy for revenge in the case of Iago is Othellos appointing of Cassio to the position of lieutenant, and disregarding Iago, thinking of him only as his “ancient”. Granted, this is a viable sore spot for Iago, but by no means justify his actions in the play. Iago also claims he suspects Othello had slept with Emilia, Iagos wife, but later in the play admits that he knows this fact is not true. However, Iago devises a plot to destroy the relationship between Desdemona, Othellos wife, and Othello, which leads to the deaths of nearly every character in the play.

Meanwhile, Iagos plot is eventually discerned and he is placed in jail, but the deaths of Desdemona and others far exceed Iagos punishment. As illustrated through the search for revenge of Iago, Bacon disregards the evil longings present in many human souls. As taken directly from Much Ado About Nothing, Don John, a mirror of Iago, convincingly declares he chooses to “do evil for the sake of doing evil”. This fact is overlooked by Bacon, who instead believes that revenge is always justified by the wrong committed against the vengeful party.

The image of a man seeking revenge for his own enjoyment, “thorn that pricks only because it can do no other” hardly scratches the surface of the character traits of Iago or Don John. It is the complete neglect for the existence of people who do a “wrong for wrongs sake” that denounces Bacons views of the justification and means surrounding revenge. After revenge is thoroughly dissected into its means, actions, and results, the substance of the act reverts back to a characters morals and strengths, which in turn are overshadowed by the unending battle of good versus evil. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr.

Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson claims that every man is really two men, one good and the other evil. The good gives man his morals and values whereas the evil gives man his strength and tenacity. It is the combination of these two men that make up the traits of a person. In “Of Revenge” Francis Bacon considers the good and evil sides of man, and thus draws conclusions given the relationship between the good and evil in a character is equal. Therefore, a character such as Medea, who possessed many virtuous qualities, as well as detestable ones, fits the mold of Bacons beliefs of the justification of revenge.

However, Bacon disregards the fact that in some men, their is more evil than their is good, and the strength and tenacity of that man override moral views. It is this imbalance that leads characters like Iago to do “evil for the sake of evil” and though they are not justified in their search for revenge, they endlessly endeavor to disrupt the natural flow of good to satisfy their evil cravings. Bacon discounts this amoral view of the human race which irrevocably overshadows the conclusions he draws as to the justification of human vengeance.

Rousseau Social Contract

The social pact comes down to this; “Each one of us puts into the community his person and all his powers under the supreme direction of the general will; and as a body, we incorporate every member as an indivisible part of the whole (Rousseau: 61)”. The general will can itself direct the forces of the state with the intention of the whole’s primary goal – which is the common good. The general will does not allow private opinions to prevail. The union of the people, in its passive role is known as the State and is referred to as the Sovereign in its active state.

Associates of the body politic are communally known as the people, and individually referred to as citizens or subjects. The primary problem to which the social contract holds the solution is based on the total alienation of each associate to the entire community. Rousseau proposes that every individual give himself absolutely and apply the same conditions for each and every one to result in an agreement where it is in no ones interest to make the conditions burdensome for others.

The critiques of this contract are so specifically determined by ones actions, that the slightest amendment must make the agreement invalid; it is crucial to obtain a unanimous recognition and admittance by the whole. If the social pact is desecrated, every man regains his inborn rights to recover his natural freedom, and loses the civil freedom in which he bargained for. Stop. The existence of natural freedom is the argument in which I intend to pursue against Rousseau. This thought shall be revisited in a short while.

Rousseau implies upon freedom the definition of the sovereign; it is a reason; a collaboration with others; a civil expression of the general will. Rousseau’s conclusion stipulates the absolute surrender of ones rights into a union; also referred to as the republic, the body politic, the state, the sovereign and as the power when compared to others of its own kind. His conclusion is however split into three subsets. Rousseau first states that since everyone in the social pact is summoned to the same conditions, it will be of no ones interest to inconvenience others.

Secondly, he states that since the alienation is unconditional, no individual citizen has any rights to claim of their own. If these rights were left to the individuals, they would revert to their natural state of own judgements in the absence of authority. And finally, Rousseau adds to his conclusion by affirming that “since each man gives himself to all, he gives himself to no one”(Rousseau:61); meaning that since there is no associate that he doesn’t gain the same rights as others gain over him, each man regains the equivalent of everything he loses; gaining more than what he initially had.

The first premise that Rousseau puts forward is that during a lifetime, each man will come to an obstacle that will endanger his safety and that he will not be able to conquer within his state of nature because it will have a power greater than his strength. What he implies with this premise is that if solitary men were continually facing the obstacles alone, the human race would eventually perish. Rousseau presents this premise as an assumption. It can be safely assumed that most people come across obstacles during their lifetime.

These obstacles are hidden within births, deaths, illnesses, monetary based issues, education, relationships, weather, governments, war, etc. The meaning of an obstacle is anything that will hinder ones performance; an impediment that has the power to abolish the human race. The second premise provides that since men cannot create new forces to overcome these obstacles, they can combine and organize their existing forces to protect themselves. Meaning that by uniting their separate powers, they can achieve a congruent force strong enough to prevail over any form of obstruction.

This second premise follows Rousseau’s first premise adequately. First, he presents the inevitable obstacle and then he follows to state that a sum of forces is required to overcome barriers that are too strong. Succeeding the premises, he poses the following question, “How to find a form of association which will defend the persons and goods of each member with the collective force of all, and under which each individual, while uniting himself with the others, obeys no one but himself and remains as free as before (Rousseau:60). How can these men be expected to neglect their own security and merge with others? This is the elementary predicament to which Rousseau’s social contract holds the solution to. Rousseau’s premises are plausible. They successfully lead to and support the conclusion; which is that individuals should alienate themselves totally into the community to establish a supreme power directed by the desire of the general will; a common ego. There is good reason to believe that Rousseau’s conclusion is true because he has convinced the reader of the need for a social contract with his premises.

His argument is valid because it is impossible for his conclusion to be false while his premises remain true. Substantial obstacles need association to be beat. Given his form, a social contract seems to be the key to man’s problems. In reality, the social contract is needed for the survival of the human race. Humans need two basic elements to survive: nutrition (as in food and water), and shelter. These two elements are acquired by man only through the alliance of others. A house is needed for shelter. A house requires teamwork to be constructed.

Today, food and water are seldom available from nature; they must be processed by others and then purchased with money that was gained as income through commerce. Rousseau views the social contact as the perfect solution to man’s security and common goodness. By uniting with others, he gains a civil goodness geared towards his public interests and has the collective power to confront any obstacle. If a subject of the social contract wishes to have a conversation, he cannot use his linguistic powers without the facilitation of others.

He “cannot do anything except through the cooperation of others (Rousseau: 85)”; however with this cooperation, he can do whatever he aspires. The social contract theory is a proposal that appears to work well within a given society. Rousseau’s argument flows well and is pleasingly convincing. My argument against his theory is the mere existence of natural rights. In this writer’s opinion, they do not even exist to begin with. So, if these inborn rights do not exist, they cannot be surrendered in exchange for an association with the social contract. Rousseau has constructed his social pact with the assumption that natural rights are real.

To prove this false assumption will contradict the elements of the social contract’s theory. Rousseau assumes that natural freedom is the expression of ones desires without the cooperation of others; it is the unrestricted performance of ones distinct actions. What he has failed to realize, is that we are born with civil freedoms, already within the form of a social contract. We naturally cannot do anything without the assistance of another. The sheer occurrence of birth is not possible without the uniting of a sperm and an egg, from within the action of intercourse between two persons.

These two persons needed another four persons to provide their existence. The earliest human did not appear on his own; it was through the aid of an almighty power that man was created. Upon birth, the newborn is instantaneously in need of care from that of an already developed human. The baby cannot survive without the help of others. It cannot grow to fulfill its purpose as a genetic perpetuate without the initial aid to be nurtured. This infant is immediately emerged into a family with traditions and religion. We naturally obey laws and allow others to determine our actions and desires.

Anything that we do as individuals is in relevance to someone else’s prior work: To eat, one must consume what is prepared by others. To take a walk, one must progress along the streets constructed by others, or along the earth that exists due to a supreme power. To have a conversation, one requires another to communicate with. To comprise a single thought, reverts back to the need to even exist as a human. The examples are endless while the fact is simple: to do anything of an individual desire requires the direct or indirect partnership of another. This sole principle ruins the basis of the social contract.

If people are aware of their existing group efforts, they may be reluctant to give up natural rights that they do not have, for a society in which they’ve already established. In reality, Rousseau’s theory is that of natural existence; he just made it sound appealing by adding a few accents. In response to this reality, Rousseau may propose that a social contract must be enforced upon a society to encourage security, general will and proper law regulations. This response may be sufficient enough to blind a society into conformity, but it does not change the natural fact that as a single being, we can do nothing alone.

Bib: The Social Contract by J. J. Rousseau. Rousseau Social Contract The social pact comes down to this; “Each one of us puts into the community his person and all his powers under the supreme direction of the general will; and as a body, we incorporate every member as an indivisible part of the whole (Rousseau: 61)”. The general will can itself direct the forces of the state with the intention of the whole’s primary goal – which is the common good. The general will does not allow private opinions to prevail.

The union of the people, in its passive role is known as the State and is referred to as the Sovereign in its active state. Associates of the body politic are communally known as the people, and individually referred to as citizens or subjects. The primary problem to which the social contract holds the solution is based on the total alienation of each associate to the entire community. Rousseau proposes that every individual give himself absolutely and apply the same conditions for each and every one to result in an agreement where it is in no ones interest to make the conditions burdensome for others.

The critiques of this contract are so specifically determined by ones actions, that the slightest amendment must make the agreement invalid; it is crucial to obtain a unanimous recognition and admittance by the whole. If the social pact is desecrated, every man regains his inborn rights to recover his natural freedom, and loses the civil freedom in which he bargained for. Stop. The existence of natural freedom is the argument in which I intend to pursue against Rousseau. This thought shall be revisited in a short while.

Rousseau implies upon freedom the definition of the sovereign; it is a reason; a collaboration with others; a civil expression of the general will. Rousseau’s conclusion stipulates the absolute surrender of ones rights into a union; also referred to as the republic, the body politic, the state, the sovereign and as the power when compared to others of its own kind. His conclusion is however split into three subsets. Rousseau first states that since everyone in the social pact is summoned to the same conditions, it will be of no ones interest to inconvenience others.

Secondly, he states that since the alienation is unconditional, no individual citizen has any rights to claim of their own. If these rights were left to the individuals, they would revert to their natural state of own judgements in the absence of authority. And finally, Rousseau adds to his conclusion by affirming that “since each man gives himself to all, he gives himself to no one”(Rousseau:61); meaning that since there is no associate that he doesn’t gain the same rights as others gain over him, each man regains the equivalent of everything he loses; gaining more than what he initially had.

The first premise that Rousseau puts forward is that during a lifetime, each man will come to an obstacle that will endanger his safety and that he will not be able to conquer within his state of nature because it will have a power greater than his strength. What he implies with this premise is that if solitary men were continually facing the obstacles alone, the human race would eventually perish. Rousseau presents this premise as an assumption. It can be safely assumed that most people come across obstacles during their lifetime.

These obstacles are hidden within births, deaths, illnesses, monetary based issues, education, relationships, weather, governments, war, etc. The meaning of an obstacle is anything that will hinder ones performance; an impediment that has the power to abolish the human race. The second premise provides that since men cannot create new forces to overcome these obstacles, they can combine and organize their existing forces to protect themselves. Meaning that by uniting their separate powers, they can achieve a congruent force strong enough to prevail over any form of obstruction.

This second premise follows Rousseau’s first premise adequately. First, he presents the inevitable obstacle and then he follows to state that a sum of forces is required to overcome barriers that are too strong. Succeeding the premises, he poses the following question, “How to find a form of association which will defend the persons and goods of each member with the collective force of all, and under which each individual, while uniting himself with the others, obeys no one but himself and remains as free as before (Rousseau:60). How can these men be expected to neglect their own security and merge with others?

This is the elementary predicament to which Rousseau’s social contract holds the solution to. Rousseau’s premises are plausible. They successfully lead to and support the conclusion; which is that individuals should alienate themselves totally into the community to establish a supreme power directed by the desire of the general will; a common ego. There is good reason to believe that Rousseau’s conclusion is true because he has convinced the reader of the need for a social contract with his premises.

His argument is valid because it is impossible for his conclusion to be false while his premises remain true. Substantial obstacles need association to be beat. Given his form, a social contract seems to be the key to man’s problems. In reality, the social contract is needed for the survival of the human race. Humans need two basic elements to survive: nutrition (as in food and water), and shelter. These two elements are acquired by man only through the alliance of others. A house is needed for shelter. A house requires teamwork to be constructed.

Today, food and water are seldom available from nature; they must be processed by others and then purchased with money that was gained as income through commerce. Rousseau views the social contact as the perfect solution to man’s security and common goodness. By uniting with others, he gains a civil goodness geared towards his public interests and has the collective power to confront any obstacle. If a subject of the social contract wishes to have a conversation, he cannot use his linguistic powers without the facilitation of others.

He “cannot do anything except through the cooperation of others (Rousseau: 85)”; however with this cooperation, he can do whatever he aspires. The social contract theory is a proposal that appears to work well within a given society. Rousseau’s argument flows well and is pleasingly convincing. My argument against his theory is the mere existence of natural rights. In this writer’s opinion, they do not even exist to begin with. So, if these inborn rights do not exist, they cannot be surrendered in exchange for an association with the social contract. Rousseau has constructed his social pact with the assumption that natural rights are real.

To prove this false assumption will contradict the elements of the social contract’s theory. Rousseau assumes that natural freedom is the expression of ones desires without the cooperation of others; it is the unrestricted performance of ones distinct actions. What he has failed to realize, is that we are born with civil freedoms, already within the form of a social contract. We naturally cannot do anything without the assistance of another. The sheer occurrence of birth is not possible without the uniting of a sperm and an egg, from within the action of intercourse between two persons.

These two persons needed another four persons to provide their existence. The earliest human did not appear on his own; it was through the aid of an almighty power that man was created. Upon birth, the newborn is instantaneously in need of care from that of an already developed human. The baby cannot survive without the help of others. It cannot grow to fulfill its purpose as a genetic perpetuate without the initial aid to be nurtured. This infant is immediately emerged into a family with traditions and religion. We naturally obey laws and allow others to determine our actions and desires.

Anything that we do as individuals is in relevance to someone else’s prior work: To eat, one must consume what is prepared by others. To take a walk, one must progress along the streets constructed by others, or along the earth that exists due to a supreme power. To have a conversation, one requires another to communicate with. To comprise a single thought, reverts back to the need to even exist as a human. The examples are endless while the fact is simple: to do anything of an individual desire requires the direct or indirect partnership of another. This sole principle ruins the basis of the social contract.

If people are aware of their existing group efforts, they may be reluctant to give up natural rights that they do not have, for a society in which they’ve already established. In reality, Rousseau’s theory is that of natural existence; he just made it sound appealing by adding a few accents. In response to this reality, Rousseau may propose that a social contract must be enforced upon a society to encourage security, general will and proper law regulations. This response may be sufficient enough to blind a society into conformity, but it does not change the natural fact that as a single being, we can do nothing alone.

Man And Society

In this paper I will try to explain the puzzle of whether individuals are products of society or society is a product of individuals. I believe that in general, and in the beginning, the answer to this question, is that society is a human product. I will start by presenting early man, the hunter and gatherer as an early form of society, but lacking critical qualities of a society. Then I will continue to support my theory by analyzing the beginning of known society some three and one half thousands years ago. I will present the individual as creation of society, or more precisely, an ongoing social recursive conditioning.

I will also present society as creation of individuals. Finally, I will conclude my paper with some thoughts on the paradox of who is the product and who is the producer of the individual and society. EARLY MAN According to Charles Darwin, man developed from the ape. Darwins theory of evolution appears to be unsupported though, because for thousands of years these apes have been there, but none of them have developed into human beings nor did Darwin ever find the missing link. Although unproved, there must be a process of evolution.

And if there was evolutionary process, a few of the steps in-between still must be missing. Since man is not asexual, man did not, and could not, survive or prosper by himself. Early man grouped together with other hunters and gathers to form a family which brought order, direction, and stability to his life. According to Rousseau, the earliest and only natural societies are families (Primis 192). The point here is that the individuals choose to become a part of something larger than the individual. But if Rousseau is correct, there was a time when the individual gave up certain freedoms to find security within a group.

This is contra to Thomas Hobbes view. It was not until significant scientific advances in the nineteenth century that the view of this seventeenth century philosopher Hobbes has his views rejected. Hobbes stated that the life of early man was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Hobbes thought that early man was scarcely even human and a club-wielding savage. At either rate, early man lacked the qualities that were considered by John Locke as necessary to begin a society even though it is believed that groups and families existed.

Society as Product of Individuals Some three and one half thousands years ago a group of individuals gathered their resources together to form the first civilization named Sumer. The people that lived there were called Sumerians. The Sumerians began as a primitive race stemming from the hunters and gatherers who came to the area known as southern Mesopotamia to form the first permanent human settlement. By the end of their occupation in Mesopotamia, they had created the beginnings of society as we know it today.

It has been said by the locals that this place is the fabled Garden of Eden and also according to tradition, Eden existed in the marshes of this fertile land that is today known as Iraq today. The lands of Sumer were fertile and in close relationship to two major rivers which are known as the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers today. The fertile lands were feed by the rivers and allowed the settlers to stop the migratory habits of their predecessors or early man. The constant migration of early man had prevented any real education to exist as they were always on the move in search of food and shelter.

Early man was only concerned with survival, which meant that they did not have the leisure time to give thought to the development of academia. The Sumerians, which found the development of agriculture an easy task in this land, found that they had time to develop culture and devote time to academic studies. The Sumerians conceived and began development of mathematics, reading, writing skills and the written text on cunieform tablets, the wheel and agricultural technology, which are heavily relied upon in today’s society. By 3,000 BC, the written script of the Sumerians had evolved into a full syllabic alphabet.

The Sumerian’s gift of writing made possible for the recording of history for the first time. The recording of literature, science, society and history is a lasting legacy of the Sumerians and our society. The individuals in the Sumer originated the development of society through the codes of law that was written as, and to be, social policy. These were the first written laws and law is what defines the norms within our society. This is a defining point as to whether individuals are products of society or society is a product of individuals.

Since these individuals conceived what society shall represent, then it is clear that originally society is a product of individuals. It was not only the codes of law that were created by the Sumerians, but tens of thousands of cunieform texts that contain lullabies, poetry, ledgers, administration and property records. The theory that John Locke presents is that man must agree to join society and the community living peaceably and secure in the fact that his personal property is protected by the community by the laws and property records against any that are not of the community.

The social concept that began in Sumer would change the face of history. Individuals as Product of Society Society is the unconscious collective of the morals and values of individuals that formed that society, but society is only a word. It was there before the individual was born, and it will be there after their death. Society is not tangible although individuals that formed it are. Society has no soul and the individual would find it hard too change anything about it. Yet society has the ability to change the individual based on previous individuals influence on society.

The social effect as far as the individual is concerned, I envision as a ceaseless externalization of the individual in the course of their perpetual edification while society is absorbed through social control. But, I also see society is an outgrowth of the individuals particular previous generations, or more precisely, an ongoing recursive human production through which social institutions manifest themselves without intervention of the individual. Therefore I feel that social institutions clearly have a coercive power over the individual.

Individuals that adhere to the morals and values cannot be created instantaneously or by using the same edification principals for great lengths of time. There is no magic that will create the perfect individual based on the norm, nor is there any institution that is capable of doing this. This is where continuing education plays its social role. Education as well as other social institutions always has a history, of which they are the products, but they also must be able to adapt to the constant change of the social environment.

Understanding the historical process that produced a social institution is needed before it is possible to understand the institution. Part of that history is that institutions control the individuals conduct by setting up predefined patterns of conduct, which are channeled against the many other deviations that are ideological possible. The given existence of an institution is basic proof of social control of the individual and as such proof that the individual is a product of society, but only of the society past individuals have created.

That is, man and his social world interact with each other by which the product acts back upon the producer and the producer act upon the product. Society is a human product and society and an undeniable reality, but the individual is by themselves a social product. Although this is external to the individual, institutions are there, whether the individual likes it or not and inescapable persistent reality. The existence of institutions is not diminished if the individual does not adhere to its social constraints for it has far reaching power.

Who is the Producer The paradox of whether individuals are products of society or society is a product of individuals is controversial at least. It is the case that the individual is capable of producing a world that the individual experiences as something other than a human product. It is argumentative the individual is the producer of society or that society is the producer of the individual, but maybe they are so inter-linked that they are indistinguishable. This is a different situation when an individual separates themselves from society.

It is apparent that an individual in isolation could not conceive of or build a society. Society is built upon the collective of the morals and valves of the individuals within society, but a singular individual does not have a collective opinion. An individual in isolation can only look at the world from an internal perspective. Only through individual externalization can an individual view the social world as their others that transcended into social conformity. For society to persevere, society must perpetuate its values to further too present and future generation.

I have tried to explain the puzzle of whether individuals are products of society or society is a product of individuals. I then presented early man, but have shown that early man was not the product or producer of society. I have shown that Sumer was the beginning of society and that society was a human product. I then presented the individual as a product of ongoing social conditioning of the institutions of society. I feel that presented difficulty in trying to solve the paradox of who is the product and who is the producer of the individual and society.

Amendment Number 1

No other democratic society in the world permits personal freedoms to the degree of the United States of America. Within the last sixty years, American courts, especially the Supreme Court, have developed a set of legal doctrines that thoroughly protect all forms of the freedom of expression. When it comes to evaluating the degree to which we take advantage of the opportunity to express our opinions, some members of society may be guilty of violating the bounds of the First Amendment by publicly offending others through obscenity or racism. Americans have developed a distinct disposition toward the freedom of expression hroughout history.

The First Amendment clearly voices a great American respect toward the freedom of religion. It also prevents the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ” Since the early history of our country, the protection of basic freedoms has been of the utmost importance to Americans. In Langston Hughes’ poem, “Freedom,” he emphasizes the struggle to enjoy the freedoms that he knows are rightfully his. He reflects the American desire for reedom now when he says, “I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.

I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread. ” He recognizes the need for freedom in its entirety without compromise or fear. I think Langston Hughes captures the essence of the American immigrants’ quest for freedom in his poem, “Freedom’s Plow. ” He accurately describes American’s as arriving with nothing but dreams and building America with the hopes of finding greater freedom or freedom for the first time. He depicts how people of all backgrounds worked together for one cause: freedom. I selected Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 s a fictitious example of the evils of censorship in a world that is becoming illiterate.

In this book, the government convinces the public that book reading is evil because it spreads harmful opinions and agitates people against the government. The vast majority of people accept this censorship of expression without question and are content to see and hear only the government’s propaganda. I found this disturbing yet realistic. Bradbury’s hidden opposition to this form of censorship was apparent throughout the book and finally prevailed in the end when his main character rebelled against the practice of urning books.

Among the many forms of protests are pickets, strikes, public speeches and rallies. Recently in New Jersey, more than a thousand community activists rallied to draft a “human” budget that puts the needs of the poor and handicapped as a top priority. Rallies are an effective means for people to use their freedoms effectively to bring about change from the government. Freedom of speech is constantly being challenged as is evidenced in a recent court case where a Gloucester County school district censored reviews of two R-rated movies from a school newspaper.

Superior Court Judge, Robert E. Francis ruled that the student’s rights were violated under the state Constitution. I feel this is a major break through for students’ rights because it limits editorial control of school newspapers by educators and allows students to print what they feel is important. A newly proposed bill (A-557) would prevent school officials from controlling the content of student publications. Critics of the bill feel that “student journalists may be too young to understand the responsibilities that come with free speech. This is a valid point; however, it would provide an excellent opportunity for them to earn about their First Amendment rights that guarantees free speech and freedom of the press. In his commencement address to Monmouth College graduates, Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard Law School defended the broad right to free speech.

He stated, “My message to you graduates is to assert your rights, to use them responsibly and boldly, to oppose racism, to oppose sexism, to oppose homophobia and bigotry of all kinds and to do so within the spirit of the First Amendment, not by creating an exception to it. I agree that one should feel free to speak openly as long as it does not directly or indirectly ead to the harm of others. One of the more controversial issues was the recent 2 Live Crew incident involving obscenity in rap music. Their record, “As Nasty as They Wanna Be,” was ruled obscene in federal court. They were acquitted of the charges and quickly became a free speech martyr. Although many stores pulled the album, over two million copies sold as a result of the incident. I feel that in this case the principles of free speech have been abused because young children can purchase and listen to this obscene music.

The American flag, symbol of our country’s history and patriotism, has also become a opic of controversy. The controversy was over the right to burn the flag without punishment. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan offered the response that “if there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable. ” Burning the flag is considered a form of symbolic speech and therefore is protected under the First Amendment.

As in the 2 Live Crew case, I feel that we are protecting the wrong people in this case. The minority is given precedence at the sacrifice of he majority. The book, American Voices, is a collection of essays on the freedom of speech and censorship. I chose to put this collection of essays into my book because they represent the strong central theme of freedom of expression as the cornerstone of American government, culture and life. Each essay strongly defends a case for free commercial speech. Each was generally in favor of fewer limitations on freedom of expression.

The American voice on freedom has been shaped throughout the course of history by the initial democratic notions of the immigrants to the same desire for greater freedom that we have today. The reedom of speech has constantly been challenged and will continue to be challenged in the future. It is important that we learn from the precedented cases of the past of our constitutionally protected rights so that in the future authority will not violate our freedoms or oppress our liberty. Ever since colonial times, the protection of personal freedoms in the United States has been significantly important.

Even in the early stages of American history there was an urge to put legally protected freedoms into written government documents. The result was the drafting of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, by James Madison. The applications of the personal freedoms described in the Bill of Rights, particularly the freedom of speech, have been challenged repeatedly in American courts of law and elsewhere. These incidents and challenges of authority reflect the defensive American attitude toward the ever important freedom of expression and the growing significance of personal rights throughout American history.

In Colonial America, members of diverse nationalities had opposing views on government, religion, and other subjects of interest. Serious confrontations were prevented because of the vast lands that eparated groups of varying opinions. A person could easily settle in with other like believers and be untouched by the prejudices and oppression of others. For this reason, Unitarians avoided Anglican or Puritan communities. Quakers and Anabaptists were confined to Pennsylvania and Rhode Island while Catholics were mainly concentrated in Maryland.

As the United States grew larger and larger, these diverse groups were forced to live together. This may have caused individual liberties to be violated because of the distrust and hostile feelings between ethnic and religious groups. Most of the initial assemblies among the olonies considered themselves immune from criticism. They actually issued warrants of arrest, interrogated, fined, and imprisoned anyone accused of libeling the assembly as a whole or any of its members. Many people were tracked down for writing or speaking works of offense.

The first assembly to meet in America, the Virginia House of Burgesses, stripped Captain Henry Spellman of his rank when he was found guilty of “treasonable words. ” Even in the most tolerant colonies, printing was strictly regulated. The press of William Bradford was seized by the government when he printed up a copy of the colony’s harter. He was charged with seditious libel and spent more than a year in prison. A more famous incident was the trial of John Peter Zenger which established the principle of a free press. In his newspaper he published satirical ballads regarding William Cosby, the unpopular governor, and his council.

His media was described “as having in them many things tending to raise seditions and tumults among the people of this province, and to fill their minds with a contempt for his majesty’s government. ” The grand jury did not indict Zenger and the General Assembly refused to take action. The defendant was cquitted on the basis that in cases of libel the jury should judge both law and the facts. James Alexander was the first colonial writer to develop a philosophy on the freedom of speech. He founded the American Philosophical Society and masterminded the Zenger defense.

Alexander’s chief conviction was “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar in a free government: when this support is taken away, the constitution is dissolved and tyranny is erected on its ruins. ” The original Constitution did not contain a bill of rights because the convention delegates felt that individual rights were in no danger and would be rotected by the states. However, the lack of a bill of rights was the strongest objection to the ratification of the Constitution. Less than a decade after the Bill of Rights had been adopted it met its first serious challenge.

In 1798, there was a threat of war with France and thousands of French refugees were living in the United States. Many radicals supported the French cause and were considered “incompatible with social order. ” This hysteria led Congress to enact several alien and sedition laws. One law forbade the publication of false, scandalous or malicious writing against the government, Congress or the President. The penalty for this crime was a $2,000 fine and two years in prison. The public was enraged at these laws. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison pleaded for freedom of speech and the press.

The alien and sedition laws became a prime issue in the presidential election of 1800. Soon after Jefferson was elected, the Sedition Act expired and those who had been convicted under it were immediately pardoned. The next attack on the First Amendment occurred in 1835. President Andrew Jackson proposed a law that would prohibit the use of mail for “incendiary publications intended to instigate he slaves to insurrection. ” John C. Calhoun of South Carolina led a special committee that opposed the proposal on grounds that it conflicted with the First Amendment. The proposal was defeated because it was a form of censorship.

The next violation of the principles contained in the First Amendment came on January 2, 1920. Under the direction of A. Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson’s Attorney General, about 500 FBI agents and police raided 3,000 Russians and other European immigrants, looking for Communists to deport. The victims were arrested without warrants, homes were ransacked, personal property as seized, and they were hauled off to jail. An even more vicious episode was known as “McCarthyism,” an incident in the 1950’s when Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin proclaimed that the federal government had been thoroughly infiltrated by Communist agents.

His attacks on United States information libraries abroad led to the burning of some books accused of being Communist propaganda. Reduced congressional support caused many librarians to resign and the closing of libraries. On the morning of December 16, 1965, thirteen year old Mary Beth Tinker went to school in Des Moines, Iowa. She and er fifteen year old brother, John, had decided to wear black armbands as a protest to the Vietnam War.

In advance to their arrival, the principal had decided that any student wearing an arm- band would be told to remove it, stating that, “The schools are no place for demonstrations. If the student refused, he would be suspended until the armband was permanently removed. On December 16, the Tinkers refused to remove their armbands. They were suspended and did not return to school until after January 1, when by a previous decision the protest had ended. The students brought suit in federal court to onfirm their First Amendment right to wear the black armbands. They lost in The Federal District Court on grounds that this type of symbolic expression might disturb school discipline.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit was divided equally (4-4) so the decision remained unchanged. On February 24, 1969, the United States Supreme Court decided in the students’ favor by a vote of 7 to 2. The Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District decision was a landmark case for students’ rights and liberties. Speaking for the majority of the Court, Justice Abe Fortas wrote, “It can hardly be rgued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. During the sixties and early seventies a new wave of court battles for First Amendment freedoms emerged.

The freedom of speech was recognized as a vital element in a democratic society. Censorship and the infringement of First Amendment rights, especially among students and their newspapers, could not and would not be tolerated. American citizens took a firm stand against the government and authority at important times when they could have yielded to the oppressive violations of their rights.

Johnson Behavioral System (JBS) Model

In this paper, I am going to summarize the Johnson Behavioral System (JBS) Model (Johnson, 1980, 1990), explain the perspectives for nursing practice, and explore its applicability in nursing practice. First, I am going to talk a little about Dorothy E. Johnson the nurse that wrote the Model. Dorothy E. Johnson was born August 21, 1919, in Savannah, Georgia (Lobo, 1995). She received her A. A. from Armstrong Junior College in Savannah, Georgia, in 1938; her B. S. N. from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1942; and her M. P. H. from Harvard University in Boston in 1948 (Conner, Harbour, Magers, and Watt 1994).

Johnson was an instructor and an assistant professor in pediatric nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing from 1944 to 1949. From 1949 until her retirement in 1978 and subsequent move to Key Largo, Florida, she was an assistant professor of pediatric nursing, an associate professor of nursing, and a professor of nursing at the University of California in Los Angeles (Conner et. al. 1994). In 1955 and 1956 she was eligible to go on a sabbatical and went to the Christian Medical College School of Nursing in Vellore, South India, were she was interested in starting a baccalaureate program which was received well Lobo, 1995).

Dorothy Johnson has had an influence on nursing through her publications since the 1950s. Throughout her career, Johnson has stressed the importance of research-based knowledge about the effect of nursing care on clients. Johnson was an early proponent of nursing as a science as well as an art. She also believed nursing had a body of knowledge reflecting both the science and the art. From the beginning, Johnson (1959) proposed that the knowledge of the science of nursing necessary for effective nursing care included a synthesis of key concepts drawn from basic and applied sciences.

In 1961, Johnson proposed that nursing care facilitated the client’s maintenance of a state of equilibrium. Johnson proposed that clients were “stressed” by a stimulus of either an internal or external nature. These stressful stimuli created such disturbances, or “tensions,” in the patient that a state of disequilibrium occurred. Johnson identified two areas that nursing care should be based in order to return the client to a state of equilibrium. First, by reducing stressful stimuli, and second, by supporting natural and adaptive processes.

Johnson’s behavioral system theory springs from Nightingales belief that nursing’s goal is to help individuals prevent or recover from disease or injury. The “science and art” of nursing should focus on the patient as an individual and not on the specific disease entity. Johnson used the work of behavioral scientists in psychology, sociology, and ethnology to develop her theory. The model is patterned after a systems model; a system is defined as consisting of interrelated parts functioning together to form a whole (Conner et. al. 1994). Johnson states that a nurses should use the behavioral system as their knowledge ase; comparable to the biological system that physicians use as their base of knowledge (Lobo, 1995).

Theory The reason Johnson chose the behavioral system model is the idea that “all the patterned, repetitive, purposeful ways of behaving that characterize each person’s life make up an organized and integrated whole, or a system” (other). Johnson states that by categorizing behaviors, they can be predicted and ordered. Johnson categorized all human behavior into seven subsystems (SSs): Attachment, Achievement, Aggressive, Dependence, Sexual, Ingestive, and Eliminative.

Each subsystem is composed of a set of behavioral responses or tendencies that share a common goal. These responses are developed through experience and learning and are determined by numerous physical, biological, psychological, and social factors. Four assumptions are made about the structure and function of each SS. These four assumptions are the “structural elements” common to each of the seven SSs. The first assumption is “from the form the behavior takes and the consequences it achieves can be inferred what drive has been stimulated or what goal is being sought” (Johnson, 1980).

The ultimate goal for each subsystem is expected to be the same for all individuals. The second assumption is that each individual has a “predisposition to act, with reference to the goal, in certain ways rather than in other ways” (Johnson, 1980). This predisposition to act is labeled “set” by Johnson. The third assumption is that each subsystem has available a repertoire of choices or “scope of action” alternatives from which choices can be made. As life experiences occur, individuals add to the number of alternative actions available to them. At some point, however, the acquisition of new lternatives of behavior decreases as the! individual becomes comfortable with the available repertoire. The fourth assumption about the behavioral subsystem is that they produce observable outcomes-that is, the individuals behavior (Johnson, 1980).

The observable behaviors allow an outsider to note the actions the individual is taking to reach a goal related to a specified SS. In addition, each of the SSs has three functional requirements. First, each subsystem must be “protected from noxious influences with which the system cannot cope” (Johnson, 1980). Second, each ubsystem must be “nurtured through the input of appropriate supplies from the environment. ” Finally each subsystem must be “stimulated for use to enhance growth and prevent stagnation. ” As long as the SSs are meeting these functional requirements, the system and the SSs are viewed as self-maintaining and self- perpetuating. The internal and external environments of the system need to remain orderly and predictable for the system to maintain homeostasis. The interrelationships of the structural elements of the subsystem to maintain a balance that is adaptive to that individual’s needs.

Johnson’s Behavioral Subsystems The Attachment subsystem is probably the most critical, because it forms the basis for all social organization. It provides survival and security. Its consequences are social inclusion, intimacy, and formation and maintenance of a strong social bond. The Achievement subsystem attempts to manipulate the environment. Its function is control or mastery of an aspect of self or environment to some standard of excellence. Areas of achievement behavior include intellectual, physical, creative, mechanical, and social skills. The Aggressive subsystem function is protection and preservation.

It holds that aggressive behavior is not only learned, but has a primary intent to harm others. However, society has placed limits when dealing with self-protection and that people and their property be respected and protected. The Dependency subsystem promotes helping behavior that calls for a nurturing response. Its consequences are approval, attention or recognition, and physical assistance. Ultimately, dependency behavior develops from the complete reliance on others for certain resources essential for survival. An imbalance in a behavioral subsystem produces tension, which results in disequilibrium.

The The Ingestive and Eliminative SSs “have to do with when, how, what, how much and under what conditions we eat, and when, how, and under what conditions we eliminate”. The Sexual subsystem has the dual functions of procreation and gratification. It begins with the development of gender role identity and includes the broad range of sex role behaviors (Johnson, 1980). When there is an alteration in the “equilibrium” that exists, Johnson’s Model tends to diagnose to a subsystem rather than a specific problem. Johnson’s Model states that it is at this point when the nurse is eeded in order to return the client to homeostasis (Conner et al. , 1994).

Application in Nursing Practice The application of any nursing model to practice requires three conditions: the model’s congruence with practice requirements, its comprehensive development in relation to practice requirements, and its specificity in relation to practice requirements. These conditions governing a nursing model’s applicability should be understood to enable practitioners to appropriately and effectively use models in practice (Derdiarian, 1993). What is nursing practice and what are requirements of the practice?

Nursing practice derives its definition from that of professional practice, the action or process of performing something, the habitual or customary performance of something (Random House College Dictionary, 1988). Professional practice has three main requirements: perspective, structure and scientific substance. The first requirement is the perspective, or a mental view, of facts or ideas and their interrelationships pertinent of the professions’ practice. In nursing, the perspective of the practice refers to nursing’s view of the patient and its role in relation to the patient (Derdiarian, 1993).

More specifically, the profession’s perspective clarifies the nature, goal, focus, and scope of its realm of its science and practice (Derdiarian, 1993). By so doing, the profession’s perspective distinguishes nursing’s realm of science and practice from those of related fields. At the same time, the perspective identifies appropriate alignments between nursing’s research and practice and those of other professions. In other words, the professional perspective provides the professional with a knowledge base and a mind-set about the patient, about her/his ole in relation to the patient, and her/his actions necessary to fulfill that role (Derdiarian, 1993). The second requirement of professional practice is a structure for practice to organize and standardize practice and, thus, render practice habitual and customary. Professional practice is structured to evaluate a client’s well-being, identify problems, and provide solutions. The latter require organized and scientifically rational processes of assessment, diagnosis, intervention, and evaluation of outcomes. In nursing, this structure pertains to the Nursing Process (Derdiarian, 1993).

Finally, the third requirement of professional practice is the coherent scientific body of knowledge that underlies it or the profession’s actions and processes. The scientific body of knowledge includes facts, theories, hypotheses, and precepts, and assumptions underlying both the perspective and structure of practice. In nursing, this body of knowledge includes the facts, theories, hypotheses, and precepts about nursing, nursing practice actions, and nursing practice methods. Stated more specifically, nursing practice requires a body of scientific knowledge that rationalizes its view of the client, its role, nature, goal focus, nd scope. Furthermore, nursing practice requires a body of scientific knowledge that rationalizes the nursing methods of assessment, diagnosis, intervention, and evaluation of outcomes (Derdiarian, 1993).

The JBS model meets the professional perspective requirements because of its interaction between the SSs. The SSs are interactive and interdependent, restoration in one subsystem could effect restoration of behavior in another or others. Thus requiring diagnostic and interventive action directed at all the SSs (Derdiarian, 1993). The model as it stood before did not meet the practice structure requirements well Derdiarian, 1983), but interaction and studies into the model prompted Johnson to add five types of interventions-nurturance, stimulation, protection, regulation, and control (Derdiarian, 1993). It still leaves a gap in where to actually look for the problems that exist.

The JBS model does not meet the scientific substance for practice well because it needs to be tested on its concepts, propositions, and assumptions. Despite the obvious overall failure of the JBS model to pass the professional requirements, the model is always being tested by someone, and some! day maybe conclude its worth and add to its value.

Summary as related to Nursing, Person, Health, and Environment Nursing is a force acting to preserve to organization of the patient’s behavior while the patient is under stress by means of imposing regulatory mechanisms or by providing resources(Conner et al. , 1994). An art and a science, it supplies external assistance both before and during system balance disturbance and therefore requires knowledge of order, disorder, and control (Johnson, 1980). Nursing activities are complementary of medicine, not dependent on. Person is viewed as a behavioral system with patterned, repetitive, and purposeful ways of ehaving that link him to the environment (Johnson, 1980). Man’s specific response patterns form an organized and integrated whole (Conner et al. , 1994). Person is a system of interdependent parts that requires some regularity and adjustment to maintain a balance (Johnson, 1980). Health is perceived as an “elusive, dynamic state influenced by biological, psychological, and social factors.

It focuses on the person rather than the illness (Conner et al. , 1994). Health is reflected by the organization, interaction, interdependence, and integration of the SSs of the behavioral system Johnson, 1980). Man attempts to achieve a balance in this system, which will lead to functional behavior. A lack of balance in the requirements of the SSs lead to poor health (Conner et al. , 1994). Environment consists of all the factors that are not part of the individual’s behavioral system but that influence the system and the nurse to achieve the health goal for the client. Conclusion Johnson’s theory could help guide the future of nursing theories, models, research, and education. By focusing on behavioral rather than biology, the theory clearly differentiates nursing from medicine.

But do we need to separate the behavioral from the biological. It can be an asset, and it can work, that has been proven by Johnson and some of her followers. In order to focus on the holistic idea of nursing, it is important to think of the behavioral and biological together as health. We cannot look at one without looking at the other. There is not sufficient research to substantiate the real applicability of this model. This theory does provide a conceptual framework to work from, but this model will never be the standard for nursing.

The Yellow Wallpaper: Male Opression of Women in Society

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is a commentary on themale oppression of women in a patriarchal society. However, the story itselfpresents an interesting look at one woman’s struggle to deal with both physicaland mental confinement. This theme is particularly thought-provoking when readin today’s context where individual freedom is one of our most cherished rights. This analysis will focus on two primary issues: 1) the many vivid images Gilmanuses to illustrate the physical and symbolic confinement the narrator enduresduring her illness; and 2) the overall effect of, and her reaction to, thisconfinement.

The Yellow Wallpaper begins with the narrator’s description of thephysically confining elements surrounding her. The story is cast in an isolatedhereditary estate, set back from the road and located three miles from town. The property boasts protective hedges that surround the garden, walls thatsurround the estate, and locked gates which guarantee seclusion. Even theconnecting garden represents confinement, with box-bordered paths and grape-covered arbors. This isolation motif continues within the mansion itself.

Although she preferred the downstairs room with roses all over the windows thatopened on the piazza, the narrator finds herself relegated to an out of the waydungeon-like nursery on the second floor, appropriately equipped with “rings andthings” in the walls. Windows in each direction provide glimpses of the garden,arbors, bushes, and trees. The bay is visible, as is a private wharf thatadjoins the estate. These views reinforce isolationism; they can be seen fromthe room, but not touched or experienced. There is a gate at the head of thestairs, presumably to keep the children contained in their play area.

Additionally, the bed is immovable as it has been nailed to the floor. It ishere that the narrator secretly describes her slow decent into madness. Although the physical confinement drains the narrator’s strength and will,the mental and emotional confinement symbolized in the story play an importantrole in her ultimate fall into dementia. By being forced to be her own company,she is confined within her mind. Likewise, part of the narrator’s mentalconfinement stems from her recognition of her physical confinement. Thedepression the narrator has experienced associated with child bearing ismentally confining as well.

Specifically, she cannot control her emotions ormanage her guilt over her inability to care for her child. These structures ofconfinement contribute to the rapid degeneration of her faculties. As the wife of a prominent physician in the late nineteenth century, thenarrator’s assumption of the typical female role illustrates one aspect of thesymbolic confinement present within both the story and the society. She issubservient and deferential to her husband John who enjoys the powertraditionally associated with his sex and additional authority afforded him byhis status as a doctor.

Jean Kennard notes, “By keeping her underemployed andisolated, John effectively ensures his wife’s dependence on him” (81). John’scontrol over his wife is typical of the control most men had over women in thelate nineteenth century. He decides everything on her behalf, including whatroom she will stay in and who she will be allowed to see. He diagnoses herpostpartum depression as a “temporary nervous depression–a slight hystericaltendency” and in doing so, diminishes her complaints and demeans herindividuality.

His prescribed treatment is worse than the disease; every houris scheduled, she is forbidden to write, told what to think, and prohibited fromacting as mother to her child. John’s behavior illustrates his covert efforts to control his wife aswell. He looks to the narrator’s brother, who is also a physician, to validatehis diagnosis and prescribed cure, making it even more difficult for thenarrator to challenge the prescription herself. He repeatedly diminishes her bylaughing at her and not taking her grievances seriously.

The narrator complains”John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason tosuffer, and that satisfies him. ” John’s contempt for his wife’s ideas isblatant; he refers to her as a “little girl,” and when she requests that she bemoved to a different room downstairs, he “took [her] in his arms and called[her] a blessed little goose, and said he would go down to the cellar, if [she]wished, and have it whitewashed into the bargain. ” That he is only willing tomove her into the basement, instead of allowing her a room of her choice,epitomizes his domineering personality.

As the woman descends into madness, she notices that the pattern in thewallpaper “becomes bars” in the moonlight and that “the woman behind it is asplain as can be. ” Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar assert that the woman behindthe wallpaper is the narrator’s doppelg nger (10). This woman is symbolic of thenarrator’s own confinement by the patriarchal society she lives in. Moreover,we see that the wallpaper is a metaphor of her fractured mental state. Shedescribes the chaotic pattern that will follow “. . . the lame uncertain curvesfor a little distance. . . uddenly committing suicide–plunging off atoutrageous angles, destroying themselves in unheard of contradictions,” alludingto her own, and society’s, eventual destruction in the absence of enlightenedchange.

Furthermore, the narrator acknowledges that she is representative ofmost women of her time with the statement “I think there are a great many women[behind the paper]. ” The effect of John’s oppression on the narrator is severe. At theclimax of her insanity she writes that she can see the woman from behind thewallpaper pattern “out of every one of my windows! The narrator continues:It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women donot creep by daylight. I see her on that long road under the trees, creepingalong, and when a carriage comes she hides under the blackberry vines.

I don’tblame her a bit. It must be very humiliating to be caught creeping by daylight! That evening the narrator noticed the woman in the pattern begin to crawl andshake the wallpaper in an effort to break free from it, just as she would liketo break free from the confines and restrictions imposed on her by society andher husband John.

In her diary she describes helping the woman tear down thepaper: “I pulled and she shook, I shook and she pulled . . . .” Most of thepaper was removed the next day while the narrator watched many women creepingaround in the street. At the end of the story the narrator has surprised John,who has come home from work to find her creeping around the room. She proclaims”I’ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most ofthe paper, so you can’t put me back! ” Although the reader might pity the narrator’s inability to challengeJohn’s authority, one must view the events of the story within the context ofthe 1860’s.

At this time, socitey would not tolerate such assertiveness fromwomen. Moreover, the tragic story ends with a paradox. By definition, one whois mentally ill is not healthy. However, the narrator finds freedom, andapparently health, by rejecting an insane society and loosing her identity tothe wallpaper. In contrast, the reader concludes the narrator is now confinedby her insanity, and cannot be free. Works CitedGilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper. ”

English 2307. Comp. JaneBell. n. p. , c. 1996. 3-7. Kennard, Jean. Convention Coverage or How to Read Your Own Life. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Woman and Her Work. Ed. Sheryl Meyering. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989. 75-94. The Yellow Wallpaper: Male Opression of Women in Society The Yellow Wallpaper: Male Opression of Women in Society Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is a commentary on themale oppression of women in a patriarchal society. However, the story itselfpresents an interesting look at one woman’s struggle to deal with both physicaland mental confinement.

This theme is particularly thought-provoking when readin today’s context where individual freedom is one of our most cherished rights. This analysis will focus on two primary issues: 1) the many vivid images Gilmanuses to illustrate the physical and symbolic confinement the narrator enduresduring her illness; and 2) the overall effect of, and her reaction to, thisconfinement. The Yellow Wallpaper begins with the narrator’s description of thephysically confining elements surrounding her. The story is cast in an isolatedhereditary estate, set back from the road and located three miles from town.

The property boasts protective hedges that surround the garden, walls thatsurround the estate, and locked gates which guarantee seclusion. Even theconnecting garden represents confinement, with box-bordered paths and grape-covered arbors. This isolation motif continues within the mansion itself. Although she preferred the downstairs room with roses all over the windows thatopened on the piazza, the narrator finds herself relegated to an out of the waydungeon-like nursery on the second floor, appropriately equipped with “rings andthings” in the walls.

Windows in each direction provide glimpses of the garden,arbors, bushes, and trees. The bay is visible, as is a private wharf thatadjoins the estate. These views reinforce isolationism; they can be seen fromthe room, but not touched or experienced. There is a gate at the head of thestairs, presumably to keep the children contained in their play area. Additionally, the bed is immovable as it has been nailed to the floor. It ishere that the narrator secretly describes her slow decent into madness.

Although the physical confinement drains the narrator’s strength and will,the mental and emotional confinement symbolized in the story play an importantrole in her ultimate fall into dementia. By being forced to be her own company,she is confined within her mind. Likewise, part of the narrator’s mentalconfinement stems from her recognition of her physical confinement. Thedepression the narrator has experienced associated with child bearing ismentally confining as well. Specifically, she cannot control her emotions ormanage her guilt over her inability to care for her child.

These structures ofconfinement contribute to the rapid degeneration of her faculties. As the wife of a prominent physician in the late nineteenth century, thenarrator’s assumption of the typical female role illustrates one aspect of thesymbolic confinement present within both the story and the society. She issubservient and deferential to her husband John who enjoys the powertraditionally associated with his sex and additional authority afforded him byhis status as a doctor. Jean Kennard notes, “By keeping her underemployed andisolated, John effectively ensures his wife’s dependence on him” (81).

John’scontrol over his wife is typical of the control most men had over women in thelate nineteenth century. He decides everything on her behalf, including whatroom she will stay in and who she will be allowed to see. He diagnoses herpostpartum depression as a “temporary nervous depression–a slight hystericaltendency” and in doing so, diminishes her complaints and demeans herindividuality. His prescribed treatment is worse than the disease; every houris scheduled, she is forbidden to write, told what to think, and prohibited fromacting as mother to her child.

John’s behavior illustrates his covert efforts to control his wife aswell. He looks to the narrator’s brother, who is also a physician, to validatehis diagnosis and prescribed cure, making it even more difficult for thenarrator to challenge the prescription herself. He repeatedly diminishes her bylaughing at her and not taking her grievances seriously. The narrator complains”John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason tosuffer, and that satisfies him. John’s contempt for his wife’s ideas isblatant; he refers to her as a “little girl,” and when she requests that she bemoved to a different room downstairs, he “took [her] in his arms and called[her] a blessed little goose, and said he would go down to the cellar, if [she]wished, and have it whitewashed into the bargain. ” That he is only willing tomove her into the basement, instead of allowing her a room of her choice,epitomizes his domineering personality. As the woman descends into madness, she notices that the pattern in thewallpaper “becomes bars” in the moonlight and that “the woman behind it is asplain as can be. Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar assert that the woman behindthe wallpaper is the narrator’s doppelg nger (10). This woman is symbolic of thenarrator’s own confinement by the patriarchal society she lives in. Moreover,we see that the wallpaper is a metaphor of her fractured mental state. Shedescribes the chaotic pattern that will follow “. . . the lame uncertain curvesfor a little distance. . . suddenly committing suicide–plunging off atoutrageous angles, destroying themselves in unheard of contradictions,” alludingto her own, and society’s, eventual destruction in the absence of enlightenedchange.

Furthermore, the narrator acknowledges that she is representative ofmost women of her time with the statement “I think there are a great many women[behind the paper]. ” The effect of John’s oppression on the narrator is severe. At theclimax of her insanity she writes that she can see the woman from behind thewallpaper pattern “out of every one of my windows! ” The narrator continues:It is the same woman, I know, for she is always creeping, and most women donot creep by daylight. I see her on that long road under the trees, creepingalong, and when a carriage comes she hides under the blackberry vines.

I don’tblame her a bit. It must be very humiliating to be caught creeping by daylight! That evening the narrator noticed the woman in the pattern begin to crawl andshake the wallpaper in an effort to break free from it, just as she would liketo break free from the confines and restrictions imposed on her by society andher husband John. In her diary she describes helping the woman tear down thepaper: “I pulled and she shook, I shook and she pulled . . . .” Most of thepaper was removed the next day while the narrator watched many women creepingaround in the street.

At the end of the story the narrator has surprised John,who has come home from work to find her creeping around the room. She proclaims”I’ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most ofthe paper, so you can’t put me back! ” Although the reader might pity the narrator’s inability to challengeJohn’s authority, one must view the events of the story within the context ofthe 1860’s. At this time, socitey would not tolerate such assertiveness fromwomen. Moreover, the tragic story ends with a paradox.

By definition, one whois mentally ill is not healthy. However, the narrator finds freedom, andapparently health, by rejecting an insane society and loosing her identity tothe wallpaper. In contrast, the reader concludes the narrator is now confinedby her insanity, and cannot be free. Works CitedGilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper. ” English 2307. Comp. JaneBell. n. p. , c. 1996. 3-7. Kennard, Jean. “Convention Coverage or How to Read Your Own Life. “Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Woman and Her Work. Ed. Sheryl Meyering. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1989. 75-94.