Sunday, July 29, 2012

Essay on Sexuality

Raising Children with a Healthy Understanding of Sexuality

We all got perfectly used to the fact that today, in our hypersexualized society, the “intimations” from being intimate became open to the public. The sex messages are readily found on corner billboards and in sitting area magazines, to say nothing about the TV, movies, and the Internet. Nowadays, the kids are simply assailed with the sexuality in the media. And, as in the modern world the role of the media in a child’s life is overstated, there are certainly a lot of misrepresentations and wrong assumptions about sex that have to be corrected. And the way to correct them is to give a healthy sexual education to the modern children.
With all these said, personally I consider that it is a must for sex education to start at home. Children are surrounded by too much confusion and this confusion should be cleared out as soon as possible, before the mistakes are made. I think, and my opinion is supported by the modern researches, that the parents should take up onto themselves to explain and clarify for their children what the sex and sexuality are all about. On the other hand, talking to the children about sex is certainly not an easy job. It is very uncomfortable and most parents cannot find a way to start this conversation, to say nothing, find what to say. But this cannot be a good enough reason for them to put this duty off (American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry).

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “children and adolescents need input and guidance from parents to help them make healthy and appropriate decisions regarding their sexual behavior since they can be confused and overstimulated by what they see and hear”. Moreover the information that they see or hear may be wrong and even harmful. Some parents may wrongly consider that to feed and dress is the child is the most important and vital tasks expected from them. However, this is not quite true. Talking to the children about love, intimacy, and sexuality is also an essential part of parenting.

As, the “sex topic” is considered to be not a very pleasant one a lot of parents tend to put off this conversation, comforting themselves by saying that the “big talk” will be raised in the nearest future. Conversely, raising sexually healthy and adequate children is not about giving a single “big talk” when they reach a certain age. It is a core duty of parents to raise the question of sexuality all through the life of a child, providing him/her with different and more detailed information as he/she gets older and develops physically and emotionally. Actually, the job of the parents as sexual educators begins when the child is very young (Haffner). As surprising as it is, by touching the baby, by playing with it, talking to it, even the way you decorate its room and dress it you teach it about intimacy that is the first step to learn about sexuality (Haffner).

The right time to talk to children about sex is during their young ages. At the age of three or four the children are at their most curious stages. They learn more about the body and it is very important to introduce the sexuality to the child by explaining him/her the right names of the body parts, as well as the differences between boys and girls. A great advantage of this age is that the children are usually very vocal about things they are unfamiliar with and do not hesitate to ask questions. A very important thing at this stage is to create an open environment in the family and show the child that his questions are welcomed and the parents are ready to answer them in full (Pike). What should be remembered is that talking to children about sex at such an early age can actually diminish the discomfort and ache that comes with teaching the subject later on.

When the child reaches the age between five and eight she/he becomes able to understand more complex issues about health, relationships, disease, and sexuality. At this point the children are ready to learn more about the life around them. They become interested in such issues as the birth, families, relationship and death. Today by the age of eight an average child has probably already heard of the sexually transmitted diseases at least such as AIDS from TV or school. As a result, the child may have questions or fears about sex and sexuality in general (Stark). According to Patty Stark, at this point it is very important that parents give their children some concrete examples from their own life. For example, a mother can describe her personal experience of being a mother. She can explain her child they way she got pregnant and gave birth, as well as why men cannot become pregnant, etc (Stark).

It is vitally important that the questions of sexuality and sex are raised before the puberty age. Because even though the puberty process may seem rather easy, for a child it is complicated and crucial indeed. So the parents should prepare their child for this stage of his/her life and not let him/her simply go with a flow (Koblinsky). If the children are aware of the changes that are about to happen they will be ready to meet them once they actually happen. Yet, if the child is uninformed of the upcoming changes he/she may be shocked when they come, lose self-confidence and become introverted and shy.

What should be remembered is that both parents should participate in teaching their child about sexuality. Yet, what can be observed that in many families the mother is the one taking up the task to talk to her kids about sexuality. In some homes the mother talks to the daughters, while the father talks to his sons. This approach may seem to be a common sense, however, it is a must for children to hear the opinions of both genders. Such an approach teaches the children that men and women can talk about sexuality together. Learning this skill is vital for the child’s future when he/she will be building the relationships of his/her own (Koblinsky).

Some people believe that talking to children about sex encourages early sexual activity. Nevertheless, a good sex education is vital for young people to make knowledgeable choices when the time comes. It is obvious that children need to know about sex - both anatomically and emotionally - and that they need accurate information once they are developed enough to understand it. Some people also believe that when talking about sex one should focus on the harmful consequences of the sexual activity. This is especially true when talking to teenagers. Nevertheless, the parents should remember that a child, without a shadow of doubt, deserves to know that his sexuality is not at all evil. Moreover, showing sexual feelings in a responsible and conversant manner can be a critical and satisfying part of an adult relationship (Basso).

Today parents are not alone anymore in dealing with the questions of sexuality because these days sexual education became a part of curricula of many schools. Nonetheless, it is still the parents’ responsibility and duty to start the sexual education at home and not wait till the child will be offered such a course at school (SIECUS). Yes, giving a child a healthy sexual education is not easy. Furthermore, it takes some courage, some effort, and some work. But the truth is, that giving children honest, and straightforward sexual information will enrich their minds and develop their souls. As well as it will boost children’s confidence and self-esteem. It is clear that the effort is worth the candle.

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The US Airlines Essay

The History of the United States Airlines Since 1945

The US Airlines is one of the largest companies operating in the US market in the airline industry. To put it more precisely, at the present moment the company is one of the leaders of the industry in the US and is a popular brand that has gained the public recognition and loyalty of its customers. Naturally, the company had a long way to go to achieve such a tremendous success in the national as well as international market and, in this respect, the post-World War II years were really important since it is exactly within this period the company has been formed and evolved into the national leader among American airline companies.
At the same time, the history of the US Airlines since 1945 is really noteworthy and even necessary to analyze and research because it provides ample information on the development of the US aviation and airlines in the second half of the 20th century. In such a way, it will be possible to understand not only the reasons for the successful development of the company but also reveal the major trends which are typical to American and even world airlines and the future perspectives of their development.

The post-World War II period in the history of the US Airlines 
First of all, it is necessary to start with the post-World War II period, probably the most important period in the history of the US Airlines. Obviously, this period may be characterize as the turning point in the history of the company since the changes that had occurred during late 1940s – 1950s were really crucial to the further development of the company and, to a significant extent, determined its future. In this respect, it should be pointed out that after the end of the World War II, the US Airlines, which at the epoch was named All American Aviation Company, changed their policy considerably.

To put it more precisely, before the war, namely when the company was just formed, it basically focused on the air transportation of various goods and mail. In such a way, it is possible to estimate that its specialization was air mail services which was later enlarged by the provision of air cargo services. However, after the end of the war, the company’s management had realized the necessity of changes and the possibility to enlarge the services the company could supply to its customers. Moreover, the new services could considerably improve the position of the company in the market since, in actuality, the new services practically opened new markets for the company to enter. This is why in 1949, the company began passenger service which became an important part of the company services and, what is more, gradually, the passenger service became the major area the functioning of the entire company was focused on.

Naturally, such a change, or enlargement of services supplied to customers were determined by objective reasons and it was not just the willingness of the US Airlines to diversify its services and increase the number of customers but it was also determined by the actual situation in the national economy. It should be said that after the end of the World War II, the US economy was growing rapidly and, therefore, the competition in the traditional segment of the market where the US Airlines traditionally operated increased considerably while the need in passenger service was a perfect, alternative segment where the company could enter and improve its position due to the implementation of new service.

On other hand, the entering of passenger service in the late 1940s could hardly be possible without technological innovations. To put it more precisely, the passenger service needed new aircrafts and, in such a situation, the company made a choice in favor of DC-3’s which proved to be efficient and comfortable that meet the basic goals the company had before entering the new segment of the market.

In such a situation, 1950s became the period when the company attempted to gain the public recognition and increase its share in the market. It should be pointed out that in 1953, the company changed its name to Allegheny Airlines that was supposed to create a positive effect on the public image on the company’s brand since the new name was supposed to be more attractive to customers, easier to remember and, in fact, the new name symbolized the new epoch in the history of the company since it has changed or, to put it more precisely, enlarged its services, and, therefore, it has changed its name.

In general, the late 1940s – 1950s may be characterized as the period of growth and the first efforts to gain its own niche in the market of passenger service made by the US Airlines.

The history of the US Airlines in 1960s -1980s 
Nevertheless, the first decade and a half after the end of the World War II were basically characterized as the period of the formation of the company, while the real progress the US Airline had made during the following three decades when the company evolved from the regional company to the national leader which became a really powerful and serious company which could be able to compete not only on the national market but also had a potential to entering international markets as well. In this respect, it should be said that the growth of the company following 1950s formation period started with the considerable changes and innovations implemented in 1950s. Basically, 1960s may be characterized as the period of the great technological progress made by the company since it is during this decade the company had implemented important innovations in its services which increased their quality substantially that could not fail to affect the customers and their preferences. To put it more precisely, the technological innovations of the 1960s, started with the beginning of the use of Convair 580 service in 1965. The following year the first jet service was introduce with the debut of its first DC-9. In fact, this innovations may be viewed as a breakthrough in the functioning of the company because they were really important and what is more they were innovative. It is not a secret that the use of jet services in the mid-1960s was a really progressive step in the promotion of the company in the national market since it increased the quality of its services. Obviously, the use of this new service provided the company with a possibility to make the flights considerably faster and more comfortable compared to its competitors that had not implemented this service at the moment.

No wonder that by the late 1960s the company had a possibility to the market expansion since it simply needed to grow. This is why in 1968, Lake Central Airlines based in Indianapolis merged into the Allegheny Airlines (Rogers 2004). In fact, the following couple of decades were marked by the further expansion of the company and its transformation in the airline company operating nationwide. To put it more precisely, in 1972, Mohawk airlines merged into the company and by the late 1970s the company expanded its route network to the Southern US. It is worthy of mention that it is during this period the company had changed its name into the US Airlines that was quite a natural step since the company had been evolving in a company operating nationwide. This process was continued in 1980, when Pacific Southwest Airlines and Piedmont Airlines merged into the US Air (Williams 2003). It is in 1980s when the company started to use Boeing 737.

The history of the US Airlines in 1990s 
The 1990s were marked by the efforts of the company to enter the international markets. To meet this goal, the company launched its close cooperation with British Airways and in 1993, the company got a 300 million dollars investment by its partner, followed by reorganization targeting at the increasing effectiveness of the functioning of the company. As a result, the company started to modernize its fleet and in the mid-1990s it placed the order for a series of Airbus 320 which were supposed to enlarge its fleet and replace Boeing 737. It should be pointed out that the major goal of the company was to make its fleet less expansive and its service more available to an average customer. It is worthy of mention that in the late 1990s the company introduced its Metro-Jet service which attempted to compete with low-cost carriers in the East.

Conclusion: The US Airlines at the present days 
The early 2000s were marked by a profound crisis of the entire industry which affected the US Airlines dramatically. The crisis was provoked by the September 11 terror attacks and the following financial crisis and stagnation of the airline industry. As a result, within a year after the terror attacks the company was on its way to bankruptcy but due to the government-guaranteed loan it had managed to overcome the financial difficulties.

Nowadays, the company has partially recovered from the crisis of the early 2000s and regained its leading position in the national market. Today, the company pays a particular attention to the international markets and the international market expansion is one of its major objectives for the future.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why I Want to Be a Nurse Essay

Why I Want to Be a Nurse Essay

Taking the decision what profession to choose is vitally important for everybody. The best variant would seem to take up a profession, which can be interesting, challenging, developmental and well paid. In this paper I am going to explain my choice of nursing career and the main reasons of this choice and my major expectations for the future.
First of all nursing presumes different possible positions at hospitals, clinics, nursing faculties and so on. This means that I could have the possibility not only to work at certain place all the time, this means that I could be able to be trained and get the experience in various settings and could choose the most appropriate specialty for me: either a critical care nurse or psychiatric nurse or anesthetist or some other. As soon as a person becomes a professional nurse a lot of possibilities are opened for him, his knowledge could be applied for creating a disaster relief center, his own nursing home or help for delivering babies. There is really no need to concentrate on some certain place or sphere, once you have the necessary skills you can choose the field that you like, either working with elderly or young people, working directly with patients or teaching others. I do not like routine work and I am sure that nursing is far from it. Being a nurse one could hardly experience two workdays that are the same, every day a nurse has to encounter different problems and situations; to be able to solve them and learn something new from them this is what really matters for me. Besides this profession is rather flexible, you can choose your work schedule or work shift and you can choose you geographical location as well: from downtown clinical center to some rural areas. Moreover, the researches prove that by the year 2008 new nursing occupations are planned. In the USA, for example, health care market is getting bigger and bigger, there is no actually age limit and people of 20 to 50 can start nursing career. (Buogh, 15)

If I am able to get some additional training and the necessary experience I could think of career growth. I believe after getting a nurse degree it is necessary to find the best suitable mentor for starting the job and developing the experience. Mostly nurses work as teams, but still this is a kind of independent job; there are a lot of managers, educators, clinical nurse specialists and so on who work on their own. I do not have any problems working as a part of a team, besides in the beginning this seems to me even better, because the members of the team can support and help each other.

This is a stabile job and everything would depend only on me if I am able to learn, to work hard to get new experience, to understand and to feel the most important moments how to take care of people, how to help them, how to show your moral support and so on. All these points are really important, as everybody should not only do his job, but also do it perfectly and be personally satisfied with the results. Without any doubts this job is hard because dealing with sick or injured people is a rather subtle task, but is it also rewarding because you see that you are able to help the patient.

The experience and knowledge that I can receive when working as a nurse I could apply not only to other people, but to my family and myself, as well.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Essay on Collective Agreement

The Enforcement of Rights under Collective Agreement

Historically, the relations between employers and employees were accompanied by numerous conflicts which were determined by natural factors. In fact, the conflicts between the management and employees were and still are inevitable since, even thought they work in the same organizations, they still have different purposes. It is obvious that the major goal of employees is to get the maximum payment for their labor and to have guarantees of social protection in case of some accidents, illnesses, retirement, etc. while managers and the owners of companies attempt to get the maximum profit from their organizations exploiting employees possibly reducing the cost of the labor force and increasing the effectiveness and productivity of labor. As a result, the functioning of both parties within the same organizations is based on different approaches to the job each of the parties does.
No wonder such a difference leads to the numerous conflicts when one of the parties or both want to protect their own interests since this inevitably affects the interests of the opposing party. In such a situation, the necessity to develop some common rules of the game is obvious. This is why in the course of the development of relationships between employers and employees the legal basis of their relations was created. In this respect, it is necessary to underline that employees, being initially in a deprived position, attempt to protect their interests with the help of unions they create. One of the most effective legal ways of protection of interests of employees is considered to be the collective agreement which is supposed to guarantee the protection of rights of employees and may be viewed as a legal basis for the more responsible relationships between employers and employees.

Unions vs. management Speaking about the collective agreement, it is primarily necessary to dwell upon the parties which relationship this agreement is supposed to regulate. First of all, it should be said that the collective agreement may be viewed as the product of the evolution of the employees’ movement and its maturing and transformation into a really powerful force. Obviously, employees working in different industries and organizations, initially, were equally unprotected in face of the policy of the owners or managers of the organizations they worked. Naturally, their rights were constantly oppressed and they needed to undertake some countermeasures to prevent the growing oppression and exploitation from the part of employers. The opposition of some employees was apparently ineffective since they had to contrast their position to that of the entire organization controlled by a few, or even, only one owner.

In such a situation, employees started to organize unions which could protect their interests more effectively and nowadays, unions became a significant power in the national labor market since they can affect considerably the relations concerning industries as well as organizations. This means that unions were the organizations of employees that could protect each of its members in the case when their rights are violated or when their interests are negatively affected by managerial decisions. The opposite party, managers and owners of companies were historically opposing to the union movement but they turned to be unable to resist to the progress and, anyway, they needed some legal basis, some agreement with employees to make them work more effectively and prevent the negative consequences of the conflicts that could develop within organizations, such as strikes, for instance. In other words, unions that protected the interests of employees became a kind of business partner managers should deal with in order to decrease the possibility of conflicts with employees or, if such conflicts occurred, they should make a deal with unions and, on the one hand, meet the needs of employees and, on the other hand, keep the functioning of organization effectively.

Collective agreement Obviously, both managers and employees needed the legal basis for the effective relationship and cooperation. This means that both managers and employees needed to have clearly defined principles according to which they could construct their relationships within an organization. Moreover, it was also necessary to clearly define the major rights and opportunities as well as obligations of the parties. As a result, agreements between organizations and employees appeared.

It should be pointed out that there may exist various types of agreements between an organization, or its managers, and employees. For instance, an employee may sign an individual contract which clearly defines his rights, functions and obligations as well as those of the organization he is working at. At first, such contracts were viewed as highly effective since they provided employees with an opportunity to define the conditions of their work and their reward.

However, as the relationships between managers and employees grew more and more complicated, the individual contracts were insufficient and often ineffective since an employee could hardly resist to the entire organization. At any rate, potentially, he could lost his job and be replaced by another employee. In such a situation, unions could be quite helpful. Nevertheless, the assistance of unions could not solve the problem absolutely. As a result, collective agreements have started to appear and nowadays, they are extremely popular and are considered to be one of the most effective ways to regulate the relationships between managers and employees and to increase the effectiveness of their work within an organization. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that collective agreement became a really effective tool which may be viewed as a considerable enforcement of rights of employees. In fact, collective agreement is a legal agreement between an organization, represented by its managers, and employees which are traditionally represented by unions. Basically, the collective agreements clearly define the rights of all employees and basic principles of their relationships with managers and organization they are working at, at large. The benefits of collective agreements are evident. For instance, it is possible to say that collective agreements provide all employees with equal rights and opportunities so that the violation of rights of an employee would be protected by the agreement and, if necessary, the legal actions may be undertaken to force managers to follow the rules established by the current legislation and the collective agreement.

Conflicts and the grievance system Nevertheless, in spite of the progress of relationships between managers and employees and the popularity of collective agreements they are still unable to fully guarantee the prevention of conflicts within organizations. In fact, the conflicts, as it has already been mentioned above, are inevitable. This is why collective agreements should be used as effective tool that can minimize the risk of the development of conflicts between managers and employees within an organization but not totally eliminate it that is practically impossible.

Conflicts naturally occurs as the relationships between managers and employees continues to evolve. Nowadays, the necessity of changes and regular implementation of innovations is higher that it has ever been before. This means that managers need to implement innovations, including new production systems, changing the conditions of work and even replacing employees with artificially created mechanisms, computers, etc. As a result, the position of employees may be considerably affected in the result of the implementation of innovations and this does not necessarily mean the lost of a job but any change that affect the current position and conditions of work of an employee.

Naturally, such changes implemented by managers should correspond to the norms that were accorded between managers and unions and, what is more, the changes cannot violate rights of employees. In this respect, collective agreements play an extremely important role since it is due to the collective agreements employees can legally define their rights or some specific conditions they want managers to observe or provide the employees with.

However, even such a powerful tool as the collective agreement cannot always work effectively enough or, to put it more precisely, it works always but it cannot always prevent conflicts between managers and employees. In such a situation, when the conflict has broken out the grievance system should be applied. In fact, the solution of disputes through the grievance system had been found and started to get successfully implemented after the World War II. These systems had started to spread rapidly and nowadays the majority of collective agreements include the grievance system. It should be pointed out that this system provides opportunities for negotiations between parties in case of some conflict that may lead to its successful resolutions without undertaking such radical measures as strikes, pickets, or discharge of employees. At the same time it is worthy of mention that the final step of the grievance system is the binding arbitration.

In fact, grievance is a written complaint which may be created and applied when the rights of employees are violated and it may be initiated on the lower level, where the conflict or violation of rights of some employee or employees occurs, and gradually, if the conflict remains unresolved, pass through all levels until the highest one where top managers and union officials attempt to find an agreement or plausible solution of the conflict.

Solutions of conflicts Basically, the modern collective agreements include the grievance system which could be applied in a case of conflicts. At the same time, the solution of conflicts and grievance system imply that the conflicts could be solved at any stage of their development. In other words, the violation of rights of an employee inevitably leads to the conflict and often managers are interested in the solution of this conflict in a possibly shorter terms and on the lower level when the conflict on the lower level has not outgrown into the conflict that involves the top managers and union officials since, on the highest level, the demands of unions may be more considerable and the outcomes of the conflict more serious for an organization than if the conflict is solved on the lower level.

Anyway, there are three possible ways of actions managers can undertake to solve the conflict. First of all, it is possible to affirm the original decision. This means that remains its own decision unchanged. Obviously, this is quite a risky way which cannot always lead to the effective solution of the conflict because managers simply ignore the interests and demands of employees that threatens to the stability within an organization as employees grow dissatisfied when their demands are not taken into consideration or when their rights are violated. In fact, this solution may be applied only when the management has strong legal reasons for the decision taken. Otherwise, unions will have a legal opportunity to force the management to change their decision using all accessible legal means of ‘persuasion’. It should be said that this solution does not seem to be effective since it rather leads to the aggravation of the conflict than its real solution.

Another way of solution of the conflict is granting the grievance. In fact, this solution is the opposite to the previously discussed one since it implies that the management has to give in to the demands of employees and unions. At the same time, the decision taken by the management that has led to the conflict may be vitally important to the normal functioning and the future of the entire organization. This is why the agreement based on the compromise seems to be the best solution of the conflict that may exist between the management and employees. Basically, agreement implies the involvement of the arbitrator which is supposed to be a mediator in the conflict. It is worthy of mention that the conflicting parties should cover the costs on the agreement, including arbitrator’s fees, from their own funds. However, the effectiveness of such a solution seems to be the highest since the agreement leads to the finding of some alternative solution, a consensus or compromise that meets the interests of both the management and employees.

Conclusion Thus, it is possible to conclude that nowadays collective agreements play an important role in the protection of the rights of employees. Moreover, they contribute considerably to the solution of conflicts within organizations between managers and employees and provide the legal basis for the effective work of both parties. At the same time the collective agreements also provide an opportunity to solve the conflicts effectively through the use of the grievance system.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Essay on Cross Culture

Essay on Cross Culture

Traditionally, health was extremely important to humans but, as a rule, it was perceived as something that constitutes a natural part of human existence. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that the view on health and sickness is not a rigid, unchangeable view, but instead, it is rather a constantly evolving concept which may vary considerably in different socio-cultural environment. Moreover, human views on health and sickness may be, to a significant extent, influenced by the dominating cultural environment so that it is possible to speak that it is actually the dominant culture that defines an individual’s view of health and sickness than his objective perception of these concepts.
First of all, it should be said that the definition of such a concept as health may vary depending on the socio-cultural environment. Nevertheless, nowadays it is possible to define health as the absence of disease and infirmity and the ability to respond effectively to one’s environment. In such a way, basically, health may be defined as a state when an individual does not suffer from any disease or some discomfort.

At the same time, it is worth reminding that the views on health and sickness may vary considerably. In this respect, it should be said that the views on health basically differs depending on the culture. For instance, it is not a secret that different cultures have a different attitude to health. To put it more precisely, Western cultures traditionally tend to create a cult of physical health, while in Oriental cultures spiritual aspect is much more important.

Also, it is possible to speak about the gender and sex differences in the views on health. In fact, people often distinguish some diseases which are basically typical to representative of one or another sex. The same may be said about the race and ethnicity which also may be viewed as socio-cultural factors that influence the perception of the concept of health. For instance, it is worthy of mention that in American society different ethnic groups may have not only different attitude to health but they are also characterized by different condition of health, such as Native Americans who have are characterized by the poor condition of health compared to other ethnic groups. Age may be another factor influencing views on health. For instance, some diseases are viewed as children diseases. Finally, socio-economic conditions may also affect the perception of health since representatives of lower classes have a poorer health condition and lower health standards compared to the upper classes.

However, regardless the existing difference, it is necessary to underline that various cultures often have similar trends on their views on health. In this respect, it should be said that often there is certain stigmatization of some diseases that lead to the exclusion of individuals suffering from such diseases from society. For instance, nowadays, such a disease is AIDS which often leads to the marginalization of people suffering from this disease.

At the same time, it is necessary to underline that regardless the cultural environment an individual’s views on health depend on the dominating ideology. In this respect, it should be said that the dominating ideology of health and fitness in Western society often leads to serious health problems such as Anorexia Nevrosa, which is basically provoked by the unlimited desire of people, mainly females, to be slim and meet the existing ‘standards’.

Thus, it is possible to estimate that views on health vary depending on socio-cultural environment but they are always formed by the dominant culture or ideology which shapes individual’s perception of health.

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Law Essay Example

Law Essay Example

Speaking about criminal charges I can’t help saying that nowadays the whole procedure is not as it was before and each aspect of it should be taken into consideration. My research paper deals with the problem of what a person should do if he was charged and what future awaits him.

First of all I’d like to say that criminal situation as a special level of interaction with social environment should be taken into account in the first place. Unfavorable conditions of moral formation can contribute into person’s criminal activity. In such a way in order to make a clear and justified verdict, all the circumstances must be examined. Crimes can also be committed without criminal’s will. For example, alcohol may cause unlawful actions.
It is important to mention what a person can be charged with. There can be different offences such as misdemeanors, like stealing or beating, or a felony, which may be a murder or a terrorist action. The person who was charged can be arrested only after the investigation is finished. The offences are registered by the police, in order to keep an eye on the criminal who may commit the second offence. On the other hand the registration of a crime may spoil future life of a person, especially in case of juvenile delinquency. If a charge is considerable, it becomes lawful to arrest the criminal.

In order to understand how to behave yourself if you were charged, I’d like to examine the kinds of infractions in a more detailed way. An infraction is a crime against social norms and interests. Civil infractions are investigated without jury; that is why it is mostly a short proceeding. An infraction is characterized as a volitional action, which makes harm to social and personal interests. The gravity of a crime is judged according to its consequences. Civil infractions can be proved either by the predominance of evidences, or beyond the reasonable doubt. Petty offences are not serious anti-social actions, which are usually fined. If a person is not sure whether he was charged with a petty offence or a serious crime, it would be better to ask a lawyer. Finally I’d like to clear out the concepts of “misdemeanor” and “felony”. Charges with a misdemeanor usually result in criminal records, because it is not as serious as a felony, in spite the fact that its results may be quite significant. In case of a misdemeanor the criminal can be imprisoned, probated or fined. For example, car accidents need special investigation, which may result in either imprisonment or license sanctions, depending on the situation. Solicitations are also considered to be misdemeanors. If the crime was not severe, the police keep a file on it and register the offender. The criminal situation, consisting of a number of obstacles, can be provoked either by outer factors, or psychological state of a person. Sometimes a significant turn in person’s life can make them commit a crime. People who commit especially grave crimes usually possess deep antisocial features. Such people are likely to be engaged in the criminal activity again, even after a severe punishment.

A felony is characterized with the gravest consequences. They include murder, sexual offend, burglary, vandalism and terrorism. Stealing money from the working place is also included into this category.

Criminals have right of appeal and revise the charge, if they have evidences of their innocence. An important aspect is the presumption of innocence – a person is considered to be innocent until his guilt is officially proved by the court. Another aspect is humanistic and justful punishment, which means that a person have right to appeal for pardon or less severe verdict.

In order to understand whether the charge was justified or not, it is important to understand the difference between an infraction and a crime. Civil infractions usually include driving violations, which may be not only car accidents, but invalid driving license as well. Sometimes traffic misdemeanors may result in a requirement to come to the court for further investigation. If it is a civil infraction a person is not necessarily required to appear in court. It is possible to send money as a fine by mail. But firstly it is important to read the fine ticket thoroughly in order to avoid greater problems. A person who has been accused in small offenses has fewer rights, than a person charged with burglary, for example. If the crime was convicted, but the criminal wasn’t imprisoned, he has no right for a lawyer, who would help to revise the charge. But on the whole, a felony and a misdemeanor have mostly similar rights and may differ only by the seriousness of punishment.

Some people ask how they can know that they were charged with a violation, if they were not arrested and taken to the police office. If a person doesn’t know he was charged with a crime, he can’t contact a lawyer in time. A lawyer however would help to make the offense not so serious, although it is quite difficult to improve the situation after the issue of the warrant. That’s why a person should always be informed by the police officer. In other cases the officer can arrest the criminal immediately and take him to the police for further examination.

In the police office the person is asked for the identification and whether he was arrested before or not. The officers should search a person for additional evidences, which can be later presented in the court. A person who was charged with a crime must receive the evidences of his guilt from the prosecutor. After this it would be possible to provide a defense. There are different types of defenses which are common and widely used. One is to reject the quilt. Another one is to confess, but explain the reasons for anti-social behavior. The accused are presumed to be innocent until the guilt is proved officially by the judge. The accused may present an argument that there is a reasonable doubt, and this would help him to prove innocence. If the prosecutor has no significant evidences that the accused is to blame, then he is free. Innocence can also be proved by an alibi, which means that the person was in some other place at the time the violation took place. An alibi includes a visit to the cinema, attendance at some meeting or concert.

Women and underage children have right for a special defense. It means that their rights and interests should be treated carefully, taking into consideration their character and peculiarities. Now women and children have more personal rights, protecting them from oppression and encroachment. At the same time more and more children are charged with misdemeanors and even felonies. There are more cases of murder, physical harm, raping, burglary, vandalism, hooliganism or terrorism, committed by young people. These cases are especially severe and should be investigated thoroughly before making a criminal charge. Most people think that juvenile delinquency is the first step to long criminal career, if the young criminal was not isolated and watched. As a result severe verdict of the judges may ruin the whole life of a child. It’s hard for children with criminal past to go abroad, study in a prestigious university, let alone employ for a high position. Criminal charge ruins the future of young children. Taking into account that most juvenile crimes are committed under the influence of certain social groups, the child who is supposed to be guilty, can have little connection to the crime itself. A child may play a secondary role in the crime, but the very engagement in it will be harmful to his future.

After being charged a person may be asked to appear in court. If it is the first requirement, it is called “first appearance”. In this case a person will be told what he was charged with. If a person doesn’t have an attorney, it is important to find him before the trial, but one should do it as quickly as possible, as preparation for the case need much time. If a person still hasn’t got a lawyer at the day of the trial, the judge provides an opportunity to represent oneself without a lawyer, although it would be extremely difficult and less successful. If the accused is not able to afford a lawyer, still it is possible to phone to the Legal Aid office and ask for help. The appearance ticket contains information about the time and place of the trial.

If a person said he was not to blame at the first appearance, and then he changed his mind, it is better to inform the judge about these changes. A person hasn’t right to plea guilty until he confesses that it was him to commit the crime. The criminal record (if it is available) should be shown to the judge. The accused be thoroughly prepared for defense. Before being sentenced the judge will ask about out-of-ordinary circumstances, and then the verdict will be read.

Then the criminal is either free, or imprisoned, or fined. For a long time imprisonment was associated with the rehabilitation of criminals, and their return to law-abiding life. Thus, in reality such kinds of punishment are not always efficient. Prisoners are no longer physically punished. But still most criminals undergo other types of punishment. Some of them are deprived of freedom, income, social status, family, former friends, or at least personal things. Life in such conditions is more likely to deepen criminal’s inner disorder, than adoption him to social norms.

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Essay on Persian invasion of 490 B.C.

Essay on Persian invasion of 490 B.C.

The Persian Empire developed quickly both in its sizes and military conquerors and reached the apogee and best position in the world approximately at the beginning of 500 B.C., when it managed to conquer the Greek city-states. In such a situation, I would say that the Persian Empire was one of the major powers in the ancient world at that epoch. However, Greeks didn’t put up with their new status of a conquered state and during the period from 499 to 494 B.C., a lot of rebels took place against Persian kings, but the Greek army was too week to make the results of rebels successful and every time they were beaten by Persians (Hornblower 150). After unsuccessful results of all rebels, King Darius I of Persia decided to send a big Army to the capital of Greece, Athens, in order to punish people who didn’t want to put up with their conquerors. The historical facts tell us that Greek army consisted of much less soldiers than the Persian, but, nevertheless, it defeated them at the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C (Hornblower 168). This is why we can presuppose that Greeks probably had more advanced weapon and military strategy and tactics compared to Persians.
The first and one of the main plans of King Darius was to conquer the state of Eretria, the main purpose of which was to frighten Athenians by the strength and number (it numbered 25,000 people of infantry and 1,000 people of cavalry) of Persian Army (Hornblower 181).

At that time, Greek Army numbered approximately 10 thousand soldiers (Hornblower 195). The Athenian army, numbering 9,000-10,000, was commanded by a very experienced in battles and rather famous in Greece Callimachus and entered the road leading to the northern part of Athens that proves our presupposition that Greeks had strategic and tactical advantages in the war. After some time it became known that the main part of Persian Army was located very close to the Bay of Marathon, and after getting this information Callimachus sent Greek Army to the valley of Avlona and encamped at the shrine of Heracles where approximately 1,000 of Plataeans joined him there (Hornblower 219). Later when both Armies were ready for the battle, nobody wanted to start the attack first. During 8 days two armies didn’t show any actions staying peacefully. Only on the ninth day Eretria was conquered by Persians and they were ready for attacking Greeks at any time. However, we could estimate that it was rather a temporary defeat in the battle while the war had not been totally lost yet. On September 21 Greek Army went out to start battle with Persians.

As long as Greeks knew that the basis of Persian Army were archers, they worked out a plan, which proved their superiority in strategic thinking, tactics and weapon. According to this plan, it was necessary to advance Persians in formation until they reached the limit of the archer’s effectiveness, the “beaten zone,” or roughly 200 yards. After that, followed the advance in double time to close ranks quickly and bring the Greeks heavy infantry into play (Hornblower 226).

Speaking about the advantage of Greek Army, I should remind about its well armed forces with heavy and very effective at that time weapons - pikes, in comparison with Persian soldiers who were armed only with swords and spears that on top of that were rather short and small in size. But at the same time Persians had advantage dew to their bows that most of them were armed with (Hornblower 241). However, I believe that this advantage would vanish as soon as Greek army approached Persians forces and the close battle began.

As the Greeks advanced, their wings drew ahead of the center, which was under heavy fire from the archers. As they closed some Persians broke through the resulting gaps and drove the center back in rout. The Greek retreated in the center, besides pulling the Persians in. The inadvertent result was a double envelopment, and the battle ended when the whole Persian army, crowded into confusion, was forced to run away in panic and many were seized by the Greeks. Herodotus works give us information that almost over six thousand Persians were killed in comparison to only 192 Greek soldiers (Hornblower 257).

To cut a long story short, it should be pointed out that The Battle of Marathon was the greatest Victory of Greek Army over the Persians. We call it greatest because every time before Greek Army was beaten by Persian and didn’t have any chances for victory and after the Battle of Marathon this regularity was broken.

We get this information from the works of Greek historian Herodotus, who probably was born the same year this Battle of Marathon took place and also Athenian soldier under the named Pheidippides who ran from Athens to Sparta in order to ask for their help (Hornblower 315). Nowadays this fact is started to be a legend of all times so famous that even the International Olympic Committee estimates the distance that Pheidippides overcame while running from the place of battle to the capital of Greece – Athens as 34.5 km (Hornblower 317). But till our time unfortunately no historical proofs were left whether this fact really took place or not, but this legend became the basis for the modern marathon athletics event. The race is run over a distance of 42.195 km (26.2 miles) (Hornblower 318).

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Essay on Paul’s Missionary Journeys

Essay on Paul's Missionary Journeys

Paul is one of the most significant contributors to the New Testament and one of the most eager supporters and promoters of Christianity in the ancient world. It is necessary to underline that it is due to his activities many Christian churches were founded in Asia as well as in Eastern part of Roman Empire at large. Basically, he traveled throughout different regions of empire delivering ‘the message of God’ to local population. Paradoxically, at the beginning of his life he was quite skeptical about Christianity and did not accept this religious movement to the extent that he could be named its ‘furious opponent’ (Davies 82). In this respect, it is worthy of mention that he was present and approved of the killing of Stephen, and presided over the mission to persecute the Christian church. However, his views had changed dramatically when in 33 AD on his way to Damascus he saw a vision in which Jesus spoke directly to him. After this ‘incident’ he became a convinced adept of Christianity and, what is more, he started to actively promote Christianity in Roman Empire spreading its ideas in different provinces, establishing churches, and baptizing people.
Speaking about the life of Paul and his contribution to the development and promotion of Christianity and Christian church, it is necessary to underline that he may be viewed as one of the founders of Christian church since during his missionary journeys he spread Christian ideas and beliefs. At the same time, it is worthy of mention that he was a really convinced Christian who was not afraid of numerous obstacles he regularly faced in his life. In this respect, it is worthy of mention the fact that during his missionary work he often faced serious threats to his freedom, life and health. Christianity was not a popular religious movement in many regions of the Roman Empire. This is why often people opposed to the missionaries, including those of Paul. Moreover, often they rioted and even attempted to attack him to the extent that he often had to save his life because of his missionary activity.

Nevertheless, Paul had never stopped and carried the idea of the spread of Christianity throughout the ancient world till the end of his life. Remarkably, the end of his life was probably as tragic as his entire life but, in order to understand the tragedy of his life and death it is necessary to carefully analyze his missionary journeys which played an extremely important role not only in the life of Paul himself, but in the history of Christianity at large.

It should be said that after his first missionary journey Paul decided to continue his missionary activities and basically, the goal of his second journey was to visit all the towns where he preached and see the life of the adepts of Christian religion in those areas. However, the second missionary journey started with quite an unfortunate circumstance since Barnabas, his companion in his first journey, suggested to take John Mark in their second missionary journey but Paul did not want to. As a result, the contradictions between Paul and Barnabas grew stronger and “they had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company” (Acts 15:37-40). As a result, Barnabus and John Mark sailed for Cyprus while Paul and Silas went to Derbe and Lystra in 49 AD. After that they continued their journey throughout Asia visiting the Phrygia, northern Galatia. In Galatia, Timothy joined Paul in his journey. After that Paul planned to journey through Bithynia and “they tried to enter Bithynia but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to” (Acts 16:7-8). As a result, they eventually decided to travel to Troas, where Paul saw a vision in which he saw a man of Macedonia which begged him to change their plans and travel to Macedonia (Dunn 106). Paul interpreted this vision as the message of God and decided to cross the Dardanelles and go to Macedonia. In fact, it was a very important decision since symbolically it is possible to compare the journey of Paul to Macedonia and further to Greece as the expansion of Christianity in Europe. On arriving in Macedonia, they established churches in Philippi, where he managed to convert in Christianity and baptize a rich woman Lydia. There Paul and his companions were arrested and beaten. After that they moved to Thessalonica and Berea where they also established Christian churches (Dunn 135). And again the tension was so significant that Paul was forced to move further to Athens where he gave his famous speech in Areopagus in which he promoted God and Christianity making them closer to Greek people. After that he moved to Corinth where he settled for three years promoting Christianity and communicating with adepts of Christian church in different regions. It is worthy of mention that he was under a permanent pressure and he constantly face a threat of being arrested because of his beliefs. He was even seized and beaten by the official of the synagogue in front of the tribunal he faced. However, the Roman authorities paid little attention to such oppression of Paul and his supporters and after hearings in 52 AD Paul set off for his third missionary journey.

During the third missionary journey he traveled through Asia Minor, and Macedonia, to Antioch and back (Davies 125). He also visited Ephesus where hardly escaped death as the local people attempted to kill him as his religion undermined their business oriented on sales of idols which were unacceptable for Christians. Eventually, he returned to Jerusalem where he was arrested for his beliefs and later sent to Rome. However, on his way to Rome he faced another great challenge, he shipwrecked and stayed in Malta for some period of time where he kept preaching. In fact, he never stopped preaching even in Rome, being under a house arrest for two years, he continued to be a convinced adept of Christianity. But, finally, he could not escape the tragic death as he was executed in Rome by the order of the Emperor Nero. Thus, in conclusion, it should be said that the life of Paul was full of dangers and problems but he never gave up and remained a convinced Christian till the tragic end of his life. In fact, he consecrated his life to preaching and promoting Christianity, spreading this teaching throughout the territory of the Roman Empire and establishing Christian churches.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Health vs Weight Essay

Health vs Weight Essay

Low carbohydrate diets and low fat diets alike use ‘replacements’ to avoid consuming fat or carbohydrates. Most consumers love to eat fatty foods. Not only do such foods taste good, but they offer reminders of childhood “comfort foods,” respites from the hurried, bustling lives most of us live. (Mills, 1992) We want these foods but are admonished about the deleterious effects that come with their consumption. We are repeatedly reminded that second only to smoking, overeating (and the overeating mainly of these fatty delights) is the nation’s leading cause of death.
We want to change our diets, but not too much. Consumers want to “change without changing.” (Woteki et al, 1992) According to the NPD Group, which has been conducting surveys on eating trends in America since 1980, “Better for you” foods (e.g., lower-fat versions of products) now account for nearly one-third of all grocery purchases. (Woteki et al, 1992) The public clearly wants (and will pay for) foods that “taste good” and also carry less fat. So, the demand has been created for products that are lower-fat versions of the ones with which one is familiar. Food processors are responding to that demand by creating low-fat versions of long-time favorites. On average, more than 1,000 new low-fat and fat-free products have been introduced annually since 1990, according to the International Food Information Council. And most of these are designed to be identical to a full-fat counterpart. (Davis et al, 1996)

Clearly, advances in technology and new ingredients are a driving force behind the development of high-quality fat- and cholesterol-reduced foods. As the demand increases, food processors have a challenge to deliver well‐ rounded flavor and mouthfeel as well as reduced fat and calories in new products. This trend of “getting the fat out” has become a multibillion dollar phenomenon, and “fat replacers” have become the food industry’s favorite means for delivering the taste, but not the calories of fat. (Mills, 1992)

Although a number of terms have been coined to describe this diverse group of food ingredients, perhaps the most appropriate is “fat replacer,” an ingredient that replaces some or all of the functions of fat and may or may not provide nutritional value. 6 Other commonly used synonyms include fat analogs, fat mimics (also called mimetics), and fat extenders or sparers. Fat replacement occurs by any one of several technologies or combinations of ingredients, or both. The simplest technique for replacing fat is to add air or water to the product.

To meet the challenge of stabilizing the air or binding the water, other ingredients are frequently added. The food industry’s search for fat replacements has required a careful balance of ingredients and advanced processing technology to produce a reduced-fat product that replicates all the texture, mouthfeel, and flavor of the traditional product. In fact, achieving fat reduction is often the result of several ingredients and processing techniques used in combination, rather than a single ingredient used as a one-for-one substitution for fat.

Three basic techniques have been developed to produce ingredients that reduce the fat level of foods. The first two develop fat replacers using two other macronutrients, carbohydrates and proteins, that have fewer calories than fat. The earliest development and the most common approach has been to replace a portion of the fat in the product with carbohydrate-based substances, such as starches, dextrins, or gums. These plant substances soak up water and “plump up,” creating tiny balls that simulate the slippery or slimy sensation in the mouth, which food technologists call “mouthfeel.” (Woteki et al, 1992) The objective is to take water and “structure” it so that it produces a feeling in the mouth that mimics that of the high-fat food.

Simulating the slippery “mouthfeel” of fat is also the general principle behind the type of fat replacers based on “micro-particulated proteins.” (Mills, 1992) When heated at high temperatures, proteins from milk or whey (the watery portion of milk) or egg white coagulate into particles so small that the tongue perceives them as a fatlike smooth and creamy liquid. The practical food applications for these protein-based products are almost exclusively in nonheated foods, such as frozen desserts, yogurt, margarine, and the like, since the proteins are dispersed and denatured upon heating and lose their fatlike taste.

Some researchers believe that metabolic factors may play a role in dietary fat consumption. Eating fat may be an addictive behavior with a pleasure response modified by what scientists call “the endogenous opiod peptide system.” (Davis et al, 1996) Thus, preferences for fat are not merely psychological; a physiological or metabolic component may be involved. Reducing dietary fat intake does not result simply from modifying behavior patterns. Interventions to educate people to consume less fat must also recognize and deal with what may be a powerful physiological component. When products that alter lipids are used as fat replacers, they taste like fat because they still are. These compounds have actually had their molecular structure as a fat modified so that they can’t be digested by the body, and therefore no calories are available to wreck havoc in the body. This is the principle on which olestra was developed by Procter & Gamble nearly three decades ago.

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Shi’ism in the Persian Gulf Essay

Shi'ism in the Persian Gulf Essay

Shi’ism is a part of Islam. This religion has become stronger with the flow of time and has not only become an influential religion but also a considerable political power. It has a great impact on the geopolitics of Islamic World and international relations. Thinking out different scenarios of the future of this power will let make predictions about possible scenarios of world politics. Shi’ism, which was regarded as a minor sect of Islam till recent time has become an influential factor in international affairs. The word “shi’ia” is translated like partisan or follower and is usually used for those who believe that succession of Muhammad is a special right of his family. Shi’its believe in returning of Prophet Muhhamad, which can be compared to the returning of Jesus Christ in Christianity. Some time ago Shi’its have separated from Sunni majority, because Sunni followers believe that all religious authority belonged to Ali. Despite Shi’its are not as numerous as the representatives of Sunni sect. In general, Shi’ites make about 10% of all Muslim population of Arabic countries.
Statistics show that there are about 120-200 million of Shi’ites in the world. Shi’its makes majority of Iran, Iraq and Bahrain population. Shi’its also possess a considerable impact in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Afganistan, Pakistan and India.

Historically, Shi’its population leaves in the part of Persian Gulf, where more than 75% of all oil reserves are situated. “Thus we can estimate that 50 percent of the world oil reserves are under the feet of Shi’ite people. The countries with a Shi’ite majority—Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq - 20 percent of the proved oil reserves of the total world. If the eastern part of Saudi Arabia with its majority Shi’ite population is included, this figure reaches 45 percent” (Khadduri 134). At the present moment oil produced by Shi’it countries makes 8.8 per cent of the world oil production. Iran produces 5.1 percent, while Iraq produces 3.3 per cent.

But potential of this region is much higher and most of the countries with oil resources plan to increase production in the future.

She’in Bahrain 
The She’a Muslims in Bahrain make a majority. They are geographically dispersed all over thirty-five islands of the Persian Gulf. They speak the Arabic language and share most Bahrainis’ traditions but their belief differs from that of Sunni Muslims, who make the minority of the country. “The major division between Bahrain’s Sunni and She’a faiths derives from a dispute dating back to the 7th century over who were the true successors to Muhammad, Islam’ original and primary prophet, with the She’ following Ali, Mohammed’s son-in-law” (France Presse).

Bahrain used to be ruled by Portuguese, British and Persian leaders. In the 19th century there was a kind of agreement between Khalife ruling family and Great Britain. This family gained the power in the country and protected the British border. Great Britain, in its turn, guaranteed security for Bahrain. In 1971 this state got its independency. There was created special Assembly by Sheik Isa ibn Salman, which consisted of elected members. In the year 1975 the Amir decided to dissolve this Assembly. His actions naturally led the rising tide of discontent. The opposition to the regime was hold by small but well organized groups – She’a Muslims. After Sheikh Isa bin Sulman al-Khalifa’s death in 1990 She’a Muslims activated their resources and provoked unrest in 1994-1999. They wanted to renew Assembly and to end unemployment. “In February 2001, voters approved a referendum on a new National Action Charter, which included legislative changes such as a reformed constitution calling for a partially elected bicameral legislature and a constitutional monarchy. The country officially became a constitutional monarchy in 2002, and in October more than half of the eligible voters participated in the first elections since 1973, electing 40 members of the Council of Deputies” (Badran).

The new parliament included about ten representatives from She’s Muslims but that is incredible few in comparison with a proportional representation of their population. Nowadays She’a people suffer from unemployment despite all the democratic changes in the society. There has been reached some progress in this issue in the recent years. Some She’a professors got job and She’a citizens are not allowed to get positions in the security forces. Nevertheless, salaries are not the same for the minority group and the majority one. “As a result, many Shi’a citizens, while acknowledging the positive steps that have been taken since 2000, view many of the reforms as cosmetic and demand the government do more to significantly improve their economic status” (Badran). They remain second-class people. Being ruled by the Sunni minority She’a Muslims are discriminated in almost all spheres: political, economical and cultural. The ruling class has unlimited power over all the population so can use this power as it is suitable. The government strictly checks all the political parties and organizations and so possibilities of the She’a community are limited. Nevertheless, She’a citizens organized the Islamic Enlightenment Society in 2001 and the Islamic Action Association (Islamic Action Society).

Media is also under total control, so hot political discussions are not allowed. Such state of affairs makes it almost impossible for She’a leaders to criticize political actions and decisions of the ruling class.

She’a in the Saudi Arabia 
Shi’ism has always being under threat and pressure in Saudi Arabia. The hardest pressure Shi’its experienced in the 1980s, when confrontations between Iran and Saudi Arabia was especially strong. These two countries politicized Islam and made it a weapon of political confrontation. In the 1980s Saudi Arabia put much effort in order to limit the influence of Shi’ism in the country. It limited the influence of Shi’ism in schools, religions institutions and public sphere. It also tried to suppress Shi’its cultural activities, prevent Shi’it leaders from activity and not let people make religious rituals. Anti-Shi’ism discrimination, which has always being presented in Saudi Arabia, became especially strong during this time. Iran responded by financing Shi’its organizations in Saudi Arabia and giving them a considerable support. This has changed Iran’s status of the main leader of the Persian Gulf. “The legacy of the 1980s is that political anti-Shi’ism remains a powerful impulse inside and outside Saudi Arabia. The Iraq war and the Shi’ite ascendancy there have rekindled some of the most vituperative sentiment.” (Jones 35) Suadi Arabi has gladly welcome Iraq’s invasion to Iran. Saudi Arabia and Iran normalized their relations in the 1990s and this fact the made position of Shi’it’s a little better. Nowadays Shi’its are minority in Saudi Arabia and make about 11 per cent of all population but the situation gets better at the present moment as repressions on Shi’ism became less during the recent time.

She’a in Kuwait
Positions of Shi’ism are very strong in Kuwait. Despite this country has experienced major political changes during the last decades including Iraq invasion of 1991, Shi’ism did not lose its influence. In the middle of the 1980s Shi’ia lost influence in the country. Iraq invasion also resulted in the increase of Shi’ia oppression, because they were regarded as those, who support Iraq. Shi’ia people, who make about the quarter of Kuwait population, experienced much oppression when Kuwait supported Iran during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.

Such actions resulted in desertification of Kuwait society.

Despite Sunni make the majority in Kuwait, Shi’a’s position in this country is better than in any Arabian country ruled by Sunni. Recent reform of the legal system enabled Shi’ia to address their own court of appeal. Since the relations between Kuwait and Iran improved after the 1990s, this also made its contribution to the better position of Shi’ia in the country. At the same time Shi’ism in Kuwait is constantly threatened by Sunni fundamentalism, supported by Saudi Arabia.

During long time after the invasion Muslim Brotherhood was very weak in Kuwait. Only several years after invasion Al-Haraka Al-Dusturiyya Al-Islamiyya, the Islamic Constitutional Movement started gaining forces. Leaders of these movement claim that they have broken any relations with Muslims outside the country. Sunni fundamentalists gradually come back to power in the country.

Despite Shi’ism is a widespread part of Islamic religion, it has different peculiarities in different countries.

In modern world Shi’ism is not a not only a religion. “Because this complex reference system has taken root in the tradition, culture, and very social life of Shi’ism, its power to delineate Shi’i identity extends far beyond mere theological belief. Many “cultural Shi’a” participate in the rituals and folklore of the community not necessarily out of theological fervor but because these have become the vernacular of community self-expression — much as Jewish holidays have strong cultural hold over relatively secular Jews.” (Jones)

If we compare Shi’ism in Bahrain and Kuwait, we will see how social and political factors influence Shi’ia people. In Bahrain Shi’ism has a long history of oppression. This made Shi’ia aggressive in this country. By the long period of time Shi’ia majority is ruled by Sunni minority and this has had a great influence on the mentality of people. Shi’ia population of the country does not get good jobs and good salaries. They experience multiple oppression from ruling Sunni and this finally resulted in aggressive reactions. In Kuwait, where Shi’ia are also in opposition, they have met a comparatively friendly attitude during all the history of the country. Despite some repression after the Iran-Iraq war, general situation with right and freedoms of Shi’ia population is much better in this country. They do not have to be aggressive in order to defend their rights and freedoms.

At the present moment Shi’its makes a powerful Muslim block in the Middle East. Iraq war resulted in becoming this block even stronger and helped to widespread its influence across the Middle East. It is likely that this block will be the most influential power in the Persian Gulf during next several years. “This development also creates political and spiritual leaders of unparalleled international influence.” (Jones) The United States of America voluntary or involuntary helped this block to gain extra power. By destroying the government of Saddam Hussein the US helped Shi’it majority to come to power in Iraq. This added extra power to the Shi’it block in the Middle East.

Shi’its do not support terrorism and suicide. They base such attitude on the versus from the Koran, which prohibit religious murders and suicide. The Koran Verse states “If you kill one person, it likes to kill all of society”. So Shi’ism, which becomes more and more influential during recent time, is based on principles of peace and understanding. It becomes dangerous in the cases when it becomes a subject of manipulation of politicians.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Essay on “Brown Girl, Brownstones”

"Brown Girl, Brownstones" by Paule Marshall

The theme of unclear national identity was rather popular among Afro-American writers. But each of such works became unique and incomparable. Analyzing Paule Marshall’s novel I’d like to explain its main idea. It tells of a girl who had to decide between two different life views. Selina was born in a family of first American immigrants. Her mother was an ambitious woman, who strived for better life and reliable future for children. On the contrary her father was quite conservative and didn’t accept changes in life. He wanted to return to Barbados, which was his native land. The story is based on the conflict between these two sides. The very title reveals uncertainty. The girl is neither American nor Barbarian. The novel contains autobiographic elements and reveals problems of living in society.
Paula Marshal admitted that her literary works were mostly influenced by family atmosphere. Her mother and friends used to talk about radical black activist Marcus Garvey. He stood up in favor of nationalism. The book of Paula Marshal however showed other view on ethnicity. Nationalists considered it the leading motive of human actions. Marshal both criticizes and approves Barbarism. It shows that nation is not the most important element. Individual outlook plays more significant role. The story is based on the contrast between material and spiritual values, old and new understanding of life, black and white ethnicities.

I’d like to analyze the novel from several points of view. Firstly I want to characterize main heroine. Selina Boyce is an individualist whose outlook contradicts social requirements. Selina is given an opportunity to decide what is better: old life or new one. People are always afraid of uncertainty and duality of future. Not all of us dare to make a firm decision. The structure of the novel is similar to many other works of Afro-American writers. Migration, psychological tension and struggle for wholesome life. The author was influenced by personal impressions of Barbados, which she visited still being a child. Marshall makes her characters solve life-changing problems. Selina observes relationship between her parents and makes individual choice. She tried to persuade mother not to sell husbands land. Having read the book, I don’t’ blame girl’s mother. Silla is seems to be strong and ambitious. She struggles not for herself but for daughter’s sake. Silla had a painful experience living in Barbados and didn’t want Selina to undergo sufferings. Mother tried to haul her daughter out of former crucial life. Selina however kept to her own opinion. Not understanding true state of things, her mother steadily believed in American Dream. She even enrolled to Barbarous Association which would help to mix with American mainstream. She conformed to social claims, struggling for better life.

On the other hand Selina had own ideas about her family, Barbarian Association and future life. She managed to unite greater community consisting of Suggle Skeetes and Miss Thompson (Johnson, 2003). Selina refused with her mother’s ideas and becomes a strong personality with individual outlook by the age of seventeen. She decided to leave Brooklyn and become a dancer. I think it shows that despite parental advice, young generation define individual life way and overcomes former limitations.

Speaking about main characters of the novel I can’t help mentioning Deighton, who represents Barbarian nation. He is a kind and easy-going person, who doesn’t care about better life. He is more likely to be satisfied with what he has and return to his homeland. In this way we see three different characters, which form the composition of the novel. Young Selina has to decide between her hardworking mother of great ambitions and dreamy father with plain understanding of life. Difficulties help people move forward. We always have to make decisions, which would define our future success or failure. "Brown girl, Brownstones" is deeply psychological, as it makes us ponder over the destiny of a young girl who hesitates between two worlds and finally creates her own. She is forced to identify her culture under parental pressure, especially from mother’s side. I remember having read that Selina is the youngest character of Marshall’s stories. I should admit it is the most complex one too.

Another aspect of my research is analysis of language and symbolism. Many critics consider the description of main heroes to be symbolic. For example thinness and fragility of Selina reveals her inner spiritual world. Despite her weak outward appearance, she shows undoubted strength to resist social pressure and other life calamities.

…a ten-year-old girl with scuffed legs and a body as straggly as the clothes she wore… (Marshall, 1981).

That’s how the author describes her. It shows dual side of human nature. One may have mature figure, but be a coward. On the other hand spiritual world can offset the lack of physical strength. At the same time the difference between Selina and her mother reveals from the very beginning. “A wide full mouth” contrasts with Selina’s appearance. Silla obviously had a haunted idea of buying a house as a symbol of prosperity. She evidently paid much attention to material values, unlike her husband. Selina didn’t want her mother to get into a mess and was inspired to interfere with her attempts. She understood she was no longer a little girl and had full rights to express her opinion freely. Her reaction characterizes her as a resourceful and initiative person.

Selina didn’t want to conform to community’s requirements and expectations. She also stood up against the predominance of material values. She desperately tried to show people that there are things which can’t be purchased anywhere. Love, friendship, honesty, courage, care and other eternal values are of greater importance than material well-being and money itself. If a person feels unhappy to return home, material values are unlikely to bring harmony and return inner balance to him. Selina formed her own system of values, because she disliked her parents’ life vision.

…those men from Bridgetown home are all the same. They don’t know a thing ‘bout handling money and property… (Marshall, 1981).

This is how one of community leaders characterized Deighton. The latter combined the character of a conformist and individualist as well. Percy Challenor as a trustworthy and competent representative of community has a negative attitude to Selina’s father. It symbolizes that such people as Deighton are not accepted by society and would remain outsiders until they start living according to social requirements. A peculiar thing about Marshall’s novel is that she wrote it in a typical language of Barbarian people, who often can’t express their thoughts clearly. Selina sometimes uses this language in talks with her mother for example. At the same time it gives readers an opportunity to understand Barbarian ethnicity better and feel its true atmosphere.

I think that one more symbol is destiny of Deighton and Suggie. Suggie was a best friend of Selina, but she didn’t accept her ideas to full extent and didn’t conform to society either. Suggie said she would spend money in the way she liked. There’s no sense in saving every penny. It shows that her outlook is close to Selina’s views. But unlike Selina, Suggie didn’t’ expose her opinion openly. She ends up as uncertain as she was. Nobody knows what her future life was. Deighton’s suicide proves that communal outsiders can’t survive among people, until they obey public rules.

Selina understood she had much in common with her mother, but didn’t want to put up with it. Instead Selina decided to rebel against her mother. Even her boyfriend was very much like Deighton (an outsider to some extent). Clive was a thoughtful and rebellious artist, who also opposed Barbarian community. In spite of desperate struggle, Selina took much after her mother, and sometimes reminded her in manners and behavior. Selina wanted to escape together with Clive and start an independent life. But this ambition would never be fulfilled. At first she tried to find necessary finances for her plan, winning a scholarship in Barbarian Association. Regardless to certain problems, she firmly decided to get money. In this way she resembles her mother, who strived to get husband’s land. This example shows that parental influence is inevitable. Later Selina begins to treat her mother in a more tolerant way. I consider it a sign of maturity. Attempts to change an adult person will be of no use. I know it from personal experience. That’s why the best way out is to accept people as they are, never trying to change something.

In conclusion I’d like to say that it’s up to us to decide whether to conform to society or keep to personal life views. The book of Paule Marshall supports the idea of individualism and rebel against conformity. The main heroine is young girl with out of ordinary thoughts and plans. My research paper analyses this novel from several perspectives: plot, characters, composition and language. I tried to explain the social role of each character and analyze relations between them. I think that this novel is intended for wide range of readers. I recommend it to those who are interested in ethnic struggle.

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