Saturday, August 31, 2019

Logical Arguments for and Against Laws Against Using Cell Phones While Driving

With more and more people using cellular phones, a new debate has surfaced. Should there be laws against using cell phones while driving? The statistics about distracted driving, which includes any type of distraction, show that distracted driving causes accidents. According to the United States Department of Transportation, 5,747 people were killed because of driving distractions and approximately 448,000 were injured in 2009 alone (1) Using a cell phone is just another way that driver are distracted. The debate rages on†¦should there be a specific law against using cell phones while driving.Some states are passing laws specifically for inexperienced drivers, just as they restrict the times inexperienced drivers are allowed to drive. For our purposed, however, we will look at the debate over whether or not there should be a law banning general cell phone usage. This is a very sensitive subject, mostly because both sides present some logical arguments, but a variety of fallacies can be found on both sides of this hot issue. This entire debate is nothing new. Distracted driving has been a hot topic since 1905, and there were no cell phones back then.The big advancement in technology then was windshield wiper blades. They were thought to be hypnotic, and distract drivers. (AAA). From there it went to the radio in the 1930’s. Here in the 21st century, we’ve landed on cellular phones. Same debate, different details. When it comes to hands free cell phone usage while driving, both sides have scientific studies and statistics to back up their cases. According to a study funded by AAA Foundation for Traffic safety, using a hands free device holds approximately the same distraction as tuning the radio (AAA).However, there are also reports that having a conversation while driving with a hands free device is much more risky than having a conversation with somebody who is also in the car with you (Dewar 327). A recent study showed that only 2% of people can safely multi task while driving. This was compared to the same amount of people who would make good fighter pilots (Cruz, pg 1). This quote from Matt Duffy shows how some opponents to a law feel. â€Å"I will vow to be careful while on the phone — and to use a headset or speakerphone whenever possible so that I can keep both hands on the wheel.But, I won’t take the vow to quit using the phone in the car. † (Duffy) The â€Å"vow† that Mr. Duffy is speaking of refers to a campaign by Oprah Winfrey. She has heavily campaigned for a law against using a phone without a hands free device and laws against texting while driving. In a press release, she stated: â€Å"My biggest hope for the No Phone Zone campaign is that it becomes mandatory that no one uses their phone in the car or texts while driving—just as seat belts are mandatory, just as driving while drunk is considered absolutely taboo, I'm hoping that this becomes not just law, but second na ture for all of us† (Harpo).We can look at Oprah’s statement as an â€Å"Argument by Analogy. † Her logic says that because we have driving laws about not wearing seatbelts and driving drunk, which are both dangerous activities, we should also have a law about using cell phones while driving, another dangerous activity. Opponents pose some interesting questions, though. As previously stated, there are other activities that distract drivers. Dealing with children in the car, changing the radio station, and eating are just a few. According to the NHTSA, of all 2009 fatalities that were caused by distracted driving, approximately 20% involved a cell phone (pg 8).So, they bring up laws against other distractions. Should there also be laws against these distractions, because they are just as, if not more, dangerous? (Johnstone) If we used Oprah’s argument by analogy, if these activities did cause just as many accidents as cell phones, she would have to back law s against these things, also. But this also presents the â€Å"slippery slope† fallacy presented by opponents. They are saying that if cell phones are banned while driving, we won’t be able to do anything that could be distracting while driving. (Kids?They would just have to walk). Opponents also show that, unlike eating in the car, cell phone usage can actually help with safety. For example, if people call to say they are running late, they may not speed. Accidents and dangers on the road can be reported more quickly (â€Å"Debate†). Another area of debate is enforcement. Already we are seeing that enforcement just doesn’t seem to be working very well. In areas with laws against texting, it is just difficult to catch somebody. Supporters of a law believe that new laws can be enforced, just as laws about using eatbelts and child safety seats were eventually enforced. (Reinberg). In the United Kingdom, where using a cell phone while driving is already ille gal, of 2,000 people only 3% said that they have ever been caught on the phone while driving. Many motorists are investing in car kits and hands free devices.The penalty in England for breaking this law is up to two years in jail. In the United States, for the few states that have laws, fines range from $50 to $600, with possible suspension of your drivers license. (Johnson) One opponent of cell phone laws offered this suggestion: I think instead the penalties for causing an accident while driving distracted need to be stiffened. Perhaps the loss of the license for a few years for causing an accident while texting behind the wheel would be more of a deterrent than the threat of a ticket that probably won't happen. † (â€Å"Alternative†) Opponents of a new law against cell phones repeatedly say that there is already a law against driving recklessly. That two percent of people who can multi-task, should they be pulled over if they are safely driving? What about the almigh ty dollar?Proponents of a cell phone law state how this would raise money for states, save in medical costs and all other costs caused by car accidents (â€Å"Cell Phone Ban†). Opponents say that it would COST more money, tying up the court system, and there would be costs involved in changing cell phone plans (less minutes would be used). Each side has their own statistics and research to back up their positions. It’s a classic case of stacked evidence. Each side is only presenting information that helps their case, and none that might hurt their case.Although states have the authority to regulate the actions of drivers (â€Å"Debate†), it has been shown that it might be more effective to have insurance companies and other markets try to regulate the usage of cell phones while driving. Insurance companies could charge a higher premium for cell phone users. With advancing technology, this may indeed be possible. Recently there was an iPhone app released that giv es ‘reward’ points for not using a phone in a car. It can detect if the phone is moving more than 5 miles per hour (Svensson). The real issue at the heart of this topic is about how much control the government should have over our time. In a perfect world, people would not take risks while they are driving. If a person couldn’t talk while driving, if it hindered their ability to drive, they just wouldn’t talk while driving. Because this debate is truly about governmental control, it will most likely continue for a very long time.WORKS CITED AAA. â€Å"On the Road: Distracted Driving. † AAA Exchange. AAA. n. d. Web. 19 October 2009. â€Å"An Alternative to Laws Against Texting While Driving? † opposingviews. om. Opposing Views, Inc. 21 April 2010. Web. 5 Oct 2010. â€Å"Cell Phone Ban Would Save Money, Research Shows. † Cbc. ca. CBC. 29 Sept 2010. Web. 19 Oct 2010. Cruz, Gilbert with Kristi Oloffson. â€Å"Distracted Driving: Should Ta lking, Texting Be Banned? † Time. com. Time, Inc. 24 Aug 2009. Web. 2 October 2010. â€Å"Debate: Banning Cell Phones in Cars. † Debatepedia. International Debate Education Association. 11 June 2010. Web. 5 Oct 2010. Dewar, Robert E, Paul Erson and Gerson Alexander. Human Factors In Traffic Safety. Tuscon, AZ. Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc. 002. Google Books. Duffy, Matt. â€Å"I Won’t Take the Oprah Pledge Against Cell Phones While Driving. † Mattjduffy. com. 29 Jan 2010. Web. 9 Oct 2010. Harpo, Inc. â€Å"The Oprah Winfrey Show Hosts No Phone Zone Day Friday, April 30. † Oprah. com. Harpo, Inc. 29 April 2010. Web. 3 October 2010. Johnson, Geoff with Leigh Montgomery. â€Å"9 States Ban Cell Phone Use While Driving. Is Yours On The List? † csmonitor. com. The Christian Science Monitor. 23 Sept 2010. Web. 19 Oct 2010. Johnstone, Michael. â€Å"What Kind of Laws are Reasonable for Driving While Talking on the Phone? InsightCommunit y. com. Floor 64. 19 Mar 2008. Web. 3 October 2010. Reinberg, Steven. â€Å"Nationwide Cell Phone Ban for Drivers Urged. † Washingtonpost. com. The Washington Post Company. 12 Jan 2009. Web. 4 October 2010. Svensson, Peter. â€Å"Phone App Fights Distracted Driving With Rewards. † Yahoo News. The Associated Press. 13 Oct 2010. Web. 19 Oct 2010. US Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts: Distracted Driving 2009. Washington, DC: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis. 2010. web pdf.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Blending and Sounding

Grapheme-phoneme requires a great deal of sound mimicking from the students, visual and material presentation, as well as word utilization. The teacher should first understand that the alphabet is known to be units which have its own unique sound. Thus, the teacher should clearly establish that there are certain instances wherein sounds in a word constitute more than a single alphabet. Also, students should clearly identify that speech is composed of a variety of sounds.There are different areas that students need to fully practice to enable themselves to comprehend the concept of graphemes-phonemes and enhance their reading skills. These are (1) awareness of the relationship between sounds and words, (2) understanding the connection of a letter to a sound, (3) utilizing the relationship between letters and phonemes to identify printed words then read and spell them, and (4) understand what is read (Good III, Simmons & Smith, 1998).To do this, the teacher should first tell the studen ts that they will be studying a new sound. The teacher should then demonstrate how the new sound is enunciated. The enunciation of the sound to be taught should then be mimicked by the students to establish that the students become fully familiar of the sound. This should be done repeatedly until all the students follow through with the sound enunciation and pronunciation.After the sound has been mimicked and has become familiar by the students, the teacher should then show a visual of the letters comprising the sound. This would make the students identify the sound as a grapheme-phoneme for this specific sound does not consist of a single alphabet but a group of it. To fully make the students understand that there are more than one letter that constitutes this certain sound, the teacher should have some of the students assist in holding separate visuals to make the students aware that the symbols are more than just one.After establishing to the students the information that there i s more than just one alphabet that makes up the sound taught, the teacher could further make the students understand on their own that the alphabets being presented are separate by having them enunciate the sound of each letter individually. However, the teacher should have the students know that despite of the individual sounds these separate letters make; it still creates a new sound when combined. Since the students are familiarized with the letter composition of the sound, the teacher should then make the students understand that these sounds are used in words.To do this, the teacher should make use of words that comprises these grapheme-phonemes. He/she could utilize different materials that would help the students identify a word that contains this sound. And ultimately, the students should then become familiar with the word, enunciate it correctly, and understand the word completely. References Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambrid ge, MA: MIT Press. Good III, R. H. Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) with CBM.Early Childhood Research Institute on Measuring Growth and Development. Eugene, OR. The National Strategies, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Producer) Phase 3: Teaching grapheme–phoneme correspondence and practising oral blending. Retrieved from February 17, 2009. Wren, S. Phoneme Awareness. Developing Research-Based Resources for the Balanced Reading Teacher. Retrieved from http://www. balancedreading. com/phonemeawareness. html February 17, 2008

Urie Bronfenbrenner

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory of Development Monica T. reaves Survey of Research in Human Development and Behavior Dr. Fabio D’ Angelo October 27, 2012 Abstract Urie Bronfenbrenner, a well-known scholar in the field of development psychology, formulated the Human Ecology Theory. The Ecological System Theory states that human development is influenced by the different types of environments throughout our lifespan that may influence our behavior in various degrees.Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theories consist of five environmental systems that range from close interpersonal interactions to broad-based influences of cultural. There are four different systems which define the ecological theory. The systems include microsystem, mesostem, exosystem, and macrosystem (Santrock, 2008). By Urie Bronfenbrenner creating these different systems, he wanted to show that family, economy, and political structures make up the development of a child into adulthood.In this paper I will attempt to cover the theories of Bronfenbrenner as it relates to child development, while looking at environmental influences. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory of Development One cannot grasp human development by simply observation and measuring individuals’ behavior in clinical settings that are separate from their relevant social, physical, and cultural environments (Crandell & Crandell, Vander Zanden, 2012). Urie Bronfenbrebber (1917-2005), had a major influence in the development of human development.Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model is among the most cited and frequently taught in human development. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system, first introduced in the 1970s (Bronfenbrenner’s 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979), represented a reaction to the restricted scope of most research then being conducted by development psychologist. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system theory looks at the child’s environment in terms of its quality a nd context. The ecological model explains the difference in an individual’s knowledge, development, and competences through the support, guidance and structure of the society in which they live.Bronfenbrenner and Crouter (1983) distinguished a series of systems for investigating the impact of environment on development. The first model pertains to the structure of the external systems that affect the family and the manner in which they exert their influence. The second dimension relates to the degree of explicitness and differentiation according to interfamilial process that are influenced by external environment (Ecology of the Family as a Context for Human Development: Research Perspectives, Developmental Psychology, 1986, Vol. 22, No. 6, pg. 723-742).According to Bronfenbrenner, the interactions between numbers of overlapping ecosystems affect a person significantly. Moving from the innermost level to the outside, these structures are defined as described below. 1. Microsy stem The microsystem refers to the environment in our daily lives. Examples include such settings as family, school, peer, group, and workplace (Santrock, 2008). It is within the immediate environment of the microsystem that operates to produce and sustain development. Mentors can play an important role in improving some student’s learning.When guidance is accomplished through demonstration, instruction, challenge, and encouragement on a more or regular basis over an extended period of time. In addition, the young person’s relationship to the mentor takes on an emotional character of respect, loyalty, and identification (Hamilton, 2004, p. 396, based on a personal communication with ecological theorist Urie Bronfenbrenne). According to Bronfenbrenner, the interactions between a number of ecosystems affect a person significantly. As two microsystems begin to work together i. e. eacher and parent working together to educate a child happens through the mesosystem. 2. Meso system The mesosystem comprises the linkages and process taking place between two or more settings containing the developing person (Santrock, 2008). It is basically a two way communication in participating in decision making by parents and teachers. In another mesosystem study, which targeted Latino and African American students in low-income areas, middle school and high school students participated in a program designed to connect their families, peers, schools, and parents’ work (Cooper, 1995).The students commented on how the outreach programs helped them bridge the gaps across their different social worlds. In their neighborhoods and schools the students were expected to fail, become pregnant, drop out of school, or misbehave. The outreach taught morals, helping others, working the community, and encouraging the young to go to college. 3. Exosystem Exosystem is the linkage between the context where in the person does not have any active roll and the context where in is actively participating(Santrock, 2008). Children tend to have limited access in the parents circle of friends and acquaintances their social network. . Microsystem The macrosystem makes up the whole cultural of an individual (Santrock, 2008). This formulation points to the necessity of going beyond the simple labels of class and cultural to identify more specific social and psychological features at the macrosystem level that untimely affect the particular conditions and process scurrying in the microsystem (Bronfenbrenner 1986,1988,1993). 5. Chronosystem The chronosysytem transitions and shifts in one’s lifespan. Not only in the characteristics of the person but also the environment in which that person lives.One example chronosystem is divorce. It is a major life transition that may affect not only the couple’s relationship but also the children’s behavior (Ecology of the family as a Context for Human Developmenrt: Research Perspectives, Developmental Psycholo gy, 1986, Vol. 22, No. 6, pg. 723-742). In reading Ecological Models of Human Development (1993) it stated that youngsters who were teenagers during Depression years, the families’ economic deprivation appeared to have a salutary effect on their subsequent development, especially with the middle class.In comparing with none deprived who were matched on per-depression socioeconomic status, deprived boys display a greater desire to achieve and firmer sense of career goals. Boys and girls form deprived homes attained greater satisfaction in life, both by their own and by societal standards (Gauvain & Cole: Reading on the development of children, 2nd Ed. 1993. Pg. 37-43). Understanding the interactions of these systems is the key in understanding how a child develops and what factors lead to failure. Bronfenbrenner’s theory has gained population in recent years.It provides one of the few theoretical frameworks for systematically examining social contexts on both micro and macro levels bridging the gap between behavioral theories that focus on small settings and anthropology theories that analyze larger settings (Santrock, 2008). In reading Bronfenbrenner theory it shows without the proper adults and supervision or love available, children look for attention inappropriate places and these behaviors give rise to problem especially in adolescences such as little self-discipline, no self-direction and anti-social behavior.We must think about the child as embedded in a number of environmental system and influences. These include schools and teachers, parents and siblings, the community and neighborhood, peers and friends, the media, religion, and culture. According to a majority of research, children are negatively affected on the first year after the divorce. The next years after it would reveal that the interaction within the family becomes more stable and agreeable (Sincero, 2012). In reading and studying Bronfenbrenner’s theories, I thought abo ut how the different levels shaped my development in life.According to Bronfenbrenner, primary relationships must be those that last a life time such as with parents and deficiencies in these relationships cannot be replaced with others. As a child I was fortunate to grow up in a home where both parents raised me. I have always had parents that showed concern with my education and daily activities. As a child I can’t think of one educator that didn’t show me concern. Even though I came from a home where I had both parents, I lived in a low-income neighborhood.Being that we lived in an area were drugs were highly used and gangs fought daily, mother hardly ever let us go to outside. Church activities and Girl Scouts was an avenue that kept me involve in positive things. The church activities taught me to be God fearing and how to act as a lady while girl scouts taught me how to get out in the world and become anything I wanted to be. As I got older things started to chan ge in my environment. My mother and father divorced when I was at the age of nine. It took a toll on me because I was a daddy’s girl and made me feel like a iece of my life was gone. Because of my mother’s strict upbringing, I never really got out of hand. I had friends that my mom knew anything about due to their wild ways of living. I was not like them but wanted to fit in so I wouldn’t be the next victim that got bullied. As I matured more into adult-hood I knew that watching my aunts and uncles that I wanted more in life. To obtain success I had to change my way of thinking and my surroundings. I knew I wanted to graduate and receive a high school diploma.I knew after accomplishing all of that, I would pursue a college degree. Getting a college degree was very exciting for me because I knew I crossed another path in my life. After graduating college I decided to pursue my Master’s degree in Human Service. Watching my mother raise six girls by herself and taught me courage and strength. In conclusion of this paper, According to Urie Bronfenbrenner (1979, p. 27) states, â€Å"Development never takes place in a vacuum; it is always embedded and expressed through behavior in a particular environment. The Ecological Theory of development shows the centers on the relationship between the developing individual and changing level of environmental influences that we go through in life (Crandell & Crandell, Vander Zanden, 2012). References Ecology of the Family as a Context for Human Development: Research Perspectives, Developmental Psychology, 1986, Vol. 22, No. 6, pg. 723-742. Retrieved 01 Nov. 2012 from Capella University Library: http:// web. ebschost. comlibrary. capella. edu/host Sarah Mae Sincero (2012). Ecological System Theory. Retrieved 01 Nov. 010 from Explorable: http://explorable. com/ecological Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological Models of Human Development. In International Encyclopedia of Education, Vol. 3, 2nd Ed. Oxfo rd: Elservier. Reprinted in: Gauvain, M. & Cole, M. (Eds. ), Reading on the development of children, 2nd Ed. (1993, pp. 37-43). NY: Freeman. John W. Santrock. (2008). Educational Psychology (3rd Edition) New York, NY: ISBN: 978-0-07-352582-2 Crandell, T. L. , Crandell, C,H. , & Vender Zanden, J. W (2012). Human Development. (10th Edition) Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 978-0-07-353218-9

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Audit Strategy Report for Solid Bank Plc Research Proposal

Audit Strategy Report for Solid Bank Plc - Research Proposal Example The objective of this audit is to assess the risks to the Bank given the current economic environment in UK & the performance of the Bank and report to the board of directors. This audit strategy is first hand presentation and may be subject to change/modifications if deemed necessary during the audit process (proposed in accordance with the guidelines of ISA 300). This plan & all subsequent changes shall be documented & shared with all members of the customer charged with governance & management. The focus of the audit shall be on the following: (c) Identification of Bank Account statements, operating expenses & income, profit before & after tax, assets & liabilities held by the bank, share holder's equity, cash flows & equivalents, loans & advances to the customers, Collaterals, non-performing assets, and any other area that may be identified during the audit process. (d) The audit shall be carried out in full on all the accounting statements and balance sheets. Parts of the statements shall be sampled to assess compliance to internal & regulatory procedures. If non-compliances are evident then the sample sizes shall be increased at the relevant areas. (e) The Risk Management System of the Bank shall be assessed and the identified risks shall be analyzed with respect to the threats & vulnerabilities (exposures) and criticality at which the risks are logged. The risk management of material misstatements in the accounting statements shall be a part of this assessment in accordance with ISA 315. Further to this, the mitigation actions (planned as well as accomplished) against identified risks shall be assessed for their effectiveness in reducing the risk values. Wherever the controls & mitigation actions are perceived by auditors to be insufficient, the auditors shall enhance the audit scope & procedures & determine the overall responses to address the risks of material misstatement in accounting statements. The nature, timing & extent of further audit procedures shall be determined & communicated to the board of directors (ISA 330). (f) The underlying technology infrastructure maintaining the samples selected for audit shall be assessed from the perspective of access control, assignment & control of roles & privileges, cryptography or other controls used, activity logging, systems monitoring, data protection procedures (like backups, recovery testing, data consistency tests,

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Strategic Supply Chain Management Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words

Strategic Supply Chain Management - Essay Example on the other hand, are looking for cheap labour oriented countries when they wanted to produce something and wealthy countries when they wanted to sell something. For example, many companies are currently selecting India and China as their manufacturing destinations and America and Europe as their selling destinations. Under such circumstances, strategic supply chain management is getting prominence in the business world at present. Even though industries and academia are giving huge importance to supply chain management (SCM), strategic supply chain management (SSCM) and its principles are taken lightly by the business world until recent times. The definition of SCM is quite familiar to the business world; however, same thing cannot be said about the definition of SSCM. According to Ming-Hon Hwang (2010), â€Å"SSCM refers to a situation in which its members always realize the whole direction and strategy when a  supply chain  carries out various functional activities to achieve a competitive advantage and long-term profit-making position among  supply  chains  in the same industry†(p.127). Automobile industry, especially car industry is currently facing heavy competition. In order to overcome the competition, car manufacturers have to make strategic long-term decisions regarding the location of their principal assembly plants. Such decisions have to account for many factors including, for example, markets, production sequencing, levels of investment and relationships with suppliers. This paper provides a critical assessment of the facility location decisions car manufacturers have to make regarding assembly plants and the level of importance attributed by the manufacturers to the location of their suppliers. â€Å"Supply chains are value-adding relations of partially discrete, yet inter-reliant, units that cooperatively transform raw materials into ï ¬ nished products through sequential, parallel, and/or network structures† (Hult et al., 2007, p.1035). When it

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Summary of an appeal case Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 250 words

Summary of an appeal case - Essay Example Second, the judge misguided the jury on the issue of consent as it implicated on the present case. Mr. Roberts developed a solution linking the judge’s decision with the fact that he deprived the appellant the Jury’s consideration whether he had a guilty mind or not. However, the sentence on each case was neither excessive nor wrong in principle. While reviewing the case, a number of particulars stand-out based on the case. The case is an aggregation of a number of cases. Although, the facts differ in the three cases, the common details in all the cases include information such as the defendant had an agreed sexual relationship with each woman. Second, all three ladies voluntarily had unprotected sex with the defendant. Third, the appellant did not inform any woman about his HIV status. Finally, all three complainants assumed that the defendant was HIV negative; therefore, exposing themselves to the risk of obtaining a sexually transmitted infection as grievous as HIV virus. Based on the courts judgement, the judge’s guidance to the jury adequately explained the correct implications to the case of the consensual contribution by each complainant’s to sexual intercourse with the appellant. The jury eventually gave the ruling that, in the case of each plaintiff, she did not willingly or cognitively agree to the risk of suffering the HIV virus. Therefore, the court will dismiss the appeal against conviction. The court reviewed its holding in the R v Dica case of informed consent as a defence resulted from limited potential conflicting public policy considerations. In the light of the public interest, the population demands the prevention of the spread of catastrophic illnesses. On the other hand, it also needs that personal freedom in the context of adult non-violent sexual associations need maintenance. By concealing any information about one’s HIV status, the subject denies the

Monday, August 26, 2019

Was Abigail Adams politically correct to use her influence to defend Essay

Was Abigail Adams politically correct to use her influence to defend womens rights - Essay Example the ladies, we are determined to forment rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."(The Book of Abigail and John, March 1976. Pp. 121-122) By this she meant to remember the women’s rights in the passage of the laws, and the women who worked hard for the independence of America. Her words to that letter were threatening, invoking the power of women to form a rebellion if they were not heard by authorities. She argued that women were not created for sex purpose only. Here, Abigail tried to explain in her letter that women should not be oppressed and should be treated with equality or otherwise break the old system of masculine sovereignty. Abigail was also concerned on discriminations and domestic problems of the people, particularly, her friends, who had to leave Boston. There was a great turmoil and resistance from Boston people over the oppressive taxes by the British government at that time, so the public was restiv e. The famous Boston Tea Party came about in this particular period to demonstrate protests on taxes. The Boston Tea Party that threw loads of tea to the sea was a showdown of protest that imminently led to a revolution. Due perhaps to this commotion, many people had to leave Boston, and that included friends of Adam’s family. Abigail complained about this on her letter to John Adams on July 12, 1775 relating to him the difficulty of Mr. Hayden and Mr. Trott in finding a suitable home in Braintree ( Adams Electronic Archive, n.d.) .Housing was one of the problems that could be articulated in the letter. Therefore, it is a national problem that could only be addressed by the government. She probably felt her husband had the power to give solution to this tight spot of domestic problems. In... The paper describes and outlines the role of the small women Abigail Adams in the history of America. Abigail felt her husband had the power to convince lawmakers to change the fate of women’s lives. In the early days, once women got married, everything had to be consulted to the husband. Women’s roles were to be housewives and to raise children. Working outside the house, or in a factory was in their farthest dreams. All these changed with the American Revolution. Women found new roles and satisfying jobs in seeking the freedom of the country. Perceptions of women on their roles changed too so that it gradually revolutionized their role’s perspectives. As a woman who had connections, Mrs. Adams probably thought she can employ her influence to change the lives’ direction of women; and above all, she was a woman who felt the predicaments of women in the society. Indeed, Abigail Adams was correct, because she sparked the idealism for women and became an infl uential figure of her time. Little did she know that her letter would chart the destiny of women. Had she kept her cool and quiet, progress could have been stalled. . The spirit of activism and heroism which are still felt today is an aftermath of Abigail’s influence and that of the women who insisted on their rights. Once the women were granted privileges, significant changes were made. We now have women leaders in the government and heads of states, representatives and senators. Men and women together showed action and dedication to work for a change.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

How autonomous are we Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

How autonomous are we - Essay Example On the other hand, ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’ was carried out by Philip Zimbardo during 1971 in Stanford University in order to evaluate the intrinsic personality traits of people due to offensive behavior of higher authority (Zimbardo, â€Å"Terminated on August 20, 1971†). Outcome of these experiments together conform to certain facts which inhibit the very core of political and economic systems of the United States. Thesis Statement With due consideration to the experiments of Milgram and Zimbardo, the essay focuses on how these researches impact on the broader procedure of autonomy. The objective of the essay is to develop a discussion about implication of Milgram and Zimbardo’s work on becoming a moral employee. Implication of Milgram’s and Zimbardo’s Work on Employee Morale Discussion on Milgram’s Work At first, in can be stated that autonomy denotes freedom or independence. It is the capability to make a rational, informed and unforced decision. In political system of the United States, autonomy is frequently used as the foundation for defining the ethical duty for one’s activities. ... On the other hand, obedience happens when a person changes the conduct due to direct command from superior. Through the experiment, Milgram has found high degree of obedience among people (Intercollegiate Studies Institute, â€Å"Milgram's Experimental View of Authority†). Throughout the research, he has depicted that every society where people live has their own accepted manners of performing which are termed as norms. Norms are approved principles of behavior of people in a society. These principles can restrict the behavior of every group of people such as students, patients, employees and business executives among others. In other words, every person must obey the social norms of the group or society where they belong. At times, people adapt to certain behavior of other persons regardless of being individually incompatible with their behavior. In any organization, authority plays a vital role in determining the level of conformity of employees. When employees feel that the y belong to certain organization, they will accept the organizational norms in order to secure their job position. On the other hand, employees at times conform to authority due to lack of confidence and courage. The level of obedience also relies on the cultural aspects. For instance, in collectivist cultures such as China, group achievement is provided more importance than individual employee achievement, conversely in individualistic cultures such as the United States individual employee performance is provided more importance than group performance. As such, it is apparent that activities of any employee in any organization are subjected to the pressure whether it is cultural pressure, group pressure or pressure from authority. Discussion on Zimbardo’s Work The outcome of

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Criminology research proposal- To what extent is employee theft Proposal

Criminology - To what extent is employee theft effecting busness - Research Proposal Example This new aspect has threatened to derail business progress of many companies, with competitor firms easily finding ways to fix the subject firms using such secrets. Based on various statistics, as brought out by Walsh (2000), approximately 75% of employees have at one time or another been involved in employee theft, with a vast majority of the group having perpetrated the act multiple times. This, he notes, stems from mistreatment of an employee by the firm, a prospect that creates an urge of retaliation among the employees. In addition, the problem of employee theft has been proposed to result from underpayment of the workers. In some cases though, the employees are encouraged into adopting the vice due to lack of stringent regulatory and punitive measures. Indeed, the theft cases may hold long-standing effects on the economy and to the employees at personal levels. As such, it is often instrumental for appropriate response procedures to be adopted to withstand such cases. For instance, many firms have often been encouraged into adopting stringent regulations which, nevertheless, impact negatively on business performance. Therefore, it is nota ble that the measures adopted so far have been less effective considering the increase in incidences of theft and consequent collapses and insolvencies among many traditional firms. This study is based on various objectives around which the aspect of employee theft revolves. Firstly, the study seeks to determine the internal and external business factors that precipitate employee theft. The study also seeks to determine the probable impacts of the theft cases to social and economic setups within and without the firm, and the implications of such business factors to the economy of the UK. In addition, the study seeks to ascertain what globalization and technological advancement in business administration means to employee theft. Further, the

Friday, August 23, 2019

Adding fish to your diet, Sea Salt Vs. Table Salt, Love red meat, Essay

Adding fish to your diet, Sea Salt Vs. Table Salt, Love red meat, Dietary Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Health,Functional Foods and Their Colorful Components - Essay Example It is very important to know about foods which contain excessive fats and which once consumed will harm our body. Internet is available at our disposal but there are still many people who do not know much about what to eat and what not to eat. More often than not they get tempted when they see tasty food being sold and they immediately buy it and consume it without even thinking about the consequences. Great looking food may taste well but at the end of the day it harms our body and after a certain point our body is bound to develop severe problems. The article talks about the increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and how these deadly diseases can be avoided. This particular article must be read by everyone so that they become aware of what should be consumed and what should not be. The love red meat article succinctly presents the level of cholesterol in red meat and whether one should consume it and in what quantity should red meat should be taken in. These are some really important questions which the article answers really well. Not many people know that red meat can help them a lot, it can prevent heart diseases and keep one really fit and healthy but one must remember that it must be taken in the right quantity. No one wants people going overboard and consuming red meat in high quantities. It is really important these days to strike a right balance between things; one must cut down on excessive fat it can have serious ramifications. Nuts and fish can be superseded by a little bit of red meat and it will work out really well should this happen. It is very important to live a healthy lifestyle because health always comes first. I was quite startled upon reading this article because I did not know that red meat was good for our hearts, I have started suggesting red meat to my friends. Eating red meat in a controlled fashion is really healthy. So many people die of heart diseases why don’t we prevent what can be prevented? Heart

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sales Management of the Sale of Vivicomb Into the Chinese Market Essay

Sales Management of the Sale of Vivicomb Into the Chinese Market - Essay Example They also determine how effective customer experience is. It is for this reason that Vivicom would have to give up some of its control. Web stores are revolutionising the e-retail market because they have a reach that single internet stores can only dream about (Johnson and Tellis, 2008). Therefore, a combination of direct selling through the company store will be utilised. The company will the augment these efforts by placing its products on TMall, Taobao, and 360 Buy, which are all online marketplaces. Since these stores specifically target Chinese consumers, then they would be critical in the provision of services to all. It should be noted that the internet selling channel was selected because it is the basis upon which Vivicom sells its products. Aside from that, China represents one of the most untapped internet shopping markets. The country already has double the number of internet shoppers in the US, yet they only account for less than half of the Chinese population. It has been projected that internet sales will grow exponentially in the next five years. Currently, the amount of time Chinese users spend online is 3 hours daily. This is already quite promising. Furthermore, the youth and other members of this generation are quite comfortable with online shopping. Therefore, the organisation has a lead. In order to increase its presence in China specifically, it needs to target market places or online stores that are already familiar with the Chinese market. The Chinese version of is already turning heads in the internet world. Organisations like Taobao and TMall also broke records by reporting some of the greatest traffic on their sites. Consumers bought$3 billion... This report stresses that customer relationship quality measures will relate to bulk buyers. Since the nature of Vivicom is such that it may not require repeat purchases, then most customers who will keep coming back are the ones who will buy a lot of the product. The method will measure the degree of customer retention achieved by sales personnel with regard to this group of people. If repeat sales occur in the organisation, then it will be indicative of success. The author of the report declares that the company will need to move beyond repeat sales and assess the extent to which customers are committed to Vivicom and whether they trust the company. This will be analysed through surveys which will determine consumers’ attitude towards the organisation. This paper makes a conclusion that the introduction of Vivicom into the Chinese market will occur through online selling from a Chinese version of the website, and through partnership with Chinese online markets like Taobao and Wealink. It will be critical to get the message across by using social media as well as print ads in key Chinese cities. The main message in advertisements will be communality, as this resonates with Chinese buyers. The company needs to have a sales force with experience in the target market and one that speaks the language fluently. With great emphasis on the value addition of the product, it is likely that it will succeed in China.

College Education Essay Example for Free

College Education Essay What makes college education so important? College is not just a choice, its the beginning of a lifelong journey, one that will shape and determine future choices, decisions and purposes. College is going to help you determine a career that you want to pursue. It will help and guide you in the right direction but you have to be the one to put in the effort. But some may say college is a waste, and will not make their life any better. Some will ask what makes a good college, what do you look for and at. College is one of the most important aspects of succeeding in today’s world. College is much more than just a degree in college you also learn how to learn, perhaps one of the most important things you can get out of college. Once you understand how to gather information by reading books about a subject, determine what information is important and what is not, and how to put it all together, you can master any subject, often without even going to college. By the way, doing a few Google searches and gathering information off the web that may or may not be accurate is not doing research, though it is a useful way to get a quick explanation on what a subject is and is good to find out what material is good to read. According to Bridget who was the first of her sisters and brothers to graduate from The University of Toledo with a Masters in Accounting said college wasn’t a choice her parents said she had to go to college. Even though at the time she was attending college she didn’t think it was important and necessary, because back then it was easier to get a job without a college degree. But now she’s happy she went because now she has her dream job, and is making a lot of money. Now she has a life that she never knew would happen to her. She also has the skills she needs to help someone else reach their goals in life. When she first started college she didn’t know what she wanted to do and she didn’t take it seriously. She partied all the time, was late to all her classes and didn’t do most of her assignments, she barely managed to get all C’s in her classes. She didn’t really start to take college seriously until her third year in college. But once she started to pay attention more and was more focused, she knew she had to get her act together if she wanted to be something in life. And she also knew she went to the right college. What makes a great college and what are you looking for the college to have? Linda said she looked at their approach to teaching and their overall education experience. She also looked for the student-faculty ratio and average class size. (Is she going to get individualized attention in her classes or just be one in a crowd? Or do she want my professors to know her name? Are they accessible outside of class if she needed extra help on homework or projects. She also looked at their medical program. (What are their general ed requirements? Would she have to take classes in several disciplines? Is there a senior project requirement? Is there a first year seminar, academic boot camp class required for all freshmen? ). she also looked at how many credits needed and gpa she needed for her major, and also how many credits she needed to graduate. And how classes are structured (lecture, discussion-based, large lecture with small discussion groups, very hands-on, lots of group projects or papers.. etc). Do they have activities she like (including athletics that she might want to do)? Is the school diverse/ homogenous? How good is their financial aid and can she afford attending there? Are the dorms nice or shabby? Are you required to live in the dorms for 1-2 years or do most students commute from home? Do students get jobs right away after graduation? Does the school have a high dropout rate? Linda said those are some of the things she looked at when she made her choice to attend the University of Cincinnati. She glad she made her choice and would do it all over again. But some would think college is a waste of time. According to Mark he said the older I get, the less sure I am about this notion that a college education is essential for a good life. As far as important important for what? Making more money? Then I guess you could make the argument it is more important, however, some of the worlds richest and most successful men (Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, etc) drop out. Happiness? Actually the research shows that those who perform physical jobs, that typically dont require a college education, tend to be happier. Also, college will be no help for someone that is not prepared for it. Should a woefully underprepared student get accepted to a school. Take out several thousands in loans and somehow manage to just barely graduate, she/he would be much worse of than if she/he had never gone to college as they are not going to get a job ahead of the sea of infinitely more qualified applicants and have to resort to unskilled labor. Had said person gone to a trade school, would have been much better off. Despite these views on college education you are the one who has a choice to make. Do you want to go to college or do you think college is just not for you. That’s on you, you are the one who has to live with it no one else

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hamlet and Sure Thing | Analysis of Timing and Language

Hamlet and Sure Thing | Analysis of Timing and Language Getting it Right: An analysis of Timing and Language in Hamlet and Sure Thing This essay explores how language is used to reveal the hidden inner thoughts and feelings of characters, and how timing can play a crucial part in the portrayal of dramatic characters to the audience. The work addresses how, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, language portrays the gradual working through of Hamlet’s thoughts, towards his ultimate ambition of revenge, and in contrast, how language is crucial in establishing the initial and critical connection between Bill and Betty in David Ives’ one-Act play, Sure Thing. Sure Thing presents a sequence of dialogues between a young couple getting to know one another in a coffee shop. The ringing of a bell interrupts their successive attempts at the same conversation. Signifying ‘time out’ when one says something unsuccessful, when, in ordinary circumstances, their conversation might have ended: BILL. This is my first night out alone in a long time. I feel a little bit at sea, to tell you the truth. BETTY. So you didn’t stop to talk because you’re a Moonie, or because you have some weird political affiliation -? BILL. Nope. Straight-down-the-ticket Republican. (Bell). Straight-down-the-ticket Democrat. (Bell.) Can I tell you something about politics? (Bell.) I like to think of myself as a citizen of the universe. (Bell.) I’m unaffiliated. BETTY. That’s a relief. So am I. (Ives, 1994, p.20). In this play, unlike the tumultuous progress of Hamlet, extremes are no good it is the middle ground that both characters seek to inhabit, where safe and reliable answers will secure their trust in one another as a potential partner. Ives’ use of language is witty and selective briefly touching on topics that give the audience an idea of the personality and tastes of the characters, while chopping up the pace to keep their attention. In contrast, Hamlet seeks to explore the extremities of human character and the boundaries between sanity and insanity, and morality and immorality. For example, when Hamlet’s world is suddenly turned upon its head after the murder of his father, Shakespeare uses metaphor to express the ominous and unsettled feelings which Hamlet experiences: I have of late (but whereof I know not) lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave overhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours! (Hamlet, II. I. Found in Geddes and Grossett, 2006, P.386). Hamlet’s vision of the world is compared to a structure the ‘frame’ of the earth, and the ‘canopy’ of the sky. The metaphor is extended into the following lines, where the phenomena of the natural world are ascribed with human characteristics such as ‘brave’ and ‘majestical.’ Shakespeare’s use of landscape as metaphor is crucial here as it emphasizes the turning upside down of Hamlet’s world the idea that everything he knew and trusted to remain has suddenly transformed into the worst, most extreme, scenario imaginable. For Shakespeare, it is the gradual unfolding of Hamlet’s character, which drives the play forward and causes the audience to question social and personal values. As critic W. Thomas MacCary comments on Hamlet, the development of the plot is determined by the development of Hamlet’s character. Furthermore, Hamlet as a character must ‘reveal what is hidden, [†¦.] so the plot of Hamlet is a gradual revelation of what is rotten in the state of Denmark.’ (MacCary, 1998, p.65): The time is out of joint: O cursed spite, That ever I was born to set it right! (Hamlet, I.v. 188-19. Found in Geddes and Grosset, 2006, p.384). Hamlets infamous delay is necessary for him, and the audience, to have the time to assimilate and make an informed judgement on the events that have passed, before proceeding to the next phase of dramatic intensity. Shakespeare uses soliloquies to portray to the audience what is personal to Hamlet. This technique serves not only to isolate the character, thus focusing attention on him, but also encourages comparisons and reflection on the part of the audience to their own lives, and the country of Denmark. In contrast, the intensity of Ives’ dialogue between Bill and Betty presents a short, sudden insight into the awkwardness and insouciance of a contemporary young couple, meeting for the first time, while providing a witty and thought-provoking social commentary. As this is a play with few props, the attention is focused on the couple; indeed, Bill’s desire to gain Betty’s attention and secure her company is projected onto the waiter, whose imminent arrival at t he end of the dialogue signifies the closing of the scene. The fact that the waiter never arrives and thus fails to interrupt the course of their conversation isolates the awkwardness and potential irony of contemporary social standards: conversation is often jolted, misplaced, and wrongly timed: BILL. (Looks around.) Well the waiters here sure seem to be in some different time zone. I can’t seem to locate one anywhere†¦.Waiter! (He looks back.) So what do you (He sees that she’s gone back to her book.) BETTY. I beg pardon? BILL. Nothing. Sorry. (Bell.) (Ives, 1994, p.17). This inspires the audience to consider the idea that although two fairly similar people are talking in a public meeting place, with nothing to interrupt them, they still cannot get it right. The characters make references to ‘different schedules,’ ‘missed connections,’ and the term ‘different time zone’ is first mentioned by Bill, and then repeated by Betty. This is suggestive of Ives’ intention to present to the audience the idea that in the 21st century, despite the presence of sophisticated means of communication, the simple act of making oneself known to another remains problematic. To conclude, this essay has shown that timing is crucial in both the plays, not only in the portrayal of the character to the audience, but also in the continuity of each play as a whole. Selective and witty use of language in both plays helps to remind the audience that they are not just watching an imagined scenario, but a bittersweet parody of the society of which they themselves are a part. Bibliography Geddes and Grosset, 2006, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. New Lanark: Geddes and Grosset Ives, D.1994, All in the Timing: Six One-Act comedies. Dramatists Play Service: New York Joseph, B., 1953, Conscience and the King: A study of Hamlet. London: Chatto and Windus MacCary, W.T., 1998, Hamlet: A Guide to the Play. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Rise in Penal Populism | Dissertation

The Rise in Penal Populism | Dissertation Abstract Since the mid-1970s onward, the vast majority of Western countries have experienced a significant plus continual rise in their incarceration rates, leading to the problem of overcrowded prisons. We examine the extent to which the ‘incarceration boom’ of many modern societies can be attributed to the phenomenon of penal populism. Specifically, we argue that some short-lived actual crime waves during the late 1970s and 1980s may have initially generated a small amount of rational penal populist sentiment among the public, it is the strong divisions within the increasingly heterogeneous public (both politically and ethnically), the central government, and the popular media industry of many democratic developed nations which have ultimately sustained the growth of both penal populism and prison population numbers. Furthermore, we focus on the types of crime that are most commonly targeted by strong penal populist sentiments in the public and criminal justice system, and suggest that all such categories of crime can be fundamentally linked to the cultural ‘purification’ of children which has taken place in virtually all Western societies during the latter half of the twentieth century. Finally, we consider the limitations of penal populism, referring to those few post-industrial states where such populist punitiveness has been largely resisted, and postulate what the end-stage consequences of a penal populist movement spanning over the past three decades are likely to be. 1. Introduction The term ‘penal populism’ denotes a punitive phenomenon that has become characteristic of many modern industrial societies, especially within Western liberal democracies since the late twentieth century onward, whereby anti-crime political pressure groups, talk-back radio hosts, victim’s rights activists or lobbyists, and others who claim to represent the ‘ordinary public’ have increasingly demanded of their governments that harsher policies and punishments be enforced by the relevant organs of the criminal justice system (e.g. law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, legislators, etc.) in order to combat the perceived rise in serious crime rates (Pratt, 2006). One direct consequence of the increasingly severe ‘tough on crime’ measures – such as ‘Life means Life’, ‘Three Strikes’, and ‘Zero Tolerance’ policies – exercised in many economically advanced countries from the mid-1970s onward has been an unprecedented rapid rise in the incarceration rates of these respective nations, leading to the problem of overcrowded prisons. The United States epitomises the tempo of the modern change in national imprisonment rates, and currently has the worst problem of prison overcrowding on a global scale. Indeed, ‘American incarceration numbers [have] increased fivefold between 1973 and 1997’(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p63). More recently, ‘in 2004 the United States surpassed Russia in incarceration rates to become the world leader. With 2.2 million individuals inside (assuming a U.S. population of 290 million in 2004, that is an incarceration rate of approximately 759 adults in prison per 100,000 residents of the United States) and upwards of 7 million individuals either on parole, probation or awaiting trial, 1 in every 33 people in the U.S. is currently under state control and the number is growing’(State-Wide Harm Reduction Coalition, 2005). Clearly, an interpretation of the widespread incarceration rise must be able to accurately explain its rapidity, extent, and endurance on a global scale. There are two principal explanations for why such a large number of developed countries have experienced an ‘incarceration boom’ over the past three decades. Both theoretical models assert that it is changes in penal policies plus sentencing practices, rather than simply significant increases in crime rates alone, which are the primary factor responsible for driving prison population growth, but there is considerable disparity between the two theories about the causes of penal policy changes. One ‘crime wave’ hypothesis posits that actual rising crime rates in many Western countries, including the vast expansion of drug crime during the late twentieth century, have resulted in a greater rational public demand for the criminal justice system to take more severe punitive measures against convicted dangerous criminals (i.e. those offenders who pose the highest threat to public safety and social order; the criminal offenders most commonly targeted by penal populism in modern societies shall be considered in detail below), such as a more frequent use of incarceration with longer custodial sentences. In contrast, the second ‘political opportunism’ hypothesis suggests that many majority government parties have intentionally overstated the size and severity of the national crime problem in order to heighten public fears or instil ‘moral panic’ over perceived (as opposed to actual) rising crime rates, which are merely a political artefact, and subsequently utilise harsher crime control policies to win electoral favour (Caplow and Simon, 1999). Importantly, irrespective of which mechanism has in actual fact been operating across numerous advanced industrial states, and has led to the observed excessive growth in prison population sizes, both explanatory models can clearly be regarded as strongly related to the presence of penal populism. The critical difference between the two theories is whether the main original source of those penal populist sentiments can be accurately considered to be the public or the state, or both. According to the first model, which may be described as the public-induced penal populism hypothesis, it has been the persistent public demand for the government to impose harsher punitive measures on convicted criminals which has primarily caused the fast-paced escalation of incarceration numbers in many modern nations. In other words, the criminal justice systems in these countries have largely been exercising a regime of penal excess because constant pressure from a large sector of the public (in response to an actual rise in crime rates) has compelled them to do so. In comparison, the second model, which we may refer to as the state-induced penal populism hypothesis, postulates that within many Western countries the government parties in power have often created and sustained an artificial appearance of rising crime rates in order to instil widespread public anxiety. Subsequently, the majority government (and individual politicians) can be observed by the public to be apparently controlling the perceived illusory crime problem, such as through adopting and enforcing ‘tough on crime’ measures, and thereby attain public popularity to secure their party’s (or their own) success in the next general election. The second model further suggests that the government is not the only state institution in developed nations which benefits from overstating the scale of the dangerous crime threat, but that there are also large rewards for popular media outlets or news companies willing to do so. It is argued by many criminologists that within almost all democratic Western countries, the central government and the popular media, which are both fragmented into multiple competing party’s or companies, are highly dependent on addressing and reporting criminal activity that specifically victimises ‘ordinary people’ in order to retain electoral votes and public ratings, respectively. Hence, the state-induced penal populism hypothesis proposes that politicians and media outlets lead rather than merely follow or passively represent the public opinion: the public only supports or appears to ‘demand’ the government’s harsher punitive policy strategies because the same national government and popular media industry (as two powerful state institutions) have manufactured a compelling false image of prevalent serious crime which has instilled strong penal populist sentiments in a large proportion of that public. The central aim of the following examination is to determine which of these two distinctive theoretical positions is most likely to be correct. It is of course possible that the public-induced penal populism mechanism primarily operates in one developed nation, while in another Western country it may be the state-driven penal populism process that is predominant. However, to the extent that the relatively recent phenomenon of globalisation has resulted in many common economic, social, political, and cultural practices being widely adopted by a number of modern industrial states, one may plausibly expect a similar (if not identical) mechanism of generating penal populism to be present in the developed nations affected by prison population growth, especially with regard to the United States and Western Europe. At the outset, we may hypothesise that although some short-lived real increases in Western crime rates during the late 1970s and 1980s may have initially triggered some rational penal populist sentiments among the public of these modern societies, it has been the combined interaction of both political opportunism and media opportunism which has acted as a powerful vehicle in numerous modern societies for distorting the public’s common view of the national crime problem, and ultimately for sustaining the growth of both penal populism plus prison populations, regardless of how those crime rates may have subsequently changed (and in most developed countries they have steadily declined). One fundamental feature of the modern incarceration surge over the past three decades that is observed in virtually all countries affected by rapid prison growth is the significant proportion of these prison populations that has become comprised of racial minorities, including both of resident ethnic groups and of non-citizen illegal immigrants. As one study (O’Donnell, 2004, p262) remarks, ‘one factor that accounts for rising prison populations across Europe is the incarceration of ‘foreigners’. It is likely that prison accommodation in the Republic of Ireland will be used to hold growing numbers of failed asylum seekers, at least pending deportation. It is also inevitable that the composition of the prison population will change as members of minority groups begin to appear before the courts on criminal charges’. In terms of the racial minorities imprisonment trend in the United States, Caplow and Simon (1999, p66) assert that ‘it is undeniable that the incarcerated population is disproportionately composed of minorities (especially African Americans and Hispanics), and that the disproportion has increased during the period of rising imprisonmentThe period of rapid growth in incarceration rates has seen a significant increase in the proportion of minorities in the inmate population, especially among drug offenders, the fastest growing segment of that [prison] population’. As is the case with most Western European countries, the United States prison sector has also experienced a mass round up of illegal immigrants or non-citizens during the last three decades, who in 2003 made up 40% of federal prisoners (State-Wide Harm Reduction Coalition, 2005). Ultimately, therefore, it is apparent that the incarceration boom in many developed countries has primarily affected various racial minority populations present within these nations. It is the cumulative incarceration of racial minorities that is significantly responsible for the prison overcrowding problem commonly observed. Thus, one crucial question that we must address in the following study is what has caused (and continues to cause) the increased imprisonment of racial minority populations, relative to the incarceration rate of the racial majority host population (typically white), within the modern industrial societies affected by prison overcrowding? Specifically, we shall seek to determine whether pervasive ‘penal racism’, indicated by a greater tendency in developed nations for both the law enforcement system to arrest and subsequently for the criminal justice system to imprison ethnic or non-white defendants compared with white ones who have committed the same offence, is sufficient to explain the large racial differentials observed in incarceration rates, or not. The methodology of the following study consists entirely of literature-based research and analysis. 2. The Origins of Penal Populism: Real Crime Waves versus Political and Media Opportunism It is widely acknowledged that the prevalent public sentiment in many developed countries to ‘get tough’ with criminals has played a central role in catalysing the incarceration surge which has occurred in these nations since the mid-1970s onward, an influential social movement that is referred to as penal populism. Furthermore, whether one regards the source of that penal populism as stemming from a rational public response to actual rising crime rates or, conversely, as triggered by public exposure to political and media manipulation, the measured strength of the public’s demand on their respective democratic governments to impose harsher punitive measures on convicted criminals has remained consistently high over the thirty year period of vast growth in incarceration numbers. For example, with regard to the United States, one study notes that the time series of public responses to the survey question of whether courts are too lenient has remained highly stable since 1972 (Caplow and Simon, 1999). The significant temporal correlation in many modern industrial states between the onset of strong public desire since around the mid-1970s for more stringent crime policies and the period of rapid prison population growth is a clear indication of the vital part that penal populist sentiments have played in causing prison overcrowding. One may plausibly argue that the strong growth of penal populist sentiments in most advanced industrial societies over the past three decades has been initially generated by temporary real increases in crime (including the rapid expansion of a drug-crime economy during the 1980s) and sustained by an increased reliance of governments on implementing harsher crime control measures (rather than more effective social welfare policies) to gain public support plus secure electoral favour. Accordingly, we intend to demonstrate that penal populism in developed nations is a product of both short-lived actual crime waves and manipulative political opportunism. Indeed, one would theoretically expect the two factors operating in conjunction to result in a significantly larger escalation in incarceration rates (as is in fact observed) than would occur if only one of these forces was present in isolation. As one study has observed, ‘tough on crime’ policies produce prison population increases only to the degree that offenders are available to be imprisoned (Zimring and Hawkins, 1991). Conversely, an increase in crime rates would also not produce a corresponding increase in imprisonment rates unless some suitably punitive crime control measures were in place. During the last thirty years there has also certainly occurred in many Western countries a greater dependence of competing popular media companies, both television and the press, on selectively reporting dangerous (i.e. worse than normal) crime on an almost daily basis, simply in order to maintain or increase viewer and reader ratings. By portraying the national crime problem as more severe and more prevalent than in reality, individual popular media outlets (e.g. tabloid newspapers) in developed nations have become more appealing to public viewers than their quality media counterparts (e.g. broadsheet newspapers) who often object to distorting or manipulating the reporting of crime news. Since the late twentieth century onward, crime news has become a fundamental component of the public’s staple diet. As Pratt (2007, p68) suggests, ‘the reporting of crime is inherently able to shock [and] entertain, sustaining public appeal and interest, selling newspapers and increasing television audiences. Furthermore, the way in which crime is used to achieve these ends is by selective rather than comprehensive reportingHowever, it is not only that crime reporting has quantitatively increased; there have also been qualitative changes in its reporting: it is prone to focus more extensively on violent and sexual crime than in the pastThese qualitative and quantitative changes in crime reporting can be attributed to the growing diversity of news sources and media outletsAs a consequence, both television and the press have to be much more competitive than used to be the case. Their programmes have to be packaged in such a way that they become more attractive to viewers than those of their rivals and competitors’. Evidently, given that it is typically the most popular newspapers (such as the tabloid press in Britain) which feature the greatest number and severity of crime stories, it means that the most common representations of crime, portrayed in ‘the form of randomised, unpredictable and violent attacks inevitably committed by strangers on ‘ordinary people’, reach the greatest audience’(Pratt, 2007, p70). Thus, it is clear that within modern society the potential benefits to popular media outlets from inaccurately amplifying the danger plus scale of national crime in the public’s perception are equally as large as the rewards for politicians willing to do so. With regard to addressing the (largely fabricated) immediacy of the criminal activity problem, therefore, media opportunism and political opportunism are proximately linked in virtually all post-industrial countries where penal populist currents are strongly established. As well as magnifying the size of the dangerous crime problem, the popular media in many Western countries further continually seeks to undermine the current sentencing practices of the criminal justice system, regardless of how harsh they have become over the past three decades. In the same way that the crime stories reported by the popular media are scarcely representative of the actual nature of everyday crime within developed nations, the court stories followed are rarely illustrative of everyday sentencing practices. According to Pratt (2007), that media misrepresentation then reinforces the common public opinion that courts are too lenient, even though they have become significantly more punitive, in addition to fuelling the widely held public sentiment that the crime rate is constantly escalating when recent statistics indicate that crime is in fact steadily declining in most modern societies. Thus, in its reporting style, crime analysis by the Western popular media has become ‘personalised’ rather than ‘statisticalised’, since: 1) it prioritises the experiences of ordinary people (especially crime victims) over expert opinions 2) News reports are more prone to focus on the occasional failings of criminal justice officials as opposed to their many successes. Indeed, in the vast majority of modern societies, the ‘citation of criminal statistics has become a code for softness on crime and callousness towards its victims’(Pratt, 2007, p88), which simply provides the popular media with further scope to legitimately overstate the scale and severity of everyday crime in developed states. For these reasons, the media outlets in many Western countries have played a significant role in facilitating the continual growth of penal populist sentiments among the public. 3. The Transient Growth of a Drug-Crime Economy in Developed Countries It is highly pertinent that the vast expansion in drug crime within many Western nations during the late 1970s and 1980s coincided precisely with the onset of rapidly escalating incarceration rates in these same countries. As is asserted, ‘the growth in nondrug crime has simply not been sufficient to sustain the rapid growth of imprisonment. By the 1970s there was already an active culture of drug use and networks of drug importation/sales in the United States, but their economic importance increased in the 1980s due to new products and distribution strategies, especially for ‘crack’ cocaine. That transformation in the marketing of illegal drugs coincided with political decisions to intensify the punishments for drug crimes. The result was an enlargement of the population available for criminal justice processing’(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p71). It is crucial to acknowledge, therefore, that in any modern industrial society there is not a rudimentary causal link between a greater public desire for severity in criminal sanctions and a sustained growth in incarceration numbers; other conditions must be present. Specifically, ‘a key condition is a large pool of offenders available to be imprisoned’(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p93). Although there had also been documented transient increases in the number of offenders committing nondrug crimes such as violent crime, property crime (larceny), and sex crime in modern societies during the 1980s, these numbers tended to fluctuate in cycles over time, and could not account for the continual rise in incarceration rates observed. In contrast, the number of drug crime offences had remained consistently high throughout the 1980s in virtually all developed countries that have experienced an incarceration boom. However, in most Western nations the total drug crime rate then started to steadily decline during the 1990s largely due to the much harsher punishments being imposed on drug crime offenders (both petty and serious) by the criminal justice systems in these states. One valid explanation for the persistently high rate of drug crime during the 1980s is the ‘economic base’ principle. Specifically, while the average monetary yield of larceny, violence and sex offences is very low, drug crime represents one of the only categories of felony where the potential financial returns are extremely high, and that provides a strong economic incentive for individuals living in poverty. Hence, drug smuggling and trafficking are the only illegal activities capable of providing a solid economic base for a large criminal population in modern society. The initial cost of goods is low and law enforcement efforts sustain high retail prices, thereby ensuring large profit margins (Reuter and Kleiman, 1986). Since the 1980s, drug crime has certainly been targeted by penal populist sentiments in many Western countries affected by a public expectation for greater punitiveness, largely irrespective of how the drug crime rate has subsequently changed in these developed nations, but it is evidently not the only category of felony that has become a common target of penal populism. Sex offences (especially against children), violent or abusive crimes (once again, even more so when the victims are children), and youth crime are three other important types of crime that in late modern capitalist states have characteristically become subjected to a public desire for penal excess. We shall examine in detail at a later stage below what these specific four categories of crime have in common and why they are such typical targets of penal populist sentiments in developed liberal societies. 4. The Increased Dependence of Governments on Crime Control as a Source of Popular Credibility The rapid proliferation of drug crime in many Western countries during the late 1970s and 1980s was accompanied by a great loss of public confidence in the social welfare programs implemented in these same nations. As Pratt (2007, p95) asserts, ‘the visible presence of drug addicts in these countries had become a symbol of misplaced welfarism and tolerance, now believed to be corroding their economic and social fabrics’. Furthermore, the short-lived growth of general crime waves in many modern societies during the late twentieth century led to a significant decline of public assurance in the competence of their respective governments to control the state. As one study remarks, ‘the international crime waves of the 1960s and 1970s helped diminish the prestige of national governments all over the industrial world, by calling into question their capacity to maintain social order. The increase of crime rates at a time of increasing government efforts to help the poor undermined many of the traditional arguments for welfare, and helped confirm the view of many conservatives that efforts to help the poor only made circumstances worse by eliminating incentives for self improvement’(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p88). It is difficult to determine whether the crime wave was caused by expansions in welfare programs or merely coincided with them. The main point is that in addition to the direct relationship between high rates of crime and demands for punitive governmental responses, the crime wave may have indirectly diminished the prestige of and public demand for welfare-oriented government (Caplow and Simon, 1999). Thus, it is argued that during the 1980s many Western governments shifted the priority of their domestic agendas away from welfare policies toward crime control policies. Initially, it was most often right wing conservative politicians that promoted ‘tough on crime’ punitive measures, making crime a political issue and gaining public support. However, Lappi-Seppà ¤là ¤ (2002, p92) suggests that mainstream opposition (i.e. left wing) parties are then forced into advocating punitive policies as well, because although these left wing parties want to ‘distance themselves from the populist programmes of the right wing movements, there is one area where they do not like to disagree – the requirement of being ‘tough on crime’. No party seems to be willing to accuse another of exaggeration when it comes to measures against criminality. Being ‘soft on crime’ is an accusation that no [governmental party] wants to accept. And it is that fear of being softer than one’s political opponents which tends to drive politicians, in the end, to the extremes of penal excess’. It is plausible to argue, therefore, that constant competition between opposing governmental factions for public favour in liberal democracies has created an ‘punitive arms race’ of political opportunism, whereby each party is compelled to promote plus (when in power) implement increasingly more radical punitive policies – irrespective of the actual level of crime that the country is experiencing – in order to avoid appearing weak on crime and consequently losing valuable electoral votes to their political opponents who are prepared to be more severe on criminals. Clearly, such an opportunistic punitive arms race occurring within the governments of developed nations would lead to an exponential increase in the prison population numbers of these countries, and ultimately to prison overcrowding. That political mechanism may at least partly explain why so many Western countries which have experienced a large decrease in crime rates since the mid-1990s and into the early twenty-first century have still reported a rising prison population. For example, Pratt (2006, p1) observes that since 1999 Labour led coalition governments in New Zealand have strongly adhered to Britain’s New Labour ‘approach to crime and punishment, even using the famous phrase ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ in its election manifestoes of 2002 and 2005. As a consequence, while [New Zealand’s] recorded crime rate has dropped by 25% in the last ten years, its imprisonment rate has increased to 189 per 100,000, one of the highest of Western countries’. Yet it is not only the divisions (i.e. in terms of competing parties) within Western democratic governments that have catalysed the increased political focus on crime control, but also the growing number of divisions among the public itself. Indeed, modern society in many developed nations (such as the United Kingdom and the United States) has become increasingly heterogeneous since the late twentieth century, and consequently the number of bases of division within these societies has expanded. For example, the members of a diverse post-industrial society are not only partitioned along the traditional parameter of social class, but are also strongly divided by a number of dichotomous value-based issues that are characteristic of ‘post-materialist’ politics such as abortion, gay rights, animal rights (e.g. fox hunting), mass immigration, school prayer, and capital punishment where it still exists (Caplow and Simon, 1999). These value- or identity-based issues are intensely contested over in modern societies by well-organised pressure groups on either side of the bipolar political spectrum. These issues are bipolar or dichotomous in the sense that they are non-negotiable with no ‘middle ground’; one either supports abortion rights or one opposes them. Hence, public division on these post-materialist issues is inevitable. One important consequence of the heterogeneous publics of Western countries becoming divided by such a multitude of value conflicts during the 1970s onward is that government parties had difficulty finding any issues to build successful election campaigns on that would appeal to a vast majority of the public. Harsher crime control appeared to be a clear choice as a singular issue that large sections of the modern public are united in consensus on. As is stated, ‘Unlike most values issues on the left or right, crime control seems to cut across the political spectrumPoliticians seeking to build viable majorities inevitably turn to the few issues that can bring people together in the new political landscapeThat is why election campaigns continue to focus on crime and punishment issues even when opposing candidates agree in their support of punitive anticrime measures. Faced with voters who split on so many issues and who are profoundly sceptical about the ability of government to improve their lives through welfare-oriented interventions, the mode of governing that commands the broadest support – punitiveness toward criminal offenders – is understandably [valued by governments]’(Caplow and Simon, 1999, p83). Ultimately, therefore, while short-lived actual increases in crime rates during the late 1970s and 1980s may have initially triggered the rise in imprisonment rates in a number of developed countries, political opportunism (in the sense of governments capitalising on populist punitiveness) has arguably sustained the incarceration boom in virtually all Western nations affected by prison overcrowding, regardless of how those crime rates may have subsequently changed. 5. The Target Crimes of Penal Populism There is a high degree of uniformity across all Western nations that have experienced an incarceration surge over the past three decades in the types of crime that are most commonly subjected to strong public demand for harsh punitive sanctions. Generally, the four most frequent felony targets of penal populism are: Drug crime; Sex offences, especially when the victims are children; Child abuse (physical, sexual, or psychological), and; Youth crime. Correspondingly, these have also been some of the fastest growing segments of prison and boot camp populations in many developed countries during recent years. One fundamental property that the above four categories of crime have in common is that children are extremely vulnerable to the effects of all of them. We may validly question why children have come to occupy such a central place in the penal populist sentiments of modern industrial societies. Pratt (2007, p96) remarks that ‘crime control policy driven by penal populism targets ‘others’, not ordinary, ‘normal’ peopleGiven the nature of populism, we should expect that crime control policy will gravitate towards easy and familiar targets, for whom there is likely to be the least public sympathy, the most social distance and the fewest authoritative voices (if any) to speak on their behalf: tho Effects of Watching Soap Operas | Research Effects of Watching Soap Operas | Research Shaping Minds: The Soap Opera and the Power of Representation Abstract In this thesis I aim to identify what the younger British public find engaging about Soap Operas, and to identify some of the processes at work during viewing, which might alter or enhance the ways in which we see the world. Focusing specifically on the relationship between popular media and the attitudes of young people towards sex and social class, research addresses the power of media representation, the use of role models, and how popular media encourages the viewer to make social distinctions and reinforces our ideas of classification. My research examines the influence of popular programmes, such as Sex and the City, and Australian and British Soap Operas, and throughout the thesis I refer to the theoretical approaches of Bourdieu and Michel Foucault, where I discuss the paradoxes latent in both the logic and language that people generally perceive to be stable and fundamental to social order. I also consider systems of classification and how the act of perceiving the validity and existence of such distinctions creates them. Conclusions drawn suggest that people consider soap viewing to be more dangerous in hindsight, whereas younger people do not recognise, or are less willing to recognise the inherent influences of soap story lines. Research does conclude that most people do consider soap operas to present an unrealistic portrayal of family life and relationships. Introduction Before the seventies a relatively small and largely irrelevant body of research existed that was solely based around soap operas, and it was only at that point when soaps began to assume a position as a topic of interest (LaGuardia 1974, 1977; Stedman 1971; Weibel 1977. In Blumenthal, p.43), as well as an area worthy of academic research (Katzman 1972; McAdown 1974; Newcomb 1974. Ibid). As Blumenthal openly writes ‘there were those who simply were against them, or found them silly.’ (Blumenthal, p.43). The context for this research formed out of a perceived gap in current research topics between the effects of media on children and adults, with relatively few projects being based solely upon teenagers and young people. As noted by Hawk et al (2006) much public and scientific concern has been expressed regarding the influence of sex in the mainstream media on childrens sexual development, such as Greenfield, 2004. However, fewer studies have studied in depth the relations hips between adolescents viewing of sexual content in the media and their own sexual behaviours and attitudes, and of those studies which do exist many are subject to severe limitations such as small samples, and narrow focus on a single type of sexual outcome, such as incidence of intercourse (Peterson et al., 1991. In Hawk et al, 2006: 352). An important consideration for the topic of this research also rested upon the observance that it is less common for research into sexual attitudes to be combined with attitudes towards social class; the decision to marry these two topics derived from the consideration that British soap operas more often represent the working class, whereas Australian soap operas mostly refer to middle class families. It was therefore an interesting research proposition to consider whether attitudes towards sex and class are being shaped by the type of target audience that these programmes are being aimed at. Although the present study does not focus on the ex tent to which women only are influenced by viewing soap operas, it does recognise that a large body of research exists on women and soap operas, and that more useful responses might be given by women respondents. Methodology In considering the methodology for this project it was decided that in order to achieve a more comprehensive collection of data with specific personal reactions to media that primary data in the forms of questionnaires and interviews should be used, rather than basing the thesis purely on secondary textual and resource analyses. As some critics suggest, textual analysis cannot always enlighten us as to what goes on in the minds of viewers and often relies upon inference and speculation (Dow, 1996). Secondary materials used for this project also include journals, articles, and books which have attempted to define the relationship between viewers and popular media. Results and findings are discussed using the research of theorists such as Adorno and Fiske; this was decided in order to encompass opinions which span a broad spectrum of relevant ideas, and are useful for how they illustrate the contrasts present in media research. Participants Participants who filled in only questionnaires were obtained by contacting high schools and middle schools, mostly in urban areas, that agreed to participate in data collection. Fifteen schools (who had their own colleges for 17-19 year olds) were initially randomly selected and contacted, 10 of which agreed to participate. As this project did not aim to highlight how attitudes might vary between age and race the identity and nationalities of respondents were not obtained. This was also decided upon because the ‘blind’ questionnaire offered school pupils more scope to provide false answers, especially concerning age and gender. In total there were 200 pupil responses with ages ranging from 12 to 18. As part of gathering primary data slightly different form of questionnaire (see Appendix Two) was presented to a random selection of young adults. This sample was achieved by approaching people on the street in a local town during rush hour. The only criteria that the second lot of respondents had to meet was that they were aged 30 or under this was to ensure that recall of their watching soap operas during their teens would be more likely to be more accurate. Furthermore, this age limit was necessary considering the ages of the programmes themselves, many of which have been running approximately 20 years or less. In the random sample interview it was possible to make a note of gendered responses Questionnaire and Interview Design In the interviewing techniques selected for this project it was decided to use a combination of single and multiple choice options and include questions which encouraged respondents to give subjective views and opinions. Contact with sexual and class content in the mainstream media, as represented through the viewing of soap operas and popular programmes, was measured by asking respondents on a four point scale the degree to which they felt that their favourite programme had influenced their ideas concerning these issues. In order to account for the differences in age between the two sets of respondents it was decided that when questioning the elder set that questions should include a retrospective option. For example, when questioning people about the influence of soaps on their opinions the question would read: â€Å"Would you say that watching this programme has or might have done so in the past altered your understanding of sexual relationships?† Chapter One:  Literature Review The Meaning and Origins of Popular Culture Over the last few decades culture has become frequently used to denote changing tastes and popularity in appreciation of interests such as music, art, theatre. As noted by Peter Goodall the word ’culture’ is consistently made use of by journalists and politicians, and especially by people studying within the Humanities (Goodall, 1995). The same author also notes that the word ’culture’ has become an ‘increasingly empty term [†¦] more frequently it is used, the more regularly it seems to need another word to prop it up and define its field of reference.’ (Goodall, 1995: xii). Take, for example, the term ‘police culture’, says Goodall, and the term ‘welfare culture’: does the word promise to mean more because these areas of society actually have little in common with one another? In both contexts the word ‘promises much [..] but delivers little; it poses as a noun but it is really an adjective’ where c ulture means little more than ‘group behaviour, practice or shared assumptions.’ (Ibid). The phenomenon of popular culture and the ease with which it has spread across the Western world, owes much to the existence of television, radio, and, more recently, the Internet. It was the Queens Coronation that begun the television age, with half the adult population watching the ceremony on TV sets; and most of these people not owning their own television at the time (Karwowski: 2002: 281). Statistics show that in 1951, the only available BBC channel had just 600,000 viewers, and that by the end of the century, watching TV was the most popular leisure activity with 94 per cent of homes having at least one colour TV and 66 per cent a video cassette recorder (Ibid). Karwowski highlights the following televised programmes as being central to the historical analysis of popular culture: the Queens Coronation The Goon Show from June 1952 to January 1960, described as ‘a surreal form of humour that lampooned all forms of pomposity and hypocrisy.’ (Karwowski: 2002: 281). Situation comedies such as Till Death Us Do Part 60s TV comedies, such as That Was The Week That Was and Monty Pythons Flying Circus Independent TV (ITV) began broadcasting in 1955. The number of TV channels grew to three with the start-up of BBC 2 in 1964, to four with Channel 4 in 1982, and five with Channel 5 in 1997, while colour TV was available from 1968. British Costume Drama, portraying English novelists such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Evelyn Waugh Educational documentaries such as Sir Kenneth Clarks Civilisation (1969), Dr Jacob Bronowskis The Ascent of Man (1973) and Sir David Attenboroughs Life on Earth (1979) Walking with Dinosaurs Childrens programmes, such as Moles Christmas and the BBCs Teletubbies to more than 125. Quiz programmes such as the BBCs Quiz shows, such as The Weakest Link, and detective series such as Inspector Morse, currently being seen in 211 countries. However, KarwowskI observes that ‘all these genres become mere niche markets when compared to the soap opera, which has around a third of the nation addicted to its multifarious expressions.’ (2005: 282). In the UK, the most popular soap is Coronation Street, longest running since 1960, is as popular in Canada and New Zealand, with the Coronation Street web site having more hits from Canada than anywhere else. (Ibid). What we see in soap operas is often designed to provoke an empathic response in the mind of the viewer. Soap viewing can offer very contrasting experiences sometimes alienating or even shocking the viewer, and other times offering emotional support and guidance concerning difficult issues. It is perhaps this ‘mixed bag’ effect of soap viewing when a person is never sure what content will shape their viewing experience that make soap viewing so popular. Media theory questions how knowledge is received and understood by the audience. Charlotte Brunsdon once said that the pursuit of the audience can be characterized as a search for authenticity, for an anchoring moment in a sea of signification (1990, p.68). The interpretations of the complex relationship between the viewer and the viewed have been controversial and often, contrasting; for example, Theodor Adorno believed that the influence held over the public by mass media was potentially harmful and brainwashing, wher eas John Fiske wrote that work should focus on viewers’ interpretation of what they saw that the viewer had autonomy over the extent to which they would absorb and articulate the information presented (Gauntlett, 2002). Fiske also used the term ‘polysemy’ to refer to the potential for audiences to decode texts in varying ways (Fiske, 1986). Dow presents her idea that the viewer has almost complete autonomy over how they interpret what they see, saying that: â€Å"The most powerful claim of audience studies has been that real viewers often resist the dominant messages of television and interpret programming in ways that suit their own interests [..] Intentional or not, such judgments cast the differences between approaches within the framework of a zero-sum game in which only one party can be right, making the other automatically wrong.† (Dow, 1996: 2) Dow also suggest that it is not possible to completely disassociate oneself from the object of criticism because of the cultural and social interests which are shared by both the critic and the creator of the media in question. Furthermore, criticism becomes less about discovering meaning in texts and becomes more of a performative activity that is about creating meaning. Sex and Identity Part of the idea for this project was born out of the premise that there exists a strong link between ideas about sexual relationships and a young person’s sense of identity. It is an aim of this project to explore the degree to which hindsight might affect a person’s belief as to whether they have been influenced by what they have seen on soaps. Research has been conducted into the damaging nature of representation in popular media especially into the use of models or ‘ideal’ body types; what Virginia Blum calls the ‘yardstick’ of the ‘Other Woman’ against which women measures their imperfections. For the ‘twenty-first century Western woman,’ says Blum, ‘who is always evaluating her appearance (intimately bound up with her identity) in relation to some standard that must be Other in order to function as a standard’ (Blum, 2005: 27). Gauntlett cites research findings on women in prime time TV in the early nineties as being ‘young, single, independent, and free from family and work place pressures’ (Elasmar, Hasegawa and Brain, 1999:33. In Gauntlett: 2002, 59). Gauntlett goes on to suggests that the 1990’s saw the use of inoffensive models of masculinity and femininity, which were generally acceptable to the majority of the public, and that this reflected producers’ beliefs that they no longer needed to challenge gender representations (Ibid). In the case of the sitcom Friends the use of male and female models of represnetation were equal. As Gauntlett explains: â€Å"The three men (Ross, Chandler and Joey) fit easily within conventional models of masculinity, but are given some characteristics of sensitivity and gentleness, and male-bonding, to make things slightly refreshing. Similarly, the three women (Rachel, Monica and Phoebe) are clearly feminine, whilst being sufficiently intelligent and non-housewifey to seem like acceptable characters for the 1990s. The six were also, of course, originally all characters with a good set of both male and female friendships i.e. each other and the friendship circle was a refreshing modern replacement for the traditional family. (It was not long, of course, before they spoilt that by having Ross and Rachel, then more implausibly Monica and Chandler fall in love.)† (Gauntlett, p.59) In most soaps there exists a core set of characters who form the firm basis of the on-screen reality. If these core characters were to change too often then the soap loses credibility, and becomes an unreal parallel of the world that it is trying to represent. It is important that themes such as sex and class are presented in a coherent and consistent way. As Gauntlett’s comment on Friends suggests this is sometimes not the case as the idea of quasi family is ‘quashed’ by the sexual dynamics within the group, thus complicating the original idea. The Concept of Transformation It is a premise of this project that women might be more likely to have experienced closer identification with soaps than men. Although it was beyond the scope of this project to direct an in-depth inquiry into this premise, the questionnaire nevertheless attempted to explore whether there was a gender divide, although this attempt was limited due to the size of the questionnaire. As academic and soap viewer, Danielle Blumenthal, is quoted as saying: Soap operas . . . a connection with other women, beloved to me: my mother, grandmother, aunt, sister . . . a steady stream of modern folktales that symbolically link us together. Memories abound: racing off the schoolbus to catch the last ten minutes of General Hospital; laughing with Grandma over the plotline antics of Days of Our Lives; worrying over the lives of characters I cared about; endless feverish conversations with girlfriends, sister, aunt over who should do what, how, and with whom. (Blumenthal, 1997: 3) In her publication on feminist perspectives and soap operas, Blumenthal refers to soap opera viewing as a ‘specific cultural activity’ questioning how much the activity is an ‘empowering practiceor, praxisfor women to engage in.’ (Ibid, p.4). The term praxis, Marxist criticism has been defined as meaning conscious physical labor directed toward transforming the material world so it will satisfy human needs (Rothman 1989:170. In Blumenthal, 1997:3). Blumenthal extends this interpretation to mean not only physical, but also mental labour, ‘which transforms images and experience to meet human needs.’ (Ibid). The concept can also be interpreted as a belief that ‘social objects do not simply exist out there in space, but are mediated through a continual process of interpretation and construction by the subjective and socially oriented mind.’ (Ibid). ‘Girl Power,’ and themes which identify the strengths in women’s att itudes are not limited to the sitcom or the soap opera, in fact they occur, to some degree, within just about every form of visual media and are mediated by the minds of the programmes creators to be received by the viewing public. The concept of transformation is prevalent in most media where women use their new image to take control of their lives and turn around situations. For example, Barbra Streisands 1996 film, The Mirror Has Two Faces, uses the idea of a before and after to provide tension and contrast within the film. In this film, the character Rose is transformed by losing weight and dying her hair this secures the physical adoration of her husband who married her for her ‘inner self.’ While the film encourages viewers to identify with Barbara Streisand it also reinforces the ideal of transformation, where the heroine does not settle for less, but dares to achieve more. Rachel Moseley, in her publication on feminist cultural perspectives, fashion, and media, observes that within these Cinderella stories there exists a ‘moment of increased visibility which provides a space for both the visual pleasure offered showcasing of the transformation, but also for the articulation of the a nxiety and emotional resonance of ’coming out’ in relation to class, as well as gender.’ (Moseley, 2002: p.40). In British and Australian soaps the concept of transformation is readily embraced not least within the lives of individual characters, but within each episode itself so as to create a mini section of a greater storyline. The world of the soap opera is fluid and dynamic it moves along at a much faster rate than reality off-screen, with new ideas and events constituting change on many levels. Blumenthal’s ideas concerning the ‘transformation’ of images is particularly useful here as it might help to explain how the serial relationships of soap characters are interpreted by the viewer. In soaps, it is often the case that characters who are not married engage in a string of successive relationships, which sets an unreal precedent to viewers, especially younger viewers. Media critic Mary-Lou Galician, in her publication Sex, Love Rom ance in the Mass Media lists twelve false premises which are regularly promoted within, and associated with, mass media; all of which she defines as ‘myths and stereotypes’ (2004: p.x): â€Å"Your perfect partner is cosmically predestined, so nothing/nobody can ultimately separate you. Theres such a thing as â€Å"love at first sight. † Your true soul mate should KNOW what youre thinking or feeling without your having to tell. If your partner is truly meant for you, sex is easy and wonderful. To attract and keep a man, a woman should look like a model or a centerfold. The man should NOT be shorter, weaker, younger, poorer, or less successful than the woman. The love of a good and faithful true woman can change a man from a â€Å"beast† into a â€Å"prince. † Bickering and fighting a lot mean that a man and a woman really love each other passionately. All you really need is love, so it doesnt matter if you and your lover have very different values. The right mate â€Å"completes you† — filling your needs and making your dreams come true. In real life, actors and actresses are often very much like the romantic characters they portray. Since mass media portrayals of romance arent â€Å"real, † they dont really affect you.† (2004: ix) Many social critics and relationship therapists have blamed the mass media for brainwashing viewers with portrayals of unrealistic love that are ‘unattainable as a goal and unhealthy as a model and, thereby, contributing to the construction of these unrealistic expectations’ (Dyer, 1976; Fromm, 1956; Johnson, 1983; Norwood, 1985; Peele, 1975;Russianoff, 1981; Shapiro Kroeger, 1991; Shostrom Kavanaugh, 1971. In Galician, 2004: p.13.). Certainly, many soap operas under discussion in this thesis are guilty of this phenomenon, and are suggestive of the idea that it is unfashionable or abnormal to be single. For example, as Glass writes: â€Å"Who can take seriously a character saying, as one does in the televised version of Candace Bushnells column, Were not dating. Its a fuck thing? Or, Ive been fucked every way you can be fucked? These characters are not serious, not even interesting, certainly not funny. With that type of woman, romance, with its necessary belief in an ideal, is impossible. [..] Bushnells women cavort aimlessly in New York, trying different sex games to see which they can win. When they lose, they move on. There is no reflection, no despair, no consequence of any action. The tragedy is that nothing in their lives is tragic.† (Glass, 1999: 14) This sort of promotion of casual sex could be potentially damaging to younger people, who are in the earlier stages of forming opinions about themselves and the world, as it could encourage them to find partners before they are comfortable to do so. Furthermore, in a school environment, where children are exposed to the same sorts of mass media, these ideas are discussed and reinforced within a social reality that is far different from the reality on-screen. As author of Sex and the City, Candace Bushnell, said of her creation: No one has breakfast at Tiffanys, and no one has affairs to remember instead, we have breakfast at 7 am and affairs we try to forget as quickly as possible. How did we get into this mess? (cf Glass, 1999: 14) During its popularity SATC was responsible for liberating the ideas of many women, and even their male partners, who watched it. The character of Samantha, played by Kim Cattrall, has been highlighted as an importnat portrayal of a sexually assertive woman in her forties. As Cattrall once said in an interview, ‘I don’t think there’s ever been a woman who has expressed so much sexual joy [on television] without her being punished. I never tire of women coming up and saying, â€Å"You’ve affected my life†Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ (Williams, 2002. Found in Gauntlett, 2002, p.61). Unfortunately the themes of casual sex is unsustainable and will not hold viewer’s attentions for as long as say, family dramas, which can be played out over a much longer period of time and have far more complex dynamics. Thus, the heyday of SATC is over, while Emmerdale continues. As suggested by Goldenberg et al the themes of sex is both intriguing and disturbing: â€Å"Despite its potential for immense physical pleasure and the crucial role that it plays in propagating the species, sex nevertheless is sometimes a source of anxiety, shame, and disgust for humans, and is always subject to cultural norms and social regulation. [..]We argue that sex is threatening because it makes us acutely aware of our sheer physical and animal nature. Although others (e.g., Freud, 1930/1961) have also suggested that human beings are threatened by their creatureliness, following Rank (1930/1998) and Becker (1973), we suggest that this motivation is rooted in a more basic human need to deny mortality.† (Goldenberg et al, 2002: p.310) Indeed, there is nothing safe about the themes of sex in soaps it is an unpredictable world, where things are more likely to go wrong, in comparison to the world of family life, where there are obvious boundaries and limits within which to localise behaviour. In terms of class, which is the other distinction that this project is addressing, the idea that most soaps represent a particular group of people from a particular area, means that they represent the social structure of that particular area. In turn, this means that most soaps are unable to present a cross section of society from any area wider than that which it chiefly represents, and often only manages to represent the lives of either working class or middle class people. Soaps which concentrate on more elitist tastes or narrower, more inaccessible stratas of society do not often gain such a high level of popularity. This can be seen in the case of Eldorado, a soap set in Spain about the lives of British expats, that lasted only a year before being axed. A different approach to the soap opera came alon gin 1997 with the airing of Family Affairs, a soap that focused on one family. The description of the soap read as follows: â€Å"The biggest, and riskiest, decision they made was to break away from the communal concept that underpins other soaps, whether it is the village (Emmerdale), the close (Brookside), the square (EastEnders), or the local streets and pub (Coronation Street). Family Affairs will centre on one family, and examine in intimate detail the struggles and tensions within the four walls of the Hart household. The other difference between this soap and its rivals will be that Family Affairs will not be geographically characterised. It is set in a neutral town, and will lack the northern atmosphere that permeates Corrie or Brookside. Class differences within the family will play a big part. The personal experience of Young and Hollingworth influenced them to base the soap around a family that had an ex-miner at its head (Hollingworths grandfather was a miner), whose son had become a self-employed builder, and whose four grandchildren were variously a trainee lawyer, an entrepreneur, a shop a ssistant and a schoolboy.† (McDonald, 1997: 1) This soap underwent a complete change in setting and in characters, before it was axed after only seven years. These example show that there is not enough of a market for specialised soaps which dare to do something a little different. It appears that it is the grittiness of urban landscapes or the character of places which people enjoying watching the most. Furthermore, it is interesting how similar themes such as teenage pregnancy, underage relationships, and people seeking to break the boundaries of their family’s class can all assume a different meaning, or at least be interpreted differently, according to the different locations and environments in which they are set. Mass Media and the Body Gauntlett observes a similarity between the malleability of the self and the late modern attitudes to the body: â€Å"No longer do we feel that the body is a more or less disappointing ‘given’ instead, the body is the outer expression of our self, to be improved and worked upon; the body has, in the words of Giddens, become ‘reflexively mobilized’ thrown into the expanding sphere of personal attributes which we are required to think about and control.† (In Gauntlett, p.104). Perhaps one of the greatest power centres behind both of these arguments is Hollywood, which in its history has seen the changing representation of women, and more recently, the increasing number of women, and men, who have surgery to preserve the image of their youth. These ideal images of women are not always positively received. For example, speaking in 1973, Marjorie Rosen commented that ‘the Cinema Woman is a Popcorn Venus, a delectable but insubstantial hybrid of cultural distortions’ (1973:10), and upon the changing representation of women Rosen observed the presence o f rebellious natured commentaries against working women in the 1940s and 1950s, and against female sexual emancipation in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas women have been consistently promoted as ‘sex objects’ in varying styles throughout Hollywood’s history (Rosen, In Gauntlett, 2002). It would be an interesting line of enquiry to explore the degree to which feminist literature can help to explain the presence of the perceived gender gap in the process of idolisation and representation, and the influence of these processes on ideas concerning sex and sexuality. Some critics suggest that popular media have over-simplified debates which are essentially feminist in nature, and, in some cases, wrongly consider the feminist movement retrospectively, encouraging viewers to do the same. For example, in her article exploring the different definitions of third-wave feminism emerging in the U.S, Amanda Lotz comments that ‘simplistic popular media constructions of third -wave feminism’ are misleading to feminists, and that study of the ‘third-wave feminist ideas may be understood as distinctive of new social movement organization.’ (Lotz: 2003, p.3 ). Other critics pay close attention to the different psychological constitutions of women what Jane Gerhard terms ‘ideas about the distinctive psychological reality of women’ especially concerning our definition of post feminism, which makes a significant contribution to the re-assessment of heterosexual power relations. (2005: 41). With proponents of equality still battling with what Susan Faludi refers to as lackadaisical nature of post-feminism and the unfair ’backlash’ against the feminist movement itself (1992) the idea of feminism and soap opera viewing is topical and extensive, and, unfortunately, beyond the scope of this thesis to explore. Foucault Foucault’s work is useful in the discussion of soap operas and the effects of viewing popular television as it comments on the damaging nature of ‘normalization.’ Foucault argues that there is no such thing as a singular fixed meaning, and that meaning is understood on many levels most often through the historical, retrospective interpretation of rational and reasonable behaviour (Danaher et al, 2000). For example, he suggests that the nineteenth century witnessed a preoccupation with correctness where all things ‘wrong’ had to be ‘righted’ in some way in order to fit into a box of classification. This phenomenon has had long-lasting effects on Western culture to the extent where ‘norms’ have been established, and exceptions to these norms ‘cured’ or corrected. In the discussion of class and attitudes towards sex we might consider how the media has portrayed the image of the ideal woman or man. The difference between the historical normalisation of beauty to contemporary is that such images have been popularised through the media on an increasingly global and interpersonal scale. With the advancement of technology, advertising reaches people even within the private space of their own homes through television, radio, and the Internet. This is all the more dang