The United Kingdom as a multicultural society has had its fair share of criticisms since the post Second World War period. The British media – both print and electronic mediums – has also been criticized for its reluctance to discuss openly issues of race and ethnicity in its programmes. The advent of new mediums of communication too has not made a significant contribution toward racial conciliation in Britain. The tendency of the native British to maintain their unique cultural identity has had pervasive effects. In the political front, Britain is still holding on to Pound Sterling even as the rest of Europe is integrating economically and thereby becoming stronger. In the social realm, “the issue of racism has become a latent one, lurking behind media discussions and TV programmes such as the recent five-part “BBC White Season” which focused on what the BBC termed ‘the disappearing White Britain’, and the media’s examination of the 40th anniversary . . . Read More
(Background: On 1st July 2008 Bill Gates resigned as CEO of the Microsoft Corporation to pursue his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He is currently Chairman of the Microsoft Corporation. Bill Gates is a well known philanthropist and whilst CEO of Microsoft his pledges of money to fight many of the world’s diseases were media headline grabbers. In 2005 he gave £145 million ($258 million) to fight malaria, and in 2006 he pledged £507 million ($900 million) to cut deaths by tuberculosis. Yet corporate and personal philanthropy did little to avert negative headlines about Microsoft’s questionable business practices. Since 1999 Microsoft has been at the centre of a number of legal disputes with both the US Government and the European Commission. At the heart of the disagreements have been accusations that Microsoft had been exploiting its monopoly power in order to reduce competition, and consequently choice, in the marketplace. Microsoft was accused of anti . . . Read More
Ever since the re-introduction of Coca-Cola to Indian consumers since the late 1990s, the company had attracted criticism from activist and advocacy groups. While the high level of pesticides contained in its products has given rise to controversies recently, the charges against Coca-Cola for usurping and depleting water resources have been a more persistent issue. In fact, Coca-Cola’s operations in India since its inception have seen many ups and downs. The lowest point of the company’s history in India was reached in 1977, when the then ruling Congress government, under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, forced out the company. This essay will detail the Achilles Heel of Coca-Cola’s operations in India, namely its competition with native inhabitants over limited water resources, and critically evaluate the company’s strategy for handling of these criticisms.
Description of . . . Read More
Patrick Henry is still regarded as the ‘Homer of Orators’ within the American literary canon. He is most renowned for his words ‘Give me Liberty or Give me Death’ which he uttered to his followers on the eve of the Declaration of Independence. A recently taken public opinion poll by Gallup found that nearly one in two American associate Patrick Henry with his heroic oratory. According to the poll results, he stands alongside Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt as one of the most inspiring public . . . Read More
Charles Darwin and John Stuart Mill were both influential thinkers of the nineteenth century. The lifetime’s work of Charles Darwin has been in the realm of evolutionary biology, but his theories are highly relevant for contemporary human societies as well. John Stuart Mill, on the other hand, is best known for his conception of the principle of Utilitarianism, which finds application in modern urban societies with . . . Read More
‘Two Kinds’ is the last story in the second segment of Amy Tan’s highly popular debut book, The Joy Luck Club. The book is divided into four interconnected segments with each of them containing a group of stories which can stand alone themselves. While the author had intended the book to be a short-story collection, it is seen by critics as a novel due to the interrelated and cohesive narrative. Similar to other stories in the collection, ‘Two Kinds’ is a depiction of complexities in mother-daughter relationships in San Francisco’s China-town. The focus of the story is the often disruptive but inevitable “distance between mothers who were born in China before the communist revolution and thus have been cut off from their native culture for decades, and their American-born daughters who must negotiate the twin burdens of their Chinese ancestry and American expectations for success”. While the protagonist and narrator of the story Jing-mei persistently thwarts her . . . Read More
President Obama’s historic inaugural speech on20th January, 2009was powerful and persuasive. Coming at a time when the nation was confronting the worst economic slump in seventy years, the speech contained within it the necessary reassurance and the promise of change that were so desperately needed. To his credit, the new President was mild in his criticism of his predecessor George W. Bush. To the contrary, the speech appeared to focus on the progress and prosperity in the years ahead rather than point finger at the perpetrators of the present state of chaos. In the very beginning of his address, President Obama displays this forgiving attitude when he said “I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition”.
The other discernible quality of the speech is its minimal rhetoric. President Obama, having spent close to two years on the campaign trail – initially for the . . . Read More
Women’s issues have been, to an extent, independent from the broader socio-history changes witnessed in twentieth century America. The foremost issue that had not found suitable resolution since the 1920s is the wage disparity between men and women in America. While at the beginning of the century the percentage of women who participated in mainstream economy was negligible, this situation changed with the two world wars. As men were waging battle in the war front, women undertook jobs that were erstwhile only done by men. Emboldened and encouraged by their success, the social norms concerning the role of women had undergone a radical change. Yet, business enterprises did not easily accept the notion that women deserve equal remuneration as that of their male colleagues. While the magnitude of the disparity had eased up during the subsequent decades of the century, the issue is not satisfactorily resolved.
The disparity is . . . Read More
In the book Affluenza, John de Graaf and his team of authors also present an analysis of other symptoms of Affluenza, such as commercial television, inhumane working and living conditions for the lower classes and the culture of living in perpetual debt. Commercialized television, for instance, has been the preferred medium for advertisers to encourage consumption of their products. The authors assert that the program content is secondary to the advertisement slots being filled. In what is a radically new way of looking at television programs, the soap operas or reality shows were so construed to keep the audience glued to their seats when the commercials arrive on screen. In this context, it is not difficult to imagine the basis and thrust of the program content. The steady decline in the quality of television programs can be understood within this analytic framework. Moreover, mainstream broadcast content is full of portrayals of physical violence. The car chases . . . Read More
The city of London has historically been the heart of Western Europe. While across the channel Paris grew in reputation as the favored hub for artists, musicians and litterateurs, London was (and still is) the financial centre of Western European democracies. Given this background, the confines of metropolitan London had expanded gradually. Needless to say, there are limitations to any urban township and the case of London proved to be no exception. With advances in modes of commotion, ever greater numbers of people migrated to London in search of economic opportunity. In the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, these influxes of people originated within continental Europe. This was also a time when the British Empire reached its peak on back of its superior naval force. But, the twentieth century was markedly different, in that the émigré’s were from erstwhile colonies spanning all continents. Such patterns of migration have overwhelmed the city of London, that . . . Read More