Category: Society


Community Policing in the USA and Britain

  1. Develop a typical “community policing” model utilized by local/American policing tactics. How would you deploy road patrol personnel to best promote the model of community policing? How would you instruct your officers to interact with the community?

The community policing model had found success in the United States because of its balancing of authority with community. A typical model would comprise of a squad of patrollers assigned to a locality.  They would come under the leadership of the delegated sheriff for that locality. The key feature of the community policing model in the United States is ‘participation’. Rather than acting like authorities in power, the patrollers strike camaraderie with local residents.  They develop a first-name calling rapport with the locals. The local residents serve as useful informants and witnesses for suspect activity. At the same time the patrolling officers do also monitor the regulars he comes . . . Read More

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‘Two Cheers for Materialism’ by James Twitchell & ‘Profiles in Splurging’ by Randall Patterson : A combined overview

In “Two Cheers for Materialism,” James Twitchell posits that “We live through things, we create ourselves through things and we change ourselves by changing our things.” When we look at this claim by the author, it sounds like a veiled criticism of a materialist culture. But through numerous apt examples and nuanced explanations, Twitchell comes around to acknowledge the power of consumerist impulses and seeks to explain what drives them.  He also argues that capitalist consumerism is not something that is imposed on people as academic critics often claim. Instead, the continued thriving of consumerism is due to our own innate needs, desires and aspirations. The article by Randall Patterson titled ‘Profiles in Splurging’ complements Twitchell’s core thesis.  This essay will qualify the aforementioned working thesis by considering all the facts and arguments presented in these two articles.

To a great extent, the claim in the working thesis can be viewed as a . . . Read More

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The decline of Community Oriented Policing since September 11, 2001.

Prior to September 11, 2001 many police agencies nationwide practiced Community Oriented Policing.  The aftermath of 9/11 saw many police agencies revert back to traditional policing.  Describe why you believe this is or is not beneficial for a police organization.

The September 11, 2001 terror attack on American soil, carried out by Al-Qaeda, is a significant politico-historical event in many respects.  In its aftermath the nation saw a slew of counter-terrorism measures, some of which (like the PATRIOT Act) have been very controversial. The effects of stringent security measures that were taken in the wake of 911 have percolated even to the police department.  Since 911 there have been structural and functional changes witnessed in police departments across the country.  A major change is with respect to Community Oriented Policing, which has been nearly done away with.  Although efficiency and rapid co-ordination to act upon intelligence has been . . . Read More

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An outline of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche’s key ideas and their contribution to the development of social thought.

Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Nietzsche are two important intellectuals whose thoughts are integral to the development of social thought in Europe and North America.

Immanuel Kant’s thoughts have enriched a wide variety of disciplines within humanities, including theology, political science and sociology. But Kant’s work does not fit easily into any particular disciplinary paradigm.  Of late, Kant’s thoughts have regained eminence in the study of international politics.  Contemporary proponents of Kant’s relevance to international politics espouse the view that democracy leads to peace. But this position contradicts the philosophic foundations of Kant’s works.  Hence there is not straightforward account of how Kant’s works have influenced subsequent social thought.  The infiltration of Kant’s ideas into later scholarship is at places overt and at others subtle.  Neither is the influence uniform and unidirectional for contradictions abound. (Rossi, 2010, . . . Read More

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Media Analysis: Just a Minute (BBC Radio 4)

Introduction:

The media item chosen for this essay is Just a Minute – a flagship radio comedy show broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It is based on a 4-member panel format, where contestants have to speak on any given topic for a full minute without ‘hesitation’, ‘repetition’ or ‘deviation’.  Having premiered at 1967 as a weekly show the program is still running today.  It is one of the longest running in the history of radio and comedy. (Crisell, 2002, p.26)  The main reason for its success is due to how it allows endless creativity and humour within a simple framework of rules.  Though the three-point rules are simple to understand, the panellists seldom find them easy to follow during the impromptu situations they find themselves in. Though it is a competitive game-show format, winning is less important than amusing and entertaining the audience.  The audience for the show falls into two categories: radio listeners and in-studio attendance.  . . . Read More

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Water as a commercial commodity

How do you evaluate the growing expectations and the changing role of companies in the arena of water management? Discuss the potential and the limits of what corporations can ultimately achieve in the business of water.

Given the abysmal record of private companies in managing water resources and their equitable distribution, the public has a sceptical view of privatization.  International controversies over water privatization are shaping the debate across the world. In a world of six billion people, of which a sixth don’t have access to safe, drinkable and cost-effective water, privatization looms as the great big threat to what prospects they have for fulfilling this basic need.  As the failure of privatization in Bolivia, India, Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, South Africa and Philippines suggest, privatization is not sure shot method for optimal utility and usage of limited water resources. To many commentators, these instances of failure of . . . Read More

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The business of water consumption

In terms of the scholarly discussion on corporate social responsibility please outline the key arguments that may support the actions of the firms given in the case. Furthermore, discuss the main arguments against corporate social responsibility considering these firms’ actions. Use scholarly literature and examples from the case study to illustrate.

Though water is considered as essential to survival of all life forms, getting access to quality water is increasingly becoming difficult in the under-developed world. While privatization is promoted as the solution for this crisis, previous examples of such a move have resulted in adverse results, especially for the poor. Where privatization of water has been implemented in the last 10 years, contentious debates and protestations have risen in the communities affected by the project. In the case study titled ‘The Business of Water’, we read about the activities of some of the major water and beverage . . . Read More

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Is docudrama the most socially relevant mode of television drama in Britain?

The two docudramas chosen for this essay are The Deal (2003) and Einstein and Eddington (2008).  The first is a political story of significance to recent domestic and foreign policy in Britain.  The latter is an enduring story of two men of science, whose discoveries and theories are central to modern physics and astronomy.  Both docudramas were premiered in Channel 4 and reached a sizeable British television audience.  Both films were appreciated by critics for their style and content.  Yet, the focus and aesthetics of the two docudramas are quite different.  This essay will evaluate the social relevance of each of these films in the broader context of the potential for docudramas for inducing positive social change.

The Deal is an interesting docudrama about two stars of recent Labour Party history – Gordon Brown and Tony Blair.  The Labour Party won three successive elections in 1997, 2001 and 2005 under the premiership of Tony Blair.  But Blair was not an . . . Read More

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Marriage as an institution: Its political, social and psychological impact on men and women.

The story chosen for this essay is Kate Chopin’s Story of an Hour. It a compact yet dramatically powerful short story, located in the milieu of 19th century American South. The protagonist of the story is Louise Mallard, a woman somewhat trapped in an unfulfilling marriage to Mr. Brently Mallard. Louise is diagnosed with a heart condition, making her vulnerable to sudden tragic news and events. It is in this context that the news of the demise of her husband in a railroad accident is gently revealed to her by her brother in law. (Chopin, par.2) The immediate emotions experienced by Louise were natural. She feels sorrow, loss and feels shattered. Her sobbing reflects her emotions. This much is expected behavior from a bereaved wife. But Chopin’s statement on the nature of the institution of marriage unravels in the second half of the short story.

As Louise lay sunken in the large arm chair facing her window, her mood undergoes a change. Form one of remorse and . . . Read More

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Understanding and Designing Complex Sociotechnical Systems

Professor Joseph M. Sussman’s hour long lecture aims to give an overview of the topic.  At the outset, he explains how Critical Contemporary Issues (CCIs) are intricately tied to Complex Sociotechnical Systems.  For understanding and designing solutions for urgent and important issues facing society, technical factors have to be taken into account. Indeed, technology and technical excellence will play a major role in addressing such contemporary issues as climate change, economic growth, mobility, large-scale manufacturing, health, and developing country megacities, etc. Moreover, an integrated knowledge across multiple domains and disciplines is required to building Complex Sociotechnical Systems.

Professor Sussman begins by defining what a sociotechnical system is. The complexities associated with these systems can be structural, behavioral, evaluative or nested complexity. The emphasis is laid on Intellectual Content Integration, whereby, “design solutions must focus . . . Read More

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