Racism as a construct for demographic and socio-political analysis is increasingly being contested. Today, urbanization has become the norm due to process of industrialization, and cities are getting very cosmopolitan. This makes it necessary that people from so called ‘different races’ cohabit and cooperate to achieve their shared objectives. Most advanced industrial societies today exhibit some degree of tolerance and adaptability when it comes to issues of race. But the situation is far from perfect and race continues to be a simmering point of contention. In this backdrop new scientific and anthropological evidence on the veracity of race assumes significance. They help demystify and demythologize race and racism as previously understood. In this process the very legitimacy of racial classification is questioned.
The American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) consensus on the subject of race is a rebuke to historical perceptions of race. The esteemed . . . Read More
Henry Louis Gates Jr. makes a cogent case for pluralism in the American cultural context. In the American academia of today the formation of curricula is largely dependent on the ethnic composition of the enrolled students. This implies that courses that come under the purview of liberal arts are seldom offered in colleges with a high ethnic/racial diversity. Gates Jr. sees this practice as discriminatory and divisive. He alerts us to how “political representation has been confused with ‘representation’ of various ethnic identities in the curriculum”. (214) Hereby, instead of real diversity in the classroom, what we have is notional diversity of perspectives in the course content. The effect of this trend is one of promoting a concocted common American identity where none such exists. Political conservatives have tried to justify this practice by citing fears of ‘tribalism’ and ‘fragmentation’ in society. But considering that plurality is at the very core of American . . . Read More
1. In sum, what is the Williams thesis? What is his main point and central argument?
Eric Williams is an important black intellectual who witnessed, documented and analyzed African slavery in America firsthand. His main argument is that multiple factors were behind the origins of Negro slavery. The powerful papacy of the Roman Catholic Church, in collusion with powerful European Kingdoms of Spain, Portugal, and later Britain and France, permitted the practice of slavery. Since African Negroes were not of Christian faith, they were deemed infidels by the Catholic Church along with Muslims, Pagans and the rest. Williams contends that economic exploitation went hand in hand with religious dogma in perpetrating slavery. Theories of white racial supremacy were another source of this hideous institution.
2. The Williams thesis critiques which interpretations of the origins of plantation slavery? In other words, which other explanations of the origins . . . Read More
Despite Christian doctrine’s claims of all men being created in the image of God, the Church has historically been guilty of racial discrimination. The very notion of slavery goes against Christian theology. Western Christianity has especially failed to adequately interfere with this social malice in the centuries past. In contrast, among cultures of the newer churches around the world there is more communal harmony and acceptance. This is evident in indigenous peoples from less materialistic and less consumerist cultures that practice Christianity. There, we find “traditions of cherishing every creature, however small, and of living in close and respectful relationship with the earth itself. Openness to traditions like this could lead the church into a renewed relationship with the Creator and the creation, and to a deeper respect for life itself.” (McRae-McMahon, 1998) This essay will elaborate how theological . . . Read More
- 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
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
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
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
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
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