The reading titled The Human Condition: The Public and The Private Realm is very informative and insightful. It deliberates on what all social, psychological and physiological conditions that bears upon the public and private realms. Indeed, in many cases the very validation of reality happens through the acknowledgement of other occupants of the public space. The public space is also a manifestation of the private life, in that the “greatest forces of intimate life – the passions of the heart, the thoughts of the mind, the delights of the senses – lead an uncertain, shadowy kind of existence unless and until they are transformed, deprivatized and deindividualized, as it were, into a shape to fit them for public appearance.” (The Human Condition, p.50) It is insights such as these which make the reading an invaluable scholarly source on the topic of public/private space.
The reading draws from a wide range of scholarship to deduce and illustrate its . . . Read More
The advertisement campaign for creating AIDS awareness featuring Adolf Hitler has drawn much controversy upon its release. The ad shows a couple having steaming sex in a dimly lit room with music playing in the background. Towards the end of the ad, the face of the man is revealed to be Adolf Hitler, with the tag line ‘AIDS is a mass murderer’. The Rainbow group, which in association with Hamburg-based ad agency Das Comitee has conceived and promoted this awareness campaign, has defended the shock, disgust and provocation invoked by the ad. It’s spokesperson says that the ad is intended to wake up young Germans to the reality of AIDS prevalence in the country – a subject that has faded of late in public discourse. The discouraging statistics pertaining to the spread o AIDS in Germany, is warrant enough for this bold provocation, the charitable group justifies. And there is some merit in their point of view. For example, “Germans need the encouragement – the facts . . . Read More
The Biomedical model of health is perhaps the oldest of health paradigms, where freedom from disease, pain or defect is the core focus. The physician typically inspects the patient ‘after’ the onset of an ailment and studies the pathology of disease, physiological mechanisms at play, as well as the biochemical processes. Under the biomedical model, the emphasis is on ‘cure’ and ‘healing’ through scientific application of medical principles as and when a medical condition presents itself. While this goal is perfectly legitimate, the critics of the Biomedical model point out its narrow focus, which largely leaves aside the social, economic and psychological factors that often precede and determine the health of an individual. (Wyman, 2000, p.77) It is due to this lack of wholeness in the conventional biomedical model of health, that scholars and thinkers have devised other wholesome perspectives of health. They have added newer dimensions to the study of human . . . Read More
The state of our planet’s environment is a matter of much debate and concern over the last few years. With global warming and global dimming being established scientific facts, the future prospects of many species (including ours) are under threat. It is these concerns that are articulated by writers such as Rick Bass, Alice Walker and Jared Diamond. Bass’ article titled ‘Why I Hunt’ is lyrical piece of prose writing that praises the ‘natural’ life of the woods. The author suggests that activities such as hunting, trekking and other adventures afforded by expansive natural settings help rejuvenate and nurture our imagination – something that city dwelling people tend to lack. Jared Diamond’s article titled The Last Americans: Environmental Collapse and the End of Civilization issues a warning to those living in advanced economies (including the United States) that great civilizations of the past inevitably decline and perish after hitting their peak. He . . . Read More
The United States of America is notorious for the high percentage of overweight and obese people in its populace. The fad of fast-food chains is identified as a chief culprit behind this worrying trend, which other lifestyle factors are also attributed a share of the blame. For example, “Americans forked over $110 billion to fast-food restaurants in 2002 alone. These restaurants report that half of their sales are now at the drive-by window— a high volume of backseat or dashboard dining that reflects the reality of today’s hurried lifestyles and poses a threat to healthy eating.” (Dalton, 2004, p.92)
There are concerns on the nutrition front as well, as meals offered by McDonald’s and other fast-food joints are very high in calorie content. They also contain excessive amounts of saturated fat and are low on essential nutrients like fiber, calcium and vitamins. It is this despairing situation that author Eric Schlosser captures in his controversial book . . . Read More
The Monopoly Board game is one of the most popular board games in twentieth century history. First designed in 1935, the game has sold more than 200 million sets in its 76-year existence. The game is loosely based on Elizabeth J. Magie Phillips’ The Landlord’s Game that she published in 1924. Although intended to bring awareness to the dangers of monopoly to the general public, the game caught the public imagination. And there’s been no looking back since then. In the next decade the game was re-adapted by Charles Darrow for maximum entertainment value under the official name Monopoly. (Orbanes, 2004)
At the time of its design, Atlantic City was a popular upscale tourist retreat. And hence the city was used as a model to fill in the details of the board. Many of the properties printed in the forty spaces in the board are taken after real properties of the same name in the city. But Atlantic City today is a frail shadow of its 1930’s glory. The ravages of the Second . . . Read More
Malaria is one of the most deadly pandemics to threaten human health. It consumes tens of thousands of lives each year in sub-Saharan Africa, most of who are young children. For example, each year close to 400 million people are infected with the disease, of which a million succumb to it. Hence all efforts must be channeled to find a robust vaccine for preventing it. Hence, research in this area is going at an intense pace in recent years. But unfortunately, there are no foolproof vaccines that have been formulated yet. A vaccine by name RTS S/AS01, which was put to trial during 2009, is specifically addressed to vulnerable children in the Third World. One of the reasons why formulating vaccines have proved challenging is due to the constantly adapting nature of malaria parasites. The latter either evolve drug-resistance or the mosquitoes themselves constantly change and become insecticide resistant. It is in this context that the thrust of new research should be based.
The . . . Read More
Hispanic Americans are the largest ethnic minority in the United States. Of the total American population, nearly 17 percent are Hispanics. The terms Hispanic or Latino refer to Spanish speaking immigrants to the United States, who came from South and Central American countries. These countries include El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Columbia, Brazil, etc. There is racial diversity within Hispanics.
Hispanics were present in the United States since 17th century. But the community has not been treated equally by elite White Americans. When compared to majority of Americans, Hispanics are a low socio-economic group. Hispanics are blamed for the illegal immigration problem. Their culture and language is also different from mainstream America. These factors are causing hurdles for Hispanics within America.
In order to change this situation Hispanics will have to politically organize and put pressure on policy makers. They . . . Read More
Agents of political socialization play a key role in constructing our perceptions of government and what we could expect of it. Some prominent agents of socialization are the family, the education system, media outlets, religious institutions, etc. All these agents play a role in shaping our conception of government during our formative years. For many adults, their political affiliation in terms of supporting the Democrats or Republicans, leaning towards Conservatism or Liberalism, etc., are largely influenced by these agents. For example, pupils of Catholic schools tend to ascribe to a conservative viewpoint whereas those belonging to minority communities usually support liberal policies. With respect to the agency of mainstream media, those who watch Fox News regularly are strongly supportive of the Republican Party and its policies. This is in contrast to Alternative media sources which tend to espouse liberal causes. What this shows is that influential as agencies . . . Read More
Closing down a bar can have several effects on the neighborhood and its inhabitants. Since youth are the major patrons of bars, their lifestyles and pastimes would also alter significantly when bars are closed en masse. Those who are pressing for closing down of bars believe that such a move would discourage teenage and underage drinking. On the other hand, there are those who believe that actually lowering the drinking age to 16 would reduce drinking, as teenagers would be given more autonomy in controlling their drinking habits. Some believe that bars corrupt the minds of the youth and bring down the standards of civil society. (Voas, et.al., 2002, p.286) There is also copious evidence to back the claim that habitual drinking is one of the major causes of liver failure among American citizens. If these claims are indeed true, then closing down bars would help improve moral and health standards in society. The rest of the essay will ascertain the likely effects that . . . Read More