The modern human history is studded with technological advancements and economic growth. But, does this overall betterment in standards and conditions of living made human beings a happier lot? The answer is “no”. Surveys after surveys have pointed that beyond basic necessities, more affluence does not translate into more well-being. In this context, it is important to inquire into the true nature of happiness and grooming people toward longing for more enduring and sustainable values.
What ails humanity at present and what are the remedies?
David R. Myers, a renowned social psychologist offers a theory of human happiness that emphasizes the significance of the sociological aspects of people’s lifestyles. Myers also points how “materialism” and “consumerist culture” can never provide lasting peace for its pursuers. Myers asserts that . . . Read More
The long confrontation between the United States and U.S.S.R. backed proxies in Afghanistan had frustrated and weakened the latter. During the 1980’s the U.S.S.R. was going through a severe economic slump as well. At this juncture, the Soviet Union was no more in a position to strengthen its war machinery, which gave its rival undisputed advantage, bringing an end to the Cold War.
The deteriorating economic conditions stirred the people of the Soviet Union to openly demonstrate against their government’s failure, which by the late 1980’s had reached abysmal levels. People from the communist bloc nations were making desperate attempts to flee to countries in Western Europe. Likewise, people from East Germany were attempting to escape to the more prosperous West Germany in order to avail of better economic and social prospects. The upper echelons of the Soviet government were facing tremendous pressure to . . . Read More
The Fourteenth Amendment, that was proposed and ratified immediately after the civil war is regarded as one of the most important legislations appended to the United States constitution. The Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses that comprise the amendment make it a very valuable support for immigrants and minorities. In the context of the civil war, it liberated the African American slaves and brought equality in the American society, at a conceptual level at least. The fourteenth amendment acted as the foundation upon which the civil rights movement of the mid twentieth century arose. The amendment had been instrumental in deciding the outcomes of such landmark cases as Brown v Board of Education and Roe v Wade (Daniel, p.15).
The section 1 of the fourteenth Amendment is a guarantee of citizenship for those who are either born or naturalized in the United States, ensuring that they enjoy rights to life, . . . Read More
The Indian economy has been growing at a phenomenal rate over the last few years. It is expected to maintain that rate in the near future too, which would make it an economic superpower in its own right. While this turnaround in India’s economy is a source of celebration for the world community, there are some genuine reasons for worry as well.
The foremost of the concerns is inflation. The high growth is matched by a high inflation inducing confusion in the minds of consumers. The rising prices of commodities had sapped much of the initial optimism.
The value of the Indian Rupee against the U.S. Dollar is presently unfavorable. The economic boom of the last few years that had created new markets for the disposable wealth of the affluent middle class is also accompanied by high interest rates. Although the government’s decision to increase interest rates is done to balance the welfare of the poor . . . Read More
As a strategically important country in the Middle East, the course Iran would take will have profound consequences for the entire region. But given its history and recent developments, the future looks dark and dangerous for both Iran and its enemies.
The recent years had seen a gradual but definite change in Iran’s social conditions. The fundamentalist mullahs have not been as strict in interfering with people’s life-style choices, probably due to the economic advantages presented by a consumerist culture. Considering that two thirds of Iran’s population is under the age of 30, this was seen as a tactical move by the Iranian administrators. For the outside observers this may give the impression of a free society. But the uncolored truth is that this apparent freedom of choice in a supermarket is not . . . Read More
As our societies become more affluent and advanced, the usage of automobiles will also increase proportionately. The pollution caused by popular automobile fuels will put the ecological balance of the earth in jeopardy. In this scenario, it is prudent of the governments and the people that elect them to make a collective effort in switching to cleaner alternative fuels.
These days there are more vehicles on the road than what is optimum. This means more pollutants are released into the environment. Gases like hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide are especially damaging to the atmosphere and its inhabitants. Moreover, these gases have the potential to create “ground-level ozone”, which is a layer that results when sunlight reacts with the pollutants mentioned above. Such atmospheric developments can have catastrophic consequences – including but not restricted to . . . Read More
Mythologies as Information Dispensers:
In the ancient world as is so in the modern world, myths have been an essential component of religion. In ancient societies, word of mouth stories were very significant because they explicated human and divine nature. In an era when the written script was not yet invented, this was a valuable method of information. The myths, packaged into stories, communicated history and preserved the past. Elements of intrigue and exaggeration were deliberately induced to make the assimilation and transmission more interesting. In other words, it could be asserted, that the Greek Mythology was the forebear for all subsequent performance arts. In the primitive world, mythology served as a primitive form of theatre. But this is only one side of the truth. Myths were cleverly used by the religious leaders to impose their authority on the unsuspecting masses. This was . . . Read More
The youngest of the Marx Brothers trio, Julius “Groucho” Marx, was also the most popular and versatile of the siblings. Groucho Marx’s place in the American comedy canon is undisputed and he is regarded second only to Charlie Chaplin in terms of his status in the comedian fraternity. While most comedians of his generation were stuck to one particular medium, Groucho was most remarkable for his adaptability and mastery of any new medium of entertainment that would appear at the time. For example, long after his brothers faded into retirement, Groucho was still holding stage in radio and Television. By studying the career of Groucho Marx in detail, much about the history of popular culture could be learned. Marx, having lived and performed in the first half of the twentieth century, bore witness to the advances in the way entertainment will be produced and delivered. Hence, Marx’s progress as a performer is . . . Read More
Parent’s education level which is a reasonable measure of their SES is found to influence language proficiency of their children. Substance abusing parents from low SES tend to be negligent of their children, which affects their language development. Ethnic and racial minorities, especially whose first language is different from the dominant language of the region, have historically found social mobility difficult. Parents under mental stress tend to be poor caregivers and this affects the language acquisition of their children – most such adults are from lower SES.
Research indicates that of all the parent-child activities, reading to children has a major influence on the subsequent language development of the child. This is so, because the other verbal interactions between . . . Read More
The most common themes of Reggae music include poverty, politics and Rastafarianism (which is a set of spiritual and cultural beliefs with wide ranging interpretations). Other subjects like love, sex and socializing also find mention in the lyrics although social criticism is the predominant theme. The music is also known for criticism of materialism, political awareness and rebellion against orthodox religious dogma (Clements).
Reggae as a Vehicle of Political Message:
Clancy Eccles was openly supportive of Michael Manley and his People’s National Party (PNP) during the 1970’s. Manley, the ever shrewd politician, understood the power of Reggae to draw voters. So during the run-up to the elections, he arranged concerts where Eccles’ performed politically loaded numbers. The other Reggae groups that were also supportive of Manley were Dennis Brown, the Chosen Few . . . Read More