Symbolic and Instrumental Approaches

Can you describe what goes on when someone uses a definition of culture anti-conceptually? Can you give an example from our reading?

Using an anti-concept definition of culture creates an ambiguity. Cultural analysis should be guessing at meaning, assessing the guesses, and drawing explanatory conclusions from the better theories; not discovering the mountains of definition. An-anti concept of culture lies on the belief that culture is power, which is perhaps a false assortment. Culture is a context in through which we understand civilization, clans, and human behavior; what they live through, the formulae they use to define what happens to them Using an anti-concept of culture makes a delusional perception of one’s mind characteristics, personality, cognitive structure, or whatever. One assumes that it works the same among them as it does among us, as lack of familiarity with the imaginative universe within which their acts are signed. As Wittgenstein said, “one human being can be a complete enigma to another, without understanding the mastery of their language, their people, and if one does not know that then he cannot see his feet with them.” Entities tend to get blurred when an anti-concept of culture is defined. Culture is formed from psychological structures through which groups and individuals guide their behavior. One has to believe in operating in a manner acceptable to its members. A social code exists in every culture, and an anti-concept refracts that code.

This concept is best explained by Ryle, on his discussion of “Thinking of thoughts.”  He explains that two boys are sitting, facing each other. Both of them are contracting the eyelids of their right eyes. In one, this is an involuntary twitch, in the other, a conspiratorial signal to a friend. The two movements are identical, and one could not tell which one was twitch and which one was a wink of if both were twitching or if both were wink. The winker is communicating uniquely, imparting a particular message. As Ryle points out, the winker has done two things contracted his eyelids and winked, while the twitcher has done only one thing, pledged his eyelid. Recruiting your eyelid on purpose when there is a public code which so doing is count as winking. Now, suppose there is a third boy who parodies the first boy’s wink. He does it identically the same way as the other two; but this boy is nor winking nor twitching, he is parodying someone else. Here, too, a social code exists and also a message. If the other think he is winking or twitching, this whole project misfires completely. Even we can go further by saying that he not winking, nor twitching nor parodying he is rehearsing; he has been doing practice with a mirror in the past. From this is affirmed that culture public because meaning is. You cannot wink without knowing what counts as a wink or how to contract your eyelids. Knowing how to wink is(Geertz, 1973)

Can you describe two different operationalization of culture and explain the benefits and limitations of those approaches?

National culture is more distinguishable to foreigners than to the nationals themselves. When we live within a country, we do not discover what we have in common our citizens, we only know what makes us different from them.

Management and organizations are culturally dependent because managing and organizing involve manipulating symbols which have meaning to the people who are managing and managed. Many organizations have adopted foreign management techniques into their culture; this happened in Japan, where mainly U.S. management theories were taken over but in an adapted form. This adaptation led to entirely new ways of practice which in the Japanese case were highly successful. One example is the Quality Control Circle. The Quality Control Circle has been so useful in Japan that now the Americans are bringing it back to the U.S. Still, it isn’t very certain whether most of its present U.S. protagonists realize the role that Japanese educational and social conditions play in the ability of Japanese workers to function effectively in a Quality Control Circle. Not all other countries have been as fortunate as Japan in that a successful adaptation of American management theories and practices could take place. In Europe but even more often in Third World countries, foreign management methods and ideas were indiscriminately imported as a part of “technology transfer.” The evident failure of much of the international development assistance of the 60s and 70s is at least partly due to this lack of cultural sensitivity in the transfer of management ideas. It has caused enormous economic losses and human suffering. Most present-day management theories are “ethnocentric,” that is, they take the cultural environment of the theorist for granted. What we need is more cultural sensitivity in management theories; we could call the result of organizational anthropology or management anthropology. Is unlikely to be the product of one single country’s intellectual effort; it needs by definition a synergy between ideas from different sources. The convergence of management will never come. What we can bring about is an understanding of how the culture in which we grew up and which is dear to us affects our thinking differently from other peoples’ thinking, and what this means for the transfer of management practices andtheories(Hofstede, 1983)

Numeracy, Accounting, and Power

Can you explain why control over numbers, numeracy, and abstraction leads to concentrations of social power?

The control over numeracy and accuracy leads to social power; this was practices by the organization of tobacco in Spain. They used disciplinary cost accounting practices in the RTF, which was linked to the state’s recognition of the importance of tobacco revenue to the treasury and also the RTF was recognized as the symbol industrial prestige. It was noted that the cost accounting practices provided information and techniques that contributed to the promotion of strict work discipline, which helped in the reduction of theft and also culminated in minimizing the cost of production. The cost accounting system used the expected cost of direct labor and material consumption for those parts of the production process that were not susceptible to adequate supervision. They also provided calculations of various expenses. This practice tended to single out the controllable elements of value. Actual production cost was mainly used in experiments seeking to improve production and particular tasks. The quantification of human effort and skill, through the development of different measures – like rate and mix of utilization – which creates a new potential for the those at the top hierarchy to engage in a position of power and management. With these measures, they can compare, differentiate, hierarchize, normalize, and homogenize individuals. They can even isolate and dismiss individuals. Hence, disciplinary power is an exercise through itsindivisibility (Fernando, n.d.)

Can you narrate different cases of attitudes towards accounting in a business or among a group of people?

The two types of ERM model can best explain two different attitudes towards accounting in business; one driven by the shareholder value imperative and the other corresponding to the demand of the risk-based internal control essential. The shareholders’ value imperative drives a particular model of ERM in which risk management is a fundamental feature. It is ERM by the numbers. It is contingent on a vision of uniting and controlling risk & return. This model requires the quantification of risk silos and risk capital need of business. The essential significance of this model is derived through strategic planning and performance management. It is diagnostic. It corresponds to risk management in strategy setting with planning control and using it to manage risk within the company’s risk appetite.

However, the risk-based control imperative is prominent with holistic risk management. It focuses on qualitative assessment; risk management exercises are flexible, allowing the negotiations of risk limits when the business requires it. It is keen to acquire business insights to present an opinion on risk issues that are beyond quantifiable risk-framework. It is interactive. It corresponds more directly to the design requirement that risk should be appliedto (Mikes, 2009)

Can you explain what consequences those attitudes towards accounting have for the actions of the given business or group of people?

Under the definition of operational risk, one finds both quantifiable and non-quantifiable risk. Therefore, businesses need to apply a set of operational risks that are relevant to them. Companies will likely pick issues for entrance into the remit of the executive risk controller. Based on the difference between the two approaches, businesses could expect that with time the management of operational risk will take separate routes, depending on the ERM model they’re adopting. Moreover, further studies on the dynamic of risk management are vital to confirm the validity of each attitude. The study suggested that the interface between accounting and risk-management is riddled with tensions. The quantitative risk approach allowed risk managers to address the problem of risk aggregation, which allowed the risk specialists to examine the risk profile of the institution, set limits, and do the same for separate business units.

The ideal of risk-based management required risk managers to focus on quantifiable risks. Their commitment to a calculative culture of managing risk by the numbers resulted in a boundary around their remit that prevented them from gaining access to the framing of non-quantifiable risk issues. The ideal of holistic risk management was frustrated; hence the paradox of resolving the challenges of risk computation; by doing so, the risk function’s limit became confined and inflexible. The role might have become a cog in the wheel of value creation, but it was not part of the strategicengine (Mikes, 2009).


Culture and Materiality

Can you explain the way in which material objects acquire cultural meaning?

Material objects, especially clothing items, can acquire cultural meaning. They sometimes not only represent people but constitute who they really are. An excellent example is the ‘Sari.’ A ‘Sari’ is a piece of cloth, around 6 meters long, worn by women in India. The Sari represents who they are; it represents their identity and makes a woman who she is. The ‘Pallu’ is a more decorated and free end of the Sari which falls over the left shoulder down to the waist. The Pallu represents an artificial decorated quality of the garment that is not shared by any western clothing. It is so remarkable who the Pallu, although the Sari, represents a complete set of culture, hot it reflects a woman’s belief and values. The Pallu is a haven for an embarrassed face and a cover for unfitting emotion.  As an outsider, when one enters a village where all the women wear a sari, he must assume that this has become natural; as something distinct and regular. A woman would have worn a sari for 30 years and still have no command over it; it is like driving a car. Learning to drive a car and learning to wear a Sari both mark a shift in one’s life, sense of age; there is the feeling of becoming an adult with all the new freedom, power, constraints, and fear that growing up entails. Just as the Sari starts off as very oppressive than most western garments, it has now become a symbol of power. Men working in offices complaint that they cannot compete with women simply because they don’t wear a Sari. Moreover, the Sari is like a fellow actor, partnering on stage regularly, for which the whole presence must always be remembered. The Sari makes a woman a person who can interact with others and with the self through this continuously shifting material. A Sari can be exceedingly supportive, when attended to, helping to accomplish all the manner of tasks. But, when ignored, it can be quick to betray and destroy one’s respect and honor, causing other to judge harshly. Such diverse and uncertain experiences with the Sari have a far-reaching bearing upon a woman’s life and sense of herself. There are, however, a multitude of varying expectations and experiences that are the direct result of wearing a particular item of clothing (Miller, n.d.)

Can you offer two different examples of ways that groups have distinguished themselves due to their use of clothing? Why do they dress the way that they do?

A qualitative study done in a rehabilitation center showed how organization members use their dress to represent themselves and negotiate issues. The study showed that the dress took on various and often contradictory meanings. Patients who wear pajamas and see hospital garb around them think of themselves as sick. If patients and their caretakers wear street clothes, then patients are more likely to feel that they are moving out of the sick role and into the rehabilitation. They will have a firm belief that they are ready for life outside the hospital. This is the rehab philosophy, and this is what is distinguish it from the other units.

Moreover, health and medical professionals believe their work is professional by taking care of sick patients; they examine their body fluids and get the patients’ slime all over their clothes and body. Therefore, they’re dressed in scrubs. Both groups work in the same hospital. Yet the portrayals of who they are and who they take care of are remarkably distinguished by their dresses. Dress serves as a symbol that facilitates an organization, like the hospital. Dress serves as a convenient and useful window allowing members of the hospital to look at the multiple and competing for social identities inherent in the hospital (Whetten, 1985) (Dukerich, 1991). The appropriateness of each form of dress facilitated the issues related to the mission, clients, roles, and status of each nurse. The meaning of a symbol, such as the street cloth and scrub, within one organization, like the hospital, may differ from its purpose in another organization or at a different place and time within the same organization. The rehab center members in the hospital wear street clothes because they rehabilitate the clients by giving them information, knowledge, and expertise. The focus is on showing them identify a new state of health. They want the patients to see a difference between the acute care unit and the rehabilitation center. They feel comfortable seeing street clothes; they see a transition in their health and the clothes are the sign of that.

Moreover, the members in the medical unit are likely to wear scrubs because of the acute condition and treatment of patients. The study suggested that symbols represent not only core values and beliefs but also several event-driven issues within an organization. In the case of the hospital, the dress symbolized the change in the patient population. Each dress represents a unit’s mission, patients and employees’role (Rafaeli, n.d.)


Dukerich, D. a., 1991. Keeping an eye on the mirror: Image and identity organizational adaptation, s.l.: s.n.


Geertz, C., 1973. Thick Description: Toward an interpretive Theory of Culture, s.l.: s.n.

Hofstede, G., 1983. The cultural relativity of organizational practices and theories , s.l.: s.n.

Mikes, A., 2009. Risk Management and Calculative Cultures , s.l.: s.n.

Miller, D., n.d. Why Clothing is Not Superficial . In: s.l.:s.n.

Rafaeli, M. G. P. &. A., n.d. Organizational Dress as a symbol of Multilayered Social Indetities , s.l.: s.n.

Whetten, A. a., 1985. Research in organizational behavior , s.l.: s.n.




In this paper, I will argue that Foucault’s position on ethics will show the importance of implementing ethics and morals and I will use the example from the novel Machete Season to further the point.

Philosophical thought deals with many aspects of life, including an important branch known as ethics. Usually, ethics and morals are used interchangeably, but it must be recognized that these two are widely different as the former deals with the portrayal and acceptance of external values, such as the laws and rules of the world, while the latter deals with the internal distinction between right and wrong. Both ethics and morals are major tools that govern human behavior, such as interacting in power relationships. I will elaborate on the work of the great French Historian and Philosopher Michel Foucault with relation to ethics and power relations. I will use arguments abstracted from his works and apply them to one of the killers’ testimonies extracted from the famous novel on the Rwandan genocide, Machete Season by Jean Hatzfeld. Lastly, I will use the architectured situation to compare my own power relationship experiences as understood by me in the light of Foucault’s works. The meaning of ethics is described in detail by the academic genius Michel Foucault and is a little different from the view of many philosophers, academics, historians, and journalists. His definition of ethics is understood“as a relation of self to itself in terms of its moral agency.” The view of ethics entails a human being opening themselves up to accept and abide by some sort of morals for behavior and, by essence leading themselves to what he termed as  “subjectivation.”Foucault’s works on ethics encompass a vast array of historical thought and ideas that are mentioned in “The Use of Pleasure” and “The Care of the Self” and in hisinterviews titled “On the Genealogy of Ethics” and “The Ethics for the Concern of Self as a Practice of Freedom.” His text “The Hermeneutics of the Subject” goes into in-depth analyses of how ancient values and ethics of identity and acutely related to the historical philosophy. In his later works, Foucault postulates that the emerging ethics stem out of the internal (moral) drives and duties of individuals; however, the modern era’s concept also maintains that absolute full knowledge cannot be perceived or grasped by being in a natural order. This statement appears to be against the human perception of knowledge, and it can be connected to power relations in the sense that the stakeholders might have incomplete or inaccurate knowledge while the interaction takes place. His writings including, “Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason,” mention how morality, if constructed only by an individual, can be inefficient and at times harmful as he mentions, “what desire can be contrary to nature since it was given to man by nature itself?”This goes on to say that humans can be trapped into doing wrong by their selves, and to avoid that, a code of ethics is necessary. He is quoted to have said, “The strategic adversary is fascism… the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.” Hence a connection can be made in how it is a human weakness to be attracted to power that has the capacity to corrupt, and hence, a code is essential for humanity’s wellbeing. Foucault has also shed light on the power relation between the state and the common people where the former are the controllers, and the latter sometimes behave as passive pupils. They normalize and accept most propaganda lines. He mentioned during “The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature,” “The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticize the workings of institutions that appear to be both neutral and independent, to criticize and attack them in such a manner that the political violence that has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked so that one can fight against them.” This approach seems to be in sync with the neo-Marxist theory of Repressive State Apparatuses (RSAs), where the state applies laws that actually favor its selfish aims and actually disrupt the order amongst its people. Hence, the philosopher urges people to give that state a fight that he believes might be natural, as he mentioned in his book “The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction”, “Where there is power, there is resistance.” Thus, a code of ethics, though, is necessary can be played around with by the people who are responsible for designing the laws, and that is where the moral duties of individuals interject. Therefore, ethics might be important; morality still ought to be present and is essential to sideline any loopholes in the state policies of ethics.

Having established the significance of ethics and morals, that play an important role, I will use real examples to support my point. I have taken the example of the testament of Alphonse who was a murderer during the Tutsi killings that took place in Rwanda and in the book Machete Season remarks in the chapter named “Hatred of the Tutsis,” “As to the Tutsis’ fancy manners, I believe that in the end we were used to them. It was all the same to us, that gossip about dainty fingers and peculiarities of the sort. I do not believe the cows presented a truly hateful problem, or else we could just have slaughtered cows. I do not believe our hearts detested the Tutsis. But it was inevitable to thinkplso, since the decision was made by the organizers to kill them all. To kill so many human beings without wavering, we had to hate with no second thoughts. Hatred was the only emotion allowed for the Tutsis. The killings were too well managed to leave us room for any other feelings.” (pp. 179)

This testament reveals the need for a code of ethics in the society that is morally binding. Firstly, the statement demonstrates the need for a moral code as Alphonse loosely states how he was desensitized to gossiping about the “dainty finger and (other) peculiarities” of the Tutsis. This evidences that the internal distinction to discern between right and wrong, known as moral values, was essentially not present or was numbed largely. Secondly, the element of human weakness is also present in the statement that cements the need for an external code of conduct, ethics. The person is constantly using personal plural pronouns such as “we” and “us” that is indicative of the human desire to not be alone during hard times or not seem to be the only one doing wrong. This also shines a light on the power relations in the sense that the narrator appears to have the need to collect the crime, that resulted from a position of supremacy, and now feels embarrassed to individualize it as a known convict, and thus, shies while in an inferior position. Thirdly, the importance of morality can also be proved by this testament as the person claims to be powerless in the face of state power that so brilliantly “managed” the killings that “hatred was the only emotion allowed for the Tutsis.” This shows that ethics should not be in conflict with individual morality and that moral values are cardinal to have as they help to improve the ethical codes of life. The power relationship between the state and its pupils is an essential theme of this statement as the state is shown to be the powerful one governing and dictating the behavior of the people. At the same time, the Hutus appear to be brainwashed to an extent as inferior beings who are not as powerful as the state.

The derived lessons from the mentioned testament teach me sublime life-lessons. For instance, the importance of moral values is extremely significant to be developed, and simultaneously ethics should be paid attention to as well, especially during power relationships when the situation pressurizes individuals to behave in a certain way.

Foucault’s arguments regarding ethics and morality help me formulate my arguments and increase my understanding of the system as a whole. Historical progression of values and ideas play an important role in bringing forward the actions of individuals on the surface and become a responsible and proactive citizen, it is a moral and ethical duty on every individual to realize upon themselves the internal distinction between what is right and what is wrong and obey the ethical codes, while at the same time challenging them time and again using internal values. However, further questions do rise related to what should be made a priority, the moral values or the ethical codes.










1. Introduction

A broad approach towards understanding human experience is adopted from primitive societies until today through different methods and is called anthropology. What makes a human a human? Why humans do what they do? Why they eat certain foods, practice certain religions, adopt certain living styles are all answered through Anthropology. Therefore, this study of humans, their behaviors, and the communities they live in, both in the past and in the present, by employing the scientific method, is called anthropology. There are five primary subfields of anthropology. These are archaeology, physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and applied anthropology. This paper attempts to study the ritual practices of societies through the lens of social and cultural anthropology.

2.     Social and Cultural Anthropology.

Many aspects of social and cultural anthropology are similar to a large extent. There doesn’t exist any hard and fast difference between these two fields of anthropology. Cultural anthropology has flourished, particularly in the US. The prominent, in fact pioneering, scholars in the area are Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict. This filed of anthropology studies cultural notions and behaviors dictated by cultures. Religions, languages, ethics, perspectives about the world, etc. are studied by cultural anthropologists. How these notions came into being, how they were adopted, and how have they been sustained are the concepts that can be broadly covered by the ambit of the cultural anthropology. On the other hand, social anthropology studies “social institutions,” such as family, family structures, social fabric, and their interactions and interrelations. This field has been developed primarily in Europe. What overlaps both cultural and social anthropology is the “deep structures” within any particular society. The “organizing principles” of the society that govern human behaviors or, in other cases, may also get challenged or get broken down(Joao).  This paper, while analyzing the ritual practices through anthropological view, will use sociocultural anthropology to use both the subfields(Doda).

This paper proceeds as follows. First, an explanatory view about rituals will be presented. This section will also highlight the importance that rituals hold in the light of sociocultural anthropology. This will be followed by an example of a religious ritual practice that will be described and then investigated through the lens of sociocultural anthropology.  While studying the ritual, the underlying symbolism, if any, present in the given ritual will also be traced and explained. Lastly, how rituals prove helpful in making sense of reality will also be accounted for in this paper.

3.     Ritual Practices: Why are Rituals so important in Sociocultural Anthropology?

What are rituals and symbols? Emily Schultz and Robert Lavenda explain the characteristics of any ritual in their book, “Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition.” According to them, any ritual must have these four attributions(Schultz and Lavenda.)

  1. For any practice to be considered as a ritual, it must be a repetitive practice of individuals of any society.
  2. Secondly, this practice should have unique characteristics, so it could easily be differentiated from everyday routine practices.
  3. Thirdly, the given practice must also follow a particular schema that might showcase its “differentness.”
  4. Lastly, the origins of the practice also have to be embedded in any myth.

Rituals form a very important, in fact integral, part of any society. Although many rituals are rooted in either myths or religions, it is, however, a misconception that rituals just exist within religions. New Year celebrations, graduation ceremonies, etc. are also considered as rituals. Hence ritual practices are also found well in the profane world as they are found in the sacred realm. The difference between a religious ritual and any other, profane ritual can be noted through the nature of such activities. Because activities with the ability to transcend time and have extraordinary characteristics can be counted as religious rituals(Peirano).

What makes rituals a topic of central concern and never-ending complexity in sociocultural anthropology is the notion of rituals being very complex social mediums. Because rituals are interpreted in a certain manner, the ambiguities in these interpretations and communication and the complexities associated with them make the rituals hot topic for anthropologists. The translation and interpretation of the rituals or any such practices are the unseen forces that exist between the rituals or symbolic practices and the multiple layers of knowledge that they deliver(Gusfield and Michalowicz). The social setting; the performers, the witnesses, the symbolic interactions; the varying interpretations, the varying attachments of both the meanings and feelings to the process of rituals make them a wholesome topic for study.

Henceforth, ritual practices, being completely capable of communicating, are multi-faceted. It can be concluded as a process of symbolic expression, intended to convey a message, and the witness is required to be wholly and intimately aware of the said expression as well as the intentions of the performers if he wants to receive the given message, so to complete the process of communication. While there exist the barriers of restricted code & multiplicity to this communication, the sheer communicative ability of rituals and the enormous symbolic mechanism that it involves(Wu). The communication intentionally communicated via the rituals is, nonetheless, always received and interpreted by applying social or cultural filters by the observer. Ritual practices serve the purpose of transforming realities, knowledge, or perceptions as well as reinforcing the social and cultural notions, despite the existence of this interpretative dilemma. Hence, the ritual practices continue to be an essential subject of analytical investigation in the field of sociocultural anthropology, mainly owing to their multidimensional nature(West).

4.     Manifestations of Ritual Practices:

This section attempts to cite some of the examples of ritual practices around the world.

India is home to more than one billion people belonging to hundreds of races, ethnicities, and religions. However, the majority of the Indian population follows the Hindu religion. To concretely understand the concept of ritual practices and the ensuing notions of symbolic interaction and interpretation etc.

Deepavali[1], a festival of lights, is a festival celebrated in the Hindu religion during the month of Kartika. This festival usually falls somewhere in mid-October to mid-November and lasts for four to five days. On the fourth day of this festival, there takes place another festival named Govardhan puja (worship of mount Govardhan). This festival is native to the southern parts of Udaipur, a city in the Rajasthan province of India, to a large extent. On the day of Govardhan Puja, women belonging to the households that own cattle and lands gather large quantities the fresh cow dung. With this dung, these women sculpt two-dimensional figures that have sacred connotations for them. Cow worship is a magnanimous part of the Hindu religion, so the cited ritual will be counted as a religious ritual.

The ritual starts early in the morning just as the sun rises, and the sculpting takes up to two to three hours. Women sculpt the sacred figures called Govardhan and bless them throughout the day. These figures exist only for the time in which the process of conceiving and then the final rites take place. So as the sculptures get completed, and women finish blessing and praying over them, the next step is to bring in the Cows. The cows crush the figures and being the deity of the highest respect, also bless the sculptures. Afterward, the crushed material lays there for some time until it gets perished. After around two weeks are passed, this material is dispersed in the fields with the intention to bring luck and prosperity to the fields and the owners, respectively. There are no religious personalities involved in this ritual, and women alone carry out this holy ritual. However, men also take part in the festivities of this holy day by honoring their bulls. They decorate them with fancy ornaments, different colors, and primarily Henna and feed them special food. This ritual, like many others, also originate from a religious myth. This practice is considered to be the worship practice carried out by cow loving Hindu god Krishna in his natural habitat Govardhan mount hill(Notermans).

This ritual of Govardhan Puja has all the undercurrents, as identified above. Women, as well as men, are the performers of this ritual, and so there would be many witnesses. Worshipping cows is an everyday custom in Hindu household; however, there are certain aspects of Govardhan puja that differentiates it from daily worship.

First of all, women dress up in fancy, embroidered, colorful, and relatively expensive dresses as soon as the day of the puja starts. People also dye cows’ hair with bright colors. Bulls are also painted in bright colors as the evening starts. The Govardhan, once sculpted entirely, are also decorated with flowers and other fancy material. The day marks the mighty expression of people’s love for cows, and they feel pride in showcasing something that was a trait of their beloved cowherd god Krishna. Afterward, the dung is scattered in the fields with all the blessings, which depicts a whole other story(Agoramoorthy and Hsu).

In this ritual practice of Hindus’, there are in play not only communication but also symbolic interpretation. As mentioned above, the ritual originally purports to showcase the love of the Hindus for their God, Krishna, and by doing so, they have not only adopted his passion for cows but have made worshipping the cows a significant part of their religion. As far as the intimate knowledge about the rituals is concerned, see the picture given below(Anderson).


It can be seen in this picture that, most probably a father, is trying to put a child in the lap of the freshly sculpted Govardhan to receive blessings according to the customs. Child, upon experiencing something new, is just about to cry hysterically. Now, there are very high chances that the same child will grow up to not only love the cows and all the opportunities to play with their dung but also will thoroughly enjoy sculpting Govardhan’s at some point in life. So why is the child crying now? It’s because the child does not know at the moment the meaning of this whole ritual, that what she is going through is sacred. She does not know what to make of it. So this explains the point why it is necessary to have complete intimate knowledge of the ritual practice to understand it.

4.     Ritual: the Means by which ‘Humanity’ Makes Sense of Experiential Reality.

On the 10th day of Dull’hajj, the 12th month of the Muslims’ Hijri Calendar, Muslims sacrifice hundreds of thousands of cattle around the world. It is worth wondering how a practicing Hindu would make sense of this reality. How something so revered and exalted by Hindus is not even appreciated in that way by Muslims[2]. Thanks to the anthropology, this question is also satisfactorily answered with the lens of ritual practices and how they help in making sense of the reality that one experiences(Nye).


So, just the way cows are revered by Hindus based on their religious beliefs, sacrificing cattle –goat or lamb, particularly, but also cows, camels, etc. – is also embedded in the religious beliefs of the Muslims.

The practice emanates from the time when Prophet Abraham was ordered to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ismail, in his dream for three days continuously. When he finally decided to cut the throat of Ismail, God sent replaced Ismail with a lamb through an angel. To commemorate this selflessness and utter sense of sacrifice of Prophet Abraham, Muslims all over the world sacrifice an animal on the 10th of Dull’hajj and distribute the meat among relatives and neighbors.

So this ritual, among many others, makes one understand the logic of many activities happening around them. This is particularly true for the cases when these activities are apparently contradictory to each other(Kreinath).

To conclude it all, ritual makes an important subject in the field of sociocultural anthropology, owing to their deliberative as well as ambiguous nature. They generate curiosities as well as satisfy curiosities.

5.    References

  1. Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy and Minna J. Hsu. “The Significance of Cows in Indian Society; between Sacredness and Economy.” Anthropological Notebooks3 (2012): 5-12.
  2. Anderson, Claire. Crying children are placed in COW DUNG by their parents who rub it into their skin to grant them good health and luck as part of Hindu ceremony in India. 12 11 2018. <>.
  3. Doda, Zerihun. “Introduction to Sociocultural Anthropology.” Ethiopia Public Health Training Initiative, The Carter Center, the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, and the Ethiopia Ministry of Education (2005). <>.
  4. Gusfield, Joseph R. and Jerzy Michalowicz. “SECULAR SYMBOLISM: STUDY OF RITUALS, CEREMONY AND SYMBOLIC ORDER IN MODERN LIFE.” Annual Reviews Inc. (1984). Online. <>.
  5. Joao, Pina-Cabral. “Social and Cultural Anthropology.” (2018): 1-17.
  6. Kreinath, Jens. “Ritual: theoretical Issues in the Study of Religion.” REVER – Revista de Estudos da Religião (2005).
  7. Notermans, Catrein. “Prayers of Cow Dung: Women Sculpturing Fertile Environments in Rural Rajasthan (India). .” Religions, MDPI2 (2019). <>.
  8. Nye, Malory. “Religion is Religioning? Anthropology and the Cultural Study of Religion.” Scottish Journal of Religious Studies 20 (1999).
  10. Schultz, Emily A. and and Robert H. Lavenda. Cultural Anthropology: a Perspective on the Human Condition 7th ed. New York: Oxford P,. 10. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  11. West, Nathan. “Why Ritual Matters— A Theoretical Analysis.” 10 6 2016. Online. 19 4 2020. <>.
  12. Wu, Qiao. “The structure of ritual and the epistemological approach to ritual study.” The Journal of Chinese Sociology volume11 (2018).

[1]Commonly known as Diwali.

[2]This reality has been the major impetus in fueling the hatred against Muslims in India, as the Cow worship is widely used as a political tool by many in India. The infamous cow vigilantism in India connotes this behavior of thrashing Muslims who eat meat.




Assisted dying or euthanasia is a substantial debate today. Researchers have focused on discussing this topic regarding moral values and ethical framework. The success books by Jack Kevorkian and Derek Humphrey reflect plenty of societal values, trust, empathy and harmony.. Public interest is related to the legislation for assisted death. This issue in the western state is considering legislation regarding general welfare means to help society. The argument taken in this form is support position for assisted deaths. Similar arguments will be made about it in this paper.This paper will take the support position under persuasive arguments that assisted death is a legal right, and it should be considered as a public good

The question of euthanasia is old, dates back to 2000 years ago. This is associated with the aging population, uncontrolled technology, and medical involvement of the patient.In the US, since the past half-century, society is carefully nurturing individuals’ liberty rights (Pro-euthanasia). Public goods are those goods that are supplied by the government to the entire people. Such products can be consumed by people at the same time. There are some examples of public goods such as air, defense, and lighthouse, public parks, street light, etc. (Kathy). In the characteristics of the public good is the non-rival benefit, it means if one takes the benefits, other people’s interests will not be reduced. The other feature is non-excludable means one cannot refuse to anyone to consume public goods. This all relates to improvement of welfare of human beings, that is what assisted deaths do.

Arguments to support Assisted Deaths

Physicians believe that moral differences should prevail between assisted suicide and euthanasia. Physicians have not initiated acts that can contribute to assisted suicide as patients’ death. Public opinion regarding assisted death is seen in past four decades that has shown that about 35% Americans are in favor of legalization and from 1991, this ratio increased to 60% (Eastman). Euthanasia is generally an act that is done by a physician in which, it ends the life intentionally, upon the request of the patient. Any lethal substance is administered to take patients’ death. This paper is discussing assisted dying under the context of the public good and whether people should consider it a public good or not (Kailash).  Some people say it is right, and some say it is wrong to practice. It is not considered to be harmful in the European and in few American states. It is normal in these states. It is not only including the people but also animals when the animal falls ill and takes a long time to recover from the disorder, so it is rightly processed for the animals of these states to assist death. Helping individuals through mercy killing is to relieve their pain.

Arguments to support

Assisted death is a controversial issue for healthcare in recent times because once abortion was legalized, voices were raised about euthanasia. Social workers hold the position of debate, while in 1993, the Delegate Assembly US passed the bill about self-determination decisions regarding end of death (Owen). This kind of situation highlight that assisted death should be a pubic good where everyone should be given a right to decide about his life (Assisted). Under this policy statement, end of life decisions addressed the critical issues related to advance directives, palliative care, and terminal illness, active and passive euthanasia (Eastman). The situation under this policy offered a position that self-determination can have a dominant value. Under this policy, it was also clear that social workers cannot be forced about their will, they are free to do what they want, i.e., participate in the act of suicide or personally inappropriate for workers to supply, deliver and personally participate in assisted death act (Owen).

The public health policy was lacking in terms of many holes, such as the American Association of suicidality that discusses individuals’ rights regarding public or common good. The perspective about public good was missing from this policy, and it was commonly argued that the wellbeing of society is above everything in this society.  The argument is clear here, in the case of self-determination, human being, if suffering from pain should be provided freedom. According to contemporary American culture, the scope of individuals is standard in it that can threaten how someone is destructive to the whole community but assisted death is a favor to all those patients who want to be free. The community has to face a harsh decision in the form ofassisted deaths, though it harms a life but it is beneficial for patient (Young).

There are different philosophical foundations regarding considering euthanasia a public good. There are various moral beliefs that this should be pubic good or not. The assisted death phenomenon exists due to the favor of physicians in some countries(Friesen). Generally, two ethical theories illustrate the wellbeing of human beings. Deontology and utilitarianism are two moral aspects that focus on the wellbeing of society and individuals. These theories are according to individual rights and describe how it implements to societal welfare(Eastman). Utilitarianism is about the action; if it is taken inherently good or right, that will create more good benefits as compared to bads, so it leads to the maximization of goods.

If a person favors euthanasia or assisted death concept, it will maximize goods for society. However, it will bring more consequences for the individuals and the community as a whole, a difference for those, who believe it is unethical. People who advocate this concept are enhancing the respect notion for autonomous decisions. The dying patients tend to promote trust in doctors because they willingly choose death over life. In this regard, physicians are creating cost-effective medicine and lethal injections to end the presence of such patients.

The assisted death can decrease the pain of the patient, but it overall hurts the wellbeing of society (Friesen). Utilitarian arguments are not in favor of euthanasia because this legalization can welcome the slippery slope argument. This argument is to invite involuntary euthanasia. For example, in the Netherlands, physicians have reported that lethal injections are provided to only people who are willing to die, so they provide formal approval.

The utilitarian argument also considers that assisted deaths speculate the physicians’ distrust, and this is increased due to the legal conditions of euthanasia. It is perceived that it can manage healthcare conditions. The physicians are the third party payers and members of family who coerce patients to request assisted death. The second leading theory against assisted deaths is deontology(Eastman). This moral theory argues that “actions can be bad or good for reasons rather than consequences.”  On the basis of this theory, assisted death has a good moral in it. Under the universal ethical principles, the actions and intentions are guided in the form of right and wrong determinants. These principles also argue that it is illegal to see the enslavement of human beings(Arguments). The argument against the deontological perspective shows that assisted death is “just participating in the act of killing a patient, and this concept is antithetic to the concept of the physician.” Many physicians face this asa moral consideration (Eastman).

Evidence has shown that assisted death occurs for the welfare of patients, so physicians favor it. The value of objective information in this regard can act minimal because assisted deaths in the Netherlands are only done under the prescribed limits of the guidelines. The state of individualism in different societies is at priority under humanitarian grounds. If it is to be considered according to American culture, the act of assisted deaths is destructive to the whole nation and human life. The community feels it as an act of real interaction that is reciprocal to care and mutual ties (Arguments). Community ideas about crisis management should be considered that need to be tackled. The action is not taken for the more significant interest of society as well as the public good.

Assisted death is not equivalent to murder and killing of the human being. This concept is related to the devastation of the idea of humanity. In this scenario, legal punish should not be allowed because it aids a person get relief from pain. The debate over the legalization of assisted death is not subsided for decades because people who support it have created strong beliefs to negate morality and feasibility. It is essential to respect individuals who are terminally ill. European convention for human rights has decided that though everyone has to face death ahead, conditional death in the form of assisted dying is not allowed (Arguments). This concept is related to the right to self-determination. The scope of this investigation under active euthanasia emphasizes the holiness of life. Declining the level of respect for every individual’s life is unjustified. Moral obligations on doctors are to end the terminally ill patients’ experience.

These arguments mainly discuss the connection between individuals and communities. Respecting fundamental values of life is essential that can be related to the interest of patient. The assisted death in the world has been faced many obligations and criticism because these activities are against the standard right to life for a person. The secular arguments in this way are different because they don’t consider the significance of the entire universe. The position of people, in this way, provide a clear introspection of the fundamental values that work for societal welfare.  For people, it is essential to consider the legal and ethical rights of the human being before considering such decisions.

Assisted death is such a process of termination of life intentionally. In the qualities of the this action,the beneficial approach is to help patients, it implies in the event that one takes the advantages, others’ inclinations won’t be diminished (Kathy). The other element is non-excludable methods one can’t decline to anybody to expend open products. The third component is resolute. The general wellbeing arrangement was inadequate as far as numerous gaps, for example, the American Association of suicidality that talks about people’s privileges with respect to greater welfare appear in favor of the assisted deaths.

Assisted death should be legal, it provides people a right to end their life when they need. The people of European and American states, they should be given the right to die with respect instead of facing pain and trouble in the hospitals who are the victims of the disorder. People of these states think it is a personal right of everyone to live and die; it is not a loss and benefit of other people. In this regard, the opinion is it should be lawful in other countries of the world.


In the Netherlands, assisted death was legalized in 2001 after a lot of controversial public issues. In the 1980s, this process was performed legally under the adaptation of the system in the Royal Dutch Medical Association(Kailash). The judicial system of the country was aligned with the medical association. This law was guided by the Oregon experience, but the public was assured that Dutch law has some defects, and it must be addressed in the proposal formulated by Belgium. In all the jurisdictions, assisted deaths were considered as a well informed and well-considered form that is persistent. In law, the requesting person was permitted to explicit a written form as consent and should be competent by that specific time (Kailash).

Whether assisted death is a public good or not, it has seen a debate for decades. According to the American public, distinct viewpoints about public policy are discussed to show the legalization concept (David). According to 20% public in America, “it is logical to consider assisted death in the form of lethal injection.” 72% of people, in a survey, said, “It should not normally be considered to assist a relative or friend required this matter.” According to physicians, personal involvement in assisted death is not clear yet. The Colorado physicians in a survey said that 59% of them are willing to help patients in assisted deaths while in San Francisco, 70% of them were ready (Phoebe). According to the physicians of Washington State, 33% of physicians are of the view that they would be fine if assisted deaths will be performed (Robert). All these arguments highlight that euthanasia is considered to be a public good that is needed to be freely implemented in public.


Arguments, Pro-euthanasia. Ethics – Euthanasia: Pro-Euthanasia Arguments. 2017,

Behrendt, Kathy. “Whole Lives and Good Deaths.” Metaphilosophy, vol. 45, no. 3, 2014, pp. 331–347., doi:10.1111/meta.12089.

Chand, Kailash. “Why We Should Make Euthanasia Legal | Kailash Chand.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 1 July 2009,

Deaths, Assisted. Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal? – Euthanasia – 2019,

Dyer, Owen. “More than 1% of Deaths in Canada Last Year Were Medically Assisted.” Bmj, 2019, p. l1989., doi:10.1136/bmj.l1989.

Eastman, David L. “Dating the Deaths.” The Many Deaths of Peter and Paul, Feb. 2019, pp. 68–102., doi:10.1093/oso/9780198767183.003.0003.

Friesen, Phoebe. “Medically Assisted Dying and Suicide: How Are They Different, and How Are They Similar?” Hastings Center Report, vol. 50, no. 1, 2020, pp. 32–43., doi:10.1002/hast.1083.

Young, Robert. “Medically Assisted Dying.” Oxford Bibliographies Online Datasets, 2011, doi:10.1093/obo/9780195396577-0042. Accessed 16 Apr. 2020.

Feminism in the 20th and 21st Century



Sexual assault is a broad term that includes any sort of sexual violence, sexual actions without consent, or torture of any kind. The sexual cases against the movie hegemon Harvey Weinstein are an essential one to be explored as they triggered a significant change that started with the Me Too movement. The Kantian and Utilitarian schools of thought are helpful in determining the case against Weinstein.

Many celebrated movie stars, including Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Salma Hayek, accused the famous American movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who is now convicted of sexual assault and similar heinous acts. These acts may induce terrible side effects such as self-harm, panic attacks, or may even cause unwanted pregnancies, especially if the victim is pressurized into not speaking or voicing out for help or catharsis, as was the case with Weinstein who blackmailed the actresses on multiple occasions.


Self-harm is caused by emotional pain and should not be ignored, no matter its scale. It may be challenging to break away from it as the cycle becomes addictive in some cases, and in serious ones may lead to suicide. Likewise, panic attacks are reflective of the internal disturbed state of people that may be episodic and are triggered by no real danger. They can disrupt the present state of the victim and lead to depressive thoughts. In severe cases of sexual assault, such as rape, unwanted pregnancies may take place. Abortion is a solution, but it is considered illegal in many areas. It hence can cause significant life changes for the victim, apart from the emotional trauma the event itself brings.


This case can be evaluated using the two great branches of ethics, namely Kantian and Utilitarianism. Utilitarianism argues that one should act in a way that produces the highest good for the most significant number of people. Utilitarianism judges the moral value of an action based on its outcome (or expected outcome, for a hypothetical case).  So, in the case of sexual assault, the consequence of self-harm, panic attacks, or pregnancies may determine the action itself to be considered wrong.


On the other hand, Kant’s ethical theory bases all moral judgment on the nature of the action; the consequences are entirely irrelevant. The more modest and plausible of his moral theses is that it is always morally wrong to treat humanity as a mere means to achieve some desired end. To put it more simply, the rule is to respect people, and not to use them. And this includes self-respect as well as respect for others, so it’s also wrong to drug yourself into oblivion. The idea is that an action is morally acceptable if and only if it would be both feasible and acceptable for everyone to act in accordance with the same principles that motivate the original act. In the case of sexual assault, this means that the nature of the act itself comes under question, regardless of its consequences.


Based on these two theories, Weinstein’s actions can be deemed to be extremely problematic in numerous ways. They not only lead to intense social issues, but his unethical actions in themselves are heinous in their nature. This sort of behavior ought to be declared strongly punishable as it becomes unacceptable when analyzed using the above theories.  Hence, both these theories help understand the criminality of the action, but the most suitable one appears to be Kantian theory here as it declares the foundation to be problematic and does not wait for the outcomes.


On the other hand, societies should encourage women and other oppressed bodies to speak up for themselves and allow more movement like Me Too to surface as they fix the gaps made by heinous villains like Harvey Weinstein to be bridged. Women empowerment ought to be recognized, and timely action should be taken against criminals who indulge in such crimes despite their influential status of personas.


Comparison of gender roles in Romeo and Juliet and Private Romeo

Problems of Children Being Abused



Romeo and Juliet Essay

Although many of Shakespeare’s plays have remarkably strong female characters and many a time gender roles are seen to be inverted in his plays, William Shakespeare, by today’s standards, does not reflect feministic values, but there are a few exceptions created. The 1976 film Private Romeo has some similarities and differences with the iconic play Romeo and Juliet when analyzed with the lens of gender roles.


In the play Romeo and Juliet, men in Verona, Italy, the setting of the play, are shown to be agents of power, sexual authority, subjugation, and general political authority. Sampson, a Capulet’s servant remarks in Act 1, Scene 1, lines 15-18, “Tis true, and therefore women, being the / weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall; therefore I / will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust / his maids to the wall.” These phallocentric lines are indicative of the hegemony of males in the society of the play and go on to display that women are primarily considered sexual beings. Likewise, Sampson once again declares, “Draw, if you be man,” in Act 1, Scene 1, line 62. This small line serves as a micro for the macro collective conscious of this play that appears to be that the ideas of masculinity are completely fixed so much so that the mere act of being reluctant to be angry drags the gender of man in question in the play. Additionally, Romeo’s friend, Mercutio, in Act 1, Scene 4, lines 27-28, says, “If love be rough with you, be rough with love; / Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.” This line is indicative of the societal norm that a man ought to be strong enough to deal with sentiments in a violent way suggesting that man is above the weaknesses of sentiments, unlike woman. Likewise, there are many recurring themes in the movie Private Romeo that represent that the larger parts of the society believe in the hegemonic ideas of masculinity. For instance, the very setting of the movie in a male cadet college, their daily routines and exercises represent the essence of this idea.


In the play, Romeo goes against the conventions of Verona, as depicted by Shakespeare. He does not wholly abide by the hegemonic masculine strength defined by the patriarchs of the society and family. Romeo defies the gender roles to an extent by succumbing to feelings and the associated toll generated. Romeo is a classical romantic as his thoughts are persistently filled with love and desires and lack the sort of “manliness” prevalent in most of the city. He is charmed by love twice and does not turn away or feel humiliated when his friends ridicule him for harnessing such feelings. Many critics go on to suggest that his character is weakened in his scenes with Juliet as she appears to be the stronger one, mainly judged as per emotional maturity. He places himself below his lover in an attempt to woo her and goes into submission. During the famous balcony scene in Act 2, Scene 2, lines 26-28, Romeo says, “O, speak again, bright angel, for thou art / As glorious to this night, being o’ver my head, / As a winged messenger of heaven.” No man of Verona in the play would have willingly let down his stature, but Romeo does so by raising his lover on a higher plane and value. He also makes a vow that is a digression from the conventional masculinity found in the play as he says to Juliet in the same scene, lines 50-51, “Call me but love, and I’ll be baptiz’d; / Henceforth I never will be Romeo.” The act of suggesting to give up his name for his lover is unconventional even by today’s standards and hence Romeo serves as a digression to the gender roles in the play. Likewise, the leading role of Romeo in the movie is also attributed with the vulnerable quality of embracing his feeling towards another man and be unashamed of being gay. Hence, there are similarities to be found in the attachment both the Romeo from the play and the Romeo from the movie have with their inner feelings and how dedicated both of them are to pursue them. However, the movie Romeo, does not depict the themes of lowering his own stature for Juliet, yet typical gender role seems to be inverted, or at least altered to an extent.


The females in the play in the city of Verona are almost considered second class citizens, suppressed by patriarchal regimes and households that quench their inner desires and control their lives absolutely. They are primarily considered a weaker sex, and hence, their opinions are not paid heed to. They are burdened by the traditions of pleasing their male family members, such as satisfying their parents, husbands, and bearing offspring. In this play, Lady Capulet, Juliet’s mother, exemplifies this image in Act 1, Scene 4, lines 70-72, as she says, “Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, / Are already made mothers. By my count, / I was your mother much upon these years”. This depicts the social burden women bear of being there for everyone and the cost of having no identity and life for their own selves.A difference in the play version and the movie version is that there are no female characters in the movie. But it is important to point out that all female characters were played by men in Shakespeare’s time and in this version too, a man is playing Juliet. Gender roles of female characters are layered with complexities in both instances.


Like Romeo, Juliet too deviates from the traditional female roles found in the play. Juliet disobeys the societal roles imposed on women. For instance, when Juliet sees Romeo at her Father’s party for the first time, she does not shy away from indulging in flirtations with Romeo, unlike the role assigned to an unmarried girl in the play’s social setting. She is instead brave and bold and even allows Romeo to kiss her. Similarly, there are many other instances where Juliet exemplifies opposite gender roles. She is shown to be the dominant one in her relationship with Romeo as during the balcony scene in Act 2, Scene 2, lines 143-144, she mentions, “If that thy bent of love be honorable, / Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow.” These lines indicate that Juliet is the one wearing pants and is outward enough to initiate the marriage plans with Romeo, despite knowing the intensity of the family feuds between their houses, Capulets, and Montagues. Moreover, Juliet is very open about her desires as she states in Act 3, Scene 2, lines 26-28, “O, I have bought the mansion of love, / But not possess’d it, and though I am sold, / Not yet enjoy’d. So tedious is this day”. Additionally, Juliet is an absolute rebel who goes against her parents’ orders and rebels against marrying Paris. On the other hand, Romeo too is comfortable with Juliet handling the business on her own and having her air of authority. Hence their characters defy conventional standards of prescribed gender roles.It is essential to note that although there are no females in the movie, the gender pronouns remain the same in the movie. So, despite the fact that Juliet in the movie is actually a male, the character is still given feminine pronoun. This act in itself is a diversion from the norm. Further, like Juliet in the play questions the family divide, the Juliet in the movie questions the gender divide in the sense that a “she”, despite being a male, can survive in a cadet college. Additionally, the movie also attempts to dethrone the stigma attached with gay relationships by calibrating two men in a relationship like Shakespeare attempted to demonstrate the power of star-crosses lovers in the face of political divisions.


All in all, it can be said that majority of the play’s characters conform to the assigned gender roles of being a man and being a woman in Verona. They succumb to societal values and make sexist remarks and supplement the patriarchy. While the movie Private Romeo is quite different in that regard, it has some similarities. The two main heroes of the play, Romeo and Juliet, defy the societal norm in the world of the play and movie. They go on a different stream and find their own personalities by sidelining the gender roles. Hence, it can be concluded that the play and the movie might be seemingly very different but do share some sort of common grounds with respect to their depiction of gender roles.

The novel “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy



Argument 1:

The conflict of Northern Ireland dates back to the 1960s. The written passage offers facts about the conflict. It is not very opinionated and hence, not very argumentative. However, the image attached clearly shows a harmless civilian being brutally manhandled by the police so that does build a perspective in the viewers head. There has been no mention of any resolution for the conflict.

Argument 2:

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is quite old and still ongoing as the passage mentions. The argument here is weak as mostly the factual details are presented by the author and neither is the conflict resolution discussed. However, it does mention and show destruction and harm inflicted upon civilians so indirectly it shows the side against war rather than support for either countries.

Argument 3:

The images and passages highlight the structural violence and protests. The war is on territory and division amongst the ethnicities and religions of both groups. But it is evident that on Palestinian side, civiliansare suffering and fighting against the Israeli army. The argument is strong over here however, the weakness is that no effective solution has been suggested for this issue (Bar-Siman-Tov, 1994).

Argument 4:

This is a strong argument as it clearly indicates the side of conflict to support. The destruction and countless deaths caused by the military against the minorities asking for rights. It offers facts and figures to support as well. Most importantly, it also mentions the peace efforts that took place to solve the conflict and how war ceased by 1995 (Statzmiller, 2002).

Argument 5:

The passage and image show two different aspects of the same argument. This makes the argument stronger as both show violence or the miserable state of one group. It also hints how UN hasn’t been as successful in bringing peace as it should be (Athanasopoulou, 2009). While the Bosnian war ceased, the psychological damage and poor treatment in refugee camps still exist.


Athanasopoulou, E., 2009. Conflict resolution in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Public debate on the Dayton institutional framework and its ongoing reform. NATIONAL & KAPODISTRIAN UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS.

Shatzmiller, M., 2002. Islam and Bosnia: conflict resolution and foreign policy in multi-ethnic states. McGill-Queen’s Press-MQUP.

Bar-Siman-Tov, Y., 1994. The Arab—Israeli Conflict: Learning Conflict Resolution. Journal of Peace Research31(1), pp.75-92.




We’ve discussed them extensively in class and on WebCampus, so now, which of the heroes (epic, or tragic) we’ve read about (Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Oedipus, Jesus, Rama, Kumagai or Atsumori, Lanval, Beowulf, Sir Gawain, Hamlet) comes closest to our contemporary concept of “heroic?” This answer will require you to define what you and your contemporaries consider “heroic,” if anything, as well as to detail the ways in which the character you’ve chosen measures up to that definition and the ways some of the others fail to measure up. Many very clever people have claimed that we live in an anti-heroic age (not believing in heroes any more at all.)


Different set of values tend to make for different form of heroism and Beowulf is no exception to distinct values. Known as the first hero in medieval English Literature, Beowulf is a warrior who uses immense strength to overcome three different beasts. Beowulf comes closest to the contemporary concept of “heroic” because some heroes in popular culture today happen to act like Beowulf even though this character was created thousands of years earlier. However, values today do tend to be different from those in the medieval era which is why there are certain underlying differences. There are two distinct types of heroes. Some use sheer power and raw strength of moral as well as physical form to defeat the enemies while others incorporate their intelligence as well as wits while accompanied by ruthlessness as well as trickery.

 These different forms of heroism date back to ancient Greek heroism from the Odyssey to Iliad. For example, Achilles, considered to be a hero, indestructible, having a divine force as well as strength, comes in the category of one form of heroism while Odysseus is considered to be rather crafty as he uses less of brawn and more of his brain. Contemporary heroes do follow their lead, for example, Superman can mostly be associated with Beowulf, with raw power and strength that is superhuman while Batman is craftier like Odysseus who relies on determination as well as wits. There are many contemporary heroes who follow the direct approach of Beowulf which is why Beowulf comes the closest to the contemporary idea of heroism. For example, muscle strength is something that most contemporary heroes have which shares a direct link to Beowulf’s own strength. Luke Skywalker in Star Wars uses the Force which signifies raw power. When it comes to mythology, there are certain comparisons drawn between divine ancestry as well as a hero as the bold exploits of the god like hero are celebrated as well as favored by the gods. When it comes to Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxon literature associates heroism with honor as well as themes of courage. For example, Beowulf follows obediently the Germanic heroic code which means that he possesses loyalty, wisdom, strength among other qualities which can be associated with contemporary concept of heroism.

It is imperative to note that Beowulf was written in Anglo-Saxon England where people migrated from Scandinavia and begun to develop different forms of moral and ethical conduct. This was also influenced by the conversion of majority of Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. However, there can be seen immense skepticism in Beowulf regarding the value of the Scandinavian warrior code as in the poem, the ideal king is the one who is a warrior and lives to demolish all kinds of monsters who might harm the citizens of his kingdom. There is however, one stark contrast to heroism in Beowulf which leads the reader to believe that Beowulf might be the antihero. This is because Beowulf is not much different from the monsters he defeats because just similar to the monster Grendel, Beowulf is also staunching strong, fights vigorously without the weapons and happens to be an outsider. Just as Beowulf takes revenge on Grendel’s mother, his mother is also motivated by revenge. The vice of Grendel is similar to that of Beowulf which happens to be the greed for obtaining treasure. Beowulf comes closest to the contemporary heroes because the narrator admires the strength as well as valor of the character. The values of a Scandinavian warrior are appreciated as well as an insight is provided into the heroism of a warrior king.

The characteristics which are similar in Beowulf and come closest to the idea of a contemporary hero happen to be humility, loyalty, strength as well as wisdom. Beowulf has the knack for being remembered by those that will come after him because of his brevity and strength. There are a lot of other traits such as self-sacrifice, courage as well as leadership accompanied with physical force and raw power which Beowulf shares with modern day heroes. The different aspects of Beowulf, such as Anglo-Saxon writing bravery attitude with respect is considered a significant topic of fortitude. At an instance, Beowulf opts submissively the Germanic chivalrous work that has shown its dependability, and shrewdness. The different roles of quality among different characteristics have provided with contemporary idea of chivalry. The description of a perfect ruler is provided as a person who is a warrior and lives among beasts who may hurt the residents of his realm


Feminism in gender studies
feminism in gender studies

Significant changes had come and are still coming in the role and image of women in the 20th and 21st century United States of America. The feminist movement is on the rise and getting prominent in politics. The purpose of this analytical piece is to look at the condition of women’s rights during the 20th and 21stera through the arguments presented by Alice Stone Blackwell. Blackwell was a feminist activist and a writer who addressed anti-women’s-suffrage arguments in a volume published in 1917. 

The fundamental question that Blackwell answered was why women should vote. The concept was newly emerging at the time, with many still opposed to it. Alice argued that under the law women were the same as men. And since the society claimed to be diplomatic and a republic rather than a monarchy then they should allow women to vote too. She insisted those women should have a voice in deciding who makes the laws for them as they were expected to obey those laws alongside men. A vote is “an expression of an opinion,” and everyone should have the right to voice their opinion.

One argument posed at the time was that if women voted then chivalry would end. The next one was that females are too emotional and cannot be trusted with matters of politics. The response to this was that sentiment is important in a political context. Men who do not feel tend to be heartless and inconsiderate of others. Such men are more often than not lacking in their ethical and moral standards.

It was also believed during that time that men and women are entirely different. Their characters and role in society are starkly apart. So if women voted, they would turn like men and lose their sex, their identity. Alexis argued that a country such as America, which was one of the founding nations of Democracy, should give suffrage to women. And acknowledge them as equal to men.

However, people also argued that suffrage rights meant that women would start looking for ways of increasing their influence further in the matters of the state. They would neglect their domestic duties and responsibility. Ultimately, they wouldn’t want to become homebound and domestic. This destroys the family system in America that was getting followed until then.

American politics in the 20th century was becoming milder than in the preceding years when the politicians were more rigid on their conservative mindsets. Some setbacks had also taken place internationally, and the economy of the country was going down. During this, the liberal mindset started to really foster and grow in the minds of others too.

Another reason for this social progression towards liberalism was the industrialization and capitalism wave in America. With technological innovation, standards of living increased, women had more time on their hands and wanted to work professionally.


Secondary sources:

The Unravelling. 2017. The American Yawp. Retrieved from:

The triumph of the right. 2017. The American Yawp. Retrieved from:

World War 11. 2017. The American Yawp. Retrieved from:

The Progressive Era. 2017. The American Yawp. Retrieved from:

Morris, Bonnie. History of Lesbian. Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Social Movements. Retrieved from:

The Progressive era. 2017. The American Yawp. Retrieved from:

World War 11. 2017. The American YawpRetrieved from:

Primary sources:

Alice Stone, Blackwell.  Answering Objections to Women’s Suffrage (1917). American Psychological Association. Retrieved from:







The industrial pollution in china
The industrial pollution in china

The rapid economic growth in China has yielded an increase of 10% in its Gross Domestic Product, followed by the eradication of poverty. This growth has a profound effect on the living standard of society, yet there are increased environmental concerns. According to policymakers and researchers, the pollution of the environment is attributable to the emissions from industries (Dasgupta et al. 487-498). There is a well-established link found between the poor quality of water and air and adverse health outcomes. The environmental regulators in China have classified more than half of its resources of waters as contaminated.

These environmental risks are responsible for about 2.4 million premature deaths annually. Due to the estimated rise in industrial pollution, water and air quality are getting damaged and need effective solutions to control the emissions.

The increased economic growth in China is attributable to the fast growth of industrial units and increased manufacturing. The energy required to support this economic growth is acquired from coal and fossil fuels. It is evident that the increased burning of fossil fuels creates pollution and damages air quality.

The increased combustion and reduced level of control on emissions are producing a drastic impact on the air pollutants, by giving rise to sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and black carbon. The increased manufacturing of fossil fuels and primary carbon is endorsing the fact that China is producing far more pollutants per unit of its economic growth as compared to advanced industrial countries.

In 2006, per unit GDP emission in china was 6-33 times larger than the air pollutants in the US. This fact illustrates that air quality is getting more attention from policymakers.

In the present day, industrial pollution has become a growing concern. Environmental perspectives, air quality, and biodiversity are confronted with significant risks. Surrounding countries of china, such as Bangladesh’s European Union and Mongolia, are also getting highly affected by China’s industrial pollution. The World Health Organization has reported that China is the most polluted country in the world, with seven out of ten rankings. The huge dependence on coal combustion in Chinese industries is generating carbon dioxide that is contributing to global warming (Zhang et al. 1110-1119).

Moreover, the textile industries are also responsible for ecological disasters due to the combustion of fossil fuels. It is also found out that in the near future, there will be more reliance on carbon combustion. The World Energy outlook 2017 has reported that the power generation sources last year were 20% hydro, 58% coal, 9% wind, and 4% gas. The increased number coal consumption is also alarming for near countries due to the deterioration of air quality. The extremely rapid growth in China is destroying biodiversity, and excessive discharge of nuclear pollutants is harmful. (The industrial pollution in china)

According to the Chinese national environmental and protection agency, sustainable environment planning is a key step to reduce pollution-related activities. It has also presented that more than 80% of the total emission of pollution is attributable to industries in China. National people’s congress has focused that the constitution should include a high form of legislation regarding pollution control (Dasgupta et al. 487-498). The law should be formulated that controls the ecological environment by securing biodiversity and controlling the hazards of pollution. This will help in facilitating socialist modernization and safeguard human health. 

Most industries found in China are using the combustion process. China is also a leader in technology and science. Ancient China was also involved in massive production at the industrial level. It is also producing steel at a large level, so 567 million tons of steel becomes half of the world’s production.

These industries need large construction materials, machinery building, and metals to develop their ways of production. China is also focusing on the automobile industry. Medium to large-sized factories need raw materials for production and acquire growth. The huge consumption of energy is responsible for pollution(Zhang et al. 1110-1119). Toxic elements like industrial smoke, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide as industrial pollutants are damaging the air and water quality. In China, the number of cars is increased as per capita income has increased. 

The level of air pollution has been exceeded, which is attributable to a stockpile of coal due to the non-availability of natural resources and oil. The degradation of air quality is seen by the Asian Brown Cloud notion as it has gained significant attention these days. The layers of air pollutants are due to toxic industrial elements that have covered India, Pakistan, and the Indian Ocean. The industry is also developing a huge amount of mercury that has become a growing concern for US policymakers.

Acid rain is also due to industrial pollution that contains nitrogen oxide emissions and sulfur dioxide. Industrial pollutants are damaging historic buildings and human skin South East Asia River is also subjected to pollution by showing great water scarcity. Safe drinking water is declining in many regions (Zhu et al. 301-302).

The solid fuels detected in the indoor environment are a growing health risk for humans. It has many health-related issues, such as acute lower respiratory infection. The environmental risks due to industrial pollution and the use of solid fuel are causing a rise in deaths. This high level of pollution has increased indoor air pollution levels, thereby putting the lives of individuals at risk of acute lower respiratory infection.

More than half the rural population in China still uses solid fuels that are making the matter worse. The heavy reliance of urban communities on coal is generating a high level of toxic elements such as fluorine and arsenic. Its burning has resulted in arsenicosis symptoms in Southwestern China with 300,000 people (Yang et al. 2018). 

Coal smoke exposure is an increased threat for people and reducing health quality. Heavy pollution industries are posing serious short and long-term threats to human lives and biodiversity. Many environmental regulations are underway to protect human health and conserve biodiversity and the ecological system.

Zhenjiang Environmental Bureau has focused on environmental policies as well as interagency coordination to make decisions. The environmental protection bureau has to undertake certain activities that pertain to the actual application of policies. These activities mainly include non-compliance fees, pollution charges, and monitoring of air and water quality. Tax rates on air pollution are some significant measures for the protection of air quality and healthcare outcomes. It is also being followed by the inspection facilities of the industrial unit.

The air pollution in China is due to outdoor industrial combustion and industrial coal burning. The release of chemicals from the industry can be reduced by implementing policies for coal combustion. 

In the 20th century, major industrial units were installed that gave rise to massive production as well as pollution. The burning of sulfur-rich coal is attributable to sulfur dioxide release while it contributes to acid rain formation. In Beijing, more than1000 vehicles are added on roads, and in 2008, it was estimated that the city acquired about 3.5 million vehicles. In major Chinese cities, the concentration of Ozone is depleting due to poor air quality.

The estimated level of pollution due to industrial emissions is four times high than the WHO recommendations. There are significant efforts carried out to cut pollution from the air by focusing on dust and sulfur dioxide. In many new power plants, sulfur scrubbers are implanted in the industries that will decrease the national level of sulfur dioxide emission so that energy production will increase (Jiang, Ma & Zhu, 2013). The 11th five-year plan in china is addressing the bad air quality indoor by raising public awareness.

The plan has set the targets for pollution control and raising air quality. The national policy about leadless gasoline is also implemented in urban areas to reduce the concentration of lead in the atmosphere. China’s enforcement and monitoring issues are oriented on the basis of environmental policies and to analyze the behavior of industrial pollutants. The plant-level environmental analysis in different cities of china offers a clear understanding of the firm performance and its level of pollution. 

The role of past policies to reduce pollution levels from the environment has worked to reduce risks and conduct some reforms. Hong Kong’s example of sulfur fuel law offers an understanding of different incidents about quality controls and improvement in short and long-term health. The increase in environmental records in China is attributable to environmental sustainability. This plan was reiterated in Copenhagen to focus on the reduction of toxic environmental pollutants that give rise to greenhouse gases.

The ecological goals to reduce industrial emissions have a significant impact on air quality once they are achieved. Industrial development needs a focus on different strategies to minimize toxicity from air and water, thereby giving rise to safe health. The renewable energy sector is also required to alter the current state of the industry, hence improving the environmental conditions. The level of global warming is growing and causing significant concerns related to health safety and the perseverance of biodiversity.  


Dasgupta, Susmita et al. “Inspections, Pollution Prices, And Environmental Performance: Evidence From China.” Ecological Economics 36.3 (2001): 487-498. Web.

Jiang, Liangliang, Sen Ma, and Yi Zhu. “The Effects Of Environmental Regulation On Industrial Pollution And Industrial Activities: Evidence From China.” SSRN Electronic Journal (2013): n. pag. Web.

Yang, Na et al. “Economic Growth And Pollution Emission In China: Structural Path Analysis.” Sustainability 10.7 (2018): 2569. Web.

Zhang, Junfeng et al. “Environmental Health In China: Progress Towards Clean Air And Safe Water.” The Lancet 375.9720 (2010): 1110-1119. Web.

Zhu, Yong-Guan et al. “China Steps Up Its Efforts In Research And Development To Combat Environmental Pollution.” Environmental Pollution 147.2 (2007): 301-302. Web.

Crazy Offer!

25% off

on your first order