Monday, January 28, 2008

Significance of Belonging in Young People’s Lives

By Sudipa Sarkar
Belongingness and Identity

In simple terms, belongingness can be defined as a form of relatedness, contributing to a basic human motivation illustrated as a desire to develop social relationships. A positive sense of belongingness is thus resulted from the experience of positive social interactions as considered in social and developmental psychology as a necessity for human being to move forward in life. Belongingness is a phenomenon that is characterized with a central feature called identity – be it a individualized or community based, but identity is the core factor governing the sense of belongingness. Identity attributes the exaggeration of outsider versus insider barriers due to polarization, so is happened with nationalism to the larger extent. Identification with one’s own ethnic group occurs at the cost of estrangement from the larger societal framework. Belongingness as a manifested form of identity influences the fundamental structure of personal identification at its basic level, whereas, at its most complex level, it articulates the complex involvement with other individuals within the social network, featuring a range of potentially contradictory identity factors contributing to adherence such as gender factor, attitudinal factors, sexual orientation factor, ethnicity factors, ethnic preference factor and so on. When the development of the sense of belongingness is deprived, it may result in increased anxiety, stress and emotional distress along with various forms of psychopathology and physiological malfunctioning (Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Anderman, 2002).
Need for Belongingness

As stated in Sociometer theory proposed by Leary and Baumeister (2000), there is a strong correlation between one’s relational value and perceived self-esteem. If an individual perceives that his or her relational value is at risk, it may lower his or her self-esteem to quite a further. This threat is central to the need for belongingness that educes reflection about the problematic condition and potential solutions, as described by rumination theory proposed by Martin and Tesser (1996). Hence, if the perceived threat of relational inadequacy is continuing through the human system, the distorted self-esteem may cause the threat to repetitively turn out to be the individual’s focus of awareness by interfering reflection over the barren goal, namely, the satisfaction of the need for belongingness. Aligned to this fact, rumination theory proposes that the perceived threat to the contentment of a basic need is one of the central factors educing and maintaining reflection (Gold & Wegner, 1995).
Forms of Belongingness
In order to develop an understanding about the relationship of belongingness to a young’s life in terms of their living style, historical context of their existing condition, as well as present contextual framework, a thorough approach in considering the forms of belongingness needs to be assessed.
There are essentially two forms of belongingness that influence an individual’s life especially an young individual’s life to quite a greater extent –
Belonging to place, inclusive of nationality and neighbourhood and a blend of these two aspects
Belonging to sexual community.
Belonging to Place
In several times, various researchers conducted studies in order to find out the implication of belongingness in an individual’s life in relation to the social location the individual belong to. It has been found that the sense of belongingness is shaped by the social location in which an individual belonging into (Rutherford, 1990). Hence, the essential contributing factors shaping a young individual’s sense of belongingness include locality, gender, ethnicity, religion and social class.
In such a study called Inventing Adulthood Study (London South Bank University, 2006) conducted to find out the sense of national identity among young individuals suggests that the national identity seems to be invisible with an account of mixed perception of Britishness and Englishness in question. On the other hand, minority group of young individuals do not reveal any willingness to claim the identity of English with a feeling of British as complicated especially when someone is not white. In practice, the process of identification is not a simple one-track route as one cannot simply chose who he or she is. Rather an individual must perceive to feel welcomed, acknowledged, leading to an articulation towards the sense of belongingness. The cultural differences along with the translation of ideas and values contribute to the understanding of the form of belongingness. However, the study also affirms that many of the white English young feel a sense of pride in association with nation with an acquired hostility towards the ‘outsiders’ who are even not belonging to their everyday interaction. Apart from the mentioned factors, the sense of belongingness is also shaped by religious affiliation as well as family tradition.

In the perspective of belongingness within the framework of immediate locality, it can be stated that locality in terms of neighbourhood comes to influence the sense of belongingness. As sociologist Les Back (1996) suggests that white, black and Asian young individuals form the structural form of ‘neighbourhood nationalism’ which is characterized by a preoccupation of racism along with shared form of belongingness. In considering the ideology of working class, white young individuals may express prejudice with regard to unknown others such as Blacks and Asian individuals from neighbouring estate. However, a sense of belongingness within a local community includes a complexity and multiplicity in terms of ‘ambivalence and equivocation’ regarding the places the individual lives into, by expressing a shared feelings of belongingness with a conscious recognition of the disgrace associated with living on large estates (Reay & Lucey, 2000).
Belonging to Sexual Community

Quite evidently young individuals extend their social network depending on their sexual orientation – be it a heterosexual or homosexual one. This extension of social network primarily developed within the locality or outside of it (McNamee et al., 2003). Instead of increasing transparency, young individuals still experience different awkward situation such as being bullied or intimidated. This is particularly prevalent within the context where ethnic minorities or religious factors play a crucial role. A tendency to identify oneself as a gay is a common pattern that is prevalent among young whites. In that particular case, the young need to learn how to accommodate with changing environments considering various aspects involving gay scenes, hence developing a sense of belongingness is significantly time consuming in practice. In those kinds of conditions, the young individuals are especially treated awkwardly and sometimes quite insensitively within their particular community where he or she belongs originally. The deviation from the normal heterosexual orientation puts an individual’s self identity threatened at initial level of recognition. It is sometimes found through the illustrations of situations encountered by gay individuals that both internally and externally they resist with their dis-identification as opposed to ‘normal’ heterosexual family life. Gradually as he or she becomes exposed with the gay scene, he or she started doing negotiation with his or her identification as being a gay individual in relation to family, social class and nationality. It possibly takes a considerable amount of time for the gay individual to understand own identification in association with a sense of belongingness with both family and community as a whole.
Choice as a Central Factor of Belongingness
There has been a gradual deterioration in the influence of tradition and social institutions in the development of values and identities, a procedure illustrated as detraditionalism (Heelas et al., 1996), individualization (Beck, 1992) and disembedding (Giddens, 1991). These theorists developed their hypothesis on the basis of the idea that in Western cultures, identities and forms of belongingness are becoming liquefied in terms of uncertainty and subject to choice. Previously the identity was considered as a ‘given’ phenomenon, whereas it has increasingly become a ‘chosen’ phenomenon, which may cause in the development of new ethical conceptions and communities (Plummer, 1995; Tronto, 1993; Weeks, 1995).

The idea of postmodernism can be explained as the particular modes and styles of rational culture focused to forms of thinking and representation that give emphasis to disintegration, discontinuities as well as the breakdown of global narratives and grand theories. The moral inconsistency of the postmodernism attributes to the restoration of agents to the flavour of ethical choice and accountability in accordance with deprivation in terms of providing comfort as promised earlier (Bauman, 1992). The craving for belongingness and satisfaction gained from belongingness are two inversely related factors. This correspond with the condition of increasing secularity of Western societies leads to an increasing number of individuals actually getting converted into traditional religions and a propagation of new patterns of belief not actually be in terms of religious all of a certain, but involving a search for implication. This is where the concept ‘belief without belonging’ comes into, as coined by British sociologist Grace Davie (1994), implying the paradoxical procedure by which religious organizations have failed to get a hold on the social structure, whereas faith remains as an essential factor for individual identity. In case of minority ethnics and religious groups, faith acts as a central factor contributing to the development of identity; however ‘choice’ remains as a complicated factor attributing to the continuing process of discrimination.
Promoting a Sense of Belongingness among Young Individuals
A sense of belongingness has essentially internal and external facets in essence of belongingness an individual is within (such as belongingness to family) and belongingness an individual makes out of ‘choice’ (such as belongingness to music community). However, the belongingness entailing an inherent pattern of an individual may include the feature of flexibility that an individual may stay with or may leave. There are specific kinds of identification that can be achieved in essence of an influence by group membership experiencing as independent of choices. Once an identity became blemished, it can further be reclaimed as occurred with the terms like ‘queer’. This essentially makes the sense of belongingness as a complex phenomenon articulating into being intimate, sensitive and emotionally charged.

The sense of belongingness is crucially significant factor for analysing the multiplicity in different levels of belongingness leading to movement along the continuum. It is not necessary that all the identification be positive or could be achieved. At this point, the consideration of the processes of identification, dis-identification and the recognition and the claiming for identification take place. An individual may perceive an excluded sense of belongingness in terms of bullying as in the case considered as informal and explicit or in terms of institutional racism as in the case considered as subtle and embedded. In most of the organizations, young individuals attribute identities as more or less comfortable to live in. in such cases, the sense of belongingness may be attributed to a separated form sometimes in opposition to the background in which young individuals are encountered with. In practice, the initial encounter may be attributed as a sense of dis-identification. As the sense of belongingness is flexible and complex, hence the sense of belongingness can be nurtured through working with young individuals.

Crucial Factors Contributing to the Sense of Belongingness
The sense of belongingness is essentially a universal phenomenon. Belongingness is closely intertwined with the most personal feelings of existence of an individual as an entity and hence disregarding or disrespecting these factors may result in defensiveness. This point is crucially significant to the understanding of the implication of belongingness in the perspective of young individuals and deriving reflections of the belief and assumptions while considering their ideas on this particular aspect. The conscious recognition of own values and forms of belongingness by young individuals may lead to an understanding of their personal reaction as well as identification with the perceived and actual support available, in turn, may lead in developing a sense of belongingness (Turney, 2007). It is assumed that young individuals may experience tattered due to conflict arise in adherence which inevitably leads to an understanding of the dynamism of identities and forms of belongingness. Considering the various aspects relating to religious or nationalist emblem may result in inflexibility or rigidity of identifications and dis-identifications. An active involvement of young individuals in decision making processes shaping the organizations and environments may contribute to the nurturing sense of belongingness. The active participation concerning with everyday decisions affecting young individuals in various institutional as well as neighbourhood context is an important milestone covering the increasing awareness especially in the case of excluded young individuals (Montgomery, 2007). And quite significantly, a sense of commitment needs an understanding to recognize the practical implication of exclusion in terms of inequalities in power and resources at a given period of time. Hence, an understanding to this particular aspect is centrally crucial by virtue of an understanding of group range, primarily either focused in their own self-defined choices or focusing in relation to family and communal identity in general. Thus the sense of belongingness may be considered as a manifestation of multiplicity and is particularly contradictory in nature with an essence of conceptualization of communities in an exploration of forms of belongingness inclusive of religion, nationality, neighbourhood and sexuality.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Physical and Social Development of Adolescents

By Sudipa Sarkar

From both cultural and sociological perspective, adolescence period is considered as a transitional standardized human developmental phase, which is crucially important to every human identity and society as a whole. According to WHO1, the adolescence period is defined within the time period of 10 years to 19 years (Goodburn & Rose, 1995). During this period of time, an individual is going through dramatic changes concerning his or her physiological as well as psychological health. The adolescents, during their course of development, faces various developmental challenges and conflicts that they need to resolve in order to move forward through their path of development. This paper aims at exploring different issues related to physical and social development of adolescents and the impact of those developmental changes on them.
Physical Development

The adolescence period is featured by dramatic physiological changes that in practice leading them to move forward from a child to an adult. Hence, adolescence period is a transitional period, where an individual reaches to the physical maturity. This period distinguishes among males and females quite evidently by developing sexual characteristics, however, the secondary sexual characteristics become visible during prepubescent period.
In the prepubescent period, a female may begin to develop her breast buds around the age of 8 years, which take the mature shape with full breast development during late adolescent phase. Apart from that, public hair growth – armpit and leg – has been observed during 9 to 10 years, where the distribution pattern becomes prevalent at the age of 13 to 14 years. Another significant physical change occurs in adolescent females with the menarche2. In general, the menarche occurs after 2 years of prepubescent changes. A female may undergo menarche at early at the age of 10 years and as late as 15 years.
However, the puberty is not identified with a sudden onset of pubertal changes in case of males, as it happens with females with menstrual changes. In case of males, the scrotal and testicular changes occur during 9 years of age along with a lengthening of penis size, whereas it reaches to its adult size around 15 - 16 years of age. Public hair growth in the areas of armpit, leg and face is noted at the age of 12 years, whereas it reaches to its adult distribution at the age of 15 to 16 years. The occurrence of nocturnal emissions3 in around every 2 weeks interval consisting of seminal fluid may define the onset of puberty among male adolescents. This typically occurs during the age of 13 years to 17 years.

A contemporaneous brisk of growth in height is noticed between ages of around 10.5 to 11 years and 16 to 18 years, with a peak period characterized around the age of 14 years. Another significant change in males occurs with the changes in voice which is usually parallel to penile development, whereas the occurrence of nocturnal emissions corresponds with the peak period of height spurt.
Social Development
The radical and dynamic changes both at physical and psychological level throughout the adolescent period make it typically distinct from other phases of development. An adolescent, irrespective of gender, experiences an individualized form of self consciousness, sensitivity about the surrounding environment and an increased concern over one’s own body image along with excruciating evaluation between own self and peers.
An important aspect of the psychosocial development contributing to the adolescence period is adolescent egocentrism. According to Elkind (1967), adolescent egocentrism includes a belief system carried by adolescents that makes them to consider as special and unique which is accompanied with the accomplishment of new psychological abilities. Adolescent egocentrism is characterized with an imaginary audience with an increased self consciousness. Adolescents consider that their people in their surrounding areas, especially peers, observe their activities, appearance as well as they possess an increased interest in their thoughts and behavior. Adolescents assume as they are spending a considerable amount of time on thinking about themselves, so they consider that other peoples are doing the same thing. They are unable to realize that despite of their own interest about themselves, other individuals are hardly aligned to that extent. According to Elkind, this phenomenon occurs due to early formal operational thought4. However, there is an existing debate in establishing relationship among early formal operational thought and emergence of adolescent egocentrism. While some researchers agree about the correlation among these two factors (Hudson and Gray, 1986; Riley, Adams, and Nielsen, 1984), the others do not (Jahnke and Blanchard-Fields, 1993; Lapsley, Milsread, Quintana, Flannery, and Buss, 1986).
Inadequate information regarding the physiological changes during puberty leads both the male and female adolescents experiencing anxiousness regarding their changes especially in relation to nocturnal emissions and menarche respectively. The initial societal changes occur with the increased preference of mixing around peer group with a reduced interest of staying closer to parental figures. Typically, at the toddler period a child experiences separation from parents, this eventually materializes during adolescent period with a typical increasing involvement with peer group. As a result of social development the relationship among an adolescent and his or her parents has been changed dynamically, however, shift of the primary mode of interaction governing the adolescent’s world from family to peers does not alleviate the significance of the family in the adolescent’s life. The close interpersonal relationship within family structure has been corroborated as the most significant defensive aspect that contributes against specific high-risk behaviors like smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and premature commencement of sexual intercourse (Resnick, Bearman & Blum, et. al. 1997).
According to Erickson (1959), the adolescent phase is characterized with the crisis of Identity versus Role Confusion, as described in his psychosocial theory of human development. He described that an adolescent is getting typically concerned about how they appear to others. Despite searching and establishing for own identity at this stage, most of the males and females are centrally associated with a typical level of role confusion such as minor delinquency, rebellion, self-doubt as well, which in turn, actually motivates them to move forward throughout the continuum of development for establishing their own identity and to reach at next level of development.
During their psychosocial developmental phase, as Erickson believes, if an adolescent successfully resolves the conflicts encountered in earlier developmental levels, his or her mature perspective will be developed accordingly with an acquirement of self-certainty as opposed to self consciousness and self doubt. The adolescent typically experiment with different constructive roles preferred over negative identity. A successful adolescence is characterized by with an increase in social network along with anticipation about achievement for own action rather than being paralyzed with feelings of negative identity and inferiority complex. The adolescent is typically looking for leadership5 and an ability to develop a set of ideals in the due course of time, which is socially congruent and desirable for those adolescents who successfully resolve their sets of developmental conflicts. Psychosocial moratorium is a phenomenon that is characterized with the phase at which a typical adolescent is just free to defer on delay taking commitment as an adult in order to play new social roles.

If the discussion of this paper does not entail another ingredient of human development including how an individual encounters with moral dilemmas during their various developmental phases, the paper seems to be incomplete. The moral development is a crucial chapter of a human being’s life that has a significant influence over social development as well. The theory of moral development (Kohlberg, 1981) as proposed by Lawrence Kohlberg illustrates the constitution of moral reasoning with six identifiable developmental stages, which is categorized under three levels with 2 stages under each level of development. Among these stages, stage 3 under level 2 specifically corresponds with the adolescent developmental stage, characterized as ‘Interpersonal accord and conformity’. At this stage, as described by Kohlberg, adolescents typically align with living according to expectations of the family and community and behave in a ‘good’ manner. Good behavior implies possessing good motives characterized with interpersonal feelings such as love, empathy, trust and concern for others. At this phase, an individual typically acts corresponding to their feelings that they find aligned with ‘good’ and opposed to ‘bad’, whatever be the significance or consequences associated at the end of the event. They are after satisfying their own interpersonal feelings on the basis of their love, empathy, trust and concern for others.

An adolescent is a wonderful individual in familial context – he or she is neither a child nor an adult and the opposite is true as well, that is, the adolescent is a complex blend of child and adult. Adolescence is a crucial phase of human development in terms of having a significant influence over the individual concerned as well as family and community. Hence, it is very important for every individual to understand the dynamism associated with this transitional phase of development as happened with physical, social, cognitive, moral and emotional level that profoundly affect the adolescent’s perception. It is also critically imperative to understand how this transition mutually influences the family of the adolescents in relation to the support available throughout the developmental continuum.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Saturday, January 26, 2008


World-Leveling: The Boon and Beyond
Reviewed by Sudipa Sarkar

THE WORLD IS FLAT: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
By Thomas L. Friedman
488 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux $27.50

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century composed by Thomas L. Friedman is one of the best-selling books which analyzes the progress of globalization with a special emphasis on 21st century. In 2005, it was first published whereas in 2006, it was re-published as “updated and expanded” edition. The World is Flat is basically portrays the research work done by Friedman during his visit in Bangalore and China, which is characterized by his own personal style of treatment along with the experiences he gathered during his visit, which personifies his complex ideas and theoretical analysis of flattening of the world in a metaphorical form.

Being a three-time winner of Pulitzer Prize, American journalist, columnist and author Thomas L. Friedman presents a critical but tormenting view at the future in his book ‘The World is Flat’. Here Friedman focuses on how the developing countries from around the world are able to create much more pressure by virtue of low wage market on business and individual of the United States due to modern globalization (globalization 3.0), in which the main forcing agents are individuals who are constantly influencing the accelerated changes through interconnecting new technologies and social decorum, such as cell phones, Internet and software, which inevitably make them “next-door neighbors” 2 and eventually resulting in a flat-world, in a metaphoric but with true implication, where individuals are learning to collaborate to stay in the system or just wipe out from it.

In his book, he specifically mentioned 10 forcing factors that work into the flattening of the world, like, Berlin Wall to open up free-markets, publicize of Netscape, development of “work flow software” 3, open-sourcing, out-sourcing, off-shoring, supply-chaining, in-sourcing, in-forming and combination of digital as well as electronic technologies (author named it ‘steroids’) and analyzed their roles in interrelation with the flattening in the shed of both boon and disadvantage too. On the one hand, he emphasizes the essentiality of the flat world and its inexorably non-disposable form by creating “a flat world: a global, web-enabled platform for multiple forms of sharing knowledge and work, irrespective of time, distance, geography and increasingly, language” 4, which practically materializes three economies, namely, India, China and former Soviet Union. But on the other hand, he also stressed on the fact of final convergence which will resolve the fate of U.S.A in long run, focusing attention towards the inherent dangers in a “warp-speed” 5 system structures accessible by terrorists as well as international competition faced by U.S labour force which can lead to a devastating consequence, in particular.

While analyzing the factors responsible for flattening the world and their both positive and negative influence over the world economy and world politics, Thomas L. Friedman did not draw any concrete conclusion about the outcome or consequences of this inevitable continuum of development, but in essence, he did continue his journey with an analytical anticipation of their future role in global market by pointing out ''institutions, habits, cultures, and traditions that people cherish precisely because they reflect non-market values like social cohesion, religious faith, and national pride" 6 as a result of expansion of hindrance to frictionless global market, and need to be resolved as intellectual property patent, global authority, wage market, human rights, changing political coalition, and more need to be coherent and resolved.

The metaphor of the ‘Flat World’, according to Friedman, is the one upcoming trend which will rule the global economy as well as global policy and thus, bring result in changing at base level affecting individual, company policy as well as country in a societal framework. Friedman pointed out the new technological forces like dot-com bubble to e-commerce availability that brings the world under one shade. As a result, without any barrier resulting an equal global opportunity for collaborating or competing from any area of the world. Friedman looks on the boon of the modern globalization in the array of advancement of global economy, which not just picking up the issue of threat towards the future of young Americans comparing the huge wage difference between home-labour and outsource labour, but enthusiastically and critically identifies the opportunities thereafter, by creating new global consumer as a result of uplift in net earning. Friedman also emphasized on the fact of inevitability of these forces working on the global economy, though suggesting more specialized and superior value-added services to move up more.

The treatment of his writing is many ways attracts the readers of his book. His stunning but simple quote in first-person view will indeed take its reader with it along the journey. It seems like the reader himself is present in each and every moment as Friedman interacts into a situation, which makes it easier to grasp the complexities of concept in several cases. Although Friedman’s composition is somehow not free from intellectual complexities whatsoever and is intermingled with lots of complicated extras on its way of describing a single factor of discussion, which sometimes make the reader confuse to come into a unique conclusion. But the best essence that a reader may have throughout his book is that despite of globalization calamities, like terrorism and labour threat for new economies, Friedman always put his pen with optimistic outlook in parallel by searching out and defining new solutions for developing specialized and exclusive products to sustain in the modern era of low wage market without any pessimistic discouragement for young generations in America. And here lies the success of this book which draws a significant borderline while comparing to the contemporaries.

Truly the book claimed its dealing of brilliance by emphasizing the fact of Friedman’s analysis of flattening-world theory, its development, impact on modern globalization in the light of its essentiality and meaning to individuals, communities, societies, countries and how they can interact into the system to its extent influencing the global system as a whole. And nonetheless to mention, the book comes very handy in order to identify the impact of globalization 3.0 using a thorough analysis on the basis of economics, politics and sociological changes. But Friedman, being a theorist of Flat-world, sometimes himself contradicted with the concept of flattening. It seems that he is also lacking while analyzing the fundamental societal force in the context of transformation through technological advancement, he didn’t put much attention on the distinction among qualitative factors and quantitative ones, which provides insufficient information about the changes or precisely the changing factors which influence the social, economical and political power in both national and international level. He also stressed on the threats of the theory of flatness of the world – when the topic specially deals with terrorists and discontented factors as Friedman defined them “Islamo-Leninists” which eventually bring criticism on his era by the living-examples of disarray in Iraq as a consequence of modernization of technology and the outcome of single-ended globalization.

It seems that the book lessens its value when Friedman deals international policies with the help of biased views and inadequate statistical data, which is evident by his interaction with elite class individual during his visit in this third world countries, and not taking any direct report from any of those layman of the country who cover the majority of the population of the country and the non-acknowledgement of ratio of poverty and illiteracy in India and China, eventually away from so-called globalization. Also, Friedman showed a great deal of predisposition in his ideas of defining ‘culture’ in more obsessive pattern but not in realistic frame. On establishing his theory of being wiped out if not being into the wave, his stress on culture seems casual in most of the cases, by focusing alone on the Islamic population without getting much into the depth to find out the cause behind of it.

As no one knows what future may bring to us in time, what will be written in the history of 21st century in upcoming centuries, though the book contains analysis both in neutral and pre-occupied form, but The World is Flat must inspire the readers to think about it all through with the help of analytical eyes and thoughtful logic by focusing on what globalization may offer without regard to geographical distance as such in this upcoming time frame.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Problem of Induction

By Sudipa Sarkar
Hume’s problem of induction characterizes the problem of predicting future using present context. Hume questioned about the rational justification involved in concluding about the unobserved things by asserting on two problems - descriptive and normative in nature. While illustrating the descriptive problem, he primarily stressed on two propositions – relations of ideas and matters of fact. In the problem of induction, the matters of fact is the point needs to be analyzed, where both the factor and its denial are fully plausible, possible and non self-contradictory in nature.

Why the Problem of Induction is a Problem for Science

Hume’s proposition depicts the futile possibility to justify a law in the context of past observation and experience by employing the method of induction, whereas the science itself proposes that the law exists in all dimension, it inevitably leads to a logical conflict while considering the principle of empiricism asserting science be the result of observation and experiment may justify the method of induction in accepting or rejecting any scientific phenomenon, including laws and theories.

Proposed Solution to the Problem as Discussed by Salmon

Salmon asserts on the heightened probability of some inductive methods compared to other methods of reasoning such as crystal gazing as it affirms of admitting either the regular laws or not. In that case, if it corresponds to the condition, the method of induction will provide the best answer but not crystal gazing. In case, it does not correspond to the law, neither induction nor crystal gazing can be useful.

We cannot avoid inductive reasoning that implies that we are unable to develop a belief based on induction in a purely rationalistic way leading to an ineffective prediction of the future or any generalization. But this notion doesn’t interfere much with our interaction to the practical world and self. However, it is true that we cannot rely fully on the causal power within a phenomenon, but we can infer from habits or culture or from the knowledge we developed as a result of our interaction with experiences and can be reconceived the ideas about that phenomenon in question.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Critical Comparison between Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Tears, Idle Tears” and “Splendor Falls on Castle Walls”

By Sudipa Sarkar
Alfred, Lord Tennyson is one of the most influential poets during Victorian age. As being symbolized by T.S. Eliot, “The saddest of all English poets”, Tennyson portrays the melody of melancholy throughout his creation. His subtle treatment of human feelings encountered with the pain of death and melancholy of loneliness, always influenced his reader in the core of their heart and compelled them to flow in the wave of sadness along with the poet himself.

Tennyson wrote The Princess (1847) as one of his long poems, which emphasizes on the women rights through a musical verse. “Tears, Idle Tears” is the part of this long poem. In this poem, poet typically walking through the memory lane and became nostalgic about those moments which can never be brought back again once in life. Here poet dragged about the true story of life in the frame of time – where we all are the victim in time’s hand. There is no reverse direction, as with time, we only have to move forward – and the moments in our life we shared so precious and valuable, though we can only be able to access their worthiness when we lose them in time’s hand. The remainder in our life is left with the memories of non-returnable events and close persons – those who slept forever, became apart from us and couldn’t come back once again in our life. Truly it brings tears in readers’ eyes, from the very core of heart, while acclimatizing gradually with the decoration of words and passionate themes of the journey, readers can actually relate the pain of human condition – which is universal and inevitable too.

“TEARS, Idle Tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.”

The credit of the poet lies in the depiction of the biggest truth of life within an envelope of simplicity. Throughout the poem, there is a subtle tenderness; no human being could possibly ignore it - we are loosing every moment, every precious second of our life, and when we realize this or try to introspect, we cannot resist tears fallen down from our eyes. This is where this poem crosses all the limits of space and time, and become immortal – by illustrating the eternal truth of life – the mortality itself. The process of life in the unidirectional frame of time, the death is the only answer remains at last – as an ultimate reality of life.

And actually the poem became so heart-touching because the poet treated it in a truly fascinating passion through the eyes of a beloved recalling those moments where the most shared events are gone in the darkness of past and just left behind the pain of lost moments to feel alone sitting beside the casement:

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half awaken'd birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.

On the other hand, the song “The Splendor Falls On Castle Walls”, taken from “The Princess” as well, focuses on the inevitability of death after life as it is depicted in the “Tears, Idle Tears”, but the words are synchronized in the form of lyrical melody. The primary theme here is also dealing with the mortality of an entity, but by emphasizing on the journey of life through the interaction of love and passion among individuals and the longing for life.

O sweet and far from cliff and scar
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying,
Blow, bugle; answer, echoes dying, dying, dying.

This song develops with the illustration of superficiality and nothingness – treating the song as well as the title of the song as a message for an eternal truth – that ascertains the decaying process of any superficial objects in the continuum of time. The only ‘echo’ will remain conveying the shared joy and feelings from one entity to another:

O love they die in yon rich sky,
They faint on hill or field, or river:
Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
And grow forever and forever.

The theme of the song “The Splendor Falls on Castle Walls” equates that of the poem “Tears, Idle Tears”, but the treatment of the same theme is different. In the song, the poet put his emphasize more on generalization of the supreme truth, whereas in the poem, the poet drew his reader to flow in through the reality of life and to feel the melancholy through personalization of truth.
The song and its improvisation is outstandingly philosophical with its own style of presentation of the fact – the individualization has definitely added a new dimension on it, but the poem is more soul-satisfying, more poetic, more sentimental and more passionate of course. Hence, I feel that the poem is truly more appealing where readers are able to personify the experience in the self-mirror and hence feel the passage of time by the core of their heart.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Introduction to Social Welfare

By Sudipa Sarkar
Development of Social Welfare Services since Elizabethan Poor Laws

The Elizabethan Poor Laws were passed as a result of increasing numbers of poor in Great Britain. At initial days, the lords were responsible for taking care of their tenants till the feudalism came into existence and the tenant farmers started losing their lands as a result of the revolution (R. E. Asher, 1957). Thus they wafted into the cities and towns, few among them had the specific skills to employ for their living, whereas, as the number increased, the problem of pauperism turned out into a serious national problem (H. Kraus, 1960). To cope with this difficulty, the first attempt had been taken as an endorsement of voluntary alms to be gathered at each community setting, which, in the course of time, proved to be ineffective in solving the issue (A. C. Marts, 1961). By that time, an act was passed to discriminate between criminals and poor by integrating the requirement for the punishment of the vagabonds and relief of the poor (S. Mencher, 1967). At the year 1601, the ‘Poor Law’ passed with a clear definition of ‘poor’ with an enunciation of services that they were to obtain (J. F. Handler, 1972). This legislation is considered to be the primary foundation for the current social welfare system currently existing in Great Britain (E. W. Martin, 1972).
The Elizabethan Poor Laws (1601) is the first extensive and effective effort that had been taken to identify the dependents in order to provide them special attention for each group within a community framework. The dependent poor was being classified among three major groups as an application of the poor laws (W. I. Trattner, 1974) –
(I) Impotent poor: unable to look after selves, include, aged individuals, children and ills.
(II) Able-bodied poor: being unable to find work – cycled through long term unemployment, or lacked specific skills. Relief might entail for this group in the form of money or job.
(III) Vagrants or Beggars: unwilling to work whereas had the ability to get into the job. This type of individuals primarily considered as people needing punishment, and often placed into the ‘house of correction’.
As an application of the law, there was a tendency to migrate for the poor towards more generous townships, which eventually led to the Settlement Act (1622), also known as Poor Relief Act (1622), confirming the relief meant to provide to the established residents of a community, which was determined by birth, marriage and apprenticeship. In this act, the pauper applicant had to prove a ‘settlement’, unless they had sent back to the next township nearest to their birth place.
In modern era, the Elizabethan Poor Law had been criticized for various reasons. During the onset of 19th century, the dissatisfaction with the system raised on the top mainly because the extra financial burden for implementation as well as perceived encouragement of underlying problems incorporating the fact of letting more people into poverty, while helping those already in poverty. The English jurist, philosopher and legal and social reformer stated for a castigatory and disciplinary approach to social problems, whereas the English demographer and political economist Thomas Malthus stressed on the issue of overpopulation and the development of illegitimacy in the context of social welfare in the light of poor laws. The Report of the Select Committee on the Poor Laws (1817) argued that the poor law itself applied as a result of poverty itself.
Treatment of Oppressed Group in United States
The prevalence of discrimination of the treatment of white and non-white throughout United States is quite evident. According to James Baldwin (2nd August, 1924 – 1st December, 1987), being a black costs a lot in order to spend a smooth life, with high population rate, unjustified submission to whites, maltreatment received from the people belonging to ‘high group’, dysfunctional family, poverty, impoverishment. He, being an important American author, used to establish a platform characterised with ‘racial equality’ throughout his life. David Wessel argued that racial discrimination in US still at its action. He coined the comment made by Devah Pager, the sociologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, that the in the low wage entry level market, racial discrimination vestiges as an obstruction, where affirmative action pressures even do not work properly. The stereotyping plays a crucial role in the selection of employee in the market place, entailing injustice and inequality all over characterizing factors such as limited employment opportunities, segregation, and prevalent poverty with high illiteracy rate along with poor access to health care.
The report published by The Guardian of Britain dated on 9 October, 2004, the average net possessions of a white family are around US $88,000 as per the statistics said in 2002. This is near about eleven times of a Latin American family, or approximately fifteen times of an African-American family. Various researches conducted on this particular aspect showed that the individuals belonging to the minority ethnic groups are basically biased against in job market. Also there is a great effect of racism observed in the university level as well exhibiting fascist slogans and posters sponsoring the superiority of whites over the coloured ones. Moreover, the racial discrimination has made social conflicts at its stake by promoting racial prejudice directing at the black people, as a consequence giving an increased rate of crimes (The China Press, 2004). The report published by the US Department of Justice, Nov 2004, stated that the prevalence of racial prejudice is quite obvious in judicial context as well with a statistics saying that the coloured receives more severe punishment than that of the white for a given crime.
Influence of Trouble in Mind by Leon F Litwack

In his book ‘Trouble in Mind’, Mr. Leon F. Litwack portrays the dark illustration of the black community and its development and how it preserved its integrity even while under continuous assault from hostile whites. This book acts as a witness of horrifying element of legal and racial discrimination prevailing in the South all encompassing or affecting a person’s entire life enunciating the deterioration of race relations toward strict segregation as well as brutality leading to the rivaled slavery. This book depicts the pain of people struggling against unbelievable injustice and violence and suffering to a great extent. The institution of lynching incorporated with sadistic torture became the public ritual of south where the black women and men being the primary victim – the victimization there become a collective experience accompanied by extraordinary torture and humiliation. Even when we step into the era of ultra modernization, this could be something we might feel unwilling to believe that happens in American culture, one of the world’s developed countries.
Summary of the movie: Losing Isaiah

At the very beginning of the movie, it is observed that Khaila Richards (Halle Berry), black cocaine addict women, was breastfeeding her baby. She then leaves her baby by hiding him within a box in the trash to get the high. Meanwhile, as the trash had been collected, the baby had been transferred into the hospital. There, the baby, named Isaiah, had been taken care of a social worker, Margaret Lewin (Jessica Lange) and Margaret eventually developed a strong bond with the baby and brought him back to her home with her husband and daughter. On the other side, Khaila searched for her baby as she got back her senses, and in the night, she caught up for shoplifting and sent into a rehab program. Then the film cuts into 3 years later, when it is seen that Isaiah had been officially adopted by Lewins and khaila with the help of her caseworker got the information that her baby is still alive. Khaila appealed in the court with the help of the lawyer Kader Lewis (Samuel L Jackson) pertaining to a lengthy court battle eventually turns into a battle among black and white. The movie turns into different dimension when Isaiah deliberately refused to go with Khaila and Khaila agreed to leave his custody to Margaret for the sake of his son’s happiness and the movie ended with the three sitting together and watching Isaiah to play.
Components of the Social Welfare System

In the movie, the director Stephen Gyllenhaal portrays the motherly performance in the context of emotional affection with a special emphasize on the nature-nurture components of motherhood in general. The racial differentiation is at the core of the movie with a dramatic interference of the preference of Isaiah and his environmental supplement affecting the ideas as well as the ideals in contemporary courtroom session for adoption cases.
Various responses to human needs

The film is a perfect combination of race and love, motherhood and opportunity – the theme of inter-racial adoption is nonetheless a challenging and complex issue. The movie clearly depicts the psychosocial development of a child and raises the questions for the existence of nature vs. nurture debate once again. Throughout the treatment of the film, the final word of delivering Isaiah is not of utmost importance to the makers of the film in the context of racial dilemma promoting the court examination of race, culture and the best environment to grow a child over the response of a child in a new environment and development of attachment of new family setting.
Various Social Welfare Resources

The various social welfare resources portrayed in the film combines the racial discrimination, conflict, poverty, cultural impoverishment. The movie also takes an important role by characterizing the personal growth and development of a minor group member and her struggle and uplifting in the context of social discrimination. On the other hand, the cross-cultural adoption brings about a controversy and important and turning melodramatic significance in the movie.
Identification of discriminatory acts and stereotyping

The movie illustrates the idea of stereotyping while Khaila once again decided to regain custody with the help of the promotion of the court examination of race, culture, ethnicity and the best environment for bringing up a black child with the attachment of a black biological mother.
Identification of Social Influence
The theme of the movie is based on the real life situation incorporating the life style of various cultures among US, their societal status, racial discrimination and inequality as a whole. Khaila, an abandoned women and addict, caught up as an offender of shoplifting incidence, left her child within trash – describes the situation of minority group of individuals covering the significance population of US. On the other hand, the white woman, Margaret and her status of living, illustrates an overall functional condition of whites and their secure states in all aspects including familial, financial, emotional and structural as well.
Impact of Religious Belief

The movie has not been treated as a typical religious movie, whereas, the uplifting of a constrained soul to a higher philosophy and belief provides an extraordinary treatment in the movie. On the other hand, the name Isaiah, the name of one of the early Judean prophets, is chosen perhaps to signify the equality of humankind in relation to the Christian essence contextual in the movie itself.
Summary of the movie: Imitation of Life

In the movie Imitation of Life, there are four women attempting to make their lives something more than the ordinary imitations of life. Lora Meredith and her daughter Susie have put a great effort in order to stay in the positive track of life after the death of Lora's husband. Another character in the film Annie Johnson, whose husband left her before their daughter Sarah Jane was born, finding trouble while searching job as a domestic worker as having a daughter. The movie depicts how those two women get closed and start living together, where Annie works as a maid in the apartment of Lora, an aspiring actress. The one of the significant intricate part of the movie is seen when Sarah Jane refuses her racial identity and tries to pass for white.
Social Paradigms, Values and Ideologies guiding the 1950s’ Society & in the movie

The melodramatic treatment of the film incorporated the implication of motherhood in general – as the treatment of the movie was aimed mostly for female audience, prescribing the feelings and emotions ascribing the happiness to its viewers, it may be stated that the movie lights on the definition and dilemma of female happiness governed the 50s’ society with an emphasize on the natural domestic role as mother and wife. The racial discrimination and role typing in different societal context was quite prevalent as it was in the movie characterized by Annie, who worked as a servant in the white world, whereas played the role of a community leader and high respectable figure. On the other hand, the yearning of Sarah quite evidently proved how much injustice were induced with restrictions and limitations employed on black communities, that she wanted to make herself free from the bondage of the racist society and put herself to grow in accordance with the white. Her craving for appearing as white and the social discrimination associated with colour have depicted a painful emotional dramatic sequence which shows its audience that how an adolescent girl has been brutally beaten by her white boyfriend after the recognition of being black instead of white. Sarah’s obsession for appearing as a white woman denotes how deep is the root of the insensible injustice associated with the colour discrimination within the envelope of pseudo societal norm that enforces deference, unnecessary submission to whites and compels a girl to deny her own identity.
Poverty depicted in the movie

Annie, being an abandoned woman from black community, was compelled to spend days in poverty. On the one hand, her husband left her even before her daughter was born, and the other, while she wanted to get employed into domestic work, no one wanted to get her into work as she was carrying a daughter. The white women in the movie, Annie Johnson, passed through critical time along with her daughter after her husband died, recovered with fulfilling of her dream becoming an actress.
Social Influences and Social Policies guiding the treatment of the movie
The movie is built up in the two contrasting social combination of families concerning the participation of white and black with the racial discrimination influencing the set up of the movie. The movie clearly depicts the ideologies of mother-daughter relation and conflicts associating with the group discrimination and cultural variations. The problem among the white mother with her daughter has been developed as a result of inert conflict originating on the basis of interpersonal conflict and attachment, hence the pledge entailing the crush of teenage daughter on her mother’s boyfriend, whereas, the conflicting scenario between the black mother and her daughter simply develops on the basis of the overt influence of society where the daughter projects herself passing as a white and cruelly beaten by her white boyfriend after getting recognized, or sacked up from the dance bar because of hiding the racial identity, or simply living with an induced mask of white.

My own view about Imitation of LifeImitation of Life is basically a racial psychodrama that projects the 50’s culture and societal structure at its utmost level. The movie treats the audience with intense emotion with the logical sequence of racial and ethnic segregation that covered the society as a whole. How the dysfunctional nature of family is governed by the intervention of racism and ethnicity, the movie beautifully portrays the same – on one hand, the white daughter craves for the love of her mother, feeling neglected, she become extravagant and tries to steal her mother’s fiancĂ©, whereas, the other girl, brought up in the same familial structure, the black one, strives for succumbing herself even in victimization and exploitation just to pass in as a white. The emotional intensity within the constraint of societal norms, discrimination and segregation makes the movie a classic and its audiences to drop at least one tear from their eyes.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Differences between what Mr. Dennis Covington thought he would find and what he actually found concerning people who “handled snakes”

By Sudipa Sarkar

Salvation on Sand Mountain written by Dennis Covington is a story of snake handling and strychnine drinking, of faith healing and speaking in tongues, of one man's search for his roots and of his spiritual renewal. The author comes to this ecstatic form of spiritual journey as a journalist covering a thrilling murder case where Glen Summerford had been accused in the charge of attempted murder of his wife Darlene Summerford with rattlesnakes. In his search for the truth against a thriller crime as an investigator cum journalist, Covington gradually explores an understanding of spiritual reality with an absolute genuineness and respect for his subject matter.

Meta-analytical self-transition

In such an excellent and captivating story writing style, Covington initially starts with the covering of the trial of Glen Summerford as part of his church services and soon finds himself transfixed as a part of the ritual of snake-handling services. In this book, the author attempts to deal with snake-handling, Southern culture in the context of self-analysis in an exotic spiritual frame. He starts his voyage with an expectation of finding a mere truth about a murder case, a simple adventure of finding the rattlesnake origin in Southern zone, soon turns into a mysterious trip by interacting with snake handlers and their unusual ritual with a strong belief in spiritual power.

Being a Part of Own World

Throughout his journey, Covington gradually shifts his quest from a mere journey to a spiritual exploration of origin, of own existence. However, in the very beginning when he observes and tries to find our the reason behind the phenomenon of this small abandoned church practicing many fringe doctrines such as snake handling, speaking in tongue or drinking strychnine as a part of their ritual and great belief in God and the author starts an investigation in the lives and weird rituals, but soon he finds himself within the culture attending the religious service. The turning point is remarkable here which entails the emotional uplifting within the envelope of mysticism. While in the very beginning his quest includes only to find out the motivation lies behind the worship habits of these types of cults, he became turned himself into it and becomes a snake handler himself, although for a succinct phase.

The Spiritual Association

In his interaction with snake handlers, being a subject of spiritual investigation to him, he shows his great respect towards the cult by asserting “The more faith you extend, the more power is released. It’s an inexhaustible, eternally renewable resource. It’s the only power some of these people have”. In this simple but deeply meaningful sentence is one of the primary essences of this book which Covington maintains throughout his spiritual interaction, by affirming the ultimate truth of conviction and all humans are destined to get united with the Supreme Being through his belief and worship. The eventual transition of his thought and expectation about his literal journey in the way to snake handlers, he showed all his sympathy for them. In all his efforts, he placed what he finds at the end of his journey – real people with real lives and a pure love for Jesus Christ with all their hearts.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Qualitative Research Appraisal

By Sudipa Sarkar
Qualitative Research
The term ‘Qualitative Research’ implies the methodologies used to understand the in-depth characteristics of human behaviour, the motivation and factors governing human behaviour. Qualitative research emphasises on the causes behind various facets of human behaviour. The research methodology primarily focuses on ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the research matter unlike quantitative research focuses on ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘when’ of the research issue. The qualitative research is aimed to cover smaller but focused area of research interest rather than larger and random samples as it is with quantitative research. During 1970s, the qualitative research approach primarily gained its recognition in western culture.

The major perspectives or characteristics of qualitative research includes the following factors –
(I) The reality is not unique or single
(II) Reality is based on individual perception which is variable over time
(III) The meaning or implication of knowledge has space and time boundary
The main theme of qualitative research is to associate and organize the reasoning process in such a manner so that the various outcomes can be arranged perceptually to make a ‘whole’. Evidently throughout the process the ‘meaning’ or inference of the incidence occurred is derived. Now, as the perception is dependent on individuals, situation and time, many different implications of a given incidence are possible. (Burns & Grove, 1993)
Quite commonly qualitative methods are used in nursing practices as they are considered as an authentic tool for developing holistic knowledge in the discipline of nursing. But most of the evidence based practices in nursing service include quantitative methods, thus it is significant to consider somewhat different critical approaches supporting the qualitative researches (Ploeg, 1999).
At initial days of nursing practices, one of the renowned researchers called Parsons (1951) proposed his theory of the sick role by emphasizing the passive, dependent role of the patient along with not being able to take responsibility in the treatment process. The theory assumed that the sick individual plays the role during his treatment process in compliance with the doctors and nurses in order to become cured (Parson, 1951). This theory gained intense criticism for various reasons including rejection of passive role of the patients, the ideal and static nature of doctor-patient relationship, stigmatization of illness, lacking sufficient support and evidence regarding disease as a result of lifestyle, chronic and long-term disease. In current scenario, patients are viewed as more active and dynamic components of the health system, where they are perceived as being responsible for their own health and treatment procedures (Burns & Groves, 1999). Being informational and concept-oriented in nature, qualitative research methods have become progressively more important as a tool for developing the knowledge of nursing especially for evidence based nursing (EBN) practices. The qualitative research analyses the concepts and phenomenon relating to nurses concern in response to actual or potential health problems (Ploeg, 1999) by the virtue of methodologies concerning the description, exploration and explanation of a particular phenomenon in question (Marshall & Rossman, 1995). The qualitative research in nursing practices covers the live-on experiences of patients and nurse. Considering the arena of chronic illness, where the theory of sick role (Parsons, 1951) was unable to provide sufficient support, qualitative research has drawn particularly significant openings of some processes for the individuals suffering from chronic diseases and its impact in life to living with. Moreover, being descriptive and analytical in nature, qualitative research has helped to regain new insights in the field of health care in understanding the process involved in receiving and giving proper care in live framework, which is evidently an essential ingredient for good nursing care (Grypdonck, 1997). Qualitative research about chronic illness provided nurses with understanding of the lived experience of patients. This understanding is essential for good nursing care.
Qualitative research depends on non-probability and purposive sampling rather than probability and random approaches (Miles & Huberman, 1994). There are various approaches governing the qualitative research such as phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, ethnomethodology and life history (Tesch, 1990). Among them, the most widely used varieties in qualitative research methodologies for nursing practices are (Morse & Field, 1995) –
(I) Ethnography
(II) Phenomenology
(III) Grounded theory
(I) Ethnography – The term ethnography, coined from Greek word implying ‘ethnos’ (people) and ‘graphein’ (writing), consigns the field of writing representing varying degrees of qualitative portrayal of human interaction in the context of social phenomenon, primarily based on fieldwork. In general, ethnography implies the outcome of a holistic research approach in understanding a system’s properties by virtue of dependent variables and factors. Ethnography includes the general methods of participant observation and in-depth interviewing acknowledging individual behaviours, attitudes and activities (Germain, 1993).
(II) Phenomenology – The objective of phenomenology method in qualitative research is to cover and describe the exact lived experience of the individuals in particular, but not to emphasize on establishing any theory or model on the basis of particular phenomenon (Van Manen, 1990). The phenomenological studies may cover queries relating to the description of different life-related problems as well as behaviours which may include questions like what is the lived experience of the individuals integrating chronic ulcer.
(III) Grounded Theory – The aim of this perspective is to identify the socio-psychological factors processing the system of an individual (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). It is founded as a result of symbolic interactionism identified philosophically (Chenitz & Swanson, 1986) aimed at finding answers to research questions such as the procedure of re-imaging after modification of body functions (Norris, Kunes-Connell & Spelic, 1998).

Critique the Qualitative Research
Qualitative research studies are not beyond the critical appraisal in spite of having such a major application in social studies including nursing practices. Phenomenological research conducted by Hopkins et al (2006) on patients suffering and living with pressure ulcer has been thoroughly analysed and inspected by considering the following aspects.

The Study
The purpose of the phenomenological study on patients living with pressure ulcer conducted by Hopkins et al (2006) primarily includes the exploration of the experiences of older individuals living with pressure ulcer. The study covers the area concerning loss of independence, pain, wound exudates, body image and social isolation.
Design of the Study
A Heideggerian phenomenological approach had been employed to conduct the study with eight participants of age group over 65 years of age and having a grade of 3 or 4 pressure ulcer within a month. The data had been collected during 2003-2004 from four different demographic areas of two European countries, but analysed at a central area. The methodology involves unstructured interviews in order to explore patient’s view about the world and experience assuming a direct relationship between patient’s belief and outcome of the interview session (Smith 1995).
As the study conducted in different locations, for example, three studies in UK whereas one in Belgium, so there is a language difficulty or translation bias is present that may have threatened the validity of the study itself. As the study is based on phenomenological analysis so there must be an inter-cultural context, but on the other hand, as the translation process is itself an interpretive process, hence increases the chances of miscommunication. The measure employed to minimize this bias is to enable the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis or IPA (Smith et al, 1999). According to my point of concern, as the approach considered in the study is restricted as phenomenological in nature, the language difference can yet be eliminated by the virtue of setting it to same primary language zone or English speaking countries.

Common Ethical Issues Considered During the Study
The study had been approved by the appropriate health service research ethics committee. Participants were supplied verbal and written documents regarding the purpose and methodology of the study. They were also assured against the confidentiality of the study and anonymity thereof.

Eight participants of age group of over 65 years of age had been recruited with a pressure ulcer of grade 3 or 4 for longer than 1 month. The patients having spinal chord injury were excluded (Langemo et al, 2000).
Data Collection and Analysis
As the data collected was based on inter-language differentiation, hence translation of data may lead to bias as the analysis was considered centrally in which rich data had been analysed to identify the theme and connections and the explorations of the world and experience.
Based on the central analysis, the study is aimed to identify the theme inscribed within the raw data obtained from the patients, which is later analysed in order to set up the inference and significance of the analysis for nursing knowledge and understanding.
The study faced significant problems about the recruitment of the patients. These are –
(I) Age restriction
(II) Co-morbidity
(III) Interviewing bias originating from undue anxiety at the patient’s end
(IV) Location restriction
The patients showed difficulty in reporting their experience regarding the problem of pressure ulcer with that of co-morbidity (Langemo et al, 2000). Moreover, the experience of living with a pressure ulcer is basically chronic in nature, so the phenomenon cannot be easily separated with the common experience whatsoever.
Implication of the Study for the Discipline of Nursing

The study has a significant impact on future studies covering larger population, which may include –
Original study design including central and group analysis
The next phenomenological study may cover the cross-cultural setupThe study may derive the data to support and enlighten the suitability of future use in larger context. However, the methodologies and data findings may require more attention and care at the end of health care professionals in nursing service in order to assess patients’ view to establish suitable and proper management.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Position of Critical Thinking in the Field of Psychology

By Sudipa Sarkar
Support the position that critical thinking is vital in the field of psychology. Explain some essential components of critical thinking. Address the role of research in building knowledge psychological theories.

Position of Critical Thinking in the Field of Psychology

Critical thinking is the rationally well-organized method of dynamically and competently conceptualizing, applying, analyzing the authenticity and truthfulness of the statements or propositions already offered by the method of observation, experience, retrospection, logic, or communication. Critical thinking is an important crucial factor in the field of psychology as it focuses on evaluation and analyzing various research components by virtue of arguments made by theorists and researchers.

As a human being, our thinking pattern is not free from any potential source of bias, so in the application of psychology, we cannot indeed rely on the informal observation or common sense to come into conclusion about human motive and behaviour. In order to reduce such bias, careful engagement into critical thinking may help us a lot. By the method of critical thinking, we can closely examine claims and assumptions associated with a hypothesis, cautiously assess existing evidence, and vigilantly measure all conclusions.

Essential Components of Critical Thinking

Data Allocation: Allocate as much information as possible before coming into any kind of conclusion

Neutral Stand: Keep a neutral and broad stand point of view

Inquisitive: Be inquisitive regarding the origin of the issue in question

Skeptical: Be skeptical about the necessity of presenting particular argument

Bias Control: Refrain from any self or other induced bias – such as, other are accepting, so it may be true

Problem Solving: Focus on your logic and problem solving ability while dealing with critical thinking

Emotional bias: Emotion can influence thinking pattern, so identify it and keep its effect to minimum

Role of research in building knowledge psychological theories

The role of research in building psychological theories are important because it identifies the factors that play in addressing interpersonal, societal and human needs and motivation as well as affect behaviour. In case of academic psychologists, they primarily focus on the area of psychological research and development of theories, aiming at more focused understanding and evaluation of that particular area. By using research method, researcher actively, diligently and systematically processes the inquiry by virtue of investigation, interpretation and revision of facts. This systematic intellectual process helps in a greater understanding of events, motivation, behaviour as well as development of theories.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Effect of Positive and Negative Reinforcement on Behaviour

By Sudipa Sarkar
Explain the effect that positive and negative reinforcement has on behaviour. Give an example of negative and positive reinforcement for the behaviour of completing one's homework. Address the difference between negative reinforcement and punishment.

Effect of Positive and Negative Reinforcement on Behaviour

Positive reinforcement is responsible for changing the surroundings by adding a stimulus which enhances the likelihood of the occurrence of the behaviour. On the other hand, negative reinforcement is responsible for changing the surrounding by eliminating the aversive stimulus increasing the likelihood of occurrence of the behaviour.


Completion of Homework is highly influenced by positive reinforcement. Here is an example of an 8 years of old little boy, who is just unable to finish his homework everyday and on time. Moreover he was very clumsy and not neat while composing his assignments. His parents with the collaboration with his teacher initially set the time limits of working with homework as well as divide the homework into manageable chunks. Also they induce realistic goals with appropriate rewards (positive reinforcement) and penalty (negative reinforcement). The reward part associates offering attention and praise upon hard work and productivity, and the penalty include not allowed playing till the task is finished on time. This activity eventually increases the likelihood of the desired behaviour, the boy starts doing better than before.

Difference between Negative Reinforcement and Punishment

Negative reinforcement and punishment is not the same thing. In case of punishment, when applied, it adds such an aversive stimulus in the surrounding that reduces the likelihood of occurrence of a particular behaviour. On the other hand, negative reinforcement removes aversive stimulus from the environment so that the likelihood of the behaviour is increased. In that sense, negative reinforcement strengthens behaviours to avoid or escape from an aversive event whereas in process of punishment an aversive event deteriorates the likelihood of the behaviour it follows, as a result, they learn to suppress response that lead to unpleasant consequences.
The status of all of these articles is sold. I am here submitting these articles in order to build my virtual portfolio. That means, it is here used for sample purpose only. The bibliography section is intentionally not provided with any of these academic articles. Please do not use any portion of these articles for any purpose. Thanks for your kind co-operation.

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