Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Research Paper on Photography

Research Paper on Photography

There are many collections and exhibitions in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC that are worth detailed attention and in-depth analysis. However, the collection that impressed me most was Photograph. It captures the history of photography from its invention in the 1830s to the present and has several unique and highly interested pieces. After scrutinizing the historical evolution of the photographic image, I came to the conclusion that the implicit thesis of the collection is that more complex relations between the object and the image mark each historical stage of the development of photography. From the stark photographs of the realists to the anomalous effects of photomontage, photography as an art has drastically evolved over the years, complicating even further its obscure relationship with reality. In this paper, I will explore the subject in full depth and support my theoretical conclusions with the analysis of the photographic images. I will discuss typical images representing a particular trend in order to illustrate the features of a specific type of photography-reality relations.   

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The first trend in the history of photography was realism. The typical feature of the realistic photographic image is the straight reflection of nature. Realist artists were largely inspired by world’s natural beauty. Realism in arts has is traditionally defined as accurate, detailed, unembellished depiction of nature or contemporary life; it rejects imaginative idealization in favor of a close observation of outward appearances. Realistic photography has brought together scientific invention and artistic creativity.

My decision was that the most productive way of revealing the essence of realistic photography would be by looking at a typical photographic image from the collection. “Flower Study, Rose of Sharon” by Adolphe Braun (ca. 1854) is an example of realistic photography with an artistic touch. Late 19th century was the period marked by prominence of realism in Europe in all fine arts, including photography.

Braun’s key notion was to identify new uses for photography and, through the application of art and technology, to reach the widest possible audience. Braun's work is distinguished by its remarkably diverse subject matter, including celebrity portraits, architectural studies, mountain landscapes, still lives, rare animal studies, and art reproductions. Braun's preoccupation was the interconnectedness of science, technology, design, and education in photography (Hannavy, 2007).

The close bound between photography and reality at the early stages of development of this art is evident in the “Flower Study, Rose of Sharon.” The photograph captures reality as it is, yet focuses on the finest aspect of it.  

Dadaism and surrealism opened new horizons for photographic art. The tradition of the early 20th century is based on realism, but the artistic approach to photography introduced a more skillful use of light and shadow. Numerous techniques were used to convey the mood and atmosphere. At that times photography was intended to “express a feeling both sentimental and implicitly magical: they are attempts to contact or lay claim to another reality” (Sontag, 2002, p. 16).

One of the most notable representatives of early 20th century art is Man Ray. I will discuss his photograph “Compass” and evaluate the general contribution of this artist to photography. 

Man Ray started his artistic career by creating various collages and it was Alfred Stieglitz who introduced him to photography. He sought to define a new range of expression that challenged what could be considered as art and to make use of all the means at their disposal (Glueck, 2003). Man Ray is referred to as “the most formally creative photographer of the 20th century, who invented new methods such as the Rayograph and straddled the two worlds of the avant-garde and fashion photography” (Jones, 2001, para. 1).

A typical feature of his art was the photographic portraits of artists, poets, and literary figures pivotal to the dadaist and surrealist movements. As a departure from general artistic practice, he derived his forms from his own ideas, not from nature (Baldwin, 2000). “Compass” features a magnet with a gun attached to it: it is a bright example of surrealism and reconstruction of meaning. So we see that the techniques and features typical of surrealism and dadaism are also evident in photography. The relation between image and reality is still strong, but the desire to rethink reality through art became a leading trend in photography.  

Late 20th century was the epoch of brand-new visual inventions; quick development of new computer-based technology enabled a great variety of tools for collage and photomontage. Montage owes its creation and evolution to the men’s desire to reflect the complex nature of reality. The ultimate goal and the artistic criterion is the integrity of the final montage. With this technique, the photographer can easily manipulate the representation of what is truly real. Collage is a peculiar trend in photography for the ample reason that it centers the photographer’s role and the act of composition.

Rising from the Dadaist movement, montage emerged as an avant-garde technique of making a picture by assembling or layering photographic images. European surrealists have taken an active part in the development of this trend.

Later tendency was transforming photography into a form of social criticism. Marien (1997) argues that photography was an important social and cultural symbol for modernity and change in several fields, such as art and social reform.

Montage has taken an import place in the history of pop art and postmodern art. Splitting (1974) by Gordon Matta-Clark is a typical example of the use of photography in montage. His philosophy was influenced by the tradition of critique of bourgeois American culture. His focus on dehumanization of the modern world and the use of photographs of abandoned buildings (like in Splitting) suggests that the new role of photography is not to reflect reality but to point out social ills attract attention to problematic issues. Matta-Clark’s work makes use of multiple images, arranged in a way that conveys the message of disorienting nature of demolition. As Ouroussoff (2007) notes, “[f]ew artists could match his ability to extract raw beauty from the dark, decrepit corners of a crumbling city” (para. 1).

Montage has an ability to produce amazingly beautiful, mysterious, and enigmatic results. Montage aims at playing actively and imaginatively with the forms and forces of nature and reality. The connection between reality and image may be not so evident, but we should keep in mind that even modern artists derive inspiration from natural world.

Summarizing all the aforementioned points, a conclusion can be made that the connection between photography and reality has become more and more complex during the course of history of the development of photography. Possible reasons for this are the divergence between the scientific and artistic use of photography, the development of new forms of art, and the influence of the new technologies on the art of photography.

It can also be noted that the development of photography mirrored the development of other fine arts during the 19th and 20th century. Photography, painting and sculpture passed through the stages of realism, Dadaism, surrealism, pop-art and postmodernism. The interconnection between photography and other forms of artistic expression can be explained not only by the influence artists in different fields exerted upon one another, but also by the fact that many photographers worked with other forms as well.
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Essay on Nuclear Technology

Essay on Nuclear Technology

Nuclear technology deals with the reactions of atomic nuclei. Even though when hear “nuclear technology” most people think about nuclear weapons of mass destruction, probably the most familiar object that was created with help of nuclear science is smoke detector. Uranium is a naturally occurring radioactive metal, which has two major applications - nuclear bombs and nuclear electricity generation. Uranium is very radioactive and obviously causes cancer. Plutonium is an artificial element, it is the explosive in most nuclear weapons, created inside a reactor that uses uranium fuel.

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Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of uranium and, even thought the countries who buy Canadian uranium must promise not to use it for weapons, there are evidences that some of this metal still finds it way to weapons. The usage of uranium and plutonium is very difficult to control simply because once plutonium is created, it remains weapons usable for thousands of years – by then all the reactors can be already gone and the agreements forgotten.

Pakistan, Taiwan, Korea, Argentina, Romania, India and China all buy plutonium from Canada. By now, they have either acquired a nuclear weapons capability or have considered starting a program to do so.

The U.S. was the first country to use nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Their decision to drop nuclear bombs on Japan cannot be justified from the historical or human point of view. The war was obviously going to an end, and Japan would sooner or later surrender now that Germany was out of the war. The US was probably driven by the desire to show off their military might and to test new weapons rather than by a real necessity. The scope of the tragedy that befell the Japanese is terrifying and does not allow justifications for the deed.

In order to prevent the spread of nuclear technology world community established the non-proliferation treaty. South Korea is one of the countries that signed the treaty. Several years after this South Korea continued its nuclear program towards the development of nuclear bomb in spite of indignation, multiple warnings and sanctions from the members of the United Nations. Active summit talks convinced official Pyongyang to become a party of the Agreed Framework in exchange for the indulgence of economic sanctions from US. Major arrangements of the Agreed Framework implied freezing of Pyongyang’s nuclear program and monitoring of Korean nuclear objects by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, joining the efforts in the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula and normalization of international relations. The exacerbation in Korean region decreased there was a time period of effective cooperation. But new millennium brought new problems: in 2002 USA manifested a reasonable apprehension that Pyongyang endeavors to enrich uranium. The existence of such program in itself neglects all the before entered engagements and endangers the world community. The same year North Korea confirmed the existence of uranium enrichment program and this issue compelled the attention of many countries including US, Russia, Great Britain, China, Japan and South Korea. UNO officials initiated many talks (including three- and six-party talks) which gave no significant positive shifts in North Korean nuclear standoff. Later Pyongyang refused from new and broken off all current negotiations.

Nuclear energy is creates approximately 16% of electricity produces all over the world. The nuclear reactors work now on the principle of nuclear fission and many scientists are trying to create nuclear fusin reactors, which are supposed to provide more energy and have less disadvantages.

Nuclear energy has many advantages. First of all, our planet has limited supplies of coal and oil and one day they will become scarce, so we need to find alternative ways to produce electricity. One ton of uranium produces approximately as much energy as is produced by several million tons of coal or several million barrels of oil. Uranium plants do not pollute air, unlike coal and oil.

Nuclear technology is very dangerous and from peaceful science it can turn into weapons of mass distructions. What if terrorists get hold of nuclear technology? Or what if nuclear war starts? Or simply if nuclear weapon is launched by accident? One fatal mistake has already happened at the Soviet Union’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In 1986, radiation escaped from a nuclear reactor and many people in several countries were exposed to enormous amounts of radiation. Many died within several days, many others continue to die from cancer even decades after the explosion. Another problem with nuclear energy is that nuclear reactors last for forty or fifty years and have waste disposal problem.

Lately Gulf countries expressed their interest in development of peaceful nuclear technologies. While some may argue that it is part of geopolitical relations and matter of security, I also think that interest in nuclear technologies has economic considerations. Gulf countries try to diversify their sources of energy. Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and some other Gulf countries have already experienced decline in their oil production.

I believe it is still too early to create nuclear energy plants – nuclear science is not developed enough for that and any mistake can be fatal and cost many lives. However, each country should definitely invest in safe an peaceful nuclear technologies in order to minimize risks and learn about further advantages. I am sure that nuclear energy has great future, however, now it is still to early to apply in practice what we know so far about nuclear atom.

The Gulf countries should definitely invest in development of peaceful nuclear technology, since nuclear energy is so far the best replacement for coal and oil burning. Even though now it is not yet time to implement the existing technologies, I am sure that nuclear energy is the energy of the future.
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Theory of Knowledge Essay

Theory of Knowledge Essay

Theory of Knowledge: To understand something you need to rely on your own experience and culture. Does this mean that it is impossible to have objective knowledge?

There are so many discussions upon existence of objective knowledge and what is it in reality. Some say none of facts, statements, and ideas could be one hundred percent objective and true for everyone. Others insist that there are facts, which are proved and thought to be true for everyone, no matter what are their views.

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There are different definitions of the objective and subjective knowledge. Objective knowledge could be referred to objective reality. It appears to be objective if a fact of objective knowledge exists. And it exists, no matter if someone perceives this fact or not. If there is a pen in the bag – it is there even if none will look inside of that bag and will not see the pen inside of that bag. Some scientists insist that objective knowledge could be found only through empirical science and it should be based on hypothesis testing models that can be repeated by any researcher (not depending on their background). For example, if a person will raise a hand with a pen and let it off, it will fall down. And no matter who will conduct this kind of experiment, the same thing will happen. Subjective knowledge is the kind of knowledge, which a lot of researchers refer to one’s knowledge. The idea about the same thing will differ from person to person, and it will be different from the objective knowledge. Among some philosophers, there is an opinion, that the distinguishing feature of the subjective knowledge – is that it is direct and immediate; it appears in the experience of only concrete individual. Most of people use subjective knowledge, judgments, conclusions, etc. Foe example, it would be a subjective knowledge for a girl to think that if she will break up with a guy, she will be lonely for the rest of her life. There is no evidence, no confirmation that this is what will happen and if someone will try to repeat same actions they will have different outcome.

Where does the knowledge come from and what is its’ nature? There are still debates over this question. Among philosophers there were two main points of view – internalism and externalism. Externalists thought, that the truth and a real, existent knowledge lies outside of the psychology of the person, who is gaining this knowledge. And in order for a person to gain knowledge, the facts have to come up in a right way and they are outside the mind. Internalists were sure, that the nature of knowledge is internal. If there would be no ability to percept and operate with knowledge, there would be no knowledge. Also there were two main points of view on the sources of people’s knowledge – empiricism (our knowledge is primarily based on experience) and rationalism (our knowledge mainly based in reason). Modern scientists and researchers trend towards the empiricism, but ideas of rationalism are considered as well. Knowledge without experience, with certain exceptions of trivial semantic and logical truths, is impossible, according to the empiricism. Rationalism is stating that there is knowledge, which person can get without any experience. For example, mathematical and logical thinking truths could be found without checking it on practice, without experiencing it. Another thing rationalism states – is that knowledge cannot be formed by experience by itself. Two persons can experience same aesthetic object and come up with contradictory views on its ugliness or beauty. Also we do not observe causation. It is not in the reality, but in our mind, because of thinking processes we get understanding why one vent causes another one. It is in our mind we have understanding that a pen falls, because a person holding it let it off.

Psychologists and other researchers of today give their ideas on nature of the knowledge. On their opinion if some kind of knowledge, perceived by several people, will be influenced by their background and experience, at the end the knowledge they will recall, will differ from each other and from what really was perceived. This is how subjective knowledge comes out, when a person passes knowledge through own visions, experiences and prism in general. As we can see own experience and culture, the way we were brought up plays a significant role. It forms the way of perception and processing of information and data received. That is how there is no monosemantic view on world, love, friendship, human being origin, etc. For example, there are cultures, which function as a close system. Among such there are tribes from Amazon woods. Their knowledge, as all of us know, differs a lot. Another example is that in Cuba pluralism of ideas known as a negative process. At the same time most of people in Europe, USA, etc are sure that one idea or view cannot represent position of each person. And these are not individual differences. Vast majority of people in these two societies thinks so. Where do they get this way of thinking? There is an answer – they get it from their parents, from their community, from the way they were brought up. Relativism states that each of us can evaluate polysemantic situations only grounding on our previous experience and from the position of our culture. If people was brought up in the certain culture, they will be sure, that the way they think – it is the right way, the true one. If men from Islamic world had been persuaded from the childhood that women have to do all chores, they will insist on women doing it, no matter who will tell them that women in other countries do not necessarily have to do it. The same situation with the way they dress and act. We have different knowledge presented in different cultural surroundings.

But we should take a close look on the ways we getting knowledge, how we find out information and knowledge, what becomes an obstacle on the way of someone to posses it, and what makes it easier. In order to gain any knowledge and to process data all of us use language (verbal and written). In knowledge formation it appears to take a significant place. It makes it easier to pass knowledge, to make it more clear and accessible. Most distinguishing experiences and knowledge gained could be passed on to other people of the community or society very easily exactly through language. Every day we communicate and pass some kind of knowledge to each other. Written knowledge is passed from one generation to another. The same great impact makes perception process. Perception processes play roles of tools, which help to transform knowledge from the external world to the internal world of the certain person, to his or her mind. Deaf and numb people do not have as much opportunities in gaining knowledge and information. They are limited in possessing certain patterns of knowledge. Another component of gaining knowledge are emotions. They play a significant role in several ways. First of all the way we feel give us confirmation or denial of theories according ourselves and things which are positive or negative for us. Another way - when we observe someone’s emotional reactions, we can possess knowledge about this person or group of people, to understand reasons and consequences. And the last, but not least – when we lack emotions our perception processes change for the worse. It is called emotional deprivation and in this state person is not able to think clearly and consciously get knowledge or critically evaluate it. What also often drives people to get knowledge, to search for it – is a wish to know the reason. Sometimes there is evidence for existence of the certain reason, sometimes there is not. In the cases when there is evidence, which are clear for everyone, it would be objective knowledge. In the cases, when reason is on the level of hypothesis or just someone’s point of view – it would be subjective knowledge, which is thought to be true only by one person or be the certain group. Without rational, logical thinking and reasoning empirical knowledge would not be definite. 

As we can see there are so many factors, which influence everyone’s knowledge. Just to make an accent on them, they are - culture, experience, language, perception processes, rational thinking, emotions, individual psychological peculiarities (such as memory, intelligence, way of thinking and much more). These are the greatest factors, but there are a lot more of them. And they do influence polysemantic knowledge we gain. And that is the point, when a person turns to beliefs, taking into consideration only one side of the knowledge about the object or situation.

But at the same time there is knowledge, which is objective and exists no matter if someone perceives it or not. If an apple is red it is red, not depending on any previous experience, cultural background, color blindness, etc. Objective knowledge exists and it is such, which can be proved through empiricism or rational logical judgments by any person with any background. To summarize all said above, experience and cultural background do influence knowledge, but there is objective knowledge, which can resist to these subjectivity factors and stay just the way they are in the real space.  

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Research Paper on Negligence

Research Paper on Negligence

The following research paper will deal with such often-applied concepts in the international law as negligence, tort, and duty of care that are tightly interconnected. In the paper the mentioned concepts will be specifically related to the legal system of the State of Kuwait. We will also present the applicability of these concepts in the stated country. This topic was chosen by our group because recently “negligence” is noticed to cause many problems in our world, particularly in Kuwait. Another issue relating to such problems is that often no one claims responsibility for the cases of negligence, thus our paper will describe notions of negligence and show how its consequences cannot be overlooked.

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The following paper will be divided into two parts. In the first, bigger, part we would like to describe the concept of negligence in details and explore the factors behind the decision-making on negligence responsibility in courts. Then, we will cover such topics as unintentional torts and the consequences of breaking them as well as the establishment of the duty of care. We would also like to touch upon how the reasonable person standard is defined. In the second part we will deal mainly with applicability of negligence, tort and duty of are concepts in Kuwait that is a sovereign Arab emirate on the coast of the Persian Gulf, enclosed by Saudi Arabia to the south and Iraq to the north and west. Moreover, we will concentrate of investigating whether there is awareness about the consequences of negligence in Kuwait, if not how it be can injected into the society.

More and more today we suffer from the mere negligence of others. Thus, what negligence is, in everyday life, is clear to everyone. Lower we will talk about negligence in the legal context. Shortly, it can be said that negligence is failure to use reasonable care, simply doing something that a reasonably cautious person would not do, or the failure to do something which a rationally cautious person would do under resembling circumstances. The above description can be elaborated describing negligence as an act that would not be done in the community by an ordinary reasonable member of the community. Furthermore, negligence is a legal source of damage if it directly in continuous sequence produces damage. This means that it can be rationally said that if not because of negligence, the loss, injury or damage would not have occurred (Definition of Negligence, Chapter 3 on Negligence).

When it comes to negligence claims, the plaintiff (the party injured) tries to show that the defendant (the party supposedly at fault) had caused the following four factors to occurr. First of all, the defendant owed a legal duty of care to the plaintiff. Secondly, the defendant under particular circumstances failed to fulfill that legal duty through conduct. Thirdly, the defendant caused an accident or injury involving the plaintiff. Fourthly, the defendant harmed or injured him/her as a result of his/her actions. Thus, if the above four criteria can be marked as present the plaintiff (also the claimant) can issue a legal claim against the defendant and receive the appropriate remuneration. This basis for assessing and determining fault is utilized in most disputes involving an accident or injury, during informal settlement talks and up through a trial in a personal injury lawsuit (Chapter 3 on Negligence).

In order to illustrate how these four elements that contribute to the claim, we find it useful to present a simple example. Let us assume that Kristin speeds up through the junction, even though the red light is on and hits the car that is driven by Michel.  Michel is obeying the rules, he has the green light, thus the right of way. It is clear that the injury that Michel suffered was caused by Kristin, thus Michel has a right to issue a personal injury dispute based on negligence. However, in order to prove that Kristin is at fault for her negligence plaintiff Michel will need to show that the four factors are present. To begin with, Michel will have to point out that Kristin, as a driver, has a legal duty to drive with reasonable caution under the circumstances. Thus, by speeding through the intersection and running the red light, Kristin breached her legal duty. Then, when failing to fulfill her legal duty to drive with reasonable care under the circumstances, Kristin caused her car to crash into Michel had suffered property damage and physical injury.

In continuation of our topic, we would like to say that additionally, it must be mentioned that negligence may be a legal cause of damage, event when it takes place in combination with a natural cause, or some other cause if the other cause occurs at the same time as the negligence and if the negligence contributes considerably to creating such harm. When it comes to supposedly defective, unreasonably dangerous products, the manufacturer may be also liable, even though he/she had exercised all reasonable care in the design, manufacture and sale of the product under discussion.  However, a manufacturer is not officially accountable to a person injured by the product (Rowland, Christian). He/she is certainly not an underwriter that nobody will get hurt from using its product, and there is no duty upon the manufacturer to produce a product that is absolutely accident-proof. What the manufacturer is required to do, is to make a product which is free from defective and unreasonably dangerous conditions. Thus, only those products that are not n their nature defective or unreasonably dangerous, can be claimed from the manufacturer (Zweigert, Koetz, pp. 573-576). 

Legally, negligence may be divided into various degrees. To begin with, there is ordinary negligence that is simply a desire, or accidental action, of ordinary diligence.  On the other hand, gross negligence is the result of the individuals’ actions that shows a considerable lack of concern for what his/her actions will result into (Larson). When it comes to classifying negligence in order to evaluate the fault, negligence can be categorized as contributory negligence and pure comparative negligence. In case of contributory negligence a person who is brining the law suit is denied of recovery of any kind if the person was responsible for the accident in any, even slightest, way. As a consequence, if during the course of inspection the jury detects that the plaintiff is even one percent at fault for causing his own injuries, he/she may not recover any suffered damages. On the other hand, in a pure comparative negligence system, the jury understands that in an accident both parties contribute to the total responsibility, thus the jury assumes that the fault must be allocated between the parties (Zweigert, Koetzt, pp. 595-597). This means that the judge decides how much fault should be billed to each party responsible for an accident, and then, in the view of that, apportions the amount of damages. For instance, if a plaintiff is said to be forty percent at fault for causing his/her own injuries, then the defendant or defendants will only have to reimburse sixty percent of the plaintiff's damages (Negligence).

The next concept we would like to cover in our paper is torts. Firstly, it must be said that tort is an illegal civil wrong-doing, intentional or accidental from which injury occurs to another party. Torts contain all kinds of negligence cases in addition to intentional immoral and illegal actions which effect in damage and impairment. Therefore, as we see, tort law covers a vast part of the jurisdiction, thus it is one of the major areas of law (Currie, Cameron, p 334). Moreover, most of the law suits brought to court today are ones based on the problems concerning this category of law (Currie, Cameron, p. 334).

There are several types of torts, hereby we would like to talk about intentional and unintentional torts.  Unintentional torts are simply accidents that occur without underlying desire of one party to hurt another. Unintentional torts usually happen because one was not being careful. Thus, we see that an unintentional tort is very close in meaning to negligence, though, as it can be clear from the definitions earlier in the paper, we see that negligence cases tend to be lighter in scope. When it comes to identifying one’s fault for the unintentional tort, the individual can be either strictly liable or partly liable (Rowland, Christian). Intentional torts are actions that purposefully cause damage, these torts can be also crimes, such as assault, attack, rape, battery, murder, deception, and infringe on property. Intentional torts are always the basis for lawsuit for damages by the injured party (the plaintiff).

Above we have discussed that there are injuring actions that occur due to an essential desire of one party to impair another party, while there also those that occur because of negligence. One may suggest, that the actions, that happen because of one’s negligence should not be considered illegal. One may suggest that accidents cannot form a basis for a law suit because they do not prove one party to have an underlying desire to harm another party. However, we know that such point of view is unacceptable, because the law says we all have a duty of care. The duty of care rule is that we must take reasonable care not to cause projected destruction to other people or their property. The duty of care concept has as a minimum two purposes. The first purpose is to offer a general outline for the enormous diversity of circumstances in which liability may come to pass. The second purpose is one of limitation that is setting the borders within which one person could be liable to another for the consequences of hasty conduct. Duty of care may be considered to be a formalization of the public agreement, a set of particular unspoken responsibilities, held by individuals towards others within taken society. It is not a prerequisite that a duty of care should be defined by law, although this concept is often developed through the jurisprudence of common law (Denton).
In tort law, a duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on an individual requiring that they hold on to a reasonable and logical standard of care when performing any acts that could predictable hurt others. It is the first element that must be established to proceed with an action in negligence. The plaintiff must be able to articulate a duty of care imposed by law which the defendant has breached. In turn, breaching a duty may subject an individual to liability in tort (Denton). The duty of care may be imposed by operation of law between parties with no current direct relationship but eventually become connected because of the accident, as defined by common law (meaning case law) (Perry, 711-713).

In this part of the paper, we would like to relate the above concepts to the state of Kuwait. To begin with, we would like to provide some information about the legal system of Kuwait. The State of Kuwait, as many other Muslim countries, follows the civil law system based on various jurisdictions. To begin with Kuwait’s law system is based on the Islamic Sharia law that is very important in personal matters. Moreover, the legal system of Kuwait is a mixture of British common law, French civil law and Egyptian law. In its legislation Kuwait law can be related to the Tort Law of United Arab Emirates, thus lower we would use Law Of Tort in the UAE Document to present the notion.

When it comes to Kuwait, in that state the “tort” law is defined the way this concept is defined all over the world, as a civil wrong-doing that results from an act or oversight that has caused wound or loss to a person or to property. An action is regarded to be a tort, not considering whether or not the act or neglect constitutes a crime or is caused by a breach of contract. If a person is proved to commit a tort, he/she should compensate the injured party by paying damages for the loss caused. Such damages should be paid both when personal injury or damage to property has occurred (Law of Tort in the UAE).

It is important to point out that in order to prove that the person is responsible for a tort (liable for it), it is not required to prove that this person has intended to cause loss. Thus, according to this article of the Tort Law, it is sufficient for the plaintiff (the party that is claiming compensation from the defendant) to only show that the person who committed the tort, has violated a legal obligation to “take reasonable care, whether intentionally or not” (Law of Tort in the UAE).

The last point about the Tort Law that we would like to cover as for the State of Kuwait is the accession of damages. In Kuwait both physical and moral damages should be claimed by the victim.  In case the loss suffered by the plaintiff is minor and “the item or the affected part of the item is replaceable”, the defendant will be liable for “the cost of restoring the item to its previous condition or for the replacement value of the item”. Though, provided the damage cannot be paid for only part of the damaged good, the defendant should pay the whole price.  Finally, any claim in tort is time barred three years from the date the plaintiff suffered the loss(Law of Tort in the UAE).

People living in Kuwait have the same attitude to negligence and torts as people all over the world. The people are aware what actions could be considered to be torts. Though, the people’s awareness on this matter should be increased. This is because many would still consider negligence, an act that was committed unintentionally, to be something that would not require punishment.  As a consequence, it should be widely advertised that negligence is strictly punished, to raise the awareness of people and to warn them about the consequences of their negligent actions.

In conclusion we would like to say, that the Tort Law in Kuwait goes hand in hand with the Tort Law of other countries. We consider that it is very important that more awareness is generated around the Tort and Negligence Laws within people of all countries all over the world.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Research Paper on Prejudice

Research Paper on Prejudice and Discrimination

Prejudice: Disliking Others
1. Introduction
Prejudice is generally referred to as prejudgment, which occurs when the person is making particular decision before knowing the whole picture and all relevant facts regarding some event. Prejudices can be race, gender, class, religion, etc. The notion refers to the situation when one person judges or expresses opinion about the other on the basis of some external characteristics without even knowing him or her. The subject of prejudicial behavior can also be age (claiming that young people are concerned with their appearance), religion (all Jews are provident), sexual orientation (gay prefer to work in show business) and race (all Mexican people are very passionate). In some cases in the positive context it can be mixed up with hasty generalization.

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Prejudices can be subtle and overt. Prejudices can have also social sources, which are tightly connected with social inequalities, class difference and differences in welfare levels. Motivation for being prejudicial can be aggression and frustration, the feeling that one person is superior to the other due to particular factors. There are also cognitive sources of prejudice that include categorization, distinctiveness and attribution. The consequences of prejudice include stereotyping and inadequate people perception.

In order to reduce prejudice people should learn about each other differences and understand that all people have their own backgrounds and cannot be judged just in accordance with their race, gender or sexual orientation.

2. Nature and Power of Prejudice
Prejudice is said to be prejudgment, when one person makes particular assumption about the other knowing him or her not enough period of time, or having not sufficient information to make those assumptions. Prejudice can be racial, gender, religious, age, sexual orientation, class, etc. The notion “prejudice” occurs in many contexts and generally assumes negative or hostile attitudes of one person to the other on the ground of his sex or something else without even communicating with person and knowing him (Aronson et al, 2005).

Prejudice can be overt and subtle. Overt discrimination, racist remarks, for instance, is said to be the clear prejudice form, but it is less dangerous then subtle prejudice. In the case with subtle prejudice the person towards whom the prejudice is directed doesn’t know why he or she is not promoted at work or invited to the dinner with colleagues. Subtle discrimination generally occurs with people that are close to the person and with whom the person interacts on the everyday basis. Not knowing or understanding the real reasons for rejection considers that they are connected with race or age (Fishbein, 2002).

Racial prejudice is said to be social and moral trouble that affects people around the world. Its reasons include intolerance, fear, segregation, separation, hatred and discrimination. Even though all mentioned reasons can vary from case to case, ignorance is common to all of them. It was so historically stipulated that people’s race is determined as population that has distinguishable biological features. Even though we are all Homo sapiens, we are difference from one another by race by such characteristics as hair texture and color, eye shape and color, size, body, facial organs and expressions. Of course all people are different in the deeper sense, but they do not constitute race. Racial prejudice is connected with building stereotypical lines by claiming, for example, that all people of such race are …. The blank space can be filled in accordance whether people of this race are sportive, dishonest or mean. It is people’s environment, including media channel, friends, and society form these ideas in people’s minds.

Gender prejudice is based on the assumption that one gender is better then the other whether it is for particular occupation, job or task. It was so historically stipulated that women are weaker sex, but making an assumption that all women are weaker then men is not true. It is gender prejudice to divide professional spheres into those for men and women, to state that is it women’s job to cook and clean, as well as claim that men earn more.

3. Social Sources of Prejudice.
Inequalities can be of quite different origin. They can be economic, social and institutionalized.     Economic inequality can be expressed by means of the wealth unequal distribution in society. This has obvious consequences in terms of the unequal distribution of what that wealth may purchase, including real estate, education, cars, health care, career prospects, status – in the  society we are living in, access to all these things is basically dependent on how much money does the person possess.           
Social inequality occurs when one person cannot afford himself particular apartments, cars, education, employment opportunities, health care, and status. Social inequality also occurs when some people are excluded from definite society for not having definite things that are valuable and desirable in this particular society. Economic and social inequalities are very much interconnected due to the fact that the society we are living is mainly commercially driven, consumer oriented, capitalist and highly competitive.

Institutionalized inequality occurs when it is unequal access to be included into the structures that maintain and support modern society. It can be even presumed that present social system needs these inequalities in order to maintain itself and survive in the long run. It is possible to follow evidence of this kind of inequality in such institutions as the government, the workforce, legislation (Acts and laws) and the legislature (law implementation and interpretation) (Vaughan and Hogg, 2005).
Class is the major principle of organization of contemporary capitalist societies, and is referred to the mechanism by which privilege power, and inequality are distributed and institutionalized. Class in the context of prejudice can be the less important issue then, for example, race, gender, education, ethnicity, or family background, but together they appear to constitute social class. Class can be the reason for snobbery and self-identity, but it is still mainly about the inequality (Vaughan and Hogg, 2005).

Socialization refers to the process of learning one’s culture, as well as the adaptation process within it. For an individual the process of socialization provides necessary habit sand skills in order to participate in life within definite society. It prepares people to the roles they need to play and tells how to play them to be successful. Primary agents of socialization are family, mass media, friends, and education. Secondary agents include religion, job and the state.

Institutional support implies the broad range of studies and actions including strategies for supporting poor people, development and action national plans design, gender issues, developing strategies for livelihoods improvements, etc. The key goal of those studies is the identification of strategic points where implemented changes can bring essential advantaged in terms of reducing poverty levels and improvement of people’s lives.

4. Motivational Sources of Prejudice
It is common that when the person has any problems, he or she is not likely to find the reason in their own behavior. They start actively seek for external factors and look for someone on whom they could possibly displace their aggression and frustration. It is what constitute scapegoat theory- they person picks the weaker person and makes him the reason of all his misfortunes.

Social identity theory claims that society provides its members with social identity which basically gives them the definition and evaluation of who they are and how should they behave in connection with that. Social identity refers to how the society views the individual and how one should behave in order to be associated with definite social group. Taking into consideration inter-group behaviors, prejudice among them occur on the ground of the status, and each group is striving create the positive social identity in order to satisfy the desire in positive self-esteem (Hogg and Abrams, 1988).
Motivation to avoid prejudice can be seen in each separate case in person’s needs and goals. This motivation is often considered the negative trait, as it indicates that the person does have definite prejudice regarding the other person, but due to his personal objectives and needs he chooses to avoid the prejudice to get what he wants. The person is not trying to fight the reasons of the prejudice arousal, but likely forces himself to avoid it. (Vaughan and Hogg, 2005).

5. Cognitive Sources of Prejudice
Categorization refers to the process when particular information or ideas are being recognized, differentiated and understood. This notion presumes that objects or ideas are grouped into categories so that can be easily referred to in future or for some other purpose. In some spheres categorization is fundamental and essential: language, decision-making, interference, etc. So, people can be categorized by numerous characteristics, which include race, gender, birth date, occupation, place of birth and place of living, company, religion, sexuality, etc.

Distinctiveness in relation to person refers to the cases when one is showing distinctive reactions or behaviors in different situations (Steele et al, 2002).

Attribution as the process involves the decision-making whether the behavior that is being observed is mainly caused by external or internal factors. So, internal attribution is the perception that outcomes are caused mainly by one’s personal motivation or desire rather then circumstances or fate. External attribution is referred the perception that the results are caused more by fate or situation in general rather then the person himself (Pratto et al, 1994).

6. Prejudice Consequences
Consequences of prejudice can be in some cases very harsh and hard to struggle with. Stereotypes first of all have the tendency to be self-perpetuating, as when one side considers that the other is behaving too aggressive, it has the tendency to behave in relation to the other in the same aggressive way. And the other side just received the support of the stereotypical preliminary assumption not understanding that it was he who became the reason for it.

Influence of discrimination as the self-fulfilling prophecy happens when expectation of one person about the other cause that person to behave in accordance with those expectations.

Self-fulfilling prophecy includes four steps: 1. expectations are being formed; 2. expectations influence the other person (for instance, high expectations from the definite task); 3. impact upon the person; 4. person’s behavior and performance.

Stereotype threat is the other possible consequence of the prejudice. Stereotype threat is said to be the fear that the behavior of one person is supposed to confirm the present stereotype of the society or group with which the person identifies himself with. Frequently that fear can be the obstacle for successful performance. For instance, the claim that women drive worse then men do, can affect their performance on the road (Miles et al, 2002).

The way to reduce prejudice among people is connected with the information people are getting. If their environment and mass media promotes arousal and development of prejudice, then it is the hard task to accomplish. People should get the appropriate information about cultural differences and other people’s behavior, learn to get the information first and then make conclusions, and try to know other people before making false statements about them.
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