Monday, August 27, 2012

Essay on William Butler Yeats Poetry

Essay on William Butler Yeats Poetry

William Buttler Yeats is one of the most outstanding poets of his epoch. His works are well-known worldwide and nowadays they still remain very popular. To a significant extent, the popularity of his works is determined by the importance of themes the poet raised in his poems. At the same time, one of the remarkable features of his works, the author’s peculiarity, was the attempt of W.B. Yeats to find the balance, a kind of harmony to make the world and humans live in a better, balanced world. In fact, the acts of balance may be traced in a variety of his works.

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At the same time, it is necessary to understand what Yeats actually implies by the act of balancing. On analyzing his poem “The Irish airman forsees his death”, the poet attempts to balance the act of living itself. To put it more precisely, his famous words “with balance with this life, this death” (Yeats) perfectly illustrate that the author implies the existence of certain balance between the life of an individual, his acts and deeds and his death, which may be viewed as a kind of reward or outcome of the entire life. On the other hand, this poem also reveals the poet’s unwillingness to focus on the past or future life, instead he focuses on the present moment. In this respect, it should be said that some specialists (Norman, 537) argue that Yeats attempts to say that it is a waste of time and energy to live in the past, as well as to live always for what might be.

In fact, balancing acts may be traced in other poems by Yeats. For instance, it is possible to refer to his lyric poetry, among which it is possible to single out the poem “He bids his beloved be at peace”. Basically, this poem is focused on the sentiments and emotions of a man who is actually losing his beloved and he wants to balance his life with hers, to deceive the death and unite his soul with that of his beloved. The general mood of the poem is rather dull and a bit depressing. The poet successfully creates the impression of the upcoming disaster:

The Horses of Disaster plunge in the heavy clay
(Yeats, He bids his beloved be at peace)

In fact, the narrator is conscious of the fact that he is losing his beloved and the poet vividly depicts the pass away of this woman:

The North unfolds above them, clinging, creeping night,
The East her hidden joy before the morning break,
The West weeps in a pale dew and sighs passing away…
(Yeats, He bids his beloved be at peace)

Nevertheless, the author manages to create a new strong feeling of the balance when the narrator appeals to his beloved:

Beloved, let your eyes half close, and your heart beat
Over my heart, and your hair fall over my breast
(Yeats, He bids his beloved be at peace)

In such a way, the narrator is ready to join his beloved and, in this act of unification, he hopes to balance his own life and the life of his beloved since, as he believes, this will bring the desirable peace and rest to his beloved:

Drowning love’s lonely hour in deep twilight of rest
(Yeats, He bids his beloved be at peace)

In fact, this means that it is only when the beloved shares her sufferings with his beloved, probably in the last moment of her life, she will find the rest. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that such a devotedness and readiness of the narrator to join his beloved creates the balance which is essential for the calmness and peace of his beloved. Consequently, through the act of balancing of two loving hearts, two loving souls, the author shows the way to the peace and rest that both of them will find, the way to balance.

Another poem “Peace” also refers to the theme of balance. In this poem, W.B. Yeats speaks about the overwhelming power of time and peace it brings. In fact, time and peace bring the balance in human life and destroying practically all contradictions, problems, and obstacles on the way to harmony. At the same time, such a harmony or balance is, as a rule, brought late in human life along with the death which time makes gradually closer to every human being. Nevertheless, such a balance may be really striking to the turbulent and contradictive nature of the character Yeats depicts in his poem:

“Were not all her life but storm,
Would not painters paint a form
Of such noble lines,”
I said, Such a delicate high head,
All that sternness amid charm,
All that sweetness among strength?” (Yeats, Peace)

Obviously, the main character finds certain internal balance somehow since her sternness does not prevent her from being charming, while her sweetness is accompanied by strength, which is often viewed as the opposite of sweetness traditionally associated with weakness and spiritual softness. Finally, the poet concludes that

Ah, but peace that comes at length,
Came when
Time had touched her form
(Yeats, Peace).

In such a way, the peace brought by “Time” is viewed as the result, the end point of human life and it is important that there was a balance when even such contradictory characteristics as the poet depicts in his poem are combined.

Basically, it is possible to estimate that W.B. Yeats views the entire human life as a search of the balance which ultimate goal is the rest, or peace, people find at the end of the earthly life. To put it more precisely, the poet basically admits that it is hardly possible to find an ideal balance during the lifetime of an individual, but at the same time, he argues that extremity when there is no balance in the internal world of an individual or when the relationship of a couple or people at large are misbalanced, it does not contribute to a happy life but, instead, it may cause additional sufferings and create serious obstacles on the way to the personal happiness. Instead, the poet underlines in many of his poems, including the two discussed above, that the human life would be much better if there was some balance and people should strive for the balance in their life and relationships in order to live in harmony. He insists that only balance will make them really united as beloved in his poem “He bid his beloved be at peace”, and, what is more, it is the balance that makes the opposite qualities such as sweetness and strength, sternness and charm be combined in one personality, making it almost perfect.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that W.B. Yeats paid a lot of attention to the problem of balance since he viewed balance acts as an essential part of human life. He agreed that often human life is very contradictive and it is difficult to find the balance that brings peace to human soul, but, nevertheless it is necessary to make efforts to find the balance. Otherwise, human life would be much more complicated without harmony and happiness that the balance brings.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Essay on Popular and Academic Sources

Essay on Popular and Academic Sources

Nowadays the whole variety of information sources can be divided into two major groups: academic ones and popular ones. Articles of both types can cover the same information but the way they present it is quite different. In this paper, I’m going to compare an academic source and a popular one and to find differences and similarities between them. Both articles touch upon the same problem – the influence of alcohol on heart diseases. The article “Alcohol and ischaemic heart disease: probably no free lunch” is taken from an on-line version of the medical journal “The Lancet” and is considered an academic source while the article “Study: Wine heart benefit “small” is taken from the web-site and is a popular one.

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If we decide to find out the authors of both articles, we face the first difference between them. At the end of the academic source, we can find the names of all the authors, their background and the e-mail to contact them. Thus, we know that Rod Jackson, Joanna Broad, Jennie Connor and Susan Wells, the scholars of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, wrote this article. As concerns the second, popular, source we do not know the author of the article, which is very characteristic of all popular sources. Very often, the authors are either unknown or they belong to people who are not engaged in the investigation described in the article.

Starting reading the articles, we notice the difference of titles at once. The academic one has the title “Alcohol and ischaemic heart disease: probably no free lunch” that requires at least the knowledge of the term “ischaemic heart disease” while the second is named “Study: Wine heart benefit “small” and is aimed at the attraction of readers’ attention. Actually, the entire text of both articles is organized and written in a different way.

The academic source is always directed at specialists, those people who know the topic and perhaps investigate it themselves. It accounts for the usage of terms, complex sentences and academic voice by the authors. Another article is written for an average person that knows only basic facts about heart diseases and is interested in the most general facts concerning the problem. Therefore, while in the academic article we can find such terms as “plausible biological mechanisms”, “HDL-cholesterol”, “thrombolytic effects”, in the popular article they are omitted or replaced by simpler words. For example, in the article “Study: Wine heart benefit “small” the term “autopsy studies” is formulated as “post mortem studies”, the phrase “reported a protective association” sounds as “the same level of protection” and the central term of both articles “ischaemic heart disease” is expressed in the popular source as “coronary artery disease”.

Regarding the organization of the text, one can notice that the text of the academic source is longer and is more structured that the one of the popular article. It has clear introduction and conclusion; every thought is grounded and is set in one paragraph. Those ideas that are expressed in one or two sentences in the popular source are elaborated in the other one. For instance, in the article from the web-cite the statement “A study this year on 200,000 U.S. adults found that 27 of 30 cardiovascular risk factors were significantly more common in non-drinkers than light to moderate drinkers” is in fact a summary of about one-hundred word paragraph in the article from “The Lancet”.

Besides, speaking about the organization of text it is necessary to draw attention to the presence of footnotes and bibliography at the end of any academic article. After the text of the article in question, we can find bibliography, comprising 14 items, references to which we meet within the text itself. As a rule, a popular article does not presuppose the bibliography.

The forms of both articles also differ. If the academic article is written in Shaker – R font, size 10, the popular article is presented in Times New Roman font, size 12. The web page, where the academic article is found, looks like a journal page and the web page of the cite is a typical Internet page with ads and photographs. To conclude, we have analyzed and compared two articles that were taken from an academic source and a popular source. As a result, we found out that though both articles describe the same topic and refer to the same sources, they are different in style, structure and form. The academic article is targeted at specialists and scholars, therefore academic voice is used. The theme of alcohol impact on the cardiovascular system is elaborated and all the ideas are grounded. The difference in size of texts and their language can be explained by the orientation of articles. The popular article seems more like an interpretation of the academic one for average people and is concentrated on the final message to people, omitting the details of scientific trials. All things considered, I believe that while choosing the sources for one’s work it is always necessary to take into the account all these differences.
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Essay on Empires

Essay on Empires

In this paper, I’m going to touch upon such an important period in the world history as the Era of the end of Empires. The breakdown of the Ottoman Empire and the gradual disintegration of the colonial system influenced not only the history of Middle East states but of the European countries as well. The process of the establishment of independent states lasted for more than half of the twentieth century and eventually redrew the political map of the world.

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The Ottoman Empire was extremely influential in the Middle East during about 400 years. It is significant that the Ottoman sultan had total power due to his status of both a political and a religious leader. However, it was during the First World War that French and British forces beat the Ottoman troops and undermined strength of the Empire. This event radically changed the condition of the Arab provinces that became states controlled by the conquerors. The newly established states entered a new epoch of their political life. A new means of political control, the mandate, was introduced there.

Personally, I am inclined to believe that it was a progress. Despite the fact that they were colonies, Middle East states made another step towards the independence. After all, the colonialists were limited by certain guidelines. For example, they had to establish constitutional governments in every country. Besides, I think that when the states were colonies the main features of present-day countries were founded, such as fixed state frontiers, a flag, a legal system etc.

It was World War II that also altered the position of many countries in the world. Just like World War I destroyed the Ottoman Empire, World War II caused grave damage to the reputation of France and Great Britain – the colonizers of Middle East countries. In fact World War II made the colonies independent states. Moreover I believe, it can be considered as one of the few positive effects of the Second World War.

Broadly speaking, I suppose this long process of establishment of the independence was a quite natural feature of development of the countries and of the world in general. Struggle for absolute freedom is characteristic for any nation. For a long time Middle East countries did not have any opportunity to develop their nation, culture and policy on their own, without anybody’s control. Being a great civilization with rich culture and history, Middle East had to subdue to an absolutely different culture and nation. On the one hand the European countries somehow contributed to the development of their colonies, but on the other hand the lack of independence was never fruitful for any country.

To sum up, I think the Era of the end of Empires became a landmark in the world history. It began a new stage in the development of the world as new countries appeared. Despite the fact that it took more than half a century to achieve independence, despite all the problems that independent states faced during the first years of their new political life the result was worth the struggle.
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Research Paper on Herbert Hoover

1932 Speech of Herbert Hoover: Notes on Great Depression and Lost Presidency

I. Introduction 
The presidential campaign of 1932, which defeated Herbert Hoover was one of the most fiercely fought in the American political history. Vicious anti-Hoover books compounded of falsehood and forgery (as the chief of the authors himself contritely confessed) were in circulation. Every real and fancied popular grievance was exploited to the limit.

Herbert Clark Hoover was the thirty-first president of the USA (1929-1933). He was also a gifted mining engineer, notable for his humanitarian efforts. Hoover, nevertheless, failed to properly address his voters in the 1932 presidential campaign and failed to establish a proper contact with the politicians and bureaucrats surrounding him in the office. The speech delivered by Hoover in 1932 after his defeat for presidency is worth particular attention due to several reasons. First, Hoover spoke about his vision of the Great Depression, accentuating the real facts and figures that led the nation into the turbulence. Second, he addressed Roosevelt's claims regarding his [Hoover's] lack of character and professionalism dealing with the economic crisis. Third, Hoover admitted his defeat, regardless of the difficulty of such acknowledgement on his part. Hoover 1932 speech is a vital proof of the President's real efforts directed towards fighting depression and offering relief to the economically and socially strained population of the United States; the speech is also a representation of the Hoover's true character, not the one created by media and his opponents.


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II. Historical / Rhetorical Context 
Hoover's friends and fellow politicians predicted that Hoover had cut Roosevelt's lead in half, but they quickly changed their minds right before the results of the election were announced, writing that "things certainly look bad for the president" (qtd in Klein 1). The networks carried the results to the nation that evening and the newspapers the next morning. Hoover's worst fears were realized. Roosevelt swept all but six states. The Hoover electoral votes came mostly in the conservative Northeast: Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Pennsylvania was the only large state in the Hoover column. The president collected 59 electoral votes to FDR's 472. Roosevelt polled 22.8 million votes, 59 percent, to Hoover's 15.8 million, 41 percent. Democrats gained huge majorities in both Houses, 60 to 35 in the Senate and 310 to 117 in the House (Burner 317-318).

Walter Lippmann, an influential American writer and a journalist who became particularly active in the FDR's days, spoke over NBC radio the night of the election and said the results meant that the nation could now unify in its fight against the depression. Hoover told reporters the next day that he had no plans except to return to the White House and continue his work (The President's News Conference of Nov. 9, 1932 805-807). Reporters in the White House now would have only four months left to argue with Hoover and, though they did not know it then, a much longer time to spend with Roosevelt.

Yet, the real change would be in the nation's political and philosophical agenda. Not only had Roosevelt swept into office, but the Democrats had carried decisive majorities in both Houses for the first time in the century. The election was a complete repudiation of the Republicans and a total personal rejection of Hoover. Not only had the president only carried six states, but his impressive victory in 1928 meant that the 1932 election was the biggest turnaround in U.S. history. It would be a watershed election, because in the coming years Roosevelt would form a dominant Democratic coalition that would hold for 30 years more. Hoover's image as a Great Humanitarian and as a popular public figure had disintegrated. Future Americans would not even remember how he had come to be so popular, only that he had directed the rout of miserable bonus veterans from Washington and had been in charge when Americans felt the wrath of the Great Depression. Hoover left office a beaten and discouraged man, but the final months of his term brought no relief and his drooping image would have to withstand one more barrage.

Born in the tiny village of West Branch, Iowa, in 1874 to Quaker parents, the young Hoover worked hard at an early age. His paternal ancestors had migrated to the United States in 1738 from Switzerland and westward to Iowa in the nineteenth century, and his maternal ancestors had immigrated to the United States as early as 1630. His father, Jesse, who was a blacksmith, died from rheumatism of the heart and his mother, Hulda, died of pneumonia three years later when she was 35. Despite all of the troubles, Hoover managed to become a prominent engineer and, later, a President of the United States.

III. Method 
Cluster criticism was chosen as the method of Hoover's speech analysis. In this type of analysis, it is critical to look for key terms and notes in association with other major themes related to them.

Hoover's final speech was a subject to criticism and analysis by many political scientists, journalists, and political writers long after the President left his office. The relevance and importance of the cluster method of speech's analysis is justified by a number of themes embedded in the words pronounced by Hoover. He spoke to the people of the United Stated, addressing his defeat, economic depression, and rumors about his inability to present himself as a real leader and president of the great country. Hoover spoke about it all.

IV. Analysis 
In the nasal monotone that had become familiar to millions of Americans, Hoover spoke slowly into the microphone while delivering his speech after the outcome of the election was known: "My fellow citizens". The sound of Hoover adjusting his chair could be heard and the voice became much louder and clearer. "We have been through an arduous campaign. It has been a campaign almost unique in the education of the great domestic and international problems which have arisen out of the events of the last fifteen years" (Qtd in Burner 262). Hoover reviewed his three-and-a-half years in office. One million men had returned to work since the adjournment of Congress, he told his listeners. He listed other successes, told his audience he had done his best, and reminded listeners that the Republican Party had always been the party of progress for the future. Toward the end of the address, all the president's papers and notes tumbled past the microphone to the floor in a series of swishing thuds that sounded to listeners like the collapse of a dam. Hoover's voice was temporarily muffled, but he continued with only a brief hesitation: "should not be led astray by the false colors of promises." (Qrd in Burner 262-263) He continued uneasily for several minutes before concluding: "The president must represent the nation's ideals, and he must also represent them to the nations of the world. After four years of experience I still regard this as a supreme obligation." (Qtd in Burner 262-263).

"Upon coming into office the New Deal Administration," Hoover said, "claimed that millions of people were starving and that nothing had been done in the way of real relief. Had that been true, they would not have failed, to say so during the presidential campaign. It would have been the best possible vote getter. But since it was manifestly not true, this charge would have antagonized that great body of devoted people who were carrying on the work efficiently in the spirit of neighborliness and kindness and patriotism." (Qtd in Burner 263).

To support his point, Hoover said that there were as many Democrats as Republicans in the great humanitarian army. They were not there under party labels but simply as Americans and as human beings. In the literature of that campaign of 1932, there is scarcely a trace of the fairy tale of mass starvation. It made a timid debut here and there in the invective of extreme left-wing propaganda, but it did not figure in the basic Democratic thesis.

The economic disaster of 1929 found at the helm in Washington the man who was the expert on large-scale relief of human suffering. Hoover had raised benevolence to a science. He had organized, administered, and financed the succor of hundreds of millions under the most unfavorable conditions. Because of his unique ability to mobilize good will, he had fed nations and a continent with unprecedented economy. The premise that this man refused to use his rare talents to the fullest when his own flesh and blood faced destitution simply makes no sense.

There is ample room for debate as to the relative efficacy of the theory and methods of relief applied by President Hoover and his successor. The two systems were universes apart in spirit and substance, Hoover rallied primarily (though not exclusively) local, volunteer, non-political forces; the New Deal relied on a vast and costly federal bureaucracy. The first rested on the alerted neighborhood, the second on the welfare state. The first was frankly an emergency setup; it did not accept the notion that relief would be a permanent function of the Federal Government with its own civil service. The second was geared more and more to the assumption of eternal, systematized destitution (Winfield 34, 43-45).

Under both Presidents there were hardships, failures, injustices, and for the victims anguish of spirit. No effort of these dimensions is without its faults. But there is no room for debate on the scope, the earnestness, the sincerity, and the essential success of the relief enterprise under Hoover. Throughout his experience Hoover had learned that the most reliable measure of a relief effort was the health of the population involved. There is, indeed, no other way to gauge the progress of starvation (Winfield 34, 43-45). The reports of social workers may be subjective, colored by irritation or the hope of larger subsidies. Death and health statistics are matters of record. Periodically, therefore, he had Surgeon-General Hugh So Cummings provide him with surveys. They showed a declining death rate, especially--the most sensitive and revealing area--among infants under one year (Baughman 56-59).

V. Rationale for the Text and Rhetoric 
Hoover's 1932 speech after his presidential defeat is vitally important as it sheds light on the real Hoover, as opposed to the image of 'failing president' that was created by the media and his opponents. The importance of this speech is also in the fact that Hoover did address the criticism poured on him and did care for the nation he ruled for four years.

Facts speak for themselves: on January 2, 1932, Dr. Cummings reported that "infant mortality during the past year was definitely lower than in any preceding year on record." (Baughman 56-59) The president of the American Public Health Association in October 1932 declared in a formal statement that by and large the health of the people as measured in sickness and death has never been better despite the depression (Smith 90-94).

Advocates of the relief theory subsequently adopted under Roosevelt were sufficiently vocal from the start, in particular the ambitious political leaders. They wanted centralized distribution of billions of dollars in federal grants. There were Republicans among them as well as Democrats. No doubt their system would have simplified matters. There would have been no recourse to private charitable instincts, no appeals to local communities to pitch in--and a vote dividend for the politicians commanding the largest slice of those billions.

President Hoover was profoundly convinced that such dependence on the Federal Treasury would bring an inevitable train of corruption and waste and an exploitation of a people's mishaps (Smith 90-94). The alternative, his own conception, was not improvised. It was a strategy carefully developed through long years of experience. Its essence can be summed up in four points:

A. Local resources--the neighbor, the existing social agency, the municipality, the state--represent the first lines of defense against distress. Being in lifelong contact with the victims of the depression, local volunteers would bring their hearts, not merely red tape and badges, to their undertaking. They would not easily be imposed upon by chiselers and malingerers, thus leaving more for the families in real distress.
B. The Federal Government is the last line of defense, in constant readiness to provide effective help if and when the first lines weaken. Meanwhile, however, it is not inert. It seeks to reduce the size of the problem by means of public works, the stimulation of capital investment, the spread of work, and other methods. Most important, it bolsters the whole economic structure, its financial institutions, its currency, its system of credit.
C. When it becomes necessary for the United States Treasury to make grants, the funds are not divided indiscriminately on a population basis but strictly in relation to actual needs, and their administration is left with the states through their local committees. This has at least three vital purposes: It makes unnecessary immense federal personnel; it keeps down the incidence of patronage and pork-barrel diversions; and it continues to utilize human good will and voluntary services to the maximum.
D. The effort as a whole is treated as an emergency program for meeting specific needs. It is not an excuse to implant a new social philosophy in American life in conflict with the primary concepts of American liberty (Fausold 101, 105).

VI. Conclusion
As evident from the facts presented in this paper, Hoover's 1932 speech is an important proof of the President's real efforts of helping American people and fighting economic depression. While giving its guidance and when necessary its financial support, Hoover stated that the Federal Government must insist that all of the governmental bodies exert their responsibilities in full.

Hoover in his 1932 speech argued that it is vital that the programs of the Government shall not compete with or replace any of them but shall add to their initiative and their strength. It is vital that by the use of public revenues and public credit in emergency the nation shall be strengthened and not weakened.

Hoover saw grief and moral debility from a cold and distant charity which put out its sympathy only through the tax collector and yielded a very meager dole of unloving and perfunctory relief (Fausold 101, 105).

Periodically, until the end of his term, the President resurveyed the situation, enlarging the organization to meet new demands, and raising funds from many sources as needed. At his request the Friends' Service, the Quaker organization, assumed the task of feeding children in coal regions. Other such private agencies were given special assignments to solve problems within their special capacities.

Early in 1932 he determined to apply surplus commodities in the hands of the Farm Board for direct relief. The grain earmarked for this purpose provided enough flour to supply six million families for nine months. The cotton sufficed to clothe four million families. This relief was administered by the Red Cross. Relief on a regimented federal basis, Hoover believed, would be especially tempting to politicians. Surveying the New Deal landscape after a few years, he felt justified in speaking of politicians as miners digging votes.

Hoover was a great President and a great leader. His noble deeds will, for sure, be remembered, even though he failed to vindicate his ideas and actions in 1932, coming into the era of oblivion for years.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Consumer Behavior Research Paper

Consumer Behavior Research Paper

“The Urge to Splurge: A Terror Management Account of Materialism and Consumer Behavior” Journal of Consumer Psychology, 14 (3), 2004, p. 198-212

The modern society is characterized by the dominance of materialist culture which determines practically all aspects of social life. In fact, material values are of a paramount importance for people. At the same time the effects and reasons of such emergence of materialism was thoroughly researched and the forecasts of specialists concerning the future of the materialist civilization are often far from perfect. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the research conducted by Jamie Arndt, Sheldon Solomon, Tim Kasser, Kennon M. Sheldon “The Urge of Splurge: A Terror Management Account of Materialism and Consumer Behavior”, which focuses on the analysis of the terror management theory and the understanding of the fact how human awareness of death affects human materialism. In fact, the research is really important since it actually focuses on the problem which remains under-researched.

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First of all, it should be said that the research is conducted by specialists whose qualification may be considered to be quite high. In this respect, it should be said that all authors are experienced and have a profound knowledge of the terror management theory by means of which they actually attempt to answer the major question of the study how the awareness of death affects human materialism. It is worthy of mention that Jamie Arndt and Kennon M. Sheldon work at the University of Missouri, Sheldon Solomon works at Skidmore College, and Tim Kasser works at Knox College. All the author have already worked on the problem discussed in this particular research but this is the first time when the authors united their efforts to study the problem. For instance, J. Arndt is known for his works in this field among which it is possible to single out “”Traces of Terror: Subliminal Deaths Primes and Facial Electromyographic Indices of Affect”. Basically, the authors are well-qualified and experienced this is why it is possible to presuppose that they are able to conduct a reliable research.

On analyzing the research proper, it is necessary to underline that the authors attempt to analyze the problem of on the basis of the terror management theory. This fact is very important because in the research of the problem of the impact of human awareness of death on their materialism and consumption the application of the terror management theory seems to be quite logical and perfectly meet the main goal of the research. In fact, the authors’ message is the spread of materialism and increasing consumerism as a reaction of consumers to the perspective of death. The authors attempt to persuade the audience that life is not endless and, eventually, material values are useless at the end of the life. This is why it is important to pay attention not only to material but also spiritual values.

Basically, the authors argue the fact that in the current situation the materialist culture defines consumption habits of customers and stimulates people to acquire material values regardless their actual significance in moral or spiritual aspect. At the same time, they reveal that death expectation and the awareness of the end of human life can affect the consumer’s behavior. The research of the problem of interdependence between this awareness and consumer’s behavior is the major goal of the study. The authors attempt to show that material values are still significant for human beings even in face of death, but, on the other hand, they want to reveal the shift in traditional preferences of consumers in their consumption habits when the awareness of death increases or when consumers face the real threat of upcoming death. To prove their position, the authors refer to the researches (Shi 1985) which reveal the fact of the increasing consumption after terror attacks, such as those on September 11.

Initially, the authors presumed that the pursuit for wealth and material prosperity is determined not only by their desire to occupy a higher social position or improve their social status, but it was also motivated by the desire of people to protect themselves from existential anxieties. What is meant here is the fact that the researchers viewed the problem of death awareness as a serious challenge to human consciousness and they realized the fact that, as a rule, human are afraid of death and their innate instincts force them to struggle for the survival. In such a context, as the authors found out, human attempt to preserve and accumulate some material values and commodities is basically determined by the desire of people to find some illusionary commodity that can prolong their life. In other words, the acquisition of commodities and material values was viewed by the researcher as the natural desire of people to find some escape on psychological level from the inevitable perspective of death.

In this respect, the reference of the researchers to the appeal of George Bush to go shopping after the tragic events of September 11 seem to be quite symbolic since this was probably the most tragic event in the history, or at least in the modern history of the US, and the authors view the solution suggested by the President as quite noteworthy. Basically, they explain the power of acquisition of material values by the fact that it distracts people from the death expectation and, what is more, they even argue that such an irresistible desire of people to die is often provoked by an attempt to acquire some supernatural commodity that can help them escape from death. It should be pointed out that the researchers have found certain evidences of this fact since in their research they underline that people that face a threat of death can change their material and consumerist habit and focus on the commodities and subjects that possess some sacred value. At the same time, such commodities and subject are traditionally highly valued, even though people do not really disturbed by the problem of death.

Furthermore, the authors attempt to understand what actually make people pertain and strive for the acquisition of material values and commodities even though they are conscious of fact that they can die. In other words, such accumulation of commodities and material values is determined by the overwhelming desire of people to support their existence with some material values. The researchers have revealed the fact that basically this desire and strife for consumption is, to a significant extent, determined by their intention to enhance their self-esteem. In practice, this means that human consumerism contributes to the increasing self-esteem of people. The authors argue that through the acquisition of commodities and material values people attempt to increase their significance and, therefore, make their existence more meaningful not only for themselves but also for their social environment. As a result, consumer’s behavior may change, for instance, the shift of interests in favor of some sacred objects may be observed, but, nevertheless consumerism accompanies people till the end of their life.

Eventually, the authors conclude that consumerism constitute an essential part of the worldview of Americans. They underline that intrinsic values dominate in the contemporary society, which though is one of the key factors of success and prosperity of American society. They view consumerism as a protection from existential anxieties and this is why more and more people tend to such escape from the apprehensions concerning death and mortality of humans by means of consumerism. On the other hand, the researchers underline that terminally ill patients, for instance, are often conscious of the fact of the useless of the material values. However, it is necessary to underline that the latter is viewed by the authors as the important area for the further researches while the current study touches this problems only superficially. In fact, this may be viewed as a serious limitation of the research because, in actuality, the authors focused on the problem of human awareness of death but this awareness basically referred to people for whom death was rather hypothetical perspective that was distanced in the future but not the real perspective of the nearest future. This is why it is possible to presuppose that they can hardly adequately assess the possible shift in consumers’ behavior if the position, preferences and interests of people who really face the perspective of death are not fully taken into consideration.

Naturally, it is necessary to agree that there are some attempts to refer to such people, for instance the reference to Yalom’s discussion of a former senator monologue in face of death in which the latter realizes the vanity of material wealth and high social position and its significance in relation to the perspective of death. However, such references are rather exceptional than common that proves the fact that the authors are unwilling to focus on this part of the problem, while the impact of death awareness of people on their consumerism remained central that is naturally insufficient for the profound understanding of this interdependence without taking into consideration the position of all people, including such categories as terminally ill patients. Consequently, this may be viewed as a limitation of the research.

Nevertheless, the research is really important since it contributes to the better understanding of consumers’ behavior and complements other studies conducted in this field, which also attempted to focus on the same problem. Basically, the research is quite interesting and conducted in a proper way, though it is possible to emphasize that the research lacks the support of the facts and ideas of the authors by statistical evidences, while their conclusive appeal to shift from materialism to honoring spiritual values seems to be quite idealistic and rather resembles an hypothetical suggestion than a concrete way to change the current situation and the domination of materialism and consumerism. At the same time, the researchers attempt to highlight the position of others specialists and they often refer to other researches which reveal important facts related to the current study.

In general, it should be said that this problem remains under-researched and this is why the research conducted by the authors is very important in understanding of human awareness of death and their consumerism which, according to the authors, is motivated by the desire to enhance self-esteem and distract people from apprehensions of upcoming death. In such a way, the researchers raised an important problem that need to be researched further and it is possible to agree with their definition of the future of the researches due to which it will be possible to fully reveal the effects of human consciousness of mortality. At the same time, the article has a great value for consumer behavior/marketing management because it helps better understand the psychology and motivation of consumers and the basic causes of their consumption, which is quite spontaneous and determined by subjective factors such as the fear of death and attempts to prolong physical existence through accumulation of material values.
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

British Colonialism Essay

British Colonialism Essay

A group of patriots was responsible for much anti-British sentiments in the colonies. Who were these men? How did they accomplish their goals?

The British colonization policy made Great Britain one of the most powerful country in the world. The empire covered enormous territory and millions of people were under its control. At the same time, the policy of Great Britain in colonies often provoked the opposition and dissatisfaction of the local population. In such a situation, it was quite natural that the population of colonies started to resist to the oppression of British, to the extent, that they targeted expel British from the colonies. In this respect, it should be pointed out that such an opposition was not spontaneous, instead, there was a group of people that actively resisted to Great Britain interference and pure exploitation of the colonies in its own interests. In the US such a group of people that encouraged and spread anti-British sentiments was later known as the Republican Party, which after the war of Independence fell apart forming the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Obviously, the leaders of the patriots were Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine.

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First of all, it should be said that the patriots were really enthusiastic and eager in the struggle of the colonies for independence. In fact, it is possible to estimate that such patriots as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine were the major inspirers of anti-British sentiments in the colonies and the following war on Independence. Unlike many other inhabitants of the colonies who had a stable, high social position, who were wealthy and had a high level of income, these patriots, even though their socio-economic position may be not very good but still they were intellectual and social elite of the colonies. At the same time, other representatives of the elite in the colonies often did not share their views and, on the contrary, many of them were interested in the maintenance of the British rule in the colonies since it provided them with wealth, high income, and stable future.

In stark contrast, the patriots could not admit that Great Britain continued their colonial policy defining the life of the colonies without any regard to the real interests and needs of the local population. In actuality, they perfectly realized that the colonial policy of Great Britain resulted in the total oppression of the liberty of the population of colonies, its economic exploitation and permanent deprivation. In fact, they had no doubt that the policy of Great Britain in relation to its colonies could not be just because it was not interested in the development of the colonies not only economically but also technologically and socially.

It should be said that such patriots and Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine were really outstanding thinkers of their time, but what was more important in the spread of anti-British sentiments in the colonies, was the fact that they were real patriots. This means that they really wanted to free the colonies from the domination of Great Britain and, naturally, they have strong reasons to strive for independence. In this respect, it is important to underline that the interest of people living in the colonies and the future of the colonies were apparently more important for these patriots than their own future perspectives and social position because their ideas of struggle against British colonialism naturally resulted in the growing dissatisfaction of the colonial authorities. As a result, instead of having good career perspectives, a possibility to get wealthy and prosperous following the example of many other people who were loyal to British and assisted them to exploit the colonies that made them rich and powerful, the patriots risked to get persecuted by the colonial authorities and, therefore, lose everything they had and all perspectives. Nevertheless, they continued their struggle.

Obviously, the major reason for such a risky decision of the patriots was the desire of freedom and independence of the colonies and the local population. To a significant extent, such a desire was determined by their education and philosophical views. As it has been already mentioned above, they were intellectual elite of the colonies, but what is more they were also significantly influenced by the progressive philosophical ideas of their epoch, including those of John Lock. At the same time, the life in the colonies made them closer to the nature and more distanced from the European civilization with its boundaries and limitations. As a result, they developed their own philosophy, their own viewpoint on the development and future of the colonies and this vision had nothing in common with British colonialism. Instead, they insisted on the necessity of the implementation of the new legislation that would give all people equal rights and opportunities. In other words, they simply wanted to make people living in the colonies free and protected from the violation of the basic civil rights.

In this respect, it should be pointed out that the patriots spread their ideas concerning freedom and civil rights of the population of colonies using the means that were accessible to them. Basically, they used media, basically newspapers, to spread their ideas, though it is necessary to underline that they were also outstanding authors who created their own writings and spread their published worked in the colonies. For instance, “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine had been widely read and provided a simple, clear case for independence that many found compelling. Not less or probably eve more significant was the work of other patriots, especially of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Their liberal and democratic views were also widely spread throughout the colonies, basically due to the printed media by means of which their works and ideas were spread.

In such a way, their position was well-known to the public and, what was even more important, their ideas were apparently progressive and naturally attracted a large amount of people living in colonies to support their intentions to gain independence. In this respect, it is worthy of mention that the patriots were quite convincing. For instance, Thomas Jefferson insisted on the declaration of independence arguing that its purpose was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before the mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take” (Barthelmas, 2003, p.135).

Similarly Benjamin Franklin spread his ideas of independence and freedom. In this respect, it is worthy of mention that he issued “Poor Richard’s Almanac”, in which he spread his ideas about his vision of the future of the colonies and the new mode of life. Eventually, the activity and ideas of the patriots became the ideological basis of the war of Independence and evoked strong anti-British sentiments among people living in the colonies.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the patriots, such as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine produced a profound impact on social and political life of the colonies. In fact, they revealed the essence of the British colonialism and the extent to which it was destructive for the colonies. They had progressive ideas based on the principle of democracy and respect of civil rights of all people, which they spread using printed media. In such a way, their ideas soon gained the popularity among people living in the colonies because they really suggested an alternative, free mode of life to the oppressive British colonialism.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Essay on Currency Exchange

Essay on Currency Exchange

When nations buy and sell goods and services with one another, they need to know how much their money is worth in another nation. Exchange rates determine the value of one country’s currency in another country. If a country has a favorable exchange rate with the United States, U.S. dollars will be worth more in that country than if the exchange rate were unfavorable. Exchanges of different currencies take place in the foreign exchange market.

Exchange rates were fixed for the most of the 20th century. The rates were kept constant according to the gold-exchange standard. For each currency there was determined amount of gold which they could be exchanged. This system made foreign exchange markets very slow to respond to changing events.

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In 1944, representatives from forty-four western nations met at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to establish a fair way of determining worldwide exchange rates. Under the Bretton Woods system, exchange rates between foreign currencies were fixed against the value of the U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar was fixed at $35 per ounce of gold and all other currencies were expressed in terms of dollars. The system worked well at first because the U.S. economy was much stronger than any other. However, after a few years, the economies of other nations grew and the relative value of the U.S. dollar went down throwing the Bretton Woods system out of the balance. Therefore, in 1971, the system was reformed into a floating exchange system, whereby the values of currencies relative to one another are free to change daily. In a floating exchange system, the value of a nation’s currency reflects the health of its economy.

Nevertheless, there were some advantages of the gold standard system. It served as a common measure of value. Rate changes were very rare which made long-term planning much easier and less risky. Inflation was under control.

There were also negative sides of this system. It began to weaken in the 60s. Amount of U.S. dollars began to grow in the foreign countries as well as their export to the Unites States, while U.S. no longer had enough gold to buy back all the dollars. The reserves of gold were constantly falling and United States had to terminate this system. Now currencies rise and fall in value according to the forces of demand and supply.

After the gold-exchange standard was no longer in use, the foreign exchange markets went from relatively unimportant financial institutions to the one of the most important activities of international economics.

The foreign exchange today is the largest financial market in the world. At foreign exchange markets currencies are traded between banks, multinational corporations, governments, currency speculators, and other financial institutions. In the global foreign exchange markets the daily trade is around 2 trillion dollars. Individuals can also participate in this market, but only indirectly through brokers or banks. The turnover of foreign exchange market consists of spot transactions, outright forwards, forex swaps, and other transactions.

Exchange-traded forex futures contracts were introduced in 1972 at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and are actively traded relative to most other futures contracts. In last years their volume has grown rapidly and is about 7% of the whole foreign exchange market volume.

Some of the world major foreign exchange markets are in London, New York, Tokyo and Singapore. However, foreign exchange is mainly over-the-counter market, where brokers negotiate directly with one another, which does not require single unified foreign exchange market. There are no headquarters and the foreign exchange market simply a worldwide network of traders connected by phones and computers. Due to this fact, there is no single rate for each currency, but rather there is a number of different rates depending on who is trading. Normally the rates are very similar. There are four types of market participants—banks, brokers, customers, and central banks.

Among the main currency traders are Deutsche Bank, UBS AG, Citigroup, Barclays Capital, Royal Bank of Scotland, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Merrill Lynch.

Currency trading takes place continuously 24 hours excluding weekends. When stock exchange is opening in London it is already closing in Singapore, in several hours foreign exchange begins in New York, then San Francisco and so on.

Fluctuations of currency exchange rates are mainly caused by monetary flows and expectations of how these monetary flows will change. The changes can be caused by inflation, interest rates, GDP growth, trade deficit, and other factors. Main events and news are released publicly and many people receive access to the same information at the same time. The main factors affecting currency prices are supply and demand forces, which in return are influenced by economic factors, political conditions, and market psychology. Foreign exchange market, like no other, reflects everything that is going on in the world at any given time. Supply and demand factors constantly shift and prices of currencies shift accordingly.

There are several types of financial instruments commonly used.

Spot: It is a two-day delivery transaction and represents direct exchange between two currencies. It involves cash rather than a contract and does not consider interest. Spot, as an instrument, has the largest share by volume in the foreign exchange market.

Forward transaction: In this case, buyer and seller agree on an exchange rate for a specific date in the future, which can be in several days, months, or years. Futures: These are forward transactions that have standard contract size and date of exchange. They are usually traded on the specific exchanges. The length of the contract is around 3 months.

Swap: These are the most common types of forward transactions. They are not standardized and are not traded through an exchange.

Options: Option gives the right to the owner, but does not oblige him to exchange money denominated in one currency into another currency at a pre-agreed exchange rate on a specified date.
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