An Analysis of Counterfeit Culture in Fashion Essay

An Analysis of Counterfeit Culture in Fashion Essay.

Among the social constructs that exist in most cultures and societies, fashion is probably one of the most ambiguous; it can be purposive yet frivolous, essential yet expressive, and functional yet influential.  What started as mere protection from the elements has become a global industry that defines generations and mindsets, producing lifestyles and preferences that are adhered to by large segments of world population.  This phenomenon is linked to the creation of brands and branding—symbols of a particular lifestyle choice that may reflect certain values and beliefs, which ultimately translate into an economy marked by persuasion and aspiration.

Popular culture has appropriated fashion and its related concepts in a multitude of ways, and has contributed to the growth of a significant number of brands.  An excellent example of this is the practice of celebrity endorsement, wherein brands are assigned to famous individuals—those who have gained success and equivalent reputations in their chosen areas of expertise—and fashion is probably the most visible.

  The lure and appeal of these celebrities instantly affect consumer behavior, and assure economic success for the fashion brand owner.

Likewise, a celebrity increases his or her status by being associated with brands that have a positive, aspirational image—which is then communicated to the consumer.  This is perhaps the single most important reason why certain brands are coveted; and such desire is measured in its practical effects:  increased sales, brand growth, and higher tag prices.  However, these results also correlate with negative practices, and one of the most controversial is the production of counterfeit goods.

The journey of the garment, which is the basic unit of fashion, traces a long road from its beginnings in the mind and hands of its creator—the designer—who must have included the necessary components for protection and expression, combined with style.  Now, a single garment already connotes bigger concepts of identity and socio-political notions; but the dangers of counterfeiting threatens to redefine the social and political aspects associated with an original creation, as well as the stripping of its unique identity.

If the goal of counterfeiting is to help individuals with their status and self-esteem issues, then the act could be evaluated on the level of psychological support and alternative means of coping; but since counterfeiting fashion goods is not ever likely to have this altruistic objective at its core, there can be no other way to define it but downright stealing and infringement.

Counterfeiting, as evident in its proliferation worldwide, is a profitable business; people involved in it—the producers and consumers—are liable for their actions.  While consumers could be incorrectly seen as passive participants in the transaction, producers have no other reason to be in it but to claim rights and profits meant for the original source.

II.        The Practice of Counterfeiting Fashion

Counterfeit goods are defined by Rutter and Bryce (1146) as “those which illegally imitate, copy or duplicate a good or use a trademark without authorization”, and thus are subject to certain parameters and criteria that will reveal its true source.  The practice of counterfeiting is a trade no longer new, but its occurrence in fashion and its high-profile industry has produced effects that delve not just on appropriating someone else’s ideas—it is now an industry in itself, founded on the copied factors of design and appeal, and, most importantly, on the deliberate attempt to claim the benefits originally meant for the source.

Key in this discussion is the level of desire associated with a particular fashion item, which necessarily stems from the popularity and reputation achieved by a brand.  In order to sustain this kind of exclusive image, most fashion brands use leverage on price and availability—the more expensive and limited, the better chances they have for assuming desire, apart from the given quality and originality of design.

Therefore, if a fashion item is deemed unreachable or exists in limited quantities, it almost always translates to promoting want and desire in consumers.  Take for instance the Hermes Birkin, an ordinary-looking ladies’ handbag that uses the strategy of exclusivity; with its hefty tag price and buying procedure of having prospective buyers on a list that may be addressed after months—even years—the item has realized its status as a must-have for the status seeker.

Counterfeiting enters the picture at this point, taking advantage of the limited production and availability.  Fake Birkins are now introduced, which greatly diminishes the value placed on the original, whether or not marks of identification are put in place.  International fashion brands have become victims of the counterfeiting trade, based on the documented $15.8 billion in terms of losses in total sales of all counterfeited products (Rutter and Bryce 1148).  The original standpoints on the social and political meanings of fashion within the areas of identity and culture have now been taken over by the issues of equality and class.

III.      China and the Economy of Counterfeiting

The process of counterfeiting in its affinity with controversy would not have reached great heights if not for the participation of the producer and the consumer.  News and information in recent years have pointed to specific locales where counterfeiting originates on a large scale, and China—the biggest among several countries involved in the practice—is perhaps the most significant player in the industry.

With its huge land area and population, the ascent of China toward economic superiority is apparent, and is acknowledged as the potential determinant of world fashion and its future (Mead 419).  However, its issues regarding its history and politics have pushed the Chinese toward a work ethic of hardship and the idea of quantity (Mead 424), believing that this attitude equates to a richer, better life.  Its sheer size and the persevering quality of its people have made China a major target of international companies, in the same way acknowledging that China has the capability of producing any random commodity required by the market (Pang 120).

These two factors, size and capacity, are the same factors that have allowed the Chinese to take on jobs that pay less than required by their Western counterparts, thus making them the perfect players in the goal of mass-producing consumer goods.  Apparel brands such as Nike and Adidas (Pang 129), to name a few, have been manufactured in China for some time; the presence of these coveted brands in the same work environment can eventually give rise to their counterfeit versions.

China should not be mistaken as a country that disrespects ownership and originality of ideas; in fact, its history should always be appropriated, and the connections between the past and present should be made.  Work and production were the landmarks of Maoist China, and its recent adoption of capitalism has resulted in a fanaticism for Western brands.

Putting these two together would allow one to understand the motivations behind the culture of counterfeiting in China—as it is but a product of opposing cultural and social values informed by history.  However, countries like China and other bastions of counterfeiting will not be able to justify their business any longer; stricter rules on counterfeit goods have been put in place in major locales around the world, and arguments of tradition and historical events will soon become passe and inconsqeuential.

IV.      The Fashion Consumer in the Counterfeit World

The consumer of counterfeit goods in general is often referred to as the ‘other’ (Rutter and Bryce 1149), and rightly so—for the consumption of products already known to be fake and copied reveals a statement that corresponds to the consumer’s social, political, and economic status, as well as ideology.  These are people who have been excluded from the privilege of affording merchandise that may be too costly or unavailable, yet possess a desire to achieve the same effects gleaned from ownership.

An Analysis of Counterfeit Culture in Fashion Essay

Transcultural Nursing Essay

Transcultural Nursing Essay.

The country of Nigeria is located in Western Africa bordering the Gulf of Guinea (Bureau of African Affairs, 2011). The Cultural interview discussed in this paper was conducted on a 33 year old man who migrated to the United States of America from Nigeria 4 years ago. “Nigeria has over 50 languages and over 250 dialects and ethnic groups” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2011). The three largest groups are the Hausa-Fulani, the Igbo, and the Yoruba. Nigeria music is mostly folk-like. It is very popular worldwide due to the unique instruments played such as the gongon drums (Faola & Heaton, 2008).

The person I interviewed is a coworker of mine. Our interview took place in Taco Bell in Willoughby, Ohio, November 20th at 11 A. M. We spoke for about 1 hour and 40 minutes. During our interview I asked questions about the standards of living in Nigeria, and cultural beliefs and practices. I also asked individual questions about personal life and perceptions about Nigerian and American culture. According to my interviewee most of the houses in Western Africa are made out of brick.

The only people who are able to have things such as air conditioning, televisions, and telephone service are rich people.

Most jobs in Nigeria pay in salary rather than by the hour. During my research for this assignment I discovered that the average interest rate to buy a home in Nigeria is 17% -24% (Bureau of African Affairs, 2011). The taxes are also higher when compared to the United States. The unemployment rate is increasing rapidly which is also accompanied by an increased in crime rates. Approximately, there is a hijack taking place every two minutes (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, 2011). The traditional Nigerian family consists of the father, his wife, and their children.

The father is considered the head of the household and usually works to bring in the money while his wife takes care of the house and kids. The oldest male or father is the dominant figure in the household, and all the decisions that may affect the family go through him first. The oldest son in the family can take such a role in the absence of the father. From a very young age, children (especially males) are expected to contribute to family obligations, and help the family in any way necessary. Laziness is unacceptable and is considered a sign of weakness. The children’s responsibilities grow as they get older.

It is not uncommon for older sons to drop out of school so they can work and help the family. Daughters usually help with things such as cooking, doing laundry, babysitting, etc. Elders are treated with a lot of respect and their advice and guidance is always taken into consideration when making any important decisions. The proper way to greet an elder person is by kneeling down which is considered a sign of respect and obedience (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011). Because of the rising unemployment rates, women are now also expected to work outside of their homes and contribute to their family’s income.

There are certain parts of Nigeria that are extremely traditional and where women are treated like possessions with no rights and loss of identity. In many cases women are expected to work and earn an income, maintain the household duties, and fulfill the sexual desires of their men. Males are always admired while women are considered inferior. Females are usually raised to serve and be submissive and obedient to men (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011). There are many marriages that end when the woman in the relationship gives birth to too many females (Faola & Heaton, 2008).

My interviewee states that this is less common in bigger more develop cities. Many families have an average of 10 or more children which is considered a sign of stability and good status; however, this is also becoming less common as having more children also leads to economic burden in today’s society (Faola & Heaton, 2008). Nigerians tend to be very family oriented people, and are usually very close to extended family and relatives. Most Nigerians live with their extended family in either the same house or in separate houses that are close together.

Neighbors are often considered part of the extended family. It does not matter whether they are related or not (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011). My interviewee shared with me several stories of how when he was a kid his neighbors were very involved in his childhood practically raising him. Holiday celebrations are a reason for big family gatherings and parties. There are many similarities when comparing holiday celebrations in Nigeria and the United States. Nigerians celebrate New Year’s Day, Christmas day, and Easter just like people do in the United States.

Their labor day is often referred to as “workers’ day”. They also have a “freedom day” where they celebrate their first real election of April 27th, 1994 (Faola & Heaton, 2008). Election Day is also considered a public holiday. Nigeria has a “dry season” and a “rainy season” each year. Their Christmas is usually during the middle of summer. My research done for this assignment indicates that Rugby is the largest and most popular sport in Africa (Bureau of African Affairs, 2011); however, my interviewee states that Soccer is even more popular in Nigeria (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011).

There are usually big festivals that occur before and after each game for both sports. Hunting is also a very popular sport in Western Africa. My interviewee describes Nigeria as a very beautiful place full of nature, and where deer are a lot bigger than in the United States. It is very common to see lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo crossing streets or simply strolling around the side of roads. My interviewee is from South East Nigeria. Besides English, he speaks Ibibio and Efic which are two “vernacular” languages meaning they are native and indigenous in certain areas (Central Intelligence Agency, 2011).

English is considered the official business language. My interviewee has a wife and two kids. He used to have his own business in Nigeria being a traveling agent and attended college to study marketing. His main goal is to become a Registered nurse (which he is currently attending school for) and to one day own his own business. Education is perceived to be very important in Western Africa culture even though many people never get the opportunity to attend college.

Traditionally, most young adults continue living with their parents until they get married, even if they have to travel long distances for school (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011). Most people living in Nigeria have diets based on organic foods that are low in preservatives, non-fried foods, and non-animal fat. Eating meat and going out to restaurants are options that are often avoided because very few people can afford them. Most food consumed comes from local farms and mainly consists of crops such as plantains, corn, yams, and sweet potatoes.

Papaya, pineapples, coconuts, oranges, mangoes, and bananas are also readily available. My interviewee’s favorite dishes are cassava which is a starchy root with a crisp white flesh and Nigerian Suya which are considered delicacies. Nigerian Suya is a method of roasting meat that tastes like barbecue. My interviewee dislikes American food because he says is very unhealthy and very hard to chew (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011). West African culture is rich in health care practices that consist of a variety of home and folk remedies.

Many people visit shamans, exorcists, card readers, advisors and sorcerers just to mention a few prior to seeking conventional medical help from doctors. Many ethnic groups in Nigeria are against Western medicinal practice including vaccinations or taking any type of pill (Central Intelligence Agency, 2011). Home remedies usually include special teas and foods recommended for specific illnesses. My interviewee states that when he or anyone else in his family is sick they try to rest as much as possible, take plenty of fluids, and visit a doctor.

He also does yearly doctor checkups. One major risk behavior in Nigerian culture is the lack of protection when having sex and having multiple sex partners or sex with strangers (Unites States Agency of International Development, 2011). Not participating in Western medicinal practices can be considered a risk behavior. Even though people seem to be very well aware of the dangers of such behavior they continue to do same thing out of ignorance and a variety of personal beliefs. My interviewee shared with me how difficult it was for him and his family to adapt to a new culture.

Some examples given were: learning how to drive on the right side of the road, learning how to handle U. S. currency, and understanding American slang. I have been living in the United States for 13 years and I still do not understand American slang. My interviewee also had to learn how to pump his own gas. In Nigeria gas stations pump the gas for you because they are afraid that you might try to drive away without paying (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011). One of the hardest things my interviewee had to learn was to control his Sense of distance and attitude when approaching people for the first time.

He states that in Nigeria everyone is very close and friendly with each other. Touch is considered an integral part of Nigerian culture but is misinterpreted in the United States (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011). He states that when he first moved here he immediately noticed how people reacted to him “strangely for acting too happy and friendly”. Now he tries to be “a bit more serious and reserved” when meeting someone for the first time (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011).

According to my interviewee most people in Nigeria are Christians. The few people that are not Christian usually worship different deities, spirits, ancestors, and Gods. There is a God for every element on earth and many other ones. The reason why Christianity is expanding rapidly is because of the many missionaries that come every year to help people in need and expand the message of God (Anonymous Personal Communication, November 25, 2011). My interviewee did not mention anything about Muslims or Islam.

According to my research “it is estimated that 50 percent of Nigerians are Muslims, 40 percent are Christian, and that remaining 10 percent practice various indigenous religions” (McLaughlin, 2006). Differences between Muslims and Christians have created a lot of conflict in Nigeria. This is why most Nigerians try to marry within their own religion. The majority of Christians live in the southern part of Nigeria while the Muslims predominate in the North (McLaughlin, 2006). This assignment was challenging but very rewarding.

I like to travel around the world and learn about different cultures. I will put the knowledge learned from this assignment into action and encourage others to do the same. I think that it is important to keep an open mind and respect and value any differences in culture. Expecting others to assimilate to one’s culture is wrong and futile. Cultural diversity will always be a very important issue in nursing practice for many years to come. The United States of America is becoming a lot more than the so called “melting pot” and we nurses need to be prepared.

Transcultural Nursing Essay

Main Causes of Culture Shock Essay

Main Causes of Culture Shock Essay.

Stepping out of one’s comfort zone is not an easy step to take, not to mention stepping into a foreign land. Culture shock is one of the very common problems many face, especially when travelling abroad. For the purpose of this essay, the term “culture shock” refers to the unfamiliar feeling of a new atmosphere when in another country. It also refers to the ability to adapt experience and accept another country’s culture. The main reasons of culture shock are difference in values, loneliness, as well as daily life challenges.

To begin with, one of the main causes which contribute to the feeling of culture shock is due to the difference in values. Values may differ in terms of religion, laws, traditions, and customs. Many embarking on a journey to a foreign land have to accept and learn the foreign country’s values in order to be able to enjoy the richness of the local culture. However it may seem to be very difficult to accept the new values as it differs too much from another country’s culture, thus causing culture shock.

A good example would be that many international students might have difficulties adopting the new values which the foreign country adopts, and might feel homesick due to the culture shock. Therefore, the difference in values is one of the main causes of culture shock. In addition, another cause of culture shock is due to the feeling of loneliness. The feeling of loneliness can cause many adverse effects, causing depression and anxiety. Many suffer from culture shock due to loneliness because, like a child in school for the first time, there are no familiar faces to be seen anywhere.

It is a frightening experience as in a foreign land there might be a language barrier and a difference the lifestyle which may hinder the process of socialising and cause loneliness. A good example would be when international students live in home stays they might feel a sense of loneliness due to the fact that the environment in the home stay as well as the food served differs a lot from the student’s home back in their homeland. Therefore, loneliness is indeed another main cause of culture shock. The last and most important cause of culture shock is the daily life challenges.

Like a fish out of the water, it is a very new environment when in a foreign country. The weather, transport, language to speak in becomes a challenge, as each country has its own individuality. It can be a daily struggle for many to adapt to these major differences and would take awhile to get used to the new environment. A good example would be that many migrants would take at least a month to climatise to the new temperatures as unlike Saudi Arabia with extremely hot weathers, countries like New Zealand have very cold temperatures.

Thus, daily life challenges are the most important reason for culture shock as it is not easy to adapt to a new environment. To sum it up, culture shock is caused by the contrasts in beliefs and principles, it is also caused by the initial stages of feeling isolated from home and lastly it is also caused by the problems faced on a day to day basis. Perhaps the most important reason is the problems faced on a day to day basis. This is so as it would cause a significant amount of inconvenience and adapting to the individual for a period of time, thus undergoing a transition period to cope with culture shock.

Main Causes of Culture Shock Essay

Changing police culture Essay

Changing police culture Essay.

The New Zealand police for the last 30 years has faced an unfriendly and an unprofessional police culture that has infringed on both the rights of fellow police offices and those of the society as a whole. This culture of open and fear less sexual misconduct and harassment of women through rape and other forms of sexual assaults. Reports indicate that most of the alleged perpetrators of these violence are high ranking policemen like the police commissioner himself. In the year 2007, the police commissioner gave findings on changing the police culture to give confidence to the public on the utility of the New Zealand police.

There rests several critical elements that could hinder successful implementation of the recommendations by Margaret Bazley commission. First and foremost, I think the time lapse when the New Zealand police had started committing these types of insults had created a different culture amongst them. Culture in this respect means a shared organizational values and beliefs as well as norms that guide the action of individuals.

Most of it was concentrated within the police force itself with policewomen victims of their colleagues. This is a major critical point towards the implementation of the police culture change.

It therefore needs to be taken on board to achieve results for the New Zealand police and their acceptable conduct. In addition to this, the tradition that what they used to do was right according to them it portrayd a major challenge to abandon such behaviors. Their socialization and mental orientation become a stumbling block to a swift adoption of a crime free police force. Changing a culture is a process that needs time and it goes in steps. The other challenge is engraved on leadership and the wide spread misconduct of the police force across all ranks up to the commissioner.

This goes ahead to crimes committed in the vicinity of the police commissioner and no action is taken. This confirms that down to the juniors, the situation is incomparable. For there to be positive change, I think there must be a radical move that exempts none of the alleged victims. The biggest problem now arises on who among them arrests the victims. Organizational culture involves status assumption in organizations with the leaders being assumed to be role models. With the findings of the investigate magazine, it reaffirms that only top ranking police officers were the perpetrators of sexual violence against their colleagues.

A police cover is the worst the police can ever trade with on matters of public interest. In most organizations, bureaucracy is the order and that this cannot be assumed neither altered. This is even terrible because it exist with the top ranking officers since they are the source if information to the public. The lack of a purely independent investigative body of handling police complaints against their fellow officers. It is very hard for the police force to investigate itself on matters of social injustice. Even the government itself cannot perform because it still has to protect the reputation of its workers.

It is only a body with no vested interests that can give results on dealing with complaint of the police force. The formation of a body with powers to investigate past crimes committed by the police force meant that the current and the ongoing were lawful to be put on hold awaiting investigation. The long procedural process of going back to 1980s up to 2007 gives the police a lot of confidence in terrorizing their colleagues due to the lack of immediacy in handling the allegations that arise. This is because culture unites people psychologically and includes a mission to meet.

The threats to successful implementation of the recommendation is the diversity of offenses by the New Zealand policemen. Most officers are alleged to have committed several offenses. Dewar for example was convicted of four charges. It calls for the police commissioner to take radical steps in resolving the conflict since he is part of the problem. None of the junior police officers can accept to be prosecuted unless the police commissioner starts. Based on their previous culture it is hard for them to break the already held norms.

It even goes further such that those officers convicted of crimes threaten to resign then it becomes hard to eradicate the culture. The formation of the “independent complain authority” cannot achieve if the police are not willing. Who will report those cases if the police themselves are already held in one culture? The police commissioner, Mr. Howard Broad was forced to respond to his own allegations of misconduct. He was affected positively and negatively as a leader. On the positive approach, he must have felt challenged that as a role model he had failed his juniors.

The best was to try to avoid such suspicious allegations and promise to take responsibility of implementing the entire culture change. The trait theory puts it clearly that leadership is founded on personality. As a human being like any other and having been in a situation of an engraved culture over along time makes him fall in some uncalled for mistakes. However, his colleagues look at him like a teacher. He is very willing to a successful implementation of the recommendation though in a challenging environment.

The police commissioner need to take his allegations of his misconduct and reaffirm his colleagues that he is ready to lead like a an example. Leadership is situational so he needs to work hard and give results on culture change. The greatest work ahead of the commissioner is to ask for corporation from the rest of the police. The government has the duty to get a competent person to lead the culture change in the police if Mr. Broad’s efforts are declared inconsequential. Mr. Broad as a leader is fully committed to preserving the reputation of the police however he may be thought of having committed a social misconduct.

He says that his role as a police commissioner is to cement the reputation for performance and integrity within the police. This shows how much confident he is in dealing with the scenario. On the other hand, the allegations made on the police commissioner affects his ability negatively. Being the head, many of his junior officers may not take the initiative to listen to his advice. Such will divide the police to those who are loyal to the commissioner and those who are the direct opposite of his commands.

This is likely to make work hard for Broad in implementing the recommendations. The inability of Mr Broad to take any action on a pornographic movie shown in his house shows how he is covering his friends. This is likely to persist with other high ranking officers not unless his case brings justice to the aggrieved parties. Here Broads ability is depicted as a failure and even leading the culture change may be hard for him based in people’s knowledge of his behavior. Regarding his personality as the lead team in the culture change, Mr Broad has two wars to fight.

First, as the police commissioner he has the role of being an example to the whole New Zealand police. They are supposed to view him as a symbol of unity and service to protect the people of New Zealand. On the other hand, he has the duty to protect the reputation of the whole force on the public and give confidence to the public on their commitment to serving them. From the case leading culture change in New Zealand, there are lessons on the issues of managing culture change. Several issues need to be taken into consideration in the process of reforming persistent behaviors.

The interest of reforming the police should be based in recognition of collective attitude of the organization as a whole and sideline the attitude of individual officers. The police need to find evidence on misconduct by some police officers and legally deal with officers condoning inappropriate sexual activity. The New Zealand police management lacked inappropriate policies, procedures and practices to deal with unending cases of sexual misconduct. This encompass the unavailability of standards of work amongst the front line staff. This is a shorcoming of many organizations.

According to the inquiry done by Bazley, it found that standards varied across police Districts. This inconsistency resulted to the unavailability of procedures to deal with them. To address this, there needs to be drafted code of conduct for sworn police officers. The quality of investigation is vital in handling complaints against police officer’s. The complaints process on the police should be made public top enhance public confidence on the police. Prompt handling of the complaints is vital in radically driving the culture change. However, the force lacks resources to publicize its findings.

The government of New Zealand has the duty to invest in the Public Complaints Authority for it to perform its duties. Changing culture of a police force is a process that also involves sustaining public confidence in the police. Police officers need to adhere and demonstrate standards of ethical and moral behavior. The police management system should comprise technocrats in administration who understand culture and organizational leadership. The management has to portray competence in handling police matters and maintaining a culture that supports police standards.

This kind of management is supposed to break the strong bonding amongst the police which hinders them investigate their colleagues. The issue of on duty an off duty remain a problem among the New Zealand police. According to leadership theories, a leader remains a leader to at all costs and that he has a duty to those he leads. With such concerns, the male dominated force needs to view the work of the police to be a full, time job with responsibilities to meet. This operates by enhancing public confidence on the police.

Changing police culture Essay

Theory of Political Culture and Ideology Essay

Theory of Political Culture and Ideology Essay.

A political culture can be defined as a framework of similar values, beliefs and attitudes shared by people in a certain nation or state. Such ideals and behaviors are normally related to the government and the politics of a country and they tend to develop with time to shape the views of that country’s citizens in regard to the world and their sense of what is right or wrong, just or unjust, possible and impossible (Ginsberg, Lowi and Weir 18). The concept of a political culture is properly explained using four major aspects of a government and politics.

These four aspects include; understanding the relationship between a government and the citizens, the government obligations, limits of the governmental authority and understanding people’s rights and responsibilities. The importance of a political culture is to establish a background on which the politics of a nation or a state unfolds. It also sets limits and boundaries which are to be obeyed by all actors involved in a political realm.

Every nation has its own political culture.

For instance, most Americans believe that there is ultimate importance of individual efforts in achieving personal success and for this reason,they are generally opposed to generous welfare benefits (Clark and Schaffner 567). Ideology refers to the way in which cultures are structured to enable a government to exercise maximum control on its citizens with minimum conflicts. Ideology in simple terms refers to specific attitudes, ideas and beliefs which advocate for a systematic plan aimed at bringing change in the social, political and economic arenas of a country.

Examples of political ideologies include anarchism, socialism, statism, libertarianism, fascism, communism, conservatism and communitarianism (Cummings 56). Political ideology is different from political culture in many ways. For instance, traditionalists are not necessarily conservatives the same way liberals are not moralists. The culture of American politics is deeply rooted and it is associated with democracy, constitutionalism and capitalism. In this case, democracy in the U. S is less direct as it is marked by extreme fragmentation of power by the governing body.

Constitutionalism is concerned with law and attention to individual rights of its citizens while capitalism spells out the distinction between political and economic issues. The book Habits of the heart written by Robert Bellah et al describes the American culture in terms of its values, belief and expectations as well as strengths and weaknesses in relation to the manifestations to an individual and the community as a whole (pp. 143-145). Most of the values and beliefs which make up the American political culture originate from the Greco-Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Judeo-Christain, Native American, African as well as Asian cultures.

The core values of the American culture contained in the American creed include life, liberty, equality and pursuit for happiness. In addition, it includes individualism, unity and diversity of various cultures. Ideals in the American culture originate from past experiences such as those obtained from its former colonist (Britain) as well as material circumstances. According to Ginsberg, Lowi and Weir, the presence of a political ideology in the American politics is very important since its absence is likely to lead to radical pragmatism which is bound to trigger bad decisions and ethics in the policy making of the political culture.

The values and beliefs held in the American political culture assist the society in the war against racism and other ethnic differences. It also helps to shape the racial attitudes and facilitates democratic stability in the region. One of the most rampant characteristics of the American culture is consumerism. Consumerism is regarded as the new capitalism and originates from the dialectic of democracy and capitalism. The American societies are preoccupied by the ideals and values associated with consumerism as a result of numerous commodities and products fabricated under the television spectacles.

In the past few decades, consumerism has led to the transformation of the American citizens into ‘shoppers’ who are slowly taking away the state sovereignty from within (Wayne, Mackenzie and O’Brien 65). The trends of consumerism are impacting a big blow on the nation’s democracy affecting the judgment, liberty and overall citizenship. Consumerism leads to a disorder known as citizen schizophrenia which divides the common citizens into opposing groups denying them the legitimate access to what is civic or public. Essay 2: Political Culture of Texas.

The politics and the political culture of Texas has been a subject of debate for a long time now and there has been a base line describing it as a conservative type of culture(John 87). The political culture of Texas and its ideology has been well described using three major philosophical streams which include populism, social conservatism and classical liberalism. These three ideals are said to form the foundation of the Texas political culture on which permanent values, beliefs and attitudes are built and allowed to interact with other societal values in a complex way.

The ideals have led to what is referred to as a ‘low tax, low services’ political culture in the state. Although Texas government has undergone some immense growth in the last few decades, the ‘low taxes, low services’ culture still remains firm in the state (O’Connor and Sabato 256). In addition, Texas is known to have a tradition which serves business interests both small and large with a wide latitude in terms of their economic and political ventures.

The state also provides subsidies for a variety of its industries ranging from road construction, sports, real estate development, manufacturing industries among others. The state government political culture further promotes oil extraction in those regions which are environmentally sensitive and it has outsourced the services which are related to human health and well being. The government has also started the process of selling the subsoil water rights of land owned by the state to private companies and individuals thus encouraging regional and foreign investments in the state.

In an effort to shape its public policy, the state has a culture which permits extensive campaigns of the elected officials and it only imposes few restrictions regarding contacts between the executives in the bureaucracy and private entities. On the other hand, this political culture allows the government to tolerate a wide variety of disparities in the political access between individuals or ordinary citizens and people who are powerful either economically or politically in the state.

In comparison to the political culture on the American nation as a whole, Ginsberg, Lowi and Weir argue that the Texas political culture is similar to that of the nation as a whole in that it puts much emphasis on values of democracy, equality and liberty. They however add that these values differ in the way they are expressed and exercised in the political institutions of Texas as opposed to those at national level (pp. 304-349). In addition, the Texan political political culture as classified by Prof. Elazar is moralistic, individualistic and traditionalistic (Patterson 34).

In addition, the Texas political culture puts much emphasis on democracy and has been mainly dominated by one democratic party in the past although it is slowly evolving into a two party state. In conclusion it can be said that although the Texas political culture is relatively young as compared to the national political culture it is business focused as it shuns public expenditure on social programs while at the same time leaving room for huge contracts by providing subsidies on industries and permitting sale of state property to private business interests.

Theory of Political Culture and Ideology Essay

Serial Killers and the Influences in Hollywood’s Pop Culture Essay

Serial Killers and the Influences in Hollywood’s Pop Culture Essay.

Research Question(s): Why have infamous serial killer cases become so popular in the media and are portrayed in Hollywood films/TV shows? Why do the audiences find horror movies based on killers entertaining? Are the viewers psychologically predisposed by these depictions to react with violence and committing murder?

Importance: This is an important issue because there is an increase in the violence portrayed on TV that has influenced the viewers into “fixing” their problems by turning in committing crimes.

Hypothesis/Claim: American culture gives eccentricity emphasis to TV shows like Dexter and movies like Chainsaw Massacre.

The viewers are psychologically predisposed to the violence and inept to assimilate into social customs thus brings the audience to resolve their life problems with violence. Hollywood movie producers should revise their scripts and removed movie projects based on murderers in order to decrease the percentage of viewers turning to crimes.

Possible Counterarguments: Hollywood has changed the dynamics of the entertainment business. The shows such as Dexter and movies like Silence of the lambs and Psycho are seen as surreal works of entertainment and do not influence the audience to turn to violence.

Method: I will research by watching movies based on serial killers and their scandalous cases. I will review studies on viewers’ violence and see if there’s a correlation between the two. I will research for psychological/sociological studies about serial killers and the negative influences shown in pop culture. I will also research violent acts within the last 15-20 years.

Interest: This topic interests me because my major is criminology. I plan on the future working for the government and profiling criminals to find the offenders and protect civilians. I find interesting that in the past 10 to 15 years the majority of horror movies and TV shows are based on killers. If shows like CSI and movies like Silence of the lambs have influenced me to major in criminal justice, will it also have the effect of influencing others to become killers and turn into crime?

Chapter and Article from Signs of Life: Video Dreams: Television and Cultural Forms- A Moral Never-Never Land: Identifying with Tony Soprano by James Harold, page 296

Five Keywords I will use as search terms:
1. Serial Killers and pop culture
2. Influence films
3. Psychological/Sociological films
4. Violence and pop culture
5. Pop culture and audience

Serial Killers and the Influences in Hollywood’s Pop Culture Essay

How Does Culture Affect Meaning and Communication Essay

How Does Culture Affect Meaning and Communication Essay.

Nowadays we live in what is considered a “global village”, over time we have collectively worked towards this end. The need and desire to create a closer global community is not only seen as a technological advantage but an economic benefit. The world as we know it gets smaller every day, thanks to a new generation of social media applications such as facebook or twitter, which links vast communities together; communities and cultures are no longer cut off or remote.

Take facebook for example, it has over 1 billion users, if it were a country it would be the third largest by population.

( Whether you live and work in remote Antarctica or bustling Hong Kong, technology and the studies of inter-culture communication ensures that people, governments and organizations can work effectively together in a harmonious and beneficial way. Naturally, this is an ideal situation, but as experience tells us, nothing is ever as simple.

This essay explores how cultural differences effect meaning and communication.

In doing so it will look at the definition of culture, what it is, and how it affects meaning. Furthermore, it will look at the acclaimed Dutch researcher, Geert Hofstede’s four dimensions of corporate culture as a framework to define and categorize cultural differences. Finally, it will raise potential problems raised in the field of inter-cultural communications and provide suggestions to overcome them.

What is culture? Currently there are over “7 billion human inhabitants living on this planet. Each of these earth dwellers comes from a specific culture. ( As the world becomes smaller, not physically, but by the use of new media and technology, as they traverse earth looking for new or better opportunities, so must they face the modern conundrum of understanding firstly, what is culture, and secondly, how the differences between cultures effect meaning and communications.

Without an understanding of different cultures, the potential for misunderstanding is high, with the ever-present possibility of a breakdown in relationships and opportunities. (Dostine, 2008, pg 58) text book suggests that all humans can be broadly defined by our culture. In essence, we are all born into a culture that over time has been passed down from previous generations, bestowing a rich history, significant culture defining traits such as its religion, its values and ethics, its ceremonies, rites and rituals, languages, customs, laws and business practices. Moreover, verbal and non-verbal communications practices that differ from one culture to the next. Therefore, suffice to say that the more we know about each other’s cultures the more effective our communication and co-habitation of the planet will be.

How does cultural effect meaning? At the best of times, communication between individuals can be somewhat challenging. Add to that mix, communicating with people from another cultures and suddenly, the propensity for misunderstanding and in some cases offence can very easily take place as a result of the differences between the cultural backgrounds, understanding and meaning between the sender and receiver can be in stark contrast. This can be due to the increase in variables in the communication mix, therefore making global interaction more complex. Furthermore, people’s perception or way of thinking, hearing or seeing can vary quite extensively from one culture to the next.

It could be strongly argued that it would be highly advantageous for both parties to be aware of the differences and therefore the potential for problems that arise from inter-cultural communication. Nowadays, many multi-national organizations, governments and educators have training and education programs in place. They see the importance in creating a clear, concise and respectful flow of communications between cultures. An example of this could be the department of foreign affairs and trade (DFAT) in Canberra.

One of its main functions is to liaise internally and externally to better position itself to and for greater opportunity. It would be highly likely that the department has educated its employees in the science of how to deal effectively with other cultures (governments, organizations, businesses). One of DFATs main objectives is to “work with other government agencies to ensure that Australia’s pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests is coordinated effectively”. ( In the field of organizational cultural studies, a Dutch researcher known as Geert Hofstede went on to publish his highly regarded findings. These findings have become a highly influential and acceptable way in which modern organizations can asses the difference between national culture and organizational culture. Hostede, seen as a pioneer in area of corporate culture, created a framework in which to asses national cultural groups and how they may affect or influence behaviors within an organization.

Hofstede’s research in the 1980s, included the survey and analysis of hundreds of thousands of employees across fifty countries, to further increase the validity of his findings he followed up several years later by re-surveying these workers.

In his work Hofstede asserted that the values that differentiated counties from each other fell into four dissimilar categories or clusters. Through the process of his study in corporate culture, Hofstede’s created a framework whereby he classified culture into four different dimensions. These dimensions looked at four anthropological problem areas that societies tend to handle differently to one another. Such as, ways in which they cope with inequality, uncertainty, the relationship between the individual and their primary group and implication of the persons sex. Born from this was Hofsted’s four dimensions of national culture. They become knows as Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism versus Collectivism, and Masculinity versus Femininity. (

In discussing the Four Dimensions of Culture, Hofstede claims that: Power Distance Power distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Power and inequality, of course, are extremely fundamental facts of any society and anybody with some international experience will be aware that “all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others”. Uncertainty Avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, and different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth: “there can only be one Truth and we have it”. People in uncertainty avoiding countries are also more emotional, and motivated by inner nervous energy. The opposite type, uncertainty accepting cultures, are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to; they try to have as few rules as possible, and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist and allow many currents to flow side by side. People within these cultures are more phlegmatic and contemplative, and not expected by their environment to express emotions. Individualism

Individualism on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism is the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups. On the individualist side, we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after her/himself and her/his immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) that continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word collectivism in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state. Again, the issue addressed by this dimension is an extremely fundamental one, regarding all societies in the world. Masculinity

Masculinity versus its opposite, femininity refers to the distribution of emotional roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other. The assertive pole has been called masculine and the modest, caring pole feminine. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are more assertive and more competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men’s values and women’s values. (

Whilst Hofsted’s four dimensions are highly regarded, further research has highlighted other areas that effect intercultural communication and understanding. These include context, language and non-verbal communications.

Firstly, it is almost impossible to investigate research into the cross-cultural issues without making mention of Edward Hall’s research in the area; he asserted that cultures are defined by context. (Hansen & Lee, pg,30) A person’s behavior can be affected by its cultural context. (Dostine, 2008) From here, he broke context down into low context cultures; these prefer direct verbal interaction with minimal regard to context. Examples include Australia, USA, Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavian cultures.

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How Does Culture Affect Meaning and Communication Essay

Progress of Agriculture Before and After Independence of India Essay

Progress of Agriculture Before and After Independence of India Essay.

Agriculture has been the backbone of the Indian economy and it will continue to remain so for a long time. It has to support almost 17 per cent of world population from 2. 3 per cent of world geographical area and 4. 2 per cent of world’s water resources. The economic reforms, initiated in the country during the early 1990s, have put the economy on a higher growth trajectory. Annual growth rate in GDP has accelerated from below 6 percent during the initial years of reforms to more than 8 percent in recent years.

This happened mainly due to rapid growth in non-agriculture sector.

The workforce engaged in agriculture between 1980-81 and 2006-07 witnessed a very small decline; from 60. 5 percent to 52 percent. The present cropping intensity of 137 per cent has registered an increase of only 26 per cent since 1950-51. The net sown area is 142 Mha. The net irrigated area was 58. 87 Mha in 2004-05. Presently, the total net irrigated area covers 45. 5 per cent of the net sown area, the remaining 54.

5 per cent is rainfed. The degradation of land and surface as well as ground water resources results in fast deterioration of soil health.

Losses due to biotic (insect-pests, diseases, weeds) and abiotic (drought, salinity, heat, cold, etc. ) stresses account for about one-fourth of the value of agricultural produce. The storage, transportation, processing, value addition and marketing of farm produce need to be improved to enhance household food, nutrition and livelihood security. Indian agriculture is characterized by agro-ecological diversities in soil, rainfall, temperature, and cropping system. Besides favorable solar energy, the country receives about 3 trillion m3 of rainwater, 14 major, 44 medium and 55 minor rivers hare about 83 per cent of the drainage basin.

About 210 billion m3 water is estimated to be available as ground water. Irrigation water is becoming a scarce commodity. Thus proper harvesting and efficient utilization of water is of great importance. Intensive cultivation as a result of introduction of high yielding varieties in the mid 1960’s required higher energy inputs and better management practices. Land preparation, harvesting, threshing and irrigation are the operations, which utilize most of the energy used in agriculture. The share of animate power in agriculture decreased from 92 er cent in 1950-51 to 20 per cent in 2000-01.

For desired cropping intensity with timeliness in field operations, animate energy sources alone were no longer adequate. Farmers opted for mechanical power sources to supplement animate power. Average size of farm holdings gradually reduced from 2. 58 ha to 1. 57 ha (Table 1). Small and marginal farmers have limited resources especially in rain-fed regions where only animate power is used resulting in low productivity. Though agricultural production is high, the per hectare productivity is much lower than world average. There is an urgent need to increase productivity.

Progress of Agriculture Before and After Independence of India Essay

Case Study of Organisation Culture: Google Essay

Case Study of Organisation Culture: Google Essay.

Google, one of the world’s wealthiest and fastest growing companies, is often presented as a model of a ‘progressive’ organisation. What lessons can other businesses learn? The white paper on work in 2020, released by the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) last month, contained a summary of aspects of Google’s culture, and drew some conclusions about its implications for other organisations.

Established in 1998, Google now employs more than 20,000 people, has been adding staff at the rate of around 6000 per year, and receives around 7000 unsolicited job applications per day.

Core culture statements Google has three core culture statements: 1. People are the most important asset. 2. You can be serious without wearing a suit. 3. You can make money without doing evil. Built-in ‘innovation time’ Google provides ‘innovation time off’, that is, one work day out of every five is allocated to solving problems. All business ‘problems’ are circulated to all staff for ‘solution sessions’. Work environment Amenities and benefits at Google’s US Head Office include 19 restaurants, free dental care, a health centre, haircuts, massages, a crèche, gymnasiums, a hotel, laundry, car wash and community bus.

The restaurant tables are oval-shaped, on the assumption that social interactions stimulate knowledge and learning breakthroughs. The aim is for people to interact with each other while they are eating, and the underlying cultural assumption is that work and other life should be merged as much as possible. Google wants its employees to spend as much time as possible there.

But it’s not for everyone The AHRI white paper points out that one of the potential drawbacks of this ‘work is life’ culture is that if things go wrong at work, they are likely to go wrong in other aspects of your life as well. It is therefore important to maintain connections with people in your life outside employment.

Genuine work–life balance implies that everyone needs to be part of something else outside the workplace — not all the core family, friends and relationships should reside or be nurtured within the workplace.

Case Study of Organisation Culture: Google Essay

Cultural Differences in Body Language Essay

Cultural Differences in Body Language Essay.

Do you know what I am doing? (thumbs up to the side – Hitch hiking). When I do this, most of you would think it means “good job”. But in the middle east, for example in Iran, it’s an insult similar to “the middle finger”. Good evening Madam Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and guests, tonight let’s look at body language in different cultures. Do you agree that gestures can communicate as effectively as words? I agree. Some might argue, it maybe even more than words.

However we must be aware different culture has different body language.

Therefore, in our personal and business lives, careful consideration must be given to whom we are with and where they are from. A question that we might ask is; do we expect other cultures to adapt to our customs and protocol, or are we willing to make an extra effort to learn more about how they prefer to communicate? It wouldn’t be the first time that someone who wasn’t familiar with the communication customs of another country, found themselves in a rather embarrassing situation.

Many years ago, President Richard Nixon arrived in a foreign country. Upon his arrival, he stood at the top of the stairs leading from his aircraft door, and overlooked the welcoming crowd gathered below him. He smiled and proudly raised both hands high in the air, palms facing outward and gave a gesture of his trademark famous “Peace” sign (as he had done many times before while travelling abroad). However the crown immediately began to jeer and hiss at the President, and he found himself on the receiving end of a hostile and rude welcome.

Could you imagine how he felt? The reason was because in the country he was visiting, the two fingered, palms outward “Peace” sign, which was acceptable in North America, was an absolutely offensive gesture to the local people in that African country. This would have been the equivalent of a president from another country visiting New Zealand, and with a smile, “flipped the bird” which in their country might have meant “greetings”. As a member of the audience, how might you react?

In North America, a simple “thumbs up” gesture can mean that things are “great” or a hitchhiking sign which indicates “I need a ride”. However, in Greece, this gesture signifies “up yours” when accompanied with a rapid upward and slower downward motion. The gesture for YES is often thought to be universal, however in India they wobble their heads from side to side to say yes. Correct me if I’m wrong my Indian friends. There are also variations in saying no. In Greece they toss their head up.

In Japan, they wave their hands in front of their nose like ur gesture for stinky. Or, how about the “OK” sign where the index finger and the thumb connect to make an “O” shape and the three remaining fingers point up and slightly flare out. Although acceptable in Western culture to signal that things are “A-OK”, in Russia or Turkey, this gesture can represent a sexual insult. specifically an orifice (that’s as far as I’ll go with that). In China you may see two men walk hand in hand or with an arm around another’s shoulder. This is a sign of friendship. However, the situation is regarded as homosexual in American culture.

In some countries such as France or Italy, it is acceptable to exchange a kiss on one or both cheeks while shaking hands when greeting one another. In other countries such as Japan, this type of behavior is considered impolite as the Japanese are considered to be a “non-touch” society relative to other cultures. The Japanese have a respectful custom to bow to each other. The most senior status person bows the least and the least status person having to bow first and display the deepest bend from the waist. Business cards are exchanged and read first in a complex formality.

This ritual is to determine the seniority, position or rank of everyone in the room first. Then the bowing gesture commences based on the information read. For example, let’s say Tony Cooper is the CEO of Mitsubishi Motors in Japan. I am a small department manager from Fontera…the process is: So as you can see, it is really important to know your audience. If you are traveling to other countries, you need to be aware that some of the most commonly acceptable gestures at home can have a completely different meaning to someone from abroad.

Demonstrating a sound knowledge of the cultural differences in nonverbal communication will get you noticed and others will appreciate that you are both respectful and prepared. Tonight you’ve learnt as least one thing: be careful if you thumb a ride in Greece O Take the time and invest in a little research to become culturally educated. By doing this you will be able to: Save the embarrassment. (i. e. Be careful if you thumb a ride in Greece O) Gain the competitive edge.

A little research can go a long way prior to traveling abroad on business. Surely it helps if you are willing to make an extra effort to learn more about how they prefer to communicate. As the saying goes, “In Rome, do like the Romans do”. Get to know your audience and their customs. Remember in business, it’s about being prepared and establishing rapport quickly. Understanding body language in different culture might be the very thing that tips the scales in your favor and will give you the competitive edge you’re looking for.

Cultural Differences in Body Language Essay