Monday, April 16, 2012

“Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” Essay

Family and Kinship in “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun”

This paper, by referring to the concrete settings and events portrayed in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, analyzes how family and kinship relationships are made the central theme in this film.

A number of Indian romance films of the 90’s center on and renegotiate the couple’s relationship with the family. Sooraj Barjatya’s Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (Who Am I to You, 1994) softens the blow against patriarchy. The narrative axis shifts, escapes the issue of individualism, and wrestles instead with new arrangements within the family (John and Nair, 35).


In Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, two long-lost friends meet when their children are grown and negotiate a marriage between them. Pooja (Renuka Sahane) and Nisha (Madhuri Dixit) are the daughters of a professor (Anupam Kher) and his wife (Reema Lagoo). Pooja marries their old family friend’s (Alok Nath) adopted son, Rajesh (Monish Behl). During the protracted North Indian wedding celebration which dominates the film, the groom’s younger brother, Prem (Salman Khan), falls in love with the bride’s sister, Nisha. Meanwhile, Pooja’s father-in-law entrusts her with finding a marriage alliance for Prem, prompting Nisha and Prem to confide in her. Pooja dies suddenly before sharing this information with anyone (Sooraj Barjatya, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun).

The family elders suggest that Rajesh, a young widower now with an infant, remarry. They propose the infant’s aunt, Nisha, as the appropriate match. Rajesh agrees that Nisha accepts the proposition. Nisha does—assuming the proposal is from Prem—only to later discover the mix-up. For the baby nephew’s sake, a guilt-ridden Nisha goes along with the betrothal despite her unhappiness. On the wedding day Rajesh miraculously intercepts a letter Nisha writes to Prem and learns of their relationship. Rajesh announces Prem’s marriage to Nisha in place of himself moments before the wedding ceremony (Sooraj Barjatya, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun).

In Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, the romance is not set in the traditional holiday resort, but in large homes in which lovers maneuver to maintain their privacy, keep the relationship a secret, and gain relative autonomy from parental figures (John and Nair, 35). The secret is shared between the couple and their peer group within the audience. Complications arise because the family elders fail to discover the romance. In earlier films secrecy was ensured by the anonymity of the location where the boy and girl met coincidentally. They promise secular possibilities: individuals imaginative by their caste and clan origins fall in love. In the conservative romance films anonymity is displaced by family connections. Within the family a thin line separates privacy from secrecy, which relies on an unspoken assumption much like “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” (Lewis, 137)

Perhaps part of the viewing pleasure lies in seeing how the couple forges a private space for themselves by, for instance, exchanging surreptitious glances. In Hum Aapke the couple express their desires in the midst of revelry—occasioned by an engagement, wedding, or the birth of a child. The protracted wedding celebration maximizes the pleasure in ritualized articulations of filial and sexual tensions through folk songs, dance routines, and romance sessions (John and Nair, 35). These moments of revelry are occasions to celebrate its own musical tradition. Embraced by all classes and communities, this music is truly the emblem of national popular culture.

In Hum Aapke a prolonged song-and-dance sequence in a strictly demarcated women’s space marks the celebration of Pooja’s first child. In the all-women’s gathering a woman in drag (dresses identical to the male lead) pairs with the leading lady, Nisha, playing an oversized pregnant woman. Together they parody “private scenes” between heterosexual couples, regaling everyone (John and Nair, 36). The lead male star and his buddies are voyeurs, gazing at the performance meant for women only—the woman in drag enacting scenes a man could never perform publicly with his lady love. This strategy serves a dual purpose. It recreates women’s space where women traditionally relax together, enact heterosexual encounters, act as sexual teases, and mock men and the codes of intimacy (John and Nair, 35).

The loss of “women’s space” in the midst of rapid urban modernization has meant a collective forgetting of traditional folk songs and customs (Lewis, 136). The extended sequence in Hum Aapke celebrating family and kinship relationships functions as the discovery sign of the new millennium.
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Stem Cell Research Essay

The Guidelines and Social Responsibility of Stem Cell Research

Stem cells are said to be variable cells in the body of the human-being that are capable to reproduce themselves and to produce more cells. They possess big potential value in regenerating and repairing of cells and tissue, which were damaged. Nowadays many states can be currently or potentially treated with the stem cells introduction, that include heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke and diabetes.

Stem cells can be derived from different sources. They can be derived from the foetus or older human embryo, from the early human embryo, from the newborn baby (for instance, from the umbilical cord), from the adult and from the child. Simultaneously with the development of the individual, stem cells become more connected to the definite destination in the body, but there is still space for some degree of flexibility.


Embryonic stem cells are derived from the human embryo after a miscarriage, or during or after an abortion. They can also be derived from the early human embryo after in vitro fertilization (IVF) or after procedures that are similar to it. The IVF embryo may be `reserve’, for example in case of excess to the infertile couple’s demands. As the alternative, the embryo may be specially created for experimental use.

In the near future embryos may be prepared for experimental use by means of cloning. In this process, unfertilized ovum nucleus is substituted by the body cell nucleus from an existing individual. The ovum is after stimulated to produce an embryo. As the nucleus includes approximately all genetic material of the cell, the embryo produced is the clone of the individual from which the nucleus was taken, and could be used as a stem cells source for research and transplantation in the long run.

Sometimes cloning for research is viewed as therapeutic that is opposite to reproductive cloning. During reproductive cloning, the clone is placed to the woman’s body and allowed to mature. It should be also remembered that the cloning process by itself is the same as therapeutic and reproductive cloning: the only distinction is in the purpose for which the clone is supposed to be produced.

The notions `therapeutic’ and `reproductive’ in this situation are not fully correct, as `therapeutic’ cloning is not actually therapeutic for the clone, which is going to die in the course of its cells being taken away when at the age of 5-7 days. It is possible to claim even more, as such cloning is said to be reproductive, because it implies the embryo production, even though this embryo is not supposed to live to the point of being born. Cloning followers admit that the clone embryo is a living human organism at the early stage of its development.

Law and morality are anxious with the respect that is due to human beings as moral issues. People can not be diminished to the amount of their physical parts or their biological behaviors. Competent and mature human beings are able to make decisions for themselves, for which they are supposed to be responsible both legally and morally. In fact, all human beings are members of the human community, and it doesn’t matter whether they are mature enough, as they all share the common humanity.

Human beings are not to be considered just primitive physical objects or animals, as they all have a common merit and significance. But still it is essential to point out that human beings are animals of the definite sort. People are not supposed to consider the real individual as a spirit in his head (or simple consciousness and mind) or a spiritual something that is using a body, as human body is one thing and the personality of the person is totally different.

The Greeks spoke of the human being as of the rational animal and this appears to capture something of a human being true essence, but the term rational should not be defined in too narrow meaning. In the same manner the philosopher Boethius provided the definition of the subject as an individual being which has a rational nature: persona est rationalis naturae individua substantia. Provided definitions have the big advantages of recognizing the transcendence and unity of the human being. The human individual is not just two notions bound together, physical body and spiritual constituent, but one complete being.

Human rights are to be respected by other people and protected by society. Though every separately taken definite human society is looking to restrict those who can be considered to be full members of the society, there is a definite minimum protection that is in general thought due to each human individual, whether he is considered the full citizen or not. Speaking about human rights and social responsibility, it must be taken into consideration that there should have been the universal kind of community to which all human individuals would belong and each individual would have the human rights for the simple reason that he is the human-being.

It is not the situation that embryonic stem cell research provides a real chance in the near future of revolutionary therapy for the serious deceases treatment. It is not also the situation that there are no other promising variants of research. The early embryonic cells pluripotency that is the reason they are considered to be attractive to researchers, is simultaneously the biggest barrier for their involvement. These cells flexibility makes them vagarious in the kinds of cells they create, so that they can be even dangerous for the patient if they used in transplants.

Adult stem cell research is the great promise in this area. Utilization of adult stem cells offers no ethical dilemma and, if personal cells of the patient are utilized, eludes rejection problem. Such treatment, which is already in the development process, is acceptable to the vast majority of patients from the moral standpoint. In the necessary cases, embryonic stem cell research can be made in ethically acceptable ways, on animal embryos cells or, with the parents’ approval, from foetuses who have miscarried.

Scientists are not willing to be restricted in the methods they use in their research, but social responsibility frequently makes legal limits, which appear to be essential and right in the definite case.

There are ethical possibilities which propose better or a least similar instant or/and long term potential solutions, and the government should provide strong review to the moral doubts which have been conveyed and the public concern around the situation of the involvement of embryos for research, and which is even more important- the licensing of human cloning for purposes of research. Stem cell research on clone has been made legal when research adult stem cell is the most progressive.
Cloning prohibition was recommended by the European Parliament, which covered cloning for research along with cloning for birth. It is obvious that if cloning for research is allowed, cloning for birth will be also possible.

Acceptance of cloning for research would also make unavoidable further research on human embryos extensions that are older than 14 days. There are many logical and political controversies on regard of this issue, as cloning prohibition is supported by a great amount of people from all over the world and could provide a protection against further ethical standards destruction within the area of medical research. If society cannot withstand this kind of research attraction, when the benefits are not obvious enough and world community is against it, it is difficult to suppose what it would withstand in the future.
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Research Paper on Corporate Ethics

Corporate Ethics at Wal-Mart

At the begging, the corporations on the United States were blamed for lack of business ethics and failing to exercise appropriate control over their executives. After the bursting of the “dot-com bubble” an ethical crisis spread not only nationwide but globally as well. Nowadays most of the companies have significantly improved in fighting their shortcomings, ethical and compliance officers are assigned, new procedures for controlling improper conduct are implemented, managerial personnel takes part in ongoing ethical training programs in order to make them aware of the corporate social responsibility. The big business adjusts to the legal environment very quick due to the heavy monetary penalties, criminal prosecutions and long time jail sentences, whereas on the past the corporations were very reluctant to cooperate with the authorities, resisting regulatory and judicial investigation and providing legal protections for their top managers.


As the world’s largest retailer and N1 in Fortune 500, Wal-Mart has always been in the spot light. Along with its foundation in 1962, Sam Walton established the three basic believes which are the driver of his successful business:

Respect for the individual
Service to our customer
Strive for excellence

In addition to that Sam Walton stipulated in the Statement of Ethics as essential the following guiding ethical principles:

Follow the law at all times;
Be honest and fair;
Never manipulate, misrepresent, abuse or conceal information;
Avoid conflicts of interest between work and personal affairs;
Never discriminate against anyone;
Never act unethically - even if someone else instructs you to do so;
Never ask someone to act unethically;
Seek assistance if you have questions about this Statement of Ethics or if you face an
ethical dilemma;
Cooperate with any investigation of a possible ethics violation; and
Report ethics violations or suspected violations.

Wal-Mart is very often listed by Fortune magazine as one of US most admired companies but at the same time the corporation faces criticism about its employment practices and it is frequently subject to litigation. The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics poses the question: “Is it Ethical to Shop at Wal-Mart?” Bob Brownstein sees a big mismatch between the company Statement of Ethics and the reality. He takes four basic points to illustrate the environment at Wal-Mart:

1. Basic standard of living – the average annual income of the employees is around $13,312 which is below the Federal poverty level for a family of three (which is $14,630). 2/3 of the employees can’t afford to take part in Wal-Mart’s health insurance plan. It amounts to 20% of their paycheck
2. Inequality – huge amount or worker trapped in a low pay dead-end service job without benefits
3. Increased material and technological innovation and productivity – Wal-Mart sells cheaper taking away business of already existing firms
4. Non-Market institutions – Wal-Mart is an economic force which transform people into anomic creatures driven by the search of bargains.

Opinions like that are not few but the largest retailer faces not only criticism but many lawsuits the biggest one of which is 11-billion dollar class-action discrimination lawsuit, employee pay and health benefits. Legislators changed regulations for big companies regarding healthcare plan of the workers. In 2006 Wal-Mart launched a huge PR-campaign to oppose the critics and the show the positive impact the company has on the working families. But hiring a global ethics officer was not only a defensive act, moreover it was an attempt to present itself in front of the critics as a reputable employer with spotless image at home and abroad. But is it like this in fact? Couple of yeas ago, in 2006, former Wal-Mart executive Tom Coughlin, got convicted for not complying with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It requires full accounting transparency under the Security and Exchange Act. The former vice-chairman of the board of directors pled guilty for defrauding the company and tax evasion. The verdict of the judge was 27-month home confinement.

The common practices of Wal-Mart attract the attention of not only the labor unions and authorities but also the nature activists. There are many case of environmental abuse. The states of Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Washington are very upset with the retailer for violating the state water quality regulations. Wal-Mart was accused for not complying with standards for construction site cleaning. After heavy rains the water was bringing tons of silt in the nearby rivers, endangering the fish and the drinking water for thousands of people. In 1998 Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection ordered the construction to be halted. At that time the store construction was almost over. Wal-Mart was also accused for another destructive business policy. This time the problem comes from the placement of the stores. Most of the retail shops are built on a farmland. The environmental activists are posing the question: “why do the counties and municipality allow construction of stores on huge farmland, when there is a global shortage of food supply?” Apparently they believe these farmlands could provide sustenance for more people. But this is not the only negative side of the Wal-Mart stores locations. This problem is referred to as the “urban-sprawl” issue and it continues to grow. It increases the car-dependency for the communities, raising the amount of greenhouse gases emitted and therefore the usage of more gas. Wal-Mart faced many other claims from different State environment agencies (Connecticut, Texas, Illinois) and even the Federal Environment Protection Agency. Even though they undertook a huge campaign to show to the people and authorities how environmentally friendly they are, a simple calculation made it clear that Wal-Mart cause more harm to the nature that it preserve it. A donation amounting to $190 million was given away for charity, with $1.3 million was made for nature friendly causes. It looks a huge number but this 0.021% from the profit that goes to help the environment.

As the biggest retailer and second largest employer (after the Federal government) Wal-Mart is huge economic force and the labor, legal and environmental problems associated with it, are huge.
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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Essay on Navajo

Essay on Navajo

Navajo Indian Tribe
1. Navajo is the largest Native American tribe in North America. Traditionally the creation of the tribe was marked by the usage of special corn meal for the blessing. Thus, corn sets a very important place in the households of Navajos. Navajo religion worships the powers of nature, such as sun and water, and number of gods who interfere with people’s lives. They believe there is an almighty and the sun is viewed as his power. In the course of the tribe’s history most of their religious beliefs were adopted from Pueblo people (Birchfield). Both of these tribes have traditionally been involved in agriculture and worshiped the gods of nature. Unlike in the language of Navajos, there is no word for religion in the Pueblo language. The religious beliefs are interlaced in many aspects of culture, including farming, storytelling, dances, art, architecture, and other activities.


2. The name of the tribe "Anasazi" means the "ancient people". This tribe has always suffered from territorial conflicts and the animosity of surrounding tribes. This was reflected in the social structure of the tribe, leading to constant conflict and rivalry. Consequently, the warriors are the most respected members of the Anasazi tribe. The Natchez people have a very unusual social system and marriage rules. Surprisingly, the members of the highest caste of Natchez are required to marry the people of the lowest caste (Kimball).

3. The Zuni tribe lives on the Arizona / New Mexico border, along the Zuni River. Like most of the Native American tribes Zuni are concerned with agriculture. Zuni’s spirituality is shown in every aspect of their life. They have a series of religious ceremonies which apply in every situation in their lives. Their religious beliefs are centered on three main entities: “Earth Mother, Sun Father and Moonlight-Giving Mother” (Kittelson). For, Pueblo, the most developed Native American community, religion and spirituality are also incorporated in every day life practices. The divine beings for them are visionary beings that bring blessings and in return receive love and warship. Thus, the spirituality and belief in gods is incorporated in various people’s activities of both tribes (Birchfield).

4. Since the advent of Europeans in North America, they tried to change the live ways and traditions of the Native American people. The internal colonialism led to the dislodgment of Native American peoples by the expansion of the Europeans. Such state of thins led to the isolation and suppression of Native Americans in reservations. Furthermore, it resulted in assimilation and spread of racist ideas regarding Native Americans. The internal colonialism has had a dramatic impact on the lives of the Native Americans. In fact, even today, internal colonialism and its drastic effects influence the lives of Native American tribes (Childs).

5. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a tribe is “A unit of sociopolitical organization consisting of a number of families, clans, or other groups who share a common ancestry and culture and among whom leadership is typically neither formalized nor permanent”. The word “tribe” perfectly conveys the reality of the lives of Native American groups. Their communities have for centuries lived in small groups that had their own traditions, norms and rules. In the example of such tribes as Zuni, Pueblo, Navajo we see that each of these tribes has its particular origin and social structure, though at the same time they have common traditions and their beliefs are basically centered around the same powers.
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Essay on Human Resources

Essay on Human Resources

For the human resources managers and administrators, the question of the efficiency of different types of human motivation is of great importance. Various theories on the topic have appeared in the course of the previous centuries, none of them giving a truly rewarding recipe of stimulating human resources.

Jerry Dermer’s article “The interrelationship of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation” was determined to find any evidential support to the contradictory statements that making extrinsic rewards contingent on performance reduces intrinsic motivation, that performance-contingent extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation are unrelated and when the latter is not present in the rewarding system, the former is not motivating.


The results of the search proved the first statement is not true, as well as the other two, but the findings are still somewhat contradictory

Dermer’s research collected responses of the store managers of a multistate department store chain on extrinsic motivation (the relatedness of performance-contingent extrinsic rewards and the advancement expectations, job security, recognition, responsibility, better supervisory and peer relations, and increased pay) and intrinsic motivation (the aspects of personal growth and development, feeling of accomplishment, and a great sense of personal satisfaction in case of successful work performance).

The results of the study showed that the intrinsic motivation is a co requisite for successful extrinsic motivation.

Only externally oriented, high dogmatics or operating under a fear of failure, Dermer explains, may be less motivated by the objective performance reward allocation. The performance-contingent extrinsic rewards are quite efficient, and the types of motivation may be additive and therefore escalating the overall performance level of the managers motivated both intrinsically and extrinsically through the performance-contingent rewards.

The findings of the study by Jerry Dermer provide a clearer vision of the relationship between the performance-contingent extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation. It also provides a scientific evidence for the human resource managers to be more open to the combination of the types of motivation and the use of performance-contingent extrinsic rewards in the process of improving the motivational system.
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Friday, April 6, 2012

Term Paper on Fashion

Term Paper on Fashion

How Media Affects the Fashion Views in Kuwait
In this paper I will provide analysis of how different media channels influence fashion trends in Kuwait and overall westernization of the Kuwaiti lifestyle. For this purpose I will primarily identify the scope for analysis, as well as draw the picture of what I mean when I speak about fashion and about media channels. It is obvious that people in Kuwait are divided into two parts: those who appreciate westernization and actively participate in this process and also those, who are more conservative and tend to have more traditional worldviews. In order to analyze both groups of people, I will provide points of views of them both and describe their points of view upon fashion and how they defend them. All fashion comes from the historical past and from the traditions of each country, therefore to speak about westernization of Kuwait and the affect of media upon people’s minds is meaningless without understanding this huge constituent, as in the long run fashion is generally influenced by traditional clothes of this or that country in the greatest extent.

As the resource basis for my research I will use extensively Internet blogs that are dedicated to fashion and where people are expressing their opinions about clothes, shoes and accessories. In those blogs as fashion icons are proposed celebrities and movies and visitors are offered not just to evaluate their outfit, but are also able to buy something similar. Then, there are a lot of information about new coming to different fashionable stores in Kuwait and new openings.

I will also include web-sites that offer clothes to be bought online for the broad public. As the part of my research I will include the information regarding Kuwaiti designers that combine traditional Kuwaiti colors and textile with the western traditions to get unique clothes that are popular not just in Kuwait.

As the result of my research I expect to disclose that even though Kuwait traditions are very old and strong, various media channels impact greatly upon minds and views of especially young people and transform their opinions on fashion. I expect to follow how fashion style is going around Hollywood celebrities’ outfits and how media presents this particular information.


1. Introduction
On her dress she wears a body.
Woman’s body is as bumpy as my skull
Glorious if you are made flesh
With Spirit.
Couturiers have a foolish profession
As foolish as phrenology
My eyes are kilos weighing the sensuality of women.
All things that swell advance in depth
The stars hollow out the sky.
Colours disrobe by contrast.
‘On her dress she wears a body.’
Under the heather’s arm
lurk shades of lunala and pistils
When the waters swirl down the back over sea-green
shoulder blades
And the double conch of the breasts passes beneath
the bridge of the rainbow
And the perpendicular cries of colour fall on the
Sword of Saint Michael
There are hands stretching out
The drapes conceal the trick-all the eyes, all the
flourishes and all the habits of the Bal Bullier
And on the hip
The poet’s signature.
Blaise Cendar, 1914

I have decided to start with the beautiful poem “The Simultaneous Dress” by Blaise Cendar, written in 1914 for designer Sonia Delaunay, who by the way was the revolutionary in fashion in the 1920s, to emphasize that fashion is the mask that disguise the real body of the person, as the superficial gloss, in which the role of the designer is crucial as s/he acts as the definer.

Generally speaking fashion is said to be the style of dress, as well in can be equally cuisine, art, architecture and literature, which is popular in the particular culture during the definite time period. Mentioned styles can change very quickly, but the term “fashion” is more long lasting. Fashion and styles can change very quickly, but the culture still remains the same. In the context of “fashion” such terms as “fashionable” and “unfashionable” can be frequently employed that means that the object toward which this definition is used corresponds to the popular mode of expression. The synonyms for fashion are beauty, style and glamour, and in general this notion is used in the positive sense. But it can be also used in the negative sense to emphasize people fads, obsession with trends and materialistic worldviews. In the world there are several cities that are considered to be global fashion centers, as they start each new trend for the season and only then it is spread all over the world through media channels, which are recognized for their fashion weeks and outstanding worldwide known designers. Those cities are New York, Paris, Milan and London. Such cities as Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Sydney and Dubai from year to year become more recognized for their fashion weeks and designers. They became fashion lawmakers.

Fashion in clothes is the most obvious and widely used term, but fashion can be also in design, arts, body type, cosmetics, hairstyle, personal adornment, music and dance, slang, games, entertainment, hobbies, sports, media, philosophy, social networks, technologies, etc.

The clothing habits of people are continually changing, and the worldwide way of clothing is generally referred to as Western one. It was so historically stipulated that changes had been always tightly connected with social or economic changes of the particular community, but after changes occurred, they were followed for substantial time period. The main and the most apparent changes in style began in the fourteenth century Europe, which was the start of the Western fashion of clothing. Clothing fashion through centuries was tightly connected with hair making fashion, which was changing simultaneously. The emergence of fashion started the fragmentation between lower and upper classes of society, which before dressed almost identically. National styles began to appear approximately at the same period of time. But it is important to mention that situation in Europe and situations with fashion in other great world civilizations were quite different. Western travelers, which the source of the information of that kind, claimed that in such countries as Persia, Turkey, Japan and China the absence of changes in fashion were observed, and they explained the rapid changes in European fashion as lack of order and instability in Western world. Many authorities of the mentioned countries usually boasted that their clothing had not been changed for centuries. This is what Jennifer Craik in her book “The Face of Fashion: Cultural Studies of Fashion” wrote on this regard: “Treating fashion as a marker of civilization, with all its attendant attributes, is the reason why fashion has been excluded from the repertoires of non-western cultures. Other codes of clothing behavior are relegated to the realm of costume which, as ‘pre-civilized’ behavior, is characterized in opposition to fashion, as traditional, unchanging, fixed by social status, and group-oriented”.

Some historical resources, such as portraits of Italian and German gentlemen, show that fashion at that time was more rich with accessories, as it could be followed in the portraits men with ten different style hats. By the way, paintings of people were almost the only source to follow fashion trends at that period of time and to follow fashion changes in different regions and countries.

The first haute couture house in Paris was opened in 1858 by Charles Frederick Worth, who was originally from England.

It is very important that what people choose to wear, reflect his or her personality and preferences. When people with the particular cultural status initiate to wear new clothes, there is a strong likelihood that the new fashion trend can start, as other people who respect and appreciate them start to get dressed in the similar way, as the reveal of their feelings. Fashion also varies very much due to generation, age, sexual orientation, geography and occupation. There is also special fashion grammar, which incorporates fashion language and different fashion statements. As I have already mentioned, fashion changes on the constant basis. But there are unique things that are “out fashion” and remain the same over time.

Media plays an outstanding role in fashion world. The essential part of the fashion is fashion journalism, which incorporates commentary and critique that can be found in newspapers, magazines, fashion web-sites, television, as well as in fashion blogs. Fashion blogs as the media channel is the very interesting subject for research that I will discuss a little bit later.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, many photographs became included into fashion magazines, which made them even more influential tools. As these magazines are being distributed all over the world, they had the profound impact upon public tastes and preferences. One of the most influential fashion magazines, Vogue, which is still the icon of style and which is read, adored and followed by millions and millions people worldwide, was founded more than a century ago, in 1902. It became to gain huge popularity after the World War II, after the invention of the color printing that was comparatively cheap in 1960s. Designers started to launch perfume lines and ready-to-wear lines that were strongly advertised in the fashion magazines. Magazines for men appeared just at the beginning of 1990s, however. In the early 50s fashion began to be transmitted on television, showing just small part of it. In 1980s, special channels dedicated to fashion began to appear, FashionTelevision, for instance.

As I have already mentioned, for the last several years fashion blogs began to gain their popularity as the media tool. So, generally speaking fashion blogs are blogs that cover such topics, as fashion in clothing and accessories. Also, covered topics include information regarding runaway trends, fashion items, including shoes, handbags, and belts, fashion of celebrities and also street style which is worn by regular people. Many blogs also offer numerous advice on regard what to wear this season and what shirt would fit the best those jeans. Such blogs are broadly used by fashion retailers that are striving to promote their particular shop and their particular products. As fashion is said to be the multi-billion-dollar industry that literary dictates ordinary people what should they buy and how they should look like and it is basically trend-driven, fashion blogs offer the new way of following trends and in the long run they would have the substantial impact upon the industry. There can be several types of fashion blogs, which include: by writer’s expertise, by ownership and by theme. Fashion blogs can be written by outsiders, insiders or aspiring insiders. Outsiders are people who are very knowledgeable in the sphere of fashion, as being very faithful fashion consumers. Insiders are those who are directly employed with the industry of fashion or the fashion media. They can be also like additional blogs as the part of the larger web-sites. And finally aspiring insiders are those who are willing to work in the industry of fashion or media and consider their blog to be the door to the mainstream fashion. In general, fashion blogs can be owned either by companies or individuals. And one more important thing is that the more the blog is specialized (in writing about shoes, denim or handbags, etc.) the more popular it can be in the long run.

Media reports show that fashion blogs can be not just informative and serve as the tool of advertising, but can be very much profitable, and it is developing at the present moment into the new media business. Fashion blogs are becoming the undividable part of the mainstream fashion press. In Europe and in the USA fashion bloggers are invited into the fashion shows, and large companies (for instance, H&M, Gap, Guess) are using fashion blogs to put there their advertisement or at least targeting blogs in PR efforts.

2. Influence of Different Media Channels on Fashion in Kuwait
As in any other country, the population of Kuwait is divided roughly into two categories of people in relation to fashion. The first group contain people that wear fashionable clothes, they are Westernized and follow latest tendencies in fashion world; they are broad-minded and open for new things. The second group of people consists of conservative people, who prefer to adhere to traditional views on fashion and deny any modern new comings and Western views upon the issue. The matter is that any limit is not good, and any obsession is bad, and in this relation it doesn’t matter whether the person is obsessed with Western style clothes or wears nothing but traditional ones. To my opinion, traditions and customs of each country are very important and undeniable, as well as moving forward toward new styles and fashion horizons, it is just should be moderately.

I would like to start to review my research results with the disclosure of the information regarding Sheik Majed al-Sabah, whom I view as the brightest example of the person who cares about bringing up more fashionable stores in Kuwait, and simultaneously doesn’t forget about who he is and wears traditional Kuwaiti robes, such as dishasha, when being at home with his family. So, Majed al-Sabah is 40 years old and is the member of Kuwaiti royal family. In 2001 he opened the huge mall-cum-boutique called Villa Moda. In Villa Moda such big luxury brands are presented, as Prada, Gucci, Marni, Fendi, Bottega Venetta, Etro, Yves Saint Laurent, etc., there is also the botox bar and the restaurant there. Majed al-Sabah had always the passion for fashion. Since he was a teenager, he wanted to wear clothes from Japanese designers only, which were very difficult to be purchased in Kuwait. About seventeen years ago al-Sabah started to travel all over Europe to negotiate with fashion houses about opening their shops in Kuwait and bringing their brands. He was not very successful with his early approaches, and then he went to USA where the business was easier, as the only thing Americans cared about was the credit rating. Only five years after, in 1996, the European fashion houses surrendered. When al-Sabah spends his time at home, he prefers to wear traditional Kuwaiti robes, but when he is visiting Europe or the USA he immediately changes his clothes for latest fashion outfits. The goals of al-Sabah lie far behind bringing fashion set in Kuwait, even though it is his primary goal, he wants to make Kuwait the place that cannot be ignores and make it important for the world community. He wants that Kuwait be remembered not as the jumping-off point for war, but the place with wonderful beaches, rich shopping and relaxing spas. He is also promoting extensively tourism in Kuwait trying to establish the new fashion for going to Kuwait for vacations. There is a blog in World Wide Web dedicated to his outstanding personality that can be assessed at, in which he writes about his accomplishments, plans and future projects. There are also a lot of links on his blog to other blogs related to men and women fashion trends, accessories and advertising. It is possible to find all latest news about all fashion issues there. This blog is also very interesting and educative, as al-Sabah also tells the stories of emerging of luxury brands in the Arab world, discusses opinions of world-known designers on regard of opening their stores in the Middle East, as well as rises important question about “fast fashion”, as this is how he calls such brands as H&M, Zara, Mango, etc. which are predominantly copying their curves from luxury brands and invade cities with their shops. From one standpoint, I agree with his point of view as fashion should be primarily genuine and any kind of copying and plagiarism and the use of not qualitative textiles diminished their value. But from the other side, such stores make fashion affordable to broader public and all layers of population that is willing to look fashionable.

Speaking about influential paper magazines, I must mention such issues, as Vogue, Elle, Officiel and Cosmopolitan, which provide the information from latest fashion shows. I would like to describe the information that is presented in Vogue magazine in more details. First that I must say that the magazine is about 400 pages, which is the great challenge to read from cover to cover. Other important and influential thing about it is that there are a lot of advertising about new collections of clothes, jewelry, fragrances, underwear, cosmetics, bags, expensive stationary, watches, alcohol, cigarettes, and luxury cars, with the indication of places where all that staff could be purchased so that woman received the full range of information how they can be fashionable fro the tiptoes to the top of the head. There is always the chief editor letter included where he briefly summarizes key season tendencies, as well as adds the personal constituent to the magazine. Then there is the section called “In Vogue”, which covers latest trends in the ornaments, colors, curves, tendencies, characters, textiles, styles and forms of fashionable clothes. The next section is called “Spy”, and it reveals the so-called “spied” information about details, images, designers, accessories from the latest fashion-shows. Section “Shops” says for itself and presents information what would be bets purchases for the next season and what are “must have” things to be considered fashionable and stylish. It also covers information about the bestsellers, lessons on how to combine things properly, and new lines jewelry. “High Life” section tells the readers about new names of designers in the fashion world, latest news about new fashion shows and exhibitions, hot gossips about celebrities and how they are dressed, as well as interview with famous people, new movies information, touches art issues, photographers, design, etc. “Beauty” tells everything about beauty staring with best possible choices in cosmetics and ending with the travel guide to the best spa centers of the world. “Subject of the issue” discloses series of photo shots connected with definite theme with the indication of what model is wearing. The final part of the magazine is entertaining and is about traveling, hotels, food, banquets and horoscope. To my opinion, this magazine has the huge influence upon Kuwaiti fashion views as it presents all sort of information that people are willing to correspond and to have the same in their wardrobes, and as the best attraction this magazine presents outfits of the celebrities, which are always adored, copied and used and fashion icons.

Television channels dedicated to fashion also have impact upon fashion views and Westernization of those views in Kuwait. Such channels include E!Channel, Style TV and Fashion TV. The matter is that all media channels provide nearly the same scope of information, and the only difference is what person prefers- to watch, to read or to research and participate. The distinguishing feature of TV channels about fashion is that they also provide information about models that show clothes on the fashion shows, make reports from backstage, show how make up and hair is done for the shows, as well as make interviews with models and celebrities about what do they prefer to wear. Fashion channels also provide historical overviews and broadcast designer collections of past years. Also, if Vogue presents information for women only, fashion channels show fashion shows with the designer collection for men. It is also possible to obtain direct advices from the designers through interviews about their inspiration, future trends, fashionable silhouettes, etc. The guests of the fashion shows are also showed, specially the first row, so it is possible not just watch what celebrities prefer this or that particular designer, but to watch what do they wear personally. And celebrities have the overwhelming influence upon fashion in Kuwait. is the other influential mean. This kind of blog called “Confashions from Kuwait” is the most popular and very special. The specialty of this blog is in that fact that information presented there is not just about Western kind of style and style of celebrities; it also promotes Kuwaiti designers who create wonderful clothes that combine Kuwaiti traditions and Western chic. For instance, it presented the information about Aisha Al-Fadel Designs, which created new collection for summer and Ramadan. Clothes of the designer are assigned specially for family gatherings and chalets. The clothes presented look really astonishing.

The blog also gathers information of the visitors through polls regarding their favorite shoe designers and well-dressed movie stars. The blog makes announces about new things coming to the luxury stores in Kuwait (including new comings to Villa Moda), about new events in the world of fashion and art answers questions of the readers regarding how to combine fashion items, making overviews of online shopping and discussing how to differentiate authentic things from unauthentic. It also proposes the reviews upon the stores, best choices for shopping and lifestyle.

There are also many web sites dedicated to fashion and online shopping. To some extent they are combining some features of the Internet blogs. The most popular web-sites are:,,, (bags and accessories),, is made in the form of the blog, as all posts can be commented, and it calls itself the first fashion blog in Kuwait. It offers its readers information about local and international shopping and fashion, latest sales, collections, styles, unique discounts at the stores, contests with fashion prizes, as well as interviews with talented designers. It is also attracting the attention of the stores by claiming that due to blogs overwhelming popularity, stores that are presented on the site increase their sales. The site contains valuable links for other fashion blogs, international blogs, Kuwaiti blogs and online shopping (,, which are not fully about clothes, but still about funny stuff to purchase). The owner or the hostess of the blog is Zahra, and it is possible to ask her any question regarding the fashion whether in the blog or on her mail on gmail.

I would like to speak in more details about the attention that is paid to celebrities and their outfits, shoes and accessories at the majority of the media channels. They are shown everywhere and my personal opinion is that they are the main influential factor for changing views and tastes in fashion, then any other one. People are following Hollywood celebrities wherever they go and evaluate how they are dressed up. Millions of people prefer to make the same haircuts and copy their successful make-ups. And of course, people want to wear the same gorgeous clothes as they do. The matter is that all celebrities (or nearly all, as there is always the place for exception) prefer to wear Western designers’ clothes and everything. Due to their popularity, due to popularity of their movie and successful careers they popularize the designers’ clothes all over the world and increase their profits, and that is why designers and fashion houses are usually very interested that the special movie or music star wore actually their dress for the particular event. It is all about right marketing decisions. Let’s take as example the TV show “Sex and the City”. It was broadcasted almost all over th world and Kuwait was not an exception. It can be also purchased on the Internet. This serial was dedicated to three main things- fashion, sex and love (finally). Four women, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda are living at Manhattan in New York, working, going to dates and parties, and discussing everything with each other. They are also making cult of shoes (Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, etc.) and appear in new clothes in every new episode. It seems to be perfect attraction for women auditory- gorgeous clothes and numerous relationships. After watching each new series, women want the same pattern of relationships with men, same parties, and same clothes, bags and shoes. This is what Craik writes about the obsession of Western culture with sex and relationships: “Western culture is obsessed with sex…The topic of women has preoccupied countless philosophers and feminists. The sex-gender distinction is one dimension of this interest. If sex is determined by biology, then gender is learned and acquired as a set of social trainings about how female bodies behave…’Nothing is more technical than sexual positions’. As well as techniques of sexual acts underpinned by an array of sexual morals, there is an even more bewildering array of techniques of gender”. And it is absolutely true s western fashion is dedicated to women’s sexuality, it opens legs and makes necklines deeper for women are more attractive to men. It is the kind of exploitation of sexuality. But let me return to the point, as after the last season as broadcasted all their clothes and everything were sold out and had the immense financial success. I try to stay away from any judgments, but still this movie is very pleasant and attractive to watch- beautiful things, beautiful men and happy end. And it is not surprising that even after years the serial ended, women all over the world (including Kuwaiti young girls and women) follow set standards of fashion and continue to be obsessed with it, as four women in “Sex and the City” were. For the conservative part of the Kuwaiti society such serial is totally unacceptable, but still the most part of the Kuwaiti women and girls were very attracted to it and wanted to look just the same.

The reason that Kuwait is becoming more and more Westernized not in fashion views only, but in political and social ones, is that it is trying to promote itself and its products at the new level, at which it would be possible to dictate to the world community what and how to wear. I don’t think, and my research only confirmed my assumptions, that Westernization of Kuwait, as the result of the media influence upon fashion, will make the genuine national traditions to decline, as many conservative Kuwaiti society members think, it will just raise the tradition upon the upper level in the long run, and culture and national customs will always be valued, followed and never forgotten.

Speaking about Kuwaiti traditional values and clothe, I would like specially mention hejab. Traditionally tight clothes are unacceptable in Kuwait, and hejab is assigned to cover women’s hair for that Allah always guided and supported them. Transparent clothes are also unacceptable, and what is written in At-Tabarani on this regard: “There will be in the last days of the ummah, women who are dressed and undressed. Curse them: they are accursed”. And also Abu Hurairah said that the Prophet referred to the following: “…women who are naked even though they are wearing clothes, go astray and make others go astray, and they will not enter paradise nor smell its fragrance, although it can be smelt from afar”. And also Al-Hakim wrote: “Belief and the sense of shame are tied together; if one is lost, the other is lost”. I decided to refer to all those quotation to support the views of the conservative part of the Kuwaiti people. And I do believe that changes in fashion and clothes cannot change people’s hearts and their respect to family values and traditions.

By the way, some details of the Kuwaiti national clothes are being extensively used by the designers and in general popularized by people all over the world. For example, keffiyeh is becoming the popular fashion accessory used as the scarf not just in Europe, but in Japan and in the USA also.

I would like to come back to the web resource, as it is the one that proposes detailed information on regard Kuwaiti designers and their works. This information is presented in the web-site about it: “Like many young Kuwaitis, the founders of had gone cyber, purchasing a significant amount of their wardrobe from on-line western boutiques, and mega-stores. But noticing the growth of the local fashion industry, the girls wanted to invite the world to view, and perhaps purchase, the extra-ordinary house wares and fashions of a number of Kuwaiti designers. Countless brainstorm sessions, phone calls, meetings, and sleepless nights later, was born. Providing the finest handcrafted fashion and house-ware products that Kuwait has to offer, the website has been bombarded with emails from both local and Middle-eastern designers, wanting to have their collections featured on the site. The girls are humbled, but admit that they’re not surprised, given the void in the region’s on-line shopping market. Working out of their warehouse, and packaging orders themselves, the girls have become attached to many of the items on the site’s meticulously edited collections. They confess that it’s sometimes difficult for them to let go of many of the pieces that they exhibit on-line. Difficult for them, perhaps, but a pleasure for recipients of pret-a-souk’s trademark natural brown box, with black ribbon”. The site tries to popularize Kuwaiti fashion in the Western world, which it the great thing I am sure.

Speaking about the Kuwaiti designers who were influenced by Western fashion I can mention the one from, whose name is Fatima Fawzi Al. Othman, who specializes on T-shirt designs. And another, Dana (A.KA-Dee), with the blog on, who specializes in making exclusive jewelry and bags.

3. Conclusion
In the conclusion I would like to say that fashion is undividable part of the modern person who wants to be successful in his private life, relationships with other people and occupation. National clothes are undividable part of national holidays, supporting customs and traditions. When combined together, this unique merge creates the thing to be proud of. After making the research I have found out, which only supported my personal opinion and what I observe in my everyday life, that media has the great influence upon fashion views in Kuwait. This impact is going through all media channels starting with TV programs and popular Hollywood movies and ending with Internet blogs, which are totally dedicated to the Western fashion pattern and to popularization of the fashion world-known fashion designers. I am sure that this impact has no negative influence upon Kuwaiti culture and traditions, as they remain important to each person as the part of the historical heritage, but will have overall positive influence upon the popularization of Kuwait and Kuwait fashion in world and in the long run, may be some day, Kuwait will become the fashion icon for the world community.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

The Scarlet Letter Essay

The Scarlet Letter Essay

Reflection of the Puritan society in the Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
This paper is devoted to a well-known piece of literature The Scarlet Letter, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the middle of the nineteenth century. The novel however touches the issues of colonial New England two centuries before it was written. The major confusion, caused by the novel, is due to the fact that the author took the time not corresponding to the time of writing The Scarlet Letter. Also due to the earlier times described in the novel, it is said to belong to historical romance written in the period of transcendentalism of the American literature.

This movement was also brightly presented by other writers – as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller and so on. Transcendentalism was said to reflect the reaction towards rationalism of the eighteenth century and was aimed against the religious orthodoxy of Calvinist ideas in New England. The main three wails, on which transcendentalism stood, were idealism, mysticism and individualism. The short characteristic of this literature period can already shed the light on the main themes and ideas, presented by the writer of the Scarlet Letter.


Most critics state, that the novel of Hawthorne belongs to abolitionism literature. Abolitionism was a well known movement of the nineteenth century against slavery in America, which finally led to start of the Civil War. Hawthorne did quite clearly oppose abolitionists, writing that slavery was “one of those evils which divine Providence does not leave to be remedied by human contrivances.” (Hawthorne, 8).

The novel The Scarlet Letter, telling about the events, which took place in Puritanical Boston two centuries before the novel was in fact written, investigates the themes of sin, quit and legalism. The ironical attitude of the author of The Scarlet Letter towards the puritanical views of these concepts is evident in his description of the prison’s building as already old and worn, although the colony itself was only around fifteen years.

The Puritans’ religious movement, obsessed with their own conceptions of lifestyle, was intolerant to any other ideas. Their authoritarian and suppressing attitude was contrasted by the writer to general human life principles. The main heroes of the novel – Hester, Dimmesdale and Chillingworth without any doubts belong to the Puritan society, their souls and bodies subdued to the strict rules of Puritanism. Although the author spoke about American society, in reality his dramatic themes were universal.

The Scarlet Letter can not be considered to be only criticism against the Puritans’ society, Hawthorne spoke also about their strong positions. In a way he showed even admiration of their beliefs and some standards. Hard work, faith and courage were without any doubts the main forces to support the colony, the people of which had to face numerous dangers, like Indian attacks, lethal diseases, cold weather during winter and so on. In order to overcome all these troubles the people needed strong and clear rules, which were taught to their children from the very early years. Thus the structure of the Puritan society seemed to be strong enough, but too oppressive towards its individual members – providing teachings on sins and guilt for them. The weak points of these rules were highlighted by Hawthorne through presenting several various “types” of sinners – as Dimmesdale, Chillingworth and Hester are all sinners according to the rules of the Puritans, but only Hester had to wear the letter A. This was the way for the author’s expression of his ironical attitude towards the publicity of the knowledge, which was inherent in the Puritan society. Hawthorne used the ideas and rules of these “iron men” for presenting a dramatic conflict in the novel. Here we can also trace one of the main themes of the novel – connection between humanity and sin in the society. Are Dimmesdale and Chillingworth sinners? According to the rules of the Puritans – yes, but “officially” they are “clear” in the eyes of the society - “‘People say,’ said another, ‘that the Reverend Master Dimmesdale, her godly pastor, takes it very grievously to his heart that such a scandal has come upon his congregation” (Hawthorne, 65). This is way for the author to present the main drawback of the Puritans’ society, namely its hypocrisy – only what lies on the very surface or what is shown to others publicly can be judged and reproached.

Pearl as a child seemed to notice some things, which were not evident for the others, in the Chapter “Forest Walk” she said to her mother: “Mother, the sunshine does not love you. It runs away and hides itself, because it is afraid of something on your bosom… It will not flee from me, for I wear nothing on my bosom yet!” (Hawthorne, 150). Not only people, but the sunshine also turns away from the woman-sinner.

Hester was completely subdued to the rules and ideas of the society she was living in; she was never able to break the connection to the place, where she had to go through shame and reprimand, where she was unhappy. It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates. Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility” (Hawthorne, 165). But readers can fell only sympathy with her, because in reality all people, even nowadays are directly dependant on the society they are living in, on the opinions of the people, surrounding them, not a single individual is able to separate himself from others and build his own moral rules and subdue his behavior to his rules. We are all influenced and controlled from outside. We remember the saying of Emerson concerning connection between people and society: “Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members….The virtue most [requested] is conformity….Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist.” (Emerson, 4). From the first reading it seems to be too harsh and too critical, but in reality, Emerson showed profound understanding of the main laws of societies, it does not matter of what historical period and of what country. Since the early times, when the ancient people started to form societies, theses societies had rules, the major aim of these rules was to bring order, at the same time controlling and subduing all the members of the society. Certainly all people have different moral and physical strengths and thus the place, which every person tries to get is different, but they all for sure are dependent on the social views and regulations. To be purely individual and independent can nobody in any society. There is however the notion of conformity, which Emerson is speaking about and there is a difference also between just obeying the rules of the society and the so-called “herd” mentality. There always were and will be people, belonging either to the first “group” or following the second one.

In the novel The Scarlet Letter, the rules of that society would seem barbarous nowadays, as nobody now can be officially reproached for adultery, apart of the cases, when the life of some celebrity is discussed, as now this is said to belong to personal sphere. In the society, in which Hester and the rest of the heroes lived even such personal issues were brought into publicity and we do not see any indignation in Hester – as she fully accepted the rules of the society and was ready to suffer from the corresponding punishment. This is probably one of the best examples, although a little exaggerated, of the conformity Emerson was writing about and the hypocrisy, which is inherent for nowadays society as well: there are can be numerous examples of it, there are still rules for everybody, but this doesn’t mean, that those members of the society, who have money and power, have to follow this rules. Hypocrisy can be traced in religion, in politics, in economy: people go to church and make donations, but in reality do not think about simplest religious moral rules; political leaders come out with great speeches, make promises to serve to their electorate, but some of them forget about this soon after their election; the richest people have great opportunities for developing their business and say they do their best to contribute to improvement of the situation with unemployed and those living of scanty means, in reality using it only for promotion of their businesses and making money on the work and ideas of their employees. Hypocrisy belonged into the structure of the society as an integral part hundreds of years ago and till nowadays it still does.
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Term Paper on Politics

Term Paper on Politics

US Politics vs. Brazilian Politics
The US political system is traditionally viewed as one of the most effective and democratic systems in the world. Historically, the US politics was highly democratic and oriented on the protection of human rights of American citizens. In fact, it was one of the first political systems in the world which was based on democratic principles and its supreme law, the US Constitution, was defined by specialists (Spielvogel, 2005) as a kind of social contract. At the same time, it should be said that the US produced a profound impact on the development of many countries of the world, especially Latin America. For instance, it is possible to name Brazil as one of the countries, which consistently influenced by the US. This impact could be traced practically in all sphere of life of Brazilian society, including politics. As a result, the American political system became a model for Brazilian political system. However, it is necessary to underline that, in spite of the existing similarities between both political systems, either political system has preserved its uniqueness and originality, which reflects the national specificity of political and socioeconomic life of each country.


The US political system
The US political system is based on the principle of the division of powers, which targets at the maintenance of the democratic principles in American political system. It should be said that the division of power implies the creation of the balance of powers in order to avoid possibilities for strengthening one of the branches of power, which may lead to the development of an authoritarian regime in the country. In such a way, the US political system is comprised of three branches of power: legislative, executive, and judicial. Basically, each branch of power is independent and has its own authority to control all the other powers in the country.

At the same time, it is important to underline that the US is a federal republic. This is why the American federalist system has three levels of government: federal, state and local. The government on each level has its own authority, which cannot exceed the jurisdiction of the particular level, i.e. the local government can operate only within a given area, a county, for instance, the state government operates on the state level, while federal government has a national authority and heads the pyramid of executive branch of power. In this respect, it should be said that the head of the executive branch of power in the US is the President, who appoints the Cabinet and other officers, who administer and enforce federal laws and policies (Spielvogel, 2005). Basically, the President of the US is the commander-in-chief of the US military and he/she has a right to veto legislative bills before they become laws. The President is elected for four years and can be re-elected for another four years term.

The legislative power in the US is exercised by the bicameral Congress, which consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The major function of the Congress is to make federal laws, though it can approve treaties, it has the power of purse and can even use the power of impeachment to remove sitting members of the government, including the President (Martinez-Lara, 1995). In such a way, the legislative power, i.e. the Congress can make federal laws, but, at the same time, it can control the government to the extent that it can use the power of impeachment. In response, the US President, as the head of the executive power can control legislative power by means of vetoing legislative acts, for instance. The House of Representatives consists of 435 members who are elected for two-years term, while two senators are elected from each state to the Senate for a six-year term, while a third of the Senate is up for election every second year.

The executive power in the US is represented by the Supreme Court and lower federal courts. The judges are appointed by the President with Senate approval. In terms of the division of power principle, the major function of the courts is to interpret laws and they can overturn laws if they deem unconstitutional.

Furthermore, the political system of the US is formally comprised of multiple parties, but, in actuality, there are two major parties, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, which compete for the power with each other, while the number of minor parties and organizations rather perform the function of the public control over different branches of power than actually compete for the power in the country.

Brazilian political system
Brazilian political system is, to a significant extent, similar to that of the US. In this respect, it should be said that the political system of Brazil is also based on the principle of the division of power between three branches: executive, legislative and judicial, which are also supposed to control each other. Moreover, Brazil is also a federal republic, which consists of three autonomous political entities: the States, the Municipalities, and the Federal District, which may be compared to the US three levels, namely federal, state, and local. However, it is important to underline that there is no hierarchy among political entities in Brazil and they function on the basis of six principles: sovereignty, citizenship, dignity of people, social value of labor, freedom of enterprise, and political pluralism (Martinez-Lara, 1995).

The head of the executive power in Brazil is the President, who, similarly to his/her American colleague, appoints his own Cabinet and is elected for four-year term and has a right to be re-elected for another four-year term. The President has the right to veto legislative acts of the legislative branch of power. The latter is represented on the federal level by the bicameral National Congress, which issues the legislative acts on the national level, though it is worth mentioning that each state has its own Constitution, which though should meet the norms of the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of Brazil. Basically, three senators are elected for the Federal Senate from each state for eight-year term and one-third is elected a four-year term, while two-thirds are elected after the next four-year period. The Chamber of deputies is elected for four-year term.

As for the judicial power of Brazil, it also performs the function of the control over the execution of laws and controls both executive and legislative branches of Brazilian power, while the judicial power, i.e. judges are appointed by the President with the Federal Senate approval.

In such a way, it is possible to estimate that Brazil used the US political system for the formation of its own political system. Nevertheless, Brazilian political system has its own unique characteristics. For instance, the Senators’ term is longer in Brazil that targets at the maintenance of the higher stability in the legislative branch of power on the federal level, since shorter terms could lead to the destabilization of the political situation in the country. The latter highly probable, because, unlike the US, there are four major political parties in Brazil: Workers’ Party, Brazilian Social Democracy Party, Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, and Democrats.

Thus, it is possible to conclude that the US political system may be viewed as a model for Brazilian political system that may be traced on all levels of the organization of political system of the country. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that the current political system is more diverse in Brazil because there is a larger number of parties that struggle for power that makes the national politics more diverse compared to the US.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cai Guo-Qiang Essay

Cai Guo-Qiang Essay

Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe
I did not understand at first what it was, hanging from the centre of rotunda. Something bright, sparkling and definitely spectacular. But what is it? Does it mean anything, does it really should be here – in the Guggenheim’s museum, in the centre of Frank Lloyd Wright’s rotunda? First feelings are absolutely mixed. Yes, this installation is massive and extraordinary. Yes, it amazes and fascinates. However, what is its message? Nine white cars hanging in different positions, sparkling from light tubes, stuck into these cars. Frankly speaking, you do not often see such installations. But when you hear the name of its author, everything falls into place.


Cai Guo-Qiang can not present something less grandiose and less provocative. He is famous for his absolutely unexpected and innovative approach to modern art. If you think that his works of art are easy to explain, you are mistaken. I would say that are impossible to explain in detail and to analyze. They represent the flight of Cai’s thought and his world outlook combined with a large number of sciences, all of which interweave in his installations. I Want to Believe is not an exception. Could you imagine that these cars hang according to feng shui and represent our relations with space? I could not, but it is so. Cai’s works are profound. I Want to Believe will not make you understand the message of the author at once; you won’t understand it in two hours either.

You will try to read it and the process of its reading will fascinate you as if you are perceiving something important. Your attempt to seize it, this significant thing, but it escapes. It is near, it is in your mind, but you need time to realize it. These are my feelings about I Want to Believe. They are very personal but I want to believe them. I Want to Believe is hard to explain, is hard to describe in such a way that person understands its significance, it is hard to explain why you liked it. Perhaps the only proper way to become a part of Cai’s creative work is to see it. You see the sparkles of tubes and the reversed cars, you might think about something absolutely different or about nothing. You must feel at first and then try to ponder over it.

Almost in all Cai’s works you’ll notice the usage of explosive materials. Perhaps they play a special role. They attract viewers’ attention and highlight Cai’s thoughts that our life is an explosion, it comprises conflict and permanent transformation. It is this transformation that is reflected in his installation.

Its place also evokes many questions. The unique structure of rotunda does not seem to presuppose such ultramodern and shocking installation. However, as for me, they look quite harmoniously. The spiral of rotunda is as infinite as our life and the succession of cars is as explosive as its events. If Cai tried to make an impression on people, he managed to do it. I saw people’s spellbound eyes and I felt that I looked the same way.
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