Categories for Anthropology

Cultural Impacts on Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa (AN)

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder most commonly affecting adolescent women (Russell 1970, 132). The diagnostic criteria for anorexia is defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical manual of the American Psychiatric Association 4th ed (DSM-IV) as excessive dieting or exercise leading to extreme weight loss, a refusal to gain weight, disturbance in body shape perception and amenorrhea (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). It has been suggested that the psychopathologies behind AN arise from within a cultural framework, namely the Western culture (Bordo 1993, 141-145). The Western ideals of beauty and portrayal of a slim body type in relation to attractiveness and healthiness have perpetuated a ‘culture of thinness’ and ‘fat-phobia,’ from which AN manifests from extreme measures taken to achieve these conceptions (Bordo 1993, 146-149). Furthermore, in recent years AN has become a transcultural disorder, affecting non-Western cultures influenced by Western culture such as the Chinese, Fijians and African Americans. Mass media has enabled widespread access to Western culture, resulting in a global culture phenomenon that has increased the incidence of eating disorders such as AN worldwide (Simpson, 2002, 66-67). In addition, cultural assimilation as well as cultural clash in those who must balance their traditional culture with the modern Western culture has been shown to contribute to a predisposition towards AN, as a result of self-conflicts and unstable self-identity (Shuriquie, 1999, 355). Finally, some have advocated for a more culturally sensitive definition of AN, which currently is thought to be Western-centric in its definition. Proponents advocate the consideration of individual sociocultural factors, notably unrelated to the culture of thinness, contributing to the development of AN within the context of local biologies (Simpson, 2002, 68-69). Thus AN must be analyzed from within a transcultural framework, one which encompasses the influences of the Western culture on perceptions of the body as well as considers the specific cultural context, which sheds light on causes of AN.

Anorexia is considered a Western culture-bound phenomenon as a result of the current sociopolitical demands placed upon women in regards to the ideals of beauty, body shapes, and feminism (Derenne and Beresin 2006, 257). The term culture-bound denotes a restriction of a phenomenon within a particular cultural group due to specific social, political, culture and psychological factors from within that culture (Prince 1985, 197-198). As most American women are preoccupied with their weight, AN could simply be an extreme manifestation of the nation-wide preoccupation with weight and body image (Lake 1999, 83-84). Historically, the concept of the ideal female body was fluid, changing with the political and economic climate, which affected cultural values and thus attitudes toward female bodies. During the colonial era, strong, fertile, able-bodied women were favoured, as they would be capable of assisting with chores as well as bearing many children to increase family size. Times changed in the 19th century with the introduction of a more comfortable lifestyle, when the waifish look became popular and women sported short hair, pants and a slender, androgynous look that symbolized feminism and liberation. Since then, there has been a cultural trend towards thinness, with famous models such as Twiggy becoming household idols, culminating in today’s nation-wide obsession with ‘weight-watching,’ ‘calorie-counting’ and ‘dieting’ (Derenne and Beresin 2006, 258-259). It is the mass media portrayal of the ideal thin female body as attractive, desirable and healthy that has further perpetuated the ‘culture of thinness,’ targeting particularly vulnerable women – young adolescents and teenage girls. Coincidentally, pre-teens, teenagers and adolescent females have the highest incidence of AN (Borzekowski 2005, 289). Recently, the incidence of AN has increased in pre-teen and teenage girls, as they are often the main target audience for a variety of media, which present unrealistic expectations of their body shapes (Borzekowski 2005, 290-291). Fashion magazines often depict thin women as desirable and healthy, television ads promote the latest technological invention that helps a woman lose weight and the Internet offers countless websites with tips on ‘eating healthy,’ keeping off the ‘fat,’ appetite suppressants and ‘0 calorie’ dietary supplements. Particularly notable are the ‘pro-anorexia’ websites that proclaim AN to be a lifestyle choice, offer advice on weight management, effective dieting strategies and community support encouraging AN (Derenne and Beresin 2006, 258-259) . This bombardment of social and cultural expectations to be thin in order to be attractive has predominated Western culture since the 19th century and has not only grown, but crossed cultural boundaries through communication via mass media to affect other cultural groups (Shuriquie 1999, 356-357). Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that the psychiatric problems behind AN may be described as a set of particular symptoms that arise from within a cultural framework – the Western culture of thinness.

The origin of AN may have arisen from Western cultural values, but there have been an increasing number of reports of eating disorders such as AN in non-Western populations, challenging the notion that AN is a Western culture-bound syndrome. This trend is attributed to the exposure of non-Western cultures to Western culture via mass media. One study has shown that Hispanic and South African girls exhibit AN, influenced by their exposure to Western media, suggesting that AN transcends cultural and socioeconomic boundaries (Nasser 1994, 26-27). It was previously believed that the mentioned group of people were ‘protected’ from modern Western influences, due to their traditions of embracing larger, full-bodied women. Yet, a study conducted by Becker (Becker 2002, 509) found that the women of a group of islanders hailing from the South Pacific Ocean, the Fijians, have been heavily influenced by the Western culture of thinness. There were no reports of eating disorders in the Fijian population until 1995, when an international television station was broadcasted for the first time, depicting Western media. Three years later, reports of dissatisifation with body image, attempts to control weight such as dieting and self-induced vomiting were heard, suggesting that these Fijian women were significantly affected by the Western cultural ideals of the perfect body and perhaps could not distinguish between the idealism and concepts of perfection that television presented and reality. Despite a tradition of favourably viewing full-bodied women (Becker 1995, 27-29), a few years of exposure to Western cultural and perceptions of beauty have negatively impacted the Fijians. Anthropologists have studied the reasons behind the heavy influence of Western culture and have suggested that less developed, non-Western populations such as the Fijians regard the values portrayed by Western culture as symbols of socioeconomic progression, high social status and social acceptance (Shuriquie 1999, 358-360) and thus strive to emulate and assimilate Western culture values within their local cultures. Streigel-Moore points out that even African American groups within the United States have shown increasing incidence of AN, stemming from a desire to participate in the ‘white world’ (Striegel-Moore 2003, 1326-1328). Similarly, a study conducted by Nasser on the prevalence of AN in teenage Egyptian girls in Cairo indicated that traditional Egyptian values of larger, fertile women have not conferred protective effects from the assimilation of Western conceptions of the ideal body type via mass media in young Egyptian women (Nasser 1994, 28-30). These findings highlight a phenomenon known as global culture, where the world is connected via media, allowing cultural values to be readily accessible by other cultures across the globe (Banks 1992, 867). In this instance, global culture has contributed to the rising incidences of eating disorders such as AN, which has ultimately become a transcultural disorder that is not limited by cultural boundaries.

In addition to the global cultural phenomenon, some have argued that those immigrating to the West from non-Western cultures experience cultural clash, leading to greater risk of psychiatric disorders such as AN (Lee 1996, 21-23). Studies have indicated that those who are assimilated into Western culture are less impacted by media-driven concepts such as dieting and maintaining a slender frame than those who choose to maintain their own cultural values while living in a Western culture. Culture clash occurs when an individual adopts two cultural systems, which are often in conflict. Mumford and Whitehouse have shown that Asian girls in the United Kingdom that have not acculturated struggle to balance their beliefs and attitudes at home, where their traditional culture dominantes, and at school, where there is pressure to conform to the norms of the Western culture (Mumford and Whitehouse 1991, 222-225). Unfortunately, the unrealistic expectations of body shape is often taken as the norm in individuals affected by this cultural clash, leading to increased vulnerability to the negative influences of Western culture on body image and subsequently increased susceptibility to AN. These findings interestingly point to the influence of a non-Western culture within the context of Western culture not as protective, but exacerbative of eating disorders.

Although the phenomena of global culture and culture clash demonstrate the extensiveness and impact of Western cultural values on the rest of the world, it has been argued that attributing the cause and symptoms of AN solely to the sociocultural influence of the West may be inaccurate. The culture of thinness may be pervasive, but it is not the sole explanation for AN. Simpson claims that the prevailing biomedical definition of anorexia as a psychiatric disorder characterized by fat phobia and a distorted perspective on body image is itself a cultural construction within the confines of the Western culture (Simpson 2002, 66-70). This suggests a need to adopt a culturally-sensitive definition of AN, one which stems from within the context of local biologies rather a universal framework. Fat-phobia is currently the defining characteristic in AN, but there have been accounts of those with an eating disorder very similar to AN, except for the obvious lack of fat-phobia. Simpson presents reports of Chinese women suffering from AN who do not report fat-phobia. Rather, they attribute chronic epigastric bloating and a loss of appetite to their disinclination to eat (Simpson 2002, 68). In another case, a woman refuses to eat after being separated from her boyfriend, citing abdominal discomforts and a disinterest in food (Simpson 2002, 68). These psychosomatic symptoms are a result of somatization (Kleinman 1989, 57), where the illness symptoms of AN manifests from social problems, rather than any dissatisfaction of body shape. Psychosomatic symptoms are commonly reported in the Chinese population and contribute to the etiology of AN, although they are not included in the DSM-IV criteria. Furthermore, some women from conservative religious fundamentalist backgrounds have been cited to abstain from food, as a result of their beliefs about food, the body, femininity and spirituality (Simpson 2002, 68). Similarly, Mogul discusses a case where an anorexic patient refused food and fasted to the point of emaciation due to a religious belief that attainment of the highest spirituality and freedom from materialism came with a rejection of the temptations of food (Mogul 1980, 51). Thus, explaining AN within a Western cultural framework establishes a limited perspective of the disorder that does not take into account the personal, sociocultural factors within local biologies that contribute to various forms of AN.

Ultimately, AN is not a universal disorder, but a transcultural disorder. AN should not be viewed within the confines of any one culture, but rather understood to be a cross-cultural phenomenon. Essentially, AN is a psychiatric disorder with multi-factorial causes, requiring the incorporation of the Western cultural preoccupation with fat-phobia and unrealistic body shape expectations and the cross-cultural psychological and sociocultural reasons within local biologies to arrive at a holistic and culture-sensitive definition.

References

  1. Russell, Gerald F. M. 1970. Anorexia nervosa: Its identity as an illness and its treatment. In Modern Trends in Psychological Medicine. Butterworths: London.
  2. American Psychiatric Association. 1994. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Washington, DC: AMA.
  3. Bordo, S. 1993. Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. University of California Press.
  4. Simpson, K. J. 2002. Anorexia nervosa and culture. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 9, 65-71.
  5. Shuriquie, N. 1999. Eating disorders: a transcultural perspective. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal. 5(2):354-360.
  6. Derenne, J. L. and Beresin, E. V. 2006. Body Image, Media, and Eating Disorders. Academic Psychiatry. 30:257-261.
  7. Prince, R. 1985. The concept of culture-bound syndromes: anorexia and brainfag. Social Science and Medicine. 21:197-203.
  8. Lake, A. J., Staiger, P. K. Glowinksi, H. 1999. Effect of Western Culture on Women’s Attitudes to Eating and Perceptions of Body Shape. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 27:83-89.
  9. Borzekowski, D. L., Bayer, A. M. 2005. Body image and media use among adolescents. Adolescent Medicine. 16:289-313.
  10. Nasser, M. 1994. Screening for abnormal eating attitudes in a population of Egyptian secondary-school girls.Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology. 29:25-30.
  11. Becker, A. E., Burwell, R. A., Gilman, S. E. et al. 2002. Eating behaviours and attitudes following prolonged exposure to television among ethnic Fijian adolescent girls. British Journal of Psychiatry. 180:509-514.
  12. Becker, A. 1995. Body Imagery, ideals and Cultivation: Discourses on Alienation and Integration. In Body Self and Society: The View from Fiji. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.
  13. Striegel-Moore, R. H. 2003. Eating Disorders in White and Black Women. American Journal of Psychiatry. 160:1326-1331.
  14. Banks, C. G. 1992. ‘Culture’ in Culture-Bound Syndromes: The Case of Anorexia Nervosa. Social Science and Medicine. 34(8):867-884.
  15. Lee, S. 1996. Reconsidering the status of anorexia nervosa as a Western culture-bound syndrome. Social Science and Medicine. 42:21-34.
  16. Mumford, D. B., Whitehouse, A. M. 1991. Sociocultural correlates of eating disorders among Asian school girls in Bradford.British Journal of Psychiatry. 158:222-228.
  17. Kleinman, A. 1989. The Illness Narratives: Suffering, Healing, And The Human Condition. Basic Books.
  18. Mogul, S. L. 1980. Asceticism in adolescence and anorexia nervosa. Psychoanalytical Studies on Children. 35:155-175.

Relationship Between Clothing and Identity

Material culture refers to the corporal, physical object constructed by humans. Ferguson (1977) describes material culture as ‘all of the things people leave behind …. All of the things people make from the physical world – farm tools, ceramics, houses, furniture, toys, buttons, roads and cities’ (Ferguson, 1977). Material culture refers to objects that are used, lived in, displayed and experienced. Human beings interact with material culture as a normal part of their daily lives. Because of this interaction, material culture and human living is strongly influenced by each other, and through studying material culture gives us important clues about the way humans live and have lived in the past. Schlereth (1982) outlines the importance of the study of material culture, arguing that through material culture we can learn about the ‘belief systems – the values, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions – of a particular community of Society, usually across time’ (Schlereth, 1982). Schlereth continues to state that a study is based upon the obvious idea that the existence of a man-made object is concrete evidence of the presence of a human mind operating at the time of production. The common statement underlying material culture research is that ‘objects made or modified by humans, consciously or unconsciously, directly or indirectly, reflect the belief patters of individuals who made, commissioned, purchased, or used them, and, by extension, the belief patterns of the larger society of which they are a part’ (Schlereth, 1982). By studying culture as something created and lived through objects, we learn to understand the social structures, human action, emotion and meaning, and through this process we bond together the crucial link between social and economic factors with the individual actor. This is where we can introduce Marxism mode of production, if we consider material culture in terms of consumer societies we will be able to reproduce and challenge social structures. However, according to Marx and Engels (1965, p32) in The German Ideology:

‘This mode of production must not be considered simply as being the reproduction of physical existence of individuals. Rather it is a definite form of activity of these individuals, a definite form of expressing their life, a definite mode of life on their part’ (Sahlins, 1976).

Marx mode of production worked in the following way; people produce commodities and sell them so that they can buy other commodities to satisfy their own needs and wants.

For Marx, production is something more than practical logic of material effectiveness, it is a cultural intention.

Take for example, if you look around your home, objects are everywhere – cups/mugs, computers, clothing. You know what most of these are because they are part of you familiar environment, if you have grown up with these objects they have been a part of your life. Now if a person lived in a different part of the world and from a different century, they would have a difficult time trying to understand our material culture. Each object has a story to tell, a story which has been shaped by human used. If material objects are been analyzed, basic facts will be recorded, a verbal description which might include measurements, material, any distinguishing features, take note of everything which will determine a clearer picture about the object. This key information will provide material about the technology used, the economy, or social relations within the given society and how they have changed or progressed over time.

Clothing and in particular designer outfits can mask a person’s real persona. The clothing can be worn to impress and make the wearer feel more confident, however this can also be taken to the extreme in that if a person’s self worth and morale is low clothes are used to state falsely about the importance of the person. ‘wearing certain clothing may make a person feel empowered by altering their self perception, they can assist in forming or negating interpersonal and group attachments, mediating the formation of self-identity and esteem and integrating and differentiating social groups classes or tribes’ (Woodward, 2007, p4 ).

Alison Lurie states that in her Language of Clothes that clothes introduce individuals subconsciously before they even say a word (Lurie A. , 1992). Clothes are expressions of identity, one of the permanent ways we signal to the social world who and what we are (Twigg, 2007). It is also an expression and fulfilment of human needs: needs of the body and mind. These expressions function within a cultural context with the purpose of passing on distinctive meanings to social forms. Clothes have been used to identify our links, such as what school we attend, what job we have or what group we are a part of. Schools use uniforms to identify their students, although uniforms can be a really useful if the students are out on day trips, the uniform will be easily recognisable to pick out students, these students then represent the school. Occupations have informed the public of their identity and job titles throught the use of clothing, for example: gardai, nurses, surgeon, security guards, fire fighters the list is endless when you really think about it.

In most cultures gender differentiation of clothing is considered appropriate for both men and women. There are many features that differentiate the gender of clothing. The masculine fabric is relatively caorse and stiff, usually heavier whereas feminine fabric is soft and fine. Masculine colours usually tend to be darker, and feminine coloured clothing is usually light or pastel. The cut in men’s clothing is square with corners and angles, and womens dress lines emphasize the flow, the curve and the actual style of the dress. These elements convey social meaning (Sahlins, 1976). The sturctural lines in the cut or patterns of clothing make up analogous class of meaningful contrasts (Sahlins, 1976). The importance seems to be related with three characteristics of a line: direction, form and rhythm. Direction refers to direction in relation to the ground. Form refers to its properties as curved or straight. And rhythm refers to the periodicity of the curve or angle (Sahlins, 1976).

In western societies, womens clothing usually consists of skirts, dresses and high heels, while a tie is usually seen as mens clothing. Trousers/jeans were seen as mens clothing but nowadays they are worn by both male and female. Female clothing usually tends to be more attractive in comparison to male clothing.

Clothing also identifies religious groups. In some cultures, laws regulate what men and women are required to wear. A man wearing a headgear called yarmulke/kippah is most likely to be Jewish, and a woman wearing a hijab is most likely to be Muslim. The yarmulke is for a Jew to announce publicly that he respects God and that God is above human kind. According to the Talmud (Jewish Religious Commentary), wearing the kippah reminds Jews that there is a higher authority, and it reminds us that God is always watching (Silvestri, 2010). A Muslim woman who wears a hijab not only publicly announces her religious identity, but when her face is covered, men cannot judge her by her appearance, they are able to evaluate her by her personality, character, and morals (Hussein). If we look at the catholic culture in Ireland, a man wearing in a black robe or outfit and a roman collar is identified as a priest and is given the title “father” in the Roman Catholic churches. In Islamic culture, men pride themselves in wearing turbans because of its significant spiritual symbolism of their cultural faith. Turbans are still worn today by Islamic men as a way of distinguishing themselves, strengthening social ties and giving a sense of group identity. They are considered important in prayer, where the rewards are said to be twenty-five times greater when the headdress is worn. However in saying all of this the turban also has a practical function, it protects the men’s head from the heat and dust in Arab countries (Bennett, 2010). Again, we see clothing as the subconscious communicator that announces one’s religious identity publicly.

According to Sahlins (1976), American clothing amounts to a very complex scheme of cultural categories and the relations between them. The scheme operates a set of rules for declining and combining classes of the clothing – which formulate the cultural categories. Each aspect consists of a range of meaningful variation, some will be present and other’s will be absent (Sahlins, 1976. p179). The outfit as a whole makes a statement, developed out of the particular arrangement of garment parts and by contrasting to other outfits (Sahlins, 1976. P 179). Strictly speaking, clothes is not a part of your body, however, since your body is largely covered in it, your clothing will affect the way you come across. Seeing as your clothing is such a large factor, on the message your giving off, your appearence is important and will effect the view others have on you. The clothes you are wearing make a statement about your identity and your social status, the colour and style of clothes worn tell others about how you are feeling in the world. Clothes have the ability to inform publicly of one’s identity, mood, generation, religion, and culture. It is a language that is constantly in communication with people introduced or not introduced. Although the language of clothes speaks, it may not be completely accurate, but it gives one an idea of an individual’s identity and personality. The language of clothes is used daily and can be seen every day in the home, at church, out shopping and within the political world. It is a language that everyone uses as an ice-breaker to open up conversation or to have common ground and value. Clothing as a communicator can be seen worldwide and is used universally. Taking all of the above into consideration one can say that material culture can be compared to a language.

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari | Essay

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari

Abstract

Richard Borshay Lee was a social anthropologist that had lived with and studied the southern Tswana tribe. In “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” Richard Borshay Lee introduces us to some very useful techniques in social science. What he decided to do was take part in an ox Christmas festivity. Mr. Lee felt he had to give a gift because the tribal community thought he was a miser, this was due to the fact the Mr. Lee had been there for quite some time and never shared his food. Being Christmas and both sides believing in this spiritual holiday, he felt obligated to share. Ultimately, his beliefs does not coincide with the !Kung people and we witness the power of socializing agents.

Even though Mr. Lee had lived with and was engaged in every part of the !Kung people’s lives, he was still an outsider and alien to the society. It seems after Mr. Lee decided to attend the ox Christmas festival, he felt it would be a nice gesture to buy an ox to eat at the celebration. Among the !Kungs, the slaughtering of an ox is a custom. After choosing the ox to bring to the festival, the Bushmen started complaining and calling the ox old and skinny. To Mr. Lee, the ox looked big, fat and perfect for the Christmas celebration and the reaction of the !Kung Bushmen people leave him very insulted. His feelings and how he perceived the Bushmen’s reaction was likely founded on his own culture, where people are supposed to appreciate other people’s generosity no matter the outcome. But to the Bushmen, giving an ox was no more than what they usually do every day, and was nothing special. After consulting with cultural experts, Mr. Lee discovers the native’s viewpoint. In the !kung’s culture, things such as gifts and generosity are appreciated. However, it is not easily shown and always behind closed doors. Their cultural belief is that it will cause more harm to praise any individual even for a job well done. They believe by boosting someone’s ego it will eventually swell his pride to the point where he may kill someone. The !Kung’s survival is based on their awareness of the environment around them and how people act and think in the society. This I think would be a good thing as long as people were not taken for granted.

Why did the !kung people’s insult bother Mr. Lee so extensively? I feel the anthropologist thought he had gone through so much to choose, and buy the ox for the !Kungs just to be ridiculed for his efforts. Lee finally received the message of what the !Kungs were trying to put out, and this was the concept that there is some motive behind every gift and somehow, someway the gift will be repaid. However, I must disagree with this concept and disagree with the !Kungs.

This is supported by the fact, every day I see many charitable acts, and the people that are giving, have no intention of receiving praise or anything in return. There are many cultural rules about gift giving in our society. Gifts in our society are given in celebrations and special occasions. Usually in our society, the amount spent on the gift is based on the rareness or the size of the event taking place. Mr. Lee’s views brought on by his own cultural beliefs, left him feeling inadequate and insulted. But to the !Kungs, it was an everyday occurrence and reaction.

To understand the !kungs is to understand and accept people of different cultures. This is dually noted in the above paragraphs. The !Kungs who live in the Kalahari were raised quite differently than someone who grew up in the society we live in today. In accepting gifts in our country, we always say thank you and how much we appreciate it. This praise gives us a feeling of arrogance knowing that the receiver really likes our gift. In different cultures there are different guidelines. The people of the !kung tribe think badly of individuals that show arrogance. To eliminate these characteristics in the children, they were raised to mock and make fun of others while doing things such as hunting and viable activities. And by telling Mr. Lee that his ox was skinny and old, they were ultimately doing him a tremendous favor according to their cultural beliefs. As in contrast to our beliefs that characteristics such as bulling and mocking is very wrong. However sometimes in our society we see arrogance as a negative quality but it is not always discouraged in the same manner.

Agents of Socialization was a strong influence in the article that Mr. Lee wrote. The feeling of being insulted only came from his own inadequacies and the way he was taught in his society. His status while being among the tribe was less than in his own society and also contributed to his feelings. His cultural values were very different than that of the !Kung people, and in time he came to understand and accept their attitudes learned as a social group. He realized that even though it was a celebration known to people of his culture, it could also sustain a part of the !Kung tribe. This is a documentation of another instance of how different societies of people distinguish themselves from one another with certain customs and differences, and how they conduct themselves socially.

References

Scavetta, Charlene (February 22, 2009). “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari”, Richard Borshay Lee. . retrieved 9/23/2014, from Athropology 1001 Web Site: http://scavettacharlene.blogspot.com/2009/02/eating-christmas-in-kalahari-richard.html

ThatPresence ( December 2005 ). Eating Christmas in the Kalahari . retrieved 9/23/2014, from StudyMode.com Web Site: http://www.studymode.com/essays/Eating-Christmas-In-The-Kalahari-74594.html

Ontaneda, Ana (February 22, 2009). Eating Christmas in the Kalahari . retrieved 9/23/2014, from anthropology Web Site: http://unam0ur.blogspot.com/2009/02/ana-ontaneda-february-22-2009-ant-1001.html

Analysis of Islamic Architecture

The eternal principle behind modern Islamic architecture is about the story that evolves from ancient times of Islam architecture and move towards modernism. Modernism began to slowly grow since Industrial revolution started. Since the period, it has turn Islamic architecture to explore in depth with the use of mass production. At the same time, continuing the richness of Islamic architecture elements and forms with influences from Euro and how it brought to Singapore, which is known to be one of the elite modern countries. The spread through revolution is rapid and challenges occur in Islamic architecture to keep up with the modern times and also embracing its cultural identity.

The comparison between Euro and Singapore Islamic architecture for religious building carries the same element of projecting modernism as religious spaces. As well as modification of few elements of Islamic form into simplistic manner that fits in the society that lives in.

Academic building as modern Islamic architecture reveals representation of different materials and colours to interpret Islamic perspective. The differences in the application use by Egypt and Singapore were selective yet portray the element of Islamic architecture.

Commercial building in Islamic and Singapore as multi-cultural country sets different challenges. The application of the elements are achievable, however in site context, attraction as identity and carrying the character may be difficult due to the society that lives in, and how they perceive it differently.

  • Introduction

The variety of artistic developments in today’s Islamic Architecture is influenced by both traditional forms and by modernism. There was a greater openness of Islamic architecture to European styles, also varied and distinctive new approaches to the analysis of their own tradition. Whether or not it ranges from secular to religious, Islamic architecture carry the same element of style such as the geometric shapes and repetitive art.

Standing still in this modern era, Islamic architecture has been famous for its traditional forms. For example the concept of art rests on a basic foundation of calligraphy, geometry and, in architecture, the repetition and multiplication of elements based on the arch. Usually there are allied and parallel floral and figural motifs. Other element such as the water and light are also important for Islamic architecture decoration as they contribute in generating layers of pattern for surface decoration. With these surfaces, they are able to transform space. Since surface is articulated by decoration, there is an intimate connection in Islamic architecture between space and deco.

  • Analysis

Modernism in Islamic architecture will be covered in three aspects such as religious architecture, academic as well as commercial spaces.To begin with, the aspect of modern Islamic architecture of religious spaces such as the Mosque shows a great departure from traditional to futuristic look. Resulting in hybrid buildings where traditional facades of arches and domes are grafted onto modern high-rises.

2.1 As a case study of Euro-Islamic architecture, the Penzberg Islamic Centre built in a small German town between Munich and Alps, boldly demonstrates the compatibility of mosques and modernism. minarets are shortened and serve no purpose unlike minaret of traditional Islamic Mosque that is tall in height are usually use as a way call people for prayers.

However, The building in night scene. The minaret serves its purpose as light which illuminates the ornamental decoration wrapped around. The idea shows the model notions of enlightened Islam. Apart from the shortened minaret, whose colours sets it apart from the course being sandstone facade, the centre is not obviously marked out as a typical religious building. The exterior already hints at the contemplative atmosphere of the prayer hall inside.

The main entrance that is made to stand out by slanted concrete slabs symbolizing the pages of a book, on which words from the Koran can be read. Whereas on the right, the interior has shows the modernist idea of working with the simplest means by having no huge chandeliers and no exuberant ornaments.

Adding dynamic quality to the architecture is by playing with lights. The same key element uses often in Islamic architecture. The way the light falls draws attention to the ceiling and wall panels, where ornaments are applied to the unclad concrete that can be read as expressions of divine boundlessness. The abstracted star motifs contain The 99 Names of God – such as “The Most Merciful” and “The Utterly Just” – in calligraphy.

Modern Islamic Architecture can exist anywhere in Europe since Europe society can keep with constantly developing innovation and the idea of understanding faith but not tradition that is set in stone. In Europe, the mosque of today must represent a distinct type that reveals the 20th century that is when it meets the fitting choice for future generations.

Modern Islamic architecture may took over in Europe, going back to local context, Euro-Islamic architecture are also influencing Singapore. Singapore is well known for ‘here and now’ architecture building that surrounds the entire city. Modernity is what Singapore falls under. Overshadowing the historical sites, modern Islamic architecture in Singapore is becoming more dominant.

The second case studies in local context for religious building are the Assyafaah mosque located at Admiralty lane in Singapore.

The Assyafaah Mosque

The Assyafah Mosque uses a contemporary interpretation of the arabesque, a universally recognizable symbol of Islamic Art and Architecture, to create an original identity for the modern mosque. The use of the positive arabesque, a double arabesque to make the notions of overlapping geometries more explicit and negative arabesques are seamlessly incorporated in the design of this mosque. The architects state that “the use of the arabesque patterns to symbolize the Quran’s attributes provides a link to the past.”

The minarets were done in modernist way. It is similar to Penzberg Islamic centre minaret which is done in a simple form. The minaret of Assyafaah mosque is a symbol of ‘alif’ which is the first letter word of Arab language. The idea of integrating letters as minarets further emphasize Islamic architecture elements rather than using complex calligraphy form.

The column free prayer hall framed by its ribbed and arched fairfaced concrete structure rising from the floor and opening upwards towards the quadruple volume in front of the mihrab wall

The three-dimensional arches, which serve the purpose of transferring the structural loads of the upper three storeys help provide a column free span in the lower prayer space. The concrete arches are a great prove of how the architect explores usage of material which look as raw yet prove to be aesthetically pleasing. At the same time, they serve to guide the eye of the user towards the four-storey high marble clad mihrab wall, bathed in natural light.

The light filtering through, very much a-like to Tadao Ando style of playing with lights.

Again, the nature of keeping elements of Islamic architecture by using natural light to seep through the calligraphy patterned frames which act as light filtering, making the facade to look more lacy by trapping some light and diffuse it with most subtle gradations. The uses of geometrical facade assure the Islamic architectural method of using optical effect shows how different thicknesses of frame define the sophisticated effect.

2.2 Apart from religious building, academic buildings in Islamic architecture are as well influence with modern contemporary architecture.

The third case studies for academic buildings are the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. The structure illustrates the rich historical and rapid modern evolution of the Islamic past. The design portrays the idea of openness, containment and all encompassing knowledge in its main geometric form, the circle. Partly, Islamic elements such as the geometric patterns permitted an interrelationship between the parts and the whole building complex.

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina Exterior facade

The stone walls of the library

The idea of openness with the integration of water. As an influence of Islamic architecture, water reflects architecture and also serves its means by emphasizing the visual axes. Like the mirror, they give fluidity, dynamic yet show the static architecture.

Besides having literal water elements, another way to represents Earth element reflected in one of the Modern Islamic academic architecture in Singapore which is Al-Mukminin Madrasah located in Jurong East.

Exterior building of Al-Mukminin

For the fourth case study is about the building as total modernization of Islamic architecture. Arabesque pattern is not evident in this building, however, the building play with colours despite no vivid traditional form. The underlying exploration of this facade is the use of Islamic colours to represent water, sky and ground. The multi-shade colours also gives an optical illusion effect from far, creating dematerialisation which is one of the technique element that from Islamic architecture usually use in traditional times.

2.3 The last aspect besides Religious and academic building are the commercial building. One of the examples for commercial building for Islamic architecture would be the museum of Islamic Art in Qatar by I.M Pei. He uses geometrical forms and symmetry applied for the design concept. Clearly, it is not a hybrid futuristic building which usually uses metal and glass cladding as the facade. Instead, he uses limestone marble which gives the smooth touch against the solid form building. As compared to traditional times of using mud brick construction, the limestone marble gives off the modernistic look and also how the block are arranged in sequence manner in parallel.

Museum of Islamic Art Exterior Front and Interior

The front view of the museum shows two pillar which look like the modern minarets. Traditional domes are not seen evidently, however in the interior, tall arches are not seen instead walls slanted in symmetrical direction toward the ceiling in geometrical forms that creates spherical domes made up of geometric shapes. The dome also gives a hint of natural light to pass through. Elements of Islamic principle are still applicable to commercial spaces. The aim to enhance space through patterns proves dynamically interesting for a modern Islamic building. The solidity of the forms made up is in repetition direction along with different proportions which then allows the eternal principles of Islamic architecture of rhythmical movement.

The last case study for Commercial buildings as modern Islamic architecture is the Haniffa, a famous textile company originated from India, the building is located by Keng Lee road, Singapore. The building shows strong influence of Euro-Islamic architecture.

  • Conclusion

In conclusion, the desire for rapid development has brought in influences from Western architecture to Islamic architecture due to the Industries revolution that pushes the Islamic architecture to move forward by understanding the essence Islamic principles in architecture and then allows modern building technology to be the tool in the expression. Tool of expression in terms of the mass production of materials has become an advantage for designers to explore with the possibilities of transforming forms by moving away from traditional techniques into modern ways. Such application is strongly reflected on Singapore context for Islamic architecture. Most Islamic architecture buildings in Singapore were made in modern ways. However, the challenge that is set for Singapore is how it may stand apart from other non-Islamic architecture tall buildings that have been the ultimate identity of Singapore. In order to create modern Islamic architecture identity should be more evident, and the relevance to eternal principle of Islam is important. This can be achieve by creating forms in relation with traditional Islamic elements that evolves through modern approach and at the same time carry its own characteristic. Hence, the regional identity of Islamic architecture will then become an evolution to modern Islamic era.

List of references

  • James Steele [1994] Architecture for Islamic Societies Today, Academy Editions / The Aga Khan Award For Architecture, St.Martins Pr, United Kingdom
  • Cristian Welzbacher [2008] EURO-ISLAM Architecture (The New Mosques in the West), Sun Publisher,Saudi Arabia
  • Renata Holo, Hasan Uddin Khan [1997] The Mosque & The Modern World, Thames & Hudson Publisher, Australia
  • Markus Hattstein, Peter Delius [2004] ISLAM Art & Architecture, Konemann, New York
  • Richard Ettinghausen, Oleg Grabar [2003] The Art and Architecture Of Islam 650-1250 , Yale University Press, Connecticut
  • Phillipa Baker [2004] Architecture & Polyphony Building in the Islamic World Today,Thames & Hudson Publisher, Yemen

Bibliography

http://www.miesarch.com/index2.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10&Itemid=16&obraid=251

http://www.architecture-page.com/go/projects/assyafaah-mosque-singapore__all

http://www.bibalex.org/english/aboutus/building/architecture.htm

http://www.fivefootway.com/2009/06/30/forum-architects-madrasah-addition-to-al-mukminin-mosque-blends-traditional-values-with-contemporary-colour/

http://de51gn.com/design/the-museum-of-islamic-arts-by-im-pei-opens-in-Qatar/

Accordia Global Health Foundation: Impact on Poverty

Accordia Global Health Foundation is an NGO that is providing at all phase of the fieldwork cycle, promoting the importance and productiveness of the fieldwork, prime concern and understanding expressed in activity. They have crucial role in governance by encouraging and supporting applicable global health fact-finding, capital deploy for research administration of comprehension. Further, the participation of Accordia Global Health Foundation in research is proximate from understanding productivity as it takes the shape of collaboration with graduate institutions and committed research organisations.

This paper will concentrate solely on the context of Accordia Global Health Foundation and Its aim to examine the extent to which the NGO’s attempt in this globe of activity are effective in assisting to allay poverty. Accordia Global Health Foundation is a non-governmental and not-for profit organization whose birth began in the year 2000 and in collaboration with leading theoretical researcher clinician who are dedicated to analyzing more partnership, Africa- command method to conquer HIV/AIDS and mental health disorder in the sub-Saharan countries. The goal of Accordia Global Health Foundation NGO is to completely attenuate hardship and advance growth through mediation within growing nations, and distinguished by financial and scientific reinforcement for socio-economic plan and projects, reinforcing in -nation ability to render health teaching, prevention fact-finding, and care and Build affirmation-based model that are directly important in resource- restricted setting and can be reproduced throughout countries

Accordia Global Health Foundation is a non-governmental NGO fostered by Dr Merle and funded by good hearted individuals. He fostered the theoretical Alliance for AIDS Care and prevention in Africa to establish the dimension to campaign the proceeding HIV/AIDS disaster in Uganda and in Africa countries. In 2003, he collaborated with other inspired to found. In 2004, the Accordia Global Health Foundation collaborated with Pfizer Inc. And initiated the infectious disease institute IDI at Makerere University Kampala Uganda. The Infectious Disease Institute assist as a paragon for support, territorial core for quality in health, while changing the standard of health across the continent. Currently, Accordia relentlessly continue to expand and enact inventive health ideas, while working to establish and sustain countries in Africa. Most importantly, Accordia Global Health Foundation is an NGO that uses heart touching images to establishes encourage and continues to maintain African -conceded health establishment, equipping local solution to fact-finding , orientation, education and care via the Institute for Child Wellness in African-Launch Campaign; that is aimed at transforming the existence of children in Malawi by funding children so they can break the gird of hardship, declining health, and poor education in the future to come.

Accordia agenda are distinguished by a much considerable variation of motive and process than are programs and agenda of formal organizations. They are also much compact in regards to number of beneficiaries. These elements tend to increase a perspective that each interceding is special, or practically so, thereby de-emphasizing any possible deterrent that might be assimilated for future interventions. This decrease the advantage that it is presumed to derived. (Jean Schensul, 2012), emphasized that NGOs are especially able to behave quickly to surfacing health issues, inherent and humanoid generated calamity. No doubt that Accordia NGO development in Africa nation has seen a stable growth in the recent years to pervade the huge gaps between the rich and the poor in the country. Urged by enthusiasm regarding a particular reason they support it by dedication ad drive. While the reach of their service cannot equivalent that of the governments organization, the excellence of care and their endeavor in reaching out to the diverse followers, specifically those who are biased against such as individuals with mental health disorder, give them a clear edge.

Notwithstanding, the significant problems encountered in expanding the mental health programs , it is fulfilling to recognize the accomplishment made by Accordia Global Health Foundation are dispersed across the nation, although there are considerable figure in suburban city. (Roger Riddel) stated that working to reduce hardship through the furtherance of long term growth is itself distance from effortless assignment. I agree with this because more importantly, Accordia NGO share an assimilation of the growth process far broader than simply the providing of prevention. They accept the perspective that increasing the quality of living for the poor in a maintainable way require the poor gaining more capability through community organization, education, physical and technical resources). Accordia NGO believes that in framing what is achievable, they need to promote a suitable habitat for applicable research needs a health structure that is encouraging and contributing fund possibilities. It also needs reality of culture affirmation- producing and evidence- built fact-finding. There must exist a healthy alliance between communities, and researchers system to share knowledge, and experience.

However, Accordia Global Health Foundation is not without problems in trying to frame what they are not able to attain .Not only is the distribution of service individualized, but plan -setting is mandated. Transferring and multi-layered resolution making can produce competencies. Further, they commit non or vey insufficient of their initiative to communicating this area of growth problem , since occasionally they examine it to be less essential than assisting to advocate growth within countries, in regard as an outcome of discourse with the specific donors or funders. Anthropologist Lisa Markowitz, stated that comprehending multinational process demands for multilocal, creative fact-finding action plan that both express individual’s understanding of change and examine the interconnecting structures. Supplying purpose teaching and family counseling in expert profession such as social skill orientation and woodworker are interest assumed. While delighting themselves on specifically diplomatic to the wants of the poor in growing countries and on responding rapidly to these. This combined with severe compulsion from donors reduces the project planning evaluation or attainable period, and to keep expenditure down, means that the aim of the programme or projects are repeatedly express in phrases which are rather common, or which are changed, often considerable , throughout the entire programmes. The more inexplicit the aims, the strenuous it is to present assessment with vivid-cut finish. This also decreases the advantage for coming interventions that is presumed to be gain from the research.

To conclude, I believe that there is necessity for Accordia Global Health Foundation and other NGOs to be more successfully included in the areas of health research in order to expand the prospective benefits of research. And with revive sense of purpose and general goal, they can make lasting and strong effort in decreasing the disease problem of the world’s most impacted populace through successful fact-finding action. And they can assist to create a frame of working practices and teaching that will decrease the chance of failure and increase the possibility of success for organization directed to community, countries development.

Transactionalism Analysis of Political Processes

Political Swat Barth

Assess Barth’s Theory of Transactionalism

In this book, such a paradigm of political experience not only tells us something important about the traditional political situation in Swat, it is also the basis of a trenchant criticism of views prevailing at the time when Barth wrote…It reveals that a quest for personal advantage could flourish in a traditional setting.” (Meeker 1980 : 684)

It is important to distinguish, when discussing Political Leadership among Swat Pathans (1959), between its effectiveness as an ethnographic account, and its role as a work of theory. Barth’s later works were written when he had further developed his method with the support of the ‘Bergen school’, which included other Scandinavian ethnologists and continental authors such as Robert Paine.

F. G. Bailey, in 1960, affirmed in his review for Man (p. 188), that “Barth’s book is a monograph and not a work of theory”. However, Barth’s 1959 article Segmentary Opposition and the Theory of Games: A Study of Pathan Organisation forms a “case study of unilineal descent and political organisation among Yusufzai Pathans [which] exemplifies a pattern, not previously described in the literature, of deriving corporate political groups from a ramifying unilineal descent charter.” (p. 19)

Barth’s transactionalism, as a form of methodological individualism, developed in a general movement away from the dominant Durkheimian models of Radcliffe-Brown and Fortes. In a return to more Malinowskian traditions, authors including Bailey, Barth and Paine explored the ways in which cultural actors manipulate social rules so as to maximise their own profit. In addition, there was a growing need for anthropologists to account for change in societies which were increasingly exposed to a strongly Western, global political social model, rather than remaining static, as some theories would have had them.

In his 1959 ethnography, Barth shows that the strategic choices of individuals significantly determine the political hierarchy, the latter which recognises the contractual right of individuals and thus demands that leaders consistently prove their status-worthiness. “In this respect the political life of Swat resembles that of Western societies” (Barth 1959a : 2).

In moving away from the structural functionalist model, Barth took a decisive step in his proposition that the bases of the society were united by a solidarity based on “individual strategic choices”, rather than by the mechanical solidarity elaborated by Evans-Pritchard and Fortes in Africa.

The authority system…is built up and maintained through the exercise of a continual series of individual choices. (Barth 1959a : 2)

Criticism

It is a saddening, but no doubt common, experience to see one’s analyses made banal and one’s points of view reduced to simple stereotypes. It is perhaps even more distressing to be attributed a web of trivial and fundamental errors and omissions which one has not committed.

(Barth, correspondence in Dupree 1977 : 516)

While much praised, Barth has had his fair share of able critics. In 1972, Talal Asad delivered a class-oriented polemic of Barth’s Pathans, insisting that the landlords exploited their tenants consistently, and that the author suffered from the “illusion of consent” in attributing free contractuality to their exchanges. Four years later, Akbar S. Ahmed wrote Millennium and Charisma among Pathans, arguing that Barth suffered from a “khan’s-eye view”, again proclaiming that the reality of Swat society involved far less ‘free choice’ than Barth would have us believe, people’s lives instead being shaped strongly by “a matrix of interacting and largely fixed social patterns” (cited in Dupree 1977 : 514).

As did Asad, Dupree praises Barth as an “indefatigable fieldworker and imaginative theorist” (1977: 514); but Ahmed, he points out, was well qualified to document Barth’s ‘Norwegian entrepreneur bias’, not least since his wife is the grand daughter of the late Wali of Swat. “What Barth observes from the outside, Ahmed explores from the inside” (Charpenter, C. J. correspondence in ibid: 516).

Louis Dupree’s 1976 article was republished in Current Anthropology in 1977, appended by correspondences from Barth and others interested in the debate. They address the issues raised by Dupree, especially that “there is a great distance between Barth’s model and the Swati ethnography as he (Ahmed) saw it in 1974” (Pettigrew J., correspondence in Dupree 1977). Pettigrew goes on to make an engaging point, to counter this, that “the issue is instead whether the models we use yield adequate information about societal processes” (ibid.).

Somewhat later, in a review of Barth’s Selected Essays (1981), Ian Prattis is keen to point out Barth’s inability adequately to account for social change, and is of the belief that Barth is “opposed to grand conceptual schemes in general and to the direction taken by 1950s social anthropology in particular” (Prattis 1983: 103). Barthing Up the Wrong Tree shows that “Barth missed out crucial variables (power, intrinsic value) and claimed too much for the power of transactions to integrate social systems” (ibid. : 108). However, Prattis was concerned with the author’s output of two decades, while I am interested more specifically with his initial formulation of transactionalism, especially as exemplified in Political Leadership among Swat Pathans of 1959.

GDP and Business Environment of China

Overview

China is the oldest continuous major world civilization, with records dating back about 3,500 years. Successive dynasties developed a system of bureaucratic control that gave the agrarian-based Chinese an advantage over neighboring nomadic and hill cultures. Chinese civilization was further strengthened by the development of a Confucian state ideology and a common written language that bridged the gaps among the country’s many local languages and dialects. Whenever China was conquered by nomadic tribes, as it was by the Mongols in the 13th century, the conquerors sooner or later adopted the ways of the “higher” Chinese civilization and staffed the bureaucracy with Chinese.

The last dynasty was established in 1644, when the Manchus overthrew the native Ming dynasty and established the Qing (Ch’ing) dynasty with Beijing as its capital. At great expense in blood and treasure, the Manchus over the next half century gained control of many border areas, including Xinjiang, Yunnan, Tibet, Mongolia, and Taiwan. The success of the early Qing period was based on the combination of Manchu martial prowess and traditional Chinese bureaucratic skills. During the 19th century, Qing control weakened, and prosperity diminished. China suffered massive social strife, economic stagnation, explosive population growth, and Western penetration and influence. The Taiping and Nian rebellions, along with a Russian-supported Muslim separatist movement in Xinjiang, drained Chinese resources and almost toppled the dynasty. Britain’s desire to continue its illegal opium trade with China collided with imperial edicts prohibiting the addictive drug, and the First Opium War erupted in 1840. China lost the war; subsequently, Britain and other Western powers, including the United States, forcibly occupied “concessions” and gained special commercial privileges. Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in 1842 under the Treaty of Nanking, and in 1898, when the Opium Wars finally ended, Britain executed a 99-year lease of the New Territories, significantly expanding the size of the Hong Kong colony.

As time went on, the Western powers, wielding superior military technology, gained more economic and political privileges. Reformist Chinese officials argued for the adoption of Western technology to strengthen the dynasty and counter Western advances, but the Qing court played down both the Western threat and the benefits of Western technology.

In Beijing, on October 1, 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.). The new government assumed control of a people exhausted by two generations of war and social conflict, and an economy ravaged by high inflation and disrupted transportation links. A new political and economic order modeled on the Soviet example was quickly installed.

In the early 1950s, China undertook a massive economic and social reconstruction program. The new leaders gained popular support by curbing inflation, restoring the economy, and rebuilding many war-damaged industrial plants. The CCP’s authority reached into almost every aspect of Chinese life. Party control was assured by large, politically loyal security and military forces; a government apparatus responsive to party direction; and the placement of party members into leadership positions in labor, women’s, and other mass organizations.

Natural resources

Coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world’s largest).

Agriculture: Products

Among the world’s largest producers of rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley; commercial crops include cotton, other fibers, apples, oilseeds, pork and fish; produces variety of livestock products.

Industry: Types

Mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products, including footwear, toys, and electronics; food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites.

Trade in 2008

Exports

$1.5 trillion: electrical and other machinery, including data processing equipment, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, optical and medical equipment.

Business Environment in China

    • Activity indicators

    Show the working of the economy as a whole.

      • Consumer indicators

      Show the increase in the demand of consumer product but the unemployment is still rising.

        • Business indicators

        Show that the profit margin is decreasing but the inventories are increasing yoy.

          • External indicators

          Show that the import is increasing faster than the export of the country.

            • Inflation indicators

            Show that the consumer price inflation is become negative but core price are not affected due to this.

            • Financial market indicators

            Shows that investor are investing but wait for future interest rate cut so that they can get more fund at cheaper rate of interest.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            1. We can analysis from the 1st and 4th chart that the GDP of China is growing from last 5-6 years but it show the decline in the 2008-09 that might be because of the global recession going on. All China has growing economy which set the benchmark for the other country.
            2. We can analysis in the 2nd and 3rd chart that the urban fixed investment is very fluctuating from last 5-6 years in one year it increase and in the other year it decrease. But that might be the internal condition and demand and supply effect change the overall investment in the country.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            1. We can analysis from the 1st chart that the retail sales is increasing year after year and that is good sign for the economy as well as for the business environment is concern because it will generate new employment and source of income for the people of China.
            2. We can analysis from the 2nd chart that per capital income and consumption is fluctuating from last 5-6 year that might be due the changing in the per capital income and the price index of the country. But another positive sign we find that most of the time consumption is less that the income which means the people are able to save some amount from their income which is good sign for any country.
            3. We can analysis from the 3rd and 4th chart that the unemployment is increasing year after year and on the other hand in the 4th chart the employment is fluctuating but most of the time it is increasing. So we can find that the unemployment is increasing because of increasing in population more that the increasing rate of employment.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            1. We can analysis from the 1st and 2nd chart that the industrial output is increasing year after year which is good sign for the growth of the economy because as output increasing which means the sales will increase, if sales will increase then more income will generate, then it will increase money flow in the market. So all these things will effected just because of increasing output of the industry.
            2. We can analysis from the 3rd chart that the inventories of the industry is increasing year after year that might be good as well as bad sign for the industry because it has their own benefit like constant supply and its own risk like blockage of funds in the inventory.
            3. We can analysis from the 4th chart that the industry has earning a good profit margin from last 5-6 years which is good sign for the growth of the business in China and an opportunity for other to do business in the China.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            1. We can analysis from the 1st and 4th chart that import and export is increasing year after year in amount but if we find the increase in percentage then we find that the increase and decrease is very fluctuating from last 5-6 year.
            2. We can analysis from the 2nd and 3rd chart that export is increasing more that the export in last 4-5 years which means it helps to increasing the balance of payment of the economy of China.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            We can analysis from the all of the above chart that the price of all the commodities whether they are capital goods or house hold good is increasing year after year and it is always say that in the growing economy the prices are always increasing with the growth of the economy.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            1. We can analysis from the 1st and 2nd chart that the government has given more rate of return to its investor year after year which means the government want to increase the investment in the country.
            2. We can analysis from the 3rd and 4th chart that interest rate are decreasing year after year which means the people can borrow money at cheaper interest rate and then can get more return by investing in different sources of income.

            JAPAN

            Overview

            Legend attributes the creation of Japan to the sun goddess, from whom the emperors were descended. The first of them was Jimmu, supposed to have ascended the throne in 660 B.C. a tradition that constituted official doctrine until 1945.

            Recorded Japanese history begins in approximately A.D. 400, when the Yamato clan, eventually based in Kyoto, managed to gain control of other family groups in central and western Japan. Contact with Korea introduced Buddhism to Japan at about this time. Through the 700s Japan was much influenced by China, and the Yamato clan set up an imperial court similar to that of China. In the ensuing centuries, the authority of the imperial court was undermined as powerful gentry families vied for control.

            At the same time, warrior clans were rising to prominence as a distinct class known as samurai. In 1192, the Minamoto clan set up a military government under their leader, Yoritomo. He was designated shogun (military dictator). For the following 700 years, shoguns from a succession of clans ruled in Japan, while the imperial court existed in relative obscurity.

            First contact with the West came in about 1542, when a Portuguese ship off course arrived in Japanese waters. Portuguese traders, Jesuit missionaries, and Spanish, Dutch, and English traders followed. Suspicious of Christianity and of Portuguese support of a local Japanese revolt, the shoguns of the Tokugawa period (1603-1867) prohibited all trade with foreign countries; only a Dutch trading post at Nagasaki was permitted. Western attempts to renew trading relations failed until 1853, when Commodore Matthew Perry sailed an American fleet into Tokyo Bay. Trade with the West was forced upon Japan under terms less than favorable to the Japanese. Strife caused by these actions brought down the feudal world of the shoguns. In 1868, the emperor Meiji came to the throne, and the shogun system was abolished.

            Geographic

            An archipelago in the Pacific, Japan is separated from the east coast of Asia by the Sea of Japan. It is approximately the size of Montana. Japan’s four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. The Ryukyu chain to the southwest was U.S.-occupied from 1945 to 1972, when it reverted to Japanese control, and the Kurils to the northeast are Russian-occupied. Land area: 152,411 sq mi (394,744 sq km);

            Analysis and Interpretation

            We can analysis from the above charts that consumption and inventories are increasing from last 2 years and private fixed investment is decreasing from last 1.5 year which means this disinvestment is going on just because of global recession going on in the world.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            We can analysis from the above chart that from last 2 quarters the GDP and industrial production is increasing which means the Japan has come out of the recession going on in the world economy and this is good sign for the future of the people of Japan and business going on in Japan.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            We can analysis from the above charts that prices where increasing from last 4-5 years but from last one year it is below zero which means due to recession the demand of the good are decrease which decrease the price of the commodity.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            We can analysis from the above charts that the unemployment is decreasing from the last 4-5 years but it suddenly increase in the current year and in last year just because of recession and it is permitted that it will decrease again in future also. In the other chart we find that from last 4-5 years the wages are quite constant but it suddenly decrease again due to recession only and we can say that it will again come to its resistance level when the economy will stable.

            Analysis and Interpretation

            We can analysis from the above charts that apart from the year 2008-09 the interest rate, monetary policy and money growth is increasing from last 3-4 year which is good sign for any economy. But if we look after the year 2008-09 then that is again the time period of recession which cant show the real picture of the economy.

            Text of report by official Chinese news agency Xinhua (New China News Agency)

            Tokyo, 5 December: China and Japan signed the China-Japan Long- Term Trade Agreement in Tokyo on 5 December. This provided a framework for trade exchanges between the two countries between 2006 and 2010.

            Chen Jian, assistant to China’s minister of commerce and chairman of China’s China-Japan Long-Term Trade Agreement Committee, and Koga Kensuke, chairman of Japan’s Japan-China Long-Term Trade Agreement Committee, signed the agreement.

            The core content of this long-term trade agreement is that China and Japan will further strengthen cooperation in energy conservation technologies and equipment as well as environmental protection technologies and equipment, and has reached agreement on China’s export of coal to Japan and China’s import of energy conservation and environmental protection equipment and technologies from Japan.

            This was the sixth time a similar agreement was signed since the first China-Japan Long-Term Trade Agreement was signed in 1978. The China-Japan Long-Term Trade Agreement has played an important role in maintaining the stable and rapid development of trade exchanges between the two countries. During this period, total bilateral trade between China and Japan increased from 4.82bn US dollars to 168bn US dollars in 2004. Total trade volume is expected to see further increases this year.

            Impact of agreement upon both the countries

            1. Build good relation between both of the countries.
            2. Overcome the weakness of one country by the strength of another country.
            3. Increase the trade between the two countries.
            4. Open route for future contracts also in different areas.

            CONCLUSION

            1. China and Japan are very popular countries in world. Both have contributed for the development of world economy and helps established the international market in world.
            2. China is popular for the production electronic products at very cheap prices.
            3. China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
            4. Japan is popular for development of new technology innovation and Japan is the second largest energy importer after United States.
            5. Japan is one of the best destinations for starting new business or we can say that it is an international opportunity to work with the technology conscious country so that it will helps to make a competitive edge for our business.
            6. Overall we can say that both the countries have their positive aspect as well as negative aspects. So it is very difficult to select one country to be the best because if we think for the international market we cannot select only one country for our business opportunity. So, both the countries are having good business opportunities.

            BIBLIOGRAPHY

            • http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107666.html?pageno=4
            • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan
            • http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/global_economy/japanecon_charts.html
            • http://www.mofa.go.jp/POLICY/economy/japan/indicator2.pdf
            • http://www.redorbit.com/news/international/327614/china_japan_sign_20052010_longterm_trade_agreement/index.html
            • www.fundsupermart.com.my/main/research/viewHT…
            • http://www.capitaleconomics.com/clientarea/articles/China%20Chartbook%20(Feb%2009).pdf

Career and Gender Discrimination in Bahrain | Case Study

Ellen Moore (A) – Living and working in Bahrain

Case summary

The case describes the working life and career decision of Ellen Moore, an American expatriate in Bahrain in the 1980s. Ellen is an outstanding and capable person both in terms of academic and professional background. Right after graduation with an MBA degree, she followed her husband to work as a financial specialist in Bahrain.

Bahrain is a country situated in the Persian Gulf and its modernization and economy are strongly associated with the oil industry. Expatriates have been playing an important role in bringing expertise and dynamics to its under-developed areas. Ellen came to Bahrain to work as manager because of her vast work experience, she really like the opportunity to be a teacher and work with other people, although some working style, professional capability, religion were different from her home country, she believed that the ability to handle different situation would be an important international experience for her.

After two years hard working, Ellen was offered with two senior management options of career promotion, one in accounts control and another in customer service. She wanted to choose the accounts control position but was faced with an explicit discriminatory practice by her manager for being a woman. He said that because the position she chose would involve visiting Saudi Arabia and negotiating with men, as a female she would not be able to fulfill this position. So there are four possible solutions that Allen could choose: 1. Take the customer position that she does not like 2. Fight back 3. Remain her current position 4. Leave the company.

1. The Case core issues

a) Gender discrimination in the Bahraini society reflected in the organisational culture

After two years of successful work, Ellen was offered two new positions in different areas. After carefully evaluate the two positions, she decided to take the Accounts Control position. When meeting with the General Manager, she was told that the offer had been reconsidered and this position was not available for her anymore. The reasons were:

  • As a woman, she would be subject to discriminatory practices in Saudi Arabia and would experience difficulty travelling alone there as it is one of the job requirements
  • She would also have difficulty in obtaining entry visas
  • Customers would not accept to negotiate with a woman
  • In case of hostile outbreak, she could be in danger.

b) International migration of qualified workforce

In 1975 offshore banking began in Bahrain. Since the country did not have experts to develop this industry, expatriates from around the world, particularly from Western Europe and North America, were invited to conduct business in Bahrain;

  • Expatriates who lived under residence permits gained on the basis of recruitment for a specialist position that could not be filled by a qualified and available Bahraini citizen;
  • Bahrain became a multicultural country. Expatriates would interact not only with Arabic nationals, but also with managers from others parts of the world, and with workers from developing countries;
  • No formal training, especially in the difference among management practices, was provided in order to better adapt expatriates to new country/culture.

c) Managing in a different culture

Several aspects of the Middle Eastern culture had tremendous impact on the way of doing business, especially for the western firms which located in Bahrain:

  • What Western managers considered to be “proof’ of an argument or “factual” evidence could be flatly denied by a Bahraini: if something was not believed, it did not exist.
  • It seemed that the concept of “time” differed between Middle Eastern and Western cultures. Schedules and deadlines, while sacred to Western managers, commanded little respect from Bahraini employees.
  • Islamic religion: praying five times a day and Ramadan working hours. There is no separation of church, state and judiciary.
  • Attitude towards women: all women could work outside the home, with hours restricted both by convention and by the labour laws. They could only work only after got their husbands, fathers, or brothers’ permission, and could not take potential employment away from men. Work outside the home was additional to duties performed inside the home. Most women who worked held secretarial or clerk positions; very few worked in management.
  • The “truth” to a Bahraini employee was subject to an Arab interpretation, which was formed over hundreds of years of cultural evolution.

2. Possible solutions that Ellen faced

a) Take the Customer Services position:
• Strength:

By accepting the Customer Service position, she is taking her career to a new level. With new challenges to face, more responsibilities to meet and huge number of employees to manage which she has proven herself to have the skills and qualifications in this new role. It could be an option to take her career further and even could be a role model for women in this country that want to be in management position.

• Weakness:

By accepting this position, she is sending the message that she is accepting the discrimination that she experienced. She would be compromising her values, which is probably painful for her as an educated American woman, because her true personality has been violated.

b) Fight Back:
• Strength:

Fighting back can help Ellen remain her true personality. By seeking help from Senior Vice-president, Ellen may persuade the SVP to stand by her side, get the position that she dreamed of. Another way to do it is to try her chances in the Bahraini Labor Tribunals, if she wins the case in the tribunal, it will help her change the women’ unequal rights in the company or even to be a role model for women in the Bahraini society.

• Weakness:

Stepping over the general manager and reaching the Senior Vice-President to solve the issue might affect her relationship with the general manager who trusted her and nominated her for senior management position. This may result in serious conflicts with the organization management and risk Ellen’s job.

c) Stay in her current position:
• Strength:

The option of keeping the current position could be a safe choice for Ellen to maintain good relationship with her manager, keep her own values; and also not give in to the general manager’s prejudices. Meanwhile, she could start considering other career options.

• Weakness:

Gender discrimination in public life and workplace is a noticeable issue in Bahrain (Asian Center for Human Rights 2007), thus the opportunity for promotion could be reduced in the future if Allen refused this promotion. Also, according to Metcalfe (2007), in Arab nations where women are expected to resign from their jobs when they are married; the training and professional academic qualifications are prioritized for men. Additionally, by not accepting the goodwill from the general manager, Ellen could be risking her relationship with him.

d) Leave the company:
• Strength:

According to Hofstede cultural dimensions (1993), Ellen is a person with high Uncertainty Avoidance (UA) who aspires for professionalism and punctuality. Bahrain Society, on the other hand, has a low UA featured in greater tolerance in timing. The big differences in Uncertainty Avoidance and Power Distance traits between Ellen’s and Bahrain society might hinder Ellen’s ability to develop her career in the country. Moreover, the reasons for Ellen to prefer the Account Control position are to gain international experience, better pay and challenging opportunities and these can be found in other job positions.

• Weakness:

In Bahrain, it is required to obtain a permission letter from current employer in order to seek or move to work for another employer. If the relationship between the employee and the employer is not in good terms, then there is a high possibility that the current employer will refuse to release the employee. If Ellen cannot find another job and leaves the country, her husband might also need to leave his current job and find an alternative solution for both of them.

3. Proposed solution

We recommend that Ellen remain in her current position until other work opportunities arise for her. According to Hofstede (1993), Ellen possess low Power Distance (PD) trait that influences her desire for reaching the equality for both men and women in work and life. Staying in the same position and not accepting the Customer Service position will work better for her by keeping her values and refusing to accept the gender discrimination. Moreover, this option allows Ellen to express her strong interest in sharpening her financial expertise while possibly retaining good relationship with the supervisor. As Ellen came to Bahrain with the aim to train Bahrainis to take over her job this option would still facilitate her aspiration. Thus, staying in the company can give her more time to think and search for other alternatives and career prospects.

According to Al-Lamky (2007), unequal policies, structures and programs in the organization that may obstruct women’s employment and career growth, he mentioned that the best way to solve gender issues should involved policy and structure change in the organization. By remaining in her current position, Ellen could lobby some policy evaluation in the organization, continue advocate equal gender rights for women, some examples that she may like to lobby: implementing programs to increase sensitivity towards women; through work recognition and promotion to make top women visible in the organization; creating an organizational culture that is open and sensitive to differing styles in the workplace (San Dico & Kleiner, 1999). Child care could also be an interesting program to be developed as it would be an auxiliary in helping women to perform the cultural responsibilities attributed to them (Al-Lamky 2007). With the power that she already had in the company and the help of her current female employees, there is a great chance that she could win in this lobby battle.

4. Emic-concept and its influence in the decision making

Aiming to investigate elements of the Bahrain culture that are relevant to the management field, we considered the Emic Concept in this case study is the gender discrimination. Throughout the case, the gender discrimination was highly observed in the workplace, Bahrain had difficulties accepting and acknowledging the contributions of women to management. In Ellen’s story, she suffered discrimination for being a woman in many situations.

One of them that we have mentioned above was the career decision that Ellen had to choose, her general manager told her that the offer had been reconsidered because she was a woman and as such, would face difficulties executing the job. Such difficulties included women face discriminatory practices in Saudi Arabia and customers refusing to negotiate with her. Although she had the ability and qualification for the customer service position, she refused it because it was based on gender rather than competence. Another situation of gender discrimination in the workplace was in managing male employees. In the case, an employee named Fahad, would always refuse to listen to whatever Ellen had presented to him and he always disregarded Ellen’s ideas. However, with her continue effort she managed to resolve the problem and was able to perform with Fahad many successful projects.

Because this case happened in 1980s, in your mind the gender discrimination situation would be better in this country in nowadays; however, if we looking at some statistics in recent years, you will realize that your judgment is too hasty. In 2006, women in Bahrain held only 9% of senior civil service posts although they constituted 11% of the private sector workforce and 42% of the government workforce (Asian Centre for Human Rights, 2007). It demonstrates that gender bias is still strong in the workplace, and women receive significantly low remuneration than their male counterparts, one of the reasons is the Arab societies are reluctant to abandon their traditional viewpoint of women, they thought that their primarily role should be in house and rise children (Mostafa 2005).

However, things are not set in stone forever, some Arabic nations have seen considerable changes for women situation nowadays, According to Mostafa (2005), research on attitudes towards women’ roles “showed over the last two decades or so a universal trend of increasing liberalism and acceptance of more egalitarian role definitions, especially among women”. Women can be also found in positions such as ministerial and parliamentary positions, running businesses and siting as presidents in national universities, with increasingly figures in the work force and rising to managerial positions (Omair 2008).

Given the facts learned from the case and recent researches just presented, the emic concept has influenced the process of decision making as the group understood that decision choosing to continue working in her current job would reflect less discriminatory practices. She would accept a position as customer service which was offered based on gender and, also, Ellen Moore would not be compromising her job and legal rights to remain Bahrain.

5. References

Omair, K. (2008). Women in management in the Arab context. Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues. Vol. 1 No. 2. pp. 107-123.

Al-Lamky, A. (2007) Feminizing leadership in Arab societies: the perspectives of Omani female leaders. Women in Management Review. Volume: 22. Issue:1

Asian Centre for Human Rights. (2007). Bahrain: Stakeholders’ Report, India.

Hofsted, G. (1993). Cultural constraints in management theories. Academy of Management Executive. 7(1), 81-94.

Metcalfe, B. D. (2007). Gender and human resource management in the Middle East. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18:1,54 -74, p.12,13

Mostafa , M. (2005). Attitudes towards women managers in the United Arab Emirates, Journal of Managerial Psychology. Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 522-540.

Sandico, C. and Kleiner, B. H. (1999). New development concerning gender discrimination in the work place. Equal Opportunities International. Volume 18 Number 2/3/4 .

Comparison of Joint Family and Nuclear Family

A classic definition of family, according to anthropologist George Murdock, is a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation, and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved relationship, and one or more children, own or adopted, of the sexually cohabiting adults.” The U.S. Bureau of the Census has defined a family as “two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption, who reside together.” Thus a family can be two or more adult siblings living together, a parent and child or children, two adults who are related by marriage but have no children, or adults who adopt a child.” A family is a set of human being related to each other in a non- professional manner, giving rise to a concrete cohesion within the family. Love, care, and affection are the most prominent human values, which are responsible for maintaining these bonds of relationships within a family. (Agarwal, V, 2005), not only these but a family also gives strength to an individual and because of its strength an individual can overcome from different kinds of problems too. A family gives strength to an individual; it is not only the strongest point but also the weakest point of an individual.

A person learns different things from his/her family, but learning different things also varies from family to family. There are two basic kinds of family in our society Joint Family and Nuclear Family.

A Joint Family (or extended family) is also known as a complex family, parents and their children’s families often live under a single roof, which means that Joint family consist of two or multiple generations. In some cases Joint family can be said as a family where a collection of more then one nuclear families are interconnected either by blood relation or marital relation reside under the same roof. All the members, regardless of which particular nuclear family (within that joint family) they belong to, live together and share happiness, grief, and virtually every kind of problem and joy together. The joint family in itself simulates a typical view of our multi-cultural, multi-lingual society in India and as well as in Bangladesh. (Agarwal, V.2005) Joint Families are mostly found in Asia.

The term nuclear family developed in the western world to distinguish the family group and is considered as the simplest type of a family which consist of a married man and a woman with their offspring ‘.Nuclear Family can also be referred to as a conjugal family because of the accent is of the husband wife relationship and the nuclear family is the basic unit of all more complex forms’. (Nimkoff, F.M. & Middleton, R. 1960)

Family in the Western country like the United States have become more diverse with no particular household arrangement representing half of the United States population. The different types of families occur in a wide variety of settings, and their specific functions and meanings depend largely on their relationship to other social institutions. Non-scholars, especially in the United States and Europe, use the term “nuclear family” to refer to conjugal families. Non-scholars, especially in the United States and Europe, also use the term “. ‘Extended Family’ this term has two distinct meanings. First, it serves as a synonym of “consanguine family” .Second, in societies dominated by the conjugal family, it refers to kindred’ (Retrieved April 7, 2007)

The behavior, lifestyle, thinking everything varies from family to family .i.e. a person from a joint family behaves, thinks in a different way then that of a nuclear family. People from joint family comes a cross many different things and by facing those different things they mostly learn how to meet the social challenges of the real world.

Living in a joint family in itself is a beautiful experience and among the two basic kinds of family, joint family is the one where a person gets different kinds of advantages such as a person learns to love and earn respect which is the key to have harmonious and never ending relationship. Mutual respect and love are biggest values a joint family can offer. Not only a person to learns love and earn respect but also an individual can share his/her joys and grieves; in joint family there are many people to enjoy about a particular delightful occasion and as well as provide support at the time of family problems. (i.e., incase if some one is ill).When a person lives in a joint family he/she can share many secrets with someone of his/her age (cousins), which he/ she cannot share with his/her elders or younger but cannot do the same when in a nuclear family. Another advantage of living in a joint family is of safety and development of children, in joint families a child can be nurtured properly and perfectly. The chances of a child to get spoilt are lesser than that of a nuclear family. For example, in many cases we have seen that the working women leave their child at home along with their servant or baby sitter and their company spoil the child, whereas in joint family the cases are reverse; there are enough people (such as grandmother, aunts etc) to look after the child.

Despite of all these advantages the concept of joint family is disappearing day by day from our society; and the reason behind it is the mentality of people are changing, they don’t want to be dependent on anyone and don’t want anyone to object them as in some cases it has been seen that the elders are objecting the younger for not doing any specific thing.

One of the disadvantages of living in a joint family is the unequal distribution of shares in home- economy. For example many families we have seen that there is a single point of income, such as a common shop, a single earning hand, or some revenue periodically generated from fixed assets like rents and royalties. In such cases, the eldest member (or the earner) is usually the one, who takes after the economic power and responsibility to manage home funds, divide the share of each nuclear family (within the joint family) rationally. Most of the times, his inability in doing so, becomes the reason for family-partitions. This is inability however arise due to various factor including dishonesty of himself (or his own nuclear family) or some other family member inappropriate distribution of responsibilities and rights for each nuclear family, for expenditure. Share of each nuclear family within the joint family must be decided setting up the balance among the needs (education, clothing, and special preferences), number of dependents, contribution to funds, and the special eventual expenditures. This balance is really pivoted on a very sensitive fulcrum, which should be the result of a healthy exchange of honest thoughts of each responsible person in the joint family.

Each individual’s equal recognition is very important and also very important for not allowing any inferiority or superiority complex to creep into anyone’s mind. This particularly must be avoided at the level where, parents start expecting their child to be as bright as children of other couple in the same joint family, for instance. This sometimes, gives rise to silent bitter feelings and these feelings may end up causing differences.

Differences in opinion create a barrier among the family members and this is one of the important things which should be taken care of, by all the responsible members of the joint family in a matured fashion. The healthy brainstorming over the issue in question may give rise to an even healthier environment of living. The other way to conquering this problem is having a heated altercation, which makes conditions bad to worse, ultimately resulting in separations. “(Agarwal, V. 2005)

So these are the most common problems which are the reasons behind partition or separation or for avoiding for living in a joint family, but on the other hand, by doing so a person is getting away from his/her loved ones and accepting different kind of risk by living in a nuclear family and are also forgetting their responsibilities towards their loved ones and towards their whole family. Living in a joint family can lesser pressure financially or can be advantageous for an individual as the members contribute according to their income but it can also create problems among the family members for not contributing equally or due to less amount of money.

People prefer to live in joint families but because of their misunderstanding (i.e. differences in opinion,) among the family members an individual might avoid to live in it. But by taking its advantages into consideration, people do like living in joint families too.

Living in a joint family is financially advantageous for all the members of the family. As by living together the members contribute according to their capability and in this way they lesser pressure from each other.

People in our society face a lot of problems; financial ones, social ones, family ones. One of the biggest problems is the decline of the family. In advantageous thoughts of nuclear family, two parents mean double the chances of a good income, over a single parent. It means twice the chance that a parent is home to teach the kids, be a good role model. It means less stress for both the adult and the kids. It means more diverse influences. A child needs “a mother’s perspective” and “a father’s perspective”, not just once, it’s not as balanced. Through most of our history and most civilizations, we have had extended families. Mom and dad lived with, or near, grandmother and grandfather, aunts and uncles, cousins; it was like having a gigantic family instead of a nuclear one. No strangers raising the kids, no worry of bankruptcy if someone loses a job, always someone there when you need them.

The “nuclear”, “isolated” or “restricted” family is not a recent phenomenon, but has existed in many cultures throughout human history. Indeed, the extended family of several generations is found mostly in relatively advanced, stable, and affluent, but not yet industrialized societies. Very primitive and very sophisticated societies seem to prefer the nuclear family model.

However, nuclear families can vary in the degree of their isolation and restrictedness. For example, before the Industrial Revolution the Western nuclear family was often embedded in a larger social unit, such as a farm or estate, an aristocratic court, or a village populated by relatives. Many older city neighborhoods also kept kinship ties strong, and thus even very small families remained open to the community. Family visits might be frequent and extended; children might freely circulate and feel at home in several households.

On the other hand, we have seen that, beginning in the late 17th century; a trend toward “closeness” reduced the size of many larger households and changed the relationships between the remaining family members. They became more concerned about each other. They needed each other more. The idyllic home of the “bourgeois” became an island of serenity in the gathering storm of modernization, a haven secure from the world “out there”, from aggressiveness, competition, and class warfare. We have also seen how this home sheltered women and protected the children from sexual and other temptations. Other nasty social realities were also kept safely at bay. The family income was no longer earned inside, but rather outside the house. The division of labor between the sexes became more pronounced as men spent more and more time away from their families as wage earners in factories, shops, and offices. Their wives became almost the only companions of their small children whose care and education was now their main responsibility. (Formerly, these tasks had been divided between mothers, grandmothers, nurses, and servants.) Virtually the only middle-class men who still worked at home were doctors and lawyers in private practice. As a rule, however, the bourgeois family saw its “head” and “breadwinner” only when he returned from his work at night. This work itself remained an abstraction to both his wife and his children.

In a typical nuclear family, there are two parents, and either one or both have jobs. So if someone loses their job, either the family has no income, or only half of what it had. But imagine a family with three or more parents, some of whom work. A lost job is less of a disaster to the family then. One of the biggest problems families face today is that nobody can stay home to care for the kids. It is a statistical fact that the second parent usually has to go out and work just to bring home about the same amount of money that the first parent is paying in taxes. This hurts the children, who end up being raised by random babysitters and day-care centers. But in an extended family, it’s much easier to be sure that someone’s always around to care for the kids, provide a good role model. Perhaps two adults work and one stays home, or each works at different times.

In a nuclear family there will be less scope for children to get advice and encouragement from the experienced elders. There will be problems in bringing up the children and absence of care and affection of the elders to the children. It is another question whether the nuclear family itself, even when “complete”, is still the best available option. Many people today are convinced that small, single households are uneconomical and wasteful, that they are still emotionally unhealthy, that they perpetuate outmoded stereotypical sex roles, and that they produce competitive, egotistical children in an age when universal cooperation seems the only hope of mankind. It is also argued that the modern family no longer has any other function than to provide love and intimacy, and that this is by no means enough to justify its existence. Indeed, since families have been largely relieved of their economic, educational, and protective functions by the state, sexual attachment has become the nearly exclusive basis of marriage, and this basis is notoriously weak. Frequent divorce and remarriage, however, while perhaps practical for the adults, hardly seem in the best interest of the children. Under the circumstances, it is only fitting that a number of thoughtful men and women should continue to search for more stable, “new and improved” family models.

Living in a joint family not only is advantageous but also has disadvantages as well, but in order to achieve something one has to lose something too. The same is the case for joint families, by thinking about the advantages that a joint family provides one might to give up the idea of living in a nuclear family and unite with their loved ones. Living in a joint family is advantageous. In order to live happily and peacefully in a joint family an individual should not lose his temper and should overlook each others mistakes and also should understand each other. The family members should have good communication among themselves in order to ensure free flow of money around the family.

Death Rituals in Ancient Egypt

For my Gordon Rule Paper I have decided to write about the Egyptians since I have always found them fascinating. The primary topic I will be discussing would be the way in which the ancient Egyptians would view, and considered death, due to how immensely different we as Americans view death today.

The vast majority of Americans fear death more than anything else. We go to great lengths to ensure our health, safety, and survival. To us there is nothing worse than death, whereas to every Egyptian death was seen as a desirable transformation, ‘the passage of the true eternal life’. Death was never considered a tragedy, or a loss, but a welcome transition into the afterlife. Because death was of such an importance; it was essenctial that great care be taken for a transition to immortality. This is a huge reason that the Pharaoh’s contents of the tomb were of such great importance, and so carefully selected. Egyptians prioritzement on the importance of rituals, customs, and beliefs; as well as architecture can be seen clearly in the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamen, or as most people know him King Tut.

The architecture that went into every Pharaohs tomb was extraordinarily complex. Each one was greatly different in terms of the tombs layout, size, and decorations. The tombs structure and layout almost always had to, somehow, show the formation, and projection of the solar system. Miral decorations in the tomb don’t represent the Pharaohs everyday life, but instead that of their afterlife, and the challenges the Pharaoh has to face in order to reach the Kingdom of Orrises, land of the afterlife.

These tombs were grand, and usually consisted of a number of rooms, and courtyards. Tomb walls were usually stoned lined of limestone columns. This type of tomb is built below the ground, as usually the chapel was built on the surface and the burial areas below.

The Nile area was rocky, and featured many cliffs, so these were perfect locations for the creating of the tombs directly in the hillside. The most common chapel consisted of a door which lead into a transverse hall, behind which was a corridor that ran straight to the face of the cliff. Over time rock tombs became more elaborate, more decorative, and narrower as they now ran directly into the cliff-face, these tombs were the most impressing of all the tombs in Egypt, as they featured splendid sights, often with pillars and large stairways. Rock cut chapels were more commonly used by Pharaohs, and those of the richer society, as the rocky regions of Egypt were best suited for the building of these tombs. Tombs contained wall decorations, which dealt with the Afterlife, and the path that the Pharaoh will have too take to reach the kingdom of Orrises. A royal tomb could be done within a few months for a simple tomb, or for a more larger, and complex tomb, it could take from six to ten years.

Decorations varied for each Pharaoh. From elaborate paintings, to imitations of papyrus. All texts painted on walls were quoted from ‘the great magical religion anthologies of the time such as the Book of the Dead and the Book of the Earth’ (Guide to the Valley of The Kings page26, 1996). These magical and religious texts were drawn on the walls to inform the deceased, and for the deceased to use as a invaluable tool for them to make sure that they had enough knowledge of magical nature for them to use during the Afterlife.

The New Kingdom royal tombs featured many different ceilings and decorations, which included star maps, which illustrated the rising of the sun. Placing a burial underneath a holy symbol was considered of great importance for the resurrection of the body. Texts and drawings on tomb walls contained various colors; each color that was used depicts Egyptian rituals. Colors such as White represents Silver, Black represented death and eternal preservation and Red represents fire and blood. As these colors and depictions lead up to the star the life, the deceased is painted, including all of the deceased families life.

Today, in retrospect, we primarily bury our loved ones in accordance with their wishes, or in a graveyard next to other deceased loved ones. We bury them six feet under-ground, (typically) but only because that is the minimal depth a decaying corpse can be buried without having any effect on the world under-which it was buried. Typically it takes about seven days from the time we die until we are laid to rest. That allows us plenty of time to choose a good grave sight, dig it up, lay the dead down, say some kind words, and fill the hole again. Ancient Egyptians, on the other hand, took considerably longer.Before a body was buried the process of embalming took place for about seventy days. Historian Heroidotus’ tells of three levels of mumification that depended upon the quantity of wealth the deceased had. The very most expensive procedure was the embalming which resembled the god Osiris. The ritual took place, usually, within seventy days. A contract was drawn up between the embalmers, and the deceased family, which specifies the amount of time the embalming procedure will take place. The body would then placed on a wooden table and purified by washing the body in a solution of neutron. The brains were removed from the nasal cavity. The abdomen would then be cut, and all the organs removed and then purified with aromas. Once the organs were removed they were placed into jars and placed inside the tomb. The body is then stuffed with straw, sawdust, mud or linen; this assists in retaining the deceased bodie’s shape, and is also wrapped with linen, and/or bandages.

Egyptian rituals and beliefs also played a critically important part in the lead of the deceased to the tomb . The ritual of the burial, and its tombs content, takes place outside the tomb. The transport of the body to the tomb took form of a ritual procession that normally began on the East side of the Nile River; After crossing the river, to the west, the body was placed on a sledge, and drawn by oxen to the tomb.

Close to the mummy stood two women who would normally impersonate the diving mourners Isis, and Nephthys, who represented the wife and sister of the god Osiris, followed by mourners of the deceased. The last mourner in the procession burnt incense and sprinkled milk at the procession as they would continue on their way to the tomb. Ritual dancers, known as Mu, and a priest, who honors the deceased now greet the procession. The ancient ritual of the “opening of the mouth” now takes place; this is the most significant part of the burial traditions, as the purpose of this ceremony is to restore the mummy and their power of speech, sight and hearing.

The body has now completed the first part of Egyptian rituals. When the deceased approaches the Entrance of the tomb a priest who impersonates the god Anubis stands the body in an upright position. The priest now touches the mouth of the deceased with ritual instruments, which now restores their senses. The next stage is the offering of clothes, ointments and offerings of food so the deceased can take them into the Afterlife. The mummy is now ready to be placed into it’s burial chamber, after the door is sealed all footprints around the tomb is swept away and the last rites are read.

The stages leading up to the burial of the deceased was an integral part of the Egyptians beliefs and rituals, as the Egyptians regarded the dead as being very much alive, living in their tombs like they had previously lived in their homes. This link between the house and the tomb was very important, the tombs chapel was commonly referred to ‘the house of eternity’. Outside the chapel it was common to see lushes gardens, and tombs surrounding as Cemeteries were planned to look like miniature cities like the one at Giza.

All the above beliefs and rituals were clearly uncovered in November 1922 by British archaeologist Howard Carter when he discovered the intact tomb of King Tutankhamen. Analysis of Tutankhamen’s mummy reveals that he was approximately eighteen years old when he died. The Kings life is still a mystery to this day as historians such as Carter believes that it’s almost impossible to say whether the King was a victim of illness, accident, assassination or was physically frail like his previous heirs when he passed away. Historians identified the month of his death to be that of January by analyzing the types of fruit and flowers such as the cornflower which were buried with him. The cornflower usually reaches maturity in March, and from these findings it is believed that ‘Amenophis III last son died some time in January 1343’ (Tutankhamen and the Discovery of the Tomb page 158, 1972).

Tutankhamen’s tomb features a simple design, which is typical of the Eighteenth Dynasty. The tomb features starts, corridors, and chambers. The king tomb has a number of rooms such as the Annexe, Antechamber, Burial Chamber and the treasury and all of these rooms featured significant decorations. King Tutankhamen’s tomb was so unique as the treasures inside the tomb lay undisturbed to robbers, and during excavation Carter recovered over three thousand five hundred articles such as grand elegant furniture, statues, jewelery, and shrines that were placed in his tomb to help him through to the Afterlife.

The kings death like other Pharaohs was a grand affair, and was mourned by all of Egypt . Generally after a Pharaohs death there was a three-month interval between his death and his burial. During this time the complex ritual of embalming took place. The embalming of a Pharaoh was known as the ‘House of Vigor’ (Tutankhamen: Life and Death of a Pharaoh page 163, 1965) in which the Pharaohs body was purified and all impurities were removed. After the final phase of the mummification ritual takes place, the Pharaoh now passes into eternity.

When King Tutankhamen’s body was bandaged, each layer contained a treasure such as golden objects. When the Kings body was unwrapped over 143 treasures were found such as pendants, amulets and golden finger stalls. Like the treasures wrapped in between the bandages the tomb itself was flowing with treasures, ‘Nearly everything was made of precious material, and gold…this covered a wide assortment of articles necessary to ensure eternity for the dead’ (Tutankhamen and the Discovery of the Tomb page 70, 1972). All of the Kings rooms inside the tomb featured significant decorations.

The Antechamber held the Tuta royal throne, which is one of the best known objects, found inside the tomb. This throne engaged wood with sheets of gold and its back is covered with a scene of the Pharaoh and his wife Ankhesenamun.

The burial chamber features the first wooden coffin and the Kings mummy. The scenes painted on walls show King Tutankhamen with his Kai at the ceremony of the ‘opening of the mouth’ (The Discovery of the Tomb Tutankhamen page 37, 1977) and his successor Ay. His burial bay the ‘red quartzite sarcophagus’ (The Discovery of the Tomb Tutankhamen page 39, 1977) coffin had five coffins, the first to the third were anthropoid wooden coffins, the forth was golden and the fifth was his mummy. The King Tutankhamen’s burial was the same as any Pharaoh and followed all rituals and beliefs as well as mummification principles. The only difference was that the King was so young at the time of his death and that till this day no other tomb has been uncovered that all items inside the tomb are still intact.

It can be seen that burial and death in general in Egypt was of enormous importance within the Egyptian society especially when it was concerning someone of higher status like that of a Pharaoh. Egyptians believed in the Afterlife and this played an important part in reinforcing the rituals and beliefs of death in Egyptian society as death was not believed to be the end but the beginning of ones life. This is why rituals and beliefs as well as architecture and decorations of tombs were emphasized and carried out in the light of ones death. When an ancient Egyptian died, he was not buried into the ground, mourned and then forgotten, as people are today. Nor was his grave simply visited at certain times and some token words spoken over it, so that once again he is forgotten until next visit, like so many of us do. Maybe its the way we as people have evolved to cope with the pain of loosing a loved one. We as a nation do not believe that death is a good thing in any way, and we are taught from birth to fear it and flee it for as long as we possibly can. I for one do not fear death. Not that I look upon it as a good thing like Egyptians, just as a necessary thing that all of us must have happen.