Category Archives: Sociology homework help

The Growth of Homeschooling

Question

The number of homeschooled children has increased dramatically over the past decade. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, there are currently more than 2 million homeschooled students in the United States, and the numbers are growing at a rate of 5–12% each year (NHERI.org). Why do you think that the homeschool movement is growing so rapidly? Should parents who choose to homeschool (or send their children to private school) have to pay taxes toward public education?

Sample paper

The Growth of Homeschooling

Homeschooling is becoming so popular in the United States with the figures of homeschooled children between 5 and 17 years rapidly increasing. In 1999, there were only 850,000 homeschooled children (Russell, 2015). A report by the U.S Department of Education indicated that 90 percent of parents who choose to home school their children in 2012-2013 stated peer pressure, drugs and school environment as major contributing factors to their decision.  These reasons show that the public school system should improve since not every child is home schooled.

Most parents have chosen a different path mainly because they disagree with the curriculum taught or social situations within schools. The Common Core curriculum requires that students in public and private schools take tests. This curriculum has driven many parents to consider homeschooling.  There was a 14 percent growth in homeschooling in North Carolina due to concerns about Common Care. Some parents feel that there is no control of what children are learning in schools and homeschooling is the best alternative instead of pursuing what some call ‘failed theories’ taught in schools (Russell, 2015).

Research by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) indicates that 74 percent of parents who choose homeschooling for their children believe that they will get a more competitive education than they can get in public schools.  This could actually be true. A large number of homeschooled students are high school students and they perform better that their counterparts in public schools. Their state standardized and SATs tests are higher by approximately 20 percent points.  Their excellent performance continues when they go to college and beyond. The NCES indicate that the average GPA for homeschooled children is 3.46 while that of public schools students is 3.16 (Gorman, 2015).

Additionally, the advancement in technology has made homeschooling favorable. The effectiveness and scope of homeschooling has increased overtime due to technology. It is easy for parents to create their customized lesson plans that are suitable for them. Parents with less technological knowhow can get the help of online curriculum providers or enroll their students in online schools. There are any homeschooling support groups for parents and study groups for students. These families can have an extensive virtual network whenever the interpersonal element of education is necessary. Parents are therefore confident in homeschooling since technology will enable them to give their children a better coursework than the public schools are equipped to offer.

The question surrounding homeschooling and even private schools education is whether these parents should pay taxes towards public education. The number of parents who are dissatisfied with the education offered in public schools in increasing. Most parents have chosen homeschooling or sending their children in private, charter or religious schools. A major obstacle standing between students and the quality of education their parents want them to acquire is the method of funding education. The cost of education for most parents is twice since they have to pay for public education even when they do not benefit from it. The best way to solve this problem is to apply education tax credits and deductions. In this case, parents receive partial reimbursements for tuition and other expenses.

Even though homeschooling is effective, the students need school experience and the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. These activities are very essential for a student and they should be accessible to all students. The partial payments that homeschooling parents pay towards public education should enable their children participate in such activities. Although homeschooling has many advantages, the benefit of extracurricular activities available in public schools cannot be overlooked (Colb, 2005).

References

Colb, S. (2005). Should Parents Who Home-School Their Children Have Access to Public School Extracurricular Programs? | FindLaw. Findlaw. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commentary/should-parents-who-home-school-their-children-have-access-to-public-school-extracurricular-programs.html

Gorman, N. (2015). Education World: Why Homeschooling is Increasing in Popularity. Educationworld.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://www.educationworld.com/a_news/why-homeschooling-increasing-popularity-1299542941

Russell, N. (2015). Why Homeschooling Is Growing. The Federalist. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://thefederalist.com/2015/09/01/why-homeschooling-is-growing/

Related:

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of Religion

Question

Freedom of religion has become a controversial issue in the United States. In your opinion, what does freedom of religion or freedom of religious expression mean? How have you observed religion being expressed and/or censored in your own community?

Sample paper

Freedom of Religion

One of most fundamental human rights is the freedom of religion. It protects people’s conscience by allowing them to express themselves and act in accordance to what they truly believe. This freedom is slowly being compromised and eroded around the world but mostly in the United States. There are increasing restrictions limiting how individuals, churches and religious organizations express their beliefs or serve their communities. Church members and people of goodwill are fighting to make sure that the freedom of religion is preserved and strengthened.  The topic of religious freedom has generated a lot of controversy in the United States and other liberal countries. Religious freedom should be protected by people from all walks of lives since it protects everyone (Domingo, 2014).

The freedom of religion protects atheists from having bible readings and prayers imposed on them in state schools. Churches are protected in that there is no interference in the hiring of ministers while religious minorities are protected from having a legislature accepted by majorities but indifferent to them being passed. In addition, traditional churches are protected as they oppose abortion and same sex marriage while untraditional faith groups are allowed to carry out their worship practice peacefully. Generally, the freedom of religion protects everyone whether they are believers or non believers. Therefore it is important to have religious freedom intact and not dependent on any political power.

Religion is a vital element of modern society. The basis of the society’s moral ethos remains to be religious beliefs. Religion teaches virtues and informs on the moral action to take. Clearly, the role that religion plays in the society warrants special consideration. Children are taught from an early age to respect other people and their property and to always tell the truth. While it is unlawful to steal, tell a lie or treat others disrespectfully, what grounds most people is their religious beliefs, not the law. They believe that even if the police do not catch them in such cases, their conscience will catch up with them (McConnell, 2013).

The freedom of religion does not only require people to coexist peacefully, it creates obligations. All people who live according to their conscience must also protect the same freedom of other people especially the most vulnerable whether they are believers or not.  The best thing about this obligation is that it enables diversity to flourish and be a source of strength for the nation and the world at large. A just and fair society will respect and uphold the freedom of religion and conscience for the minorities and the least popular communities just as it does for the majorities.

There are several benefits of religious freedom to the society.  Firstly, freedom of religious expression promotes stability in the society. However, if it is limited, this becomes a source of conflict and violence. Secondly, religious freedom ensures that there is economic prosperity, prolonged democracy, reduced income inequalities and better health. Additionally, the freedom of religion correlates with other civil and human rights. Preserving the freedom of religious expression ensures that other fundamental rights such as freedom of assembly, speech and press are also intact.

People all over the world have been exercising their freedom of religious expression. Every religion has set apart days solely meant to worship or celebrate special holidays. In addition, non believers are also accommodated in the society. People from diverse backgrounds are brought together by common religious beliefs. The role of religion in the society cannot be underestimated. It contributes greatly in keeping the world safe and peaceful.

References

Domingo, R. (2014). A right to religious and moral freedom?. International Journal Of Constitutional Law, 12(1), 226-247. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icon/mou001

McConnell, M. (2013). Why Protect Religious Freedom?. The Yale Law Journal, 123(3), 530-861. Retrieved from http://www.yalelawjournal.org/review/why-protect-religious-freedom

Related:

The Growth of Homeschooling

Community Assignment

Question

You will take an active part in a community outreach activity of your choosing; this will enable you to connect with the needs of the community (e.g., work at a shelter, a camp, a recreation center, tutoring younger children, etc.). This can be purely voluntary, or it can be an activity related directly to your employment. Typically, the observation will last between 2–4 hours. However, the observation may take longer, and enough observation must be done in order to complete all aspects of this assignment.

Upon completion of your observation, you will write a 3-page paper explaining the experience and what was learned from the experience. Using the information about sociology gained from the course, you will answer the following 4 questions in detail (Note: these questions must be your subheadings when writing the paper):
1. What was observed during the experience?
2. How did the experience affect you?
3. What are the needs of the population that you interacted with for this assignment?
4. How can you help make a difference with this group?

Sample paper

Community Assignment

What was observed during the experience?

Over the course of the week, I decided to take part in recreational activities in my community by visiting the local recreation center. There were many people in the recreation center mainly because it was during the weekend. The recreation center features youth game rooms, gymnasiums and cardiovascular equipment, swimming pools, weight rooms, indoor play structures, and other facilities. The recreation center offers more than gyms and swimming pools; it has programs and scheduled events for all ages. In some programs, one is required to register at an earlier period. Some of the scheduled events are archery, movie nights, and family events such as ‘daddy daughter dance’.

The experience was quite enthralling. All people were engaging in different fun activities. Some came as families while others were in groups of friends. In the park, there were more males than females. Majority of those in the park were adults in the age bracket 20 – 35 years. The park had more males than females in all age groups. The population segment with the lowest number of people was the elderly, or those above 50 years. Most of the adults were utilizing the tracks in the recreation center. The swimming pool and gymnasium also had a relatively high number of adults. Most children engaged in various fun activities such as the jumping castles, and were in the company of their parents.

How did the experience affect you?

The experience made me feel socially connected with others in the neighborhood. During the visit to the recreation center, I interacted with many people, both from the neighborhood and others from far-flung areas. There were people drawn from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. I interacted with a number of individuals and even made new friends. One thing I noticed is that people were friendly irrespective of the differences between them. This had a positive effect on my self-esteem. It was easy to make friends and additionally, various social groups were willing to welcome me to take part in the activities they were conducting. For instance, I joined a group of young men who were competing on the tracks.

My visit to the recreation center positively affected my mood. Due to participation in fun activities and the great social experience, I felt happier than I were when going to the center. This indicates that recreation centers can lower stress and depression levels on an individual. In the evening, I felt fatigued but took this positively knowing that exercise is good for one’s health. Visiting the recreation center often can help me improve my health by adopting an active lifestyle.

Related: Gang Violence

What are the needs of the population that you interacted with for this assignment?

The population segments I mostly interacted with were teens and young adults. One the needs of these groups are to feel loved through belonging to a certain group. Those in their teens need to feel loved by others. Acceptance by other group members is of significant importance to each of them. Since many of teens belong to certain cliques or groups, they must adhere to the moral values prescribed by the group. As such, all members in such cliques engaged in similar activities. For instance, they could all be swimming or on the tracks. This shows membership to such groups is of great value to them.

For the younger adults, their specific needs seem to be socialization with members of opposite gender. Most adults were not in cliques unlike the teens. A large share of the adults was keen on keeping fit. They mainly engaged in physical activities that are directly associated with improved health. For instance, they comprised the largest number utilizing the gymnasiums and cardiovascular equipment. This means that they are conscious about their health. Another section of adults was interested in having their children play at the recreation center. Children need to play in order to lead healthier lives and to develop social connections.

How can you help make a difference with this group?

I can make a difference with the teenage group in a number of ways. It is worth noting that teens have a higher risk of engaging in criminal deviant activities due to peer influence. Engaging in recreational activities can help prevent teens from engaging in criminal activities. It is also important to provide counseling and training to this group. Providing training on various topics such as drugs, sex, and crime can help keep this group from engaging in deviant behavior. There is also need to provide opportunities to young individuals. For instance, older teens can be provided with job opportunities when they are done with school.

With regard to the adults, there is need to provide them with employment opportunities. It is also critical to offer career guidance to such a group. Providing career guidance can help most individuals in this group to learn important life skills that can enable them earn a living. I can also make a difference with this group by providing information on dieting and living healthier lifestyles.

Class Conflict Theory

Gang Violence

Question

For this paper, you are to write a paper of at least 750 words that relates to 1 of the sociological theories reviewed in this course: symbolic interactionism, class conflict theory, or functional analysis. Any citation used must adhere to current APA format.

Complete the following for the Social Problems Paper:
• Write an essay on a current social issue of your choice such as: homelessness, gang violence, the feminism of poverty, the culture of poverty, teen pregnancy, abortion, etc.
• The first portion of the assignment must address your personal observations of the issue with examples. Discuss the topic in reference to how society and the church each address the issue and how each provides or does not provide support. Your observations of society and the church must be very detailed (approximately 500 words).
• In the last part of the assignment, you are to analyze the issue using 1 of the 3 main sociological theories discussed in this course (approximately 250 words).

Sample paper

Gang Violence

Gang violence is a growing concern among law enforcement officers in the United States. Over the recent past, there has been an alarming increase in the number of gangs, with a corresponding increase in the number of gang-related incidences. Gang activity occurs mainly in the densely populated areas and larger cities. An example is the City of Chicago, which has a relatively higher population compared with other U.S. cities. Chicago has recorded the highest incidences of gang-related homicides, making it one of the most dangerous cities to live. From my observations, most gangs sprout in regions where there are high poverty rates, low educational attainment, and overcrowding. These deplorable conditions force many young individuals into a life of crime. In communities where there is breakdown of moral values due to reasons such as high poverty rates, people are likely to engage in crime because of disillusionment.

High poverty levels in the society contribute to increased incidences of crime. Individuals find it difficult to break the endless cycle of poverty due to lack of opportunities. In areas with high poverty levels, educational standards are also low. Majority of youths drop out of school even before they complete high school. Such youths become part of cliques that do odd jobs in order to earn a living. With time, the group starts engaging in deviant acts, such as selling of illegal drugs or committing small robberies. Such groups evolve with time as members mature and begin engaging in criminal activities such as drug trafficking. It is difficult for a gang member to leave the group since besides the social role it plays; the group also functions as a source of income. Youths who desire to leave also face immense challenges such as lack of jobs. Moreover, such youths have their names in police records, which mean that employers may shun from giving them work.

The society addresses the issue of gang violence through various ways. First, the society provides institutions for incarcerating criminals who are dangerous to the society. Through incarceration, the offender is given a chance to reform his/her behavior. Another role of incarceration is to punish the offender and to deter others from committing a similar crime. The society provides institutions for rehabilitating criminals such as drug addicts. This is an important role since it gives the offenders a second chance to change their life. The society provides education opportunities for all members. Nonetheless, the society does not provide equal employment opportunities and resources. This means that some youths are unable to find jobs or resources, turning them into a life of crime.

The church addresses the issue of gang violence through a number of ways. First, the church instills proper moral values upon individuals. Proper moral values can help in deterring youths from engaging in criminal activities. The church can reach out to the youths with an aim of transforming their lives through teachings. Another way that the church addresses the issue is through mediation between rival gangs. In the past, some church leaders have taken an active role in helping reduce gang violence by brokering some form of truce between waring gang members. The church, however, does not provide employment opportunities to the youths.

The symbolic interactionism theory is applicable to the problem of gang violence in the society today. The basic tenet of the theory holds that “human beings act toward things on the basis of the meanings that the things have for them” (Blumer, 1986, p. 2). Thus, the manner in which an individual constructs meaning from his/her interaction with various objects or people is important. The theory assumes that individuals develop meaning of things from the social interaction with others. Another assumption is that individuals interpret the meanings encountered in social interactions through a unique process (Blumer, 1986). Drawing on this theory it is clear that gang members stick together since this has some deep meaning for them. Gang membership may be a source of friendship to some members, while others may value it due to the monetary rewards associated. Gang membership is also a source of security in some of the dangerous communities.

The symbolic interactionism theory asserts that individuals need only to construe meaning from the thing. Individuals need only to observe the thing and draw meaning. As such, there is no process involved in developing meaning, but only an association with the thing. The elements involved in developing memory about the thing are motives, feelings, sensations, attitudes, and ideas that an individual may harbor (Blumer, 1986). For instance, one may enter into gang membership with the motive of supplying drugs in the community. Symbolic interactionism associates meaning with the kind of interaction that occurs between two people, rather than dwelling on the psychological connection between them. Thus, when gang members interact, it is all because of the social interaction and the fulfillment of different physical and psychological needs by belonging in the group.

Reference

Blumer, H. (1986). Symbolic interactionism: Perspective and method. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Class Conflict Theory

Class Conflict Theory

Question

For this paper, you are to write a paper of at least 750 words that relates to 1 of the sociological theories reviewed in this course: symbolic interactionism, class conflict theory, or functional analysis. Any citations used must adhere to current APA format.

Complete the following for the Current Event Paper:
• Locate a current event article (6 months or less) that addresses a social problem of your choice. The article can be from a local newspaper or through an online search such as Yahoo, Google CNN, etc. The article selected cannot to be a research article.
o Use Liberty University Online Student Library Services to assist you in writing your paper.
• In the first half of the paper, you are to summarize the main points of the event discussed in the article from the sociological perspectives reviewed in the textbook (approximately 375 words).
• In the second half of the paper, you are to analyze the main points of the event using 1 of the 3 main sociological theories reviewed in the course (approximately 375 words).

Sample paper

Class Conflict Theory

This article examines the effects of the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the United States. According to Elliot (2017), eight billionaires who are among the world’s richest men control wealth equivalent to that held by about half of the world’s poorest population. This means that the eight riches billionaires control the wealth equivalent to that of 3.6 billion people. The article asserts that in the U.S., wealth is concentrated among a few individuals, while the masses suffer. Although the U.S. is branded as the land of opportunity, various forces have combined transforming it to the land of inequalities. The article argues that the recent trends in income inequalities could be dangerous in the long run if they remain unchecked. The article recommends for a new economic model that can help reverse the growing income gap.

A key point raised in the article concerns the factors propagating the current wage inequalities in the societies. Elliott (2017) examines two factors that contribute to the growing wage inequalities. First, wage inequalities are the result of aggressive wage restraints by corporations. This means that corporations are exploiting their workers by paying minimal wages, which makes it difficult for the workers to achieve economic mobility (the ability to improve one’s economic status and move to a different social class). By exploiting the workers, the corporations acquire more wealth that ends up with the ruling class or the property owners. The second factor contributing to the rising inequality is tax dodging by the corporations. This prevents the redistribution of income to the poor in the society, and concentrates wealth to the few who are rich.

Elliott (2017) argues that inequality is a major concern to the social stability of the United States. With the ever-increasing income gap, social stability appears to be under a serious threat. The article notes that rising racism and disillusionment among the proletariat are some of the key indicators of social instability. The rate of economic mobility in the U.S. is still low. This means that majority of people in the lower class have stagnated in their respective economic conditions and are likely to continue living in similar or worse conditions in the future. Thus, one is highly likely to remain in the social class in which he/she is born throughout their lives due to the low economic mobility. The author also argues that the government is more responsive to the needs of the privileged compared to the low and middle-income groups.

Related: Lending Institutions, Health Care, and Human Capital

Class conflict theory asserts that exists a dominant class that controls the society’s resources, creates belief systems, and establishes rules that acts as a scaffold to remaining in power (Andersen & Taylor, 2008). The class conflict theory argues that the economic organization of the capitalist states lead to deviance among a segment of the population. This is because the rich control the resources while the poor lack access to vital resources that they could use to improve their standards of living. Elliot (2017) highlights this point by examining the high inequalities in the U.S. society. Conflict theory further argues that in capitalist societies, corporations are used to appropriating profits ill gotten through exploitation of the poor and those in the working class. Elliot (2017) contends this by highlighting the issue of aggressive wage restraints by the corporations.

Class conflict theory propounds the idea that the privileged yields great power that enables them create rules and belief systems meant to protect their interests. As such, they yield tremendous power to shape the political and economic arena of the country. Elliot (2017) contends that the privileged in the U.S. holds great economic and political power. There are thus able to influence decision making in a way that favors them, rather than looking at the interests of the underprivileged. According to class conflict theory, there exist two conflicting groups: the rich and the poor. While the poor grows smaller and richer, the richer group grows larger and poorer (Andersen & Taylor, 2008). This point is highlighted in the article, where Elliot (2017) notes that the poor in the society are experiencing low rates of economic mobility. On the other hand, the rich keeps getting richer.

The class conflict theory holds that the dominant class in the society controls the resources or means of production. On the other hand, a group of people (in this case the majority) can only access fewer resources (Andersen & Taylor, 2008). This creates tension and leads to deviance or crime. Thus, according to the theory, crime in the society is the result of social inequalities between the few rich people and the poor majority. This, however, does not necessarily indicate that the upper class does not engage in deviant acts. Rather, those in the upper class are able to mask their criminal acts due to their wealth. As Elliott (2017) asserts, instability is a recipe for social instability since it leads to deviant acts such as racism, disillusionment, and can even lead to mass protests. As the theory indicates, those in the upper class still commit deviant acts. For instance, the article notes that corporations engage in tax dodging, exacerbating the inequality problem.

References

Andersen, M. L., & Taylor, H. F. (2008). Sociology: Understanding a diverse society. Belmont,   CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Elliott, L. (2017, Jan. 16). World’s eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%. The      Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/global-           development/2017/jan/16/worlds-eight-richest-people-have-same-wealth-as-poorest-50

Demographics

Demographics

Question

Unlike some foreign cultures (e.g., India, etc.), there is not a formal social class structure in the United States. However, there are certainly distinctions made in some communities according to demographics such as: education, wealth, race, religion, and gender. How have you seen this in your own community? In your work place? How does this apply to Christians who are “all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28b, NIV)?

Sample paper

Demographics

Although the United States lacks formal social class structures, other distinctions based on education, wealth, ethnicity, religion, and gender prevail in some communities. Distinctions based on education exist in the community, mainly being the widening gap in the achievement of higher education between students of color and the whites. The blacks lack the same educational opportunities as whites, meaning they are less likely to achieve higher educational levels. Some of the challenges that lead to the educational disparities include lower income levels, poor health, high incarceration rates, and low education levels of the parents. Distinctions based on wealth also exist along racial lines. The whites are generally wealthier compared to people of color. The whites hold more wealth compared to the African Americans and the Hispanic groups. Current research indicates that the gap in wealth between blacks and whites is still increasing. This is evident in the standards of living between whites and then blacks; where the blacks have lower standards of living.

Race distinctions still exist in the community, with African Americans being the most affected. Racial prejudice is a serious problem in the society today. In the recent past, cases of racially motivated violence by the police against the black community have been on the rise. These killings seem to be driven by racial stereotypes that associate the blacks with violence and crime. In my community, blacks face arbitrary arrests when they are suspected of engaging in criminal activities or possessing illegal items. This has increased tension between the black community and the police. The blacks live in perpetual fear of arrests even when they are not on the wrong. There have been cases of racial discrimination in the workplace, whereby blacks are given unequal opportunities as whites in terms of job application and awarding. Nonetheless, these cases are few since the law strictly calls for equal employment opportunities among all races.

Distinctions based on religion have been on the rise in the recent past; the driving force being the spate of terrorist attacks that the country has witnessed. Distinctions based on religion have mainly affected the Muslim community in the area. Muslim communities living in the area have been threatened with violence in the past. This makes the Muslim community live in perpetual fear of attacks. Distinctions based on gender are rife in the employment sector. There are employers who discriminate against women when providing job opportunities. Some introduce terms and conditions that discriminate against women in the workplace. For instance, most employers are not willing to give women paid leave when they proceed for maternity leave. Instead, some employers find reason to fire women who ask for maternity leave. Another area of contention is the wage gap between men and women. On average, men earn higher to women. This is discrimination based on gender.

Galatians 3:28b, NIV teaches that human beings are one in Christ. This means that as Christians, we should not discriminate others based on religion, gender, education, race, or on other basis. The Bible clearly discourages Christians from making distinctions. It recognizes that fundamental aspect regarding individual differences. Human beings cannot be entirely the same; they must have differences in opinion, lifestyle, race, ethnic background, and in other areas.

Related paper

Lending Institutions, Health Care, and Human Capital

Discuss why sociologists do so much of their research outside the laboratory

Question

Sciences such as biology and chemistry confine their research to the laboratory. Discuss why sociologists do so much of their research outside the laboratory. Why is this type of necessary? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this type of research?

Sample paper

Sociologists

Considering that science is an intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of structures most of their studies should be confined to the laboratory. It is easier to confine biological and chemical studies as well as experiments in a laboratory because a laboratory presents a perfect platform where scientists can recreate many scenarios about these sciences. Also, a laboratory helps to protect the specimen and the results obtained by the scientists from unforeseen factors such as weather and environment that can contaminate the specimen and thus affect the final results. Besides, the scientists are in a position to control the reactions or results in a laboratory as compared to the open environment (Durkheim, 2014). However, it is worth noting that not all experiments that can be performed in the laboratory. Such experiments that cannot be confined to a laboratory include sociologists’ work that is conducted outside the laboratory.

Sociology despite being part of science cannot be confined in a laboratory because of the pure circumstances in sociology. Sociology widely focuses on human behavior that cannot be tested in a laboratory and thus, the sociologist is required to perform most of their studies outside the confinement of laboratories. Human behavior is a complex process that can never be duplicated in a laboratory because humans have emotions and feelings that are way beyond the knowledge and capability of a scientist. Unlike other sciences such as biology and chemistry, scientists have found it a hard time and again to get their way around human emotions and feelings to conduct a proper research in a laboratory (Lash, 2014). Research outside a laboratory is likely to give more accurate results leading to better conclusions. However, there is a chance that the researcher may take a longer time to get his results compared to a laboratory research.

References

Durkheim, E. (2014). The rules of sociological method: and selected texts on sociology and its                 method. Simon and Schuster.

Lash, S. (2014). Sociology of postmodernism. . Routledge.

Related:

Philosophy of Love and Sex-Kristen Hatch

Lending Institutions, Health Care, and Human Capital

Question

 Lending Institutions, Health Care, and Human Capital

1.Explore whether or not funding from international lending institutions like the World Bank and the IMF are helping or hindering the social, economic, or political development of the country that you have selected. Support your response with examples.
2.Discuss, with examples, at least four (4) substantive ways in which a healthy population strengthens the economy of the country that you have selected.
3.Ascertain the degree to which the leadership of your chosen country has used foreign aid to improve its health care system. Support your response with concrete examples.

Sample paper

Lending Institutions, Health Care, and Human Capital

Funding from international lending institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF has negatively impacted the social, economic and political of most low income countries. In 2013, the World Bank set aside $52.6 billion to help promote economic growth in developing countries. A large share of these funds were committed to Africa, with South Asia taking the second position in terms of funds received. African still continues to be the largest benefactor of these funds and aid from foreign countries. However, Africa still leads in high poverty levels, mortality rates, and low life expectancy.

The World Bank and IMF have been at the forefront of lending funds to governments in developing nations. The fund is associated with stringent loan conditions that put the borrowing countries at worse conditions that they were before obtaining the loan. Both of these institutions of lending are also known for rigid orthodoxy when dealing with low income countries. The adverse impacts of borrowing funds from these institutions can be seen in the case of Zimbabwe, a developing country in Southern Africa. In the 1980s, the country experienced robust economic growth averaging 4% per annual (Kingston et al., 2011). During this period, the country had not borrowed funds from any of these international lending institutions. Health service had greatly expanded, and the education sector improved. The country also achieved the lowest infant mortality rates and highest life expectancy rates. In 1991, Zimbabwe obtained funds from the IMF to support its rapid economic growth.

The funds obtained to support the growth agenda totaled to $484 million. The IMF gave the loan but with a myriad of conditions to Zimbabwe. First, the country had to reduce its fiscal deficit to rates acceptable by the lender. Second, the country was to lower its tax rate especially in the private sector. This greatly favored the multinational corporations based in Zimbabwe. The IMF also required Zimbabwe to deregulate the country’s labor market, and to withdraw protections in the manufacturing sector. Lastly, the country was required to reduce its minimum wage. In 1992, the country experienced drought conditions. The new policies by IMF also took effect during the year. The low government spending and trade liberalization policies created conditions for an economic recession in the country. The persistent drought made the recession even worse. From 1992 to 1996, the GDP dramatically fell. Since then Zimbabwe was unable to repay the debt, and the country became disqualified from accessing international lending in 1999 (Dzirutwe, 2016).

Substantive ways in which a healthy population strengthens the economy of the country

A healthy population is critical achieving growth and development in Zimbabwe. One of the ways it strengthens the economy is by ensuring reduced government expenditure in treatment of various diseases. It is expensive for governments to provide medical care to a majority of ailing population. In the late 1990s, the spread of HIV-AIDS was at is highest in Zimbabwe. As per 2013, there were 1.4 million Zimbabweans living with HIV/AIDS. This was 15% prevalence rate, the fifth highest prevalence rate in sub-Saharan Africa (Kerina, Babill, & Muller, 2013). The HIV/AIDS scourge costs the government millions to provide treatment to those infected. In addition, orphaning resulting from HIV/AIDS related deaths has led to increased social costs for the government. The money spent on HIV/AIDS treatment alone is high and would otherwise be used for development purposes.

Second, a healthy population leads to high GDP growth due to increased productivity of the population. Healthier citizens are more likely to contribute towards nation building by engaging in productive activities. Healthier citizens are more likely to maintain focus on jobs due to mental and physical alertness. This increases efficiency in production and hence the economic growth of a country. Healthy citizens will spend less time in hospitals but in productive activities. A healthy population is able to utilize available resources for their own prosperity. A healthy population can be able to exploit natural resources for useful gains. Thirdly, health is a basic human need. The health of a population is used as an indicator of poverty and inequality levels in a country. A healthy population thus reflects low social inequalities and low poverty levels. It is an indicator that people are able to access healthcare. In Zimbabwe, the government has spruced up efforts to ensure that all citizens live within 10 miles of the nearest health facility.

Lastly, a healthy population is more likely to invest their wealth in other basic amenities such as accessing education. Education is vital to the growth and development of any country. Healthy families are able to divert their resources towards educating their children as opposed to families where there are sick members. In families ravaged by diseases such as HIV/AIDS, children are left to care to their ailing parents or siblings instead of attending school. According to Sinding (2009), education is key in improving nutrition, basic sanitation, and productivity of an individual.

How the leadership has used foreign aid to improve health care system in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has employed foreign aid effectively in reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the country. After being sidelined by international lending institutions such as IMF and the World Bank, Zimbabwe received much of its foreign aid from the Global Fund. The country has made great strides in reducing HIV/AIDS prevalence rates which were highest in the world in the 1990s. According to Mustaka & Donnelly (2012), Zimbabwe has managed to lower its HIV prevalence rates by more than 30 percent since the 1990s pandemic. Due to the limited funding sources, the country has not been able to achieve its strategic health milestone of ensuring that majority of people live within 10 miles of the nearest heath care facility. In addition, public health infrastructure is currently in a deplorable state due to neglect. Hospitals buildings are currently dilapidated and the staff have little motivation, with majority opting to move to other countries. Record keeping is also poor, a situation that contributes to inaccurate health statistics.

Harare Central Hospital has been greatly impacted by neglect. The hospital, just like other public hospitals is filled with long lines of patients waiting to receive health care. The wards are filled to capacity leaving many patients to suffer. Most hospitals lack enough medical staff to cater for the high number of patients who require medical care (Mutsaka & Donnelly, 2012). However, with the lifting of the lending ban, the country is expected to spruce up the health sector in the coming period.

References

DZIRUTWE, M. (2016, March 16). Zimbabwe expects first IMF loan in nearly two decades this year. Reuters, pp. 1-2.

Kerina, D., Babill, S.-P., & Muller, F. (2013). HIV/AIDS: The Zimbabwean Situation and Trends. American Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 1(1): 15-22.

Kingston Christina S, I. G., Victory, D., & Gogo, K. K. (2011). The impacts of the World Bank and IMF structural adjustment programmes on Africa: The case study of Cote D’Ivore, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, 1(2): 110-130.

Mutsaka, F., & Donnelly, J. (2012, July 18). Neglected by foreign aid, Zimbabwe still makes strides in HIV fight. Retrieved from PBS NEWSHOUR: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/globalhealth-july-dec12-zimbabwe_07-17/

Sinding, S. W. (2009). Population, poverty and economic development. Philosophical      Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 364(1532), 3023–3030.         http://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2009.0145

Related:

Differences between orientalism and Islamophobia

Differences between orientalism and Islamophobia

Question

Drawing from the readings/lectures what are the similarities and differences between Orientalism and Islamophobia?

Describe in detail Khaled Abou El Fadl’s approach to problematic prophetic traditions.

Compare and Contrast Abou El Fadl and Asma Barlas’ approach to alternative, gender positive interpretations of Islamic

Drawing from Amina Wadud’s work, how does she explain Quranic masculinity and femininity? And based on her argument about the importance of interpretation, argue for or against the claim that more Muslim women scholars/interpreters of the Qur’an will lead to greater gender equality in Muslim countries.

Answer

Differences between orientalism and Islamophobia

Recent activities both by the westerners and people from the Middle East and the eastern part of the world who are largely Muslim has shown the cracks in their relationship that can be traced back to the colonial days. The western countries have continually branded people of the Middle East as terrorists, not because they have proof that they but mainly because of their strong and devoted stand concerning their faith and their freedom, especially from America. As a result, these people have been mistreated for a very long time both in their country and in foreign countries. As a retaliation and revenge for the western countries meddling in their local and international affairs, the Islamic community has constantly hit and attacked these western countries in the attempt of convincing them to stay away from their affairs. However, it is worth noting that their actions have led to the death of thousands, if not millions of innocent people all over the world.  The bad blood that exists between these two regions should be solved through diplomatic means rather than war and conflicts which have done little but increase the tension between them. This assignment will attempt to shed more light on the Islamic religion and the relationship between the people of the Middle East and Westerners.

Question 1

Orientalism is one of the common words that will always pop up in any conversation regarding the Islamic community and the westerners. Orientalism focuses on revealing the relationship between the near and far Eastern societies and cultures and the Western countries. The concept of Orientalism can be referred to as the corporate institution for dealing with orient-dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, selling it, ruling over and thus, Orientalism shows how the western countries want to dominate the middle east. On the other hand, Islamophobia is the concept of the western countries mistreating as well as fearing the entire faith group of Muslim, primarily because of a few individuals n the group who use religion to further their political goals. After the 9/11 incident, Madrid and London bombing, Muslims have been victimized just because of the actions of a few greedy individuals who hide in the religious with ill and evil ambitions and intentions (Wolf, 2015). Some of the similarities between Orientalism and Islamophobia include:

  1. The most notable similarity between these two concepts is the fact that they both show how the westerners who are Christians have worked tirelessly to reduce the influence of the Islamic religion if not to wipe it out of the face of the universe.
  2. The two concepts show how Muslim women have suffered in the hands of western ideologies, especially because they can see and they cannot be seen due to their hijabs. Thus, these western men have struggled to ensure that all Muslim women unveil and wear Castilian dresses to satisfy their own eyes as well as to feel superior.
  3. The two concepts also present a period and situation where Arab signs, re-education programs, a ban on intermarriages and proposed castrations were mainly used to weaken the religion and to make most of the believers to defect from Islam to Christianity.

Differences between orientalism and Islamophobia

  1. Orientalism focuses on the relationship between the western countries and the people of the Middle East and the intentions and ambitions of the western countries to dominate Asia and Middle East while Islamophobia focuses on the fear or hatred of Islam and its adherents that translate into individuals, ideological and systematic.
  2. Orientalism represents a period where the western countries strived and made strategies to cripple Islamic religion by enforcing economic sanctions to their religions while Islamophobia was marred by actual violence, especially 9/11 where President Bush used the word crusade to fight against Osama and all his associates.

Question 2

Khaled Abou El Fadl believes that authoritarian methodologies of interpretation corrupt the integrity of Islamic texts and mute their voices. Authoritarianism is used to refer to a hermeneutic methodology that usurps and subjugates the mechanisms of producing meaning from a text to a highly subjective of the authoritarian hermeneutic that focuses on equating between authorial intent and the readers intent to attach meaning to a text. The author goes on to state that it is not every report recorded in the Sunnah is authentic or that the Sunnah primarily reflects the authorial voice or intent or the prophet. Thus, the reader of the Sunnah should know that the intent and precedent of the prophets should be determinative. As a result, Khaled Abou El Fadl urges all Muslims not only to rely on the authorial intent or their intent after reading a Quran, but rather, they should attempt to balance their intent, and that of the author to gain a better understanding of the problematic prophetic traditions. The most important thing is to understand the prophet to ensure that we as the Muslim follow the words and teachings of the prophetic texts by finding the balance between our intents and that of the author (El Fadl, 2014).  This is just to remind the readers and the interpreters that they do not and should not agree on everything they read in the Quran primarily because such disagreements are allowed in the Islamic religion and should be acceptable. After all, the Islamic religion is known for a long established a tradition of disputing and disagreements which started during the time of the prophet.

 

Question 3

Abou El Fadl, some of the Islamic traditions, requires women to readily submit to their husband’s demands and needs without questioning whether the demands are right or wrong. However, in most cases, men interpret the Quran to suit their needs and the women can do nothing about it because there are no enough women scholars and interpreters who have a clear understanding of the Quran to question this interpretation. For example, the Quran states that men are qawwamun of women by what God has given some over others which can be used to refer to servants, protectors, maintainers or guardians depending on which context the word is used. However, in the Quran, the word is used in another totally different context where all Muslims are commanded to be the qawwamun of justice. However, most are the times when people interpret the Islamic texts to suit their needs and desires irrespective of positive gender interpretation (El Fadl, 2014). Moreover, the author points out that there is no one point in the Quran that it is written that women should be obedient to their husband when it comes to marital status rather the Quran talks of a companionship and compassion relationship between a husband and a wife.

On the other hand, Barlas Asma in her work Believing Women” in Islam: Unreading Patriarchal Interpretations of the Qur’an tries to shed more light on whether the Quran supports and encourages liberation for women after being subjected to violence by the men who are their husbands, brothers, and leaders for a very long time. Just like Abou El Fadl, Asma feels that it is high time that readers and scholars find the balance in the interpretation of the Quran to ensure that all genders are considered and to eliminate the notion that men are always right. Moreover, she goes on to say that the Quran is egalitarian and antipatriarchal considering that it affirms the complete equality of the sexes, thereby offering a suggestion that many Muslims read the Quran in ways that seem to justify sexual oppression, inequality and patriarchy nature of men.

Unlike Abou El Fadl, Barlas Asma speaks as a believing woman whose arguments are constructed and based on the theoretical teachings of the Quran.  Thus, it is correct to say that she speaks from Quranic perspective and she rejects the deterministic view of the relationship between sex/gender and reading while clearly stating that her views are not influenced by the fact that she is a woman (Ali, 2016). Abou El Fadl gives both argues by both Quran and a male Muslim considers that women have been subjected to discrimination and torture, physically, emotionally and spiritually by their husbands as well as their leaders.

Question 4

According to Amina Wadud, both male and females should be equal when it comes to religion and in real human life. The author goes on to say that for a very long time Muslim women have suffered a lot in the hands of their male counterparts who wants to dominate all aspects of the woman’s life ranging from her religious life to social life as well as economic life. Islamic gender justice, sustaining the full dignity of all Muslim women and advocating for a social-political structure that encourages the fulfillment of their purpose as full agents of Allah should be the primary mission of all Islamic women and preachers to give a chance to women to show what they got and what they can do. The Quran clearly states that men and women are equal in Islam and their rights due to women are similar to the rights against them concerning ma’aruf.  However, despite the fact that the Quran clearly states that both men and women are equal, Islamic male preachers go on to state that men have a degree over the women without clearly elaborating and explaining in which context men are supposed to exercise authority and control over women. The above quote by the male preachers drives the author to question the integrity of most Islamic male leaders who believe that women have no power and the ability to lead a nation, prayers or a movement despite their background clearly confirming that they have the power and ability to lead (Wadud, 2013). Amina Wadud clearly states that Islam has nothing anyone becoming a leader, whether male or female as long as they have what it requires to be a leader, and it is the high time for people to do away with the notion that women simply cannot lead.

Statistics show that women in Islamic countries stand a low probability of ever coming to power or attaining any leading position in their countries and community set up. However, Amina Wadud believes that having more and more Muslim scholars/interpreters of the Quran will lead to greater gender equality in Muslim countries. As a matter of fact, having more women investing their time and money to study the Quran will give them a better understanding of the Islamic law and thus minimize if not totally eliminate chances and probability of male leaders twisting the Islamic text to suit their ambitions and needs. Moreover, having the much-needed knowledge about their rights and privileges gives them the power to question some of the societal norms and the actions of the male instructors and leaders regarding their position in the religion and community development. Islamic women scholars should understand that each human is created as a moral agent of Allah and should, in fact, play a critical role in spreading prophet Mohammed teachings to the world and this role should not only be left in the hands of men (Wadud, 2013). With this, women are likely to win the war against male dominated religion and society.

In conclusion, it is correct to say that women deserve better in both spiritual and community realms. The Quran clearly states that women and men are equal and provided individual has the necessary abilities and capabilities to lead others should be given the chance and room to be a leader. On the other, the western cultures and countries should put an end to Orientalism and Islamaphobia since they portray a picture of nonhuman to the whole universe. Islam is just a religion and faith, and the government should seek the extremist rather than blaming the entire group.

Related

Between Orientalism and Fundamentalism: Women in Islam

References

Ali, Z. (2016). Concepts of God in Islam. . Philosophy Compass, 11(12), . , 892-904.

El Fadl, K. A. (2014). Speaking in God’s name: Islamic law, authority and women. Oneworld                  Publications.

Wadud, A. (2013). Inside the gender jihad: Women’s reform in Islam. . Praktyka teoretyczna,                  (08), , 249-262.

Wolf, M. (2015). Orientalism and Islamophobia as Continuous Sources of Discrimination?.

Between Orientalism and Fundamentalism: Women in Islam

Between Orientalism and Fundamentalism: Women in Islam

The article titled “Between orientalism and fundamentalism:….” provides critical insights into Muslim women feminism. The article asserts that Muslim feminists and activists encounter difficulties due to hardline views from Western society that regards them as oppressed, backward, and in need of liberation (Zine, 2006). A key point to note is that since September 11 attacks, the Muslim community has been on the spotlight as autocratic and lacking the ascriptions of modern states. The major points of contention revolve around divergent political, religious, social, and economic ideologies between Muslims and the Western society. The article highlights interesting points to note concerning the United States’ war on terror, and the Muslim jihad pitting the “infidel” Western world. Both wars are motivated partially by deep religious ideologies – the West justifies its incursions on the need for justice, while to the Muslims is a war against the “infidels”, or those who do not acknowledge Allah.

The article by Chishti (n.d) examines the challenges that Muslim women face on day-to-day basis and especially in their interaction with individuals from Western societies. Specifically, the author, a veiled Muslim highlights the challenges that Muslim women face at the international women’s movement, where surprisingly, Muslim women ought to feel welcome and at “home”. Chishti (n.d) asserts that Muslim feminists from third world nations are shunned from making a mark to the global feminist advocacy. She argues that even the current international forums still shun minority women. Like other veiled Muslim women, Chishti (n.d) discounts the all too common perception of an oppressed, backward, and uncultured Muslim woman. Wagner, Sen, Permanadeli, & Howarth, (2012), who asserts that the Muslim woman has enormous challenges to confront, notably racial discrimination, Islamophobia, and the patriarchal nature of society, echo Chishti’s views.

Related

Refugees and Risk of Mental Illness & Suicide Rates

References

Chishti, M. (n.d). The international women’s movement and the politics of participation for          Muslim women. The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, 19(4): 81-86.

Wagner, W., Sen, R., Permanadeli, R., & Howarth, C. S. (2012). The veil and Muslim women’s  identity: cultural pressures and resistance to stereotyping. Culture & Psychology, 18(4):      521-541.

Zine, J. (2006). Between orientalism and fundamentalism: the politics of Muslim women’s           feminist engagement. Muslim World Journal of Human Rights, 3(1): 1-24.