Underage Drinking

The use of alcohol in the society is widespread. Many people have indulged in alcohol drinking at various stages in their lives. Most people in the social settings have termed this behavior as a moral degenerate. There are many reasons why people engage in alcohol drinking, and the effects are numerous. The consumption of alcohol among the youth has become an issue of much debate in the global society. Many teenagers are perpetrating this behavior in the society, something that has attracted much criticism in the whole world. Alcohol consumption in the United States by the youth is a serious epidemic. This paper explores the causes and the effects of underage drinking among the youths and the teens in the US. The various programs adopted in order to prevent this behavior in the society are also discussed.


Underage drinking can be said to be the alcohol consumption behavior among the group of people who are under the age of 21 years (Johnson 1). This behavior is most rampant in the developed countries, and age laws in alcohol drinking are taking a new dimension. The age limit for alcohol consumption varies from country to country. Many underage people who engage in drinking are high school and college students (Johnson 1). Most schools in the United States are faced by this problem, and the prevention methods are no longer effective. This is because the legal regulations and the law enforcement procedures are not sufficiently followed (Johnson 1). This reluctant enforcement has contributed to the pronounced alcohol consumption in the youth. However, most countries are putting efforts to curb this heinous behavior.

Causes of underage drinking in the society

The modern world has seen many changes occur in the social setups. The traditional codes of behavior have effaced, and new ways of living are changing the society in different ways. Many laws have been enacted and others amended in order to address the problem of underage drinking in the society. However, most youths and teens are still entangled in the dangerous and risky behavior of alcohol consumption. The likelihood of youngsters engaging in alcohol drinking has risen in the recent past (NIAAA). For example, 75 percent of 12th graders and more than 60 percent of 10th graders in the United States consume alcohol (NIAAA). All these groups comprise of youngsters who are of less than twenty years of age. The youth in the society give various reasons as to why they engage in alcohol consumption.

Early introduction

Early introduction to alcohol consumption has become one of the major reasons for underage alcoholism in the United States. Apparently, children whose parents are alcoholic start drinking at a very early stage in their lives (NIAAA). As NIAAA reports, a child who is brought up in a family where most of the members are alcohol drinkers stands a great risk of consuming alcohol at an earlier stage, than a child who lives in a family where alcohol is not consumed (NIAAA). This occurrence is a remarkable cause of underage drinking in the United States. The family setups must be change in order to avoid this problem. These youths admit to having been introduced to alcohol drinking by their parents and other relatives when they were young (NIAAA). The drinking patterns in the United States are notably rooted from the family codes of behavior, and this is a major cause of underage drinking.

Peer pressure

Peer pressure is perhaps the main cause of underage drinking. This pressure is also a notable cause for other antisocial behaviors in the society among the young people. In the United States and other countries in general, peers spend so much time together, for example in academic institutions, social get-togethers and working environments (NIAAA). This has become a major cause for underage drinking in the American youths in their society. There is always a general tendency for the young people to seek independence by spending most time with their friends. This poses a greater risk of the youngsters trying to adventure in the world of drugs (U.S Department of Health and Human Services 7). Peer pressure leads to the exaggerated desire by the young people to engage in various anti social behaviors in the society. Students in the schools tend to form several kinds of groups, and they can most likely be influenced by the decisions of one of them in order to showcase their solidarity. This grouping can end up tying the members to alcohol consumption, especially when they are far from their homes (NIAAA).

Developmental factors

The human development occurs in various stages of life. The change from childhood to adulthood, commonly called the adolescent stage is the worst stage in terms of underage drinking. Most of the youngsters in this stage experience physical and emotional changes, which are greatly possible to be causes of antisocial behaviors (NIAAA). As NIAAA writes, the developmental changes are mainly reasons why most young people seek independence, and as a result they engage in drug and substance abuse (NIAAA). Alcohol consumption in the youth is widespread, because they tend to have greater tolerance to the effects of drinking than their adult fellows (NIAAA). Most of the young people consume larger amounts of alcohol because of their sensitivity and tolerances are higher than those of the adults (NIAAA).

Another developmental factor that leads to underage drinking is the personality structure. As earlier discussed, children who live in families where most of the family members are alcoholics tend to develop certain personal characteristics, which may promote the alcohol consumption among the young people. These children may experience stress from their families, and are usually anxious (NIAAA). These are characteristics which may possibly drive young people to alcohol consumption in the society (NIAAA). Most of them are rebellious, because of the family tensions that exist in the families, like spousal fights in their presence. Thus, as a way of escaping from the realities that they face, most of them engage in alcoholism at the tender ages. This can also be said to be the result of hereditary traits. For example, the alcohol tolerance in people tends to follow hereditary factors in life. Children whose parents are alcoholics are highly possible to indulge in alcohol because of the hereditary structure of their bodies (NIAAA).

The drinking patterns in the society are causes of underage drinking. Thus development of the society in terms of social behaviors can lead to drug and substance abuse among the youth (Bonnie 16). The drinking behaviors portrayed by the adults influence the drinking behaviors in the youth. Thus, the societal development is linked with the underage drinking. For example, underage drinking would most likely increase in the United States if the minimum age for drinking would be lowered from 21 years (Bonnie 16). As Bonnie writes, the underage drinking is related to the societal development, whereby if the society is advocating for drinking, then most young people will engage in alcohol drinking at their lower ages.

Effects of underage drinking in the society

Alcohol consumption has adverse effects in the society. Virtually everybody in the society knows at least one effect of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption among the youth has particular effects that must be addressed soon, before the society realizes just how bad they have eaten into the ways of living. Most youths do not possess the necessary reasoning capabilities, and in many occasions, the decisions they make are not sound from the moral point of view. Some of the effects of alcohol consumption are fatal, and others detrimental and injurious. Underage drinking has both short and long term effects, and almost all of them are disadvantageous to the victims and the society as a whole.

Health effects

The underage drinking poses some serious health concerns to the victim of the act. For example, a recent study in the US has proved that the alcohol consumption among the youngsters causes damage to the brain cells, which affect the entire development of the brain (Oak). This is a major blow to the young alcoholics in the society, which can even lead to death. Many health research studies show that the physical development of the brain is negatively affected by the alcohol consumption among the young people (Oak). This is because it leads to the decline in the memory status of the brain, which in turn causes disorders in attention of the victims (Oak). Thus, underage drinking has a remarkable health effect to the alcoholics, especially those of the younger ages. These mental health problems caused by the underage drinking lead to troubled socialization among the youths, and the victims may become social outcasts (Johnson 2). Most of the victims become reckless mentally impaired by this behavior.

Apart from the brain damage, underage drinking is also a major cause for liver and endocrine failures in the victims (NIAAA). Alcohol consumption leads to damage in the liver enzymes, which poses a great danger to the life of the victim because of the failure in the liver roles in the body (NIAAA). In terms of the endocrine problems, drinking during the adolescent stage interferes with the hormonal balances in the victim (NIAAA). This leads to inefficient growth of the various body organs and muscles, caused by the damage in the hormones by alcoholism (NIAAA). Hence, in order for the proper growth of body organs during the puberty or the adolescent stage, young people should be discouraged from the drinking behavior.

Performance effects

The perpetrators of this social evil are mostly school going youths in the high schools and the colleges. Due to the indulgence in this behavior of underage drinking, most of these youths may skip classes and study discussions in order to go searching for the drinks (Johnson 3). This leads to drop in academic performances for these individuals, since they do not pay much attention to the academic needs required of them. School work in the alcoholics falls down the pecking order of the priorities, and as a result, the victims may end up scoring poorly in the class. This is the pronounced effect of underage drinking among the school going victims, since most of them miss classes in preference to drinking (Johnson 3). For example, underage drinking is the reason why most students in the colleges score low grades in the United States (Oak). Underage drinkers engage in many other activities that are not favorable to the learning environment, and thus they do not concentrate much on their learning. They spend much time in the bars and other drinking joints, especially the college students. This leads to academic downfall to the victims, as a result of underage drinking.

Cause of suicide

Suicide is an experience that can ever happen to a human being. It may be caused by several factors relating to psychological disturbances in the victim, but alcohol has been noted as a possible cause of this evil action (Oak). Alcoholic behaviors often lead to psychological disorders such as stress and depression among the users. As Oak writes, depression is one of the major causes of suicide, and it usually results fro excessive drinking among the youngsters (Oak). Underage drinking affects the victims’ mental stability, which interferes with the psychological well being of the victim (Oak). This leads to the escapist thoughts which may make the victims to harm themselves physically, and some of them contemplate suicide (Oak). Thus, underage drinking is a cause of suicides in terms of effects to the psychological traits in the victims. For example, many of the youngster suicides are majorly effects of underage drinking (Oak). Over consumption of alcohol can therefore lead to antisocial behaviors in the society, some of which are fatal like in the case of suicidal activities.

Motor vehicle deaths

Drink driving is a widespread epidemic in the United States. Underage drinking is closely related to drink driving (Milkman, Timken & Wanberg 123). Most countries have put in place driving regulations, but the delinquent behaviors among the youths in the United States have resulted to drink driving (Milkman, Timken & Wanberg 123). Accidents from drunk drivers have been discovered as the greatest cause for deaths of youths who are between 15 and 20 years of age in the United States (White 166). also, underage drivers who are usually under the influence of alcohol cause more than 14 percent of all fatal accidents in the United states, which is a significant proportion of fatal accidents in that country (White 166).

Teenage pregnancy and STDs

Premarital sexual behaviors are rampant among the underage drinkers. This leads to unwanted pregnancies among the victims. Most of the teenage girls are most likely to involve themselves in unplanned and unprotected sex, mainly under the influence of alcohol. For example, many girls admit to having found themselves in situations where they practice unprotected sex with their drunken partners (Ellul 38). This is also a major cause of the sexually transmitted diseases among the teenage girls in the society. This is because the teenage girls do not adequately understand the possible effects of unwanted pregnancies and the sexually transmitted disease in the society. Underage drinking among the teenage girls can lead to sexual harassment, and in such incidences, one may find herself infected with the STDs. For example, most drunk teenagers do not appropriately chose their sexual partners, some even are raped when they totally drunk (Ellul 38). It is highly likely for drunken girls to perform sexual activities with unrecognized partners, and this is a very dangerous risk for a girl to engage in (Ellul 38). This causes stigma to the victims who get infected or impregnated by their drinking partners.

Early addiction

Underage drinking can lead to addiction to alcohol, because the body gets used to the alcoholic effects. The addiction problem is most pronounced in victims who engage in alcoholism from a young age (Oak). This group of addicts portrays risky behaviors in the society, and many socially unacceptable incidences occur among these addicts. Early addiction is a problem that can really lead to adult antisocial behaviors, because the youngsters grow with bad mentalities about the society. They are involved in alcohol consumption at high degrees, and the majority of the (NIAAA).

Bing drinking and legal consequences

Most of the underage drinkers often face the wrath of law enforcement. They are arrested and charged for various offences, which they usually commit under the influence of alcohol. Binging is a delinquent behavior that is largely associated with underage drinking (White 164). This behavior mostly occurs in schools, and the abusers of alcohol mainly commit other crimes. Binge drinkers often engage in physical fights, due to the influence of alcohol (White 164). Most of the offenders are arrested by the police, and legal actions are taken against them (White 164). Misuse of alcohol among the youth is illegal, and thus virtually all those found committing various kinds of crimes as a result of drinking are legally prosecuted by the law enforcers (White 164).

Prevention of underage drinking

Education is necessary for preventing underage drinking (Learn About Alcoholism). Victims of underage drinking should be offered educational programs that are aimed at rehabilitating them. They should be taught about the effects of alcohol consumption in the society and the negative impacts that result from indulgence in alcohol consumption (Hanson). Education programs can lead to the creation of awareness to the society, thus possibly preventing the occurrence of underage drinking in the society.

Treatment and therapy practices can also be used to prevent the adverse effects of underage drinking in the society. For example, those who are diagnosed at an earlier stage should be taken to rehabilitation centers for therapy treatments and other programs that may help in preventing this behavior (NIAAA). However, prevention is better than cure, thus the best way to curb the problem of underage drinking is to avoid the indulgence in the behavior.

The law enforcers must take stronger actions in order to curb the problem of underage drinking in the society (Hanson). Those who are found to perpetrate in this antisocial behaviors should be confronted by the regulatory systems of the government, which include the courts, through legal procedures (Ellul 38). This would see the behavior decline in the society, since the youth would be aware of the legal consequences of the underage drinking. Municipal courts should also take part in the prevention of this behavior, since they are closer to the people than the state governments.


Underage drinking is a problem that the society must fight to the end. This is because the alcoholism behavior among the young people has many negative impacts to the society. The government should initiate programs to efface this problem from the society. The family has also a role to play in bringing up children in an upright manner, in order to prevent underage drinking in the society. Teachers in the schools should include lessons concerning the dangers of underage drinking to scare the teenagers away from this social evil. In terms of health awareness, the medical professionals should explain to the youths and other members of the society the dangers of alcohol consumption. Lastly, the law enforcers have to do their part. Police should develop correctional facilities that are aimed at curbing the problem of underage drinking in the society.














Works cited:

Ellul Duncan Aaron Borg. Risk Perception, Awareness and Prevention Measures to reduce        underage drinking and the illegal purchase of alcohol in Malta. Florida: Universal     Publishers, 2008.

Hanson, David. J. “Underage Drinking.” Postdam, 2006. Web: November 8th 2010 from:             http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/UnderageDrinking.html

Johnson, Kelly Dedel. “Underage Drinking.” Dedel Johnson, 2004, Web: November 8th            2010    from:             http://www.google.com/search?q=Underage+Drinking%2C+by+dedel+johnson&           hl=en.

Learn About Alcoholism. “Effects of Teenage Drinking.” Learn About Alcoholism, 2010.         Web: November 8th 2010 from: http://www.learn-about- alcoholism.com/effects-of-    teenage-drinking.html

Milkman Harvey B, Timken David S and Wanberg Kenneth W. Driving with care:         education and treatment of the underage impaired driving offender: an adjunct             provider’s guide to driving with care. New York: SAGE publications, 2010

NIAAA. “Why Do Adolescents Drink, What Are the Risks, and How Can Underage    Drinking Be Prevented?” National Institute of Health, 2006. Web: November 8th     2010    from: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa67/aa67.htm

Oak Manali. Consequences of underage Drinking. Buzzle 2009. November 8th 2010 from:             http://www.buzzle.com/articles/consequences-of-underage-drinking.html

U.S Department of Health and Human Services. “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action To       Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking.” National Institute of Health, 2007. Web:      November 8th 2010 from             http://www.google.com/search?q=effects+of+underage+drinking&hl=en

White, Susan O. Handbook of Youth and Justice. New York: Plenum Publishers. 2001















Motherhood and Criminal Desistance in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

Motherhood and Criminal Desistance in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

1. What is the hypothesis of the research?

H: The attainment of motherhood in disadvantaged neighborhoods of the inner city is via a reduction in the use of the drugs and delinquency.

In order to test this hypothesis, the researchers endeavored to make use of prospective longitudinal data that had been collected on women from disadvantaged inner-city neighborhood in Denver, as opposed to having to depend on the retrospective narration of the mothers (Kreager, Matsueda & Erosheva 2010).  Prior studies that had attempted to utilize broad population samples realized ambiguous research findings as regards the relationship between motherhood and deviance. This might have been the case owing to the heterogeneity of the treatment group whereby the transforming effect of motherhood can only be felt in the disadvantaged neighborhoods, and not in the affluent neighborhoods.  Accordingly, this could result in an illusion effect in as far as broad populations are concerned, as opposed to across all the average neighborhoods. Alternatively, this might be as a result of weak designs of the research and the models of analysis.

List and operationalize all independent and dependent variable examined

Dependent variables

Delinquency: in this study, delinquency as a dependent variable was used to assess the relationship between motherhood and property crimes among women who had been randomly selected in disadvantaged communities.

Alcohol use and marijuana: this variable was deemed important by the researchers in helping them to evaluate if drug behavior impacts on motherhood are different than other types of delinquency.

Independent variables

Age: the respondents to this study ranged in age between 10 and 27 years. The inclusion of quadratic and linear age terms helped to realize the curvilinear association between on the one hand, age and on the other hand, delinquency.

Motherhood: a respondent was either categorized as teen-mothers, or young-adult-mother. Teen-mothers are those who had their first child at or below the age of 19 years, while the young-adult mothers are the females who bore their first child aged above 19 years. In this case, the categories were mutually exclusive, in that even if a mother had her first child say, at the age of 16, and the second one at the age of 23 years, they would still be regarded as teen-mothers on account of the birth of their first child.

Contraception frequency: Sexually active respondents were assessed on their frequency of use of contraceptives over the past one year. In this case, use of contraceptives ranged from “Almost never” to “always”.

Sexual activity: Respondents were requested to report on the number of sexual partners of the opposite sex that they had been involved with over the last 1 year.

Marriage: A 1-10 wave of surveys found use in operationalising the issue of marriage. The question of whether the respondents had at any time been married in the previous year was asked at each of the interviews.

Pregnancy: the researchers relied on the respondents in answering the question about their children’s birthdates. The pregnancy variable ranged between 0 (not pregnant) and 0.75 (for the mothers who had been pregnant for a period of 9 months).

3. What method of data collection was used and the sample examined?

The research design was quantitative in nature and the data collection was through a longitudinal survey of the sample population. In this case, the sample examined entailed 500 women of multi-ethnic origin living in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Denver.

4. Discuss the prior literature reviewed and its relevance to the research problem. Do you believe the literature review is an adequate representation of all relevant studies?

Anderson (1992, 1999) and Edin and Kefalis (2005) (as reported by (Kreager et al, 2010), have provided influential ethnographies that have yielded well-matched lives of the families living in Philadelphia’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. Separately, Anderson (1992, 1999) has sought to explore the “mating game” that is a common occurrence in inner-city neighborhoods in which teenage pregnancies, along with unwed mothers are attributed to competing expectations of both young women and men. Edin and Kefales (2005) also sought to undertake a similar study to the one examined by Anderson (1992, 1999) (as reported by Kreager et al, 2010).   However, their work is somewhat extended to also address the issue of transformative power as it impacts on motherhood, among women living in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. Through the application of in-depth interviews with disadvantaged single mothers as the respondents, the researchers revealed a dramatic variation in the attitudes of women regarding the issue of childbirth along the socioeconomic context.

5. What do the findings suggest?

The research findings of this particular study appear to suggest that motherhood leads to a reduction in the abuse of substances and in the incidences of delinquency among women from the poor urban neighborhoods. Accordingly, the research findings are strongly linked positively with the study’s hypothesis, as extracted from an ethnographic study, that motherhood is a symbolic turning point for women from disadvantaged neighborhoods, and that it ids in shielding them from otherwise high-risk behaviors.

6. Can this research be generalized? Why or why not?

No, this research may not be generalized because it is concerned with a specific sample population, in this case, to examine the effect that the abuse of drug substances and delinquency behavior has on single mothers living in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Denver. If we were to generalize the research, then we might fail to capture research findings that are specific and unique to the sample population in question.

7. How well do you believe the research design chosen was suited to the research design?

This particular research made use of longitudinal data. In this case, use was made of a sample of multi-ethnic women from poor backgrounds, and who are at a higher risk of drug use and engaging in crime, as opposed to previous studies that had relied on general samples consisting of both women and men. As a result, the study was well suited to effectively target the contexts as well as the population where motherhood was thought to impact positively on the behavioral pathways that such young women were more likely to follow. In addition, the study made use of data that had been gathered from a longitudinal design that spanned as far back as 12 years, and entailed a diverse age gap of the respondents (10-27 years old).

8.  How clearly was the data presented and discussed? Do you believe the results are substantively important?

In the presentation of data that emanated from this particular research study, use was made of figures to aid in capturing of the changes in the variables under test, over time. While discussing the results, the researchers have endeavored to make use of secondary data from previous related studies for purposes of consistency. The results of the research are substantively important because the researchers have attempted to make use of correlation coefficients to compare the various variables involved.

9. What additional questions or hypothesis are suggested by the study’s results?

– The delinquent behaviors of women living in poor neighborhoods is likely to be diminished by their becoming mothers.

–  Marriage results in diminished delinquent behaviors among women living in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

– Marriage is associated with reduced incidences of use of drugs

– Pregnancy results in reduced cases of marijuana and alcohol use.



10. What are some of the potential drawbacks of this research?

The research failed to locate enough theory in the existing literature on the question of whether there is a variation on the impact of motherhood on the use of drugs and delinquent behavior between teenagers and the young adults. Another potential drawback for this study was its failure of its study fixed-effects models to take into account potential covariates of time that may have been omitted.



















Kreager, D. A., Matsueda, R. L., & Erosheva, E. A. (2010). Motherhood and criminal desistance in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Criminology, 48(1): 1-38.





Hernandez v. Hillsides Inc. (2009)

Facts: Hernandez and Lopez are employees of Hillside which is a private nonprofit residential facility for neglected and abused children, including the victims of sexual abuse. As part of its company policy, Hillside prohibits the viewing of pornographic websites within its premises. However, it was discovered that plaintiffs’ workstation is used to access prohibited websites. With the intention of protecting the interests of children in their custody, Hillside caused the installation of a surveillance camera in the office. Unbeknownst to the plaintiff, the camera is not used during business hours because of practical considerations. Hence, the plaintiffs’ activities are not really recorded or viewed through the system. Plaintiffs filed a tort case against their employer.

Issue: Did the company’s act of installing cameras in the workplace violate the right of the employees against intrusion of privacy?

Holding: No, although employees have a reasonable right to expect privacy in the workplace the installation of a surveillance camera is not violative of the constitutional right against unreasonable intrusion of privacy.

Rationale: A privacy violation based on the common law tort of intrusion has two elements. First, the defendant must intentionally intrude into a place, conversation, or matter as to which the plaintiff has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Second, the intrusion must occur in a manner highly offensive to a reasonable person. Citing the Hill case, no constitutional violation occurs exists, if the intrusion on privacy is justified by one or more competing interests. In order to balance the function—save where a “fundamental” right of personal autonomy is involved—the defendant need not present a compelling, countervailing interest; only “general balancing tests are employed.” The defendant may likewise show that less intrusive alternative means were not reasonably available. Moreover, whether the intrusion was limited, no confidential information was gathered or disclosed.

Impact: For an employer to come within the allowable exception to the right against intrusion of privacy, he must observe the following limitations: extent to which other persons had access to the subject place, and could see or hear the employee, and the means by which the intrusion occurred.

Analysis: While right to privacy is a cherished fundamental right for the citizens, it must be taken together with other rights which subsume it such as the property rights of employer in terms of protecting the interests of their business enterprise against dubious employees.

Martinez v Combs, (2009)

Facts: Plaintiffs are seasonal agricultural workers whom Munoz employed during the 2000 strawberry season. Combs, on the other hand, is one of the merchants to whom Munoz sells his produce. Arguing that under the Industrial Welfare Commission‘s wage order No. 14-2001, entitled “Order Regulating Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions in the Agricultural Occupations,” defendants come within the definition of employers for purposes of section 1194, they brought this action to recover unpaid minimum wages. The lower courts ruled in favor of Munoz.

Issue: Is Combs an employer? Conversely, are the plaintiffs to be considered his employees?

Holding: Combs is not an employer because he does not come within the IWC definition of an employer. It follows that the plaintiff’s action must necessarily fail.

Rationale: The Court resorted to analyzing the legislative intent. After scrutinizing a century old legislation, it arrived at the definition of employer by aggregating the descriptions available from the IWC. Even while the IWC extended its regulatory protection to workers whose employment status, the common law did not recognize, could not have intended to withhold protection from the regularly hired employees who undoubtedly comprise the vast majority of the state‘s workforce. “To employ” has three alternative definitions. It means: (a) to exercise control over the wages, hours or working conditions, or (b) to suffer or permit to work, or (c) to engage, thereby creating a common law employment relationship.

Impact: A company must see to it that the contract reflects which of the parties are responsible or may be held liable for the three aforementioned tasks of an employer. Also, it must be made clear that the party who is considered the employer will comply with all the relevant labor laws and maintain an indemnity and grievance system for the employees. Were we to define employment exclusively according to the common law in civil actions for unpaid wages we would render the commission‘s definitions effectively meaningless.

Analysis: I agree with the decision because Combs did not have anything to do with the field workers. It was Munoz’s duty to comply with what he committed to deliver to Combs, and the latter does not have a say in how Munoz intends to accomplish his end of the contract.

Ricci et al. v. Destefano et al., (2009)

Facts: New Haven Fire Department conducted a promotion test to lieutenant and captain among its firefighters. When the results came out, it was immediately evident that Caucasian firefighters (plaintiffs herein) significantly outdid those belonging to minority races. The fire department was forced to disregard the first exam after members of minority clamored for their right against racial discrimination. In return, the plaintiffs herein invoke their right against racial discrimination and pray for the reinstatement of the first test.

Issue: Did the City err in discarding the racially disproportionate test results?

Holding: Yes, before an employer can engage in intentional discrimination for the asserted purpose of avoiding or remedying an unintentional, disparate impact, the employer must have a strong basis in evidence to believe it will be subject to disparate-impact liability if it fails to take the race-conscious, discriminatory action.

Rationale: Once a plaintiff has established a prima facie case of disparate impact, the employer may defend by demonstrating that its policy or practice is “job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.”  If the employer meets that burden, the plaintiff may still succeed by showing that the employer refuses to adopt an available alternative practice that has less disparate impact and serves the employer’s legitimate needs. Nevertheless, in the absence of an equally valid, less discriminatory testing alternative that the City, by certifying the test results, would necessarily have refused to adopt, the respondents may not claim discrimination.

Impact: An employer should not try to undo what he thinks is a potentially wrong action by committing a blatantly wrong move. The discrimination suffered by the other minorities during the first test is more apparent than real. As long as the employer is convinced that he tried his best to give fair evaluation to his employees, he should stand by it.

Analysis: I agree with the Court’s decision here because the passers in the first exam have already acquired vested right on the promotional position. Nevertheless, it sets a vague and dangerous precedent for the employer because either way he chooses, he will definitely be sued by the aggrieved party.

Lewis v. City of Chicago, (2009)

Facts: The plaintiffs herein are applicants for firefighting position in the City of Chicago. However, when the results came out, they were only classified as “qualified” hence they did not get the job. They filed an action challenging the validity of the exam because they allege that it had a disparate impact and was does not appropriately measure the aptitude required for the occupation. In this case, they are asking for damages due from unrealized wages.

Issue: The issue is not when petitioners’ claims accrued, but whether they could accrue at all i.e. whether the previous unlawful employment practice may be used in another action?

Holding: Yes. A plaintiff establishes a prima facie disparate-impact claim by showing that the employer “uses a particular employment practice that causes a disparate impact” on one of the prohibited bases.

Rationale: Although Title VII does not define “employment practice,” it clearly encompasses the conduct at issue i.e. the exclusion of passing applicants who scored below 89 when selecting those who would advance. The City “use[d]” that practice in each round of selection. Although the City had adopted the eligibility list (embodying the score cutoffs) earlier and announced its intention to draw from that list, it made use of the practice of excluding those who scored 88 or below each time it filled a new class of firefighters. Petitioners alleged that this exclusion caused a disparate impact. Whether they adequately proved that is not before us. What matters is that their allegations, based on the City’s actual implementation of its policy, stated a cognizable claim.

Impact: Companies must be vigilant on whether their practices are vulnerable to disparate-claims attack.

Analysis: I agree with the decision because it allows the plaintiffs the opportunity to be heard and does not immediately turn down their claims.



Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns

It was an intimate look into the lives of these women and it was wonderfully written. It was able to take you into Afghanistan and it didn’t need to include broad events of war and suffering to do it.  What most stood out to me was the way a clear picture of Afghanistan was painted through the lives of three generations of women. The novel was not only about women’s rights, it was about the right of every human being to a happy and fulfilled life. There were many injustices done to the heroines of the story but instead of pitying them, you end up admiring them for their unbreakable spirit.

It begins with Mariam and her mother. They live in a small hut called a kolba. She is the illegitimate child of a wealthy man named Jalil. She looks forward to his weekly visits and loves going to the cinema with her father. She longed for a life that was exciting and she resented that her mother and she were treated like outcasts. Her mother was the type of woman who accepted life with a somewhat resigned openness. She instilled in Mariam the impression that women like them shouldn’t expect so much from life. That they must accept whatever life throws them with respect.

Mariam was so set on becoming part of her father’s world that she didn’t realize that, in her effort to seek out her father’s acceptance, she would be breaking her mother’s heart in the process. Chalk it up to the selfish and irrational longings of youth. Her mother commits suicide thinking that Mariam has left her. What follows after that tragic day in Mariam’s life is a string of unavoidable disappointments. She becomes the wife of Rasheed, a man who is thrice her age. She became a wife before she even had the chance to be a woman. Getting married off to a stranger at fifteen must be a terrible thought to those from other cultures. But in Afghanistan and many other Islamic countries, it is not uncommon. I think it is one of the true testaments to how their culture demeans women. It makes them into less than nothing because it takes away one of the most basic human rights. The right to choose. Through all of this, Mariam becomes a strong woman. From a young, naive, girl who grew up in a hut, she becomes a silent fighter. She learns to live with the sadness,guilt, and longing.

Laila,however, wasn’t raised to accept inferiority. She was the daughter of a forward thinking educator. She was taught that despite the inferior view of women that is still so rampant in Afghan culture to this day, she had the right to use her intellect.  She grew up knowing she had a choice, unlike Mariam. She had promise and a fire within her that made her believe she was destined for great things.

Sadly, few things remain beautiful and pure in Afghanistan. I like the name “Laila” , it means ‘dark beauty’. And that’s exactly what her life was like, ‘its beauty shone through the darkness. It’s a fitting representation of Afghan culture. The country is war torn but the beauty of the culture still lies deep within. Just waiting to bloom, to shoot up out of the arid, parched ground.

Laila’s best friend Tariq is like an extension of herself. Tariq was the character that gave a more objective view of men in Afghanistan. He is kind. protective and loving. He’s an amputee and Laila and him were so closely dependent on one another that they end up falling in love. They are neighbors with Mariam and Rasheed and their lives would seen be more closely related than any reader would expect. Tariq would profess his love after saying that he and his family are leaving the country. He proposes marriage to Laila but she is forced to decline because her mother will never leave the country. The most tragic day in Laila’s life came when a missile hit their home and killed her parents instantly. It leaves Laila severely injured and Rasheed and Mariam take her in. Out of desperation, Laila agrees to stay with them. She discovers that she is pregnant with Tariq’s child and she agrees to marry Rasheed because she is left without a choice. She becomes the apple of Rasheed’s eye. Young and beautiful and unlike Mariam, she was able to conceive a child. This favor didn’t last for long. She soon discovered that the child she was carrying was a girl and this disappointed Rasheed greatly. For most men in Afghanistan, a son is a blessing and a daughter is a mistake.

The most graphic and heartbreaking part was when Laila had to give birth without anesthesia. It was a caesarian birth. It was an ordeal to even have to read about something so terrifying. Mariam was with her the whole time. They quickly become allies after Aziza is born. Aziza becomes Mariam’s whole world. I think it would be interesting to point out how Aziza’s birth gave Mariam purpose. She could never bear a child but having Aziza in her life gave her strength.

Laila and Mariam find strength in one another. These two characters were one of the two most beautifully written literary characters in my opinion. Laila’s boldness inspires Mariam to find a better life for the three of them. They attempt to escape but end up being caught and they have to suffer through the most brutal beating by Rasheed and they are locked in separate dark rooms with Aziza for days without food or drink. I think the fact that they survived this physical ordeal was symbolic for the way they’ve survived all the emotional torment. It was painful to read about what they went through and how Laila knew she and her baby would die there.

Rasheed was the villain in the story and he represented every Afghan man who mistreated women. In fact, he represented mostly the culture of women’s inferiority in Afghanistan. He was a brute, a bully and a sexist creep. He was the worst possible husband you could imagine. His two wives were beautiful, kind, unique spirits but they were forced to submit to a man like him. They didn’t have a choice like many Afghan women. They are hindered from becoming who they truly are. It showed that oppression was most rampant inside the home and not only on the streets of Afghanistan.

Laila gives birth to another child,a son this time, his name is Zalmai. He becomes Rasheed’s whole world and Zalmai looked at his father with admiration and saw him as a hero, not as the monster he was. Rasheed had known on some level that Aziza wasn’t really his daughter. As the war worsened around them, the war within the household became more tense and unforgiving. They would be shut in most days watching the world around them crumble. Aziza ends up being sent to an orphanage and the author made an interesting connection to his previous novel, “The Kite Runner”. The orphanage was the same orphanage Hassan’s son Sohrab was sent to. Although, unlike Sohrab, it was not said that Aziza was sexually abused while she was there.

Laila makes sure she visits her daughter daily and the most touching fact about it is, she knew she would get a beating from soldiers on her way there but she went anyway. She was so strong and immovable and no pain could keep her from becoming the best mother she could be. Mariam would be waiting for her at home to help her nurse her wounds.

On one of her trips to the orphanage, she runs into a familiar face. It was Tariq. He promised he would come back and he did. This gives Laila a new hope and after 10 years of suffering as Rasheed’s wife, she finally can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Rasheed ends up finding out that Tariq had come back through his son Zalmai’s playful tattling.

Then what follows is the climax of the story. He beats up Laila while Mariam pleads with him. She struck her numerous times and Laila thought it was truly the end of her. It was unlike any beating she had received because Rasheed showed no intention of stopping. Mariam ends up killing Rasheed with a shovel. She did it to save Laila’s life, she had no time to think of the consequences. The events preceding Rasheed’s death take place quickly and while reading it, you end up feeling the urgency and even the relief that Rasheed has left them forever.

They plan to run away and leave the country and Mariam agrees to this plan but the next morning, Laila realizes that she agreed just to soothe her. She would sacrifice herself so that Laila and the children could leave with Tariq. If she turned herself in, they would stop looking for the other wife. Mariam knew what she had to do. She loved Laila and Aziza and she was willing to give her life so that they could go live theirs. Mariam’s execution was one of the most heartbreaking scenes in any book I’ve ever read.

Mariam remained strong until the very end. She knew that Laila and Tariq could finally be happy. She knew all the events that led up to that fateful day had to happen. That was the only way they could all be free. It was the only way to find happiness. So many women have suffered fates like Mariam and Laila. The book’s characters simply gave women like them a voice. It tells the whole world that tragic things happen daily, even in Afghanistan. Watching the news, all you see are the soldiers and the effects of war but you rarely see the people that have to live through it daily. Women who are not just daughters but mothers. Women who are veiled and whose voices are muted. Women wanting to break free from being seen as nothing.

Mariam and Laila’s life represented the lives of so many Afghan women. Women who suffer in silence. Women who’ve learned to live with hopelessness and an inaccurate view of themselves. The culture in Afghan so dictates the belief that women are inferior that the rest are just too scared to question it. This book changed the way I saw being a woman.

It helped me believe in the unshakeable power of love, loyalty and hope beyond any terrible thing that could happen.It became one of my favorite books of all time. It’s one of those few books that had a beating heart at the core. It’s impossible not to be changed after reading a book this powerful. It was eye-opening and moving.

When I try to define this book, I’m at a loss for words. It redefined the way I saw the world. It’s power lied in being so personal that it strikes you right where it matters. Few works of literature have the power to break you but make you feel whole at the same time.

Against insurmountable odds,Mariam and Laila find their purpose. Some may say it is a sad book but after I read it, I was left with nothing but hope. It made me believe that love, real love, can survive anything.



How successful has the prison system been in achieving a balance between disciplinary and therapeutic strategies in dealing with drugs?

The populations who are involved in the system of justice that is criminal also may tend to have problems with drugs. There is a link between abuse of drugs and crime and this leads to the inevitable correlation between disciplinary measures and corrective action that is therapeutic. It is however important to note that the prison has been condemned and along so with its disciplinary measures for not being able to reform the offenders and rehabilitate them back into the society. There is the need to treat the drug offenders and they should all the people who go through the justice system that deals with criminal behavior should be screened and identified for any association with drug use. There are many drug abusers and individuals who are addicted who are also involved with the prison authorities.  These people with special need in prisons are subject to treatment in the therapeutic services in the community (NIDA, 2010, p. 1).

There have been extensive research studies in the communities by the specialists involved in therapeutic services on the treatment of drug related problems and the prisons have not been left behind in implementation of these strategies along their other functions and disciplinary efforts towards criminal behavior. It is however worthy noting that the prison as a correctional service offers services that are post offence and thereby most of their efforts towards alleviating the drug use in the society are curative rather than preventive which is more important in alleviating the problem of drugs use in the society. Thus, they lag behind in their approach and as much as they are involved in the treatment and correction of drug dependency and its consequences, they are mostly viewed as correctional facilities in negative light that are meant for offenders in the society. This portrayal in negative light in the view of the general society means that the prisons are not effective enough in impacting awareness on their drug treatment efforts and more should be done to cast them in positive light. Inevitably, a person who has a drug related problem needs treatment whether or not in prison. But whether or not these benefits in prison of drug treatment in prison are recognized can go along way in determining the policy of approaching the measures employed by the prisons in respect to drug abuse and other correctional outlooks (Estievenart, 1995, p. 12).

There are benefits of integrating the therapeutic treatment in the community in prisons. This prepares inmates for a return in the society and in creating a prison environment that is safer and managed better. It is of the best results when the inmates who have been involved in drug use are involved in therapeutic treatment that has a bearing on community involvement while in transition from their incarceration to re-enter the community. However, it is important to create a perspective that prisons can also provide treatment to the members of the society who find themselves on the wrong end of the law and that they can be of use in preventive this kind of behavior that might have been done under influence other than the general view that prison is a disciplinary action for offenders. This is further complicated by the continual occurrence and reoccurrence of this special group in the society that casts the correctional facilities in bad light. There is need to counsel the offenders on the need for an opinion that is desirable from medical experts but in the public sphere and especially in prisons, this expertise that goes the extra mile like in counseling services remains under funded and underrepresented (O’Mahony, 2008, p. 15-17).

Though the prisons are seen dominantly by the members of the society as a way of disciplining errant members of the society, there should be efforts to provide special services especially to those afflicted by drugs. Towards this end, clinical and non-clinical needs of the prisoners are met by the government though much remains to be done. Prison services have seen the amendment of the policies in a foundation in all establishments that deals with counseling, referral, advice, assessment and through care services. The foundation known as CARATs (which stand for Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Through care services), was developed within an understanding that is theoretical of how there would be the working of the CARATs with a commitment of review and refining of the cases documented and the progress as to present a commitment to the best practices. There have been amendments and improvement of CARATs quality through consultations. It is important to incorporate these services fully in the prison service which should go hand in hand with other strategies in dealing with drugs like medication to ensure that there is a formidable force in dealing with the problem (HM prison service, 2002, p. 43-44).

Prisons are centers of applying disciplinary strategies in ensuring that the offending members of the society are disciplined and brought to the standards required by the society with regards to the level of crimes committed. There are connotations that are ideological associated with the use of drugs and criminality by females that have an impact on the prisoners and which influence the policies adopted and the operation of the prison authorities. Services provided by prisons have made attempts in dealing with the users of the drugs through the development of strategies that make the attempt in combining the disciplinary measures and therapeutic resources. These kinds of measures are subject to implementation through the prison staff. But it is important to note the likelihood of placing greater emphasis on one aspect over the other. In this case, though a balance that is optimal is intended, there has been the general perception that prison is there for disciplinary action and the therapeutic measures are a subsequent to deal with the problems that crop up during the prison term. This can lead to a perception by the prisoners that they are there to be disciplined and there is the likelihood of repeat offenders and especially unresponsiveness to treatment especially on leaving prison (Malloch, 2000, p. 141).

There is emphasis on discipline and security by the staff in prison that are in more direct contact and dealing with the prisons and this can be observed across the board even in male facilities. There is the prioritization influenced by assumptions that are ideological and culture that is personal or occupational. There is also the limit of resources that widen the gap of the prioritization which may hurt other objectives. Coupled with the limit of resources, there is the entrenchment of the function of prison as having the function of disciplining the inmates. Many staff in the prison emphasizes on discipline as an imprisonment function and the general view of the public also tilts on the role of discipline. There is a difficulty in coordinating the objectives that are operational with relation to users of drugs and with an incompatibility in the smooth operations of the strategies, other aims are taken to be secondary to discipline which is reflected in  the organization and operation of regimes that penal (Clarissa, Turnbull & Webster. 2005, p. 14).

There are resources that are limited in prisons and the emphasis on regimes that are austere ensures that the provisions in these institutions that are penal do not exceed what is made available for the community. This issue of dealing with the use of drugs an operation of a mechanism of “less-eligibility” which reflects an emphasis that is over-riding in the pursuit of discipline. There are condoms, exchange of needle, and programs for maintenance available for the community in the maximization of agency contacts with the users of drugs and reduce such infections like HIV and Hepatitis but this is not the case or it is only partial in prisons where syringes and condoms are not available and though medication is provided, there is the view by the recipients that it is unsatisfactory (MacDonald & Berto, 2002, p. 12).

There is a limit in the services found in the community in their capacity to solving the problem that is posed by drugs. Participation of drug users in curative ad research methods towards this problem is inhibited by provisions that are limited and lists for waiting that are lengthy. This constraint on the resources that exist means that the needs for all are unable to be met. Female drug users have been incorporated in services that are specifically designed more for the men. There is an expression by some women under custody and by extension the other prisoners that while aware of the limit in the resources outside; they do not feel like they are ready in stopping the taking of drugs. There are constraints that are very real in prison and any of the resources that are available to those under custody may have an effect that is limited. However, there is the emphasis on the disciplinary measures and serving the jail sentence seems to be unaffected by some of these constraints and has been subject to critique due to the low level of services provided that may be considered secondary and the disciplinary strategies are still emphasized and this may result to what seems to be crude means even with the view of the fact that inmates are offenders who have been put away from the community due to the incompatibility of their actions (Malloch, 2000, p. 141).

There are several problems in different forms that involve the users of drugs who are under custody ‘care’. There is a problem in disclosure and also, withdrawal. There are policies that are highly discretional with relation to care that is medical and provisions in medication for users of drugs in custody. There is an emphasis in the need for identifying the users of drugs entering custody with programs on detoxification intended in the encouragement of disclosure (Carroll & Harris, 2010, p. 2). The time of withdrawal allowed is often subject to disciplinary measures and the need to adhere to strict no-drugs policies of the prison authorities. There is also the problem that prisoners are subjected to in the failure to get medication that is adequate as a part of the detoxification process. This has led to disciplinary conflicts between the authorities and the prisoners who portray a trend that is reflected across inmates of concealing the use of drugs from the authorities. This can be attributed to the fact that these inmates do not deem it to be in their interests to disclose information on their drug use. They also do not perceive benefits that can be gained from such disclosure. A third of those who had problems wit drugs may conceal information and thus, their custodial care do not reflect their problem and disciplinary issues might arise out of concealing this information especially in the case of illegally taking drugs while in prison or the case of repeat offenders(Malloch, 2000, p. 142).

According to Malloch, 2000, p. 142, the research done on women under custody with drug related problems also show that the location of prisoners on their entry to custody or during the treatment posed a problem to many. There are many affected who do not want placement on a wing that is hospital based or under observation in a unit that is secure. But disclosure on use of drugs necessitates a relocation which is part of the policy in prison. This may be aimed at enabling the staff to monitor the prisoners individually in a closer manner but the accommodation’s conditions and the observation requirement procedures have come across as being punitive to those placed under them.

There is also a conflict between the disciplinary issues in the system of imprisonment and the usage of drugs that are illegal. There is the damnation that preventing drugs access in prisons seems to be doomed to be a failure. Enforcement that is stricter has led to responses that are covert by the prisoners and behaviors that are of greater risk to health such as the sharing of equipment used in injecting. Clampdowns have had little to show in the recovery of drugs and have proved neither preventive nor deterrent. Inmates have been undeterred in illegally using drugs in prisons which have seen an outlook of them as discipline resistant. An emphasis that is given to control and security measures highlight the system’s control and punitive aspects and this leads to categorizations of prisoners as being ‘treatable’ or ‘untreatable’ (Malloch, 2000, p. 144).

While emphasizing the issue of discipline, in the guidelines of the prison policy and the provision of resources towards the cessation or reduction of drug use, the authorities concerned with imprisonment provide counseling programs by teams that are within prisons and other programs aimed at helping to reduce or cease drugs use. However, two thirds of women inmates that is reflective of the conditions in the prisons have had no services for users of drugs while under imprisonment. Efforts by staff on such programs are problematic and usually lead to a ‘conflict in interest’ and the lack of confidentiality and expertise in the service provided by prisons. There is also the emphasis on disciplinary measures in matters of control and security by the staff that are internal in the prisons and their prioritization at the detriment of professional therapeutic measures (Malloch, 2000, p. 145).

The policy that is repressive leads to an evaporation of concerns that is therapeutic. Even in cases where there is a desire existing and programs for treatment for the drug users, intensification in measures that are disciplinary goes against these therapeutic concerns. The percentages of prisoners due to drug reasons are high. Consumption of drugs that are illicit by in prison is of more danger health wise due to lack of health care that is adequate. This is despite an obligation by the authorities in prisons to preserve health, life, and wholeness of the people in custody. This is also reflected in other spheres of the life of the prisoner like the emphasis on disciplinary matters and their taking precedence. The question of treatment in the cases of drugs has not received adequate consideration. In addition, people in custody are exposed to the consequences of an illegal market and lack of the measures in hygiene. Under confinement, there lacks real health programs that are public and the establishments that are penal lack the capacity in the provision in treatment that is proper as to be aligned with standards that are minimum in health. The chances that are very slender for treatment of persons who are convicted are reduced to nothing for those in custody that is preventive with control and discipline measures taking precedence (Estievenart, 1995, p. 153).

The fight against drugs and the need to instill discipline both in prison with regards to drugs and its reflection in the outside world has resulted in abuses on the rights of human beings that are serious. People identified with drug use are locked away for time periods that are extended in “treatment facilities” which involves being detained without trial, they are held in conditions in prisons that put them at the risk of contracting diseases, they are subject to techniques that are experimental, confinement that is solitary, mandatory testing, and in some of the cases psychological and physical abuse branded as treatment for drugs. The police who have an authority over the suspects sometimes abuse the system of justice by extracting confessions and resorting to violence which has an implication on the outlook of prisons. Efforts to control drugs and portray an image that would be seen as pro discipline by those linked with law enforcement and legal matters undermine services in health that are life saving in their efforts to control drugs including the prevention and medical attention to HIV and the treatment on drugs’ dependence. There are substantial percentages of people in the prisoners who are incarcerated for offences related to drugs. There is the incarceration of those who are most marginalized which includes dealers who are small time, offenders in drugs who are at a level that is low, and also overwhelmingly, drug users. There is a combination of failures to address he treatment in drug problems adequately with disciplinary measures that are harsh on usage of drugs and possession (Human rights watch, 2009, p. 1).

There are many prisons that are guilty of a failure in the adequate address of the drugs problem and giving it the due consideration which is combined with disciplinary measures that are deemed harsh. This gives a name that is not good to the services on prisons around the world. There are many efforts in the control of drugs that have the consequences of abuses in the rights of humans that are serious. There is an association of the drug control policies with torture, denial of medicines that are essential and services in health that are basic that inflict fear and give a bad outlook to the issue of combating drugs usage. Penalties in death are deadly including killings. This is extended to the prisons where the disciplinary measures in matters concerning drugs can be exceedingly strict and it is not a surprise that they surpass the essential need to provide therapeutic strategies to that affected people. These essential services are usually suppressed in the efforts of instilling and maintaining discipline and command and can have bad effects on the psychology and views on prisons and they do not offer remedies that can be supportive of future positive treatment (Human rights watch, 2010, p. 1).

There is a high prevalence of crimes that are drugs related. These are inclusive of offences to which the effects of drugs contribute, offences which are related to the need of money in financing the use and offences related to the distribution of the drugs. There is a proportion that is significant of the prisoners who go through the systems that are criminal who are dependent on drugs. Where possible there should be the treatment of drug related problems in systems that are dedicated in health care provision instead of the justice system that is criminal being left to deal with the matter. Although there is the recognition of the need for the therapeutic services, the justice system dealing with criminal behavior lays emphasis on the process that is disciplinary (Ministry of justice, 2010, p. 1). There is a need to shift the paradigms in the thought and policy implementation process and involve more of medical services expertise to offer services that are curative in nature and also go the extra mile in tapping expertise that can provide preventive services in the community that is affected by drug usage by offenders. Interventions in cases of people who are dependent on drugs when it comes to the criminal system of justice should focus on addressing therapeutic strategies as incarceration’s alternative and the provision of treatment on the dependence of drugs during prison term and after the release. They should also reconsider disciplinary measures that might be overemphasized but not equally effective. There should be effective coordination between the treatment system and the system in criminal justice to address the balance needed in enhancing strategies that are pro treatment and the care of these people who have been affected by drugs in the society. This should go a way in reducing the dependence on drugs and also in crime reduction. The threat of relapse may be attributed to prison outlooks and entrenched policies that enhance discipline at a cost of treatment services and social integration can be enhanced more if proper research and application of therapeutic strategies was given more weight (United Nation office on drugs and crime & WHO, 2008, p. 14).

Conclusively, it is important to note the challenges posed by the system of justice dealing with criminal cases with regards to drugs. There is an overriding emphasis of discipline strategies in prisons that tend to shadow any efforts on therapeutic strategies. It is also important to note that these prison authorities and their staff have a reflection of the prisons as being facilities where discipline is given dominant consideration and this may be reflected ion policy and also in the public opinion and the judgment of the community with regards to prison services. An attitude of harsh disciplinary measures towards drugs does not help and may lead to repeat offenders and resistance in the offender’s change of behavior. There are efforts to integrate the crucial treatment facilities to the system but these are routine and subject to limits. The staff involved also lacks the expertise to go beyond treatment and provide non clinical survives. There should be shifts in the thinking which should focus more on treating drug related problems and avoiding neglect while concentrating on disciplinary measures which can lead to conflicts in the area of the rights that are human.




















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Clarissa, P., Turnbull, P. J. & Webster, R. 2005, Tackling prison drug markets, Retrieved 08

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Estievenart, G. 1995, Policies and strategies to combat drugs in Europe: the Treaty on European

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Malloch, M. S., 2000, Women, drugs and custody: the experiences of women drug users in

prison, Waterside press, UK.

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Retrieved 08 December 2010, http://www.fead.org.uk/docs/IWRecoveryPaper09-web.pdf

How successful has the prison system been in achieving a balance between disciplinary and therapeutic strategies in dealing with drugs?


The role of the prison can be described in various ways. Nevertheless, in a broader sense, prisons are meant to perform the varied objectives of punishment which include deterrence, retribution and rehabilitation. The generalized understanding of the function of the prison is however, at the least, to keep troublesome individuals away from the society. In this regard, the prison facility has traditionally been used in keeping away individuals who are regarded as being socially unfit given that they have been used in incarcerating those who either deserved punishment or perceived to be dangerous to the public. The statements regarding the prison goals reveal the combination of seemingly incompatible aims. Prisons are said to be aiming at containing prisoners and supervising offenders in a humane and cost effective way which meets the expectations of the society in regard to safety, compensation, and the encouragement of the offenders to adopt a law abiding lifestyle. The concept of humane and cost effective inevitably creates tensions. In real sense, the rehabilitative function of the prisons requires that there be significant resources for programs and education and this does not comfortably rhyme with the concept of cost effectiveness as well as punitive measure which is one of the core functions of the prison system. In relation to the drug abuse issue, the prison system has to strike a balance between acting as a disciplinary strategy and also as a therapeutic strategy for the drug offenders (Irwin & Austin, 1994).

This paper shall aspire to look at how successful has the prison system within the United States been able to strike a balance between disciplinary and therapeutic strategies in dealing with drug abusers.


Drugs and drug-use related behavior is often linked to numerous criminal activities. Within the United States, it is a criminal offence to engage in usage, possession, manufacture and distribution of drugs which have been categorized as illegal. It has been noted that the impacts of drug-related behavior which may include violence and robberies has an influence on the day to day running of the community (Irwin & Austin, 1994). In the year 1999, it was estimated that over six million adults which comprised of slightly over 3% of the adult population were placed under correctional supervision. In addition, close to 100,000 juveniles were incarcerated in both public and private juvenile facilities for non-status offenses. 9% of the juveniles were said to be drug offenders. Statistics from the 1998 prison population data indicated that 21 per cent of the state prison population represented drug offenders and that 59 per cent of Federal prison population comprised of drug offenders during the same year. In 1998, it was also noted that over 25 per cent of all inmates who had been placed under local supervision were imprisoned for drug related offences (Whitehousedrugpolicy.gov, 2008).

The increasing trend reflected in drug offender prison population indicates that there has been a gradual increase in arrests made related to drug offenses. The Federal Bureau of Investigation records show that in the year 1980, over 580,000 arrests for drug offenses were made and the number of arrests reached peak in 1997 when close to 1,560,000 arrests were made. In 1999, over 1,530,000 drug-related arrests were made which represented close to 11% of the total arrests in that year. The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) approximate that between 60 per cent and 83 percent of the country’s correctional population have at least used drugs at some point in their lives; which is double the approximation of the drug use of the total American population. In the year 1997, over 80,000 and 990,000 male inmates were in Federal and State prisons on drug related offenses (Whitehousedrugpolicy.gov, 2008).

Similarly, during the same year, there were close to 6,500 and 66,200 female inmates incarcerated in Federal and State prisons respectively on drug related offenses. From the statistics, it is obvious that the prison system is working hard to achieve its goal of ensuring that drug offenders are kept away from the society and given what takes place within the prison walls with therapeutic programs in place, then the prison system can also be said to be striving towards ensuring that the drug offenders are rehabilitated once they leave prison to integrate well with the outside society (Whitehousedrugpolicy.gov, 2008).

The prison system as a disciplinary strategy:

In an attempt to reduce the availability of illegal drugs and the levels of drug use among the citizens, most governments have chosen the pursuit of the legal establishment in enforcing of the oriented domestic drug control policies which are heavily reliant on incarceration (Irwin & Austin, 1994). Such a policy choice is influenced by the desire to incapacitate, provide retribution and to some extent attempt to rehabilitate the offenders. It is also hoped that imprisonment of the offenders would act as a deterrent measure to other potential offenders. As a consequence, apart from its other roles, the thought of spending time in prison is meant to discourage other potential criminals from engaging in a criminal activity and also discourage the offenders from re-offending after being released from the prison. The effectiveness of deterrence is said to be dependant on a number of factors which include severity, certainty and immediacy of the legal punitive measures. The policy makers are therefore on the forefront stating that police activity and stricter sentences have to be adopted in order to deter individuals from becoming involved in drug related offences (Stern, 1998).

Imprisonment as a deterrent thus plays a critical role in law enforcement strategies that attempt to discourage the consumption of illegal drugs (Stern, 1998). This essentially operates at different levels depending on the various categories of drug offenders. First, through the increase of the risk of facing arrests as well as being imprisoned which faces the high level and retail level dealers, the strategies aim at making the availability of illegal drugs scarce and expensive. This is intended to cause disruption in the market of the related drugs and thus reduce the accessibility to the drug by the drug users. Secondly, the situation is bolstered by application of sanctions against the drug users themselves if they continue to procure drugs under the established difficult circumstances. It is expected that fear of the punishment would act as a deterrent through increasing the risks of arrests and imprisonment related to drug use and therefore discourage the use of illicit drugs (MacCoun & Reuter, 2001).

It is a matter of fact that imprisonment has continued to play a vital role in regard to crime policy of every nation. In the United States, studies indicate that many people are being arrested on drug related offences. In the present time, it has been argued that over half of Federal inmates were arrested due to drug related offences. As one of the countries in the world which uses imprisonment as a drug policy tool, there is a lot of data and research work which have been conducted in the United States relating to the incarceration as a tool of combating illicit drug use and dealing. In an effort to cause reduction in illicit drug use, the United States administration has for many years pursued the punitive drug control policy framework which has often been referred to as ‘war n drugs’. The contemporary United States drug policy is aimed at reducing the scope and scale of drug markets through supply-side initiatives, especially the tough and uncompromising law enforcement policies. The challenges which are faced in an effort to achieve a sustained and widespread success in reducing both foreign production and flow of illegal drugs in the United States means that the policymakers within the United States have to augment the supply policies in foreign countries with punitive measures at home. This approach has been boosted by the threat of arrest and imprisonment for offenders who may be uncovered.

There is a growing data evidence that the United states prison population has been on a steady increase over the past few decades and this can be partly be attributed on the war on drugs. The rise has been noted to be acute starting in the 1980s when the concern regarding cocaine became prominent. The figures available indicate that drug arrests have more than tripled in past two and a half decades to reach a record high of 1.8 million in the year 2005 (MacCoun & Reuter, 2001). In the year 1980 there were about 580,000 drug-related arrests which have increased over the period to reach the region of 1.8 million by the year 2005. Of the 1.8 arrests made in the year 2005, 81.7 per cent were due to possession of the illicit drugs and that about 42% were for marijuana related offences. The upward trend witnessed in drug arrests can be attributed to the mandatory sentencing statutes which came into being upon the stepping up of the war on drugs that was initiated during the Reagan administration. The mandatory minimums at either the state or federal levels ensured that individuals would serve a prison term upon having been convicted of passion of a relatively small amount of illegal substances (Pearson & Lipton, 1999).

There are various drug prevention benefits which can be associated with the incarceration of the drug offenders. There is some evidence which points to the suggestion that domestic enforcement can go a long way in reducing the illicit drug use by directly lowering demand. In this regard, once the drug users are imprisoned, they do not contribute to the drug market outside the prison, at least in theory. In addition, given that most of those selling the drugs are users, through the incapacitation of the sellers the number of active buyers can greatly be reduced (Boyum & Reuter, 2005). However, it is worthy noting that the wholesale suppliers and importers who form the most powerful cartel in the market are seldom drug users. It has however remained a great challenge to establish a relationship between trends in imprisonment and a reduction in the market.

It has also been established through research that the United States domestic enforcement, especially low-level enforcement does have an impact on the level of illegal drug usage. This is because the risk of imprisonment is distributed over a small quantity of drugs for street level retail dealers. For instance, a street retailer handling a gram of cocaine risks a prison term which can be a quarter of that being faced by a high-level dealer who handles one thousand grams of cocaine. According to Boyum and Reuters (2005), close to 90 per cent of the retail price of cocaine and heroine represents price mark ups found in the United States. This figure mirrors an economic reaction or market distortion related to the risks which are faced by the drug dealers in terms of being arrested and imprisoned. A rise in the pricing of the illegal drugs would in turn have an impact on the prevalence rates given that some of the drug users will not be willing to pay the high prices (Boyum & Reuters, 2005).

It can generally be agreed upon that the United States domestic drug enforcement policies which includes imprisonment impacts on the drug user-rates by keeping the prices of the drugs much higher. There has been empirical evidence which support this observation as exemplified by a study which was carried out by Kuziemko and Levitt in 2004. In their study, the two found out that harsher punishment for drug offenders could be associated with high drug prices. In other words, the two were suggesting that tripling of incarcerations for drug related offences may have led to an estimated 12-14% increase in the retail price of cocaine between the years 1985 and 1996 (Pearson & Lipton, 1999).

The prison system as a therapeutic strategy:

It is important to observe that punishment is not the only aspect of the United States drug policy and that drug treatment and prevention strategies have also been embraced through the domestic polices (Gravett, 2000). It is a mater of fact that the United States government engages in spending of a very huge budget on drug prevention and treatment programs than any other country in the world. Additionally, in the recent past there has been an expansion of drug court movement whereby the judges oversee the treatment of drug dependant offenders in community-based or residential or residential setting as an alternative to short-time incarceration (Wayne, 2007).

However, it has to be observed that the vigorous pursuit of law enforcement and criminal justice measures have remained dominant. It has been noted that in the past few decades, the number of prison inmates who have committed drug-related offences has been growing steadily (Wayne, 2007). The steady growth in the prison population has meant that more individuals with substance abuse problems have become common in the prison system. It has also been observed that drug relapse could be blamed for recidivism being witnessed in the prison system within the United States (Gravett, 2000). It is therefore important that the criminal justice system develop with a therapeutic strategy to curb the menace being attributed to the drug abuse phenomenon. It general knowledge that if a prisoner is able to learn mature coping skills while incarcerated, he or she is better placed to integrate well in the outside world once out of the prison and therefore less likely to return to the criminal justice system (Johnson, 2002).

Mature copying skills according to Robert Johnson comprises of three elements which include acceptance of the problem at hand; working through the problem without resorting to violence unless in incidences of self-defense and learning to live within community environments where an individual can offer assistance to others and empathize with their problems (Johnson, 2002). A therapeutic community is a concept which has been adopted in various prison facilities and seems to be implementing the concepts advanced by Robert Johnson. The cycle of drug use and criminal activities has been blamed for the increasing prison population allover the world. The overrepresentation of the inmates who are convicted on drug related offences have led to the pressing need to initiate the therapeutic centers within the prison facilities. In the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the provision of treatment to drug abusers has been spotty and slow in coming despite the fact that close to 60% of its prison population were incarcerated for drug-related offenses (Wayne, 2007).

Research has indicted that treatment for drug addicted offenders during and after imprisonment may have a considerable impact on future drug-use, criminal behavior as well as social functioning of the individuals concerned. The concept of integrating drug addiction therapy in the criminal justice system can be compelling. Combination of prison and community-based treatment for those offenders who are addicted to substance use minimizes the risk of recidivism, drug-related criminal activity and relapse in drug use. According to a study done on the therapeutic treatment program in Delaware State prison system, the participants were found to be having a 70% chance less likely to return to drug use and recidivism compared to those who did not participate. Most of the offenders who are involved with the criminal justice system are not in prison but under community supervision. Those offenders who are identified with drug problems, drug treatment may be recommended or mandated as a condition for probation. According to research, offenders who enter treatment due to legal pressure can achieve good results just like those who enter treatment on a voluntary basis (The National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010).

The criminal justice system may refer drug offenders to treatment through various mechanisms which include diversion of non-violent offenders to treatment; stipulation of treatment as a condition of incarceration; probation; pre-trial release; and convening of special courts like the drug courts which can take care of drug-related offenses (De Leon, 2000). Such courts are responsible for mandating and arranging or treatment as an alternative measure for imprisonment and actively engage in the monitoring of the progress made in the treatment and also arranges for other services as may be required of the drug-related offenders (Pearson & Lipton, 1999). The most effective models incorporate the criminal justice and drug treatment systems and services. The treatment and criminal justice employees work hand in hand on the treatment planning. This includes implementation of screening, placement, testing, monitoring, evaluation and supervision and also the systematic use of sanctions and rewards. Treatment for imprisoned drug abusers needs to include continuing care, monitoring and supervision even after the imprisonment and during parole (The National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010).

The implementation and development of prison-based therapeutic community can be exciting and frustrating at the same time. It can be exciting because the corrections department together with its related institutions and traditional doctrines often clash with the optimistic and humanistic aspect of the therapeutic community (O’Brien & Perfas, 2005). The correctional facilities are steeped towards the retributive philosophy which emphasizes heavily on the security and total control of the inmates. On the other hand, therapeutic community initiatives focus on the provision of treatment for the inmates and also on the provision of services which enables the process of change to occur. This forms two contrasting cultures which have to be reconciled so as to work in achieving the common goal (De Leon, 2000).

There are therefore various challenges which the pioneers of the prison-based therapeutic communities faced in developing their program within a prison environment particularly in regard to reconciling the two contrasting philosophies. However, there have been major achievements as adaptive changes have been made by both the prison authorities and the treatment staff to come up with viable therapeutic communities in the prison system. The challenges that the prison system and its unique population of inmates puts on the therapeutic community implementers can be daunting but this should not act to deter any individual who would wish to give it a try (O’Brien & Perfas, 2005).

The experiences and observations of prison-based therapeutic communities which include the Project REFORM in New York were instructive as they came up with various declarations. In such prison-based therapeutic communities, treatment efforts were more likely to be successful when administered jointly by the correctional and treatment staff. It was also noted that the primary focus of such programs was to reduce criminal recidivism. The effective in-prison therapeutic community programs were to incorporate a seamless continuum of care for those who had been paroled in the community and that the evaluation results needed to include objective measures like urine monitoring, infractions and official arrest records (Rawlings & Yates, 2001).

The State of Delaware–Department of Correction appreciates the vitality of substance abuse treatment amongst its prison population. It is estimated that 80% of the state’s prison population is made up of substance abusers. If there were no intervention and treatment for the drug abuse offenders, there is no doubt that the rate of recidivism could be well over 70%. Delaware has therefore adopted a three-step substance abuse treatment program which has proved to be effective in the rehabilitation of drug offenders. The treatment program adopted by Delaware is often referred to as KEY, Crest, Aftercare (Delaware.gov, 2006). The treatment has to follow the offender from the prison to work release and finally to full-time status in the community (Rawlings & Yates, 2001). Delaware became the first state in the United States to implement such an aggressive offender substance abuse program in totality. The KEY program forms the first component of the Delaware’s substance abuse treatment for offenders who have been identified as having a history of substance abuse. This is a prison based therapeutic community for both men and women which can be described as a complete treatment environment which is discipline-based, intensive and in isolation from the other prison population. The fundamental goal of KEY program is to alter the unwanted patterns of behavior, thinking, and feelings which influence an individual towards drug abuse (Delaware.gov, 2006).

The Crest Program forms the second component of the statewide program for the drug offenders in Delaware. Crest Outreach Centers are essentially residential centers for both the male and female inmates. This program enables the recovering substance abusers to continue wit their treatment even as they integrate in the community. The offenders in this regard are supposed to display pro-social behavior including some aspects of being honest, responsible, and accountable before they are hired for jobs within the community. The Crest program is usually a six month program and that the first section of the duration is spent in the Crest Centers where the offenders are engaged in substance abuse treatment on a full-time basis. The second section of the duration is involves the offenders being involved in the work-release program. Finally, the Aftercare program forms the last component of the Delaware treatment program for the drug offenders. The offenders who take part in the Aftercare live full time within the community but they return to an assigned center every week to engage in group sessions and counseling. They also are required to participate in random mandatory drug testing. Essentially, the Aftercare offenders reside in ‘host houses’ whereby host families are required to meet designated requirements to be allowed participation (Delaware.gov, 2006).


There is no doubt that drug abuse offenders form a bulk of the prison population in the United States. The prison system is meant to discipline as well as provide a therapeutic treatment to such offenders so that recidivism and relapse is put at the minimum. Incarceration as a disciplinary measure keeps the offenders in an isolated environment where the offenders are denied most of their freedom rights and this may function as deterrence to the potential offenders who would not wish their freedom to be curtailed. Nevertheless, the therapeutic function has proved to be a necessity to compliment the disciplinary role played by the prison system. Though the United States has been slow in adapting the therapeutic strategy within its prison system, it has proved to be a success particularly in states which have implemented the therapeutic communities within their prison system.






Boyum, D. & Reuter, P., 2005, an Analytic Assessment of US Drug Policy, Washington DC; The AEI Press.

Delaware.gov, 2006, Substance Abuse Treatment, Retrieved on 9th December 2010 from; http://doc.delaware.gov/Programs/treatmentprograms.shtml.

De Leon G, 2000, The therapeutic community: theory, model, and method. New York: Springer.

Gravett, S., 2000, Drugs in prison: a practitioner’s guide to penal policy and practice in Her Majesty’s Prison Service, London; New York: Continuum.

Irwin, J. & Austin, J., 1994, it’s about time: America’s imprisonment binge. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Johnson, R, 2002, Hard Time: Understanding and reforming prison 3rd eds, Australia, Wadswoth.

MacCoun R. J. & Reuter, P., 2001, Drug War Heresies: Learning from other vices, times and places. Cambridge, New York; Oakleigh, Madrid; Cape Town; Cambridge University Press.

O’Brien W. B. & Perfas F. B., 2005, The therapeutic community. In: Lowinson JH, Ruiz P, Millman RB, et al., eds. Substance abuse: a comprehensive textbook, 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; pp 609-616.

Pearson, F. S. & Lipton, D. S., 1999, A meta-analytic review of the effectiveness of corrections-based treatments for drug abuse, The Prison Journal, Vol., 79, Issue 4 pp 384-410.

Rawlings B. & Yates R, eds., 2001, Therapeutic communities for the treatment of drug users. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Stern, V., 1998, A Sin against the Future: Imprisonment in the World, London; Penguin Books.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2010, Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide, Retrieved on 9th December 2010 from; http://drugabuse.gov/PODAT/faqs2.html.

Wayne, N. W., 2007, Amultisite Evaluation of Prison-based Therapeutic Community Drug Treatment, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol., 34, pp 1481-1498.

Whitehousedrugpolicy.gov, 2008, Drug Treatment in the Criminal Justice System, Retrieved on 9th December 2010 from; http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/factsht/treatment/index.html.



The film “Trainspotting” tackles the disease called drug addiction present in pop culture in line with several issues society is currently facing. The film tells the story of five childhood friends who possess certain qualities and outlook of typical men in a common urban community. Four of them, namely Mark Renton played by actor Ewan McGregor, Sick Boy played by Jonny Lee Miller, Spud played by Ewen Bremmer, and Tommy played by Kevin McKidd, became addicted to heroin while the fifth one, named Begbie played by actor Robert Carlyle, although not addicted to heroin was characterised as being a psychopath. This film engages audiences in their fight against their addiction. “Trainspotting” became controversial for its poor representation of Edinburgh culture marked with heroin abuse. The film is set at a time when Edinburgh was considered to have high cases of heroin usage in Europe (South, 1999, p. 26). This film shows viewers the several features of Scottish and British society that are more likely to be even more painful. “Trainspotting” touches the subjects of poverty, racial discrimination, and outlooks toward incapacity. The dominant idea being discussed is the issue of heroin usage since the main character is a user. The use of drugs issue in this film is vital as it allowed people to observe how the elements of fiction can be integrated into the picture of urban society.

Danny Boyle is the director of this movie, and some consider that “Trainspotting” is one of his most remarkable works in his career. It is a film where the whole thing becomes appropriate. There are some films that are lucky to be taking the cinemas by storm such as what Trainspotting did. But of course, one should not forget that the main evidence of this film’s eminence is its ability to be embraced by anyone (Nelmes, 1995, pp. 38-39).  Regardless if one watches it alone or with others, he or she can still enjoy it. Watching it in 1996 and watching it today has no difference at all. The power it has over its viewer remains the same. This film can be considered as one of the most successful and flawless creative art pieces that has ever been filmed, and it never fails to impart a stimulating film experience.

“Trainspotting”, which tackled Edinburgh heroin culture, has characters that represented young adults to full-grown adults. The actors portrayed their characters relatively great, with the script intricately woven and packed with insights and wit. Based on the novel of the same title, this film did it justice with its outstanding adaptation.

The film shows how drug abuse further aggravates interpersonal and societal problems and vice versa. Gradually, audiences can see the situations of Renton’s friends, parents, other relatives, the parents of his friends, and some other characters and how they are connected. Being the main character of the story, the film relates others’ stories to Renton. Audiences therefore see how troubled Renton’s life and those of the people around him really are. Begbie, one of his friends, for instance, can be described as a broken soul with a weak inner identity. Meanwhile, Sick Boy, once he becomes high, hears commands in his head asking him to do bad actions. He is becomes a sadist sometimes, and he likes using women solely for the purpose of sex. Another character is Spud who is not a regular user of heroin but is a burglar. These characters showed the male stereotype of machismo. A man may befriend those people who give him adequate ego boost.

This film was carefully crafted to give profound attack on several issues faced by society. Symbolisms are used to present to viewers the social contexts that were embedded in the film. The portrayal of doping men remains effective with the use of absurd contrast marked with interpersonal issues of the characters. The creation of the characters is particularly interesting and stimulating.

Mark Renton is the protagonist of the story. He deals with the management of his addiction to heroin. He is the only character in the film that has a profound personality. Other characters support him with certain features, perspective, and strength they represent. The way they harmonise with each other serves its function of giving this film more depth. The structure of the characters’ difference and assortment fits in well with the subject of the storyline.

The combinations of various elements incorporated in the film make it unusual yet enough to catch attention. There are several funny scenes in the film, and it can be easily noticed how these scenes were amplified by the accent used in the language of the characters. Symbolism was used primarily toward the addiction and toward its implications to the present situations of Scottish society.

With regard to the social context tackled in the film, there are few review and interpretation about the issue of AIDS. If people are to think of any flaw of this movie, that would be it. “Trainspotting” addresses several issues of society by the use of ingenious imagery and allegory. It also showed the issue of neglect of children and its relevance to the nature of Scotland’s stand in the international economy.

Audiences can also notice how the Scottish accent was dominant in the film, and it added to the texture of the dialogues. This may also be regarded as a downside to the film because all characters chat with Scottish accents using Scottish slangs. Some audience may find it hard to understand these dialogues, for it will take some keen listening skills to get what everybody’s really saying to each another. Only those from Scotland would not find it a problem. Some humorous scenes would then require repeated listening to get what the thought is.

The group of drug addicts in Edinburgh in the late 1980s when used as the subject in this film effects the construction of a series of narratives that are more than cinematic but has a particular touch of sociopolitical schemes. Each scene contributes to the power of the successive scene and remains to be as coercive as the next. This way of constructing the film is a successful way of imparting what it is all about—as discussed with its thematic approach.

Pop culture was used rightly in “Trainspotting”. Thus, it cannot be easily forgotten by those who already watched the it. Some even found the film as a narrative that promotes drug addiction. However, if people are to scrutinise further, drug addicts in this film were complimented rather than maligned. There is a consistent display of brutal yet truthful and appallingly catastrophic context. The film may never be intended to emotionally influence the audiences into totally abhorring the characters. However, it does not imply that it encourages the use of drugs. This also added to the uniqueness of the film since its creators managed to be careful enough not to make it a sentimental, histrionic creation (Andersen, 1996, pp. 38-39).

As relative to the wider political, social, and economic context, the ideas in the film “Trainspotting” can be applied in the current situations as they will primarily affect the individual prior to seeing how these ideas affect other people in society. Addiction to drugs is a gradual and sinister illness that grows on a person. The sad truth is that most people find it hard to acknowledge the situation until this disease has totally owned its victim. The indications are so understated and can be simply ignored that most people nowadays are finding it hard to battle this bad habit without even realizing that it may bring everything down in their life (Heymann & Brownsberger, 2001, p. 225).

This situation among addicts then results to a number of crimes, so some policies are being enforced to have this halted. More than just actions from the government, it also requires a more proactive role of local business communities in society to resolve this issue especially as it turned out to be a crisis. The capability in initiating plans and capitals, managing miscellaneous functions, establishing production, and making the plans eventually realised could profoundly alter the development of this population-related issue (United Nations Human Settlements Programme, 2007, p. 61).

In a deeper analysis of ‘Trainspotting’, people should carefully consider what it showed that addiction to drugs, same as other bad habits, is an extremely clever mental illness. It has the power to persuade a person that he or she needs drugs to perform well. This is despite the undesirable outcomes. Drug addiction is an illness that makes the human become an alarming criminal as it repetitively offer reasons and explanation and excuses for drug abuse. For this situation, drug addiction is a destructive disease that is present in the social order. Addicts will not be able to notice it until they lose control over themselves. Even then, this habit endures to urge the devastating conduct related with the illness (Hanson et al., 2006, pp. 57-61). Consequent damage to the body will not even stop an addict. He or she will continue drug use since he or she does not acknowledge his or her condition. As shown in the character of Mark Renton, addiction can easily take hold of the person.

In some social groups, drug abuse is not just tolerable but fostered. This allows addiction to get more opportunity. It may be hard to recognise when recreational drug use will eventually turn into a full-blown addiction since it is not a direct beginning. The development of drug addiction is indirect and understated. It matures within an individual once tolerated with its continued usage of substances. While some who take drugs started this for recreational purposes, they are not becoming addicts sooner or later, lots more do. A large margin of these folks never had predicted it (Quinney & Trevino, 2008, p. 262).

In line with the necessity to change, Renton knows how wretched his drug addiction is. He is absolutely captivated with the feelings and urges that hold him. His unyielding mood swings give the gloomy texture and highly worrying part of the film although at the same time, this idea was used as a subject for humour.

The numbers of drug-related crimes have increased steadily since the 1970s and will probably continue to do so at the same pace since there are lots of hidden markets that sell permissible and illegal drugs. Even though there is a vast quantity of information available about the harmful effects of drug addiction and the hazards it is associated with, different societies continue to further focus on the momentary pleasure of drug abuse rather than the destructive damage caused by this disease. Watching this film is definitely a way of increasing the awareness that people must have with regard to the issue.

However, the sensibility it imparted really captivates the curious scholars and even the common audiences. “Trainspotting” is simply a typical film as people focus on its theme. It is nonetheless more than a compilation of thought-provoking cinematic thoughts that were linked together. Each one of these ideas has value to be examined in its own worth. Every issue the film explored has enough appeal to keep its audiences watching keenly.







Andersen, K. (1996). Trainspotting. New York Magazine.

Macdonald, A. (Producer), & Boyle, D. (Director). (1996). Trainspotting [Motion picture]. UK:  Channel Four Films, Figment Films, The Noel Gay Motion Picture Company.

Hanson, G.R. et al. (2006). Drugs and society. MA: Jones and Bartlett.

Heymann, P.B. & Brownsberger, W. N. (2001). Drug addiction and drug policy: the struggle to control dependence. President and Fellows of Harvard College

Nelmes, J. (1995). An introduction to film studies. NY: Routledge

Quinney, R. & Trevino, J. (2008). The social reality of crime. NJ: Transactions Publisher.

South, N. (1999). Drugs: cultures, controls and everyday life. CA: Sage.

United Nations Human Settlements Programme. (2007). Enhancing urban safety and security: global report on human settlements 2007. London: Earthscan Pub.

System Operation


Task 1A

Corporate communications system

The purposes of a corporate communications system is to stream-line communication activities through simplified channels, and enhance institutional productivity, responsiveness and business process flexibility. The Microsoft Exchange 2007 unified messaging system is a very efficient application for coordinating communication processes of corporations since it has “built-in unified messaging system, collaboration tools, and provisions for mobile communications”. The dynamic structure of Microsoft Exchange 2007 starts with its “ability to synchronize different communication devices, [which] paves the way for seamless integration of different messaging system in order to create a reliable corporate communications system”.

Microsoft Exchange 2007 unified messaging can also interface with Outlook 2007 which is a comprehensive application that covers email integration services, contact organization, and calendaring services. Hence “by successful integrating Outlook into the Microsoft Exchange 2007, companies will be able to deploy a basic unified communication model”1. On commenting about Microsoft Exchange 2007’s strong security features, Jeff Carter stated that Microsoft Exchange 2007:

Has a reliable spam control mechanism in order to filter unwanted communications. This could avoid message overload which could affect the productivity of organizations. The security features can also be configured by its end-users. Based on the security protocols of organizations, it would be possible to implement secured message encryption and to tweak communication firewall behavior. Through these features, end-users would have greater control of their communication processes and can ensure the security of communication traffic 1.

In addition, the Service Pack 2 of Microsoft Exchange 2007 has the following essential features; “enhanced auditing, Exchange volume snapshot backup functionality, dynamic active directory schema update and validation, public folder quota management, centralized organizational settings, named properties cmdlets, and new user interface for managing diagnostic logging” 2.


This screenshot shows my web cam is ready for installation.




This screenshot shows the installation-settings options on which the “complete” option is selected


This screenshot shows the settings window, giving the option of either going back to change the previous options or clicking “install” to start the installation process




This screenshot shows the installation window after clicking “install” on the previous window, on clicking “finish” the program installation starts




This screenshot shows the installation process in progress





This screenshot shows the “Windows Security” window on which one approve the software for it to run uninterrupted on Windows Operating System







This screenshot shows the final window on the installation process, on clicking “Finish” the process comes to a completion and the software launches




This screenshot shows the installed ‘corporate communications system’ software running and ready to run the platform for communication



Two LAN sites are connected using a leased line service from a local telecommunications company.  As the diagram above shows, there are 2 LANs which, when connected form a WAN.  In all, there are three (3) separate IP networks, separated by the routers.  That is, LAN A and LAN B are two separate IP networks and the interconnecting link is a third IP network.[1]

Nodes to this network should have IP addresses allocated to them by using an IP address space with three networks or subnets. Examples of the allocations can be as follows:

WAN Link


Multi-Subscriber Video-Conferencing

Skype’s innovative Group Video Calling application is very efficient for multi-subscriber video-conferencing for both personal and business use. ‘To host a group video call, everyone has to have the latest business version of Skype 5.0, a webcam and broadband internet’ [2]. Skype 5.0 has to be installed first as shown in the screenshots below:




After installation, personal accounts have to be set-up that would be used to login :



Once logged-in, use the “Tools” on the menu-bar, under “Options,” which results in the window below:


In the “General” tab, the “Calls” tab allows the setting-up of the multi-subscriber video-conferencing which shows up like:


Satellite Data Link

A satellite data link is worldwide and has no geographic restrictions, hence, it offers internet access at high-speed to any place on earth. One needs to have a satellite data link receiver to have access to the service which gathers satellite signal on the downlink and also produces transmission on the uplink to allow communication.


To start the back-up, the initial process is to click on the ‘Start’ button, then on ‘All Programs,’ selecting ‘Accessories’ from the drop-down and selecting ‘System Tools,’ and finally, clicking on ‘Backup.’





The following window appears after the procedure mentioned above has been done:











By clicking on ‘Advanced Mode’, the window below appears on which the ‘Backup Wizard (Advanced)’ button is selected:













On the above window, the files and folders to be backed-up can be selected. The window below shows the locations where the backup will be stored:










The properties of saving the backups are selected below:











The window below ascertains that the backup is done:




Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus

The window below gives users the ability to manage the scanning applications of the anti-virus:










The ‘Guard’ option allows the features shown below:











On the other hand, the window below shows ‘Virus Lab’ which offers numerous features and control services of the anti-virus:


DHCP Servers

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol is an auto configuration protocol used on IP networks. Computers that are connected to IP networks must be configured before they can communicate with other computers on the network. It also provides a central database for keeping track of computers that have been connected to the network. This prevents two computers from accidentally being configured with the same IP address. Hence, administrators would not be needed and clients would have an easy time setting-up networks.

Static IP addresses can add a lot of administrative overhead. Its management is complex and time consuming, in which the chances of them not being well configured parameters in the IP configuration, such as, having to manually type 10,000 IP addresses and not make a single error, is usually unavoidable. The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is implemented to centralize the administration of IP addresses through automation of various tasks associated with IP addressing. However, implementing DHCP also introduces some security issues because anyone with physical access to the network can plug in a laptop and obtain IP information about the internal network.

DNS Servers

The Domain Name System is a standard technology for managing the names of Web sites and other Internet domains. It gives websites a human-friendly format to identify them uniquely. A DNS Server is a computer authenticated to be part of the DNS System and “runs special-purpose networking software, features a public IP address, and contains a database of network names and addresses for other Internet hosts”[3] . The DNS Servers allow people and applications to search through the complex DNS distributed database with ease and accuracy. There mainly two types of domain name servers, that is, private and public. The private domain name servers consist of those that are configured to only provide service to the people and organizations that own and maintain them. The public domain servers are those that provide resolutions to whoever requires them. The main role of the servers is to associates various content with domain names assigned to each of the participating information in a readable format.


File Services

“File services are the underlying technologies that enable file servers to share data within an organization”[4]. The file services make basic operations, such as folder sharing and permissions easy to carry-out and manage. Applications such as Distributed File System (DFS) and File Replication Service (FRS) offer services such as manageability, scalability, and availability for file servers. An administrator are at the centre of this operation with the client not having much control but is able to benefit from the diversity of the aforementioned services.

For Wide Area Networks, Wide area file services (WAFS) play the role of allowing remote access and file sharing at very high speeds by those that are far from the offices and need to carry-out urgent tasks. In more specific terms, File Services provide technologies that help “manage storage, enable file replication, manage shared folders, ensure fast file searching, and enable access for UNIX client computers”2

Windows Deployment Services

“Windows Deployment Services is the updated and redesigned version of Remote Installation Services (RIS)”[5]. Windows Deployment Services enables you to “deploy Windows operating systems over the network, which means that you do not have to install each operating system directly from a CD or DVD. Windows Deployment Services is intended for deployment specialists who are responsible for the deployment of Windows operating systems”3.

Windows Deployment Services are categorised into the following three categories; Server Components which include a shared folder and image repository that “contains boot images, install images, files that are needed specifically for network booting and there is also a networking layer, a multicast component, and a diagnostics component” 3, the next component is the Client Components which “include a graphical user interface, and when a user selects an operating system image, the client components communicate with the server components to install the image” 3 and the last is the Management Components which “are a set of tools that you use to manage the server, operating system images, and client computer accounts” 3.


Print Services

This is Microsoft’s support for Line Printer Daemon protocol of UNIX-based systems so that they are controlled by Windows printing System, a cross-platform service. Print Services enables you to “share printers on a network, as well as to centralize print server and network printer management tasks, it also enables you to [change] print servers and deploy printer connections using Group Policy”4. It can be managed using Server Manager or Print Manager. Server Manager can be used “to install the Print and Document Services server role and role services. Server Manager also includes an instance of the Print Management snap-in, which can be used to administer the local server”4. On the other hand Print Management “provides current details about the status of printers and print servers on the network”4.

The three roles of the Print Services are print server, LPD service and internet printing. “Print Server is a role service that installs the Print Management snap-in, the Line Printer Daemon (LPD) Service installs and starts the TCP/IP Print Server (LPDSVC) service and the Internet Printing role service in Windows Server 2008 R2 creates a Web site hosted by Internet Information Services (IIS)”[6].


Failover Clusters

A failover cluster is a “group of independent computers that work together to increase the availability of applications and services. The clustered servers (called nodes) are connected by physical cables and by software. If one of the cluster nodes fails, another node begins to provide service (a process known as failover)”[7]. In this way users enjoy continuity of operations with minimum disruptions in service.

Failover Clusters provide high availability for services and applications. Among the features that are in Failover Clusters, the two that stand-out are; new validation features which “check that your system, storage, and network configuration is suitable for a cluster”5 and the Support for GUID partition table (GPT) disks in cluster storage which “can have partitions larger than two terabytes and have built-in redundancy in the way partition information is stored, unlike master boot record (MBR) disks”5.

Wins Server

WINS Server is a service run on Windows NT servers to “provide Windows clients a way to find other Windows computers. WINS (Windows Internet Naming Service) resolves Windows network computer names (also known as NetBIOS names) to Internet IP addresses, allowing Windows computers on a network to easily find and communicate with each other”[8].

WINS is required for any environment in which users access resources that have NetBIOS names. The benefits of the WINS Server include “reduction NetBIOS name query broadcast traffic because clients can query a WINS server directly instead of broadcasting queries”, “enables the Computer Browser service to collect and distribute browse lists across IP routers” and centralizes the “management and replicates name-to-address mappings to other WINS servers” 6.

Network Load Balancing

Network Load Balancing is a clustering technology that enhances “the scalability and availability of mission-critical, TCP/IP-based services, such as Web, Terminal Services, virtual private networking, and streaming media servers”7. This component runs within cluster hosts and requires no dedicated hardware support. To scale performance, Network Load Balancing distributes IP traffic across multiple cluster hosts. “Network Load Balancing also ensures high availability by detecting host failures and automatically redistributing traffic to the surviving hosts. Network Load Balancing provides remote controllability and supports rolling upgrades from the Windows NT 4.0 operating system”[9].

Network Load Balancing scales the performance of a server-based program, such as a Web server, by “distributing its client requests across multiple servers within the cluster.As traffic increases, additional servers can be added to the cluster, with up to 32 servers possible in any one cluster”7. In addition, Network Load Balancing provides “high availability by automatically detecting the failure of a server and repartitioning client traffic among the remaining servers within ten seconds, while providing users with continuous service”7.

Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance is a technology in Windows which enables Windows users “to help each other over the Internet. With this tool, one user, called the “Expert,” can view the desktop of another user, the “Novice.” With the Novice’s permission, the Expert can even share control of the Novice’s computer to resolve issues remotely”[10].

With Remote Assistance, a Help Desk can “assist users on the network, which is known as the Offer Remote Assistance feature”8. Its benefits to users also includes improved user interface that is easier to launch and use, “improved overall performance with a smaller footprint, quicker startup and connect times, and optimized bandwidth usage for screen updates” [11] as well as, “security with mandatory password and integration with User Account Control (UAC)”9. Its new features include “no more support for the MAILTO method of solicited Remote Assistance and no more support for voice sessions”9.


Click on the Start button, then click on Control Panel and click on the Network and Internet applet as shown below



Then click on Network and Sharing Center on the following window



On the following window click on Change adapter settings on the left panel



Under the network connections, Right-click on the wireless network connection icon, and go to Properties



Select the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) and click on Properties



The TCP/IP properties will come up


“Obtain an IP address automatically” and “Obtain DNS server address automatically settings are checked to have dynamic IP address, otherwise for static IP address the alternative options are checked and the relevant settings are entered.


The Advanced can be selected to include DNS, WINS and also IP tweaks into the overall settings, as shown below




To install the DHCP Server service via the Control Panel, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.

2. Select the Add/Remove Programs applet. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

3. From the list of components, highlight Networking Services and click the Details button.

4. In the Networking Services dialog box, select the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) check box and click OK (see the screenshot below). Click Next.

5. Click Finish.



To create a new scope, perform the following steps:

1. From within the DHCP management console, right-click the DHCP server and select New Scope. The New Scope Wizard opens. Click Next.

2. Type a name and description for the new scope that will help you to easily identify it within the console. Click Next.

3. Type the range of IP addresses that will be available to clients on a particular subnet, as shown in the screenshot below. The subnet mask is automatically defined but can be changed if your network is sub netted. Click Next.

4. Type a range or single IP address that you want excluded (the screenshot below). IP addresses that are excluded will not be leased to DHCP clients. Click Next.

5. Specify the lease duration (the length of time a DHCP client can use an IP address before it must be renewed). The default is eight days, as shown in the screenshot below.


Defining the range of IP addresses within a scope



Excluding IP addresses from a scope



IP address lease duration



1.  The screen below shows how to start by clicking on the Server Manager

2. In the Server Manager click below the category Features Summary on Add Features.



3. In the Add Features Wizard window the Desktop Experience is checked, then click next as shown below



4. Install is clicked to start the installation.



5. After the installation has finished, the Close button is clicked followed by a click on Yes so as to restart the computer as shown below


When the computer has restarted, one can click Start, Run, and then type services.msc and click OK to be able to apply various themes using the desktop experience.


The first step was to launch the PC’s CMOS setup program and configure the SATA hard drives for use in a RAID configuration


The system is then rebooted. Back in Windows, the management console was launched to go to disk management. Here, all disk drives intended to be used in our RAID 5 array had to be converted to dynamic drives. After that, right-clicking one of the drives opened a context menu that allowed a new volume to be created:



After modifying the files as shown above, Windows was capable of supporting RAID 5 in software



Using four Western Digital WD740 Raptor drives for the test array



The following option windows did not differ whether an array or a simple volume was created




As soon as Windows finished creating the array, the RAID 5 was available under Windows just as any other hard drive. That also included the option to grant individual or group-based permissions and share folders



1. On the DHCP MMC, right-click the server node and choose Backup

2. When the Browse for Folder window came up, it pointed to

C: \windows\system32\dhcp\backup and clicked OK as shown in the window below:


Once that is done restoring the DHCP database is simple

1. On the DHCP MMC, right-click the server node and choose Restore

2. When the Browse for Folder window comes up, click OK

3. You will receive a prompt informing you that the DHCP service will need to be stopped and restarted for the restore to take place. Click OK

The DHCP database will then be restored because of the earlier illustrated back-up.



To chat on a webcam and voice on a networked environment, like Skype

This is my configuration on my computer when linux is running

For Sound Devices:




For Video Devices:


On windows, I used ePSXe 1.70 and loaded ff8, the settings are shown below





The initial step is to log-in on to the Windows Home Server Console

The folder duplication is enabled under the “Share Folders” tab, then clicking on the Risk Assessment


The window gives various settings options such as scanning unsecure items where a++++ means it’s present on that disk and a—– means it’s not present on that disk.



Once the program is running click on “Administration” tab



Select ‘Scheduler’ under the ‘Administration’ as shown below



On the schedule bar on the top right corner of the mini-screen select ‘Insert new job’ as shown below



‘New Job Wizard’ window will pop-up in which details can be entered as below



Next the type of job is selected as shown below



The locations to be affected by the new job are selected as shown below



The window below shows how the schedule is set



Settings are added as shown below



On clicking finish on the above window the task is set under “New Job”



[1] ePipe Pty. Ltd, 2010, retrieved 18 December 2011, ePipe VPN and Security Family: Key Networking Concepts <http://www.ml-ip.com/html/documentation/vpn-ug-key-concepts-1.html&gt;

[2] Skype Limited, 2010, retrieved 18 December 2011, Group video calling, <http://www.skype.com/intl/en/business/skype-manager/group-video&gt;

[3] B Mitchell , 2010, retrieved 18 December 2011, Wireless / Networking,  <http://compnetworking.about.com/od/dns_domainnamesystem/f/dns_servers.htm&gt;

[4] Microsoft Corporation, 2011, retrieved 18 December 2011, File Services Technologies, <http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc781011%28WS.10%29.aspx&gt;

3 Microsoft Corporation, 2011, retrieved 18 December 2011, what is Windows Deployment Services? http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc771670%28WS.10%29.aspx

[6] Microsoft Corporation, 2011, retrieved 18 December 2011, Print Services http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/dd448602.aspx

[7] Microsoft Corporation, 2011, retrieved 18 December 2011, Failover Clusters, <http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc732488%28WS.10%29.aspx&gt;

[8] Microsoft Corporation, 2011, retrieved 18 December 2011, WINS server role: Configuring a WINS server, < http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc780091%28WS.10%29.aspx&gt;

[9] Microsoft Corporation, 2011, retrieved 18 December 2011, Network Load Balancing Technical Overview, <http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb742455.aspx&gt;

[10] Microsoft Corporation, 2011, retrieved 18 December 2011, Overview of Remote Assistance in Windows, < http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300546&gt;


[11] Microsoft Corporation, 2011, retrieved 18 December 2011, Remote Assistance Overview, < http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753881%28WS.10%29.aspx&gt;


cultural diversities

What is the group’s history in the United States? What is the group’s population in the United States? What are some attitudes and customs people of this group may practice? What is something you admire about this group’s people, lifestyle, or society?
The existence of Spanish Americans started since 16th century (Lawrence 2002).  Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida on April 2, 1513 and named it Pascua Florida as a Spanish term for Easter (Hoogenboom, 2006, p. 14). As of 2007, the population of Spanish Americans is 45,378,596 (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009). Hispanics are mostly Catholics.  According to Cultural Diversity (2008), their social customs include elders having a prestigious status in the Hispanic family because of their experience Health practices of Hispanics are being emotionally expressive that they expects to be pampered when ill (Cultural Diversity 2008). I admire Hispanics and their contribution to society in the field of entertainment.  I also admire how Hispanics respect elders as one who has more experience than younger family members.
African Americans in majority arrived in U.S. as slaves in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.  Congress abolished the international slave trade in 1808. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2008), there are 246,833 African American are in U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau 2008). African American are known to have oral traditions, dance traditions that depicts a rich, expressive culture showing their deepest feelings, aspirations, wishes (Saloy, 2009). The admirable trait of African Americans is their quality of being hardworking and artistic nature.  Their rich and expressive tradition in the form of dance and songs expresses their sentiments in relation to slavery.  Modern African Americans have given great contributions in the US history.
The first recorded settlement of Filipinos in America was in 1763.  Asian Indians arrived in America in 1790. As of 2009, estimates indicate that 14.9 million people or 5% of the U.S. population reported themselves as having full or partial Asian heritage (United States Census Bureau, 2009). Asian Americans place a high value on intellectual and professional achievement and for having strong family ties. I admire how Asian Americans adapt to the American culture and maintain a close-knit family structure.
The first dissenters from Germany arrived in America in the late 1700s that were attracted to the religious freedom and economic advancement (Schaefer, 2011, p. 119). There are 42,841,569 German Americans or 15.2% of the total population in the U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau 2005). German American established the Christmas tree tradition (German Heritage, 2000), German cuisine such as Frankfurters, meats, sausages, hamburgers, bratwurst, strudel, and sauerkraut, pretzel, and beer (Conzen, 1980, p. 407). I admire the strong influence of German in introducing German cuisine such as sausages, hamburgers, Frankfurters, and beers.  It has opened new industries and livelihood in the food business.
The arrival of Irish goes back to the 1600s due to the lure of free land in North America (Shaefer, 2011, p. 121). According to the U History Encyclopedia, there are 40 million Irish Americans in the U.S. (US History Encyclopedia, 2006). A majority of Irish Americans observe the religion of Roman Catholicism, police and fire department maintain “Emerald societies”, bagpipe marching groups to demonstrate the pride of Irish heritage (Carroll, 2006). I admire how Irish Americans hold their pride despite migrating to another country.  Their pride reflects their sense of nationalism.
Italians moved to U.S. during the colonial period following the time when Italian states didn’t unify as one nation and escaped foreign domination (Shaefer, 2011, p. 123).  Italians occupied the lower level of society leading to their association in crimes as a significant means of upward social mobility. The U.S. Census as of 2006 estimated the 17.8 Italian Americans make up the 6% of the total population of U.S. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006). The Italian community in the US holds more than 300 Italian feasts.  Italian delicacies such as Zeppole and sausage sandwiches are also part of their cuisine. I admire

Summarize what you learned from this activity in a 350-700 word analysis of the advantages of a multicultural society and labor force. Use the following questions to guide your writing:

How has U.S. society used each group’s culture to construct the group identity? How has each group been stereotyped? How accurate are these stereotypes?

How does the social concept of race relate to each group? What prejudice has each group faced?

How do the behavior and thinking patterns of U.S. culture apply to each group, especially regarding class systems and employment?


The multicultural society of several groups in America has their respective contribution to the history of America.   The entry of the ethnic group in the land of America includes difficulties such as facing stereotypes and discrimination.  The U.S. society used each group’s culture to construct the group identity based on their capabilities.  Although each group has their own identity, historical facts of slavery, crimes were explored by these groups upon reaching U.S. to gain an upward social mobility.  These measures undertaken by the groups led to stereotypes defined as “unreliable generalizations about all members of a group that do not take individual differences into account (Schaefer, 2011, p. 40).  The group of African American was stereotyped to be slaves.  Italians were closely associated to “mafia” or criminal gangsters.  These stereotypes are not as accurate as others think it should be.  Ethnic groups are though to be minorities in the last three centuries (Schaefer, 2011, p. 78) when they were relatively new in the U.S. society.  Today, however, the issue of reverse discrimination and color-blind racism policies surfaced when favor is given to members of ethnic groups.   Reverse discrimination is seen when “better-qualified White men are bypassed to give preference to women and minority men” (Schaefer, 2011, p. 78).  Schaefer (2011, p. 78) states, color-blind policies are the reversal of reverse discrimination given that positions of power are reserved to White men based on informal social networks, personal recommendations, and family ties.   A good case to point out is the affirmative action program (AAP) that offers “automatic” admission to college applicants who happen to belong in minority groups.  Minority groups are stereotyped in the basis of race and gender but has overlooked that there are minority members who are affluent.   Based on these situations, the U.S. culture has its behavior and thinking patterns influenced by ethnicity of individuals.  It has spread across the systems of employment, education, and among others.  Institutional discrimination based on stereotypes and prejudices continues to an indestructible dilemma in the United States.  In conclusion, America has a long way to take in terms of overcoming discrimination of the various ethnic groups.

Format your sources consistent with APA guidelines.



Carroll, M. (2006) “How The Irish Became Protestant In America,” Religion and American Culture 16(1): 25-54.


Conzen, Kathleen (1980), “Germans”, in Stephan Thernstrom, Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, Belknap Press, p. 407.


Cultural Diversity (2008) The Hispanic American Community.  Retrieved from http://www.culturediversity.org/hisp.htm.


Hoogenboom, L. (2006) Juan Ponce de Leon: a primary source biography.  New York, USA: The Rosen Publishing Group.


German Heritage (2000).  First German Settlers Land in America.  Davitt Publications.


Pew Hispanic Center (2009) “Detailed Hispanic Origin: 2007”.  Retrieved on 13 April 2009 from http://pewhispanic.org/files/factsheets/hispanics2007/Table-5.pdf.


Schaefer, R. (2011) Racial and Ethnic groups, Census Update.  New York, USA: Prentice Hall.


Saloy, M.L. (1999).  African American Oral Traditions in Louisiana.  Louisiana’s Living Traditions.  Retrieved from http://www.louisianafolklife.org/LT/Articles_Essays/creole_art_african_am_oral.html.


Small, Lawrence M (1 August 2002) “Latino Legacies” Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved on 28 April 2008 from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/10009021.html



United States Census Bureau (2009) Asian American Population Estimates.  Retrieved 7 June 2009 from http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/IPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201PR&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201T&-qr_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201TPR&-ds_name=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_&-reg=ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201:031;ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201PR:031;ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201T:031;ACS_2007_1YR_G00_S0201TPR:031&-_lang=en&-redoLog=false&-format=.


U.S. Census Bureau (2006).  Total Ancestry Reported – Universe: Total Ancestry Categories Tallied for People with One or More Ancestry Categories Reported.   Retrieved on 19 March 2010, from http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/DTTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=D&-ds_name=D&-_lang=en&-mt_name=ACS_2006_EST_G2000_B04003.









Table of Content                                                                                                                 Page No

  1. Introduction …………………………………………………………………………..       2
  2. Literature review ……………………………………………………………………..       3

2.1  Motivation …………………………………………………………………………     3

2.1.1        Motivation Theories……………………………………………………….      4  Incentive Theory ………………………………………………………     6  Goal-setting theory ……………………………………………………     7

2.1.2        Motivation strategies ……………………………………………………..      9  Providing effective reward system ……………………………………    10  Creating flexibility ………………………………………………… ….   12  Personal involvement …………………………………………………    13

2.2  Productivity ………………………………………………………………………     14

2.2.1        Definition of productivity ………………………………………………       14

2.2.2        Importance of productivity ………………………………………………     14

2.2.3        Productivity and efficiency ………………………………………………     15

2.3  How can motivation increase productivity ……………………………………..       15

2.4  Research Gap ……………………………………………………………………      16

  1. Methodology …………………………………………………………………………     16
  2. Conclusion ……….….………………………………………………………………      16
  3. References ……………………………………………………………………………    17


  1. Introduction

To be or not to be motivated is much of an individual’s choice. The motivation factors that people think, make them to be motivated, and are in essence not the motivation. Organizations have had to employ motivational speakers who are meant to motivate the employees but then this turns out to be, to some extent, a waste of money and resources. The motivational speakers and the motivational talks are meant to, not just motivate the employees, but rather to empower the employees to be more productive in their jobs (Reference Answers 2010, par. 1) and (Johnson & Geupel 1996, p. 139). Just like Chris Anderson who was generous enough to quote the words of a French Economist who goes by the name Jean – Baptiste (1767 – 1832) as cited by Mancini (2009, p. 6) saying that supply that is readily available, does create in itself, its own demand. Since more and more people think that for them to be motivated, they need highly renowned motivational speakers, then the “Motivational speakers” keep emerging from left, right and centre in all corners of the world. Oh, Yes! A truly clean business opportunity indeed. Some people do have a high sense of self – motivation while others have to be given an ignition key for them to become motivated.

A person’s inner motivation is what drives such a person into waking up every single morning and look forward to another brighter day. It is almost impossible for one to declare that they are not motivated because, motivation does not in reality, depend on the achievements. However, productivity (Johnson & Geupel, 1996, p. 138 +) can mostly be attributed to the fact that motivation has played a major role in ensuring that there is increased performance (Shadare and Hammed, 2000, p. 8). The very fact that one has chosen to wake up from bed and do something, is enough motivation. The only difference is that there are different levels of motivation. Some have high motivation to do what they are willing and able to do, while to others, the motivation is to do as much as the minimum requirements. One of the old sayings as cited in Levoy (2009, p. 18) states that the doors that open out to change are opened from the inside and not from the outside.

Motivation can be internal (coming from within one self) (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104), or external (influenced by other external factors like people’s comment on oneself and the like) (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104) and (Levoy, 2009, p. 18). Whatever the source of motivation is is not as important as the productivity (Foster et al., 2007, p. 1) that such motivation is intended to have in the organization (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1009).

Then, what really is motivation (Rabey, 2001, p. 26), this that people keep craving for every single day, and what theoretical frameworks have been put forward concerning motivations? What strategies do different organizations employ to get their employees motivated? Does this affect the productivity of the organization (Foster et al., 2007, p. 1), (Johnson & Geupel, 1996, p. 138 +) and (Shadare & Hammed, 2000, p. 8 +) and if so, how? These are just among the questions that the researcher intends to tackle in this paper.

  1. Literature review

A lot has been said concerning motivation as well as theoretical models developed. These models are the focus in this section. This shall cover motivational theories, motivational strategies and productivity.

2.1 Motivation

According to Rabey (2001, p. 26), motivation has been defined as the internalised drive that is more dominant in an individual at a given moment. Rabey (2001, p. 26) continues to argue out that there is no way that a person can be motivated by another person. The only thing that a person can do to help a non – motivated individual is to be in a position to create an environment that is conducive enough to aid in that person’s realization of oneself by making a personal choice to respond to the inner motivation (Rabey, 2001, p. 26). Through their meta-analysis of motivation, Lawrence & Jordan (2009, p. 103), high task performance by employees as well as contextual performance is highly dependent on the fact that employees are well motivated. According to Rabey (2001, p. 26), the ingredients that are necessary for getting people to be motivated are securely kept within oneself. The only thing that is needed is for an individual to be able to unlock the secure door (s) and gain access to the motivation within.

One of the renowned Chief executive, during an interview, as recorded by Rabey (2001, p. 26) said that during the recruitment exercise, above all other critical issues that are take into consideration, motivation is among the most important thing that the manager looks for in such an interviewee. To Lawrence & Jordan (2009, p. 103), Personal motivation is highly attributed to the fact that each individual has a different personality which contributes to their motivation. In the event there are no signs of enthusiasm and motivation for that job vacancy, it is better for the organization to retain the position vacant than hire an employee who is not motivated at the new job. Rabey (2001, p. 26) notes that for employees who are seriously looking for a job opening and are serious with their work, do demonstrate their motivation even at the interview. Rabey (2001, p. 26) continues to note that motivation in such individuals is seen by their level of keenness during the interview as well as the enthusiasm as they are bound to ask very good questions during the interview (Rabey, 2001, p. 26). Sometimes social responsibilities that people are expected to have (Lawrence & Jordan, p. 104) do contribute to the motivation of individuals.

In a sub summary of motivation, it is clear that motivation is within oneself and all that is needed is an environment (Rabey, 2001, p. 26) that will enable a person to realize their cliché to getting motivated. Whether motivation is because of personality as described in Lawrence & Jordan (2009, p. 103), or otherwise, it is still debatable. The most important thing to realise is that one can never motivate another in any way. Maybe the one thing that needs to be addressed is the difference between motivation and inspiration for which many people think as being one and the same thing, which apparently is not the case. But then, that is a topic for discussion in another setting, for now the focus is on motivation.

2.1.1 Motivation Theories

There are a vast number of motivational theories that have been put forward to explain the motivational factors that affect or influence the performance and the perception of individuals and what this perception does to the organizational performance. For example, in Lawrence & Jordan (2009, p. 103), equity theory, the perception that individuals have about their compensation (Levoy, 2009, p. 18) for their work, such that they perceive (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105) that they are underpaid as compared to the effort that they put in their work, the response is more likely to be that the individuals will decrease their efforts accordingly regardless of whether they have high internal (intrinsic) motivation (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 404).

In another version of theory in Lawrence & Jordan (2009, p. 103) does come up with a one – dimensional focus on motivation that is implicit-related. In their theory, they come up with the MMG (Multi motive grid) which is a theoretical measure of the motivation that is apparently implicit – related (Fu et al., 2009, p. 277). In their theory, they base their arguments on the use of pictorial stimuli (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105) which are meant to arouse the hidden motives within one self (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105). In this theoretical framework, there is a predetermined response (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 56), out of the questionnaire that is issued at that time of the interview (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 103).

In this style of motivation, the theorists make use of the story-based system as a means of measure to get the response from the individuals (Schmalt & Sokolowski, 2000, p. 115; Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105). It is also meant to gain access to what they regard to as the implicit sections, which are only accessed by highly privileged that requires undisturbed access, which is granted, to the schematic section of the memory (Schmalt & Sokolowski, 2000, p. 115; Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105).

In another theory that is more focused on the explicit emotional response as explained in Lawrence & Jordan (2009, p. 103), the NAQ (Need Assessment Questionnaire) which is meant to stimulate emotional response is used to measure the motivation responses (Levoy, 2009, p. 18).

According to NAQ theory, there is an access to a classified four types or motivations that are within the self (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105). The first is the inbuilt need that seeks to be identified with great and outstanding achievements (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105) and (Emery, 2009, p. 98). Secondly, the need to be an affiliate / to be affiliated to a strong and powerful individual (s) (Levoy, 2009, p. 18) has been identified in this theory (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105). The third type of motivation that is prominent is the dire need to gain dominance or be seen as to be powerful (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105). The last motivation type that is evident is one that demonstrates a need to be autonomous (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105). This theory is highly inspired by the theory of needs as proposed in Lawrence & Jordan (2009, p. 117). However, the NAQ theory is inclined to work-content and hence does not explicit on the motivation aspect that is outside the working environment (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105). Incentive Theory

As per Lawrence & Jordan (2009, p. 104), the authors note that explicit motivation is as a result of strong influence from the demands of the society as well as normative pressures therewith. It is crucial that the management know and understand the different motivations (Levoy, 2009, p. 18) that motivate their employees (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104).

According to the incentive theory, two categorical approaches have been put forward. The first is one that is focused on people who have strong implicit motivation within themselves (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104). In the implicitly motivated employee (Rabey, 2001, p. 26), it is important that such things as being given new and challenging jobs, which will be an incentive for higher achievement (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104), reward the employees. They can also be given some additional responsibility apart from what they are used to which is perceived as adding power to them hence the very fact that they perceive themselves as being more powerful that the rest of the employees, is one high motivation factor that such people are willing to pursue (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104).

The third element that is given attention and focused on the intrinsically (Rabey, 2001, p. 26) motivated employees is the employment of praise as the employee (s) perceives that they are highly regarded in the organization and they identify with the motivation that is affiliation centred (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104).

To those who are not intrinsically motivated, but rather depend on extrinsic motivations (Levoy, 2009, p. 18), the theory suggests that such people can be inspired and rewarded by being given job promotions as a form of power motivation (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104). The same people can be motivated in the event that they are given some bonuses (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104) at the end of the year as a motivation to their outstanding job (even if the job was not as satisfactory as it would have been expected). To a great extend, giving such people some celebratory lunches and throwing some dinner parties in recognition of their contribution is one great incentive as an affiliation motivation (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104).

According to Levoy (2009, p. 18), external motivators which might include monetary rewards, Recognition as well as being given praises in front of the other employees, were found to work miracles but only for a short time. To the author, it is rather unfortunate that the intended effect of the motivation does not last forever, as one might want it to last (Levoy, 2009, p. 18). Levoy (2009, p. 18) continues to argue out that practices which are normally done, like giving employees salaries which are above average, offering benefits for excellence as well as increasing the vacation time do not translate into employee motivators. Rather, instead of them motivating the employees to work harder, they tend to make the employees remain in the organization a little while longer (Levoy, 2009, p. 18). This fulfilment of basic needs makes the employee last a little while until their motivation fades away (Mancini, 2009, p. 6) and (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 105). Goal-setting theory

According to the goal setting theory as stated by Fried & Slowik (2004, p. 406), it is the instrumentality, expectancy as well as the variance that is demonstrated from the outcomes is high in the event that the goals which are set are difficult or challenging, combined with the fact that the goals remain specific to the objective and they are also attainable. This is a sentiment that is shared also in (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 406).

In the goal setting theory, it is clear that the goals must be very specific as well as challenging goals (Ordóez et al., 2009, p. 6) that will require more effort and input. This has been found to be a major boost to the behaviour as well as the performance of the individuals within the organization (Ordóez et al., 2009, p. 6). To Ordóez et al. (2009, p. 6) this is a form of panacea that can be used to boost the performance of the employee.

In their research, Locke & Latham (2006, p. 265; Ordóez et al., 2009, p. 6), they do agree that as long as an individual remains committed to the set goal (s), and that the individual has the ability to attain the set goals, whereby there are no other, otherwise conflicting goals set, then graphically, this would be a linear relationship. The linear relationship is set between the task performance and the goal difficulty (Locke & Latham, 2006, p. 265; Ordóez et al., 2009, p. 6).

However, to Fu et al. (2009, p. 277), the Locke’s theory on motivation and goal setting has been found with defects, as there is none linear relations that are exhibited since there is no comparison between the effort of the individual and the goals that are set. Self-efficacy and the self-set goals have been given a broad classification called motivation hub (Fu et al., 2009, p. 277). In an explanation, Locke (2001, p. 14) as cited in Fu et al. (2009, p. 277) the motivational hub is exemplified as the most immediate and yet the most motivational determinant to the individual’s course of action. This is caused mostly by external factors within the organization, which may include the company directives, or it may at times be influenced by personality (Locke, 2001, p. 23; Fu et al., 2009, p. 277). These motivators to some extent do contribute to the performance of the individuals, which is well stipulated in the hub variables (Locke, 2001, p. 23; Fu et al., 2009, p. 277).

In most instances, individuals are given Sales Quotas for which they are expected to meet within a given time frame and this strategy has been employed in many firms regardless of their sizes (Fu et al., 2009, p. 277).

In an analysis, Fried & Slowik (2004, p. 404) did realize that, due to the fact that time, in all the proposed theorems, had not been considered prior to their research, then the motivational theories had generally failed to achieve the intended goals. It has been noted that time is among the most important variable that a great influence on people’s motivation (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 404).

It has become arguably clear that organizations have been, continue to employ goal – setting theory as their fundamental strategy to get their employees working, and has dominated the motivational theory (ies) that have been put forward for organizational use (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 404).

It is clear that the goal setting motivational theory has been the leading theory that has incorporated time as a major factor because the employees are required to meet their deadlines within a given time period (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 404). This in return points out that the goal setting theory has and still remains to be the most successful theories put forward as it deeply incorporates time as a main determinant (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 404).

The assumption that is taken in the goal setting theory is that the set goals are a true reflection of the inner intentions of the individual as well as the individual’s conscious goals (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 404). In their argument, the researchers do contend to the fact that the theories do explain the reason behind human quest to interpret the past, the present as they envision on what is to come in the future (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 404). With timeframe incorporated, it is evident enough that the cognitive processes that are involved in decision – making and behavior at work can very well be explained (Fried & Slowik, 2004, p. 404).

2.1.2 Motivation strategies

Different people have very different interpretation of the incentive theory of motivation and the kind of motivational strategies (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104 +) that they employ are wanting. For example, in a case study of a security organization as highlighted by Houts et al. (2010, p. 41), the employers and other senior management officials did employ a rather crude way of giving incentives to their workers. It is highlighted of their behaviours at the workplaces where employees were in reality spanked while at the workplaces in the name of Motivational purposes (Houts et al., 2010, p. 41). This mode of motivation that was adopted in the organization was referred to as Camaraderie building exercise (Houts et al., 2010, p. 41).

The organization did have some incentives like having a pie smacked on the face of the culprit, or one being forced to eat baby food, at times it was required that the offenders wear diapers in front of the rest of the members of the organization (Houts et al., 2010, p. 41). In some rare cases, the offenders were required to sing while standing in front of the whole group but the most notable of all forms of incentives that the organization employed was spanking on the buttocks, which was more preferred (Houts et al., 2010, p. 41). The greatest problem was not much of the hitting / spanking that was done, but rather the humiliation (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 104) as this was being done with jeers from the fellow colleagues (Houts et al., 2010, p. 41). Sentiments like “Bend over your little a–” and the like were being used more often especially in the event that the offender was a female (Houts et al., 2010, p. 41). Whether it is a case of motivational strategies gone haywire or a case of immense ignorance and negligence, it is clear that some strategies are not motivational at all and they are not amusing.

To some managers and other people who are in leadership positions, having some eco-friendly policies (Levoy, 2009, p. 18) and (Mancini, 2009, p. 6) can be a great deal of motivation as they do not have to get stressed by some highly bureaucratic policies that would otherwise be a hindrance to their show-offs as high performers in the organization (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 103, 105). Providing effective reward system

To reward a person has some short – term effect on the motivation of the individual in the organization (Levoy, 2009, p. 18). Adam Smith (1776) as quoted in Emery (2009, p. 94) is recognized to have been on the forefront in popularizing the need to have division of labour so as to optimise production in the organizations. According to Emery (2009, p. 95), there are two sources of the motivation drive. One of the drives is brought out by the fact that there is an internal need to gain resources as supported by the need theory (Lawrence & Jordan, 2009, p. 103, 105).

The second source of motivation is the commitment by an individual to external problems or might be the opportunities that are available elsewhere (Emery, 2009, p. 95). The most important of all the factors is the fact that the employees share the same goals as their management as this would be a true measure of the strength of the organization (Emery, 2009, p. 95).

A good reward system is one that has accountability as well as rewards being based on the performance as measured using the cross functional integrations (Emery, 2009, p. 95). The effectiveness of a system is ordinarily judged as per the levels in which there is resolution of the individual in the event there is a conflict as well as the extent to which the individual is willing to go to have collaboration for equity (Emery, 2009, p. 100).

Reward system in the work places include having appraisals for employees as well as integration that is targeted at making improvements by making sure that there is clear flow of information to and from the employees in the organization (Emery, 2009, p. 100).

To have an effective reward system, the focus should be turned from financial (money – focused) to behavioural focused reward system (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 56). It has been noted that the payment of benefits to the employees has been and still remains to be very insufficient although it is a necessity in the organization (Emery, 2009, p. 95).

A reward system is meant to bring positive reinforcement (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 57) to the individuals and this should be addressed, as it ought to, for it to be termed as successful. For positive reinforcement, there should be a number of factors that should be considered in the design process of a good and effective reward system.

To start with, the reward system should be made in such a way as to replace the ordinarily used subjective performance measurement with the revolutionary objective performance measurement system (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59). It has been a tradition that the supervisors and other operations managers have been the ones with the mandate of having all the powers of giving appraisals to employees (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59). This has been majorly influenced by the perception that the supervisor has on an individual which include the likeability of an individual, how busy an individual is perceived to be, personal prejudice, how manageable an employee is as well as compliance with the set system with a great review of the past mistakes done in the organization (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59). Instead of all these non-linear modes of evaluation, there should be a system that determines the employee performance by the average output and other measurable factors (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59).

Bonuses that are given at the end of every season (Year) should instead be replaced with pay for performance reward system, as bonuses have been perceived to be very discretional payments that are made to employees for their well – done jobs (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59).

For the annual performance measure, there ought to be measures that are more frequent that would help to account for individual performances within short periods of time (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59). The short period data collected and analysed is more objective than the annualised subjective performance measurement system (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59). These performance measures should be done monthly if possible as they help to tell which employee is deteriorating and why (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59).

Minimise group measurement strategies, as they do not reflect on individual efforts within the group (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59). Personal performance strategies should be employed so as to get more accountability from the individuals rather from a large group (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59).

Actionable measures like the pay per performance should be employed in place of the broad financial measures that are usually done in many of the organizations (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59). In so doing, questions on how best the employee can input into the organization’s revenue by a change of behaviour should also be addressed (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59).

Due to the different natures of the performance of the organization, unbalanced performance measures ought to be replaced with plans that can be able to account for the performance of the individuals like sales commissions and the like (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59).

Lastly, the discretionary measures that are normally used like the pay for performances should be harmonised to be more rule – based plans so that there is a win-win situation for all the parties involved (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 59). Creating flexibility

Inherent flexibility that is demonstrated by the resources which are available in the organization has a great impact on the firms’ performance as proposed by Ketkar & Sett (2009, p. 1009). The issue is not much of the availability of the resources in the firm as much of how applicable is the resources to the firm (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1009). The ability of a firm to put into use the different resources that are at the disposal of the organization is very important (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1009).

The human resources should be flexible enough especially in their relationship with the employees which can be translated into firm’s performance if properly managed (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1010). This flexibility, especially in the human resources department does help to express the need for variety in information distribution and synthesis offers better situational analysis (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1011). This also does offer the modalities in which the information that is on offer can be reconfigured or redeveloped so as to be easily synthesized and assimilated in the organization without much complications going into it (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1011).

During employee selection, it is important that the organizations offer intense staff training so as to develop their skills and sharpen those that they already have (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1012). There should also be management of the individual employee performance that is aimed at ensuring that there is improvement of the employee’s output as well as an in – depth understanding of the employee (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1012).

There should be application of compensation schemes, incentives and reward schemes put in place to encourage employees to add more effort to the organization’s performance (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1012).

The management should also put in place good communication channels that are meant to converse information both ways, from the employees to the management as well as from the management to the employees (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1012). The channels should remain open so that communication can be done at any moment when there is information that might be needed (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1012).

Employees should be empowered by having more participatory forums and avenues opened up within the organization (Ketkar & Sett, 2009, p. 1012). This will encourage more employees to stay active in their duties and roles while within the organization as well as raise enthusiasm of the individual employees. Personal involvement

In the event where downsizing an organization seems impossible,  after all possible avenues have been considered, then it is prudent enough for the management to look for the more opportunities that would enable for more flexibility within the organization (Mishra et al, 2009, p. 39). This approach, together with innovation and well – established and improved internal communication set in place, improves the level of trust between the employees and the management as things are not done in the dark (Mishra et al, 2009, p. 39).

Several factors are important that foster personal involvement. To start with, Innovation as well as creativity enhanced commitment by the organization’s management does help in explaining the noticeable change in the organization (Mishra et al, 2009, p. 42).

Secondly, improved communication channel, which incorporates all the stakeholders (Mishra et al, 2009, p. 42), is also important as well as having developments that are more flexible to the organization’s needs (Mishra et al, 2009, p. 41).

2.2 Productivity

2.2.1 Definition of productivity

Productivity can be definition as the inert achievement of rapid, sustainable as well as measurable improvements in operations (Reference Answers, 2010, par. 1). A system is termed as productive if on average, the system is able to meet the set targets without failure. From an industrial perspective, productivity can be termed as the total profitable output that a machine or other equipments are able to make within a given timeframe.

Looking at productivity from the perspective of human resources, it can be said to be the cumulative, evidential output that is both measurable (Reference Answers, 2010, par. 1) and profitable as well. The productivity of an individual must be within the period set by the organization or the individual to achieve a certain goal. This period must be strict, as the project must be undertaken within the shortest possible time (Reference Answers, 2010, par. 1).

2.2.2 Importance of productivity

To begin with, in the event that the employee is paid through commission (Emery, 2009, p. 95), then, in the event that there is an increased productivity, then the employee can rest assured that the returns will be reflected in the payslip. If there were no set targets in achievement of an event, then there would be no sense in talking of production, as this would be a failing system. Given a short timeframe, the sales personnel (Emery, 2009, p. 95) are able to meet their targets and this goes a long way in improving the sales and returns of the organization.

Secondly, when there is productivity in the organization, the organization’s annual returns are increased hence more generation of revenue for the country economically through taxations. Due to the fact that the organizations have to be taxed, the organization’s management make an effort to remain productive for the better part of the years so that they can have an increased net profitability at the end of every financial year (Daniel et al., 2006, p. 56). This means that the organization has to be aligned in its operation to take on the market with better products, which are more appealing to the customers hence, the drive for innovation (Emery, 2009, p. 98) within the organizations.

2.2.3 Productivity and efficiency

A motivated employee is more likely to output more to the benefit of the organization (Shadare & Hammed, 2000, p. 8). Shadare & Hammed, (2000, p. 8) continues to argue that most of the successful people that are around, have been proved to be very efficient time managers. The efficiency of an organization is seen in its productivity.

An organization’s production capacity is dependent on two important factors. The first is the machine production capacity (Shadare & Hammed, 2000, p. 8). In the event that an organization acquires a machine that is meant to make, say one thousand yarns per hour, then if the machine can only make four hundred yarns, then it is not efficient. There is a lot of energy wasted as the machine consumption is still the same but the production is less. The machine might need motivation, which in this case would be servicing and replacing worn out parts, oiling and greasing to reduce friction and the like.

Looking at the second factor, which is the human capital, the production of an organization, is also dependent on individual efforts of the employees. Employees just need to be understood and revitalised to remain productive (Levoy, 2009, p. 18). Employees who are efficient are those that have a constant maximum output regardless of the situations surrounding them as measured within a given time period.

2.3       How can motivation increase productivity?

As noted above, motivated employees have a greater influence on the organization’s performance (Shadare & Hammed, 2000, p. 8). When the leadership is efficient enough, it will be able to influence the organization performance (Shadare & Hammed, 2000, p. 11). A leader is like the father figure in a family and the rest of the members seek to emulate what they see in their father figure. The same applies in organization. Employees will follow what their leader says and does. If the leader is kind, caring and approachable (Levoy, 2009, p. 18), then the employees are more likely to feel safe in the presence of their manager.

In return, the employees will demonstrate their respect and trust in their leader by having an increased output.

The motivation in a team can be reflected and achieved when there is achievement of goals that are set, having better recognition systems in place, a conducive working environment as well as clear self growth that is evident. Goals that are set in a team together are more likely to be valued as the members are part of setting the goal (Ordóez et al., 2009, p. 6). Involvement of the members is important in ensuring continued production (Levoy, 2009, p. 18) and (Ordóez et al., 2009, p. 6).

2.4       Research Gap

Some clear research gap is there in the incorporation of the time aspect into the various proposed theories, which leads to the researcher seeking to find a solution to that gap. The time aspect is a crucial element as seen in the goal setting theory and should be incorporated in the new theories that may emerge.

  1. Methodology

Due to the amount of research as pertains to motivation, the researcher found it prudent to conduct a qualitative research methodology as well as review some of the available notions.

  1. Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that motivation is inbuilt within oneself and all that is needed is for individuals to realise this and to address it. Nobody can motivate another, but one can inspire another person to make the changes that are necessary to become motivated. Motivation has been seen to have a great influence on the productivity of the organization and hence this should be taken with the seriousness it deserves.


  1. References

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Fried, Y., & Slowik, L., H., (2004). Enriching goal-Setting Theory with time: An integrated Approach, Academy of Management Review, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 404-422.

Fu, F., Q., Richards, K., A., & Jones, E., (2009). The motivation hub: Effects of goal setting and self-efficacy on effort and new product sales, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, vol. XXIX, no. 3, pp. 277-292. DOI: 10.2753/PSS0885-3134290305.

Houts, L., Keppler, M., & Kalfayan, G. (2010). Offensive Motivation Strategies: The Managerial And Legal Implications. Journal of Business Case Studies, 6(2), 41-46.  Retrieved November 1, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 2015067091).

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Levoy, B. (2009, February). Quiz: Test your knowledge of employee motivation strategies. Veterinary Economics, 50(2), 18.  Retrieved November 1, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Trade & Industry. (Document ID: 1668483581).

Locke, E., A., & Latham, G., P., (2006). New directions in goal-setting theory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 265–268.

Locke, Edwin, A., (2001). Self-Set Goals and Self-Efficacy as Mediators of Incentives and Personality,” in Work Motivation in the Context of a Globalizing Economy, Miriam Erez, Uwe Kleinbeck, and Henk Thierry, eds., Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 13–26.

Mancini, J. (2009, September). 8 REASONS YOU NEED A STRATEGY FOR MANAGING INFORMATION. Infonomics, 23(5), 6.  Retrieved November 1, 2010, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 2143894481).

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Ordóez, L., D., Schweitzer, M., E., Galinsky, A., D., & Bazerman, Max., H., (2009). Goals gone wild: The systematic side effects of overprescribing goal setting, Academy of Management Perspectives, pp. 6-16.

Rabey, G., P., (2001). Motivation is response, Industrial and commercial training, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 26-28.

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Schmalt, H., D., and Sokolowski, K., (2000). The current status of motive measurement, Diagnostica, Vol. 46 No. 3, pp. 115-23.

Shadare, O., A., & Hammed, T., Ayo, (2009). Influence of work motivation, leadership effectiveness and time management of employees’ performance in some selected industries in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science, vol. 1450-2887, no. 16, pp. 7-17.





I herewith declare that this report is in full accordance with the plagiarism rules of the Faculty of

Management Technology at the GUC.