Political Science

Part I 1) A researcher is interested in studying juvenile delinquency trends and patterns. In employing this paradigm, the researcher has three options. The researcher may want to employ cross sectional study. Cross sectional research uses one-dimensional data sets to test proportion claims or to measure differences within sample populations. The general objective of cross sectional research is to describe the characteristics or qualities that exist in a population, independent of time. In studying juvenile delinquency incidence, the researcher is interested in measuring delinquency levels in a certain population. The researcher may opt to obtain a sample of 100 juveniles and measure their GPA (weighted grade), their participation in property crime, their self-reported involvement in other petty crimes, their membership in criminal organizations such as street gangs and drug cartels, and their annual illegal income. Note that cross sectional research only concerned with making inferences about the current sample population, not with trends. The researcher may also opt to use cohort research. This is a type of study that analyzes pertinent risk factors to determine whether a special cohort or group of individuals is exposed to particular conditions. In studying juvenile delinquency trends and patterns, the researcher may choose a particular cohort or group of juveniles who are exposed to the same conditions, and perhaps born in the same year. The objective of cohort research is to determine whether or not the characteristics or conditions of the cohort (group of juvenile delinquents) are statistically significant compared to the characteristics of the general population (in this case, juveniles). The researcher may also opt to use longitudinal research in studying delinquency trends. Longitudinal research is a correlational study that entails extensive manipulation and repetition of the same variables with respect to time. In this case, the general variable would be the frequency or incidence of juvenile delinquency in a particular population. The researcher then plots the variable with respect to time and evaluates whether the pertinent changes over time are statistically significant or not. 2) The purpose of research is to gather relevant and accurate information and to create unbiased and objective models in predicting, describing, and demonstrating the characteristics of the sample population. During a study, the student discovers that most subjects are undocumented and have committed crimes, or have been deported or unlawfully returned, or have outstanding arrest warrants. The student now faces a dilemma: should she report to the authorities or let things the way they were before? As her advisor, I will remind her about some of the ethical considerations when conducting research. Voluntary participation requires that potential participants should be fully informed about the processes, operations, rubrics, and risks involved in the research process, and should give their informed consent. The duty of the researcher is to ensure that potential participants are not put in harm’s way as a consequence of their participation. It is also the obligation of the researcher to ensure the confidentiality or privacy of the participants involved. In essence, the researcher is obliged not to disclose or divulge pertinent information to any person who is not part of the study. In other studies, researchers follow the principle of anonymity – that is, the anonymity of the participants are guaranteed throughout the course of the study (this is an extension of the confidentiality principle). Divulging pertinent information to the authorities constitutes a violation of the ethical standards of research – in this case, the principles of confidentiality and informed consent. In short, regardless of the severity or the type of offenses committed, the researcher is obliged not to disclose or divulge pertinent information about the subjects. There is though an exception. If the study puts the researcher into harm’s way, then he or she should report and divulge pertinent information to the authorities. In this case, the researcher cannot and should not use the information for research purposes. Part II 1) The purpose of the study is to identify the major determinants of student failure. Specifically, the objectives of the study are as follows: (1) examine the causal relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable (student failure); (2) examine the magnitude or effect of each independent variable on the dependent variable; and (2) create an empirical model that predict and explain student failure (with respect to the independent variables stipulated in the study). The study will utilize a deductive research approach (testing the relevance or efficacy of a selected theory or conceptual scheme that pertain to student failure). 2) Hypothesis – It is hypothesized that students who exhibit poor literacy and comprehension skills, who belong to low-income families, and who belong to ethnic minorities are more likely to ‘drop-out’ than students who exhibit excellent literacy and comprehension skills, who belong to middle and high-earning families, and who belong to dominant ethnic groups.  Research Hypothesis – Are income, family income, and ethnic background important determinants of student failure? 3) Student failure is defined as the incidence or probability that a student will drop out of school in a given school year. 4) This study is both descriptive and confirmatory. There are studies which examine the role of income, ethnic background, and literacy and comprehension skills in effective classroom instruction and student success. The overall purpose of the study is to describe and test the relevance of the said variables. 5) There are three independent variables in the study: family income, ethnic background, and literacy and comprehension skills. Ethnic background is a dummy variable (measured in binary terms, 1 – member of ethnic minorities, 0 – otherwise). Family income is a ratio variable (a variable which can be represented in fractions). Literacy and comprehension skill is an ordinal variable (a variable which can be ranked or classified according to preferences). The dependent variable in the study is student failure. 6) It may be hard to ask dropped-out students about their literacy and comprehension skills and their annual family incomes because these are confidential information. The best way to remedy the problem is to seek informed consent from the participants and construct a questionnaire that indirectly evaluates their literacy and comprehension skills.

 

 

 

 

 

Reference Babbie, E.R. (2004). The basics of social research. New York: Wadsworth Publishing.

PREJUDICE, DISCRIMINATION, ETHNOCENTRISM AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM

Introduction  This paper addresses a myriad of sociological phenomena and gives an insight of each one of them. They include; prejudice, discrimination, cultural relativism and ethnocentrism. Prejudice  This is the assessment of a societal group and its members based on concepts characterized by prejudgment and misjudgment that are held despite overwhelming facts that disprove them. Prejudiced people think ill of people belonging to other groups different from them regardless of the countervailing attributes and characteristics that those persons may have. They are usually defined by negative predispositions or evaluations against an individual not in one’s social group and is repeatedly followed by a positive prejudice in the advantage of someone who is in one’s own group.  The most common kinds of prejudiced are based on ethnic or racial lines. Undoubtedly, not a single person is free of prejudice may it be toward racial or ethnic groups, lower class or middle class, straight, gay or disadvantaged. Research has indicated that people who are more prejudiced have a high likelihood of stereotyping others by gender or race. Though people are prejudiced, they are not born prejudiced or with stereotypes, but rather, they learn them and are internalized through the socialization process. This is done through family members, peers and the media which all play a big pivotal role in nurturing prejudices and stereotypes. It has been revealed through research that the more prejudiced the parent, the more likely prejudiced the child would be (Kendall, 2011). Discrimination  Discrimination may take various forms ranging from income discrimination, discrimination in housing, discrimination in employment and promotion. However, prejudiced attitudes may not always to discrimination (Andersen & Taylor, 2006).  Prejudiced non-discriminators hold personal prejudices but do not discriminate because of peer pressure, legal demands or desire for profits. A case in point is where a prejudiced White coach hiring a Black player to enhance the team’s ability to emerge as winners. Discriminatory actions vary in their forms form use of severe violence (Andersen & Taylor 2006). An illustration of these inhumane acts is genocide which is the deliberate mass killing of an entire people based on race or their ethnicity. Of late, ethnic cleansing which is conducted in geographical areas by causing people to flee by meting out violence on them is also a severe mode of discrimination. Ethnocentrism  This is the conviction that one’s faction is better than all other factions. The ethnocentric person believes that his/her own group is moral, just, right and that any members of an out group are the counterpoise of that. The ethnocentric individual uses his/her own group as a benchmark to compare other groups. A positive characteristic of ethnocentrism is that it creates a strong sense of group solidarity and group superiority. An example of this is nationalism which binds people and rallies them towards a common cause. However, taken to the limits, nationalism may be highly exclusionary, rejecting those who do not share their culture and experience. Ethnocentrism can lead to political conflicts, war, terrorism and even genocide. Clear indications of these are the Alqaeda extremists who believe that terrorism is a justified tactic of jihad, which is religious struggle of the Islamic faith. Ethnocentrism is largely to blame for the many contemporary wars witnessed currently (Kendall, 2011). Cultural relativism  It means that a far-off culture should not be assessed using the values of the local culture. Cultural relatism also implies that a behavior or way of thinking must be examined in its cultural context. That is in terms of that culture’s values, norms, values, beliefs, environmental challenges and history. Negative characteristic of this perspective is that it encourages an anything goes point of view, discouraging critical assessment and portrays all cultures as equal in value, regardless of obvious cruel practices. The positive attributes is that it aims to understand a culture on its own terms. The primary aim is not to condone or discredit it. If anything, it acts as check against uncritical and overvalued acceptance of the home culture, narrow thinking and unsympathetic portrayals.  Whilst the Americans may wonder why Koreans eat dogs, the later may be appalled why Americans let dogs lick their faces and spend so much on them. If one looks at the historical reasons, it might not seem so unreasonable bearing in mind that in Asia land is scarce and is used for growing crops whilst in America there is abundant land and most Americans believe dos to understand them better after their spouses (Ferrante, 2011).

Reference Andersen. M & Taylor. F (2006). Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. Chicago:  Thomson and  Watford Publishers. Pp.254-261 Ferrante J. Sociology (2011): A Global Perspective. Californa: Wadsworth Cengage learning  publishers. Pp.189-203 Kendall. K (2011). Sociology in Our Time. Illinois: Wordsworth Cengage learning publishers.  pp.283-288

THE DIPO CEREMNOY OF THE EWE PEOPLE OF EASTERN GHANA

 

Introduction

The Ewe people are found in the south east of Ghana and occupy a large territory stretching about 80 miles from east to west and 75miles form north to south. Theyvalue its traditional ceremonies and perform them with enthusiasm when time came. One of such famous ceremony is the Dipo ceremony. This is a ceremony that signifies the passage from childhood to adulthood among the Krobos, which is a tribe in eastern region of Ghana. It the most awaited ceremony by the girls from within and out this community.

It is performed annually from the month of February to June. Many of them travel from the cities or even other countries to be a part of this event. Everybody in the community is usually exited about the occasion and the ceremony is graced with dances, songs, rituals of purification and cleansing. At the end of the ceremony, the girls are transformed into women fully recognized among the Krobos women and members of this tribe. This paper will describe and analyze the Dipo, a traditional rite of passage that have stood the test of time.

The discourse of the ritual

The custom of the Dipo is a ritual and is made up of several practices that are performed. According to tuner (1967), the ritual is a prescribed formal behavior for events or occasions that have not given over to technological routine. It is attached to beliefs in mythical powers or being. As far as Krobos are concerned, the beliefs relate to their ancestors and deities who they call upon to protect and bless them.

The ritual is prominent in the Dipo custom and is seen as a means of revealing values at their deepest level.(Wilson, 2003). The performance of the ritual is definitely a means by which the community expresses their values, expressing who they are and their way of living. What is expressed by the Dipo through this ritual is a reflection of their culture. They have made it obligatory as it is expected that every girl should undergo the initiation. The girls have no choice, but to undergo this process in order to become adult and part of the society.

Rites of passage

The live of human begins is usually a development process involving several stages from the time one is conceived to when one dies. Every stage has significance on the person undergoing it as well as in the society he or she lives in. the rites of passage is the transition from one stage of live to another stage. It may mark the passing from one stage to another like birth, marriage, puberty, initiation to become a priest or even death.(Barnard, 2006)

While many initiation ceremonies have changed in modern time, Krobos Dipo has stood the test of time and has remained the most elaborate rite of passage in Ghana. While the current generation does not undergo the same initiation rite as their ancestors for most rites, Krobos Dipo is an exception. The rites of passage can either coincide with the physical maturation of the body of the person undergoing the rites or be help without putting into consideration of the biological changes. When biological changes are not considered, emphasis is put on social maturity of the person being initiated. (Richards, 1982)

Dipo is commonly termed a puberty rite, but the appropriate term for the ceremony is rite of passage since it does not coincide with puberty. Instead, it is the parents who decide when their daughters should undergo the Dipo. The intention of the Dipo custom was to help young women acquire house keeping skills, vocational training, and the basics of marriage life. The young women are expected to be of good morals and embrace chastity before they marry. After passing through the ceremony where all these are emphasized, the participants enter into adulthood and is deemed ready for marriage. (Richards, 1982)

In the context of kobo culture, Dipo is more of a transitory rite. The ritual does not involve any cutting of genital of the participants or any test of physical endurance. However, it is one of the most important and mandatory rites that every Krobo girl must go through; otherwise she will not be recognized as a Krobo woman. It is the only way for a Krobo girl to become a mature woman who is worth being married by any Krobos man. She must show the visible marks of her initiation to proof that she has undergone the process. (Huber, 1963)

The current issues ofDipo in Ghana

Dipo is not unanimously praised nowadays in Ghana. This practice has generated several debates. While some people consider it as an old fashion with no significance in the modern society of Ghana, others are for the opinion that it’s a cultural practice that should be continued from one generation to the next. As a result of the debates, the practice has undergone various changes like the reduction of the age of the girls who participates. Currently, even a two years old girl undergoes the rite. Some people believes that the highest rate of HIV/ AIDS in Ghana to these changes in the age of participants. After initiation, early pregnancy is not frowned upon. Therefore, Dipo have changed from being a preparation for a good marriage into a license for allowing sexual activity.(Anarfi, 2003)

Sackey (2001) also agrees with this fact and advocates for precautionary measures be taken in order to prevent further spread of the STDs. She believes that the changes that have occurred as far as the changes in the ages of participant in the Dipo have cause increased cases of HIV/AIDS. The ceremony should be used to help the girls from engaging in unprotected sex which exposes them to STDs. They should also be encouraged to abstain until they officially get married. (Sackey, 2001)

Conclusion

Rites of passage may have advantages and disadvantages, especially when its initial purposes are interfered with. The Dipo was initially a good ceremony where girls were taught how to become responsible women in the society. Currently, the same have increased the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Ghana.

Bibliography

Anarfi, K. (2003). To change or not to change: Obstacles and resistance to sexual behavioural change among the youth in Ghana in the era of AIDS. nstitute of African , 19 (1), 27-45.

Barnard, A. S. (2006). Encyclopaedia of Social and Cultural. London and New York: Routledge.

Huber, H. (1963). The Krobo – Traditional Social and Religious Life of a West African People. Switzerland: St. Paul’s Press.

Richards, A. (1982). Chisungu: A girl’s Initiation Ceremony among the Bemba of Zambia. London: Tavistock Publications Ltd.

Sackey, B. (2001). Cultural Responses to the Management of HIV/AIDS. The Repackaging of Puberty Rites.” .

Turner, V. (1967). The Forest of Symbols. Aspects of Ndembu Ritua. USA: Cornell.

Wilson, A. (2003). The Bead is Constant. Accra: Ghana Universities Press.

 

Toyota is a car manufacturing company founded in japan by a prolific inventor called Sakichi Toyoda as Toyoda Automatic Loom Company. It manufactured vehicles with military applications and for that reason; it got support from the government of Japan. Kiichiro Toyoda, the son of Sakichi Toyoda later came to head the operations of the company. He made several advancements in manufacturing and build several models. Toyota’s rapid expansion began after the Second World War. By this time, the company had changed its name to Toyota Motor Corporation. Over the years, Toyota has been able to manufacture a variety of models that suit the needs of its different customers. Since this period to date, the management has changed and new leaders have come up to take over the company. Change is, therefore, inevitable as these new leaders come up with different strategies and different ways of doing things.

One of the changes that might have cropped up in the organization over the years includes changes in manufacturing and design. These entail changes in design and branding that have seen the company even change its logo. Before the world war, the company manufactured vehicles mostly for military purposes. Over the years, the company began developing vehicles for commercial and family use. The vehicles were designed to fit different needs. For example, some were designed to carry heavy loads, others were designed to pass through rough terrains and others were designed for speed.

The overarching roles of the new leaders in bringing about these changes included a review of the company’s SWOT analysis. The strength, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths of the company are essential as they guide the management through the change process. Management is able to know what needs to be changed and what needs to remain the way it is. The leader also has a task of making the employees understand the change process and be comfortable with it. It is up to the management to ensure the employees take the change positively as they will be doing things in a different way contrary to what they are used to. (Morgan 2006)

The first phase of change is motivation. The management has the task to create readiness to change and ensure the transition will not bring about resistance. This involves explaining the need for change and letting the stakeholders know were the organization needs to be in the future. Toyota needed to explore bigger markets hence had to strategize its manufacturing process to fit the current trends such as technology.

Secondly, the management needs to create a vision for the organization. This is the direction that the company is to take to achieve the said change. It includes the duties the members of the organization need to take. The vision should clearly show how the change would benefit the organization. In this case, the management of Toyota needs to state how the change in manufacturing and design would bring more profits to the organization. (Dawson 2011).

Thirdly, the management needs to develop political support from the powerful people within the organization. This would give an easy transition of the said change. Fourthly, management also needs to manage the transition of change appropriately. The transition includes a wide variety of action plans that need to be implemented. Lastly, the management needs to sustain momentum. This includes dealing with the various obstacles appropriately to ensure the change runs smoothly. Such obstacles include resistance from employees and other stakeholders. Managers at Toyota have been able to bring in changes in manufacturing and design within the organization and have seen the company grow over the years, making billions of profits. (Sato 2008).

 

References

Morgan, G (2006) Images of Organization, Sage, Thousand Oaks, USA

Sato, M. (2008). The Toyota strategy: an executive guide. (pp 29). New York: Vertical.

Dawson, C. (2011). Lexus: the relentless pursuit : the secret history of Toyota Motor’s quest to

conquer the global luxury car market (pp 19). Singapore: John Wiley & Sons (Asia).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREJUDICE, DISCRIMINATION, ETHNOCENTRISM AND CULTURAL RELATIVISM

Introduction

This paper addresses a myriad of sociological phenomena and gives an insight of each one of them. They include; prejudice, discrimination, cultural relativism and ethnocentrism.

Prejudice

This is the assessment of a societal group and its members based on concepts characterized by prejudgment and misjudgment that are held despite overwhelming facts that disprove them. Prejudiced people think ill of people belonging to other groups different from them regardless of the countervailing attributes and characteristics that those persons may have. They are usually defined by negative predispositions or evaluations against an individual not in one’s social group and is repeatedly followed by a positive prejudice in the advantage of someone who is in one’s own group.

The most common kinds of prejudiced are based on ethnic or racial lines. Undoubtedly, not a single person is free of prejudice may it be toward racial or ethnic groups, lower class or middle class, straight, gay or disadvantaged. Research has indicated that people who are more prejudiced have a high likelihood of stereotyping others by gender or race. Though people are prejudiced, they are not born prejudiced or with stereotypes, but rather, they learn them and are internalized through the socialization process. This is done through family members, peers and the media which all play a big pivotal role in nurturing prejudices and stereotypes. It has been revealed through research that the more prejudiced the parent, the more likely prejudiced the child would be (Kendall, 2011).

Discrimination

Discrimination may take various forms ranging from income discrimination, discrimination in housing, discrimination in employment and promotion. However, prejudiced attitudes may not always to discrimination (Andersen & Taylor, 2006).

Prejudiced non-discriminators hold personal prejudices but do not discriminate because of peer pressure, legal demands or desire for profits. A case in point is where a prejudiced White coach hiring a Black player to enhance the team’s ability to emerge as winners. Discriminatory actions vary in their forms form use of severe violence (Andersen & Taylor 2006). An illustration of these inhumane acts is genocide which is the deliberate mass killing of an entire people based on race or their ethnicity. Of late, ethnic cleansing which is conducted in geographical areas by causing people to flee by meting out violence on them is also a severe mode of discrimination.

Ethnocentrism

This is the conviction that one’s faction is better than all other factions. The ethnocentric person believes that his/her own group is moral, just, right and that any members of an out group are the counterpoise of that. The ethnocentric individual uses his/her own group as a benchmark to compare other groups. A positive characteristic of ethnocentrism is that it creates a strong sense of group solidarity and group superiority. An example of this is nationalism which binds people and rallies them towards a common cause. However, taken to the limits, nationalism may be highly exclusionary, rejecting those who do not share their culture and experience. Ethnocentrism can lead to political conflicts, war, terrorism and even genocide. Clear indications of these are the Alqaeda extremists who believe that terrorism is a justified tactic of jihad, which is religious struggle of the Islamic faith. Ethnocentrism is largely to blame for the many contemporary wars witnessed currently (Kendall, 2011).

Cultural relativism

It means that a far-off culture should not be assessed using the values of the local culture. Cultural relatism also implies that a behavior or way of thinking must be examined in its cultural context. That is in terms of that culture’s values, norms, values, beliefs, environmental challenges and history. Negative characteristic of this perspective is that it encourages an anything goes point of view, discouraging critical assessment and portrays all cultures as equal in value, regardless of obvious cruel practices. The positive attributes is that it aims to understand a culture on its own terms. The primary aim is not to condone or discredit it. If anything, it acts as check against uncritical and overvalued acceptance of the home culture, narrow thinking and unsympathetic portrayals.

Whilst the Americans may wonder why Koreans eat dogs, the later may be appalled why Americans let dogs lick their faces and spend so much on them. If one looks at the historical reasons, it might not seem so unreasonable bearing in mind that in Asia land is scarce and is used for growing crops whilst in America there is abundant land and most Americans believe dos to understand them better after their spouses (Ferrante, 2011).

 

 

 

Reference

Andersen. M & Taylor. F (2006). Sociology: Understanding a Diverse Society. Chicago: Thomson and Watford Publishers. Pp.254-261

Ferrante J. Sociology (2011): A Global Perspective. Californa: Wadsworth Cengage learning publishers. Pp.189-203

Kendall. K (2011). Sociology in Our Time. Illinois: Wordsworth Cengage learning publishers. pp.283-288

 

 

Methods of enquiry

Introduction

The quest for improvement in the field of education continues and this has spurred numerous changes in policies and practices aimed at increasing efficiency in delivery of education. While educational theories have focused on improving the learning process, the challenge lies in adopting an effective learning method. There has been a lot of studies and research on the process of learning and the factors that impact the learning process. These studies have provided different theories on how learning takes place and what are the various methods adopted by learners and teachers for enhancing the learning experience. The theoretical models have contributed to an improved understanding of the learning process and have evolved over the years to encompass new approaches to learning. The variations in the learning theories and models have driven researchers to study the different aspects associated with the learning process. The traditional views on learning focused on learner behavior and psychology that impact learning outcomes. The learning theories explain the process of knowledge acquisition and explore the various possibilities of making teaching in the classrooms more effective through the use of appropriate learning methods.

Background to the research

Research studies and academicians have for years tried to explain and explore the process of knowledge acquisition that has resulted in the formulation of various learning theories. The theoretical approach to learning process provides useful insight into the ways in which a student learns in the classroom. This knowledge has been used to devise effective teaching methods and curriculum design for improved learning outcomes.

It is important to understand the learning concept before exploring the learning theories. Learning has been defined as the “reflective activity which enables the learner to draw upon previous experience to understand and evaluate the present, so as to shape future action and formulate new knowledge” (Watkins & Carnell, 2000). The process of learning hence involves the assimilation of new ideas, information, skills, thoughts and perceptions that shape the learner understanding of concepts and subject matters. It helps the learner in relating past, present and future situations by influencing his thoughts and understanding of the situation. There are various factors that impact the learning process and the ability of learners to meet their learning goals or learning outcomes. Learning outcomes involve acquisition of knowledge, skills, feelings and emotions, ability to interact, generate ideas, and self development (Watkins & Carnell, 2000).

Art has played an important role in promoting creativity within individuals and hence it has emerged as an effective platform to enhance learning experience. It must be noted in this context that cultural and creative expressions are outlets of our feelings and emotions that have distinctive impacts on our thoughts and beliefs. There are numerous individuals in our community who have a gift for imparting such views and expressions, and this can contribute immensely to the growth and development of our inner selves. Financial revenues and incomes generated are equally important in helping us to sustain our lifestyle and promote our social well-being. The power of utilising individual talents and skills to promote economic and social well-being can work wonders for our society. Based on these arguments a number of studies have focused on the scope and potentials of using arts in education and its role in promoting learning process. The paper provides a deeper insight into the role of arts in education and educating with arts through a comparative assessment of two research articles in this context. The analysis highlights the effectiveness and outcomes of the research papers through a deeper exploration of its research methods and arguments that frame the studies.

The first article is by Lee Emery (2002) on Censorship in Contemporary Art Education. The study focuses on the selection and censorship of art studies in art education. The research is based on interviews with fifteen secondary art teachers who provide input on how arts can be applied in learning and the need for censorship in choice of art forms to be used in the learning context. The research context is based on the statement – “given that cutting edge art must shock if it is to change artistic sensibility it would seem that the study of contemporary art must present students and teachers with many ethical dilemmas. The violent sexually explicit, disgusting and psychologically disturbing, nature of many contemporary arts works make them potentially offensive, disturbing, provocative, and confusing to young impressionable minds” (Emery, 2002). The study focuses on the moral and ethical accountability of arts teachers in applying contemporary arts in educating students. The researcher believes that achieving post-modernist effectiveness in the learning process through the use of arts can be increased through a more refined approach to learning and selection of contemporary art materials for education.

The second article by Tulay Akkoyun (2009) is titled Arts Education and Educating with Arts. The research study focuses on the scope of applying arts in education and educating with arts through an exploration of the literary work Son Kuslar or The Last Birds written by a Turkish writer Sait Faik Abasiyanik. The study explains the ways in which the literary work exemplifies and explains the impacts and consequences of environmental degradation. The researcher claims that “environmental science can benefit from arts through the fact that arts cannot be isolated from sciences. It gives some suggestions on emphasizing the importance of using arts in the other branches of sciences towards children’s and young people’s education thereby setting this study as an example” (Akkoyun, 2009).

The subsequent sections provide a deeper exploration of these two articles and the observations made by the two researchers.

Research validity and reliability

Reliability of research methods relate to the accuracy of data collection and measure the “proportion of true variance on the measured variance” (Miller, Strang & Miller, 2010, p13). There are various measures that can be adopted by researchers to overcome the threats to reliability in data collection methods. Such measures include standardization of measurement methods used to analyze research variables. This helps in eliminating too many variations in response patterns and findings. The reliability of the research method can also be improved by providing the observer in the study adequate knowledge on the research purpose, process and techniques applied during the data collection methods. Clarifying research contexts, processes and variables used during the research study is vital in enabling an improved understanding of the research process. Automating the instrument can help in reducing the variations in measurement and analysis of data. Any errors or variations in data collection can be eliminated by repeating the measurement process (Miller et al., 2010).

Research studies are driven by the need to investigate, analyze and explore the research context to establish new frameworks and findings based on existing evidence. “In broadest terms, we do research whenever we gather information to answer a question that solves a problem” (Booth, Colomb & Williams, 2008, p10). The research process involves a systematic approach towards the gathering of relevant facts and information that help the researcher in validating his answers to the research questions. The research studies are guided by specific objectives and need to find information that answers the research questions. The research process starts with the identification of the need to research or finding a problem situation that warrants further investigation. Once the need and objectives of research is established the researcher needs to decide the research plan that enables the data collection process. This involves the determination of methods that will be used to gather the necessary research evidence, facts, data and information that help the researcher in meeting the research study objectives.

The validity of the research article by Lee Emery (2002) is based on interview responses that focus on the individual perspectives and beliefs associated with art forms and their application in learning environment. Since qualitative research method is more subjective in nature the reliability of findings is based on the extent to which the responses can be generalized and related to the research objectives. Generally researchers make use of different research methods to validate data and information collected during the research process. Trustworthiness plays an important role in assuring the validity of results. “It is also through this association that the way to achieve validity and reliability of a research get affected from the qualitative researchers’ perspectives which to eliminate bias and increase the researcher’s truthfulness of a proposition about some social phenomenon” (Golafshani, 2003). The research study by Lee Emery does not apply any methods of validation or reliability. The study relies on the interview responses from the sampling unit comprising of fifteen art teachers and theoretical concepts that underline the research topic. Such research studies require in-depth analysis of theoretical and conceptual frameworks that explain human behavior in given contexts. Qualitative research investigates the research matter from various perspectives and produces findings and information that encompass a wide context on the focus of study. It seeks to understand and interpret human behavior in context besides providing culture specific information relating to the values, opinions and behaviours of distinct segment of population (FHI. 2008). It provides an understanding of what people think and believe in context of the research topic. It provides detailed information about the human side of any issue that includes contradictory behaviors, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and relationships between various social components.

 

Research methods and approaches

The quest for knowledge guides the researcher to adopt various approaches that meet his knowledge objectives. The ontology and epistemology perspectives play a vital role in determining research approach and data collection methods used by researcher. While ontology refers to the “study of the philosophy of knowledge”, epistemology refers to the “study of how such knowledge is acquired” (Gratton & Jones, 2004, p14). This has a significant bearing on how the research study is designed, what kind of data collection methods are used, what approaches are used to interpret and analyze the available data, and the inferences drawn from the study. According to Gratton and Jones in their book Research Methods for Sports Studies (2004) there are two categories of knowledge – positivism and interpretivism. Positivism refers to scientific knowledge that is based on scientific principles and methods while interpretivism refers to knowledge that can be inferred from the study of human behavior or inter-relationship between two or more variables. Positivism knowledge seeks quantitative research approach to validate research claims while interpretivism knowledge seeks qualitative research strategies to explore and investigate relationships in research context.

Research methods refer to the diverse means undertaken by the researcher to acquire knowledge in the research context. The choice of the research method depends on the nature of the research study; type of information required in the research context and the research questions or objectives the guide the need for accessing specific information. In the past few decades a number of research methods have been identified and adopted by researchers and hence the researchers are presented with a wide range of choices. Broadly the research methods are qualitative, quantitative or mixed research approach. The qualitative research methods focuses on seeking answers to research questions using procedures that involve interpretive study based on the data collected. The data collection process is guided by theoretical considerations and conceptual frameworks that help in formulating research theories (Flick et al., 2004). Quantitative research methods on the other hand focus on primary data collected through observation, questioning, and field data that lends a practical insight into the research context. This involves the analysis of numerical data that supports research claims. Mixed methods make use of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques.

The two research papers make use of distinctive approaches to study the inter-relationship between the identified research variables. In the leadership research the researcher makes use of a combination of qualitative and quantitative research techniques that study the impact of different leadership styles on individual performance in a simulated environment. The researcher however, emphasizes the significance of the data collected from the experimental and observation methods to analyze and interpret findings. This poses distinctive limitations on the extent to which human behavior, responses and action patterns can be analyzed. Simulated environment may expose the individual to a conditioned situation but the reality of such situations may be more complex since there are different factors that impact the behavior of individuals within real life environment. Experimental research methods or quasi experimental research strategies “always contain a flaw that prevents the research from obtaining an absolute cause and effect answer” (Gravetter & Forzano, 2009, p153). Such research strategies fail to explain the differences in individual behavior and measuring reactions to given scenarios may not provide accurate results in research contexts.

Such research studies require in-depth analysis of theoretical and conceptual frameworks that explain human behavior in given contexts. Qualitative research investigates the research matter from various perspectives and produces findings and information that encompass a wide context on the focus of study. It seeks to understand and interpret human behavior in context besides providing culture specific information relating to the values, opinions and behaviors of distinct segment of population (FHI. 2008). It provides an understanding of what people think and believe in context of the research topic. It provides detailed information about the human side of any issue that includes contradictory behaviors, beliefs, opinions, emotions, and relationships between various social components.

Research context – analysis and alternative views

Art is a manifestation of human thought. Sometimes, it represents the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of a section of people or a larger community. Sometimes, it is used as a means of spreading a message or awareness in the interest of people that form its audience (Lewis 1990). The application of art in education is based on an improved understanding of learning theories and learning behavior.

The different learning theories focus on exploring the aspects of learning process and its impacts on learning outcomes. The behavioral learning theories emphasize that learning takes place through learner experiences that influence learner thoughts, perceptions and understanding of the situation. In contrast, the cognitive learning theories observe that learning is a mental process.

The behavioral learning theory focuses on individual behavior, factors influencing present learning process, and learning experiences that induce changes in the learner. The behavioral learning theory was developed by B.F. Skinner in the year 1973 through further exploring the works of John Watson in the year 1913. Further researches and works of Thorndike and Pavlov contributed to the development of this theoretical approach to learning. The theory proposes that learning takes place through the acquisition of new behavior and influencing human actions through “manipulation of stimuli and patterns of reinforcement” (Bailey, 2009).

Thorndike in his works established that learning took place through a process of trial and error methods. He claimed through his works that rewards strengthened the association between learning stimulus and response to the given stimulus (Mowrer & Klein, 2001). The works of Watson and Pavlov established that classical conditioning was the key mechanism that influenced individual learning. The unwillingness of a child to go to school can be strongly related to bullying experiences that result in the child being scared of going to school (Mowrer & Klein, 2001). Hence a bad experience may impact individual perceptions and understanding of situation. Reinforcement principle endorsed by the behavioral learning theories emphasize that rewards can be used effectively to reinforce learning outcomes by triggering increased probability of desired learner behavior (Abacon, 2000).

Teaching principles according to the behavioral theory involves the breaking down of skills and information into smaller units of learning, providing regular feedback to students, focusing on content of learning, and teacher centered instruction that controls the learning environment (Viking, 2009). The teaching practices designed according to the behavioral approach focus on imparting skills that can be used by learners in future. Hence the history lessons are designed to develop moral and ethical values among students that promote the growth and development of responsible citizens. The approach enables to break down complex tasks into simple units of learning that facilitates learning in phases.

Some of the distinctive teaching practices based on the behavioral learning approach include classroom drill, games, activities, tutorials, programmed instructions, simulated learning, and integrated learning systems – all of which are controlled by the teacher or instructor (Viking, 2009). Drills involve the use of practice sessions that enable the students to evaluate their learning modules. Games are entertaining activities designed to facilitate the learning of important concepts and theories. Such activities promote learning in a fun environment and helps in improving learner understanding of concepts through enhanced motivation. Tutorials focus on teaching students using direct instruction methods and increased interactivity with the tutors. Programmed instructions are software or online applications that guide the students through a range of learning modules that are structured for easy understanding. Simulated learning involves the creation of a learning environment that enables the student to experience the situation in context. This form of learning is highly effective in achieving learning objectives. Integrated learning systems are one of the recent applications of behavioral learning approach that enables the students to learn online through distinctive modules designed for easy understanding.

One of the distinctive strengths of the behavioral learning approach is its widely accepted principles and applications in teaching methods. The theory serves to explain the learning behavior that impacts learning outcomes and learning experience. Educationists have found it useful in designing teaching methods and classroom practices to improve effectiveness in student learning. The focus of the behavioral theory is on the various aspects of human behavior and associated reactions to given situations that explain the process of learning and knowledge acquisition. It cannot be denied that individual experiences shape one’s perception, thoughts, ideas, and attitudes in any learning context.

The cognitive learning theory gained popularity in the 1960s when Gestalt psychologists attempted to explain the mental processes involved in the learning process. “Cognitive scientists study (among other things) how people learn remember, and interact, often with a strong emphasis on mental processes and often with an emphasis on modern technologies” (Pritchard, 2009). One of the key features highlighted by the cognitive learning theory was the role of internal mental processes such as human insight, information processing capabilities, memory, and perception in deciding the learning effectiveness. A learner’s internal capabilities play an important role in deciphering the given information, assimilating the facts and co-relating the processed information to given scenarios. The cognitive learning theories were influenced by the works and view of Piaget, Gagne, Bruner, and Ausubel. Jean Piaget in his works identified four distinctive stages of mental growth that includes sensorimotor (from 1year to 2 years of age), preoperational (from 2 to 7 years of age), concrete operational (from 7 to 12 years of age) and formal operational (from 12 years onwards). The mental processes that aid learning develop subsequently through these stages.

Cognition refers to the act of knowing and involves the use of attention, perception, memory, reasoning, judgment, thoughts, and speech. The emphasis of this theory is on problem solving approaches that contribute to enriched learning experience. The theory hence provides an understanding of how individuals learn, find out their aptitude and learning capacities, and explore the processes that makes information more meaningful for the learner (Smith, 1999). The cognitive learning theory emphasizes that “information that makes sense and has significance to students is more meaningful than inert knowledge and information learned by rote” (Abacon, 2000).

In the year 1998 James Hartley identified key learning principles based on the cognitive learning theory (Smith, 1999). Learning is an inferential process that takes place through a structured learning strategy that helps the learner in relating the different learning concepts and modules. It is important that the learning materials are organized in a manner that is easier to learn and remember. Instructions accompanying the learning material must follow a logical pattern and structure that enables the learner to co-relate easily (Smith, 1999). The manner in which instructions and situations are presented to the learner is significant in determining the learner understanding and perception of the situation. The cognitive approach assumes that prior knowledge is important for comparing and processing new information (McLeod, 2009).

Processing of information according to the cognitive approach is based on the ability of the human mind to store information and retrieval of knowledge (Bailey, 2009). “Advance organizers help students’ process new information by activating background knowledge” (Abacon, 2000). This is done with the help of analogies, elaborating on existing information, structured content, assessment techniques, and conceptual models that enhance the learning experience (Abacon, 2000). The teaching strategies are designed to stimulate the students thinking process that helps in improved understanding of the situation.

To be meaningful experiences, constructivist learning lessons cannot just be groups of students researching and discussing topics that interest them. There must be suitable direction provided by the teacher. This is where scaffolding plays a critical role. Scaffolding is an approach where teachers guide the direction of learning of their students. They support the students learning by giving a proper direction and guide them to tale ownership. Through this approach, teachers can provide students with specific questions and certain framework to carry out their research. They can also provide an outline of the process to be followed by the students in the study. It has been observed that when constructivism is combined with scaffold support, it helps students with mild disabilities to a large extent (Boyle & Scanlon, 2009).

The research study by Tulay Akkoyun (2009) is based on theoretical concepts and explanations that highlight learning theories. The theoretical concepts illustrate the use of literary works to define and apply stories and other forms of written literature to everyday science and awareness. The theoretical framework provides a strong evidence for explaining the research context and has been used well in this study. The findings from the observation exercise are well explained through the conceptual framework guiding the research study and objectives. In a qualitative study the researcher is not just interested in “physical events and behavior that are taking place, but also in how the participants in the study make sense of these, and how their understanding influences their behavior” (Maxwell, 2005; p22). The approach also helps in understanding the context of study and the impact of the situations on individual behavior and actions. Moreover this approach allows the researcher with increased flexibility in modifying the research to analyze the study in new focus and different perspectives.

Learning theories provide an explanation and insight into the various factors and aspects that impact learning outcomes. The study of these theories contributes to the development of effective teaching methods. The behaviorist approach focuses on learner experiences, associations and reinforcement factors influencing learning process. The cognitive approach on the other hand focuses on meaningful approach to learning through the use of cognitive abilities to process information. The constructivist approach focuses on problem solving and intrinsic motivation factors for improving learning effectiveness. The study has highlighted the dimensions influencing learning process and learning outcomes. The effectiveness of any learning environment is based on the type and levels of cognitive and meta-cognitive activity engendered in the learners. It is widely accepted that learning is enhanced in instructional settings where students are engaged in processing personally relevant content and are reflective during the learning process.

The past few decades have witnessed a rapid change in the way learning takes place. The learner is exposed to a wide variety of tools and applications that help in improving learning experience. “One of the most important aspects of learning theorists’ work currently is catching up with the swift changes in educational technology that are transforming the landscape of our society and of how we transfer knowledge in a digital world” (Leonard, 2002). Conventional modes of teaching and learning are fast replaced by improved interactive forms of learning that involve increased collaborative tools and techniques in the classroom. The current methods of teaching and learning provide a more holistic approach involving the development of content or the knowledge base, intellectual skills, learning skills, personal and interpersonal skills. This involves the development of skills like critical thinking, problem solving abilities, creativity, time management, communication, and independent learner.

Research considerations and issues

The quest for knowledge guides the researcher to adopt various approaches that meet his knowledge objectives. The ontology and epistemology perspectives play a vital role in determining research approach and data collection methods used by researcher. While ontology refers to the “study of the philosophy of knowledge”, epistemology refers to the “study of how such knowledge is acquired” (Gratton & Jones, 2004, p14). This has a significant bearing on how the research study is designed, what kind of data collection methods are used, what approaches are used to interpret and analyze the available data, and the inferences drawn from the study. According to Gratton and Jones in their book Research Methods for Sports Studies (2004) there are two categories of knowledge – positivism and interpretivism. Positivism refers to scientific knowledge that is based on scientific principles and methods while interpretivism refers to knowledge that can be inferred from the study of human behavior or inter-relationship between two or more variables. Positivism knowledge seeks quantitative research approach to validate research claims while interpretivism knowledge seeks qualitative research strategies to explore and investigate relationships in research context.

Research methods refer to the diverse means undertaken by the researcher to acquire knowledge in the research context. The choice of the research method depends on the nature of the research study; type of information required in the research context and the research questions or objectives the guide the need for accessing specific information. In the past few decades a number of research methods have been identified and adopted by researchers and hence the researchers are presented with a wide range of choices. Broadly the research methods are qualitative, quantitative or mixed research approach. The qualitative research methods focuses on seeking answers to research questions using procedures that involve interpretive study based on the data collected. The data collection process is guided by theoretical considerations and conceptual frameworks that help in formulating research theories (Flick et al., 2004).

 

Conclusion

The research process involves a lot of planning based on the researcher’s need to explore and analyze specific research questions. Research design and methods are vastly adapted to the research needs and the nature of information sought by the researcher to validate findings. The vast array of methods and approaches available to researcher pose distinctive challenges to the researcher in making a suitable choice of strategy. The paper has highlighted the significance of identifying research objectives and nature of information needed by the researcher to support the research study claims.

 

References

  1. Abacon 2000, Behavioral theories of learning, Educational Psychology.
  2. Abacon 2000, Cognitive theories of learning: basic concepts, available from http://www.abacon.com/slavin/notes6.html
  3. Akkoyun, T. 2009, Arts with education and educating with arts, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol 1, pp2291-2293.
  4. Bailey, L. 2009, Cognitive and behavioral learning theories, available from http://www.freepsychologyarticles.com/cognitive-and-behavioral-learning-theories.html
  5. Booth, W.C., Colomb, G.G. & Williams, J.M. 2008, The craft of research, University of Chicago Press.
  6. Boyle, J. & Scanlon, D. 2009, Methods and Strategies for Teaching Students with Mild Disabilities: A Case-Based Approach, Cengage Learning.
  7. Emery, L. 2002, Censorship in contemporary art education, NSEAD.
  8. Flick, U., Kardorff, E.V., & Steinke, I. 2004, A companion to qualitative research, Sage Publications Inc.
  9. Golafshani, N. 2003, Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research, The Qualitative Report, Vol 8, No. 4, pp 597-606.
  10. Gratton, C. & Jones, I. 2004, Research methods for sports studies, Routledge Press.
  11. Gravetter, F.J. & Forzano, L.A.B. 2009, Research methods for the behavioural sciences, Cengage Learning.
  12. Leonard, D.C. 2002, Learning theories, A to Z, Greenwood Publishing Group.
  13. Lewis, J. 1990, Art, Culture and Enterprise: The Politics of Art and Cultural Industries, Routledge.
  14. Maxwell, J.A. 2005, Qualitative research design: an interactive approach, Sage Publications Inc.
  15. McLeod, G. 2009, Learning Theory and Instructional Design, available from http://courses.durhamtech.edu/tlc/www/html/Resources/learningmatters/learningtheory.pdf
  16. Mowrer, R.R. & Klein, S.B. 2001, Handbook of contemporary learning theories, Routledge Press.
  17. Miller, P.G., Strang, J., & Miller, P.M. 2010, Addiction research methods, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
  18. Pritchard, A. 2009, Ways of learning: learning theories and learning styles in the Classroom, Routledge Press.
  19. Viking 2009, Overview of behavioral theories, available from http://viking.coe.uh.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/behavior.htm
  20. Watkins, C. & Carnell, E. 2000, Learning about learning: resources for supporting effective learning, Routledge Press.

 

 

 

 

 

Group Influences on Behavior

There is a common saying that, “show me your friend and I will tell you your character.” The people around us can determine who and what we become in the future. Group behaviors have a wide range and differ in many ways (Miner, 2007). A coordinated group behavior can be referred to as group action. People join groups for different reasons the main one being for its membership which yields into satisfaction on the individual’s point of view (Levi, 2011). The other reasons can be for security and survival purposes in case of danger or financial help. Companionship is another thing because some feel so alone and want to be loved by others in a company of many. Other people want control and power and so they opt to join groups which offer positions for leaders who want to take over the others. In addition to that some want to attain a social rank and so they join groups so as to feel like important members of the society. Besides all that, there is achievement in that the more the people in a group, the greater the things they are able to achieve (Jennings, 2007).

Groups can change a person’s behavior or attitude towards something in either a positive or a negative way. Fore instance groups that deal with illegal activities like drugs can influence one’s behavior in negative ways since if a student opts to join such a group, he /she is going to change his/her previous attitude about school and may even end up dropping out of school and getting lower grades due to the effects of the drugs (Saavedra & Kwun, 1993). In addition to this they might become thieves or even other worse people in the society because of their choice of friends and groups. Besides that, the group one joins can transform them from humble people to arrogant people because if the group is full of such characters then that is what they become (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2007). Some groups can even change one into a cultist and start practicing Satanism and this definitely changes their attitude towards life as they can start sacrificing even their own family members (Mower, 1982). Some groups create animosity within the human race and go against each other just like the Al –quedas and Al-shabaab in the name of religion and such influence can finish a greater percentage of the population (Griffin & Moorehead, 2012).

On the other hand, some groups can influence one’s behavior in a positive manner in that they can transform a person’s bad qualities into good ones and help them become useful members of the society. Such groups can be called reproductive groups (Newton & Keenan, 1991). In such groups they aim at providing the members with constructive works to do like charity work fore instance. This kind of work distracts them from indulging into their past activities and with time they become active members of the society. Useful groups can teach one quite a lot of positive things in life for example, counseling groups especially those in VCTs can change one’s thought about life and make them start a fresh knowing what to do and what to avoid (Druskat & Wolff,1999).

Though the behaviors of one person can influence the other and no matter how social we get, we should always indulge in groups or organizations that benefit us as well as the society either directly or indirectly. By doing this, we can avoid bad characters which can cause trouble in our lives as well as those close to us. We should always get to know the norms and activities undertaken by the group before getting involved in them (Denison, 1982).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Brodt, S. & Thompson, L. 2001, “Negotiating teams: A levels of analysis approach”, Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 208-219.

Denison, D. R., 1982. Sociotechnical design and self-managing work groups: The impact on control. Journal of Occupational Behavior (Pre-1986), 3(4), 297-297. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/227194710?accountid=8289

Druskat, V.U. & Wolff, S.B. 1999, “Effects and timing of developmental peer appraisals in self-managing work groups”, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 58-74.

Griffin, R. W., & Moorehead, G., 2012. Organizational behavior: Managing people and organizations. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning.

Hellriegel, D., & Slocum, J. W., 2007. Organizational behavior. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western.

Jennings, M. (2007). Leading effective meetings, teams, and work groups in districts and schools. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Levi, D., 2011. Group dynamics for teams. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Miner, J. B. ,2007. From theory to practice. Armonk, NY : Sharpe.

Mower White, C. J., 1982. Consistency in cognitive social behaviour: an introduction to social psychology. London, Routledge & Kegan Pau

Newton, T. & Keenan, T. 1991, “Further analyses of the dispositional argument in organizational behavior”, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 76, no. 6, pp. 781-787.

Saavedra, R. & Kwun, S.K. 1993, “Peer evaluation in self-managing work groups”, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 78, no. 3, pp. 450-462.

Freedom of religion and equality woman

Introduction

Every individual in the society irrespective of race, gender, and religion has the right to life without discrimination. However, this right is declined or ignored by a number of individuals, entities, organizations, and religions. The most affected individuals against this issue of discrimination are women. The most considerable excuse to justify this vice is that women are considered as weaker sex and hence they are highly discriminated from engaging in certain activities such as leadership or governance. Discrimination is a vice and many laws are against such practice as its effects are adverse. This is even evidenced in different religious believes which are supposed to stand strong against discrimination in women. It is a fundamental issue that should be considered appropriately to ensure that every individual in the society is respected and treated equally. The rights of women have become one of the measures in which a society can be gauged in terms of the compliance to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The government through existence of various entities such as churches has the responsibility of enforcing laws that respect the rights of women. Religion is an essential consideration in promotion of gender equality but on the other hand there are certain instances whereby the religious practices discriminate women. Pro women’s rights groups have been in the fore front towards ensuring that women are accorded equal rights and opportunities with men. The appraisal of women’s rights has been attributed to greater levels of human development, health standards as well as democracy. Women’s rights have also come to be perceived as a crucial indicator of a country’s determination and commitment towards the adherence to responsibilities in the international arena with regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Wade, 2005). There has been a considerable degree of debate as to the comprehension of equality and the means with which to advance the awareness of women’s rights. This paper seeks to address issues concerned with women’s rights, equality and religion.

Freedom of religion

Every individual has the right to participate in different religions without prejudice or discrimination. It is a fundamental right that should be respected at all odds without consideration of gender or sex. All over the world, women’s rights and freedom of religion have been conflicting primarily due to the role of women as stipulated by various religious beliefs. Internationally, a low degree of emphasis has been applied with regard to the freedom of religion and the various human rights as well as civil liberties and more so the function played by the freedom to practice a given form of religion with respect to social strife and the maintenance of political organizations has been relatively avoided. Women’s rights groups have been advocating for the harmonization of the right to religion and gender differences (Wade, 2005). This has presented a point of conflict between feminist standpoints and conflicting application of human rights as provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with respect to the universal application of women’s rights for all women relative to the prevalent cultural norms in the Western world.

The correlation between the international manifestation of women’s rights, feminist perceptions and oriental discourses is perceived as major points in which conflicts in the international application of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is accepted in different countries and societies. In this context, an oriental discourse as a term means negative applications of human rights with relation to the Western world. In the 17th Century, a rising curiosity concerning Islam and Eastern Europe became profoundly hostile as depicted in media, art, literature and various disciplines showing an intellectual authority over other non Western cultural norms (Wade, 2005). In this sense, Islam was portrayed as a rather backward religion being both strange and monolithic as compared to religions adopted by the Western culture. This historical standpoint and view with regard to the cultural and religious identity of the Middle East and Islam had the overall effect of methodically aligning the knowledge and understanding of Oriental peoples as being inferior when compared with mindset of peoples in the Western cultures. These apparent colonial discourses were related to with a concerted degree of interest more so when pertaining to the treatment of women. Both the western and non western cultures portrayed a degree of pre-modern barbarism with the west viewing the higher level of dependence in women affairs as awkward while the oriental mindsets were perceived as oppressive with regard to women.

There has been a great deal of debate with respect to the temperament of the globalised approach in human rights movements with clear distinctions being drawn up to differentiate from the economic perspective of globalization as a neo-imperialistic principle and globalization as a technical system through which transport and communication all over the world is done with a greater level of ease (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2000). In the debate, there have been many incidences in which globalization as a means with which to ease the level of contact among people of the world has been perceived as detrimental to women’s rights. However, proponents of this debate view this distinct aspect of globalization as paramount to the international development of women’s rights movements linking women on an international level.

According to the available literature, the aspect of dualism as presented by globalization can be construed to bring about creative conflicts within the boundaries of international law. On one hand, international law provides the legal ground work for an international normative order while on the other hand being viewed as a delicate yet necessary humanist enclave for geopolitical conduct providing normative frameworks necessary to protect humanity from neo-imperialism. It can therefore be said that a concrete distinction between the good and bad aspects of globalization within the constraints of international law cannot be discretely distinguished. As such some scholars argue that laws defining human rights as well as human rights movements can be applied to encourage dominion and subsequent exploitation of certain circles of humanity. This is more so in the context of dominant factions imposing aspects of human rights against groups that can be regarded as political minorities especially as in themes persistently put across with regard to the feminist reviews towards the application of human rights. This argument has been perceived as falsely championing the universality of human rights but in essence sidelining the issues raised by human rights with regard to human rights. Feminist groups have pro actively shed light on the aspects of individual human rights as claimed by men as well as corporate rights as advocated for by political affiliations or cultural groups (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2000). These tend to have precedence over the rights for women and more so are applied to defeat competitive claims by women on their rights as women.

In the Western world, feminist scholars have put in a lot of effort in raising awareness on the issues in societies that tend to cause emotional, mental and physical harm to women are highlighted and incorporated in the human rights frameworks with respect to cultural practices and norms as well as with respect to religious stand points. The failure to adequately avail protection to women has been detrimental to the realization of human rights universally. Local level intervention through groups such as on governmental organizations tends deviate the attention from the contemporary wider geopolitical aspects of inequality in the operations of international systems and national systems thus frustrating internal remedies through the presentation of religion as an insurmountable limitations towards the equality of women (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2000).

In line with this context, Muslim women face continued persecution primarily due to the fact that the way in which they perceive Islam is different from the way that Muslim states interpret Islamic law (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2000). This inequality has brought about a distinct form of gender persecution weighed down by political beliefs. For instance for a woman to hold public office, she has to denounce her religious affiliation to Islam if she is seeking asylum in another country. In another instance, there have been incidences in which young school attending girls have been expelled from school as a consequence for wearing an Islamic veil. This was due to the fact that wearing such a veil contravened the school’s definition of the accepted dress code. Another instance was reported when a Muslim school demanded that non Muslim teachers were to wear Islamic veils while in the educational institutions. These instances highlight a conflict of the freedom of religion and equality with respect to women.

Humanity is actively trying to search for comprehensive answers for the ever contentious issues concerned with religion more so in the manner with which religion provides for its various systems, values for women and men, and the ideals through which these religions attempt to maintain cohesiveness among members (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2000). These same religions have long standing rituals, specific identity codes and laid down standards defining the accepted conduct in the quest to ensure that prescribed ideals are adhered to by members and respected by other religions. As such, it is worthy noting that preferences provided for by various religious ideals create ripe conditions for conflicts in society.

A majority of the social institutions in the contemporary western world have become secularized as a result of constitutions adopted to accommodate diversity of the many religions present in the western world. The acceptance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has also played a pivotal role towards this end (Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2000). With respect to the examples provided earlier, wearing of Islamic garments in social institutions such as schools has brought about preexisting aspects due to the conflicting aspects of fundamental freedoms. In these contemporary Western societies, conflicts in the ideals of different religious backdrops regularly come into play. I is common for constitutions in these countries to adopt laws that ensure that social institutions of may be Catholic or Protestant foundations accept individuals from other religious institutions while at the same time allowing for such individuals to practice their right to manifest religious manifestations and the freedom to choose religious ideals or moral instruction.

The Human Rights and Freedoms Charter

This is the fundamental international law legislation that provides for the protection of personal religious beliefs and norms. Included in the Charter is the fundamental freedom for individuals to exercise their inherent right to freedom of conscience freedom of expression, freedom of religion and the freedom of association. Also provided for in the charter is the right to equality for each and every human being such that no single person should be in any manner discriminated against or persecuted due to his or her religious beliefs. The charter also provides for compensation and instruments for redress where these rights and freedoms have been violated (Gregory, 2003).

These universal values are the foundational framework for intercultural and interreligious dominations dialogue. It is worthy noting that this aspect of dialogue can only be achieved when the prevailing conditions advocate for mutual respect with regard to the equality in the dignity accorded to all humanity through the provisions offered in the Human Rights charter, the rule of law and the adherence to doctrine of democracy. Commitment to these values and more so the fundamental right and freedoms guarantees a situation whereby non domination is common and the force of argument prevails over the argument of force (Gregory, 2003).

It is common in the contemporary world to have situations in which fundamental human rights tend to conflict with one another. The solution to such an occurrence is the endeavor to find some form of fair balance with regard to intercultural and religious differences. Linguistic affiliations, ethnic backgrounds, religion, cultural and traditional customs should not be invoked for the sole purpose of limiting an individual’s fundamental rights and freedoms or from responsible participation within a give society (Gregory, 2003). This principle serves to ensure that an individual’s right not to be treated with dignity due to gender based discrimination and any other form of discrimination. This encompasses the rights and developmental interests of small children and young adults; the freedom to practice or not to practice a given religion; protection from human rights abuses for example, female genital mutilation and forced marriages regardless of the cultural norms. This goes along way to imply that no matter the prevailing and dominant culture the justification for any form of discrimination, on the basis of religion, ethnic background, religious creed, race or nay other form of identity.

In the Western world, political systems are based on the principles of democracy leading to a situation in which citizens are in essence political players rooting for the betterment of a nation’s standard of living. Democracy advocates for societies whereby exercise of power and legitimacy of consensus is vested in the will of the people through dialogue ultimately for the development of humanity (Gregory, 2003). In democratic societies, the rule of law provides for the necessary structural frameworks for a flourishing intercultural and multidenominational religious setting through dialogue. With clearly structured laws, there is discrete separation of power, certainty as to legality of different aspects in society as well as upholding for the principle of equality for all members of the society. These laws also make provisions that ensure that public sector authorities do not institute discriminating decisions and also provide for mechanisms through which individuals who are of the view that their rights have been violated are able to seek redress.

Dignity, equality and mutual respect

Intercultural and interreligious dialogue can be best accommodated with an individual has the ability to view one’s self in the perspective of other members of society (Wade, 2005). This is provided for by democratic policies which provide that all humanity has to be accorded the accepted level of dignity equality and that mutual respect is quite easily reciprocated. As such where there are conflicts in the religious aspects and gender equality as provided for in a democratic organization dialogue should actively put into play to achieve a form of balance that limits the negative impacts of these arising conflicts. It is worthy to note that equality and more so mutual respect is fundamental to intercultural dialogue necessary for the removal of all barriers to cohesiveness and dispute resolution.

Gender equality has been a core issue in the contemporary Western society where the call for a greater level of equality among men and women has been critically advocated for. Gender equality is an essential part with regard to human rights and freedoms as provided for by the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. Whether in relation to religion or to cultural diversity, the universal respect for the human rights for women have come to be emphasized as a non negotiable aspect in the contemporary western society. Gender equality has come to be embraced as a critical element in the advancement of democracy (Wade, 2005). Therefore the prevalence of any form of gender based discrimination is commonly perceived as detrimental to individual’s personal enjoyment of guaranteed human rights and freedoms.

The quest to eliminate gender inequality is a positive outcome of intercultural dialogue. It is tantamount that a great deal of emphasis is placed on the complexity of personal identity with respect to societal stereo types and a community’s perception. To eliminate conflicts with regard to freedom of religion and women’s rights provided that intercultural initiatives which involve both women from the perceived minority and the dominant groups work together and more so interact with one another thus sharing experiences which build to bridge such divides (Gregory, 2003). There are barriers that tend to limit the development of intercultural dialogue which could be linguistic barriers, poverty, discriminations and a host of other barriers. Religion is translated differently in a given society and more so greatly influences the political social and economic development of a society. The diversity of religions in the contemporary western world directly influences the extent to which women are respected and given chance to participate in various engagements.

Conclusion

Every individual irrespective of race, gender, ethnic and cultural backgrounds has the fundamental right to be respected. In deed, this is not the case for many countries as the rights of a particular gender are violated. Women are the most affected individuals especially in the aspect of religious practices. One specific area whereby discrimination against women has been experienced is in the churches. This is a reflection in religious practices whereby women are not given priority to participate in various engagements such as leadership, priesthood, and administration of church service. The coon provisions or justifications to this end include the concept of culture, doctrine, education background, and understanding of personal rights. Some religions belief that women are weaker sex and are subordinate to men hence they should not participate in church services such as becoming a priest. It is a vice which has been beaten by time as the laws are against discrimination and support equality. The issue of discrimination against women in various religions can be reconciled through enforcement of human rights laws, educating women, and support of the government through enforcement of the constitution.

References

Gregory, R. (2003).Women and Workplace Discrimination: Overcoming Barriers to Gender Equality. Rutgers University Press.

Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2000. Bringing International Human Rights Law Home: Judicial Colloquium on the Domestic Application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Division for the Advancement of Women; United Nations.

Wade, C. (2005). Introduction to Symposium on People of Color, Women, and the Public Corporation: the Sophistication of Discrimination. St. John’s Law Review, Vol. 79.

 

Efforts Made to End Colonial Empires after World War II

Efforts Made to End Colonial Empires after World War II

Before World War II, the economic system of the world was dominated by European powered colonial empires. The Russian, French, and British empires happened to be the largest of the empires; while Italy, Belgium, Spain, and Netherlands also had empires overseas though were not large. These empires had been primarily formed for economic empowerment of the home country or the colonial power. Colonies were the economic monopolies of the home country; they were chiefly concerned with politically controlling the peoples of their colonies while economically exploiting their available raw materials (Steger, 2003 p.45). South Africa, Kenya, India and other British colonies acted as monopolized sources of raw materials needed by their factories, in addition to, protecting their markets for English produced goods (Duara, 2004 p.58). As a result of ideological opposition to colonialism, United States began to pressurize European countries to grant sovereignty to their colonies. However, United States wanted their companies to possess undeviating access to the resources along with markets of colonial Asia as well as Africa.

The efforts made to end colonial empires resulted due to capitalist states such as Britain, the Netherlands, France, and later Italy, Germany, United States, and Japan among others playing an essential part in competing for control of global resources, as well as, the resources. Without delay, after the War ended, a worldwide course of action of decolonization started in which Britain, decided to grant independence to all of its key colonies commencing notably in India. The British resolution to award independence to India came to pass primarily out of need; nevertheless, Gandhi’s triumphant social movements also motivated an essential change in the opinions of colonial power that in due course lead to the crumple of the British Colonial Empire.

World War II made circumstances much unfavorable for colonial empires; since these colonialists were overrun by the alliance forces in Africa and Japan in Southeast Asia. The institution of formally independent states in Southeast Asia under the expression of pan-Asianism, prominence of leaders who would pilot national lobby groups in opposition to the returning of colonialists, and the further rise of the United States, as well as, Soviet Union made the returning of colonial powers to most parts of the world impossible with some matter of time (Steger, 2003 p.45).

The efforts made to decolonize, not only represented the transference of legal sovereignty, but also showed a move for moral justice and political solidarity against imperialism. These efforts can, therefore, be viewed as anti imperialist political lobby groups as well as emancipatory ideologies, which sought to free up the nation, in addition to, the humanity itself (Duara, 2004 p.3). Moreover, it has been noted by Karl Marx that the efforts made to end the colonial empires opened the door for the regions inhabited by colonialists, to incorporate into the existing capitalist system. The brutal and dehumanizing conditions imposed by Western nation states followed by Japan afterwards, spread widely in the mid-eighteenth century to Africa, Asia, plus the Caribbean and Pacific islands leading to independence movements in these geographical locations (Duara, 2004 p.5).

When British realized that they had lost power of their colonies they formed a basic approach of Britain’s imperial withdrawal that was to set up a new relationship with the newly sovereign countries, so as to ensure that, as far as feasible, a continuance of the old relations was maintained. A foremost aim of this approach was to maintain the newly independent states in the Commonwealth and within the free world as the Cold War made its presence felt on the public scene. Moreover, maintaining financial relations so as to protect the interests of the gentlemanly capitalism was also a part of their strategy. The efforts lead to the leaderships modernizing nationalism confirm that independence would subsequently not involve a return to the pre-modern principles that included feudal, imperial, religious, dynastic, as well as, tribalism systems. Moreover, were not only ideal for independence but also involved imperial citizenship where inhabitants practiced equality in a multinational community of the ex-empire. Contrary, to what many expected the citizens opted to fashion themselves in some ways where they adopted some of the manners of their imperialist oppressors (Steger, 2003 p.45).

As a result, of there being two principal colonial powers that had to confirm that their help was in good faith to the ex-empires; they promised the idea of development in Africa. This would involve enhancement of contribution to production, receiving technical knowledge, providing whatever these powers would afford to invest, in addition to, improving newborn ability to plan. All this happened from the United States and Soviet Union in the name of saving the empires though some quarters saw this as a coherent and unified rationale for the continuation on colonial rule, though Africans would join the process in their own interests but were under government directions (Jackson 2010 p.13).

Success is considered to have lasted only shortly since many of the ‘empires’ after acquiring power and independence, experienced political turmoil, weakness of democratic structures, repressive governments as well as beginning of civil war (Jackson 2010 p.10). Economically, they experienced under development or no development at all, poverty, and economic vulnerability as well as weaknesses. This led to continued impoverishment, economic weakness and suffering of the populations that had been much overwhelmed by the fact of end of colonialism and introduction of independence. Subsequently, many of the colonies utilized the infrastructure that already subsisted, having been constructed by the imperial powers (Jackson 2010 p.10). Colonized Africa had a primary cash crop financial system, which had been a benefit to the imperial nations but was often not sufficient to uphold an independent economy. Despite the turmoil in the new states, some were a step ahead. For instance, as the rest of the world became progressively more reliant on petroleum the Arab states formed OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) intended to permit those nations, that produced petroleum, to be in charge over its sale and export (Steger, 2003 p.45), though, the wealth from the oil being produced permitted for the beginning of many changes to the Middle East much of it was to go to the pockets with the influential of those countries.

These efforts proved vital as with the colonial empires there was improved economy in the countries that were released from the colonists. For instance, women and men were able to attain employment as well as acquiring freedom that they had been deprived. There was ushering of a new world, with out heinous crimes, oppressive leadership, and this moment is viewed by historians as when the world marked the end of the past and moved into a new era.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Duara, P. (2004). Decolonization: perspectives from now and then. London: Routledge.

Jackson, R. M. (2010). global issues 10/11. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Steger, M. B. (2003). Globalization: a very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

 

 

Gas Natural/Endesa

Mergence of Gas Natural with Endesa has been one of the most controversial acquisitions in Europe. Some of the issues perceived as controversial were in the economic, ethical and cross-border restrictions, especially in the energy sector. To ensure success of the mergence, the companies had to demonstrate willingness to abide by the European acquisition rules, social responsibility and ability to maintain a competitive and profitable business in the energy sector.

The major question in the mergence was on the feasibility of allowing Gas Natural to acquire Endesa. Gas Natural, being one of the largest energy company in Spain was seen as breaching some of the European mergence regulations, in terms of market shares and other related community turnover (Verde 2008). The other main concern in the acquisition plans was that the internal energy sector would be affected. The mergence was also perceived as being among the most unique because it brought together natural gas and electricity company and this seemed to threaten the internal energy market.

To the Gas Natural Company, acquisition of Endesa was perceived as a positive influence to the development of the internal energy market. According to the Gas Natural Company, the acquisition was meant to increase the competition and hence improve the market conditions by creating an opportunity for a perfect competition. The focus of the companies was on the entire European region, but in reality, the mergence was providing more challenges in the internal energy (Anderson 1999).

The mergence process started on the fifth day of September, the year 2005. On this day, Gas Natural launched its take over bid for Endesa for a value of € 21.30 per share. However, Endesa rejected the take over bid, stating that the share price proposed by Gas Natural was too low. The reason for Endesa rejecting the bid was based on the fact that Endesa was three times the size of Gas Natural and was therefore expecting the price to be high.

In the month of October the same year, there was an announcement that the mergence was purely an entrepreneurial exchange and that there was no political connection as some had started to speculate. The announcement led the Euroconsumers to file a case against the acquisition claiming that the mergence was anticompetitive (Glachant 2005). The attempt by the Euroconsumo to stop the mergence did not however succeed because the Board of the Comisión Nacional de la Energía (CNE) later approved the acquisition by altering the report presented by the Euroconsumo.

After the board approved the take over bid, the technical analysts filed an appeal to the Tribunal de Defensa de la Competencia (TDC) that later rejected the mergence basing the process as anticompetitive and hence a threat to internal energy market. However, even after the tribunal issued its statement to prevent the mergence, its president changed his stance and instructed the government to ignore the previous statement and instead approve of the mergence in February 2006 (Legaz 2007). The statement by the tribunal’s president seemed to have had a huge influence because on February 3, 2006, the council of Spanish ministers approved of the mergence, making it a historical decision.

In the history of Spain’s mergence and acquisitions, there had never been approved similar mergence and despite the controversies that had surrounded the acquisition, the government still approved the acquisition. After the approval by the council of Spanish ministers, a German energy company launched a similar take over bid on Endesa, but with a higher share value, than Gas Natural (Hunger 2003). The German company, E.On offered to take over the electricity company for € 27.5, nearly 30 percent more than that previously presented by Gas Natural.

The take over bid presented by E.On seemed to threaten chances by Gas Natural to merge with Endesa and hence the Spanish government got a royal decree to prevent E.On from taking over Endesa. Although the decree to prevent E.On from taking over the electricity company was against the European Community Laws, the Spanish government did not give heed and instead maintained an anti E.On bid to take over Endesa. On March 2006, a court order suspended Gas Natural from the Endesa takeover on basis of prima facie (Legaz 2007). The court argued that Gas Natural was breaching the competition regulations by taking over Endesa, despite being aware of the anticompetitive nature of the mergence.

After the decision by the commercial court to suspend Gas Natural from the takeover bid, the Supreme Court also made a resolution that suspended the former decision by the council of Spanish ministers to have Endesa being taken over by Gas Natural (Legaz 2007). The competitive breach associated with the mergence was considered to be among the major decisions influencing the decisions by the commercial courts and the supreme courts.

After the suspension of Gas Natural, the European Commission made a decision that supported E.On’s bid for the acquisition. The Commision maintained unconditionally that E.On was free to take over the electricity company, though under nineteen conditions. One of these conditions was disposing off 32 percent of E.On’s assets despite the company not being based in Spain (Legaz 2007).

The Spanish president, Zapatero met with his economic adviser, leading to a company by the name Acciona buying 10 percent of Endesa. This was despite the fact the anti E.On decree was still in place and it prevented a smooth takeover of Endesa by E.On. Seeing the challenges in taking over Endesa, E.On raised its bid from 27 Euros to 35 Euros per share on the 29th day of September the year 2006 (Legaz 2007). On the 27th day of September, the Spanish government made secret meetings with Acciona’s management with aims of supporting the company to take over ownership of Endesa before E.On did.

The strategy was however blown away after the information leaked to the El Mundo newspaper, leading to the intervention of the European Commission (Legaz 2007). The commission later ratified all the restrictions hitherto imposed on E.On by the Spanish government to allow the company make successful acquisition of Endesa. After the restrictions were ratified, some Spanish representatives met with the CNE members and a decision was arrived at for Acciona to take some other percentage from Endesa.

In the month of December 2006, the European commission ordered the Spanish government to withdraw the anti E.On decree but the government did not respond, forcing the commission to threaten filing a case against the government to the European Union’s Court of Justice. Towards the end of January, the European Commission extended its file, forcing Gas Natural to withdraw from its initial bid.

Withdrawal of Gas Natural from Endesa takeover bid influenced E.On to raise its bid to € 38.75 per share. However, the move by E.On did not deter other companies from getting interest in Endesa’s shares, with Enel, later acquiring 9 million Endesa shares on February 27 (Legaz 2007). The acquisition of Endesa shares by Enel reached 24.98 percent, making the management to contemplate selecting three directors although foreign-based companies were not allowed to do so in Spain.

The acquisition of Endesa by both Acciona and Enel led analysts to conclude that the electricity company would soon end up being split among different companies. Both Enel and Acciona stated that they would jointly present their takeover bid if E.On’s offer did not succeed (Legaz 2007). However, Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores prevented both Enel and Acciona from launching their bids and instead allowed E.On the single right to launch its takeover bid.

The decision by Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores did not deter Enel and Acciona from making competitive bids against E.On and when E.On raised its bid to 40 Euros, the other two companies raised their bid to 41 Euros. The competition soon forced E.On to reconsider its takeover bid and through a promise with Enel and Acciona, it promised to withdraw on condition that it was to receive €10,000 million in assets (Legaz 2007). The distribution of the stated assets was in France, Spain and Italy.

Anticompetitive Acquisition

One of the challenges was in creating one company from two companies dealing in different products. While Gas Natural dealt with natural gas, Endesa dealt with electricity and their location in the European region created more barriers for mergence. The location of the two companies in two countries was expected to weaken the internal energy market.

The challenges that were identified upon launching the take over bid by Gas Natural was that merging a natural gas and electricity company would create dual barriers to fuel entry in the European region. The barriers that would be created by the mergence would prevent any foreign producer from investing in any other European state (Anderson 1999).

Dual fuel barriers were therefore perceived as being among the major challenges if the take over bid was allowed to take place. In addition, the mergence between a natural gas company and an electricity company, and especially those already dominating their local markets would not promote development (Verde 2008). Mergence of two companies that dominate the energy market would not encourage expansion because of lack of strong competitors. Take over of the Endesa by Gas Natural was also expected to affect its business in other European countries.

The mergence of Endesa by Gas Natural was an anticompetitive acquisition and was therefore perceived as a threat to the internal energy market. The member countries were also suspected of participating in an unfair manner in the mergence, one of the possible threats to forming a stable and reliable European internal energy market (Legaz 2007). The mergence that was to take place between Gas Natural and Endesa would have led to a reduced power generation than the one being produced by Endesa at the time. This means that the acquisition was not only affecting the competition in the energy market, but also the production capacity.

With reduced production after the mergence, the internal market would not expand and this would have adversely affected the production rate and the energy capacity in the European region (Motta 2004). The reduction would have been influenced by divestments to Iberdrola by Endesa. Reduction in the power capacity by the merged companies would have affected the power capacity in the European Union, hinder new entry and create a monopolistic energy industry.

The other anticompetitive effect that would have been realised after the mergence would also arise from the practice of giving another competitor the authority to engage in a similar business to the one involved in the mergence. This means that determinants of price and other competitive advantages would not have changed even after the acquisition because the practices would have been similar to those of other competitors (Barquin, Bergman, Crampes & Glachant 2006). The market power of the electricity company would have been shifted from the electricity sector to the natural gas sector, but it would still have been on the hands of a similar competitor.

Collusion in the Spanish electricity market could also have been experienced if the mergence was to proceed (Legaz 2007). This is because acquisition of Endesa by Gas Natural could have eliminated strong competition in the electricity wholesale market, leading to a monopolistic market if an independent investor was set to enter the market. Eradicating a strong competitor in the electricity industry would promote the entry of some strong and independent players who would take advantage and exploit the consumers.

The presence of dual fuel competitors is one of the best strategies in maintaining a strong internal energy market. Presence of a natural gas and electricity company in a region creates a competition based on alternative energy and it influences growth and expansion of energy market. However, a mergence of the dual fuel competitors eliminates chances of competition, as it would have created a single business holding two huge players in the dual fuel market.

The anticompetitive situation that would have been created after the mergence would however not been so destructive to the energy industry. The vertical integration of both Gas Natural and Endesa would have increased the market power of the new company based on the customer foreclosure and input foreclosure (Legaz 2007). The foreclosures notwithstanding, mergence between the natural gas company with the electricity company would establish an opportunity for new entry that would surpass the market command previously held by Endesa.

Upon acquisition of the electricity company, the gas company would be the leading supplier to the electricity company, creating barriers to entry because of the dual fuel in the market. The increase in Endesa’s stake in the gas company as its leading customer would limit chances of new entry because there would be stability in the gas-electricity transactions (Glachant 2005). If the mergence would have been completed within the stipulated time, the urge to engage in cross border competition would have been reduced.

The strategy by Gas Natural to acquire Endesa would have compelled other natural gas companies to enter into mergence with electricity companies and this would have led to a decreased interest in national competition (Barquin, Bergman, Crampes & Glachant 2006). The Europeanization of energy companies would then fail to succeed as only few companies would show interest in the national energy market. High barriers to entry would have influenced the reduced incentives since each of the mergence would establish a stable supplier-consumer activity.

The mergence would have also been challenging for the Gas Natural Company due to the complications in trade and competitiveness. The resultant effect would have been a gradual collapse since much of the efforts would have been lost in trying to make the mergence work. The difference between the two components, gas and electricity makes the mergence to be ineffective (Legaz 2007). Unlike natural gas, the demand for electricity is inelastic and cannot therefore be controlled by intermediaries.

Natural gas can however be controlled based on demand and supply. Intermediaries can decide to store the product and release it when the demand is high, hence controlling the price. The difference between the two products therefore creates discrepancies. This means that they could therefore not operate successfully to meet the companies’ objectives. The weak demand inelasticity in electricity business means that a slight reduction in competitiveness can adversely affect the transmission process. Such a move was seen as a threat to the consumers because a huge surplus could have been transferred from the consumers to the producers. The mergence was therefore seen as inappropriate and economically unviable.

 

References

Anderson. J 1999, ‘Making Operational Sense of Mergers and Acquisitions,’ Electricity Journal, pp. 49–59.

Barquin, J, Bergman, L, Crampes, C & Glachant, JM 2006, ‘The Acquisition of Endesa by Gas Natural: Why the Antitrust Authorities Are Right to Be Cautious,’ The Electricity Journal, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 62-68.

Glachant, JM 2005, The Acquisition of Endesa by Gas Natural: An Antitrust Perspective, viewed 5 January 2012, <http://www.microeconomix.com/publications/doc_details/25-the-acquisition-of-endesa-by-gas-natural-an-antitrust-perspective.html&gt;

Hunger, D 2003, ‘Analyzing Gas and Electricity convergence: A supply curve is worth a thousand words,’ Journal of Regulatory Economics, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 213-222.

Legaz, JG 2007, Endesa Takeover: Narrative Of Events, viewed 5 January 2012, <http://www.fundacionfaes.org/record_file/filename/858/00076-00_-_papeles_44_ingles.pdf&gt;.

Motta, M 2004, Competition Policy: Theory and Practice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Verde, S 2008, ‘Everybody merges with somebody—The wave of M&As in the energy industry and the EU merger policy,’ Energy Policy, vol. 36, no. 3, pp, 1125-1133.