Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Lottery

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Religous Sybolism in “The Lottery”


In The Lottery, Shirley Jackson reveals one of the most basic facets of humanity, the need for a scapegoat. Mrs. Hutchinson, having been designated the recipient of the lottery, becomes the scapegoat for the village. The tradition of the lottery is analogous to religious traditions because it is passed on at an early age, people rarely openly question it, and it focuses on a scapegoat. Religious traditions are passed on to children at an early age, just as tiny Davy Hutchinson is taught about the lottery before he will understand the events that take place. Children learn by example and are eager to please their parents. Even before the adults, The children had stones already, and someone gave little Davy Hutchinson a few pebbles (7). Most people will not suggest outright that the lottery might be immoral. For the most part, they will accept their tradition without voicing any questions or misgivings, for fear of retribution. It has been passed on for so long that the majority does not think twice about it. Even when Mrs. Adams comments that Some places have already quit lotteries (77), she does not directly suggest that their village follow suit. Mrs. Hutchinson represents the other villagers, although unwillingly, and takes their punishment as her own. Her stoning is an atonement of sorts in that it eradicates any wrongdoing in the other villagers. In this aspect, the lottery can be compared to religious traditions the sacrificing of a virgin to appease the gods in ancient religions, or even in modern Protestant religions, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross to allow Gods followers to be forgiven of their sins. The villagers do not see any crime in stoning one person each year because they view the stoning as a way to cleanse themselves. It is human nature for people to feel justified in their own wrongdoings if they have a scapegoat.







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Monday, January 30, 2012

Stroke

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STROKE


Stroke, also known as cerebrovascular accident (CVA), involves damage to the brain because of impaired blood supply and causes a sudden, no convulsive malfunction of the brain. In the United States, stroke is the third-ranking cause of death after heart disease and cancer, and about one-fourth of the neurologic patients in nursing homes are stroke victims. The death rate, however, has declined by nearly 50 percent since the late 160s; in the early 10s about 150,000 Americans of the 450,000 each year who suffered a new stroke died as a result. Among the reasons for the decline are earlier detection and treatment of hypertension, better diets (less meat and dairy products and more vitamins), and more exercise.


Stroke victims are generally elderly people with degeneration of blood vessels, but children and young adults also can have a stroke. Some stroke risk factors cannot be changed, such as increasing age, gender (more men have strokes), race (more African-Americans have strokes), prior stroke, and family history of stroke. Other risk factors can be controlled, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, diseases affecting blood vessels, sickle-cell disease, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption greater than ounces per day, drug abuse, high cholesterol, high red blood cell count, migraine headaches, and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), or little strokes. Women using oral contraceptives are also at greater risk.


SYMPTOMS


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A stroke may be mildly incapacitating, massive with sudden death, or may involve a sudden coma, followed by headache, nausea, confusion, and stupor. The symptoms of a stroke are sudden weakness or numbness of the face or limbs on one side of the body (hemiplegia); loss of speech or comprehension; dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye; and unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness, or sudden falls. Some strokes are preceded by TIAs, with similar effects that may last anywhere from one minute to several hours. Initially, the paralysed muscles of a stroke victim are soft because of central nervous system shock, but spasticity occurs as spinal motor neurons resume function, tightening muscles and causing the limbs to contract.


TYPES OF STROKES


Ischemia


A stroke can be caused by ischemia, which is a narrowing or blockage of an artery by means of atherosclerosis or by an embolus. About 65 percent of strokes are ischemic. Atherosclerosis, or progressive hardening of the arteries, produces ischemia by obstruction of vessels with fat derivatives. Most frequently, cholesterol forms plaques that build up on arterial walls, reducing the passage of blood. A common aging process, atherosclerosis especially afflicts the elderly or people with high cholesterol intake.


Another form of ischemia is thrombosis, or blockage resulting from an embolus. An embolus produced by the carotid artery in the neck, which supplies blood from the heart to the brain, claims about one-third of stroke patients. A clot, or thrombus, can form in this artery and fragment, producing a thromboembolus, which travels to the brain and becomes entrapped in a cerebral artery.


Haemorrhage


About 0 percent of all strokes are caused by cerebral haemorrhage. Causes of spontaneous intracranial haemorrhage are hypertension (10 percent to 15 percent of all cases), aneurysm (5 percent to 7 percent), bleeding into a tumour ( percent to 5 percent), and a generalized bleeding tendency (1 percent to percent). Hypertensive haemorrhages occur in the brain stem or the lateral portion of the cerebral hemisphere near the pathway for motor nerves; if the haemorrhage extends into the motor tract, hemiplegia will result. A massive haemorrhage, however, can result in coma, brain damage, and possibly death. Alcoholics, who bleed more easily, are more likely to have this type of stroke.


Aneurysms--enlargements of small portions of blood vessels--can haemorrhage and cause stroke if present in the brain or arteries of the neck. Rupture of an aneurysm can cause massive bleeding on the surface of the brain and may be fatal. After an aneurysm ruptures, red blood cells degenerate and release products that promote vascular spasm. An aneurysm is usually treated surgically after a two-week waiting period, which allows oedema and vasospasm to subside. Often, however, bleeding begins again and is frequently fatal.


Tumours must have an adequate blood supply to maintain their growth; therefore some tumours secrete an angiogenesis factor that promotes blood-vessel growth. At times a tumour may produce too much of this factor, causing the vessels to enlarge. This enlargement can result in internal haemorrhage and sudden stroke. The stroke, unfortunately, may mask the existence of a tumour and delay a complete diagnosis.


DIAGNOSIS


The most important information is history from the patient or a witness. A neurological examination shows what parts are not functioning properly, which can point to the probable damaged location in the brain, and often the probable cause. Diagnostic techniques for stroke include injecting radiopaque dyes into vessels of the neck and head (arteriogram), using brain scans for defects in the blood/brain barrier, conducting a magnetic resonance scan, and performing computerized tomography (see CAT scan) with image enlargement to search for altered density within the brain. Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) is usually not necessary and may do more damage in some types of strokes.


TREATMENT


The medical team involved in caring for stroke victims includes an internist, a neurosurgeon, a neurologist, a stroke nurse, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist. These people also help educate the patients family in long-term care as well as alerting them to problems that may be encountered during rehabilitation.


The type of treatment depends on the type of stroke. For example, a patient with a stroke caused by hypertension needs to have his or her blood pressure reduced significantly. Physiotherapy is an important part of medical treatment for stroke patients, to rehabilitate the damaged functions and preserve the motor abilities of contracted limbs. Speech and occupational therapists can help in the recovery of motor functions. Medical complications are also treated, with an emphasis on preventing a recurrence.


Debility is often severe, and depression may occur. Stroke support groups are an important resource for helping the stroke patient learn ways of coping with disability. Research is focusing on ways to limit brain damage, such as by using drugs to dissolve blood clots in ischemic strokes, and to prevent the death of brain cells.





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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Why I chose to pursue a master’s degree

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Why I chose to pursue a master’s degree


“I want to go back to school for my master’s” has almost become my mantra over the last few years. I always knew that returning to school was in my future, but struggled with when to return and which degree I wanted to pursue. The continual changes in the information technology job market have provided the motivation I needed to decide and enroll. Knowing that I had to balance school and work schedules, I considered a Master in Business Administration (MBA) or a Master in Computer Science (MCS) program. I chose to pursue a MCS degree to build upon my experience to make myself a viable candidate for advancement into management. Survival in the information technology industry is becoming a challenge, with more jobs being downsized or internationally outsourced so that there are fewer jobs available within the U.S. job market. I do not want to be one of the people forced to leave the industry in search of a new career. I have chosen to work harder and obtain the knowledge needed for survival in this industry. I feel the best way to survive is by continuing my education and pursing a MCS degree. I have obtained several computer certifications in my 15 years working in the IT field, only to find that each certification becomes obsolete relatively quick due to the technology field’s fast-paced and ever-changing environment. I find that I reference my certifications for the relevance needed; yet throughout my career I have continually drawn from my undergraduate schooling. The MCS program will build upon my Computer Science undergraduate degree and my work experience. You might consider it a 15-year internship, which should help me obtain more from a graduate program. I want to go back to school for several reasons; to upgrade my current skill set and attain a better understanding of business, to enable me to place the experiences that I have accumulated in my career into the proper context, to acquire new perspectives on how to evaluate situations from a business perspective in addition to the technical one, and to gain experience in communicating my thoughts and conclusions in a manner that people with a diverse background can identify with and support. These are proficiencies I’m eager to achieve from the program. I hope this will help in advancing my career as I apply the lessons learned in class to the business world in which I work.


My desire is to develop myself from a software-specific engineer to an accomplished managerial candidate. I chose the University of Phoenix (UOP) because of its teamwork concept. I like the team-based concept as a forum for developing my analytical and leadership skills. An added advantage is that participation on teams with a diverse skill set allows an appreciation of business issues from a broader perspective. I look forward to sharing my experiences, which range from consulting to a variety of technical and leadership roles, within the information technology field. As an individual, I have learned to balance my professional career with an active lifestyle that includes family and volunteering with the youth at my church. These experiences have taught me the importance of learning from others, and the importance of establishing a commitment with others to reach a common goal. I am interested in not only expanding my horizons, but also leveraging my experiences to help others in their experience inside the program and beyond.


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My long-term goal is to seek advancement in a leadership role and lead a team that is focused on delivering innovative solutions that change the way a business delivers service to their customers. The lessons that I learn while earning this degree will provide new opportunities not only upon receipt of the degree but also on the journey to receiving it. I do not expect to wait until the end of the journey to apply lessons learned. I anticipate that the skills and methods I learn throughout the program will likewise be applicable in my existing role.





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Friday, January 27, 2012

Ballad of Birmingham

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In the poem Ballad of Birmingham, by Dudley Randall, written in 16, Mr.


Randall uses of irony to describes the events of the mothers decision, and also


her concern for the welfare of her darling little child. It seems odd that this


child would even know what a freedom march is, but this would be considered


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normal back in the early 160s, when Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. had rallies and


freedom marches to free the African American people from discrimination and


segregation (Hunter 6). It also seems very ironic that the young child is acting


like an adult in this particular situation (Hunter 1). I think the mother would


be the one who would want to got to the march to free her people, not the child.


In the poem Ballad of Birmingham, by Dudley Randall, written in 16, Mr.


Randall uses tone and irony to describe the events of the mothers decisions, and


as well as her concern for her childs well being.


In the first stanza irony is used in order to make


reading the poem more interesting. The situation in this first stanza is also


very important. The little child is in a desperate situation and wants to help


better the lives of the African Americans. Randall also focuses on specific


culture here. The speaker is allowing the reader to make a mental picture of one


specific march in Birmingham (Hunter 17). But, you know as well as I, that with


peace marches and rallies comes violence and hostility. This is exactly what the


little girls mother is afraid of, this is why she will not let her go to the


march. It also seems weird that her mother is so sure that going to church,


instead of going to the march, will be the best thing for her. (Hunter 1-0).


Typically, a church is to be a very safe and sacred place where no-one would


imagine a bombing or any other type of violence to happen. What is ironic about


this is that going to church turns out to be the worst place for her to be


(Hunter 1). Something else that strikes me funny is that her mother dresses her


in her daughter in her best clothes to go to church with her. What is ironic


here is that she ended up wearing them to her funeral instead (Hunter 6). There


is also a shift in dialogue here in the fifth stanza(Hunter 7). Here the


narrator starts to take over. The narrators tone shows the reader the pride and


joy that the mother takes in her childs appearance (Hunter ). It also gives


the reader some sense of reassurance and cleanliness as the mother is brushing


her daughters night-dark hair. She also dresses her in the same fashion (Hunter


6). She tries to dress her all in white, which is the symbol for purity. But no


matter how hard the mother tries to have her daughter conform to the whites,


they are ultimately the ones who kill her (Hunter 41).


Something else that is ironic comes about in the sixth


stanza. The mother smiled to know her child was in the sacred place, but that


smile was the last smile to come upon her face. This gives the reader a sense of


what is about to happen(Hunter 44). This stanza is ironic because if the mother


thinks her daughter is going to be in a safe place, why would this be the last


time she would ever smile?


The figures of speech that Randall uses in this poem


also give the poem a touch of irony. He uses two types of figures of speech, and


he uses them very well. First, he uses the metaphor. A metaphor is a figure of


speech in which one thing is likened to another, different thing by being spoken


of as if it were that other; implied comparison. He uses this in stanza five to


hint to the reader that the child is an African American female(Hunter 47). He


also uses it in stanza seven to show how angry, afraid and worried her mother


gets when she hears the explosion. The other figure of speech that Randall uses


is repetition. He uses the saying, No, baby, no, you may not go, in stanza two


and then again in stanza four. This saying expresses the worries and fear that


the mother has for her little girl.


Another big factor in this poem is the use of tone.


First, there is a tone of innocence in the first stanza (Hunter 51). The young


child tries to act nice and innocent to her mother, in the case that her mother


might let her go to the march(Hunter 55). Secondly, there is the tone of concern


for her childs safety. Her mother tells her that there are dogs, clubs and


hoses. These things were used on protesters and marchers to control the crowds


when they grew too large and had gotten out of hand. Next, there is the tone of


joy in the fifth stanza and in the first half of the sixth stanza. Her mother


takes pride and joy in getting her daughter ready to go to church. She is also


joyful that her daughter is going to church instead of going to the march


(Hunter 5-61).


But, if you notice, in the seventh stanza that tone of


joy immediately turns to grief and loneliness. The move from the sixth to the


seventh stanza is when the explosion occurs(Hunter 64). The mother doesnt know


what to do. The mothers tone in the last two lines of the poem gives the reader


a feeling of grief and guilt. The word baby the mother uses implies the mothers


affection for her lost daughter. I dont know how, but for some reason her


mother feels that something has happened to her child, so she runs through the


streets of Birmingham, Alabama calling for her child. She clawed through bits of


glass and brick, then lifted out her childs shoe. From this finding the mother


knows that she has lost her daughter forever. In conclusion, I personally think


that this poem was well written for the simple fact that Randall is not afraid


to confront the problems that these two races had between them. He describes


things that had happened in this time period to get his point across vividly to


the reader. With that said, I leave you with one last question If her mother


had let her go to the march like she asked, would she still be alive?





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Thursday, January 26, 2012

MODELS OF CAPITALISM

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INTRODUCTION


United States, German and Japan have developed to be the most significant economic powers of the world. This document will discuss the key similarities and differences of these three systems as well as the strengths and weaknesses. Their power to adapt successfully to change is without a doubt an important measure when considering the chance of their survival. At the same time, we have to keep in mind the very basis of what provides capitalism is its essence, as Raymond Aron tells us (Dahrendorf, 167)


A capitalist system requires […] that the means of production are the object of individual appropriation; […] that the steering of the economy is decentralized and occurs on the market, [but also] that wage labour [be present] […] the predominant motive [being] the profit motive


SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN US, GERMAN AND JAPANESE MODELS OF CAPITALISM


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US AND GERMAN MODELS


US and German models share a broad acceptance of free trade, market determined product pricing and independent monetary policy. But, whereas the US model largely relies on market co-ordination of economic agents and seeks to address market failures by providing additional market elements where they are missing (e.g., tradable pollution permits, patents, etc.), the German model relies in many areas on non-market coordination, supplemented by a generous system of welfare protection. So, for example, Germany has a widespread and successful vocational training system that is strengthened by cooperation between firms in the setting of standards and the avoidance of free-riding; between firms and employees, through collective wage bargaining and co-determination through a largely mandatory system of works councils and worker participation on supervisory boards, and between these social partners and the education system. There is also substantial inter-firm collaboration in research and development (in conjunction with state-sponsored research institutions) (Hutton, W. 15).


Employees and companies alike are willing to make substantial relationship, specific investments and technology transfers on the basis of the trust provoked by co-determination, formal business organisations and the long-term provision of capital from “hausbanks” and committed cross-shareholdings. All this contrasts markedly with the US model with its “residual” welfare state, and its emphasis on competitive relations between companies, flexible labour markets, management autonomy, general education, market-determined technological standards and capital market financing. US companies have often succeeded in inspiring commitment from staff by creating a united internal corporate “culture”, and their focus on shareholder value can demand an impressive compensation with the desires of the marketplace. Extensive legal liability, shareholder activism and, in some cases, “social audits”, can also align the interests of the US corporate sector with broader social goals.


In Germany, as in many other European countries, a high degree of employment protection appears to have interacted with other labour inflexibility and with demand shocks to create an “insider-outsider” problem in the labour market � preventing the wages of those still in work being offered low enough to price the unemployed back to work. Moreover, extensive cross-shareholdings, long-term bank finance, and co-determination (the very features that have helped underpin a long-term approach to investment and innovation) may have also prevented reallocation of capital and resources to radically new technologies with the scale and rapidity that we have seen in the US. By contrast, flexibility is built into the heart of the Anglo-Saxon model, in particular by the rigours of the capital markets on which it relies for finance. Given the emphasis on tangible short-term returns (outside the area of hi-tech start-ups), companies need a high degree of flexibility to react quickly to product-market and technological developments. They therefore place a high premium on management autonomy and the ability to hire and fire. The market for corporate control in particular increases the need for flexibility.


Industries in Germany and the US are principally internally financed with small or negative contributions from market sources.


US AND JAPANESE MODELS


The Japanese model is almost an opposite of the US model. The Japanese people are trained from the beginning to live as a community, to act as a team, at a very young age. It is a way of reducing the probability of opportunistic behaviour that would otherwise be a limit to the model’s overall stability, equal pressure being a social regulator thereby forcing agreement among teams. This represents quite a contrast with the US individualistic model. Strangely enough, this team effort is an effective basis to compete on the cost cutting field that is privileged by US industrial corporations, probably because of the use of technology to supplement human work rather than replacing it as in the U.S., and achieving better quality this way. In the same way, the firm is traditionally regarded as a social organ internalising a lot of the aspects of the employees’ welfare, by constantly training them and assuring them of a future within the firm, eliminating the need for the welfare state in the form commonly witnessed in Western Europe (W. Hutton pg. 48).


Unlike the U.S. firms, Japanese firms are not alone (i.e. fiercely independent) on their own markets, they are part of a bigger collection, which provides them a wide and very efficient network of relations (financial or of another nature) the kereitsu (W. Hutton pg.48-4). It entails them to an impressive source of internal investment capital, the centre of it being a financial institution fuelling the system’s complex collection of elements. Economic agents, who consume from one another within the same kereitsu, encourage the stability of the system. In turn this stability allows for efficient cooperation as well as planning that reduces both uncertainty and transaction costs in the same network of alliances. This also lengthens the product life cycle management process and the profitability of each individual product. This is probably a factor explaining the rapid growth experienced by Japan. However, the fact remains that the ability to adapt as opposed to adopt imported goods or concepts is a great asset for the Japanese ever since the Tokugawa regime which provided spectacularly rapid economic development to the point where it may have seemed like a concept to copy.


The ratio of retention to investment is higher in the US than in Japan as a result of different investment behaviour rather than different retention policies. Indeed, the ratio is generally low for high investment countries like Japan.


Japanese industry is more externally financed with both banks and markets contributing larger shares. In the 180s, a period of financial liberalization, all countries, except Japan, have seen more internally and less market financed industry whereas the US are principally internally financed with small or negative contributions from market sources.


JAPANESE AND GERMAN MODELS


We can define the German and Japanese model as a group of institutions (including political institutions, intermediate associations, financial systems, labour relations systems, inter-firm networks, etc.) linked together into distinct national systems of economic governance. Organized market economies (OMEs) such as Germany and Japan differ from liberal market economies (LMEs) in that they look after more long-term cooperative relationships between firms and labour, between firms and banks, and between different firms. And the state and intermediary associations play a critical role in establishing and maintaining the framework for this private-sector coordination. Although there is considerable variation across sectors and across firms within individual countries, the OMEs remain sufficiently different from LMEs to make this a useful distinction. These governance structures affect everything from corporate strategy to public policy and economic performance.


The German and Japanese variants of the OME model also differ from each other. German firms, banks, and unions are more inclined to coordinate their activities at the sector level, whereas the Japanese coordinate through intersect groups. Japan has solid interfirm networks, including horizontal industrial groups as well as supply and distribution chains. The German government merely facilitates private-sector coordination, while Japanese government organizes and guides the private sector more directly (Hutton, 15 pg.46). The German government has programmed its economic model into law, whereas the Japanese model relies more on informal custom and standard practices.


The German and Japanese labour relations systems combine broad agreements on wage moderation in exchange for employment security with firm level agreement that encourage labour management cooperation. In Germany, sector employers associations and unions negotiate collective bargains on wages and benefits. In Japan, a few leading firms negotiate settlements with their enterprise-based unions during the annual spring wage offensive (shunt�), and other firms then follow within a fairly narrow range of the leaders. These labour relations systems can benefit both sides, employers win control in wage demands, workers gain employment security, and both benefit from fewer labour disputes. In addition, firms avoid competing in wages or undermine labour-management cooperation through hot negotiations at the firm level.


Both systems also feature systematic labour representation in the management process. German firms are legally required to represent labour through a system of “code termination,” whereas Japanese companies naturally incorporate labour despite the lack of a legal requirement. Labour participation at the firm and plant level; help labour-management cooperation on the shop floor, a critical element in German and Japanese firms’ ability to continuously raise efficiency. Long-term cooperative relations between labour and management also gives firms the incentive to invest in human resources. German firms typically do this through a distinctive dual (firm and school) vocational training system, whereas Japanese firms train their workers directly. In the political realm, German employers’ associations and unions are both represented in most important decision-making bodies, whereas Japanese business enjoys better access than labour to central ministries and the ruling party.


Germany and Japan both have credit-based financial systems in which banks have dominated the long-term financing of industry. The Japanese government has actively directed the allocation of credit through government financial institutions and private banks, whereas the German government has left the banks with greater freedom.


In the German constitution, the method for government is clearly defined within the constructs of a social state. On the contrary, as Japans economic growth demonstrates, Japan has put priority on its economy and its industries, an emphasis that for many approaches the extreme.


In both countries, however, firms have developed long-term relationships with their primary banks, known as Hausbanken in Germany and main banks in Japan. The banks monitor firm performance and assist firms in trouble. The firms, in turn, remain loyal clients they conduct a large and stable share of their borrowing and transaction business with their lead bank.


CONCLUSION


WEAKNESSES


These models, like any other, experiences a few problems


US MODEL


The models’ challenging nature is reflected in almost every area of the society. For example, this affects corporate governance through the struggle between managers and shareholders, between those who run a firm and those who legally own it. Laws are also clearly in favour of shareholders without much concern for the stakeholders. This causes investment to be oriented in the short term increasing risk and uncertainty in the external capital market that might eventually provoke such things as under investment therefore creating a favourable climate for hostile takeovers and over indebtment (with the abusive use of LBOs for instance). A company’s stock too often serves as a benchmark for its performance although they are the basic limits of this approach.


The minimal state and the corporate system altogether are putting a lot of pressure onto individuals because of the uncertainty on the job market, the relative absence of social assistance to the unemployed, and the fact that it is one’s own responsibility to get adequate training rather than the firm’s (W. Hutton pg.41). This in turn leads to a bipolarised distribution of wealth in society; the richer being able to train and hope for a better income while the poorer see their skills becoming less valuable (W. Hutton pg.41). It could be considered as the toll to pay for more flexible labour markets.


GERMAN MODEL


This model, similarly to the Japanese, relies heavily on insider trading that might eventually cause over investment because of satisfaction and lack of transparency. German capitalism, despite its commitment to quality, shows its inability to compete on a cost effectiveness basis with the Japanese (the lean producers) and more the Americans; this leads inevitably to a slide in German international market share for consumer goods.


The cartels and the Mittelstand (the important base of small and medium corporations) then become unable to compete on a cost cutting basis because the system can’t allow them to. This rigidity is in part due to the peculiarly important place of the welfare state which puts a lot of pressure on the economy at the same time it fuels it by providing the unemployed access to the same quality of life than the employed allowing the former to maintain their level of consumption. It proves to be a downside in an environment of harsh competition leading to higher levels of unemployment; the state having to raise its spending with lowering revenues, and having trouble to keep up with its enabling role. Thereby raising the spectrum of rising social inequalities.


JAPANESE MODEL


This model’s weaknesses are probably an unintended consequence of its strengths. For instance, the insider trading reduces transparency of the Japanese public corporation causing equity markets to be more volatile and less reliable to determine what a firm really is worth; this could be seen as a by-product of a system which is founded on trust and implicit contracting, unlike the U.S. model providing very explicit and clearly codified modes of contracting. Another problem concerning the Japanese system is its tendency to over invest given the incentives to do so exist and no really efficient safeguard prevents it. An answer might be a cycle of internal capital markets showing how mutual dependence between firms is built into the system thereby implying that if a firm experiences problems, its partners from the same kereitsu will do everything necessary (i.e. invest, lend managerial and technical expertise, etc.) to bail it out.


In this peculiar model, growth is very much internally generated, the system fuelling itself into a good circle of self-protectionism that in effect sustains consumption in encouraging economic actors not to buy from outsiders and be willing to pay a supplement for it, leading the way to a self- sustain. In that regard, this model is very Keynesian in its economic system’s organization and Galbraithian considering its pattern of industrial organization. It works very well in periods of prosperity, but is a major weakness when the tides are turning firms cannot face up to the enormous costs of internalising social functions like some frictional unemployment. There also are implications in bargaining power for the workforce, Japan being historically a small country with few resources, the workforce feels it does not have the influence to behave too aggressively in their expectations for negotiating better work conditions because of a zero sum perception regarding potential gains of a given group.


REFERENCES


Hutton, W. (000) ‘The diversity of capitalisms’ in Understanding Business Markets, Routeledge, London, pp.-54


Gray, J. (000) ‘Capitalism and global free markets’ in Understanding Business Markets, Routeledge, London, pp.56-6


Singh, A. (000) ‘Why did East Asia grow so Fast’ in Understanding Business Markets, Routeledge, London, pp. 64-80


Brown, V. (000) ‘competition and power in markets’ in Understanding Business Markets, Routeledge, London, pp.117-14


www.google.com - Douglas N. Ross ‘Communitarian capitalism A Market Model For China?


www.google.com - OECD Observer ‘Which model of capitalism?’


www.google.com - Wolfgang Streeck ‘German capitalism Does it exist?, Can it survive’


www.askjeeves.com - Socio-economic Systems After World War II German Social State vs. Japan Inc.


‘Institution and Economic growth what model of capitalism for Central and Eastern Europe’ �Lucian Cernat � July 001, Conference of institution in transition.


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Compensation and Benefits

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Compensation and benefits is something each and every employee is concerned with. When going into an interview with a prospective company almost all people have the question of salary in their mind. So has this changed in society today? Not really and should it?


There is a lot of cynicism surrounding performance appraisals and most of it seems well deserved. Older executives seem to take these appraisals a lot more serious then younger employees. How can this be changed so that all employees are on the same page when it comes to appraisal time? Cleaver writes “it’s no wonder, then, that mangers don’t give the appraisals-or the employees being scored-the care they deserve a thought to consider, the next time you pen flits down that tidy column of boxes, bouncing randomly between “very good” and “excellent.”





Compensation and Benefits


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Compensation and benefits is something each and every employee is concerned with. When going into an interview with a prospective company almost all people have the question of salary in their mind. So has this changed in society today? Not really and should it?


According to an article by Chris Howard, of the Canadian Business Magazine, “No one likes performance appraisals. But if you can’t avoid them, there are ways to get by.” By appraisal values he is speaking about what happens when employees are hired and then go through the appraisal for a chance of a rise.


Most companies do not even have annual evaluations, about 45% of workers. If employees are not appraised for their achievements then they will begin to resent the company in which they work. This type of act is being called the “vanishing performance appraisal” which states that either an appraisal gets done, or it does not get done properly.


Companies are also instilling a new type of appraisal which is done not solely from the past like appraisals usually are. This appraisal would be done together and the employee would set goals for the future with their supervisor. This appraisal would also assess observable behavior rather than abstracts.


With the economy in a recession more and more companies are less likely to give their employees any form of appraisal so they will be able to maintain a positive budget. A new way to the appraisal is by having the self-appraisal concept. This concept would make the supervisor’s job much easier. Staff would check with other coworkers to determine how their performance is being ranked. When time for appraisals comes around then the employee want be as shocked if there is something nasty to be said.


A lot of companies do not seem to take appraisals very seriously and base their rewards on other merit factors. Within the organization of Oakton performance appraisals are taken somewhat seriously, but it all depends on who is your supervisor. If you have a manager who is aware of the budget and the incoming amounts then the appraisal and compensation the employee gets may be a little more difficult. Employees usually get compensated nicely for their actions throughout the year. However most supervisors do not know or remember what happened throughout the year leading up to the review.


There is a lot of cynicism surrounding performance appraisals and most of it seems well deserved. Older executives seem to take these appraisals a lot more serious then younger employees. How can this be changed so that all employees are on the same page when it comes to appraisal time? Cleaver writes “it’s no wonder, then, that mangers don’t give the appraisals-or the employees being scored-the care they deserve a thought to consider, the next time you pen flits down that tidy column of boxes, bouncing randomly between “very good” and “excellent.”





Howard, C., (18) Appraise This. Canadian Business, May , 18,


http//www.proquest.com


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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Exercising With Supplements

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These days with competition rising to its peak everyone wonders how athletes can get more superior than their predecessors. Someone is always breaking records and setting new and improved standards for the future generations. One might wonder how these athletes become bigger, faster, and stronger. The answer lies within sports supplements, know better as body enhancers. Supplements do everything from helping raise metabolic levels to making someone look like Goliath. To better understand the reasons for taking enhancers is to know which ones can be harmful, what kinds of foods to eat, and what exercises are needed when taking supplements.


Everyone sees a fitness magazine once in his or her life and wonders if taking anabolic stimulates are healthy. Actually, many of certain kinds of supplements are not anywhere near healthy to the human body. Taking many of them, such as a legal anabolic called Winstrol-V, is said to be more painful than sticking bamboo shoots in your cuticles. Winstrol-V is many large forming crystals injected through a huge needle. The side effect of most steroids is tremendous and leaves you gigantic. Any kind of supplement with the agent know as testosterone, anadrol, or estrogen is not healthy for the body.


Eating right is the main thing to helping your body get into tip top shape. People think if you just take the medicine you’ll get the results. That is false, many just pop pills not realizing that if you don’t eat right you will not get the gain or losses desired. Diet helps everyone, especially if it is done right. Some major helpers are know as MRPs, protein drinks and bars, and the right foods combined. To build bulks of muscle protein is needed. Simple meals with such things as eggs and meats are the leaders in protein. A MRP is a complete healthy meal in a bag and just add water. It has all the essential carbohydrates and amino acids for the perfect diet and tastes great too.


We all know that one of the keys to healthiness is proper form and exercise. If someone is taking supplements they must exercise to gain the edge. Just taking them and lying on the couch everyday does not help anyone, not even Arnold Schwarzenegger. Stretching before each excising session helps reduce pull and strains. The main exercises include curls, bench press, hang clean, dumbbells, squats, and leg press. Running and swimming are also one of the many exercises used to burn fat, calories, and are you to help get in shape.


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We all know that supplements do and do not do. Some enhance, hurt, or do nothing if not taking right with proper. Opinions will be different for everyone who does and does not take them.


Natural strength, speed, and endurance comes only so often and sometimes it is not enough. With the help of supplements, exercising, and nutrition anyone can be up at the top with hard work and determination.





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Ireland

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In 160 perhaps the most important of events in Ireland until this date occurred. The battle of the Boyne fought by the exiled former king of England, James II and the forces of the Netherlands ruler William of Orange, who had been proclaimed, William III, king of England, Ireland, and Scotland in 18. The battle was fought on July 1, 160 and William III destroyed James II and his forces on Boyne, a river in Ireland. William who had 5,000 compared to James with 1,000, William lost 500, and James 1500. The people who supported James were mostly people who did not wish for a constitutional monarchy. A long-term effect is that the Protestant order of Orangemen was established in Ireland in 175 was named after William of Orange, whose victory on the Boyne they commemorate annually. This was an important change in the English monarchy from being absolute monarchs to constitutional monarchs. People of Ireland may have also been spared considering the abrupt fall of Absolutism visited upon the French in the form of the French Revolution.


Definitions


1. Divine Right of Kings The belief that the power of the monarch derives from god. This makes him/her infallible that is his power cannot be challenged. James I insisted upon ruling with the divine right of kings.


“sit upon God’s throne on earth”


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. Coalition An alliance of parties in a democratic system brought together to form a government.


. Absolutism A system of government in which the king has absolute power, that is he controls all functions of the state.


1. Provision 1, suspending laws or executing laws without consent of parliament is illegal.


Provision , almost the same as 1 except that it been assumed and exercised of late.


Provision 4, taxing money without grant from parliament is illegal.


. That each citizen can elect members of parliament free, citizens, which are protestant, can defend themselves with arms, a citizen has freedom of speech, a citizen shall not have excessive bail nor excessive fines and no cruel treatment.


. Several are, Provision , freedom of speech, Provision 1 and are not valid because they apply to regal authority. Provision 10, bail,





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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Society will never accept people who are different. Comment.

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In our culturally globalised world, we are increasingly exposed to different types of people from different walks of life. This makes some people feel that today’s society can start to accept people who are different more readily than in the past. However, some critics may be less optimistic. They will point at that most of today’s wars, conflicts and clashes still happen because differences still matter to a lot of people. They will also look back at mankind’s terrible historical examples of society mistreating people who are different. For example, the murder of millions of Jews, gypsies, the disabled and homosexuals in the Holocaust by the German Nazi party. Today, society presents a mixed picture of growing tolerance as well as persisting prejudice.


Society generally shows great acceptance and sympathy for the physically disabled. Most developed nations’ societies have progressed in supporting the rights and needs of such people with great success. Also, the rise of many physically disabled achievers, like Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking, has helped people see that the physically disabled can be just as capable as the physically able. People have accepted that the physically disabled should be treated normally and given fair opportunities in employment, education and basic well-being. Even profit-centred MNCs like Macdonalds have been employing the deaf and dumb as service staff. Governments have also shown more initiative in creating disabled friendly infrastructure. Most modern schools, office buildings, government buildings and transport systems today have lifts, ramps, special doors and facilities to accommodate their needs.


Those who are physically challenged in appearance may find it difficult to be accepted by society still. Such people may only be truly accepted only after they have tried to make themselves ‘normal’. Modern society has become very materialistic and image-conscious because of the influence of advertising, consumerism and the media. A fixed idea of Beauty is being pushed by the media. The trim, young and beautiful tend to have more social, economic and political power because they are more accepted and admired. Researchers have shown that such people have higher chances of being employed. Obese and plain people have to spend extra effort and money on slimming down and beautifying themselves. Airline stewardesses for example are fired once they are seen as looking too old, fat or haggard. Those who were born with a freakish appearance, like conjoined twins or people with a cleft lip, feel pressured to go for expensive and sometimes life-threatening surgery because they hope to be accepted as normal. In fact, even relatively normal-looking people who just have slightly larger noses, bigger teeth or even single eyelids feel the need to undergo surgery to increase their chances of marriage, employment and friendship.


It is true that tolerance of people of different sexual orientation is increasingly practiced. However the more conservative and religiously fundamentalist still find it difficult to accept. Through the influence of the mass media and the politically active international gay rights movement, acceptance of homosexuals has been mainstreamed into society. So far, Scotland, Sweden, Holland and Canada have legalized homosexual marriages. International pop culture today features artistes like the lesbian Russian duo Tatu, gay Hong Kong actor/singer Leslie Cheung, bisexual American singer George Michael and transvestite American model/singer Rupaul. Such artistes are not only accepted by society, they are wildly popular and glamourised. Some critics even feel that homosexuality today is a great marketing tool to increase an artiste’s popularity! On the other hand, the more traditional sections of society still feel strongly against such tolerance. To them, going against the idea of heterosexuality is immoral and against their core ethical or religious beliefs. The major religions in the world generally do not encourage homosexual behaviour. The most extreme version of such unacceptance can be seen in the violent American anti-gay movement. Matthew Shepard, a gay teenager, was murdered by his schoolmates. An infamous Christian extremist church even supported the murder by setting up a website called www.godhatesfags.com. Recently, even moderate, pragmatic societies like that in Singapore have been divided over the political rights of homosexuals.


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Thanks to cultural interpenetration, society has become more accepting of racial and ethnic diversity as well. Sadly, racial stereotypes still exist and cause problems. The growth of international travel, communications and migration have allowed different cultures to mix and get to know each other better. For example, modern America has come a long way from its roots of black slavery and racial segregation. Even though it is still white dominated, black people and other minority races have managed to find great success in politics, entertainment, sports and business. Politician Condoleeza Rice, golfer Tiger Woods, singer Jennifer Lopez and Olympic skater Michelle Kwan are such examples. However, racial stereotypes have existed for so long in America’s history that prejudice still persists and is very difficult to get rid of. In the early 10s in Los Angeles, a black man, Rodney King, was beaten up by white policemen. This was enough to cause a full scale racial riot in Los Angeles between the whites and the blacks that led to lives and property being destroyed. Many people fear that the current wave of Anti-Semitism in Europe will lead to a revival of suppression of the Jews again. Thanks to rumours and conspiracy theories, the Jews have found it very difficult to overcome the stereotype of being mean, stingy and bloodthirsty.


In the end, it is too extreme and pessimistic to say society can never accept people who are different. There are many examples today that show differences have been gradually accepted. However, it looks impossible to think that there may be a day where differences can be completely accepted. Society has a long, terrible history of discrimination. Also, it will always have a wide variety of clashing beliefs, religions and ideologies. What we can hope is that the solution lies with encouraging more understanding. After all, stereotypes that lead to prejudice and discrimination are always built on inaccurate information about people. Society has found it most difficult to accept people when it knew nothing about them except for their differences. We need a responsible media and the spread of good education to remind us of our similarities.





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Analyse the extent to which language was an essential feature in the appearance and consolidation of Catalan and Basque nationalism

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Towards the end of the nineteenth century peripheral nationalisms began to form in the Spanish state, namely in the provinces and regions where languages other than Castilian were spoken. This essay is going to focus on the two most prominent nationalist movements that took place at that time within both the Basque Country and Catalonia.


It is an age-old belief that a people’s individuality resides in its language and therefore the promotion and protection of language has often played an essential part in forming the basis of nationalist theories. One of the first writers to stress the importance of language as a marker of national identity was Herder who wrote ‘language is the soul of a nation, without which a nation cannot exist.’


The vernacular is considered to be one of the most central aspects of identity by many intellectuals. Joshua A. Fishman writes in Language and Nationalism that;


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One of the major motivational emphases of modern nationalism has been that the ethnic past must not be lost for within it could be found both the link to greatness as well as the substance for greatness itself. It was on both these accounts that “the mother tongue became almost sacred, the mysterious vehicle of all the national endeavours.” [Jaszi, The Dissolution of the Hasburg Monarchy]


In light of this statement I am going to discuss to what extent the languages Euskera and Catalan were vehicles in the appearance and consolidation of their respective nationalisms. I will look at the histories of the two languages and how they were utilised by various nationalist leaders to promote the nationalist movements within their regions.


Firstly I am going to discuss Catalan as a language and the role it has played in the Catalan nationalist movement. I will concentrate mainly on the importance of the Renaixença as a basis for the foundation of Catalanism.


Catalan, like French, Italian and Castilian, is a neo-Latin language. It is not ‘a dialect of Spanish as many would have us believe. It is one of the great Romance languages, and it has a vast body of splendid literature, both medieval and modern, to prove it.’ At its peak Catalan was spoken far beyond the borders of present-day Catalonia and its neighbouring provinces, in fact it was also the main tongue in parts of Southern France, the Balearics, and various enclaves in Italy, North Africa and Greece. During the eleventh and fourteenth centuries the language was so prestigious that it was considered to be on a par with Castilian and Portuguese within the Spanish Peninsula. The language was spoken freely amongst the Catalan-speaking population ‘and even as Catalan’s political power diminished in the fifteenth century, Catalan can boast a Golden Age in letters.’


In 1716 Catalonia lost the autonomy it had previously held when Philip V passed a Royal Decree to prohibit all Catalan institutions and customs. This included the suppression of the Catalan language. What was lost in cultural freedom was made up for economically and the region prospered from its industry. Catalonia became further distanced from the rest of the Peninsula and this possibly influenced the regionalist movement.


The growth of the economy in Catalonia continued in the nineteenth century and was paralleled by a cultural revival, namely within the field of Catalan literature. This revival was known as the Renaixença, and having originated in the 180s it formed ‘part of the general awakening of romantic cultural nationalism and regionalism found in widely scattered parts of Europe’. The Renaixença was built on a strong literary tradition dating back to the middle ages ; it encompassed all the various art forms from sculpture to philosophy and spread throughout all Catalan-speaking regions. It was through this cultural revival that the first ideas of Catalonia having a distinct culture came to light. The poet Joaquin Rubio i Ors, who also went by the name of Lo Gayter de Llobregat, penned several poems in his mother tongue and later, when he published an anthology of his works, he expressed the need to revive this unique culture. As his works reached a wide audience it has long been considered to be ‘the manifesto of the Renaixença.’


Catalan literature was maturing and Catalan authors were highly revered throughout the Peninsula. Joan Maragall, Joant Verdague and Angel Guimerà, the three leading Spanish poets of the time, all wrote in the Catalan language. The increased diffusion of Catalan through the region and the progress and achievements of Catalan authors within the Spanish state inspired thoughts of a nationalist nature. It became clear that the Catalan language played an important role in the regions separate cultural identity.


Throughout the intellectual development of the ideas of the Renaixença, language emerges as the central issue around which the Catalans based their claims to a separate identity.


It is considered that the Renaixença marked the birth of the Catalan nationalist movement; it provided a solid foundation upon which Catalanists could base their arguments and ideas.


In Catalonia the Renaixença provided an essential basis for the subsequent spread of nationalism. Its success and the rich output of Catalan literature ever since constitute a solid base upon which political nationalism could build its legitimacy.


Language was not the only catalyst in the birth of Catalan nationalism, according to several local historians ‘Catalanism was generated by the confluence of four distinct strains; cultural revival, traditionalist Carlism, republican federalism and industrial protectionism’ yet it was the most visible and soon became the pivotal instrument in defining Catalan national identity. In the first explicit nationalist publication in 1886, entitled Lo Catalanisme, Valentí Almirall ‘singled out the outstanding aspects of Catalan character and mentality, and language began to move centre-stage, as one means of defining national identity among others.’ He considered language to be ‘the main visible manifestation of a people’s personality’


Almirall was not alone in expressing the symbolic and instrumental role of the Catalan language within the nationalist movement of Catalonia. Following Catalanist leaders and sympathisers have voiced similar opinions on the importance of the preservation of language and consequently identity.


The Bishop of Vic, Josep i Bages recognised that ‘language is the people…the thought of a nation, it is what characterises and portrays it…Among all social bonds, apart from religion, language is the most deeply unifying.


Ferrater i Mora, as cited in Daniele Conversi’s The Basques, The Catalans and Spain, writes ‘The Catalan personality can only be fully expressed through the intermediary of its language. When the latter recedes, the former fades, weakens and becomes corrupted…the Catalan ceases to be a Catalan…[and], in ceasing to be a Catalan…he/she ceases simply to be.


Once a nationalism has been established as a political movement it needs to draw upon a pre-existing definition of what forms that particular national identity. In the case of the Catalans this had already been put in place by the cultural revivalists of the Renaixença. Therefore it can be said that language and literature paved the way for the linguistic nationalist movement that followed. Moreover, since the language was widespread and accepted by all levels of society language formed an ideal symbol and instrument of cultural identity for the whole Catalonian population.


Catalan nationalists consistently focussed on the issue of linguistic rights. For them, as well as for the lay people, language was both a symbol and an essential instrument for the diffusion and expressiveness of their own culture. (emphasis my own)


I am now going to discuss the role of language within Basque nationalism. I will comment on how the vernacular has discontinuously emerged as a key issue within the Basque Country. Unlike Catalan, the Basque language, or Euskera as it shall be referred to throughout this essay, does not come from the same family as French, Spanish and Italian. In fact the exact origins of Euskera are not known and are often deliberated upon.


The Basque language is not an Indo-European tongue and no relation has ever been directly established between it and any other language.


Euskera is not a widely spoken language; its usage has deteriorated throughout the ages. As Teresa del Valle writes ‘Euskara is a minority language within a territory that at one time was predominantly euskara-speaking.’ Moreover it did not exist in a standardised form and at least eight different dialects were present in the region. People from different regions could not communicate with one another in their own language and loyalty amongst elites and litterateurs was low and so Castilian displaced Euskera as the principal tongue of the Basque Country. Another explanation for this displacement is offered by Stanley Payne, who writes;





Basque, which is essentially a primitive tongue, was ill suited to culture, administration, and diplomacy, so that vernacular Castilian or a variant thereof has been the official language of Basque territories South of the Pyrenees ever since the ninth or tenth century.


The Basque Country did not benefit from the type of cultural revival that the Catalans experienced through the nineteenth century Renaixença, nor could it boast a significant literary history. The language was regarded as being unrefined and as symbolising the poor rural communities of the region. Leading Spanish prose writers of the twentieth century, Unamuno and Pio Baroja, although Basque, chose to write in Castilian.


Basque literature was a frail growth represented mainly by a certain amount of poetry and essays; it altogether lacked the abundance, variety and distinction of neo-Catalan literature, nor would the primitive vocabulary and structure of the tongue have easily permitted more.


It is due to the sparse dispersion of Euskera within its own community and its lack of representation and achievement in the Peninsula as a whole that in the beginnings of the Basque nationalist movement language did not take a central role.


Basque nationalism arose in the late nineteenth century as a result of the imposed threats of rapid industrialisation and the abolition of the system of ‘fueros’ that they had enjoyed for centuries. Sabino Arana, the founder of Basque nationalist ideology placed the importance of language secondary to that of race. ‘In his early formulations, language was not a core value and was replaced by race and religion.’





Dice Sabino “los elementos o carácteres de la nacionalidad son cinco 1, raza; , lengua; , gobierno y leyes; 4, carácter y costumbres; 5, personalidad histórica” (Bizkaitarra)


Arana used the history of Euskera to prove his theory of the Basques forming a pure race, the basis of Basque nationalism at that time. He used the fact that Euskera had not been influenced by any other language and that the Basque Country had never been invaded by the Moors to prove that the Basque race was pure.





To Sabino Arana…the purity of a language was a good indicator of the purity of a race. According to this logic, the patent originality of Euskera and its lack of ‘contamination’ by other languages convincingly demonstrated the purity of the Basque race.


He did not use language as a unifying element of integration, as had occurred with Catalan but rather as a means of defining ‘us’ from ‘them’.





For the Catalans it would be a great glory if the Spanish government appointed Catalan as the official language of all Spain; on the contrary, if it were to do the same to Euskera, it would be for us the final blow of unavoidable death…’


Arana and his supporters believed that language was simply symbolic and it didn’t matter if no-one could speak it. Race was a more important element. They wanted to maintain the division between the Basques and the newcomers, to protect the purity of the race.


Rather than trying to revive or encourage the spread of Euskara, he and his followers chose rather to use it as an ethnic boundary. His aim became not so much to preserve the language as to preserve a sense of ‘unique’ Basque racial purity.


Sabino Arana manipulated the Basque language in order to perpetuate its unintelligibility , a trait of which many Basques were proud. He complicated, distorted and ‘cleansed’ the language of any Spanish influences. He invented a ‘purified idiom virtually alien from the language spoken by the common people’ and ‘established an alphabet with a different order.’


It was not until the Franco era that the role of language in Basque nationalism began to change. During his dictatorship Franco suppressed anything he perceived as being non-Spanish or as being distinct to the Spanish nation. Basque language was prohibited in schools and other public situations. It was not until the Basques realised that they were gradually losing their mother tongue that language shifted into a more influential role.


It was not until well into the Franco period that a reformation of Basque nationalism took place, with the language gradually emerging as the critical element of the identity/differentiation of Basqueness.


New theories arose detailing the necessity for language survival. A shift was made from racial concerns to a more cultural nationalism.


When Euskera ceases to be a spoken language, the Basque people will have died; and in a few years time the successors of today’s Basques will be no more than Spaniards or Frenchmen. (Sarraith de Ihartza)


The Basques realised the necessity of rescuing the language from ‘zealous nationalists’ and placing it into the hands of language experts. ‘The goal was not only to create a proper grammar, syntax and lexicon, but also to enhance its social status in terms of prestige, literacy, publishing and use in academic milieux.’ This objective was aided by the creation of ikastolas, schools for the teaching of Euskera, which increased in number from in 160 to 160 by 175.


Today Euskera plays an integral role in defining what it means to be a Basque, and although certain sectors of the nationalist movement, namely ETA, have taken a violent turn they are still fighting to preserve and improve the status of their language as an indication of their individual identity and as a key element in nationalist discourse.


Language is often considered to be the most natural form of expressing identity and in regions where the use of the vernacular is increased separate nations may arise, as we have seen in the Basque and Catalan cases. The question is to what extent did the vernacular play an essential role in the appearance and consolidation of the respective nationalisms?


In Catalonia language is to a large extent the ‘flagship of Catalan nationalism’ The prestige of the Renaixença literature, the availability of a rich and lively language and the wide diffusion of the vernacular, (over 5 million people speak Catalan ) greatly facilitated the Catalan nationalist movement. Language, unlike in the Basque case, always played a constant and pivotal role in Catalanism and it is this continuity that provided the movement with such strength and stability.


Catalonia was conceived as a nation by virtue of its linguistic distinctiveness, and hence the relationship between language and nation was always central to all nationalist discourse. (emphasis is my own)


Even though, like Euskera, the use of Catalan was banned under the two dictatorships of the twentieth century, it survived due to the widespread use it enjoyed before its suppression. The majority of Catalans never stopped using the language in their private lives and this benefited the nationalist cause. It also helped that the language had been ‘fully standardised at the beginning of the twentieth century by Pompeu Fabra, and is now universally accepted by all Catalans.’


Catalanists never ceased to promote the importance of their language as an indicator of national identity in their nationalist discourse, as Prat de la Riba stated;





We saw that Catalonia had a language, a law, an art of its own, that it had a national spirit, a national character, a national thought Catalonia therefore was a nation.


On the other hand in the beginnings of Basque nationalism language always played a secondary role to that of race. Sabino Arana manipulated Euskera, as he had done other symbols of the Basque nationalist movement, such as the name, Euskadi, the flag and the anthem, to support his ideas of a pure race. In doing so he created much confusion and fragmentation within Basque nationalism. He was not concerned with the preservation of the language as a symbol of identity, he was more preoccupied that other ‘races’ did not learn the language. He went as far as to say that ‘if our invaders were to learn Euskera, we would have to abandon it, carefully archiving its grammar and dictionary, and dedicate ourselves to speaking Russian, Norwegian, or any other language, as long as we were subject to their domination.’


It was not until the Franco period and the foundation of ETA that the Basque movement took on a more ethnonationalist approach. ‘To etarras, Euskera is the maximum expression of the national personality’ and ‘a central cultural prop, a besieged form of distinctiveness which was being attacked by the Francoist regime and which had to be maintained.’


Although language played a secondary role in the foundation of the ideology of Basque nationalism it played a central role in its preservation. When the Basque movement re-emerged as a type of ethno-linguistic nationalism, ‘the feeling for the language as a symbol of belonging to a social group, with a differentiated collective identity, led individuals who had never spoken it to learn Basque.’ This led to the foundation of various Euskera-teaching institutes, such as the ikastolas, which over the years have helped to foster the nationalist movement.


The main difference between the two nationalisms discussed in this essay is that whereas the Catalans used their language to integrate the ‘immigrants’ or new-comers to the region, thus expanding the use of Catalan and increasing its social status, the Basques chose to use Euskera to exclude any non-Basque people. The Catalans stayed loyal to their language throughout the centuries and as a result they have managed to forge a link between their national identity and their language that appears unbreakable. Today the Basque nationalists have moved away from any ideologies based on race and they too stress the central importance of language in their national identity. ‘It appears that language, rather than race, can offer better prospects for successful ethnonationalist mobilization.’


Bibliography


Balcells, Albert. Catalan Nationalism Past and Present. Macmillan. Basingstoke, 16.


Conversi, Daniele. The Basques, The Catalans and Spain. Alternative Routes to Nationalist Mobilisation. Hurst & Company Ltd. London 17.


Conversi, Daniele. Language or race? The choice of core values in the development of Catalan and Basque nationalisms. Ethnic and Racial Studies, Volume 1. 10.


Fishman, Joshua A. Language and Nationalism, Two Integrative Essays. Newbury House Publishers. Massachusetts, 17.


Henderson, Tracy. Language and Identity in Galicia in Mar-Molinero, Clare & Smith, Angel (eds), Nationalism and the Nation, Competing and Conflicting Identities. Berg, Oxford 16.


Larronde, Jean-Claude. Sabino Arana in Pablo, S de (ed), Los nacionalistas � Historia del nacionalismo vasco, 1876-160, Fundación Sancho el Sabio, Vitoria, 15


MacClancy, Jeremy. Bilingualism and Multinationalism in the Basque Country in Mar-Molinero, Clare & Smith, Angel (eds), Nationalism and the Nation, Competing and Conflicting Identities. Berg, Oxford 16.


Mar-Molinero, Clare, The Role of Language in Spanish Nation-building in Mar-Molinero, Clare & Smith, Angel (eds), Nationalism and the Nation, Competing and Conflicting Identities. Berg, Oxford 16.


Payne, Stanley. Catalan and Basque Nationalism, Journal of Contemporary History, Volume 6 Part 1, 171


Tejerina Montaña, Benjamin. Language and Basque Nationalism in Mar-Molinero, Clare & Smith, Angel (eds), Nationalism and the Nation, Competing and Conflicting Identities. Berg, Oxford 16.


Terradas, Ignasi. Catalan Identities in Herr, Richard & Polt, John H.R.(eds), Iberian Identity; Essays on the Nature of Identity in Portugal and Spain, Berkeley Institute of International Studies, USA 18


Valle, Teresa del, Basque Ethnic Identity at a Time of Rapid Change in Richard & Polt, John H.R.(eds), Iberian Identity; Essays on the Nature of Identity in Portugal and Spain, Berkeley Institute of International Studies, USA 18


www sit-edu-geneva.ch/minority_languages_in_spain.htm


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Sunday, January 22, 2012

‘Not only does Vincent have to convince other characters that he is capable of more than his INVALID status implies, he also has to convince himself’. Discuss.

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Through determination and endurance Vincent is able to achieve his goal and demonstrate that he has the ability to surpass the expectations placed upon him by his INVALID condition. In attaining his dream Vincent proves he is worthy of his father’s name and he has the potential to be more genetically superior to his ‘natural’ brother, Anton. With the support of Irene, Jerome and unbeknown to him, Lamar Vincent is able to reach his potential and much more.


Due to his natural conception, Vincent is looked upon to be deficient as he had not been programmed with the more superior genes. Anton, Vincent’s father’s action in repudiating his first born his name revealed this view. His frank, although callous opinion that “the only way [Vincent would] see the inside of a spaceship [was] if [he] was cleaning it” may have outwardly not affected him; however it was one of many incitements that drove Vincent to success. During his childhood Vincent was weighed down by his father’s obvious favouritism of his more genetically advanced brother which fuelled his desire to succeed and so be noticed, if not appreciated by his parents, in particular his father. This longing was one of numerous factors that propelled Vincent to success.


Vincent’s sense of inferiority throughout his youth to his brother, Antonio was a major contributor to his aspiration for victory. Anton nonchalant remark on being an astronaut if he had the wished to do so was a great injustice to Vincent, who although had the desire but also had the flawed genetic makeup. Anton’s arrogance stemmed from his need to be superior to those around him. The last fateful game of ‘Chicken’ in their youth in which Vincent outswam his brother showed that genetic supremacy was not a guarantee of accomplishment. This was the first of two swims that revealed to Anton that his brother had the ability to surpass his invalid underclass status as well as boosting Vincent’s self esteem. The other was after Vincent’s masquerade as Jerome has been uncovered by Anton when he disclosed to that he succeeded as he “never saved anything for the swim back”.


The person who helped Vincent to believe in himself and who he had to prove himself worthy to was Jerome. Their relationship was formed on a business transaction, yet was able to develop into an understanding and ingenuous friendship. In order to gain Jerome’s trust Vincent was required to attest his determination which he did so through enduring an agonising leg extension operation. This combined with Vincent’s proficient performance as Jerome and his rise in position at Gattaca confirmed Vincent’s perception in Jerome mind and gain Jerome’s respect in him. Jerome statement that he was proud of Vincent expressed this belief. In challenging Vincent’s capability to be like himself at the beginning of the deception, Jerome unknowingly assisted Vincent’s aspirations by pushing him harder to advance to become the best. When Vincent lost faith in himself during the murder investigation Jerome was there to exhort him to continue and have confidence in himself as “when [others] look at [him] they don’t see [him] anymore, they see [Jerome]”. Vincent was able to prove himself to Jerome through his own perseverance but also with the unrelenting support of Jerome.


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Vincent having been born with the disadvantaged genetic makeup in a competitive, ‘vitro’ was expected to stay within the boundaries of his social status as an invalid. His ambition to become an astronaut was mock by his brother, quelled by his father and gently rebuffed by his mother. All these reactions only served to intensify his conviction to excel and prove them as well as society wrong. Early on his was discouraged by the discriminatory system of the hostile organisation of Gattaca and later on when he required to undergo the daunting operation of a leg extension. However with tenacity and commitment and was able to overcome this and go beyond. Although he was possessed these qualities, there were moments during his façade that he felt despair and defeat which with the support of others he was able to surmount.





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