Marriage and Family Structure

Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner. These were words of Army Bloom while commenting on the topic of marriage (Sardone 2010). Human race is a product of a family in one way or another.

However, not all can be said to exist in the planet as result of marriage. They are those that were born out of wedlock and either live with one parent or have never known any of their parents. Nevertheless, marriages still take place and families continue to exist. With the development of society, both the marriage and family structure have undergone transformation and many have veered off from the traditional definitions of the same. This paper is aimed at showing that marriage and family are important parts of any culture despite there being different types of marriage and family structure.

According to Goepfrich (2007, p 3) in his book Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, marriage can be defined as the social institution under which man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments or religious ceremonies among others.  Goepfrich acknowledges that for people to be recognized as married, they must have witnesses and the ceremony conducted by either a civil servant or a religious minister. However such a statement by the author ignores the fact that there are so many people who claim to be happily married yet they have never been legally married. In some cultures especially in the places such as Africa, a marriage can be validated by traditional elders without the necessity of the couple being awarded a marriage certificate. However, one thing agreeable to all is that a marriage will lead into a family since any couples get married to form a family.

Types of Marriages 
Authors have classified marriage into different categories depending on the context. The Sociology Guide (2010) divides marriages in several types polygyny (polygamy), polyandry, group marriage, monogamy under monogamy there is serial monogamy and straight monogamy.

Polygyny (Polygamy) 
In this type of marriage, a single man has more than one wife at a particular period (Sociology Guide 2010). There are different cultures that do not view this type of marriage as valid and therefore it is not encouraged. Civil laws in many countries do not recognize polygamous families and this leads the man to either live with the other wives secretly or without valid wedding certificate. Christianity as a religion teaches that a marriage should be one-man one-wife and thus one is required to declare that he has never married before and if he had done so, the wife had died. Some Christian denominations do not even join divorcees in the holy matrimony. However in Islamic cultures as well as in societies in South Africa, polygamous marriages are recognized. A good example is that of the incumbent president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma who has more than four wives. Sororal polygyny or sororate is a situation where one man has married blood sisters, while in non sororal polygyny, the wives are not blood sisters (Sociological Guide, 2010).

Though not as common as polygamous marriage, this type of marriage entails one woman having more than one husband. This is not recognized in many cultures and therefore those who involve themselves in such do not do it in open. However, some cultures allow blood brothers to share wives especially if the husband is impotent or he only sires children of one sex. This type of marriage is referred to as fraternal or alelphic polyandry and is very common among the Todas. In non fraternal polyandry, the husbands are not related in any way and the other men cannot claim the woman as their wife at that particular time when he is living with one of them (Sociological Guide, 2010).

Monogamous Family 
This type is regarded as the ideal type of marriage in addition to being the most common and acceptable by nearly all cultures and religions, even those that accept the other types of marriage. It is a one-man one-husband marriage. Under this type of marriage, there is the serial marriage where a husband remarries after the demise of his wife. In such a situation, this is not regarded as polygamy. Of recent, it has become common for the spouse to get another wifehusband after divorce. However, some people chose to remain single after the departure of their spouses. In what is referred to as a straight marriage, the spouse may not be allowed to remarry under any circumstances (Sociology Guide, 2010).

Forced Marriages
In this type of marriage, the woman is abducted and the husband rapes her. In those cultures where forced marriages are practiced, there is a belief that once a man has intercourse with a woman, he automatically becomes her husband. This practice however is not very common in many societies of the world and is therefore detested in those cultures that do not practice it. In some African cultures, girls are married off to elderly men while they are still toddlers in exchange of livestock. The child continues to stay with her family until she reaches puberty and this is when she is taken to the husband by the parents, whether willingly or unwillingly (Sfetsu, 2009).

Same sex Marriage
 The issue of same sex marriage has generated more heat than light in the contemporary society, with some supporting it while others demonizing it. However, same sex marriage has been legalized in different states of the world. Sexologists have used the term homosexuality to refer to people who have a same sex gender sexual orientation However, in the community, the term gay has been used to refer to male homosexuals with the term lesbian referring to  female homosexuals sometimes gay refers to both women and men. There are some who are attracted to people of both genders and are referred to as heterosexuals (Cantor, 2006, p. xiii).  Those who oppose the same sex marriage argue that they are unnatural and that they provide the nonconductive environment for the raising of children. They also argue that it threatens marriage as an institution in addition to going against religious principles among other reasons. However, proponents of homosexuality state that homosexuals are human beings and thus have their own rights (Bidstrup, 2000).

Marriage in the Western Culture 
In this century, marriage in European and American culture is often legally defined as monogamous. This does not mean that there are no few societies that do still practice polygamy while others are in what is referred to as open marriages. In latter form of marriage, the spouse has the freedom to leave when he or she feels like. In the Western world, divorce has been made less complicated and thus has increased in rate. Marriage is seen as a legal covenant which recognizes the emotional union of the couples and can be terminated any time the partners feel like.  In this world, it is the woman who is granted the custody of child and not the husband in case of a divorce or separation. In addition, all the partners have the duty of supporting their children (Sfetcu, 2009). When a child has been born out of wedlock, he or she is entitled to enjoy the same rights just like those that are legitimate. In the Western cultures, partners are protected by law from rape by their spouses and those who do so may find themselves in the court of law. Moreover, the law defends wives or even husbands from being physically abused or disciplined. In this culture, wealth that has been acquired since the couple married is often divided among the couple in case of divorce. What one gets however is determined by a court of law or community property law (Sfetcu, 2009).

Marriage in the Eastern World 
In these cultures, marriage is regarded as being quite different from the way it is regarded in the Western world. For example in the former, polygamy is permitted in fact men with many wives are generally considered as being wealthier than those with one wife. A large part of the population in the Eastern world is Islamic and though the religion advocates for the marriage of a man and woman, the Quran allows a man to have a maximum of four wives (Sfetcu, 2009). However in such societies, all the wives must be treated as being equal by the man. In states where the larger part of the population is Muslim, marriage is only permitted when both partners are Muslim otherwise non Muslims must first denounce their religions and embrace Islam. In some societies in China, a man in the upper class would first be formally married and then later allowed to get concubines. However, the current communist regime does not permit polygamy but only monogamy (Sfetcu, 2009).

Family Structure
As years have come and gone, the society, including the family, has undergone great transformation. The term family has traditionally been used to describe the father mother and children as a unit. However, this structure has changed over time. The common types of family structure include childless, nuclear, extended as well single (Shelton, 2010).

Nuclear Family 
Shelton (2010) defines a nuclear family as that family that consists of a mother, father, and their biological or adoptive descendants, often called the traditional family Many anthropologists usually regard this type of family structure highly than any other type of family and conducive one for the rearing of children. However, there must be emotional support, environment of love, economic support as well as enough time spent together.

Single Parenthood
Of the types of the family structures listed, this can be regarded as one the newest. This is because in the olden days, the society could not have imagined that a person could have lived without either a wife or a husband. In case of death or separation, remarriage would either take, place or the woman would be inherited by the brothers. However, with the economic independence of women, many usually decide to stay single after the separation, divorce or death. Some women are not interested in marriage and therefore choose to have children or one and raise them on their own. Research that has been done has shown that 25 of the children are born by women who are unmarried and mostly teenage mothers. Proponents of this type of family structure have stated that it has less pressure especially if it is formed after a divorce. However, some psychologists have claimed that this kind of marriage is disadvantageous especially to children as sometimes it is associated with juvenile delinquency (Shelton, 2010).

Childless Family 
It is often the desire of many, if not all, couples to have a child or more after marriage however, this is not always the case. A couple may also not be able to bear a child because of either social or biological problems. However, others may later get a child of their own in future or just decide to adopt one. Though many of such couples may opt to stick together, in some cultures however, lack of children after marriage is viewed negatively and the man if forced to remarry. The brothers of the husband may also be required to sire children for their brothers if it is realized that he is impotent. Others may however decide to rear a pet or two who acts as substitutes (Shelton, 2010).

Extended Family 
An extended family can be described as a group of family members that is made up of adoptive or biological parents together with their children as well as other members of that family. In many global societies, an extended family has been described as the basic family group. In some cultures such as those with Asian origin, an entire extended family may live under the same roof. These may include uncles, aunts, grandparents and even foster children. Sometimes children of parents who have died or separated may be raise by their grandparents (Mosbys Medical Dictionary, 2009).

Despite the many types of marriage and family structure, one thing that is clear is that, marriage and family are important part of the human race. This is why all cultures in the world have both. Marriage is often viewed as a gateway into a family, though there are those that form families without marrying formally. It is however important for people to formalize their marriages as it will be easier to deal with some setbacks in the families such as divorces or death.

Shadowed Lives Undocumented Immigrants

Shadowed lives, by Chaves is a detailed social anthropologic ethnography of the hardships and struggles undocumented immigrants underwent in their pursuit for better lives. In a captivating creative craftsmanship, he passionately narrates the illegal immigration of the Mexicans and the Central Americans in the 1980s. It is an ethnographic account of migrations in the Northern San Diego County, California. The anecdote vividly reveals in details what immigrants seeking to make a decent living for themselves and there families had to go through. The situation was depressingly the same not only in their home countries but also in the countries they sought to work in especially the United States. The conditions they were exposed to were dismally inhumane, they had to, by all means avoid the authorities for fear of arrest and not only that, they also left the safe haven of their homes and the love of their families without the promise of ever coming back. There was the risk of death while on transit due to the many ailments and infections they were exposed to and from harassment by authorities if arrested. They endured such conditions in the hope that there were better lives ahead.

Chavez poses the questions of stereotypes and the incorporation of immigrants to the American society. These he does by contrasting immigration with rite of passage in three standard phases, that is
Separation which basically was the parting of the immigrants with their families and or society.
Transition which involved the switch and reception of the new culture they were barely familiar with.
Amalgamation this was the process of incorporation into the new society, culture, religion and way of life in California.

The root of these questions is the effects that came with restrictions. Chavez describes the effects of the enactment of the Immigration Reform and control Act (IRCA), which imposed new rules and regulations on the immigrants from 1986 onwards. Chavez also takes an in depth analysis of the possible causes of mass immigration even with the stringent rules that were imposed by the (IRCA). The act caused some employers to discriminate some of their workers and the overall overturn of alien employment went down. Foreign employees were remunerated at a lower rate to compensate their employees for the perceived risk of hiring foreigners. The first chapter explores the hardships the immigrants face when they get to America especially due to the differences in geographical disposition. They are deprived off all there basic needs which is contrary to their expectations. In retaliation to these, the Mexicans (immigrants) create their own society which is viewed as an enemy. The immigrants are depicted as willing law breakers and the only way of reforming them was through arrests, jails, deportations and penalties. The second chapter describes how the immigrants not only face rejection from the American society but also officials who were their hope. It is a detailed description of how undocumented immigrants managed to cross the borders. According to Chavez there survival inevitably lied in their ability to hide from the authorities and remain inconspicuous, especially during there shifts from the periphery to the major cities. The story also highlights the qualms and incidents of trying to survive as illegal aliens amidst the remnants of permanency. They were constantly apprehended and faced the constant threat of arrest and deportation. Some of those who were arrested at the boarders returned to their countries willingly only to try again and most a time they succeeded.

The story is based on real life stories told by the immigrants themselves. Chavez does not rely on secondary or reported information but instead conducts the interviews himself. Through these accounts he is able to paint a vivid picture of the immigrants social lives, search for work and their struggle for acceptance into the American society. He describes how they had limited support structures and lived isolated lives they lived in spider holes or cantons. In the undocumented lives, Chavez digs into the gender issues facing both men and women but pays more attention to challenges faced by women and children. In the beginning the society is predominately male but later there is evidence of co-existence with there female counter parts especially in the Green Valley. In several occasions the book illustrates women as not working but in other instances they acquired jobs. The gender roles are well depicted as the book illustrate how the Green valley residents worked raised there children together in the little time they could spare. Men on the other hand are illustrated as having spent most of their time either working or looking for jobs thus it was not easy to have concrete family structures.

Through assimilation into the American society there is a culture change among the immigrants. Most of the immigrants followed into their parents foot steps. Majority of the immigrants had to have friends or relatives in the United States to assist them with the process of immigration. It would have been a more difficult process adjusting to the American culture without people to look up to. A story is told of an immigrant father who left home every summer for America and the son observed the trend in such keenness. Later in life the boy requested assistance from his father to cross the borders so he can make a better living like him. A cultural evolution, as one may call it, is witnessed as the immigrants adapt to the American culture. They acquired the amenities that the Americans had, and examples given are, availability of running water in specific places and the construction of eateries. They also created there own new culture by cementing relations with some foreigners from different lands.

Acculturation is learned through the hard work these undocumented immigrants put towards their survival in the foreign land. Though they had limited experience and skills they worked odd jobs in the American farms, but they gave more value to there live. The Green valley represented a new culture with the high ratio of women and children to men, but with time it failed as they became more acculturated to the American social life. The workers (immigrants) eventually were able to hold more steady jobs, they settled and formed families and expanded there social networks as they got more and more acculturated into the American society. The immigrants become more assimilated, socially, economically, culturally and even personally.

This case study portrays the illegal immigrants not as enemies but social and humane creatures just like the rest of us. Their encounters had never been documented but with the help of Chavez, one can only appreciate the struggles that went into building the current American society, economy and personalities that we are so much proud of. At first I was a bit opinionated and thought that the aliens came to America to deprive the society off their rightful share of the countries heritage. On reading onwards I adopted an open mind and could not help but marvel at the lengths these people were willing to go if only to achieve their dreams of a new life. One can only sympathize and empathize with the immigrants. On a personal opinion it is a well written book that describes and brings out in details, culture, cultural changes, acculturation and gender roles played by the different people who went into building America.

Through the book, it is easy to appreciate the intricate inconsistencies that were involved in the migration and how the immigrants affected America both positively and or negatively. Generally inequality is naturalized into the minds of the residents and that of the immigrants themselves. Though set in the early 1980s, some specifics have changed but many generalities remain the same.
The present set of reading materials deal with a number of issues relating to poverty, its measurement, macro and micro level approaches of dealing with it, and best practices to lessen its effects if not to eradicate it completely.

While the articles Living Wage Considerations in the Right to Work State of South Carolina and What Do People Live On Living Wages In India undertake a macroscopic analysis of the issues discussed in the preceding paragraph, the remainder of the reading materials, viz., Good Clean Tobacco and Biocapitalism and The Social Course of Stigma in North Carolina discuss the effects of changes in marketing strategy within a single industry, thus taking a microscopic view.

However, the common thread running through all these works is that they are essentially employing deductive methodology of logic and reasoning. A methodology is said to be deductive if it uses several specific propositions to arrive at a set of general conclusions. In many of these works, the authors have attempted to undertake a study of particular cases or data at hand, to arrive at their conclusions. However, they have not, and it is submitted rightly, not attempted to quantify their work as a statistical survey or a work of numbers as if the task undertaken by them was nothing more than a science experiment done in the human laboratory of a particular locality or area. Such a departure is essential as sociology concerns itself with human behavior, among other things, which is often incorrectly labeled as scientifically logical and rationale.

A mention must be made here of the work done by Venkatesh. Venkatesh began his study with a pre-determined questionnaire and a predictable sample of people (Venkatesh, page 21). However, as he went along with his study, he realized that this questionnaire was relevant and held good only for a particular kind of sample of interviewees. Once a slight departure was made from that sample, the questions asked through the questionnaire were no longer relevant (by relevant, it is meant here that the questions were inappropriate as they were unable to solicit consistent answers from the interviewee). This being the case, he was urged to reconsider his methodology of research from a pre-determined questionnaire to an open-ended approach where only the broad parameters of research were kept in consideration, and a truly random sample of interviewees could be chosen.

Talking specifically about the reading materials, it might be a good idea to start with South Carolina. This is one of the poorest states of United States of America despite rising union memberships (Kingsolven, page 30). This state doesnt have in place an effective minimum laws regime (Kingsolven, page 38), although its Governor has seen through many legislations which are pro-business (Kingsolven, page 44). The debate over the need for a minimum wage law regime is an interesting one as it has law and economics implications.
It is argued that if there is a minimum wage regime, then some of the workers would have to be laid off as their marginal contribution to the employer would be below the minimum wage rate. However, those who are not fired would be encouraged to raise their productivity levels further as they would have an incentive of a higher standard of living. Thus, an overall picture of whether the presence of a minimum wage law regime would increase or reduce poverty remains a hazy one, depending from case to case basis and macroeconomic variables involved. Therefore, the argument for minimum wage legislation can be hardly said to have been convincingly made out. Pro-business legislations are justified on the reason that such laws are likely to bring in more business, which would definitely mean more jobs. More jobs are seen to have a direct relationship with employment levels. However, the logical flaw begins when employment levels are linked with necessary poverty reduction and improvement in standards of living. In such economic extension of variables, sociological factors such as exploitation of labor etc. are left out and not accounted for, due to which there is an anomaly. The state of South Carolina is an apt example of this anomaly.

Another anomaly in the case of state of South Carolina which is made use of by capitalists is the so called right to work (Kingsolven, page 36). The fact that this right exists makes the state prima facie look as least susceptible to labor exploitation and thus the subject of much fewer constitutional challenges. What makes the matter worse is the fact that the right is not intended to literally translate into a job for every workman. Instead, it allows workers to get a job without being a part of any union. Such a law cuts right into the heart of the unionization movement. It leads to lesser stronger unions in the state of South Carolina, and this coupled with lack of minimum wage legislation makes for a perfect recipe of disaster as workers lose all bargaining power.

The above anomalies in case of the state of South Carolina should be compared to the case of India. In India, the right to work is provided for only a hundred days while the American right is for the whole year (Channa, page 19). However, this right in India does literally translate into a guarantee of employment for that specified period. Thus, in this case, the advantages of employment viz. increasing purchasing power of the workmen can be fully seen. However, India does not do well on other parameters due to which its problem of poverty continues to be acute as well, though for different reasons.

For socio-cultural reasons and historical background in India, the remnants of the age-old caste system can still be seen today (Channa, page 15-16). While India got its independence over 50 years ago, these divisions in social classes have continued to survive, at least in the rural years, and this has come in way of effective implementation of right to work and minimum wage laws regime. Such a result shows us that it is not merely good enough to have a legal regime to remedy the problem based on economic theories (Channa, page 18-20). It is also important to contextualize the prevailing social conditions and to mould our measures and policies according to them, as otherwise they are likely to fail or be of very little consequence (Channa, page 21).

Next, it is important to consider the case of North Carolina. Here, the author Philip Morris has attempted to bring out, through a microscopic example (marketing of cigarettes), how social class and minimum wage legislation impact the business and standard of living in a particular market (Benson, page 367). Although the law changed the marketing process from public auctions to one year contracts between farmer and the company so that more stringent quality control measures could be implemented, the result was that illegal immigrated Mexican workers were employed on the fields to cut costs as they were willing to work for less than minimum wages (Benson, page 361). Again, this is an instance where only the relevant economic variables were looked at, and a change was brought about without looking at the social realities of the practical situation. Before such a step was taken, it should have been seen to it that the problem of illegal Mexican immigrants was solved.

It may be argued that at least the production of a considerably safer than earlier cigarette takes place now. However, it is submitted that this has only gone on to benefit the big corporations as such, who can possible increase their patronage. However, this has brought about adverse changes to the lives of many field workers who are now unemployed. Again, this case study highlights the importance of a sound minimum wage laws regime.

Finally, a word must be said about Venkateshs overwhelming work. His case study which revolves around an individual who though thorough his work might be damaging the health of many, provided important help to those in need (Venkatesh, page 45). Understanding this in the social context, it may be an outlet of purging of guilt of that individual. Moreover, not all his activities are acts of charity (Venkatesh, page 137). Many of them are based on selfish motives, others on convenience. However, in such cases, the internal, self-made rules seem to trump the societys norms or the formal legal system (Venkatesh, page 130).

To conclude, it may be said that poverty is one of the toughest problems to tackle both at the macro and the micro level, given its cyclical dependence on a variety of further dependant factors. At the same time, the importance of social factors should be overlooked, as otherwise the desired outcome is not likely to be achieved. Further, it may not be necessary that resort is always had to a formal legal system especially where implementation and enforcement is low. In such cases, it is the prevailing, social norms that usually overrule the letter of the law.      
Rastafarian religion and everything it includes and goes around is under a strict eye of Jamaican people as well as anthropologists and sociologists on the island and from nearby countries. In fact, this culture splashed out of the current residents of Jamaica (its population) moved to this place mainly from Ethiopia. Noel Leo Erskine could talk about Rasta and followers of this cult, as this author has a clear idea of what it is entirely. He could duly count down a period of time to shape the prerequisites and consequences of Rastafarian culture on Jamaica and its impact on African race and the values of bringing in something ethnically pure and original. On the other side, Anthony F. C. Wallace provides a theoretical approach toward getting indigenous peoples right. It is all about the anthropological implementation in each among most applicable approaches.

The book by Erskine is a so-called material to apply to Wallaces anthropological perspective. It means that the overall analysis of Erskine, as a person who grew up and lived on Jamaica, encounters theoretical touches provided by Wallace. As far as might be seen, it would be fair to make it plain by dint of purely Jamaican suggestions and assumptions by Erskine proved or matched with the theoretical side of Rastafarian religion outlined by Wallace.

First of all, it is vital to admit that the sociology of religion is of interest for Wallace in his anthropological research. The author sincerely points out that each among religions (especially those spread over indigenous people or ethnically unique communities) should be recognized and further analyzed through sociology and anthropology aligned to make out the gist of any religion influencing social equilibrium within the society. In this respect Wallace remarks the following idea

My own personal feeling is that sociological viewpoints (including much social anthropology) tend to focus on the scaffolding and milieu of religion rather than on religion itself, and that religion can best be understood from a combination of psychological and cultural points of view (Wallace, 1966, p. vii)

Such idea is well provided by Erskine who tends to be accurate in identifying the so-called stacks of Rasta among Jamaican. As a matter of fact, when Wallace grabs more attention to the factors (anthropological and sociological) or environment in which a definite religion appears, Erskine highlights a historical as well as personal background to interpret it correctly. In this case one should keep it in mind that Noel Erskine covers in his book the social issue of Rastafarians in its ethical and religious parameters. Erskine admits that due to the start of the Rastafarian movement by Marcus Garvey and the summer of Rasta owing to Bob Marley this religion became remarkable worldwide (Erskine, 2007). Thus, it fulfilled beliefs of all African Ethiopian people on Jamaica, as Jamaicans by origin. To make it clear, one should understand that due to the religious pivot black people on Jamaica do not need to be repatriated to Ethiopia, as they have got their spiritual beginning on this island and in the Rastafarian peaceful ideology.

The Wallaces framework of the religions formation presupposes the fact that people should be apt at creating their values (Wallace, 1966). These ones bear specific traits peculiar to each among individuals (believers). Scaffolding of a religion is definitely a historical process which requires time and peoples efforts to make it grow in a right direction. Providing an idea of the God, as a black figure, was challenging in a country under British supervision since 1655 up to the period of decolonization (Erskine, 2007). By the way, like in many nations, there were people to raise the feeling of personal uniqueness of Jamaican. Garvey and Marley are symbolically identified in the book by Erskine, as the national heroes and holy people who could make the significance of Jah and Rasta higher amid Christian (Catholic) trends (Erskine, 2007).

Wallace in his theoretical ramifications tries to investigate religion in its dynamics and characteristic features by means of finding out the meaning of religion in some psychological or sociological function (Wallace, 1966, p. 51). This corresponds to the way of Erskines discussion when he appeals to the mentality of Jamaican people and their strong will for freedom. Religion should unite people for some unique and cutting edge idea. In case with Rastafarians it is so, since it helps Jamaican people find their place under the sun of Jamaica. Religious prospects underlined in the research by Erskine go around the focal point stated as follows God is an African (Erskine, 2007, p. 158). This strong claim has a background implemented solely in the Rastafarian beliefs and its philosophical and social meaning for Jamaican people.

The psychological milieu of the aforementioned statement can be explained in some ways, because God is the manifestation of a definite peoples attraction, desire, and union as the fulfillment of desire (Allen, 1978). Hence, it is possible to say that Erskine has all grounds to state that for Africans God should be an African only. From the anthropological point of view this sounds quite logical, as it is full of characteristic features referred to the history, sociology, philosophy and psychology of Rasta since its formation into a separate religion of African residents on Jamaica.

Thus, Wallaces arguments in describing religion are appropriate to how Erskine points out Rastafarian religious framework and its cultural as well as social value for Jamaicans. This idea can be supported by the excerpt from the Bible where it is told about the importance of Ethiopian people who were in touch with Israeli people in ancient times. This fact cannot but boost the morale African people and their dedication to Christian God but in terms of Rasta. Erskine builds up a strong and biblically supported assumption growing into a statement that the exodus will be a return to Ethiopia, the Promised Land (Erskine, 2007, p. 38). It is when Wallace tries to avoid the issue of meaning in his academic research on the religion in its description and proper formation (Wallace, 1966). Interestingly to admit that the entire picture of Rastafarian religion and its place among the rest of religious trends and ideologies is fully developed and structured.

To sum up, the theoretical approaches stated by Anthony F. C. Wallace promote an academic framework for the ideas on Rastafarian religion outlined in the book by Noel Leo Erskine. The anthropological and sociological views which Wallace made cornerstone in his observation of religion on the whole fit the claims and the approach (historical) chosen by Erskine. All in all, the philosophical treatment prescribed to Rasta does not go aside from philosophies included in most popular religions of the world.


Genetics may be defined as study of inheritance or heredity and variation in plants and animals (living things). There are several ways through which understanding of genetics has altered the human history course. One of these ways is the agricultural revolution through genetic engineering. Genetics has played a key role in the field of science and in particular developing techniques of nutrition and selective breeding in agricultural production. For instance, the advent of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) led to not only increased food variety but also increased agricultural output to sustain the rapidly growing human population.  Still, researches based on genetics such as cross breeding andor genetic alterations has led to the development of highly productive, fast growing and maturing plants and animals that can withstand particular climates, a factor that ensured relatively steady supply of food.

In the medical field, understanding of genetics has enabled people and especially doctors to have more knowledge about sex-linked abnormalities and disorders such as hemophilia, known to be common in males than women and sex chromosomes, which are believed to occur due to chromosome mutations. Medical research genetics has played a key role in understanding and treatment of genetically linked medical disorders such as cancer and diabetes, which is has greatly helped contain these disorders and diseases. Stem cell research, closely tied to genetics could soon be used to provide cure for diseases such as cancer. Genetics has been a cornerstone for resolving historic controversies such as ethnic origins of groups of people as well as family lineage. Understanding genetics is also important since it has enabled doctors to be able to conduct a DNA test which can act as a proof in determining the real or biological father of a child. It has also enabled people to know about the blood group ABO and also the Rhesus factor, which can help in the process of blood transfusion.

These changes, which are mostly in the field of agriculture and medicine, have impact of medical, legal, social and ethical ramifications which have effect on everybody. For instance, a stem cell research on human beings has remained to be a highly controversial issue. Current system changes ought to be done with professional guidance and input from the medical community so as to ensure that patients benefit from the knowledge of working and professional experience on behalf of them since private and public healthcare policy is evolving for the new medicine accommodation. Professionals in the area of medicine are truly obliged in committing themselves and being involved to the changes of medical policy otherwise those professionals will be just vulnerable like the patients to these effects resulting from the changes in medicine practice.

How Irrational Is Rational

Sometimes we tend to say things that we dont mean due to our anger, pain, shock, sadness and perhaps we might be going through psychological or mental problems. Such situations may make us not to reason with others thus leading us to act and behave in an irrational manner. This paper will seek to address instances of how irrational behavior comes about

It must be said that there is no uniform standard of communication, as it all varies with different age groups culture and settings. What may be perfectly normal in one culture would not be viewed as abnormal in another culture. Elderly people tend to demonstrate amore caution when speaking to third parties than teenagers would do.

However, most of our statements and actions may seem negative, but at times its not always necessarily like that. Irrationality is not always negative there is some positive attributes in it. We shall see some instances of irrational behavior as we continue.

I was having a conversation with my friend Carol when all of a sudden she uttered a statement saying thats crazy Then I over heard a group of boys talking in a bus and one of them said the same statement but it meant and sounded different. If we analyze each of this statement they all mean and sound different.
In the first instance when Carol uttered that statement she was in shock. Our conversation was about a mutual friend who committed suicide and was informing her about the tragic news. The conversation was very peaceful at first. She was eager to hearing what I had to say.

When I told her the tragic news, the mood of the conversation changed to great sadness, traumatizing and it was shocking. Her tone of voice was in shock, when she shouted the statement. Her facial expression changed to anger and pain. Our conversation proceeded to many rhetorical questions, tears, anger and pain.
In our second instance when I heard one of the boys using that very same statement he sounded different. Their conversation was about gender in general. As we know boys like topics that involve women thus their conversation was full of enthusiasm, a lot of cheering booing and yelling.

One of them was talking about how women and men go back to their marriages after they have been beaten by their husbands and wives. During the conversation one of the boys made a comment by saying thats crazy His facial expressions changed in manner that showed that, that kind of behavior is stupid and madness. He saw no logic and reasoning for such kind of behavior. To him it was absurd The boys looked eager to discover and talk about more about women. The conversation proceeded to a broader discussion of the topic.

When Carol reacted the way she did her emotions got the best of her, she was too angry and in pain such that she stood pacing around not believing what she just heard. At that moment no one could calm her down leave alone me. She was not in a state to reason with anyone.

The only possible way to bring her back to reality and into her senses was to give her time to cool down. Her response to the news took me by great surprise. Carol looked like the strong type one who could handle any kinds of news. It was obvious this particular news was different. She took it in a very painful way. Some would argue that women are irrational, emotional and reactionary beings. After that kind of reaction from Carol I had to use a different take in relaying the news to her. I didnt want both of us to be weak and start behaving irrationally. Somebody had to be strong.  I had to take a rational approach.

Also in the boys conversation before the discussion got wild one of them had to take a rational approach if they wanted to precede peacefuuly with their discussion. As we know boys can always get violent any time anywhere. Usually such topics are gender sensitive. One has to watch what he or she is saying.

You may find that one of the boys is a victim, a sister to the boys or a close friend. It can be anyone we know. There those who may feel insulted because they have good reasons why women and men do what they do. And by questioning that reasoning they feel demeaned. After the statement from one of the boys thats crazy the boys started arguing in the sense that there were others supporting him and others disagreeing with him. This however, led to an argument. The discussion became personal to others.

Somewhere in the middle of the argument one of the boys changed the topic immediately and mentioned. Alicia Keys. This drifted the attention to everyone. Sometimes it is very difficult to try reasoning with boys. As they say boys will always be boys. They can also be emotional and sensitive.

In this two instances of irrationality, if this peoples responses were different perhaps many things would have not happen. If Carol didnt use that statement thats crazy A lot of issues wouldnt have been brought up. If her response was little bit calmer and polite the conversation would have ended well. We would have reasoned well together. She would have taken the news in a calm way. If indeed what she said was true its crazy looking at it at that point of view, the incident would be partially true.

By proving this statement we mean that no one has the right to commit suicide with good or bad reasons. Life is valuable and precious. The victim had to be totally crazy for her to do that.

The victim should at least have talked to a psychologist, a friend or even someone in the family about her problems. Also its sounds crazy in the sense that the victim was not thinking of the consequences, she was not reasoning at all. Its also crazy absurd that Carol had just talked to her the previous day then all over sudden she finds out she died.

When we look at it in another point of view not being crazy it could perhaps mean that the victim had a very good reason of doing what she did. Maybe she had received very bad news about herself like having Aids, being raped, or she saw her parents being killed etc. All this was a reason for her committing suicide as she saw no reason of leaving and she knew no one could help her. Perhaps Carol used a different statement like Oh my God it would have brought different meaning

In the boys conversation if the boy used a different statement like thats unbelievable it would have brought a different effect to their conversation. If we explore more on what he said, the victims are indeed crazy to go back to domestic violent relationships perhaps there is some truth in it.

If we reason in that manner the craziness comes about when someone violates you in any way one should leave or report the incident to the authorities. Going back to such kind of relationships is madness and crazy. There is always a way. Its hard to understand how someone can beat you and you still go back to the same place for further beating, thats why its sounds crazy.

To those boys who disagree they reasoned that people always go back because they believe they can change, or because of love. Others go back because they cant leave their children without both parents they go back for the sake of the children. Everybody has their own reasons for their actions. They will support their facts differently whether we agree with them or not. Our irrational actions tend us to do things that we might regret, hurt others or protect ourselves from society.

Another instance of irrational behavior, I witnessed is when my friend, Debra won a large sum of money. She was called by a presenter on the radio when they gave her the news. All she said was are you kidding Please tell me youre not kidding Are you kidding She looked so happy and exited. She almost collapsed. Before the news, we were just talking about how broke she was, how she needed money so badly and how she had engaged into many competitions but no reply. Surprisingly our conversation was interrupted when her phone rang. We were all eager to know what it was all about. We thought someone was trying to prank her, we thought the news being delivered was bad but after seeing her screaming we knew it was very good news.
Words were just bubbling from her mouth saying that she had just won one million dollars. From what I saw she was not even thinking of what she was saying. She was saying many different statements at the same time. After the phone call conversation she started talking about what she was going to do with the money. If we compared the previous conversation we were having just before the phone rang and our current conversation the mood and tone changed. There was life in our conversation everybody was laughing out aloud, our tone of voices became higher they were no longer dull. It was a very happy moment.

Debra expressed her self in everyway she sang, jumped up and down. She was overwhelmed. Some times our irrational behaviors are usually driven by our emotions, causing us to behave in questionable ways.
 According to Sergei Ganini (Irrationality vs. rationality), when we are in an irrational moment the decisions we make are not that concrete they can easily be altered. Like Debra she was already planning on what she was going to do with her money, such plans may easily be altered in the future. He also says that such drastic decisions may also affect our overall perceptions on situations which results in us making mistakes.

Debras reaction to the phone call triggered our responses and thoughts. At first we got confused of her reaction and the response she gave the presenter. Her statement got us thinking a lot. When we try reasoning with her when she said that statement it could perhaps mean many different things to different people. Before Debra shouted with happiness her statement got us thinking someone was trying to prank her and she was not happy with the prank. That is why she said are you kidding. Another instance it could be she couldnt believe what she just heard It was too good to be true thus she thought it was a joke. Also the phone call could be someone giving her bad news perhaps an accident that occurred and since such tragic news are hard to take in she hoped it was a false alarm or a joke

There are situations where the news could be so good that it took her by surprise and all she could think of saying was are you kidding Other instances are where some statement may sound crazy, weird and absurd for one to respond in such a way. Like I said before irrationality is not necessarily negative. In our instance about Debra its positive.

There times being irrational seems very logical at that time, our emotions gets the best of us. We do and say things without reasoning or thinking. As much as it may sound absurd we have logical yet completely irrational moments. At times we are not even aware of our actions we realize them later after we have calmed down when we have gotten used to the news and we are no longer overwhelmed about it.

However, if Debra used perhaps another phrase or attributed a different statement things would have been different. If she took the news calmly all through her telephone conversation we would have thought that something was very wrong somewhere. But her mood, tone sound changed later on. For instance, if Debra used a different statement like I have won Hurrah I have won This would have answered all our questions. We wouldnt have thought twice on what was going on.

Since most people know that Debra had engaged in certain competition it will be obvious for them to know what the conversation was about. Before we were eager to know what was happening. There was suspense everywhere. But in this situation her facial expression, body language and her voice said it all.

In conclusion irrational behavior can come in different forms it can be absurd, weird, crazy, questionable etc. Peoples interests differ from what they believe to be their interests. People will always debate on whats rational and whats not. There situations that may make us behave in rational and others irrational ways. Such situations are what trigger our immediate actions. Our actions may be positive or negative depending on what triggered it. What is rational can also be irrational and vice versa.

It is important to note that each individuals reaction is unique. Peoples reactions also vary according to the different personal circumstances. Some people are known to be much more careful with their utterances. All said and done it is paramount that each individual weighs their words carefully as spoken  word  ma have far reaching  and long lasting consequences on those it is unleashed to. Especially when one is a cross-cultural setting where some phrases may be deeply offensive not just to the onuss it is intended for but those around.


Polygamy is a Latin word which means a marriage form where any person has more than one spouse at a time. This is an opposition to monogamy, which means having just one spouse at a time. In case of a man who has more than one wife that relationship is called polygamy and where a woman has more than one husband at a time that relationship is called polyandry. A group marriage is one where a marriage has multiple numbers of wives and husbands.

Why chose this topic
The topic of polygamy even though being a sensitive issue is important on purely a human level.  The reason why this topic has been chosen is because of the greater variety of insights on this topic by different people or different scholars. Though, people are still trying to figure out whether polygamy is good or bad. Polygamy is having more than one spouse and in mankind it is being practiced for thousands of years.

Polygamy basically is a very ancient problem which is to be found in many of the societies. The Bible had never condemned polygamy. The Old Testament and the rabbinic had whereas done writings on the legality to polygamy. This Old Testament contains some injunctions about how the property of the man is to be distributed among his sons which are from different wives. A ban on polygamy is that a man cannot marry a wifes sister to make that as a rival wife. Polygamy had been practiced till the sixteenth century. The ancient Israelites had been in great number in the past having more than one wife at a time. The examples of this are King Solomon (peace is upon him) who had seven hundred wives. Jacob (Yacub, peace be upon him) had four wives and David (Dawood) had ninety nine. There were no societal rules before about how many wives a man can have or how these women are to be treated, but there was some advice given by the Jewish men regarding these matters and they had stated that a man should not have more than four wives. There were no statements against polygamy from Jesus. Polygamy had started being accepted and practiced in the seventeenth century. In the United States the Mormons has allowed practice for polygamy.  The rumors that this church had been having polygamy practices even led to persecution. But even then the Mormons continued the practice of polygamy even despite the existence of the laws because they had believed that this practice had been protected by the religious freedom in the Bill of Rights.

Past insights on polygamy
In the past polygamy was considered a problem like it is today. For thousands of years there has been a constant debate between polygamy and monogamy. Both of these sides had been assuming that polygamy is what men like the most. Talking about reality, polygamy is something that victimizes none but only men. This is something anyone would have never thought about as polygamy is considered to be something good for men (Sailer, 2002). The people who are against the polygamy practice argue that the feelings of creating gender equality are clearly impossible in polygamy. The husband needs to organize all his wives like a unit that is to be a military unit with himself being the commanding general to all wives. The husband is the one who has to deal with greater problems in polygamy. He is responsible for the happiness of all the wives, but he rarely succeeds in doing so. He is always a very happy and nervous person. He rarely makes any effort in bringing all the wives together as he fears that conflicts might occur and because of this he isnt able to give all his wives equal and considerable time.  

Current insights on polygamy
The new insights on polygamy or the current view on polygamy has changed quite a little. The Father Eugene Hillman has reconsidered polygamy in his insightful book. In the New Testament it has been nowhere mentioned about any commandment that the marriage needs to be monogamous and nor is their any commandment of forbidding polygamy. The Father Hillman has stated that in order to conform to the Roman-Greco culture the church in Rome banned polygamy. Other people may also be affected by polygamy. Many of the men cant get a wife because some men are just marrying more than 150 wives. Having a second wife for one man, in the normal course means that the other man will get no wife. Presently in this modern time the Rabbinic Judaism has outlawed polygamy essentially. The Karaite Jews do not stick to the Torah Rabbinic interpretations polygamy almost is non existent today. The todays view of polygamy is all about the desire of a man to marry all women and then have children with them. (Rauch, 2006). Today in America, the most and the main constituents for the polygamous marriages are the Mormons. Till today there are no polygamous societies that can be called true liberal democracy. Societies slowly move away from the hierarchies and thus leave polygamy behind and do not consider it significantly. Monogamy is something that can provide everyone a shot at marriage whereas polygamy reduces the chances of many men from getting married. In the polygamous societies the crime rates are higher too. In a polygamous world the males cannot take marriage for granted as they grow up and thus the consequences can turn out to be ugly.
In the present times for some modern societies it remains a very viable solution. There is a severe gender crisis in the United States in the black community. Most of the young black men are dying at the age of 21 and homicide is said to be the reason for the deaths of men between 20 to 35 years of age (Song, 2007). Many of the young black men just surrender to the inner city youth problems and many of the black women are left unmarried. Many of the black mothers too become single mothers around the age of 20 and need someone to support them. This eventually leads to many of the black women in affairs with other men who are married and their wives have no idea that they are sharing their husbands with some other women.

Polygamy as mentioned is having more than one spouse and it has greater problems. It is a problem which is quite famous in some cultures and newer insights are given to it presently. It should be banned because of its disadvantages. The wives of a polygamous man are never content and happy with their husbands as their husband cant give them enough time (Lankford, 2008). The kids too are greatly affected by this as they don not have enough time to spend with their dads. Moreover, it is very difficult to have more than one wife in a house. A great deal of social resentment occurs.


What key adaptations do humans share with other primates How do humans differ from other primates

Today, anthropologists recognize that both humans and apes display advanced evolutionary features, and differ equally (but in separate ways) from their common ancestor (Lewin 10). In order to further explore this idea, it will be necessary to enumerate the similarities and differences, in terms of evolutionary adaptation features, of primates and humans. First, both primates and humans (Homo sapiens) are able to thrive in a variety of tropical environments but only humans are capable of living in wide geographical areas and in tolerating extreme weather and environmental conditions (Lewin 60). Next, both humans and primates possess a pair of hands with fingers that has the ability to grasp but regarding the function of the feet, only primates has retained the grasping characteristic of their feet while humans use their feet for upright walking. Lastly, both humans and primates possess a well-developed eyesight which is correlated with the acquisition of larger brains as compared with other mammalian orders.

By analysis, it can be said that humans and primates share a number of key adaptive features but three features place humans above all the other mammalian species and these are the following great intelligence, habitual upright walking, and a more complex form of group-oriented organization and behavior (Lewin 61). In general, these adaptive features have enabled both humans and primates to survive evolutionary challenges but the uniqueness of each accounts for the preservation of primate and human lineage.

Human Cultural, Ecological and Biological Adaptations

In the life of every human being, the cultural, ecological and biological aspects are considered to be very essential. These mainly reflect the roots and identity of an individual. In terms of adaptation, I personally believe that these three different aspects have great rapport with each other. Thus, from a personal point, the cultural, ecological and biological aspects relate with each by giving great considerations in each specific meaning and importance, as far as adaptation is concerned.

I believe that in human adaptation, the cultural aspect relate to the ecological and biological facets in a sense that an individual has to adjust according to the set-up of new environment. The adaptation of an individual with different cultural background connects to that of new nature by being open to a specific form of environment in order to fit in the whole system. For instance, a migrant individual has to adjust according to a new system and environment even if it means accepting new set of rules that differ from hisher own cultural background. Ecology and culture relate to each other in a way that differences do not serve as hindrance, but a consideration in order to create a better harmony and sound process of adaptation.

Thus, from a personal point of view, these three different aspects work in concert under a common goal which is to achieve the greatest possible result in human adaptation. These three forms do not necessarily need to outperform each other in order for an individual to survive and surpass the whole process of adaptation.
The 2010 Smithsonian Folklive Festival has many things to do with gender, sex, and sexuality. In fact, the whole performance falling into several core sections was patterned greatly by devoted people representing their indigenous likes and traditions. The pivotal attention on this show was likely to be grabbed to sexuality among ethnicities. Girls appreciating Sikhism or women sharing Japanese Koto music, or even men (Islanders) describing pop music and the way people should move on the stage  all these pushed a visitor to think about sex and sexuality among representatives of different genders and cultures. Rendering null all biases based on ethnical diversity, Asian Pacific Americans (APA) and Mexican Americans were in focus this time. Out of their culture visitors (in the number of 1 million during the whole period of festival) could share the particularities and uniqueness of the plays, calligraphies, theatrical performances, Inside Out section, etc (Nash, 2010).

In this respect, one should pay attention that both men and women were interwoven into showcasing their cultural heritage and what they appreciate out of it. The most remarkable workshop represented by a man was Kwon Myoung-Wons 150-foot-long scroll (implemented in good traditions of Korean calligraphy) (Nash, 2010). Women were amazing in reproducing and showing a spectacular Japanese Koto music and Sikh Kirtani Jatha (Nash, 2010). Such performance left a really lasting impression on each among visitors. It also reminded about the way APAs wanted to show their culture along with their personal century-long tradition of intimacy and sexuality. It was especially exemplified by dint of corn ceremonies (Cuenta-Cuentos) (Nash, 2010).

On the other side, one should have paid attention to the official schedule of the festival. It presupposed a sequential and equal delineation of different ethnical communities ready to show their performance. The schedule included
Asian Pacific Americans Local Lives, Global Ties
Smithsonian Inside Out
Special Events
Haiti, George Wallace, Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert (Nash, 2010).

The concept of sex and sexuality was quite disclosed by dint of cooking, clothing ceremony, music and dance. It corresponds especially to the histories of each among the rituals and traditional ways of applying the aforementioned cultural features. The participants could represent their culture in terms of their concept of sexuality and sex as such. It was shown through a devotion of a man and a woman toward each other. Of course, it was all about family life. Mexicans demonstrated such a harmony through Costa Chica-style Cooking Pescado a la Talla (Nash, 2010). APAs were fabulous in representing their cultures and features of sex and sexuality through martial arts, healing arts, and ritual arts (Nash, 2010, p. 1).

Moreover, the role of women in cooking, clothing, tea ceremonies, and in playing music and dancing is low-key. It manifests the role of morality as of sex and sexuality among APAs and Mexican representatives on the festival. On the other hand, it made emphasis on a hidden character of sexuality among individuals from the ethnical minorities living in the United States.

The issue of sexuality among different races is a complicated issue. On the festival it referred to the section of Talkstory and Multiracial Home, in particular (Nash, 2010). This is why the festival had it as the main purpose to show visitors the versatility of cultural legacy represented in the United States rejecting any bigotry about any of the performances staged. Thus, the anthropological constituent was in evidence during the whole period of the festival itself. It means that cultural peculiarities shown on the Smithsonian Folklive Festival went hand in hand with points on gender equality and justification of sex and sexuality prospects.

Seeing Beyond the Crafted Notions of Witchcraft

Witchcraft and magic has been a topic of great interest in various fields including Anthropology and the Natural Sciences. This has been a great concern among the Roman Catholic Church that led to the Inquisition. Contemporary researchers attempted to shed light to the issue of witchcraft being diabolical in nature as the Roman Catholic Church has painted by documenting witch trials that happened in the early centuries in America and England. Most documented cases are from the trial records of people accused of engaging in witchcraft places where witchcraft has been known to have occurred. Evidently, witchcraft has been placed in a negative light due to so many factors including the Roman Catholic Church.

The Witch in Folklore Spells, Charms and Amulets
There are various definitions of the word witch in these contemporary times. However, the witch in folklore (or the stereotypic definition of witch) has been defined as someone who uses magic to harm human beings, farm animals or property (Simpson and Westwood 104, Stein and Stein 236). Clearly, the witch in folklore is someone with a negative image. Moreover, they were viewed as those with the ability to cast spells and charms as well as create amulets to protect themselves against same attacks from other witches. This stereotypic notion would later be redressed by researchers who have studied what these witches really do and the reasons behind their persecutions. It has also helped that even witches from different cultures have also been studies for comparison.

Contemporary witchcraft practitioners have a different definition of a witch but are still anchored with the belief of them having the ability to cast spells, charms and create amulets for protection. Leek provided a definition of the contemporary witch when she said that a witch is a woman who possesses out of the ordinary powers of good and evil. These powers are directly linked to how the person understands the truths in her religion. How these powers are used is entirely dependent on how the person deems it to be (214).

Bonewitz (2001) has proposed several interesting classifications of European and American witches. He calls a person who makes use of magic and divination, uses herbs as medicines and poisons, practices midwifery and other methods of healing to both humans and animals as classic witch. A person who worships the Christian Devil to gain magical powers that are used to harm others is classified under gothic witch while someone who practices modern Satanism and emulates what the stereotypic notions of Christians against witches is classified under neo-gothic. The witches who have practiced paganism and the occult for generations within their families are classified by Bonewitz as family traditions or fam-trad. Peasants, classic witches, fam-trads, and Native American and African slaves who have moved to America from elsewhere and continued to keep their beliefs are classified as immigrant traditions or imm-trads. Duo theistic religion practitioners who worship a combination of Greco-Roman and Celtic goddesses of the Moon, the Earth and the Sea and who may also call themselves Wiccans are classified under neo-pagan witchcraft. Feminists who are spiritually-inclined and hold beliefs from ancient traditions are classified as feminist witchcraft, which is an outgrowth of neo-pagan witchcraft. Bonewitz also proposed that practitioners of non-English religious magical systems such as Voodoo be classified under ethnic witches and anyone else from other cultures or sub-cultures that practice magic be called anthropological witches.

The stereotype view of witchcraft can be traced in the 16th and 17th century of Tudor and Stuart England where the term was loosely used to refer to about anything that operates on ritual and magic (Thomas in Douglas 48). The classification that has been proposed by Bonewitz gives us an idea that witchcraft does not hold a universal sense. We can also deduce that causing harm is not what witches generally and solely do because some also heal and perform midwifery.

Belief in Witchcraft and Witch Persecutions
Witchcraft may be argued to have existed for a long time but records of such belief in England and America have been highly prominent during the sixteenth and seventeenth century that most researchers start at that period. The development of witchcraft and magic was seen by Keith as something that was necessitated by the environment. It was such that new beliefs develop each time the environment changes (i.e. pre-industrial to industrial times). However, he noted that the central concern of these beliefs is the explanation and relief of human misfortunes which was highly reflective of the hazard and insecurity of the environment during the sixteenth and seventeenth century (5).

The persecutions of witches in England can be marked by the enacting of the first English Statute in 1542 but, according to McFarlane, the general notion before that date is not really clear (14). He also mentioned that most authorities (or those who have intensely studied witchcraft) believe that witchcraft was considered a branch of heresy that the State later punished as an ecclesiastical offense under the writ de haeretico comburendo. The persecutions for the practice of witchcraft and other related incidents in Europe were, in whole, a number of scattered trials that focused on individuals who were suspected or accused of performing harmful magic and there were also occasional mass trials that were caused by anxiety of the possible existence of an underground society of devil worshippers (Bever 263).

In America, the most famous and most researched persecution of witches is the Salem trials in Salem (now known as Danvers), Massachusetts. According to Reed, the Salem trials took place in 1692 when a number of young women under Minister Samuel Parris household suddenly fell into fits and had visions. These girls began accusing some townspeople of tormenting them while the affliction spread beyond Salem. Finally, the governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony set up the court of Oyer and Terminer in June to try the accused witches which were growing in number. A total of nineteen people were hanged for being charged of the crime of witchcraft of which 13 were women and 6 were men. Two of all the accused died in jail while a certain Giles Corey was pushed to death for remaining silent while being questioned by the judges.

Analysis on the Persecutions
Mayer has proposed that the increase in witchcraft accusation is actually a sign that the society is experiencing disorder and a disturbance in the moral standards of the community. He also points out that this notion has been confirmed by anthropological studies that have shown several cases where the increase of witch phenomena happens in a community that is experiencing a social breakdown (15).

Researchers have various analyses on the persecutions of witches that occurred during the middle ages. In explaining the occurrences of these persecutions (particularly, the Salem witch trials), a number of researchers provide an analysis that border on socio-economic, gender-based, and medical and psychological explanation but these analyses are still somewhat speculative (Doty and Hiltonen 458).
Thomas, for instance, explains that the belief in witchcraft is based on at least three functions first, it explains the occurrence of misfortune and it possesses a way of redressing the misfortune second, it reinforces norms and lastly, it serves as a way of justifying the exclusion of charity cases. In simpler terms, witchcraft serves three purposes to provide an explanation for the unexplainable, to give a set of cultural behaviors for coping with misfortune and to give a definition for morality (Evans-Pritchard in Stein and Stein 244).  Thomas concludes, then, that the persecutions were actually a reflection of social tensions that exist between community-held traditions and individualistic behavior that can also be seen in how the privileged acts ambivalently towards the poor.

Anderson and Gordon, meanwhile, analyze that the witch persecution showed how the (English) society treated women. They found that there were generally more female than male who were persecuted for witchcraft and believed this to be because women were treated as inferior and inherently evil (181).  This was apparently drawn from vast written accounts both theological and otherwise. It can be noted that even in the bible, it was the female Eve who encouraged Adam to take a bite from the forbidden fruit. Also, in Greek mythology, it was Helen who is supposed to have been the root cause of the Trojan War.
The Role of Contemporary Social Science Researchers

Witchcraft is seen by many for its value in maintaining homeostasis or social order. It is also been noted that the rise of activities related to witchcraft is an indicator that the social order is disturbed due to violation of moral standards. Others see witchcraft as a means for justifying negative attitude towards the less-privileged in the society. It has served several purposes yet it has also cost the lives of innocent people.

Anthropological and psychological analysis of witchcraft has provided new perspectives for explaining the occurrences of witchcraft in some societies and why it is present only in some societies. Nevertheless, we have no detailed account for any society that provides sufficient data on all three levelssociological, ideological, and psychologicalto enable us to begin to chart the possible interdependences and autonomies of such factors (Beidelman in Douglas 355). This observation was made in 1970 yet it remains to be a concern of Social Scientists who study witchcraft to date.

In ethnology, the anthropologists work is to provide an analysis for the various and voluminous ethnographic accounts made by previous researchers. The same principle can be applied in the study of witchcraft. Instead of doing more studies and collecting more data, researchers can now focus on analyzing recorded accounts and comparing the accounts.

In these contemporary times, extensive researches have been made to bring to light the different truths about witchcraft across different cultures. The Roman Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II has even apologized for the Spanish Inquisition that has caused the deaths of so many innocents. So many critics have expressed their disgust over the fact that women have been accused of witchcraft more than men because of the negative and derogatory notions that are attached to their gender.

However, we still see traces of witches being put under the negative light and being sublimely persecuted. For instance, Disney movies and fairytales are still illustrating witches as wicked individuals who inflict harm on people. Also, crimes that have been recorded as witchcraft-related have been highlighted by the media. Because of this, there is still the stereotypic notion that contemporary witchcraft practitioners offer virgins or children to Satana notion that is not held by Wiccans (contemporary witches).

The practice of witchcraft started as a craft of healing and helping bring children to the world. It has been unfairly accused of being negative through different factorsmainly, the Puritans in America and the Roman Catholic Church in England. No longer should witchcraft be treated unfairly as before and no longer should lives be sacrificed in the name of witchcraft, whether it is for punishing the practitioner or as a misinterpretation of the belief (i.e. human sacrifice).

The Concept of Global Warming Is Becoming Protracted

The countering of global warming is inevitable for the survival of humanity. However, the entire prospect of reducing the menace seems to be much commercialized to alarming proportions. Taking the costs incurred in the purchase carbon offsets for example, transaction directly and indirectly related to this are estimated to cost 150 Billion. The future projections even look more perturbing, standing at an estimated 3 trillion in the year 2020.

The increase in the industrial prospects of the world should have been coupled with proportionate increases in the forests to counter the large emissions of carbons. However, rather than having the forest coverage increased, the forests reserve land have been grabbed as has been mentioned above. In fighting the global warming menace, the start point should be the redemption of such cardinal land parcels and subsequent use in the increasing of the forest cover.

The world however, seems to have some misplaced priorities, concentrating on the causal factors and letting alone the contributing factors. Indeed if the combating efforts are turning out to be business as mentioned above, the efforts towards the alleviation of the menace would be sabotaged and scuttled. Perhaps what Copenhagen needed to have ardently addressed was probable approaches towards combating the menace, in particular what should be done about the forests.

The forests will suck the carbons from the airs and therefore reduce the overall green house effect. On the other extreme, when the world allows for the wanton destruction of the forests through burning the carbons absorbed by the trees are released into the atmosphere. This turns out to be a double tragedy.

The present land tenure system in Mexico is just as questionable coupled with the issue of land grabbing (Jakes Kosek, 4). Traversing the entire country, it emerges that numerous personal parcels of land, public parcels of land and communal land parcels have been grabbed. These have led to unwarranted landlessness by genuine land owners. Subsequently, the landless have opted to seek refuge within the forests. This has directly led to the deforestation and therefore to the overwhelming effects of global warming.

While it needs to be appreciated that transportation emissions also highly contribute to the carbon emissions into the atmosphere, the proportions resultant from this source are relatively low. Ultimate, the chief contributor to the menace is deforestation, accounting for an estimated 20. Appreciably, America and other forested nations are in favor of the practice except Europe, where the policy guidelines on the same are slightly blurred leaving the practice to shear chance.   It is largely agreeable that global warming is taking toll on the goings-on of the entire universe. However, the concept seems to be getting largely protracted by the day. In deed, the larger causal factor of global warming is emanating from the activities of industrialization but there are other fatal aspects of the aspect than just the emissions from the industries. The other aspects are largely sidelined yet their contributions to the whole treacherous aspect of global warming appear very surmountable.

Environmentalists have exerted sufficient pressure on the government of the day towards the development, adoption and the implementation of policies that would be incidental in the promotion of the overall environmental conservation prospects. Inherently, such policies as the adoption of forest grazing policies have been meant to reduce the activities being carried out in the forests (Jakes Kosek, 8). It is this continued dwelling in the forests that result in the wanton destruction of the forests.

The government has given small scale timber industries access to the forests. While the government may want to cry foul about the goings-on in the forests, this move shows that their concerns could just be as belated. If not, the government would just be interested in the presentation of paradoxes emanating from its precincts.

The entire evil of deforestation seems to be precipitated by the capitalist nature of the Mexican government and nationals (Jakes Kosek,  19). Each individual wants to reap the most out of the ventures they undertake. Given this approach to the undertaking of the nationals, everybody is only bothered about their benefits rather than the resultant effects to the entire nation. In the process of amazing the most out of a venture, the majority poor and middle class end up paying for these evils.

Class and race seem to be equally playing some surmountable role in the destruction taking place in the forests in Mexico. The marginalized seem to resort to crime when they lack a sure and reliable source of income. Such evils are in the form of poaching, illegal charcoal burning in the woods and timber harvesting for the rich without bothering about the treacherous repercussions of the practice. Fervently, the argument presented here is that if the levels of poverty were reduced, the citizens would resist being dragged into engaging in criminal acts such as has been mentioned.

Deforestation has also been largely caused by the time to time forest fires that have been caused both intentionally and accidentally. Those who burn the forests intentionally are normally driven by hidden motives that would range from the diversion of the guards within the forests from the cardinal duty of protecting the forests to the fires hence allowing the criminals to undertake their crimes of poaching and tree harvesting (Jakes Kosek, 22).

The animals and other living creatures within the forest have had their lives being jeopardized (Jakes Kosek, 53). Not only have these lives been endangered through the fires but also the poachers and hunters. The government needs to adopt policies that would have the forest areas as protected areas. Unless the government undertakes swift measures towards this end, some of the animals that would largely be utilized in the attraction of tourists would become extinct. Perhaps another approach by the government worth adopting would be the proper specification of the forest resources to ensure the larger populace is made aware of the preserve of the forests.

Within the precinct of the systems approach to management, the government should make efforts aimed at integrating the neighborhood of the forest and forest management (Jakes Kosek, 56). This will lead to the acquisition of the support from the neighborhood towards identifying and protecting against any dangers to the survival of the forest resources. Besides, the community will feel part of the entire process of safeguarding their environment and therefore play an active role.

Mining in Mexico has also been a key cause of pollution concerns and therefore global warming. The mining industry should be made to even pay more for the damages that are caused through the resultant pollutions. Perhaps an alternative would be through the funding of the forestation prospects by the mining firms. This would both reduce the government expenditure towards reduction of the fumes in the atmosphere and also increase the overall forests cover in Mexico (Jakes Kosek, 65).

Overall, the challenging concept of global warming should not be blamed on the industrialization wholesome, but should be seen as a resultant of all the human activities. Hence the resolution of the menace should be a result of concerted effort from the entire human race, give that each has contributed to this dilapidating state (Jakes Kosek, 66).

Indeed when any individual goes against the tenets of society, it appears inevitable that that the delinquent deserves punishment of whatever nature (Foucault, p 73). Nevertheless, the justification of punishment seems to be being protracted to levels too far. Perhaps the best approach to analyzing punishment would be set very specific objectives of any punishment. Formative, it needs to appreciated that infliction of pain should not be part of the objective of any punishment.

Torture today seems to have been taken as part of punishment (Foucault, p 78). However, it has been espoused by a number of psychologists that punishment only tends to harden the criminal, preparing him for bigger criminal engagements. In addition, torture seems an aspect of double tragedy as the act not only causes hardened criminals but it does also cause much human suffering (Foucault, p 103).

Similarly, it needs to be acknowledged that crime has also been largely caused by the increasing levels of poverty. The dire need is therefore to try and reduce the levels of poverty than torture the criminals. In spite of the torture that criminals get, it is evident that the crimes seem to be evolving relatively fast (Foucault, p 79).  Today, crimes involving the shedding of blood have relatively reduced, but have been effectively replaced but crimes of fraudulent nature.

The pardons being offered by the royalties in countries also seem to complicate the entire aspect of punishment and crime prevention. The royalties may just well have their vested interests (Foucault, p 86). In earnest, the act of pardon presents a contradiction between the justice system and the political class. However, the ultimate objective of the punishment should be utterly corrective and not torturous.

In addition, the judges may equally have vested interests in the decision that they mete during their ruling against the criminals (Foucault, p 92). By making the punishment corrective, pain is eliminated in total for the suspected criminals who otherwise are innocent but convicted. Perhaps even those who indiscriminately kill animals should be equally punished. Given that illegality is utterly becoming an inherent part of society, reformation offers the bests and worth option.

The best approach to punishment should be simply vesting the responsibility to the large populace such that whoever finds criminal rounds him up and has the criminal punished in whatever manner without necessarily inflicting pains (Foucault, p 93).  The person who punishes the criminal should be rewarded by the government. However, the principle criteria for punishment should be that the punishment remains very humane.

The starting point towards this end should be the stringent and very specific definition of punishment in accordance to the respective offences (Foucault, p 100). This should be done with due appreciation of the fact that unpunished crimes would be repeated anyhow. If rehabilitation through talking would have the criminal change, definitely society will believe that the criminal was punished, provided the objective has been ardently achieved.

Lords of Nature

The wolves of the Yellowstone region are members of the canine family and they nearly disappeared from the West by the early 1900s (Wood, 1997). In most cases, wolves are normally mistaken for domestic dogs or coyotes but they are large in shape and their snout distinguishes them from other canine species. In 1930, a federal agent killed the last indigenous wolves of Yellowstone. Following this, in 1933, the Yellowstone community adopted a policy that limited the unnecessary killing of any predators in the park, but this move was late as the park had lost the lives of many wolves to predators. Since this, a conceptual evolution started to take place and the main objective of this evolution was to restore the wolf to the ecosystem of Yellowstone, reinstate the endemic biodiversity and begin to circulate. When the endangered species act was stipulated in 1973, the wolves were listed as an endangered species in the US (Wood, 1997). The Fish and Wildlife Service was proposed, introducing an experimental population of wolves into Yellowstone National Park as part of a recovery plan or effort. This recovery plan included certain special regulations that were effected from 1994 that generally stipulated how the wolves in Yellowstone would be managed as a non-crucial experimental population under Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act (Wood, 1997).

During the substantial years of the absence of wolves from the 1920s to the 1990s, the recruitment of the woody browse species such as the aspen, cottonwood and willow quickly came to an end with concurrent impacts on beaver, soils and other ecosystem conditions (Wood, 1997). In addition to this, with the removal of and killing of wolves, ungulates could now browse their winter range largely unobstructed by predation regardless of fire regimes, climate and other factors. Furthermore, the killing and removal of wolves from Yellowstone s ecosystem efficiently eliminated any kind of wolf-driven tropic cascades that had in times gone by influenced the numbers of elk and foraging numbers that in turn sustained a vigorous distribution and framework of deciduous woody plant communities (Wood, 1997). According to Wood (1997), the results from the documented cases of tropic cascades in Yellowstone involving moose, willow, birds, wolves, elk and aspen even in the Canadian Rocky Mountains thoroughly affected the ecosystem of these areas.

Leopold was the first person to suggest that the absence of wolves in the northern range of Yellowstone was the main reason for the vegetation damage that was a result of high levels of browsing by the elk. Therefore, Yellowstone had lost its cougars and wolves with the result that the elks were ruining the flora, especially on the winter range (Wood, 1997). Moreover, there are other hypothesis that have attempted to explain the decline of the woody vegetation, including the lower water tables, fluctuation or climate change, chemical defenses of plants, wildfire suppression, Native American influences, loss of beaver, ungulate migration patterns, changes to the northern range outside the park as well as the diverse combination of all these factors (Wood, 1997). On the other hand, it now seems that Leopold s original thoughts provide a compelling explanation of the vegetation impacts since there is a strong evidence of tropic cascades through associations among elks, wolves and multiple woody browse species (Wood, 1997).

The connectors in this situation will be Leopold as he linked with the relevant authorities to portray the problem that Yellowstone was experiencing that was a result of the reduction of wolves that had a negative effect on the ecosystem of Yellowstone. In addition to this, the mavens in this case will be the wolves as they are needed in the ecosystem for the ecosystem to be successful. Without the wolves, the ecosystem witnessed an immense change as the wolves are top predators and without them, all the other animal and plant species were affected in Yellowstone.

In 1995, after a lot of compromise and litigation, scientists started to introduce wolves from Canada into Yellowstone National Park. From 1995 to 1997, a total of 41 wolves were brought to Yellowstone National Park. The main objective of the officially adopted wolves and unanimously compromised recovery plan was to reintroduce about 30 wolves to Idaho and Yellowstone each year for the next period of about three to five years, or until 10 packs of wolves were set up and stable (Wood, 1997). A pack of wolves is typically made up of an alpha pair, young wolves born that same year and in some cases, a few older wolves that may or may not be related to the alpha pair. The population of the reintroduced wolves should be stabilized at the pre-designated and the agreed upon stage, from the endangered level to the threatened category. Additionally, in the compromise plan, the possibility that once these bare minimum desirable population objectives were achieved, the synchronized hunting of these wolves would be allowed in order to control the population of the wolves from becoming too large (Wood, 1997).

According to Wood (1997), the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone is slowly changing the balance of the ecosystem. The elks are no longer wandering in the open and the power of the coyote has been significantly reduced. Furthermore, the wolves are also restoring the natural equilibrium of Yellowstone streamside willows and cotton woods are vigorously growing once again in the overgrazed areas for the first time in over a decade. Furthermore, Wood (1997) states that there is a process known as  the ecology of fear  that is at work and through this a balance has been restored to a fundamental ecosystem. On the other hand, unlike other predators, the wolves of Yellowstone leave moose and elk carcasses. These leftovers provide meals for other animals and scavenging coyotes. The controversy of the wolves of Yellowstone have led ranches, environmentalists and other stakeholders to conclude if there is a plan that can be ecologically beneficial and how this plan can be achieved (Wood, 1997).

The reduction in the number of one species in the Yellowstone caused some effects on other species. For instance, the main preys of mice, coyotes and other rodents have undergone an explosion in population (Wood, 1997). However, this had a positive impact on the competitors of the coyote such as birds of prey and foxes. Furthermore, the survival of the fawns, which were a favorite food of the coyotes have increased and the numbers of fawns started to grow. In most cases, when wolves kill a large size of prey, they naturally consume only about half of their prey and the remains are fed on by scavengers. Following the introduction of wolves into Yellowstone, there was an increase of different scavengers such as eagles, ravens, grizzly bears and mag pies. In addition to this, the wolf kills are a vital source of food for ravens and they have benefited a lot from the presence and the reintroduction of wolves. The large number of ravens normally attracted to the wolf kills illustrates the beneficial interaction with the wolves in Yellowstone.

Furthermore, these wolves have enhanced the understanding of the functioning of the ecosystem and the main role of top predators in maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem. Just like any other complex ecosystem, Yellowstone has many other components that interact with each other in countless ways. In most cases, these interactions are nonlinear, meaning, that small changes in the ecosystem can have big effects such as the lack of wolves which had a huge impact on the ecosystem. Furthermore, observed changes in the ecosystem can also be a result of multiple factors such as bad weather, random fluctuations in deaths and births, disease about which there is little information.

What is the target Are there similarities regarding the target among different stakeholders
The main target is realizing that the presence of a top predator is crucial in maintaining an ecosystem. After an absence of about 70 years, the wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone Park in 1995, and the population of the elks began to decline. Additionally, the presence of the natural predator in this case, the wolf, appeared to have changed the behavior of the remaining population of the elks in Yellowstone because they feared the wolves and thus tended to avoid browsing in areas where they were vulnerable to the wolves (Wood, 1997). The reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone had a dramatic change in the ecosystem as there was a noteworthy reduction in the elk population feeding on young aspen shoots, thus allowing these plants to survive to new heights where in the present situation, some of them are now above the level that the elks can be able to feed on them. The theory of trophic cascades shows how an ecosystem can be damaged when significant predators like the wolves in this case are removed from an ecosystem it also shows that recovery is possible if the key predators are returned.

According to Wood (1997), in riparian zones where the wolves can easily sneak and attack the elks and gullies or other aspects that can make it difficult for the elk to escape, there is significant recovery of aspen. Additionally, the element of fear between the wolves and elks of Yellowstone is a concept that is presently getting more awareness in ecology as it factors the number of species, their different behavior and reasons for that behavior. The predators such as cougars and wolves have shown their distinctive ability to instill fear into their prey and notably change their behavior as a result of this. Furthermore, the recovery of aspen appears to have no association with the climate or local terrain because the unfed aspen in the upland sites in the park are growing in the same way with those in the riparian zones (Wood, 1997).

Comparison of the areas described at the beginning of the video to the locations described at the end of the video
In the beginning of the video, there is a noticeable change in the ecosystem of Yellowstone. There are not any wolves, and this had a large impact on the ecosystem. On the other hand, there were plenty of elks that fed on the vegetation like the willows, and aspen leaves and the aspen trees can be viewed in the video without any branches. In the video, after the reintroduction of the wolves into Yellowstone, the elks have decreased in number as they are the main source of food for the wolves, and the willows along the stream lines have grown in height. Additionally, because the streams have been clogged with the willows, the song birds have returned and can be seen even chirping in the video. On the other hand, with the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone, the sheep and cattle farmers around Minnesota can be seen thoroughly guarding their sheep and cattle with guard dogs to avoid them falling prey to the wolves. However, one sheep farmer states that he would not hesitate to kill a wolf if he sees it near his flock of sheep. On the other hand, other farmers in Minnesota are trying to safeguard the ecosystem by embracing the reintroduction of wolves and they have devised clever security measures such as practicing greater husbandry techniques and greater security measures in relation with their cattle and sheep that are in danger from the wolves. Furthermore, at the end of the video, the environment is brighter with the willows and the aspen trees and some wolves can be seen roaming freely.

Role of science in the issue described in the video. Provide an example of how science has affected the consensus process related to the issue.

Science has played a big role in the change of the ecosystem. For instance, the ecological damage was significant and went even beyond the cottonwood and aspen trees. The loss of shrubs and trees opened the door to noteworthy stream erosion in Yellowstone National Park. The food webs present in the park broke down and the beaver dams declined and even the birds and insects were affected as well as other animal and plant species were significantly affected. For instance, aspen, which is a beautiful tree and is a major key to the diversity of the ecosystem and a hall mark feature of the mountain areas, has been the center of concern. In addition to this, unlike the willows, the aspen are more easily suppressed or killed by elks and other animals and have been the slowest to show any signs of recovery from this. Notably, there are two forces at work the lower populations of the elk in Yellowstone and the significant changes in their behavior because of their fear of the wolves, but it is hard to determine exactly which force was more significant.

After the reintroduction of the wolves into Yellowstone, there is a noticeable growth and recovery of cottonwood and willows as well as significant aspen growth, and a result of this is that even song birds have returned to Yellowstone. There is a significant growth of willows and aspen, especially along the streamside zones that have grown from miniature shoots in the past to new heights of more than 7 ft. This is a key point in their survival as their crowns are above the height that can be easily fed on by other animals such as the elk (Wood, 1997). The long term decline to the point of localized extinction of some species of the cottonwood and aspen in Yellowstone dates back to the extirpation of the last known pack of wolves in 1920. Before the introduction of wolves back into Yellowstone, there were many tiny sprouting shoots of cottonwood and aspen trees and numbers of large trees about 70 years old, but they did not have any kind of branches on them. This was because of the high populations of the grazing undulates, especially the elks that were normally grazing on the small tree shoots at their leisure as they did not have fear of attack since there were no wolves during that time.