Discuss and Assess the Possible Gains from Globalisation
There are many aspects of globalisation which are generally divided into political, cultural and economic. Ulrich Beck discredits the word globalisation as the aspect of transnational movement which deals with issues primarily from an economic point of view. To him cosmopolitanism is the cultural and civil society aspects of what a lot of people refer to as globalisation (2006: 11). In an essay of this length it is impossible to cover all areas and so the focus within this one will be on the areas of Cosmopolitanism and Global Civil Society (GCS). These elements regard politics and culture, economic aspects will not be explored as in the current financial crisis the World Bank and International Monetary Fund would require a large amount of discussion by themselves. There is a plethora of discussion on the negatives of globalisation but a minimal amount of positivity. This essay will aim to highlight positive empirical examples of GCS and potential gain through cosmopolitan movements. Read More »
I seem to always be saving money, either for travel or something else like a Masters degree and apart from making me a bit grumpy and down every now and again I don’t find it too tough a challenge. I’ve realised that because of this I am quite an outcast and that a large percentage of people genuinely lack the ability to save money. Here are my theories.
After recently reading the book ‘Age of Absurdity’ by Michael Foley I have begun to spot all around me signs of instant gratification. People may be saving with intention but when their bank balance reaches a certain level it will suddenly spell out ‘iphone’ or ‘weekend away in a nice hotel’ or ‘shiny expensive shoes’ and all of these things provide you not only with the instant gratification of owning them but, what I think is more important, attention and compliments. Ultimately being careful with money wins you no friends and no attention, you don’t look cool. At what makes it worse is after all the hard work of saving, when you can afford your target, the response is always ‘you’re so lucky’. Luck has nothing to do with hard work and sacrifice. Read More »
I often hear friends ranting about equality and feminism and all those very important things that we ignore on a daily basis but Miss Travel reminded me of something I often think. It often seems to be perceived that sexual inequality is something created solely by these big powerful, sleazy men with no respect for women, who believe they are nothing more than objects and act like ‘Hey girl, wash my dishes’. But in reality I think that women are probably as big a hindrance to sexual equality as men are.
Some women seem to be little more than objects, they literally will do anything for the man knowing a shiny shone will be the reward. Of course none of the women I know are like this but the steeply inclined slope to equality is being littered with obstacles just as much by our own kind and this often gets looked over. Many feminists will comment on the shallowness of gossip magazines and the pressures on women to look perfect and the ‘ring of truth/ring of fat’ that circles nasty body parts in a trashy magazine. It is most definitely trashy and degrading but, unfortunately, is probably made by women and women LOVE to read it and go ‘look at the weight on her elbow’ because women love to gossip. And that is generally all women and not just the shallow diamond loving kind. Read More »
The Kindle seems to me one of the most essential things in my backpack, for those empty hours or long journeys on the train. The device itself is cheap, small, has long battery life and is hardy. There are so many books available for free that if you choose to read them you will become well versed in classic literature, and that can never be a bad thing, you will also get to read some of the best stories ever written free of charge. Despite thorough use I have charged the Kindle a maximum of four times in three months. A tablet computer does not compare when it comes to readability as the e-ink is essential in the sun when a tablet would only provide you with a white glare. Read More »
Due to being asked for my references by a few different people I thought I would post them up here so it’s all complete before I go travelling. It’s out of place on the blog I’m afraid but hopefully it will assist a few people who are researching the subject.
First is the general bibliography and then the specific numerical endnotes in order of chapter. Read More »
The following five posts are the breakdown of my BA academic dissertationcompleted in May of 2009. I have left it as it was handed in as opposed to translating it into a journalistic piece. For information of any of the references I am more than happy to help but didn’t wish to publish them as it would make plagiarism far easier.
The dissertation is inspired by the link between science fiction and reality under the theme of human reproduction and its many artificial variants. This subject was particularly fascinating and the rate at which science is developing is hard to believe or to keep up with. One element which made this project so enjoyable was forcing myself to read novels I normally wouldn’t and being pleasantly surprised by many of them. I am now a big fan of Michel Houellebecq and the way he writes; poetically yet gritty. Also my admiration of the pure genius and forward thinking of Huxley has increased almost exponentially.
I hope you enjoy reading my dissertation, I would greatly appreciate your comments.
This dissertation will attempt to highlight varying prophecies of the future of reproduction and what this will mean to society. From the extremes of cloning to the commonplace In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) the moral implications will be explored and their fictional counterparts investigated. It is common knowledge that dystopian fictions, and often all speculative fiction, reflect the societal fears of the time of writing. Due to this the key texts used must be treated from different angles, the nineteen thirties’ Brave New World has had many of it’s ideas established within science and technology, however, Huoellebecq’s Possibility of an Island from year 2000 is yet to have had time for it’s ideas to materialise.
The first chapter focuses on Brave New World, a book synonymous with the ideas of IVF as well as many other revolutionary ideas. The underlying theme of this novel is humans as commodities and the loss of individuality, epitomised by the worship of Henry T Ford as the creator of mass production. Huxley’s background is quintessential to the success of his writing as he was integrated in the cultures of both science and literature, thus proving to give his work more integrity than many speculative authors at the time. Haldane was a scientist associate of Huxley and his predictions, considered extreme at the time, were essential for the creation of Brave New World. The key areas of research for this chapter are IVF, human conditioning, eugenics and government control. Most of the ideas from Brave New World have evolved in some form through history to present day, some positively and some in ways which cause unimaginable grief.
The second chapter addresses more technological matters of human reproduction in Huoellebecq’s The Possibility of an Island. Read More »
Aldous Huxley’s 1931 novel Brave New World features, what were at the time, ludicrous ideas of society and reproduction. In his 1958 commentary on the original text, Brave New World Revisited, Huxley was shocked at the speed in which some of his fictional ideologies had come into existence1. This chapter aims to explore Huxley’s numerous ideas regarding reproduction technologies, from sterilisation and contraception to the caste system and child conditioning. All of these topics have seen progress of some form in modern day society. This chapter will attempt to understand the impact of these events through the use of science and social commentary.
Critics have often commented on Huxley’s background to gain a broader perspective on his writing. Huxley was always integrated within the scientific social scene, wanting to be a scientist himself he was hindered by a disease which caused near blindness2. Huxley’s brother was a scientist and through him Aldous became a respected part of the ‘Science and Society’ movement. A culmination of this and Huxley’s father being a writer gave him an interesting mixture of information and talent which enabled him to write such scientifically predictive ideas.
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These are in effect, artificial or mechanical men, individuals without souls, without anything that, in a traditional understanding can be seen as distinctly human.
- Krishan Kumar1
Michel Huoellebecq’s The Possibility of an Island (which will be referred to as Possibility) touches on many ideas relating to the reproduction of the human self and its repercussions for mankind. With advances in technology this is something which is increasingly ever more in the public mind. It is impossible to say whether this modern day dystopia is predicting events which will be commonplace in the future, but there is scientific research speculating the potential problems. An important question in this chapter is how these technologies effect human identity, and essentially what element of human identity is the essence humanity.
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The novels The Handmaid’s Tale and The Children of Men (which will be referred to as Handmaid’s and Children, respectively) deal with a different aspect of dystopia than the other novels focussed on in this dissertation. The focus here is on the social implications and natural changes within reproduction. Perhaps the most prominent and common theme between the two is the reduction in fertility and possible reactions to it. Both texts link quite strongly to the desperation for motherhood but in very different ways.
Atwood’s 1985 political satire replicates the threats of AIDS and right wing politics present in America during the eighties. Alternatively PD James mirrors what could be called a liberal façade in an early nineties Britain with an undercurrent of violence which can be seen as reflective of the problems in Northern Ireland. By exploring these texts and all the surrounding research this chapter aims to find a common ground which will correlate the previous research on reproductive technologies and how it will realistically affect population and society.
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