Category: Sociology


Poverty and Children in the United States



            Poverty can be defined as the lack of basic needs including nutrition, clean drinking water, education, healthcare and clothing as well as shelter. Poor people are unable to afford these basic needs, and this is known as destitution or absolute poverty. The state of not being able to afford or having lesser income and resources than other people in a nation or society or in comparison to worldwide standardized averages is known as relative poverty. Historically, poverty reduction has been made possible through economic growth.

               Increased production within flourishing economies fostered by modernized industrial technologies has created more wealth, thus making available and cheap goods that were unaffordable by many in earlier years. Despite economic successes and technological advancements the United States has been unable to totally eliminate poverty amongst the populace. President Lyndon declared war against domestic poverty in 1964. In response the federal government has been channeling billions of money to all towns across America providing aid in through programs such as the welfare programs. This aid has facilitated basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. Nevertheless, the war on poverty has not been won yet.

             A Fordham University generated research report of 1996 indicated that many more millions of Americans lived in poverty in 1996 than they were in 1964. The report also stated that America’s social well being had declined to its lowest point ever in a quarter of a century, and this had mostly affected young people and children. In present day America recession effects still remain with over 14 million children living in poverty-this large number translates to about 19% percent of the nations children. This is a grim picture, keeping in mind that the future of any nation depends on how the nation handles its young population.

            The high rate of unemployment that is ever rising is cited as the main factor that greatly contributes to child poverty. However, it has also been noted that most of the poor children in America hail from families with working parent/s. The parents in this case work in low paying jobs, and as a result there earnings are unable to sustain their families and raise the standards of living above the poverty level designated by the federal government. Notably, poverty is high in other demographic groups compared to others. The percentages of children living under poverty in America are as follows, 37% percent (Native American children), 30.7% (Hispanic American children), 34.7% (black American children), 14.6% (Asian American children) and 10.6% (white children).

             An analysis of this figures indicate that racial injustices and discrimination is also a contributory factor towards poverty. In the U.S.A the rising income segregation adds to the injustices that are brought about by racial segregation. According to a research by the Coalition on Human Needs the population of households that lack nutritious supplies of food increased from 36 million to 49 million. This is the highest recorded number, and amongst these people were seventeen million children, this is was four million more in 2008 compared to 2007 (Maume & Arrigi, (2007).

             Children living in poverty often go hungry and are unable to access primary health care. These children are also isolated in lack of transportation, lack of proper child care, segregated patterns of housing and by segregation that lands them in under-funded and stressed public schools. These children also live in segregated neighborhoods characterized with poverty and frequent cases of violence, drug abuse, prostitution and other social and criminal vices. As a result, of these environmental factors children are negatively influenced, and thus drop out of school. Finally, these children engage crimes that land them in jail serving long terms of incarceration instead of being in college. Experts believe that American children in poor families today may have little to no opportunity to break out of poverty in comparison to earlier generations (Maume & Arrigi, (2007). 

 Impact of poverty on American children

            The American Census Bureau report release in 1996 indicated that 13.8% of American citizens live in poverty, whereas; many more are at the brink of the poverty line. The effects of poverty hit people of all ages, but 48% percent of these victims are young people and children. It is estimated that one out of every four American children live below the poverty line set by the government-this is approximately 15 million children. It is also estimated that 25% of children under 12 years and 22% percent of those under 18 years are either hungry or at the brink of falling into hunger. Additionally, 2660 births occur daily in poor families, 27 of these children die because of poverty.

           This situation has persisted over several years causing the U.S to denoted as the country with the highest child poverty rate amongst the 17 most wealthy countries. There are numerous long term effects of poverty on children. These effects may range from depression and aggression to stunted growth or low height in comparison to age. In addition, there are severe economic costs that result from child poverty. The Children’s defense fund declares that every year spent in poverty by a child causes a loss in future productivity that could amount to $11800 (Collins et al, 2009).

            Poor health is the first impact of poverty that arises from lacking proper nutrition and balanced diet. The National Center for Health Statistics states that children born in poor families are 3.6 times more likely to have bad health and die of infectious diseases. It was noted in 2002 that 14% of children lived under poverty and 7.7% of babies born into poverty were under-weight. According to the findings of the National Health and Nutrition body the mean levels of lead in blood was found to be 9% lower for children born in families with incomes doubling the mean poverty level income compared to those born into poor families. Data from the federal health program also indicated that 8%-12% of poor children enrolled in its programs had elevated levels of blood lead. 

             Lead poisoning was observed to be rampant in children born in poor families because of the poor living conditions that they are exposed to (Oberg, 2003). It was also observed that 34% percent of children from poor households had obesity compared to children from families with high incomes who had19% percent of their children being obese. This high prevalence of overweight children also causes other multiple health problems. It was also observed that poor children are more likely to get asthma compared children from families that are not poor. In 2002 it was observed that 8% of poor children had asthma compared to only 6% for the non-poor children. Children born in poor living conditions of poverty have a high risk of being born under weight or getting diseases such as anemia, asthma, stunted growth as well as other complications such as lead poisoning. Low birth weight has also been cited a risk factor in infant mortality.

           Children born under weight are more likely to get catch diseases compared with those born with proper weight. They also develop problems such as learning disabilities, physical disabilities and grade repetition. Low birth weight has been noted as rampant feature among babies born to single mothers, especially those that are uneducated. This has commonly been observed among Black Americans- a group that has high prevalence of poverty. Stunted growth which is high among poor people may lead to poor cognitive development, which later may lead to poor learning abilities. The poor living conditions also expose the poor children to lead poisoning because the houses that they live in are often sub-standard. The poisoning later causes more complications in their health resulting to low IQs, behavioral problems, hearing and speech problems-all these resultant complications may be almost irreversible(Oberg, 2003).

            Poverty has been found to cause profound effects on children’s cognitive development. The lack of proper cognitive development slows down the child’s learning abilities due to developmental delays. The Brandeis University’s Center of Hunger and poverty malnutrition coupled with poor environmental surroundings of upbringing may retard brain development, cognitive functioning and physical growth on a permanent basis. Lack of enough food and a balanced diet may result in low attentiveness, alertness, motivation and emotional expression, all of which negatively influence development processes. This could affect learning, playing, communication and parent-child bond. When these poor children fail to attach or bond well with their parents they also develop low self confidence needed in the formation of new relationships. As a result, the children will have a low sense of efficacy, and therefore they will feel less important and worthless-both of which create a low self esteem, depression and anger (Feeny & Clarke, 2007).

            Education is also another sector and part of the children’s life that is greatly affected by poverty. School un-readiness or the number of children that are no prepared for schooling before entry into primary schooling is also very high in poor children. This un-readiness has far reaching effects that may affect the poor children way beyond kindergarten. Children from poor families have been known to join kindergarten later than their peers. It has also been established that 50% percent of these children are unable to attain reading proficiency by the time they reach fourth grade.

           Schools that had 50% percent of their students enrolled into reduced price or free lunch were noted to have lower average scores compared to schools which had at least a quarter of lower enrollment of students in to these programs meant to assist poor students. This is a clear indication that poverty leads to poor academic performance. This may be attributed to poor cognitive development that results from hunger and poor health caused by poverty. Additionally, the poor social development and lack of concentration due to depression and hunger impedes learning (Oberg, 2003). Studies on school drop out rates indicate that children living in poverty are more likely to drop out of school before completion compared to their counterparts from well off families. The inability to complete their studies means that the poverty cycle continues and chances are high for these children to end up poor.

            Child poverty is also the main reason behind child prostitution, drug abuse, violent crimes and many other vices that occur within the society. The children in poor families are compelled to engage in illegal and dangerous acts due to the poor conditions that they live in. Additionally, negative influence on morals is rampant in impoverished neighborhoods. These poor children grow up witnessing violence, crime, drug abuse, prostitution among many other evils. These experiences cause the children to develop morals and behaviors that are characterized with their experiences.

           Children from poor neighborhoods are more likely to engage in activities such as child prostitution, drug dealing, substance abuse and violent crimes.As a result most of them end up in jails or rehabilitation centers. Children raised in poor neighborhoods are more likey to engage in crime compared to their counterparts from well to do families.Children brought up in poverty also also develop behavior changes characterised by depression and lack of proper cognitive abilities. These children are mostly influenced by the depresive nature of their parents. Most poor mothers experience occasional domestic violence that is experienced by the children. The teahers may also aggravate the problem by neglecting such children or by failing to accord them the necessary attention that they require.            

            Teenage pregnancies is also a big problem in the U.S. Statistics indicate that 25 out of 1000 teenagers aged between 15 to 17 have had child births, most of whom never get to finish their high school studies. Itis also highly likely that they may never get a chance to get to college. This simply implies that they are likely to live a life of poverty in their future. The cycle of poverty is also llikely to continue because the parents will be unable to provide for their children. It has also been proved through empirical surveys that the probability of teenage pregnancies reduces significantly in well to do families whereas it increases as the income levels in families drop (Collins et al, 2009).


            Despite great advancements and development within the America, povrty is still rampant and those that suffer under it are the young children that are born into these poor families. Povertyu robs them off their future and places tham at a risk of having a poor future that propagates the vicious cycle of poverty in their families. Most factors that shape early childhood are not provided as required so as to shape cgildrenm well. These factors include, nutrition and health, a good environment, and good parent-child interactions. All these are not properly provided for under conditions of poverty.

             As a result, childtren grow under difficult conditions that hinder proper growth and reduce their future productivity as well active performamnce in academic circles-which very important in shaping their future. The government has moved in to reform the situation but all it has done is to provide for minimum bare survival. In personal view the government should do more funding to help alleviate poverty especially, for the sake of children that bear the future of our nation. More funds should be set aside especially, in the provison of education and better nutrition and healthcare for children living underconditions of poverty.


Oberg, C. (2003).  The Impact of Childhood Poverty on Health and Development. Healthy Generations Journal, volume 4, issue number 1.

Collins et. Al (2009) Children in Poverty: Trends, consequences and policy options. Trends Cild Research Brief. Retrieved on 1st September, 2010 from

Maume, J.D. and Arrighe, A. B.(2007). Child Poverty in America Today: Children and the state. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Feeny, S. And Clarke,M. (2007). Education for the end of poverty: implementing all the Millennium Development Goals. Nova Publishers.


Rosemary Clinton is the Author of this paper. She is a senior academic writer and an editor and she offers custom research papers. Thus, people that doubt their own writing abilities can use the best custom paper writing service and forget about their fears and lack of confidence by visiting


Government’s Regulation on Healthcare and its Effects on the System



             Healthcare regulation in America encompasses a wide variety of aspects and areas of regulation that relate to healthcare. Healthcare regulations include regulation of physicians and other healthcare practitioners, healthcare financiers, drug and healthcare products, healthcare institutions and hospitals as well as regulation of healthcare research and public health. The healthcare industry is one of the most regulated within America, and as such; every aspect of the healthcare system has to be subjected to heavy government scrutiny, be it at the federal or state level.

          The measures have good intentions of fostering a healthy nation and population. However, at times they have been thought of as working contrary to their goals and objectives. Legislation both at the federal and state level, have been able to enhance quality and cheapen medical care expenses. At times the regulatory measures have compromised the efficient provision of healthcare to the general public due to implementation of regulations that are over restrictive. In some instances the regulations have created bottlenecks that have hindered efficient delivery of medical care.

 Role of governmental regulatory agencies  

At the federal level the U.S Department of Health and Human Services serves as an executive department which oversees all legislation relating to healthcare. It also oversees national licensures that moderate the industry to ensure the quality of services provided across the nation is standardized across the board. The department’s main objectives are to enhance availability of healthcare services, enhancing affordability as well as better quality of healthcare. The public healthcare service has various agencies charged with the regulation of various aspects of healthcare.

The Health Administration Agency regulates provision of healthcare to people that have no healthcare. The Food and Drug administration agency regulates safety of drugs and medical products used as well as food, Healthcare Research Agency controls aspects of research within the system. The Agency of Disease Registry and Toxic Substances regulates issues relating to release of toxic and hazardous material into the environment. Finally, we have the Centers for Disease Prevention Agency; this agency is responsible for prevention of high mortality rates, disabilities and diseases. State authorities also have their own locally tailored means of control either extending from the federal government as branches or locally set up. However, states do not regulate issues of healthcare that may relate to large national employers due to preemption. A lot of healthcare organizations and hospitals also submit to JCAHO certification and inspection on a voluntary basis (Field, 2007).   

 Examples of regulations and their impact on healthcare delivery

            Government regulatory measures greatly influence the healthcare system as a whole. Spheres of influence include availability of healthcare services, institutions and practitioners as well as the cost of healthcare services and the quality of medical services offered. As stated earlier the influences have been mostly positive, but they have also had negative effects related to other aspects of the healthcare system. This is exemplified by the HIPAA Privacy Rules (Privacy Rights, 2010).

            These new legislations stipulate that higher levels of confidentiality have to be maintained when dealing with or handling patient information. This regulatory measure is actually legislated with good intentions-those of protecting the client’s privacy and constitutional rights. However, the regulatory measure brings about higher operation expenses for institutions that have to incur additional spending in the initiation of secure information systems meant to safeguard information and offer controllable access to patient information.

                For example, large healthcare organizations have to employ full-time officials to carry out training and worker communications projects. Failure to comply may be expensive because of the illegalities that may arise. Looking at it in another way, there may arise occasional cases of legal confrontations that may cost the organization some legal expenses. Regulations on interstate physician licensure and on medical practitioners’ education through the American Medical Association (AMA) affect availability of doctors and other health practitioners for healthcare organizations. AMA has always lobbied for control of the number of doctors supplied by training institutions to the extent of greatly limiting the number of available doctors. In turn, this has made the fees paid to doctors to rise significantly due to the interplay of supply and demand factors to the disadvantage of the common citizens. Similarly, AMA is known to have championed the banning of midwifery as well as some practices performed by medical practitioners that are not fully qualified doctors (Field, 2007).

               This eliminated affordable sources of healthcare for people with lower incomes. As a result, this made medical procedures such as delivery and expensive service to procure from doctors. Though legislated in good faith, the measure makes healthcare expensive and inaccessible to some people, especially the poor. The few practitioners that already exist and medical facilities find that they have to deal with a large number of cases such as deliveries which would have been easily undertaken by midwifes. If for example the midwifes are allowed to practice, there would be a lesser backlog for the doctors, and in turn; this would allow them to reserve their time for more serious cases of health conditions. It would be sufficient to allow midwifes to practice under stipulations that they should promptly refer complicated cases to doctors in an urgent manner.

            Despite the seemingly negative regulatory measures, there are other measures that appear more positive and advantageous to the promotion of quality, availability and cheaper medical services. These legislative measures may be exemplified by the EMTALA Act (Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act). The provisions within the act guarantee availability of healthcare for every person, including those that may be unable to pay for their treatment under cases of emergency. Practically EMTALA is applicable virtually to all medical organizations and hospitals except the Veterans Affairs hospital, Indian health service and as well as the Children’s Shiners hospitals.

               This act was passed in order to regulate ‘patient dumping’ or the denial of medical care on grounds of inability to pay or the discharge of patients under emergency care because of anticipated high costs of treatment and diagnosis. The legislation is effective once a patient reaches the department dealing with emergency medical care. The patients that reach this department are supposed to receive healthcare whether they are able to pay or not. Despite the fact that the patient may be unable to pay or has no insurance cover to foot the medical bills, s/he will still be under a legal obligation to effect the payments due for his/her treatment. This is provided for under the civil law, and as such any person that fails to pay, when s/he is in actual sense able to pay will be subjected to legal procedures (Furrow, 1987).

             Patients that may have had advance intentions of receiving medical care with an intention not to pay may not be held liable criminally unless they present evidence proving otherwise willingly and in full knowledge so as to reveal their false allegations and intentions. This bill has loopholes that may create problems on health organizations and hospitals. These organizations may offer services for which they may be unable to recover their service fee, and thus operate at a loss if such cases happen to be rampant. However, it a positive thing for patients and the general populace because they are sure to get medical attention in emergency cases even with inabilities to pay for the services, To a greater extent this portrays the effort the government has put in to ensuring that there is no discrimination in the provision of health services to all American people. Though advantageous to some people, the legislation is disadvantageous to those that area bale to pay (Pozgar, 2004). This is because the unpaid bills are passed on to those that are able to cater for their payments as high costs in their medical care services.


            Conclusively, the regulation of the health sector and its players by the government is in good faith and for the good of the general populace. However, the regulations stipulated seem to have both positive and negative effects. The negative effects are mostly characterized by high resultant costs and lack of availability of medical care services. On the other hand, the positive side of these legislations is mostly characterized high quality medical care services. The positive side of these regulatory measures and benefits outweigh the negatives or disadvantages, and thus the laws should be maintained as they are and extra measures set up to ensure that they are adhered to. However, they should also be reviewed in cases where they seemingly compromise the provision of affordable healthcare as well as its availability. Streamlining of these regulatory measures and laws can be done via legislative amendments.


Field, I. R. (2007).Health Care Regulation in America: Complexity, confrontation, and compromise. OxfordUniversity Press US.

Furrow, R.B. (1987).Health law: Cases, materials, and problems, second edition, West Publishers.

Privacy Rights, (2010). Medical Privacy in the Electronic Age. Retrieved on 26th August, 2010 from

Pozgar, D.G. (2004).Legal Aspects of Health Care Administration, ninth edition. Jones and Bartlett Learning Publishers.


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Biofuels and Food Crisis


Bio fuels production has an effect on the global food supplies and prices. Since bio fuels can be made from corn, soybeans, wheat and barley, the primary effect of bio fuels on food supplies and prices comes due to the increase in the prices of these farm products. This increase comes about because of the increased demand of these products in the production of bio fuels. Due to this increased demand, farmers result to increasing the planting of these products and this in turn results to increased prices of other crops competing for the same land. Moreover, increased prices in the products used to make bio fuels have a direct impact on other food commodities made from them.

For example increase in wheat prices leads to increase in the prices of flour and hence increasing the prices of bakery products like bread. Increase in Soya bean prices leads to increase in Soya bean oils and margarine products. However, there are world wide arguments especially from the bio fuels industries that due to advancements in technology, agriculture can be relied on to provide a reliable portion of the world’s fuel as well as be a food supplier. There are also arguments that the current food crisis is dependent on food scarcity since bio fuels can be produced through bio-chemical and thermo-chemical processes.

 However, studies show that biofuels were the major cause of the 2007-2008 world food crises. Though biofuels cause food crisis, it’s argued that developing countries and rural areas in developed countries benefit from biofuels production since electricity is generated in the process. Despite this, biofuels production has a negative effect on poor countries and a positive one on rich countries since fuel demand in rich countries competes with food demand in poor countries. To make this situation more sustainable, biofuels should be produced from non food crops like algae, crop residues and wastes.


Corinne Alexander &Chris Hurt. (2007) Biofuels and Their Impact on Food Prices [Online] Purdue University Press. Available from: (accessed 29/09/2010)

Donald Mitchell (2008). A note on Rising Food Crisis [Online]. The World Bank. Available from:  (accessed 29/09/2009)


Rosemary Clinton is the Author of this paper. She is a senior academic writer and an editor and she offers custom research papers. Thus, people that doubt their own writing abilities can use the best custom paper writing service and forget about their fears and lack of confidence by visiting




Racism is taken to mean the view that the race constituents such as genetics in one way or the other largely influence human capabilities as well as traits. Taken further, this view holds that given races have an ingrained inferiority as opposed to other races which are considered superior. In this text I amongst other things explore racism as an ideology and describe the race idea.

 The racism ideology

Talking of racism as an ideology, Feagin (2001) notes that it was in place as a scientific racism back in the 19th century and the main agenda here was to classify humanity in racial terms. It is important to note that after the holocaust as well as the Second World War, an ideology of that nature was largely abandoned and discouraged but it refuses simply refuses to go away. This according to Marger (2008) is informed by amongst other things the ratio of blacks in prison versus those who are not in comparison to those other races. It has been noted however that it is highly irresponsible to make assumptions that a given race has a high crime prevalence rate based on this figures or otherwise.

 DuBois is on record as noting that it is the culture that people are concerned or think about as opposed to the race. This can be summed up as a collection or an aggregate of similar habits, religion, history, common laws and history etc. (Juan 2002). Nationalists and scholars in the 19th century began to accept discourses which were considered contemporary with regard to ethnicity and race. This is what was the genesis for new nationalist doctrines.

 With time, the race slowly come to be taken as a representative of a human body’s vital traits and ultimately as a model of a nations personality as well as character. This view seems to advance that ethnic groupings create culture as a physical manifestation of racial traits. According to Marger (2008), race and culture were taken to be intertwined and in some instances, a set of definition in that respect incorporated language and/or nationality. When it cane to pureness of race, it was linked to a wide range of other characteristics that were largely superficial and which included but were not in any way limited to blondeness. With that, geographic distribution became de-linked to racial qualities. Instead, these qualities were largely linked to language and nationality. When we take Nordicism into consideration race superiority was informed by the Germanic domination.

 It is this view of superiority when it comes to race that changed over time to put itself apart from other cultures that were taken to be either impure or inferior. It is important to note herein that values considered ethnocentric and nationalist have been considered to have largely bolstered this change. This cultural emphasis according to Feagin (2001) laid ground to the modern racism definition. In his own words, Feagin (2001) notes that “racism cannot be taken to be built around or informed by races existence.

Racism originates from social division processes and with that in mind, racism can happen to anybody irregardless of his or her religious, cultural or somatic inclinations.” Of course this view does not take into consideration the race biological concept which is still a bone of contention in the scientific arena. It has been noted that as long as scientists continue to be dazzled by race and the other components of human diversity, the racial component will continue to be a common occurrence in biology as well as other areas (Juan 2002).

 When it comes to the institutionalization of racial thinking into legislation and policies, there has been a series of international legislation as well as local attention on the same. To begin with, ‘the declaration on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination’ looks into instances of racial prejudice and it was adopted on 20th Nov in 1963 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is important to note that race legislation has undergone a number of phases in history.

In 1776 great gains were made in respect to this when the declaration of independence explicitly stated that ‘all men are created equal’. In fact, this piece is the one which many scholars attribute to the enactment of the other subsequent amendments including the 13th, 14th as well as 15th amendments. Another notable enactment in this regard was the February 1942 executive order 9066 in which the internment into war of individuals of Japanese descent was done. This internment it might be noted was not only for individuals of Japanese descent but it targeted Germans as well as Italians.


It is important to note that while the biological conception of race exists today, it did not exist in the earlier days as biology was in itself not well defined then. During that time, racism was largely taken to be an unintended climate effect on individual’s physical characteristics.  


Feagin, J.R. (2001). Racist America: roots, current realities, and future reparations. Routledge

Juan, San. (2002). Racism and cultural studies: critiques of multiculturalist’s ideology and the politics of difference. Duke University Press

Marger, M.N. (2008). Race and Ethnic Relations: American and Global Perspectives. Cengage Learning


Rosemary Clinton is the Author of this paper. She is a senior academic writer and an editor and she offers custom research papers. Thus, people that doubt their own writing abilities can use the best custom paper writing service and forget about their fears and lack of confidence by visiting

Social Learning Suite


1) What learning solutions are provided by the Social Learning Suit?

 (A)Stream lining training development and delivery

The social learning suit aims to manage all learning types, from formal (instructor-lead learning, web based learning etc) to social learning (blogs and discussions) within one platform.  The suite tries to combine the formal and the social forms of learning into one effective process.

 (B) Develop talent and careers

The suite attempts to identify employee skill gaps and then drive social and formal learning programs to target those areas.

© Improve time to competency

The suit aims at increasing time to competency by up to 41% by addressing multiple adult and generation learning styles through a blend of social and formal learning.

(D) Increase learning program/ event value and effectiveness

The suit aims at increasing the effectiveness of learning programs and events by enabling users to interact and discuss key topics before, during and after the event or program. Communication is improved during learning programs.

(E) Build business agility and bench strength

The suite also aims at building business agility and bench strength by facilitating knowledge transfer from retirees to younger workers, to future proof an organization and prevents it from losing key intellectual capital

$12) Do you believe that these solutions are effective?


3) Justify your response.

The suite increases the level of interaction between different levels employees in an organization there enhancing learning between the employee fraternities. It also attempts to increase the level of attraction and communication between employees during learning programs and events therefore making the learning process more effective.


The suite also attempt to identify training need among employees of an organization and develops training programs in response to the needs identified. This could work well for an organization as training programs would be tailor made to suite employees training needs.

It also attempt to combine social and formal learning into one platform. This could make both learning processes effective as they can advance each others interest.  


Mzinga Inc (2010), Social Learning, retrieved on September 27, 2010, from


Mahaya: Pure Land Buddhism and Zen



In the Vietnamese society, both pure land Buddhism and Zen are extremely popular. In this text, I look at the ideas as well as issues which the two concepts have in common and examine where they differ. Last but not least, I expound and examine which component the speaker thinks is better. 

 Zen and Pure Land Buddhism

It is important to note that both Zen and pure land Buddhism have some similar outlooks. To begin with, both schools of thought aim to bring suffering to its logical end. In doing away with suffering, they both seek to bring about nirvana. Another similarity of these two outlooks is their popularity in Vietnam. While it may be noted that the way of Zen is largely the Buddhist temple monastic way of life, it is also true that pure land practice is well ingrained in the monastery.

 However, the speaker also brings out some distinct differences in the two. It is clear from reading the text that one of the differing aspects of the two schools of thought is the path that leads to the logical end of suffering. This is to say that both Zen as well as pure land have their own unique paths to end suffering. Next, the schools of thought differ in terms of practice. For Zen, self-discipline is relied upon greatly. This means therefore that one has to strive to reflect on the mind on a continuous basis. This is in sharp contrast to pure land where there is no well defined emphasis on self effort.

 It is important to note that while the practice of pure land is primarily practiced through coming up with faith as regards Amitabha Buddha existence, Zen practice in anchored on awareness. The argument according to Zen is that mindfulness as well as awareness can be taken to be the chief supporting condition. It is also important to note that the idea of ultimate enlightment which is basically a Zen issue is considered by pure land Buddhism as inherently difficult to achieve in a single lifetime. Save for that, It should however be noted that all in all, the Zen ultimate enlightment idea is not objected to in its entirety by the pure land Buddhism.

 Concerning what the speaker has to say as to which school of thought is better, he notes that while pure land Buddhism may prove workable for some individuals, Zen remains to be superior in principle. The speaker argues that it is very difficult for one to go wrong in practice if one takes time to understand Zen which has its sights trained on the Buddha mind, that is, the original mind.


It is important to note that the speaker recommends pure land as an intermediate level one can settle for and then with time advance to Zen. All this is with the worthy assistance of Amitabha Buddha.


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It is said disability is not in any way inability. This is exactly true as we have seen instances where disabled individuals have outperformed their able counterparts be it in academics or otherwise. The question that however keeps baffling us is whether or not there is a good response to disability. This is the question I seek to address in this text.

 Is there a good response to disability?

Albrecht et al. (2001) argues that there are a number of ways in which an individual can respond to disability challenges. It is good to note that apart from the responses discussed here, there are many other responses which can be successfully adopted so as to reinforce adaptation to disability. Albrecht et al. (2001) notes that an individual can respond to disability in a number of phases; these phases include but are not limited to crisis and chronic phases. The crisis phase is informed by sourcing of as much information as it is possible about the disability and how to live with it. This is important as the individual will here be faced with grief as a result of losing his or her abilities.

 Sourcing as much information as possible about the disability is vital as it determines how an individual will deal with this in the long term. After this phase is the chronic phase where there is full appreciation of the condition or disability. Acceptance and appreciation that things are unlikely to change i.e. one is unlikely to regain his or her ability is important so that the individual can move on and avoid denial.


It is important to note that while the question as to whether or not there is a good response to disability is a difficult one to answer, the responses above are not conclusive and as such other responses should be incorporated for a conclusive addressing of the same.


Albrecht, G.L., Seelman, K.D., Bury, M. (2001). Handbook of Disability Studies. SAGE


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In a number of states in the United States we have a governmental agency which is charged with the responsibility of acting on information regarding the abuse of children. This agency is known as the child protective services, or put simply, just as CPS. In this text, I look at the history of the child protective services including its creation as well as the presentation of the mission statement of the child protective services in California. I will also present the financial reports as well as summaries of the operation of the child protective services, California and offer a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of the service. Lastly, I will give a commentary on ways top improve the child protective services in the state of California and wind up with a prediction as regards the future of the agency and its impact on the criminal justice system.


            The need for the creation of the child protection agency was identified in the year 1655 where there emerged a number of legal cases in regard to child abuse in what is currently the United States. Soon, the role local government as well as the private institutions in the care of those children thought to be abused was left to states as well as municipalities. According to Dolgoff et al. (1997), England first came up with the parens patriae principle where the royal crown was empowered to protect, care for and ensure that the various needs of lunatics, idiots, charities etc were addressed conclusively. Over time, this principle has been linked in a big way to the initiatives by the U.S government’s involvement in child welfare as well as protection and the subsequent establishment of child protection services in a number of states.

            Soon, developments were to be seen with regard to the child protection services when in 1825, agencies dealing with social welfare were empowered by the enactment of laws by a number of states to take away children suspected to be neglected from the care of their parents or the alleys and streets. Initially, all those children who were rescues were taken to orphanages, almshouses and in some instances; arrangements were made to absorb them in a number of familial setups. Further improvement in child protection would be seen in 1912 when there was an establishment of the children’s bureau whose main responsibility was the coordination of all the efforts touching on children welfare including but not limited to addressing all child mistreatment instances. Forty six years after the establishment of the children’s bureau, a social security act amendment which was seen as a big boost to the child protection services as well as initiatives laid out the ground for the funding of the efforts geared towards the protection of children by the states.

            Since then, efforts towards child protection have been boosted by a number of occurrences amongst them Kemp Henry’s publication of a piece that looked deeply into the case of the battered child syndrome. According to DiNitto (2010), no other piece of publication connected to child protection services has attracted the public attention like this publication did. In fact, this publication by Kampe Henry is widely thought as well as believed to have single-handedly informed and/or influenced the passing of child-abuse reporting laws by a minimum of forty nine states. This over whelming response towards child protection services by the states lead to the adoption of the child abuse prevention and treatment Act.

             With the worthy support of the federal government through funding, agencies dealing with child protection services came up with well laid out purposes which included but were not limited to the formulation of appropriate ways to look into instances of the maltreatment of children. The child protective service of California is one such agency dealing with issues related to child protection. The California child protection agency was established with the sole responsibility of looking into cases of child neglect as well as abuse. The agency also puts measures in place to guarantee the safety of all children and ensuring that the families in which this children are being raised are in one way or the other stable. In that line, the child protective agency has come up with innovative initiatives that involve the education and information dissemination to foster parents on the best ways to handle children under their care. The agency also has the power to license homes which act as daycare centers.

The mission statement of the agency

            The agency has a concise, well defined and brief mission statement. The mission statement of the agency states from the onset that the agency strives to enhance the state’s

Children by;

  • Enhancing children’s protection
  • Ensuring that families are strengthened
  • The provision of homes that are permanent
  • Enhancing partnerships at the community level

The agencies mission is executed through a number of programs as well as partnerships at the divisional level with a big number of agencies throughout the state.

Financial reports and summaries of the operations of the agency

             The financial statements considered in this case are for the year ended 31st march 2010.  The agency is non profit making and this is a critical consideration in the preparation of its financial statements. The agency financial statements have crucial financial disclosures which include but is not limited to information regarding the funding of the agency followed by other information of a financial nature. The budgeted funding actually falls short of the actual funding with the budgeted funding standing at $332,931,000 as the actual stands at $343,945,000. The actual total cost of services is presented as $329,654,000 while the total assets are reported as $87,747,000. It is important to note that aggregate funding is made up of the aggregate of recurrent funds as well as capital funding.

            The agency in the year ended 31st march 2010 also undertook some capital projects which included but were not limited to a renovation of the office block to be used for purposes of reporting and a relocation of the development office. The space left out on relocation of the development office was renovated to house a responsible parenting unit.

            The income statement gives a total expenses figure of $352,701,000 and a total revenue figure of 27,000,000 for the same financial period under consideration. The balance sheet as at 31st march 2010 gives a total asset figure of $87,747,000 and a total liability figure of $27,983,000. The equity section is made up of the contributed equity, surplus which is accumulated as well as reserves. The agency also has a statement of cash flows. The cash flows include cash flows from the state, cash flows from operating activities, cash flows from investing activities and lastly cash and cash equivalents at the period end. The cash flows from the state are listed as $372, 546,000 while the cash flows from operating activities are stated as a negative figure i.e. 301,900,000. Cash and cash equivalents as at the end of the period were 12, 321,000.

The agency executes its mission through the provision of a number of operational services which in one way or the other target children as well as their families. First, the agency carries out a detailed investigation of all the reports at its disposal regarding the abuse of children. The results of the investigation are the main determinants of the cause of action the child protective agency takes. Next, the agency is charged with the role of providing emergency shelter to either the child, family or both under special circumstances. At the familial level, the agency is felt through the provision of a number of emergency services including but not limited to counseling as well as emergency placements that are largely designed to be protective.

Next, the agency offers classes to do with parenting either on a voluntary or mandatory basis to parents throughout the state. There are also classes which deal with corrective initiatives to address concerns related to or involving substance as well as substance abuse. In this line, the agency does tests for drugs which underline its relevance in combating substance as well as alcohol abuse. For cases where counseling may be required as a corrective measure, the agency has in place mechanisms to enhance its capability to handle mental health services which may or may not be accompanied by counseling sessions. To all those within its jurisdiction, the agency has other peripheral services such as the provision of medical services coupled with the care of dental issues and concerns.

An analysis of the effectiveness of the child protection services

            When it comes to effectiveness in the delivery of its services, the child protection service’s performance can be said to be satisfactory. The services provided within the umbrella of the child protection services are wide and far reaching and their impact on the ground is widely felt. The children services are listed widely or generally as emergency services, parental information, dental and health initiatives, counseling and lastly adoption as well as foster care. The emergency services are made up of the crisis nursery and an arm that is charged with taking reports on child abuse.

            It is through this arm that the agency can be said to have links with the criminal justice. This arm has three general strategic departments which include the recording department, the filing department and the follow-up department. The recording department is charged with the role of taking complains as well as information on any aspect of child abuse and other emergencies. Emergencies are always addressed in consultation with the relevant law enforcement agencies. This department operates 24 hours a day. The filing department is charged with the duty of taking appropriate action where necessary and this includes liaising with the criminal justice system is the circumstances at play call for the same.

The follow-up department is charged with the duty of making follow-ups of what has been reported and the addressing of deviations from the planed action where necessary. This is an integral department within the agency as it ensures all the recommended action is adhered to and hence guarantees success of the various initiatives instituted by the child protection services.  All the departments within the child protection services are professionally hired to ensure they are fit for the advancement of the agencies mission. To keep them up to date on pertinent information that might in one way or the other enhance their service delivery, the agency organizes in-house seminars and workshops twice per year for those charged with overseeing the smooth running of the agency. This workshops are tailored into offer the necessary skills to those who attend as well as to give them motivation when it comes to the performance of the same.

 Strategies for purposes of improving efficiency

 Though the child protection services can be said to be fairly effective, more needs to be done to ensure it succeeds in delivering its social goals. First, the seminars and workshops it offers twice a year should be extended to those employees and volunteers at the low cadres as well. As things stand now, the seminars are organized with individuals at the supervisory level in mind. A departure from this can in one way or the other lead to the improvement of the skills of the workers at lower cadres as well as motivation. Given that those seminars and workshops have borne fruit according to Dobelstein (2003), an extension of the same to lower cadre workers of the agency will only enhance its effectiveness and ensure that its goals are met in full.

 Next, another way to enhance the effectiveness of the agency could be through embracing technology. Currently, the agency still relies in the outdated recording methods especially at the recording level. This not only slows the whole system but it also has been proven to be costly (Stanley 2003). Embracing technology not only makes things easier and cheaper but it also oils efficiency. The child protection agency will therefore make massive cost savings which can be diverted to other worthy uses by embracing technology. Lastly, the agency could also ensure that it collects feedback on its performance from a number of quarters.

According to Dobelstein (2003), the collection of feedback on performance is one of the best ways to evaluate the performance of a given organization as well as for decision making purposes. With that in mind the child protection services could collect feedback and use the same for purposes of decision making. For instance, negative feedback could stimulate corrective action to address deviation from the expected whereas positive feedback could be used for purposes of modeling decisions on a similar framework. Either way, feedback is a critical ingredient for purposes of decision making.


It is important to note that based on what it is currently doing, the child protection services has a big role to play going forward. The increasing cases of children rights violation in California puts the agency and its officers in the spotlight. The agency should hence ensure that it addresses all the concerns raised through referring to them appropriately. It is also important to note that without working hand in hand with the criminal justice system; most of the social goals of the agency may not be met. The protection of children rights should therefore be a concerted effort requiring the participation of all the stakeholders.


Dolgoff, R., Feldstein, D., & Skolnick, L. (1997). Understanding social welfare. Longman. University of Michigan

Retrieved on September 14, 2010 from:

DiNitto, D.M. (2010). Social Welfare: Politics and Public Policy. Pearson Education

Dobelstein, A.W. (2003). Social welfare: policy and analysis. Brooks/Cole–Thomson Learning

Stanley, N. (2003). Child protection and mental health services: inter-professional responses to the needs of mothers. The Policy Press


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Development of Cultural Competence


Sociologist Louis Wirth defines marginalized groups as groups of people who are singled out in the daily activities of the society due to their physical and cultural practices and therefore regarding themselves as objects of discrimination.

The marginalized groups are found in every continent in the world and these are the people who face quite a number of challenges due to their minority and thus their voices cannot be heard in any environmental engagement.

I was able to interview one of the persons who belong to this group in one of the cities in the US. Anthony Ojigba is a Nigerian born American citizen who stays in the New York City. He is blind and though is disabled I could communicate and could obtain a lot of information from him. He belongs to the Ibo people in Nigeria and even though he has for a while in the US he still has his cultural beliefs.

It came to my understanding that a man should always be the head of the house and must accept the responsibilities to the community whenever he is chosen by the council of elders or the council of chiefs in leadership. He gets to understand the new environment since the development of nursing health care centers as his faith was in the traditional herbal medicine from forests whereby he could easily describe the kind of medicine for various diseases to people who understand him better.

However, living in the US seemed rather challenging because he faced so many barriers in accessing safe, efficient or patient centered health facilities. “The physicians don’t respect me whenever I go for medication.” That is what he could say. The other barriers he encounters in accessing health care is communication and accessing information since the type of medication can not be written by Braille. This is why he actually has a negative perception on professional health care and also the belief of the traditional herbs.

Africa people and culture (2010) explains Ibo as the most populous people in Nigeria having a population of about thirty million. They believe there is a supreme god called “Chukwu” who has other gods as his children known as the “Umuagbara” and the spirit of the dead people called the “Ndi Ichie”. They belief in the reincarnation and that life is a continuous trend where a person transform into another living thing upon his death.

Decisions are made by anyone in the village right from the group of elders to the chiefs, secret societies and even sometimes women associations. It also entails that man has so many powers and authorities in a village or a society and the negative culture is that a woman and the disabled persons are the lesser persons in the community and do not contribute to the community.

Blind people are usually ignored in every aspect of living as being contributing any economic activity in the society. Blind person just like any other person needs good attention and excellent health care in nursing centers and also some assistance by other people so that he/she can take right dosages as prescribed by the doctor. A nursing officer should be able to handle the blind person in the right way like having the patient taking the dosage only at his presence.


African guide (1996-2010). African People and Culture.


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Sexual Values


                       Every individual has his or her own values when it comes to sexuality. It is also certain that as one grows up, his or her own sexual values tend to change as the sources of sexual information change as well as exposure to diversity in matters sexual. This has been the case for me particularly in regard to sources of sexual information. In my earlier stages of life, particularly during childhood, my main source of sexual information was my parents.

           However, during adolescence and young adulthood my parents were replaced by peers as sources of sexual information. In middle age and adulthood however, my main sources of sexual education has been the media and other publications. It hence goes without saying that my major influence in regard to sexual values currently has been the media i.e. what I read in various publications or watch on T.V.

            It is good to note that my sexual values differ by far with those of my parents. This I attribute to contrasting environments in which we were brought up. While my view of sexual values is liberal, theirs is largely conservative. This explains my tolerance to sexual values that are different to my own. In my own opinion, no person should be victimized for being different when it comes to sexuality.

            I plan to teach my children a lot about sexuality and this I have already begun as I have a son. I would like him to know as much as there is about sexuality so that he does not seek information which may end up being misleading elsewhere. I believe it is my duty as a parent to teach him that while there is need to be tolerant to sexual lifestyles that are different from our own, there are consequences attached to each sexuality decision one makes.

              I will also be supportive to sexual education in my child’s school for the right reasons as I do believe that if a child does not get sexual education from the right sources, he or she will end up seeking it from elsewhere, sometimes with disastrous consequences. 


James Robinson is the Author and the Managing Director of MeldaResearch.Com a globally competitive top essay writing service which is the premiere provider of Essay Writing Services, Research Paper Writing Services at Term Paper Writing Services at very affordable cost. For 9 years, she has helped a number of students in different academic subjects.

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