Tutor profile: Megan T.
Describe the difference between the interdependent and independent construals of self.
Interdependent construals of self differs from the independent as definition the of one’s self extends to the group around them. The self isn’t understood as the individual, rather the role of the individual in the larger group context. The self is defined via relations to others with an emphasis placed on behaviours within a contextual setting rather than the overarching personal traits that define the independent construal. This embodies a holistic view of the society where the members of the group are defined by membership in the group and the group is defined by the people that it contains. The process of socialization focuses on perpetuating the values of the group in order to form a cohesive culture of individuals with interconnected goals and social standards and norms. To maintain a truly interdependent society in today's would be a difficult endeavour without reduction into a small isolated community. The spread of Hollywood movies and American Pop Culture have disseminated Independent values far past North America, as far as Iran where despite crippling US imposed sanctions, bootlegged Western films were immensely popular. In the interdependent society one’s internal attributes are suppressed rather than embodied, in a way that doesn't cause the person dissonance rather pride in the ability to put the group above themselves. Self Esteem is thus gained via relations within the group and feeling they fit in and are maintaining the role they are there to play. Being “you” comes bellow being a part of the larger group. An example of this is the Twenty Statement Test where many of the people who were from independent cultures answered the self-schema “I am____” questions with internal traits and unique skills, while the people from intradependent societies were more inclined to declare membership in groups such as nationality, family and relations to others. While the fear in for a person exhibiting an independent construal of self is to be unable to express one’s own traits or becoming lost in the crowd, the primary fear in the antithetical construal is to be excluded from the group or to stand out. To contrast the story of my friend bragging about doing better than average on his computer science midterm, Markus and Kitayama provide an example of a study that found Japanese students were happier when they had performed closer to average on a test as opposed to being above average. It is socialized into Japanese culture that it is better to be a part of the group than it is to stand out, thus the students who were most pleased with themselves had gotten lower marks. This demonstrates the value placed on being accepted, belonging in the group and playing the role the situation demands of you. There is pride associated with being able to realize the position you occupy within the society and the behaviour associated with this role, but this might seem like mind reading to a Western audience.
Subject: Political Science
Describe one way militarized conflict has evolved due to the spread of globalization and technological advancements of the last ten years.
The worldwide integration of technology has lead to the evolution of unmanned aerial vehicles (also called drones or UAVs) from reconnaissance cameras to the lethal machinery seen today. UAVs have changed the way conflict is resolved by allowing the pilots to be removed physically and mentally from the combat area.Hillel Ofek explained the intensification of UAV programing in The Tortured Logic of Obama’s Drone War published in 2010. President Obama stated that the purpose of UAVs in the Middle East was an effort to implement his vision of “restor[ing] the adherence to rule of law” (Ofek, 35). The program saw success by killing “scores of low level al Qaeda and Taliban operatives” (Ofek, 36) along with major spokesmen for the agencies and even the son of Osama Bin Laden. However, Jeffrey Smith, former CIA general counsel criticized the program arguing “if they’re dead they’re not talking to you, and you create more martyrs.” (Ofek, 37). Furthermore, many attacks are planned using intelligence supplied by locals with ulterior motives leading to the death of civilians. Moreover, Zosia Kmietowitz reports in the 2012 British Medical Journal that a UK charity called Medact has called for the government to stop “purchasing, developing, deploying” (Kmietowitz, 6) UAVs due to the deaths and injuries of civilians caused by the drones. Additionally, Medact reports the psychological damage caused done warfare affects both the operator and the civilian population of areas where these drones are used. The report is also critical of international law regarding the UAVs, stating ethical war convention laws do not apply to aerial warfare. It is estimated that in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia drones have caused the death of 2955 to 4353 civilians by professionals fear these deaths often go unreported. However, the collateral impact of UAVs programs are not forgotten. David Kilcullen and Andrew Exum argued “every one of these dead noncombatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge and more recruits for a militant movement that has grown exponentially even as drone strikes have increased.” (Ofek, 38) Despite this, there is no intention to stop UAV operations. Kmietowitz quotes an estimation of the US alone spending 32 billion dollars over the next eight years on UAVs (Kmietowitz, 6). Drones, the exemplification of the intersection between globalization and warfare are here to stay and continue to shape the way modern warfare is conducted.
Subject: International Relations
What is the International Relations significance of Climate Change?
CLIMATE CHANGE poses a unique challenge to International Relations because not only is it a contested concept (despite scientific consensus on the reality of the phenomenon, both the President Elect of the United States and his pick for the Environmental Protection Agency have historically been vocally skeptical of the existence and extent of the problem) and demands global cooperation in order to effectively curb the impending crisis. The lack of international institutions that can impose meaningful consequences for states that fail to reach environmental targets set up current agreements, and prevent nations from pulling out (leading to a repeat of the failed Kyoto Protocol) makes it difficult for democratically elected governments to prioritize the climate issues over affairs that more directly affect concerns of the voting citizens of those nations (and be voted in again to continue to progress), likewise, although people are often reminded it's an issue, it is difficult to feel the effects on a day to day basis thus it is hard to scare people into wanting to give up conveniences to thwart an abstract problem. Likewise, many of the key contributors to global warming are key to the global economy, (for example the petroleum industry: contributes to the production of various materials, along with a lot of the world's energy while providing employment opportunities for millions of people, is the world's largest largest industry, and has a vested interest in insuring legislation attempts at reducing the effects of climate change via efforts like carbon taxes do not affect the global market or the industry in an economically detrimental way) in many places fuel fossils are so ingrained in the current economic system that it is difficult to challenge them to become greener without facing harsh backlash from lobby groups.
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