Gross Domestic Product Comparisons Sample Assignment

Introduction

Operations management is defined as the all processes that contribute to the transformation of inputs to become finished goods and services. The operations of firms vary from country to country and it is the scope of this paper to investigate how operations of firms between countries contribute to their respective GDPs. The flow of goods and services between the countries is what contributes to their difference in balance of trade. The balance of trade is variation in the value of both exports and imports in accordance to the monetary value. These imports and exports are in the form of goods and services (Heizer 193). There is the difference between operations management in different countries and we will look into each country and compare them. With the rise in globalization we cannot ignore the fact there are emerging markets that have come up such as India, China, Mexico among others. There has been focus on the internalization of operations that center on production, and technology. It is the countries that center their attention towards this factors that are sure to make headway and grow their GDP numbers. The GDP of these countries is also ruled by factors such as manufacturing operations, Global supply chains, Facilities and their locations, productivity of workers, the general design of human resource structures, Information management systems and process development and technology transfer. We will now look into the different countries and compare their GDP’s in respect to the goods and services (Heizer 205).

USA

Being the leading national economy in the world, the gross domestic product of the US, easily surpasses most countries by a big margin and a good example of this is last years GDP was reported to be at 14.2 Trillion Dollars, easily surpassing the second biggest national economy Japan by almost twice that figure. From the 1970’s US GDP has managed to remain stable despite external factor such as corporate governance scandals, terrorist attacks and major Wars that it continues to run up to today. The stable GDP is attributed to aspects such as low unemployment rates and increasingly high rates in capitals investment among others. When it comes to the manufacturing sector, the US, is the leading manufacturer as it is has concentrated its manufacturing resources in industries such as petroleum, steel, automotive, aerospace among others (Heizer 56)

USA

China

China

As of 1970, the economy of China was1% of the world’s economy and by 2007 china became the third largest economy contributing to 6% of the World’s economy. In recent times China has overtaken Japan to become the second biggest economy rivaling the US, as the biggest exporter of manufactured goods (Heizer 23).

UK

UK

In this chart we see that the level of output since 1948 steadily rose up to the point that in 2006, UK’s GDP at constant 2003 was estimated to be at £1,209,387 million (£1.21 trillion). This was an upward shift as it reflected that the economy was at four and a half times the level it was in 1948. The UK is also robust in the manufacturing sector as it is actively involved in the petroleum, automotive among other sectors. It’s service sector is also noted to be stable as it well supported by the financial and Telecommunication sector (Heizer 45).

France

France

We can see that although the French GDP seems to be fluctuating, it seems not to follow any specific pattern. After Jacques Chirac became president in 1995, the GDP and economy at large seems to have improved and this is attributed to the rise in the manufacturing sector and the service sector. France has heavily invested in the petroleum sector. After the oil crisis in 1973 and 1978 the GDP dropped affecting both businesses and homes (Heizer 96).

Conclusion

levels of GDP growth

All these countries had different levels of GDP growth but in general all the economies grew as from 1970 to the late 2000 era. From Europe to Asia up to North America, the services and manufacturing sector grew at a steady rate to reflect the growth in the economies (Heizer 63).

Works Cited

Heizer Jay. “Operations Management.” London: McGraw- Hill, 2009.

The Media Coverage Of The Palestinian-israeli Crisis

Introduction: A review of the Story

The ongoing conflicts and prolonged but unsuccessful peace-making processes between Palestine and Israel have commonly been labeled as “the Palestinian-Israeli crisis”. The conflicts have been characterized by border disagreements, mutual recognitions, security threats, water rights, control over Jerusalem, fates, and legalities of the refugees among other key issues.

Palestinian-Israeli conflicts have continuously drawn the attention of International dignitaries, human rights bodies, and political leaders, many of whom have made several attempts in trying to broker a peace accord between the two Middle East States, to end their long time crisis.

The ongoing conflicts have also generated different views and opinions from across the world, with different leaders from the two States and elsewhere approaching the issue differently. The media continues to play a rather crucial role in covering unfolding events on the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts.

Purpose of the analysis

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the news coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis” from the perspectives of two newspapers, reporting between 20th, October 2010 and 5th, November 2010. Publications considered for the analysis in the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicles.

The New York Times is a major daily publication with wide coverage and circulation, both at the national and international levels. San Francisco Chronicle on the other hand is a local Weekly publication with limited circulation as compared to the New York Times.

Definition of terminologies

A systematic process of making comparisons between different sets of media coverage within a given period amounts to what is termed as media analysis (Gould, 1-9). In media analysis, concepts such as framing, hegemony, ideology, propaganda, bias, pseudo-environment, critical theories, empirical research, among other key terms are commonly in use.

To begin with, “framing” as Schudson contends, has been used to substitute for the term “bias” (Schudson, 11). The concept is defined by Todd Gitlin as “persistent patterns of cognition, interpretation, and presentation, of selection, emphasis, and exclusion, by which symbol-handlers routinely organize discourse, either verbally or non-verbally”(Gitlin, 18). Framing reflects a given mindset or viewpoint. It involves looking into a story from the viewpoints of the people.

The following article extracted from the New York Times, dated October 11, 2010, may be used as an instance where framing has been done to convey additional meanings to the story. The article is titled “Netanyahu’s moves spark Debate on intentions”. Under this title, it is reported that the intention of the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to “freeze the West Bank Jewish settlement in exchange for Palestinians recognition of Israel as a Jewish State” was “instantly rejected by Palestinians”. It is also reported that this was the “latest complex maneuver engendering debate about” the PMs intentions.

From the above extract, an instance of “framing” is manifested in the statement, “instantly rejected by the Palestinians”, indicating how impossible it was for the Palestinians to tolerate the moves made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Also indicating a case of framing is the sentence “…was the latest complex maneuver engendering debate about his intentions”. In this statement, it is apparent that there have previously been some complications in attempts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. This clause may also imply that the move made by the Israeli prime minister was another complex one, making him be perceived as a hardliner in the peacemaking process.

Turning to the same story coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle, there are instances of framing evidenced. Considering the following extract from the San Francisco publication, dated, 11th, October 2010. “Israel aims the Palestinian “incitement”.This is the title of the article, under which it has been reported that the Palestinians were accusing the Israel prime minister of his attempt to “divert attention away from the impasse in the negotiations”.

From the above report, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu is portrayed as a hardliner and not so keen on reaching an amicable solution to the crisis between his State and Palestinian.

In both articles, drawn from the New York Times and San Fransisco, the Israeli prime minister is at the focus of the media coverage. These indicate the importance of the role played by the Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, in the peace negotiation processes regarding the conflict between his state, Israel, and Palestine, their long-time opponents.

The media trend of promoting, through emphasis, a given power structure or political leadership constitutes hegemony. Enough to mention that how the conducts of the Israeli prime minister have to some extent been given attention is hegemonic.

According to Antonio Gramsci, Marxist Social Philosopher, hegemony is the promotion of dominant power structures by the media. Antonios theory of hegemony explains that we live in societies made up of structures that are maintained not by force alone, but people must be involved in keeping the power structures and the powerful individuals on top of the societal structure (Gramsci, 8-22).

On the 3rd of October, the New York Times reported that a police spokesperson asserted that a police a “Hamas police officer” that was accused of shooting at an opponent, was only trying to “intervene to stop a quarrel when a bullet was accidentally discharged from his gun”. According to the report, witnesses alleged the Hamas police officer was also engaged in serious a disagreement with a salesman by the name “Alaa al-Sourri” before he finally shot him.

The above is an extract from the New York Times publication, titled “Israel Attack Kills a Top Militant in Gaza “.The article, dated,3rd, November 2010, is part of the series of media coverage on the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. From this extract, it is not known whether the Hamas police intended to “stop a quarrel when a bullet …accidentally discharged from his gun…” as reported by the New York Times publication. The statement seems to have been distorted by the reporter or the editors of the New York Times publication to make it free from incitation, controversies of any kind and to avoid any statement that can make the opponents feel they have been provoked or incited. This aspect of the media distorting or twisting reality to serve a rather different purpose has been termed as ideology.

Ideology and propaganda are the other terms often used in the media

The ideology which has attracted a plethora of definitions is perceived in Marxist thinking as “distorted knowledge that presents a false view of reality” (Gitlin, 19-24). Like the concept of ideology, propaganda has also received an overwhelming account of definitions. However, among the famous definitions of propaganda is that of Harold Lasswell, a philosopher, and political scientist. Lasswell defines propaganda as “the control of opinions by significant symbols… rumors, reports, pictures and many other forms of communication included” (Czitrom, 123).

If the “control of opinions by significant symbols” amounts to propaganda, then the recent circulation of a publication about the Israeli building plan resumption in the controversial East Jerusalem, and the midst of peace talks, is a sign of propaganda manifested in the coverage of the ongoing peace talks between Palestine and Israel. This story was covered by both the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicles on the 8th, November 2010, with both publications posing a question as to whether the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was informed prior, about the news coming from his government when he just traveled to the States to broker a peace talk (Teibel, 3-5, & Kershner, 7-8).

The same story has also been framed synonymously by the two newspapers. Major emphases are given on the move taken by the Israeli government during this “sensitive time”, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle (Teibel, 3-5).

In the New York Times, a chief Palestine officer, Saeb Erekat, notes that “the Palestinians “condemned” the latest plans in the “strongest possible terms”.In the San Francisco Chronicles, the Washington State Department spokesman, P.J. Crowley, notes that “the Monday announcement was “deeply disappointing” and “counter-productive” in paving way for the ongoing peace efforts(Teibel, 3-5, & Kershner, 7-8).

The two publications have at least considered such quotes that would make their coverage more appealing and attention-drawing. Such terms as “Sensitive time”,” strongest possible terms”,” condemned”, “deeply disappointing” and “counter-productive” have thus been used by the two publications in framing the story (Schudson, 11)

Throughout their coverage, both publications have continuously pointed at or referred to key individual figures that have dominated the “Palestine-Israeli crisis” stories. Such persons as the U.S President Barrack Obama; Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad; Yitzhak Rabin, the later Israeli PM; the Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, among other International dignitaries have clouded the stories. This trend of the Media incessantly using the top leaders and heads of State as reference points have been considered very critical in establishing the power structure in the society. Who says what, when, and how becomes a significant issue in the media coverage, as they try to shape the reality. This has “partly” been coined as “Hegemony” (Gramsci, 8-22). Partly in the sense that other philosophers like Harold Lasswel termed such as politics rather than hegemony.

Evidence of hegemony is well portrayed in recent news coverage by the San Francisco Chronicle, an article titled,” Israel moves ahead with the east Jerusalem housing”, in which case, the statement “President Barrack Obama will be traveling in Asia during Netanyahu’s trip” to the States”, seems to be out of the contextual reality. To some greater extent, mentioning the president’s name was as crucial as making attempts to resolve the Palestinian-Israel crisis, even though the visiting of the Israeli prime minister to the States might have had nothing significant to do with him or his absence. This is because he is a key world figure generally perceived to be so powerful in the global society. The media has made people believe so, and this can be hegemonic. Others would beg to argue otherwise.

Ideology is yet another concept that has weighed more in the coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. Considering an extract from the San Francisco Chronicle publication, dated 12th, October 2010, it has been reported that as much as the Israeli expected the Palestinians to acknowledge or recognize the Jewish State as their Israeli nation sate, the Palestinians also expect Israeli to recognize “the Palestinian state as their nation-state”.According to this report, this was the stand of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli PM added that “his demands were not a condition for negotiation”.

The last statement “Netanyahu said, adding that his demand was not a condition for negotiation”, could have been a matter of the publication’s way of presenting the message in its best interest, therefore distorting the original implication of how Netanyahu voiced his concerns about the Middle East fiascos. This can be an ideology described by Marxist thinking as “distorted knowledge that presents a false view of reality” (Gitlin, 19-24).

Conclusions

Generally, the Palestine-Israeli conflicts and the ongoing peace-making processes have undergone tremendous transformations, courtesy of the role played by the media in informing the world about the Middle East state of affairs. Unfortunately, success in reaching an amicable solution is yet to be brokered. The publications considered in this paper have particularly given the Palestine-Israeli crisis exceptional coverage.

However, it’s very crucial to note that the media coverage made so far on this matter may at times have been characterized by or even subjected to ideologies, biases, propaganda, hegemony, not to mention politics, and other socio-economical issues.

Appendices

Reporter Newspaper Date Articles Title
Amy Teibel San-Francisco Chronicle 8-11-2010 “Israel moves ahead with the east Jerusalem Housing”
Isabel Kershner New York Times 8-11-2010 “Israel Plans East Jerusalem Housing”
Feres Akram New York Times 3-11-2010 “Israel attack kills a Top Militant in Gaza”
Ethan Bronner New York Times 2-11-2010 “Israel: Defying Ban Palestinian Renovate East Jerusalem schools”
Joel Greenberg San Francisco Chronicle 12-10-2010

“Palestinians reject Israel building-freeze offer”

Ethan Ronner New York Times 11-10-2010

“Netanyahu’s moves Spark Debate on Interventions.”

Ian Deitch San Francisco Chronicles 3-10-2010

“Israel takes aim at the Palestinian “incitement””

Works Cited

Czitrom, Daniel. Media and American Mind: From Morse to McLuhan Chapel Hill NC: University of Morth Carolina Press, 1982. Page 123.

Gould, Douglas. Writing a Media Analysis. New York. Communications Consortium Media Center. 2004.1-9

Gitlin, Todd. The Whole World is watching: Mass Media in the Making and Unmaking of the New Left. New York. University of California Press.1980.18-34.

Gramsci, Antonio. Hegemony and the Media Studies: Theory of the hegemonic media. New York. Naomi Rockler-Gladen.2008.8-22.

Kershner, Isabel. Israel Plans East Jerusalem Housing. New York. New York Times. 2010. 7-8.

Schudson, Michael. Why democracies need an unlovable press. Great Britain. Cambridge CB2 IUR, UK. Polity Press.2008.11-48.

Teibel, Amy. Israel moves ahead with the east Jerusalem housing. New York. San Francisco Chronicles. 2010.3-7.

Polygamous Marriage In TV Series “Big Love” Season 1

Since television has occupied a considerable place in the life of people nowadays, and it is considered to be one of the most influential sources of information, it is easy and useful to find appropriate material for analysis among popular modern TV shows and films. The constant presence of television in our life arouses the demand to focus our attention on the issues of crucial importance on which television throws light today. HBO may be considered a reliable source of information for analysis because its “brand identity, technological innovations, and original programming have taken hold of the public imagination and emerged as unique in television’s cultural production” (Leverette et al. 2008: 8). The theme of polygamous marriage is the central motive of the series, thus, the theme of the present research may be defined as the nature and hardships of polygamous marriage in contemporary society as presented in the television show.

The choice of a particular material for analysis, “Big Love” Season One, is determined by its “leaving an indelible mark on the American (and global) cultural psyche” (Leverette et al. 2008: 8). High demand for the series, proven by the fact that Season Two and Three have followed the first one and Season Four will premier in January 2010, have been among the decisive factors, while choosing the material for study. The topicality of the series for this particular sociology course, “The Changing Family”, may be explained by the central focus of “Big Love” on a typical untypical family that presents a rich ground for investigation. The genre of the series is defined as drama, and it is deeper and more philosophical as compared with usual “situation comedy”, though it resembles its structure. “Big Love” combines various types of the atmosphere: ironic, satirical, dramatic, sad, and partially rueful. The fact that it took the creators of the television show, Mark. V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, three years to research the premise of “Big Love” is evidence of the high quality of material presented.

“Big Love” is aimed at a vast audience, though it contains scenes of sexual character, this is why it is inappropriate for children. However, it is created for a diverse audience, and it may be perceived and interpreted in different ways by different viewers: as a domestic comedy with the only peculiarity that the family is “a mutant” with three housewives instead of a traditional one; as the embodiment of dreams and the subject of envy for men who would be happy to have three attractive wives who share the bed with their husband in turn, having a draft of their “turn” or “duty” on their dining room table. Still, the question remains for every viewer to solve if the main character is a hero or an unhappy person. “Big Love” is aimed at female and male audiences equally as both sexes are responsible for a healthy and harmonious family. The point of view of those who live in polygamous marriage presents great significance for the present research as well, as they are also among the target audience of the series and their response and reaction show the nature of polygamous marriage. “Big Love” inspires both: approval of real polygamists who say that “It’s a more realistic view of a polygamous family that lives out in society than people have known” (Lee 2006: par. 4) as well as the disapproval of particular episodes and overestimation of sexual relationships, such as the inclusion of a special emphasis on Viagra in Episode Two “Viagra Blue”. The polygamists say that their men do not need Viagra, it is alien to their culture on the whole, and they do not put pressure on men sexually (Lee 2006: par. 20).

The important fact is that the characters of “Big Love” belong to fundamental Mormons who are characterized by the practice of plural marriage, “the single best-known feature of Mormonism in the nineteenth century and even now”, according to Bushman (2008: 86). The church emphasizes absolute loyalty between husband and wife and eternal companionship. When Mormons are asked about the reasons for their being in such a relationship, their answers are grounded on “the spiritual blessing of being sealed eternally and of submitting to God’s will” (Bushman 2008: 88). At first, polygamy was practiced secretly, but then it “flourished openly after 1852 until its official church prohibition in 1890 and 1904” (Atman and Ginat 1996: vii).

Thus, the main character of “Big Love” is Bill Henrickson, a practicing polygamist. He has a relationship with three women: Barbara, his only legal wife; the second wife, Nicki, who appears to be a secret shopaholic; and the third wife, the youngest one, Margene, whose age and temperament force Bill to resort to Viagra in order to provide his youngest wife with physical satisfaction. All in all, the family has eight children and it is Bill’s duty to provide such an extended family. He is a businessman who owns the chain of home improvement stores “Henrickson’s Home Plus”.

It is necessary to mention that society plays a major part in the series. The polygamous marriage of Bill Henrickson is kept secret by him and his wives from the rest of society. The whole action is built on the basis of the danger of their exposure and their attempts to evade it and save their polygamous marriage. The bright example of the attitude of society to polygamy may be observed in Episode Three, when Roman defends polygamy in the interview to “Los Angeles Times”, saying that plural marriage is the gift sent to Mormons by the Almighty. The reaction of the reporter who asks about the violence towards children represents the general politics of society, and Roman’s final statement about granting approval and freedom to homosexuals suggests the necessity of granting Mormons the right “to live in peace” as well. A picturesque episode is when the Henrickson’s get new neighbors and Barbara has to visit them and she brings a cake along with the made-up story about single mothers who live nearby. Finally, the brightest reaction of society may be observed in the final episode of Season One, when the family is exposed during the “Mother of the Year” Award when the family’s worst nightmares come true and the truth about their relationship is revealed.

On the whole, the family of the characters is presented as a constantly moving and disquiet organism with tension and enduring passions that determine the inner atmosphere in the family. The members are trying to make their life at least a bit ordered, for instance, they establish a special schedule of having an intimate relationship with Bill. Nevertheless, the family is unstable because the women do not get enough attention from their husbands; their treatment of the women is unequal. The family is, by all means, extended (with three wives and eight children), and as it is suggested by Cheal (2003) concerning extended families: the needs of the whole family are more important than the wishes of the separate elements in it (p. 332). Thus, Nicki’s idea to make Wayne’s birthday party at an expensive resort inviting more than one hundred people without any discussion of this “smart” idea with the rest of the family, as well as her squabble with Barbara because of the Award in the final episode show imperfectness of their relationship. Sarah’s behavior and her disapproval of her father’s faith are evidence of an unhealthy relationship inside the family. Finally, it is clear that Barbara is also against this type of marriage, the decisive factor that keeps her in this situation is her love for her spouse.

As for the class as depicted in the series, the Henrickson’s are presented as members of the upper-middle class. The emphasis on financial status is made because it is the duty of the head of the family to satisfy his wives’ demands. Through all episodes he is torn between being a successful businessman and a good husband, sometimes, he finds it impossible to combine these spheres with equal success.

The matter of age and gender may be vividly observed in “Big Love”. In the first place, the wives are of different ages, this factor causes inconvenience and jealousy of the two wives concerning the youngest and the most passionate one, Margene. In the second place, the problem of the generation gap may be observed among Bill and his daughter Sarah who condemn her father’s way of life. As for Sarah and Ben, they also represent the oppositions of views according to the faith-based on their gender. One more important thing connected with gender as presented in “Big Love” is the hint at the abuse of patriarchy presented by Roman who, evidently, has at least one teenage bride. The complexity of the relationship between genders and sexes is also illustrated by the example of Frank Harlow and Lois Henrickson, Bill’s parents, who are in the state of a constant feud.

Drawing a conclusion, it may be stated that “Big Love” is the rich ground for sociological investigation. It is known, that polygamy is still present in society nowadays. This is why the situation described in “Big Love” is realistic. However, the behavior of the women is depicted as a bit hyperbolized, which may be explained by the figurative presentation of events in the series and its comical atmosphere. The depiction of characters borders on satire and sympathy towards them. Important questions of physical relations, age gap, gender problems, pressure from society are brightly shown in the television show.

References

Altman, Irwin and J. Ginat. 1996. Polygamous Families in Contemporary Society. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bushman, Richard L. 2008. Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford university Press.

Cheal, David. 2003. Family: Critical Concepts in Sociology. New York: Routledge.

Lee, Felicia R. 2006. “‘Real Polygamist’ Look at HBO Polygamist and find Sex.” The New York Times. Web.

Leverette, Marc, Ott, Brian L., and Cara Louise Buckley. 2008. It’s Not TV: Watching HBO in the Post-television Era. Abington: Taylor & Francis.

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