Political Science As A Foundational Aspect Of Any Society Essay Example

I find political science to be the most captivating for me due to numerous reasons. As Carr (2001) claims, “Utopia and reality are thus two facets of political science” (p. 10). The author explains that the aim of reaching a utopia is essential as there should be a necessary ideal for people to long for. Political science assesses this ideal and attempts to address the ways and actionable strategies to reach it by improving society and facilitating growth. However, unlike the utopist thinkers and their immature dreaming, political scientists look at real-life evidence and data to strategize and develop realistically viable approaches to a better future. As Hunt and Colander (2016) note, the historical background of the greatest civilizations, such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Ancient Greece, shows that people need political entities and realistic thought to govern themselves and advance. Thus, I believe that political science is a foundational aspect of any society and, consequently, want to study it to contribute to the creation of safe, nourishing, and growing communities.

As it concerns the actionable implementation of political science’s research findings in society, I believe that an evidence-based approach in politics should be implemented in its decision-making. Political science can address societal issues on a comprehensive level and administer peace, order, and conflict resolution in the given society. However, there is also a belief that social sciences are unable to address current events. As mentioned by Hunt and Colander (2016), Thomas Kuhn stated that social sciences’ progress happens through a paradigm. Scientists need time to accept the new and better theory, and before they do, experts can be barriers to a positive change regardless of the accuracy of the factual data.

Therefore, it can be argued that modern political scientists should adopt agility and cautiousness when it comes to change since new theories and research programs should be adopted for a seamless transition to utopia. Political science is not only philosophical but also a data-driven field whose findings have societal implications (Hunt & Colander, 2016). Governmental and societal entities, such as the country’s courts, regional police, and so forth, need to accept the contributions made by political science as long as they are evidence-based and have real-life applications.

References

Carr, E. (2001). The twenty years’ crisis, 1919-1939. Perennial.

Hunt, E., & Colander, D. (2016). Social Science: An Introduction to the Study of Society (16th ed.). Routledge.

The Analysis Of The Studies On Cannabis Dependence

Marijuana accounts for a significant fraction of illicit drugs used worldwide. The addictive qualities of cannabis are often debated and compared to the similar effects of nicotine and alcohol. This topic has received a significant amount of attention recently, as many states consider legalizing the recreational use of the drug. Hence, the importance of the research on the addictive qualities of marijuana can not be underestimated, as it should play a pivotal role in the decision-making process.

The resources used in preparation for this paper include the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Numerous peer-reviewed scholarly articles and reports available in online libraries were analyzed to gain information on the topic. The first selected study was funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the New York State Psychiatric Institute (Lopez-Quintero et al., 2010). The second study was funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (Swift et al., 2008). In both cases, funding bodies did not participate in the studies or analysis of the results.

In the first study, researchers aimed to establish the connection between substance use and dependence using the survey data collected by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The analysis was based on the answers of 34,653 adults identified as life-time users of at least one of the following substances – alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, or cannabis (Lopez-Quintero et al., 2010). The data was adjusted to avoid disparities in representation of different social groups based on sex, ethnicity, age, and so forth (Lopez-Quintero et al., 2010). Participants were asked when they tried the substance for the first time to determine the use onset (Lopez-Quintero et al., 2010). The substance use disorder (SUD) diagnosis was was determined by the criteria set by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in DSM-IV (Lopez-Quintero et al., 2010). To establish whether the respondents had SUD, researchers asked them how often they experienced specific symptoms (Lopez-Quintero et al., 2010). The responses showed that the percentage of addicted individuals varied significantly between different substances.

The study results largely reconfirmed earlier research on the topic, which indicated that marijuana users could develop an addiction. However, the probability was relatively low compared to nicotine or alcohol users. The statistics showed that less than 9% of marijuana users would develop addiction over the course of their lives (Lopez-Quintero et al., 2010). Among social groups, younger individuals, males, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives were more prone to becoming dependent on the drug (Lopez-Quintero et al., 2010). The study is based on a large-scale survey that provided sufficient data for all social groups. However, a few serious limitations associated with this method exist. The accuracy of the data largely depends on the respondents’ conscientiousness and can not be measured objectively. Moreover, the survey lacks information on the changes in participants’ income, which could significantly alter the interpretation of the differences between social groups.

The goal of the second study was to determine whether the early exposure of adolescents to marijuana leads to cannabis dependency in young adults. The researchers selected 2032 students from the mid-secondary schools in Victoria, Australia, in 1992 and tracked their progress for ten years, during which they were supposed to participate in eight interviews (Swift et al., 2008). The researchers considered additional factors in sampling, such as sex, school location, parental divorce, parents’ smoking habits and level of education (Swift et al., 2008). The teenagers were asked when they tried marijuana for the first time, and they had to report the frequency of use (Swift et al., 2008). Only 1520 participants took part in the last, eighth wave of reviews in 2001-2003 (Swift et al., 2008). To establish whether the young adults who participated in the last wave of interviews had SUD, the researchers used DSM-IV criteria (Swift et al., 2008). The respondents’ answers helped to establish a connection between adolescent use of cannabis and addiction rates among the young adult population.

The findings of the study are consistent with the previous research, which established that early and frequent exposure to cannabis among teenagers increases the risk of dependence later in life. The results indicated that the respondents who used tried cannabis early or used it regularly in adolescence had a significantly higher chance of developing an addiction by the age of 24 (Swift et al., 2008). Similar to the first study, male gender was identified as one of the additional risk factors (Swift et al., 2008). Frequent interviews and high participation are mentioned among the strengths of the study (Swift et al., 2008). However, the accuracy of the data gained through the self-reporting procedure can be considered a limitation.

Overall, the research proves that marijuana users can develop a dependence, even though it is less addictive than nicotine or alcohol. The review of both studies has shown that long-term exposure to cannabinoids can lead to SUD. Reviewed articles were published within the last 15 years, and they maintain their relevance today, as both studies are often cited in the latest volumes of academic journals. The results of the second research project show that the growing number of marijuana users among teenagers will likely cause a significant increase in SUD diagnoses in the next decade. Further research is needed to bring attention to this issue and explore possible prevention measures.

References

Lopez-Quintero, C., de los Cobos, J. P., Hasin, D. S., Okuda, M., Wang, S., Grant, B. F., & Blanco, C. (2011). Probability and predictors of transition from first use to dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine: Results of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 115(1-2), 120-130.

Swift, W., Coffey, C., Carlin, J. B., Degenhardt, L., & Patton, G. C. (2008). Adolescent cannabis users at 24 years: Trajectories to regular weekly use and dependence in young adulthood. Addiction, 103(8), 1361-1370.

“The Presidency” And The First Ladies

The White House page devoted to the first ladies throughout the history of the United States. provides its readers with the information on their biography. Moreover, one may learn about the projects carried out throughout the presidency of their husbands. This data seems quite relevant, considering the poor representation of the female population in American political life even today. A first lady post is a unique tool of the female agenda promotion in the U.S.

To begin with, it is vital to explain why one would choose this topic to analyze. Women make up 51% of the American population, but they occupy about a quarter of the seats in the Senate or the House of Representatives (Represent Women 19). This tendency occurs even though studies show that women in power serve as role models for the female population (Liu and Banaszak 133). It increases their conventional political participation like party membership, voting, engagement in peaceful demonstrations, and petition signing, for instance (Liu and Banaszak 134). Nevertheless, while women continue to fight for fair representation in the political institutes, they have traditionally occupied one position in power – being the first lady. Though it may seem to be inappropriate replacement of the presidency itself, one may not deny that the first ladies contribute to the public diplomatic success of the country to say nothing about the resolution of specific issues (Wang 128). While the role of the first lady may be underestimated, those women have played a significant role in the political life of the U.S., and, hence, their contribution must be explored.

Speaking of the way this topic relates to the chapter on the presidency in the U.S., one may point out the fact that in many ways relies on the figure of the president. For instance, the credentials of the first ladies coincide with the terms of the presidency. First ladies’ actions rarely contradict presidents’ policies. Nevertheless, they seem to be quite independent in the projects they launch. In other words, the first lady position is directly related to the presidency.

Finally, it seems essential to assess the way the site “First Ladies” may expand one’s knowledge of American politics (White House). One could learn about the projects and the fields of work of the first ladies. For instance, Michelle Obama addressed the issue of childhood obesity, veterans and their family’s support, and the promotion of higher education and schooling for girls around the world (White House). This partially explains why Michelle Obama ended up as one of the greatest role models for African American girls all over the States (Haynes and Block 369). However, for obvious reasons, this platform does not cover the sensitive or awkward aspects of these women’s biographies. Moreover, if one seeks information on the interpersonal relations between presidents and their first ladies, it does not appear to be the source for this objective. Hence, this site is an excellent source of knowledge on what has been achieved by the first ladies. Nevertheless, it is not comprehensive, and one should not base their assumptions on the issue based exclusively on this source of information.

To conclude, the first ladies have played a unique role in American political history. While even in 2020, women are disproportionally represented in the political institutes of the U.S., the first lady position becomes a significant source of power for women. This role is far from what women deserve as well as men – any political position; however, it has proved to be an essential tool for influencing the White House’s directions of work. First women have contributed to public diplomacy, national image building, support of family institutes, promotion of education, and increasing the well-being of the nation. However, the source under discussion does not provide comprehensive information on these figures and the different aspects of their lives.

Works Cited

Haynes, Christiana, and Ray Block. “Role-Model-In-Chief: Understanding a Michelle Obama Effect”. Politics & Gender, vol. 15, 2019, pp. 365 – 402.

Liu, Shan-Jan Sarah, and Lee Ann Banaszak. “Do Government Positions Held by Women Matter? A Cross-National Examination of Female Ministers’ Impacts on Women’s Political Participation”. Politics and Gender, vol.13, 2017, pp. 132 – 162.

Represent Women. “Gender Parity Index 2019 Report”. FairVote: Web.

Wang, Ning. ““First Lady Diplomacy” and the Construction of National Image”. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, vol. 14, 2018, pp. 125 – 136.

White House. “First Ladies”. White House. 2020. Web.

White House. “Michelle Obama”. White House: 2020. Web.

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