1. When people react to their experiences with particular authorities, those authorities and the organizations or institutions that they represent often benefit if the people involved begin with high levels of commitment to the organization or institution represented by the authorities. First, in his studies of people's attitudes toward political and legal institutions, Tyler found that attitudes after an experience with the institution were strongly affected by prior attitudes. Single experiences influence post- experience loyalty but certainly do not overwhelm the relationship between pre-experience and post- experience loyalty. Thus, the best predictor of loyalty after an experience is usually loyalty before that experience. Second, people with prior loyalty to the organization or institution judge their dealings with the organization’s or institution's authorities to be fairer than do those with less prior loyalty, either because they are more fairly treated or because they interpret equivalent treatment as fairer.Although high levels of prior organizational or institutional commitment are generally beneficial to the organization or institution, under certain conditions high levels of prior commitment may actually sow the seeds of reduced commitment. When previously committed individuals feel that they were treated unfavourably or unfairly during some experience with the organization or institution, they may show an especially sharp decline in commitment. Two studies were designed to test this hypothesis, which, if confirmed, would suggest that organizational or institutional commitment has risks, as well as benefits. At least three psychological models offer predictions of how individuals’ reactions may vary as a function of a: their prior level of commitment and b: the favorability of the encounter with the organization or institution. Favorability of the encounter is determined by the outcome of the encounter and the fairness or appropriateness of the procedures used to allocate outcomes during the encounter. First, the instrumental prediction is that because people are mainly concerned with receiving desired outcomes from their encounters with organizations, changes in their level of commitment will depend primarily on the favorability of the encounter. Second, the assimilation prediction is that individuals' prior attitudes predispose them to react in a way that is consistent with their prior attitudes.The third prediction, derived from the group-value model of justice, pertains to how people with high prior commitment will react when they feel that they have been treated unfavorably or unfairly during some encounter with the organization or institution. Fair treatment by the other party symbolizes to people that they are being dealt with in a dignified and respectful way, thereby bolstering their sense of self-identity and self-worth. However, people will become quite distressed and react quite negatively if they feel that they have been treated unfairly by the other party to the relationship. The group-value model suggests that people value the information they receive that helps them to define themselves and to view themselves favorably. According to the instrumental viewpoint, people are primarily concerned with the more material or tangible resources received from the relationship. Empirical support for the group-value model has implications for a variety of important issues, including the determinants of commitment, satisfaction, organizational citizenship, and rule following. Determinants of procedural fairness include structural or interpersonal factors. For example, structural determinants refer to such things as whether decisions were made by neutral, fact-finding authorities who used legitimate decision-making criteria. The primary purpose of the study was to examine the interactive effect of individuals a: commitment to an organization or institution prior to some encounter and b: perceptions of how fairly they were treated during the encounter, on the change in their level of commitment. A basic assumption of the group-value model is that people generally value their relationships with people, groups, organizations, and institutions and therefore value fair treatment from the other party to the relationship. Specifically, highly committed members should have especially negative reactions to feeling that they were treated unfairly, more so than a: less- committed group members or b: highly committed members who felt that they were fairly treated.The prediction that people will react especially negatively when they previously felt highly committed but felt that they were treated unfairly also is consistent with the literature on psychological contracts. Rousseau suggested that, over time, the members of work organizations develop feelings of entitlement, i.e., perceived obligations that their employers have toward them. Those who are highly committed to the organization believe that they are fulfilling their contract obligations. However, if the organization acted unfairly, then highly committed individuals are likely to believe that the organization did not live up to its end of the bargain.The hypothesis mentioned in the passage tests at least one of the following ideas.
 





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  • By: anil on 05 May 2019 02.40 am
    First, the instrumental prediction is that because people are mainly concerned with receiving desired outcomes from their encounters with organizations, changes in their level of commitment will depend primarily on the favorability of the encounter. Option B is the most relevant. Hence, Option B is the correct answer.
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MCQ-> When people react to their experiences with particular authorities, those authorities and the organizations or institutions that they represent often benefit if the people involved begin with high levels of commitment to the organization or institution represented by the authorities. First, in his studies of people's attitudes toward political and legal institutions, Tyler found that attitudes after an experience with the institution were strongly affected by prior attitudes. Single experiences influence post- experience loyalty but certainly do not overwhelm the relationship between pre-experience and post- experience loyalty. Thus, the best predictor of loyalty after an experience is usually loyalty before that experience. Second, people with prior loyalty to the organization or institution judge their dealings with the organization’s or institution's authorities to be fairer than do those with less prior loyalty, either because they are more fairly treated or because they interpret equivalent treatment as fairer.Although high levels of prior organizational or institutional commitment are generally beneficial to the organization or institution, under certain conditions high levels of prior commitment may actually sow the seeds of reduced commitment. When previously committed individuals feel that they were treated unfavourably or unfairly during some experience with the organization or institution, they may show an especially sharp decline in commitment. Two studies were designed to test this hypothesis, which, if confirmed, would suggest that organizational or institutional commitment has risks, as well as benefits. At least three psychological models offer predictions of how individuals’ reactions may vary as a function of a: their prior level of commitment and b: the favorability of the encounter with the organization or institution. Favorability of the encounter is determined by the outcome of the encounter and the fairness or appropriateness of the procedures used to allocate outcomes during the encounter. First, the instrumental prediction is that because people are mainly concerned with receiving desired outcomes from their encounters with organizations, changes in their level of commitment will depend primarily on the favorability of the encounter. Second, the assimilation prediction is that individuals' prior attitudes predispose them to react in a way that is consistent with their prior attitudes.The third prediction, derived from the group-value model of justice, pertains to how people with high prior commitment will react when they feel that they have been treated unfavorably or unfairly during some encounter with the organization or institution. Fair treatment by the other party symbolizes to people that they are being dealt with in a dignified and respectful way, thereby bolstering their sense of self-identity and self-worth. However, people will become quite distressed and react quite negatively if they feel that they have been treated unfairly by the other party to the relationship. The group-value model suggests that people value the information they receive that helps them to define themselves and to view themselves favorably. According to the instrumental viewpoint, people are primarily concerned with the more material or tangible resources received from the relationship. Empirical support for the group-value model has implications for a variety of important issues, including the determinants of commitment, satisfaction, organizational citizenship, and rule following. Determinants of procedural fairness include structural or interpersonal factors. For example, structural determinants refer to such things as whether decisions were made by neutral, fact-finding authorities who used legitimate decision-making criteria. The primary purpose of the study was to examine the interactive effect of individuals a: commitment to an organization or institution prior to some encounter and b: perceptions of how fairly they were treated during the encounter, on the change in their level of commitment. A basic assumption of the group-value model is that people generally value their relationships with people, groups, organizations, and institutions and therefore value fair treatment from the other party to the relationship. Specifically, highly committed members should have especially negative reactions to feeling that they were treated unfairly, more so than a: less- committed group members or b: highly committed members who felt that they were fairly treated.The prediction that people will react especially negatively when they previously felt highly committed but felt that they were treated unfairly also is consistent with the literature on psychological contracts. Rousseau suggested that, over time, the members of work organizations develop feelings of entitlement, i.e., perceived obligations that their employers have toward them. Those who are highly committed to the organization believe that they are fulfilling their contract obligations. However, if the organization acted unfairly, then highly committed individuals are likely to believe that the organization did not live up to its end of the bargain.The hypothesis mentioned in the passage tests at least one of the following ideas.
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MCQ-> Read carefully the four passages that follow and answer the questions given at the end of each passage:PASSAGE I The most important task is revitalizing the institution of independent directors. The independent directors of a company should be faithful fiduciaries protecting, the long-term interests of shareholders while ensuring fairness to employees, investor, customer, regulators, the government of the land and society. Unfortunately, very often, directors are chosen based of friendship and, sadly, pliability. Today, unfortunately, in the majority of cases, independence is only true on paper.The need of the hour is to strengthen the independence of the board. We have to put in place stringent standards for the independence of directors. The board should adopt global standards for director-independence, and should disclose how each independent director meets these standards. It is desirable to have a comprehensive report showing the names of the company employees of fellow board members who are related to each director on the board. This report should accompany the annual report of all listed companies. Another important step is to regularly assess the board members for performance. The assessment should focus on issues like competence, preparation, participation and contribution. Ideally, this evaluation should be performed by a third party. Underperforming directors should be allowed to leave at the end of their term in a gentle manner so that they do not lose face. Rather than being the rubber stamp of a company’s management policies, the board should become a true active partner of the management. For this, independent directors should be trained in their in their in roles and responsibilities. Independent directors should be trained on the business model and risk model of the company, on the governance practices, and the responsibilities of various committees of the board of the company. The board members should interact frequently with executives to understand operational issues. As part of the board meeting agenda, the independent directors should have a meeting among themselves without the management being present. The independent board members should periodically review the performance of the company’s CEO, the internal directors and the senior management. This has to be based on clearly defined objective criteria, and these criteria should be known to the CEO and other executive directors well before the start of the evolution period. Moreover, there should be a clearly laid down procedure for communicating the board’s review to the CEO and his/her team of executive directors. Managerial remuneration should be based on such reviews. Additionally, senior management compensation should be determined by the board in a manner that is fair to all stakeholders. We have to look at three important criteria in deciding managerial remuneration-fairness accountability and transparency. Fairness of compensation is determined by how employees and investors react to the compensation of the CEO. Accountability is enhanced by splitting the total compensation into a small fixed component and a large variable component. In other words, the CEO, other executive directors and the senior management should rise or fall with the fortunes of the company. The variable component should be linked to achieving the long-term objectives of the firm. Senior management compensation should be reviewed by the compensation committee of the board consisting of only the independent directors. This should be approved by the shareholders. It is important that no member of the internal management has a say in the compensation of the CEO, the internal board members or the senior management. The SEBI regulations and the CII code of conduct have been very helpful in enhancing the level of accountability of independent directors. The independent directors should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should decide voluntarily how they want to contribute to the company. Their performance should be appraised through a peer evaluation process. Ideally, the compensation committee should decide on the compensation of each independent director based on such a performance appraisal. Auditing is another major area that needs reforms for effective corporate governance. An audit is the Independent examination of financial transactions of any entity to provide assurance to shareholder and other stakeholders that the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Auditors are qualified professionals appointed by the shareholders to report on the reliability of financial statements prepared by the management. Financial markets look to the auditor’s report for an independent opinion on the financial and risk situation of a company. We have to separate such auditing form other services. For a truly independent opinion, the auditing firm should not provide services that are perceived to be materially in conflict with the role of the auditor. These include investigations, consulting advice, sub contraction of operational activities normally undertaken by the management, due diligence on potential acquisitions or investments, advice on deal structuring, designing/implementing IT systems, bookkeeping, valuations and executive recruitment. Any departure from this practice should be approved by the audit committee in advance. Further, information on any such exceptions must be disclosed in the company’s quarterly and annual reports. To ensure the integrity of the audit team, it is desirable to rotate auditor partners. The lead audit partner and the audit partner responsible for reviewing a company’s audit must be rotated at least once every three to five years. This eliminates the possibility of the lead auditor and the company management getting into the kind of close, cozy relationship that results in lower objectivity in audit opinions. Further, a registered auditor should not audit a chief accounting office was associated with the auditing firm. It is best that members of the audit teams are prohibited from taking up employment in the audited corporations for at least a year after they have stopped being members of the audit team.A competent audit committee is essential to effectively oversee the financial accounting and reporting process. Hence, each member of the audit committee must be ‘financially literate’, further, at least one member of the audit committee, preferably the chairman, should be a financial expert-a person who has an understanding of financial statements and accounting rules, and has experience in auditing. The audit committee should establish procedures for the treatment of complaints received through anonymous submission by employees and whistleblowers. These complaints may be regarding questionable accounting or auditing issues, any harassment to an employee or any unethical practice in the company. The whistleblowers must be protected. Any related-party transaction should require prior approval by the audit committee, the full board and the shareholders if it is material. Related parties are those that are able to control or exercise significant influence. These include; parent- subsidiary relationships; entities under common control; individuals who, through ownership, have significant influence over the enterprise and close members of their families; and dey management personnel.Accounting standards provide a framework for preparation and presentation of financial statements and assist auditors in forming an opinion on the financial statements. However, today, accounting standards are issued by bodies comprising primarily of accountants. Therefore, accounting standards do not always keep pace with changes in the business environment. Hence, the accounting standards-setting body should include members drawn from the industry, the profession and regulatory bodies. This body should be independently funded. Currently, an independent oversight of the accounting profession does not exist. Hence, an independent body should be constituted to oversee the functioning of auditors for Independence, the quality of audit and professional competence. This body should comprise a "majority of non- practicing accountants to ensure independent oversight. To avoid any bias, the chairman of this body should not have practiced as an accountant during the preceding five years. Auditors of all public companies must register with this body. It should enforce compliance with the laws by auditors and should mandate that auditors must maintain audit working papers for at least seven years.To ensure the materiality of information, the CEO and CFO of the company should certify annual and quarterly reports. They should certify that the information in the reports fairly presents the financial condition and results of operations of the company, and that all material facts have been disclosed. Further, CEOs and CFOs should certify that they have established internal controls to ensure that all information relating to the operations of the company is freely available to the auditors and the audit committee. They should also certify that they have evaluated the effectiveness of these controls within ninety days prior to the report. False certifications by the CEO and CFO should be subject to significant criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment, if willful and knowing). If a company is required to restate its reports due to material non-compliance with the laws, the CEO and CFO must face severe punishment including loss of job and forfeiting bonuses or equity-based compensation received during the twelve months following the filing.The problem with the independent directors has been that: I. Their selection has been based upon their compatibility with the company management II. There has been lack of proper training and development to improve their skill set III. Their independent views have often come in conflict with the views of company management. This has hindered the company’s decision-making process IV. Stringent standards for independent directors have been lacking....
MCQ-> Since World War II, the nation-state has been regarded with approval by every political system and every ideology. In the name of modernisation in the West, of socialism in the Eastern bloc, and of development in the Third World, it was expected to guarantee the happiness of individuals as citizens and of peoples as societies. However, the state today appears to have broken down in many parts of the world. It has failed to guarantee either security or social justice, and has been unable to prevent either international wars or civil wars. Disturbed by the claims of communities within it, the nation-state tries to repress their demands and to proclaim itself as the only guarantor of security of all. In the name of national unity, territorial integrity, equality of all its citizens and non-partisan secularism, the state can use its powerful resources to reject the demands of the communities; it may even go so far as genocide to ensure that order prevails.As one observes the awakening of communities in different parts of the world, one cannot ignore the context in which identity issues arise. It is no longer a context of sealed frontiers and isolated regions but is one of integrated global systems. In a reaction to this trend towards globalisation, individuals and communities everywhere are voicing their desire to exist, to use their power of creation and to play an active part in national and international life.There are two ways in which the current upsurge in demands for the recognition of identities can be looked at. On the positive side, the efforts by certain population groups to assert their identity can be regarded as "liberation movements", challenging oppression and injustice. What these groups are doing - proclaiming that they are different, rediscovering the roots of their culture or strengthening group solidarity - may accordingly be seen as legitimate attempts to escape from their state of subjugation and enjoy a certain measure of dignity. On the downside, however, militant action for recognition tends to make such groups more deeply entrenched in their attitude and to make their cultural compartments even more watertight. The assertion of identity then starts turning into self-absorption and isolation, and is liable to slide into intolerance of others and towards ideas of "ethnic cleansing", xenophobia and violence.Whereas continuous variations among peoples prevent drawing of clear dividing lines between the groups, those militating for recognition of their group's identity arbitrarily choose a limited number of criteria such as religion, language, skin colour, and place of origin so that their members recognise themselves primarily in terms of the labels attached to the group whose existence is being asserted. This distinction between the group in question and other groups is established by simplifying the feature selected. Simplification also works by transforming groups into essences, abstractions endowed with the capacity to remain unchanged through time. In some cases, people actually act as though the group has remained unchanged and talk, for example, about the history of nations and communities as if these entities survived for centuries without changing, with the same ways of acting and thinking, the same desires, anxieties, and aspirations. Paradoxically, precisely because identity represents a simplifying fiction, creating uniform groups out of disparate people, that identity performs a cognitive function. It enables us to put names to ourselves and others, form some idea of who we are and who others are, and ascertain the place we occupy along with the others in the world and society. The current upsurge to assert the identity of groups can thus be partly explained by the cognitive function performed by identity. However, that said, people would not go along as they do, often in large numbers, with the propositions put to them, in spite of the sacrifices they entail, if there was not a very strong feeling of need for identity, a need to take stock of things and know "who we are", "where we come from", and "where we are going".Identity is thus a necessity in a constantly changing world, but it can also be a potent source of' violence and disruption. How can these two contradictory aspects of identity be reconciled? First, we must bear the arbitrary nature of identity categories in mind, not with a view to eliminating all forms of identification—which would be unrealistic since identity is a cognitive necessity—but simply to remind ourselves that each of us has several identities at the same time. Second, since tears of nostalgia are being shed over the past, we recognise that culture is constantly being recreated by cobbling together fresh and original elements and counter-cultures. There are in our own country a large number of syncretic cults wherein modern elements are blended with traditional values or people of different communities venerate saints or divinities of particular faiths. Such cults and movements are characterised by a continual inflow and outflow of members which prevent them from taking on a self-perpetuating existence of their own and hold out hope for the future, indeed, perhaps for the only possible future. Finally, the nation-state must respond to the identity urges of its constituent communities and to their legitimate quest for security and social justice. It must do so by inventing what the French philosopher and sociologist, Raymond Aron, called "peace through law". That would guarantee justice both to the state as a whole and its parts, and respect the claims of both reason and emotions. The problem is one of reconciling nationalist demands with the exercise of democracy.According to the author, happiness of individuals was expected to be guaranteed in the name of:
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MCQ-> The current debate on intellectual property rights (IPRs) raises a number of important issues concerning the strategy and policies for building a more dynamic national agricultural research system, the relative roles of public and private sectors, and the role of agribusiness multinational corporations (MNCs). This debate has been stimulated by the international agreement on Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs), negotiated as part of the Uruguay Round. TRIPs, for the first time, seeks to bring innovations in agricultural technology under a new worldwide IPR regime. The agribusiness MNCs (along with pharmaceutical companies) played a leading part in lobbying for such a regime during the Uruguay Round negotiations. The argument was that incentives are necessary to stimulate innovations, and that this calls for a system of patents which gives innovators the sole right to use (or sell/lease the right to use) their innovations for a specified period and protects them against unauthorised copying or use. With strong support of their national governments, they were influential in shaping the agreement on TRIPs, which eventually emerged from the Uruguay Round. The current debate on TRIPs in India - as indeed elsewhere - echoes wider concerns about ‘privatisation’ of research and allowing a free field for MNCs in the sphere of biotechnology and agriculture. The agribusiness corporations, and those with unbounded faith in the power of science to overcome all likely problems, point to the vast potential that new technology holds for solving the problems of hunger, malnutrition and poverty in the world. The exploitation of this potential should be encouraged and this is best done by the private sector for which patents are essential. Some, who do not necessarily accept this optimism, argue that fears of MNC domination are exaggerated and that farmers will accept their products only if they decisively outperform the available alternatives. Those who argue against agreeing to introduce an IPR regime in agriculture and encouraging private sector research are apprehensive that this will work to the disadvantage of farmers by making them more and more dependent on monopolistic MNCs. A different, though related apprehension is that extensive use of hybrids and genetically engineered new varieties might increase the vulnerability of agriculture to outbreaks of pests and diseases. The larger, longer-term consequences of reduced biodiversity that may follow from the use of specially bred varieties are also another cause for concern. Moreover, corporations, driven by the profit motive, will necessarily tend to underplay, if not ignore, potential adverse consequences, especially those which are unknown and which may manifest themselves only over a relatively long period. On the other hand, high-pressure advertising and aggressive sales campaigns by private companies can seduce farmers into accepting varieties without being aware of potential adverse effects and the possibility of disastrous consequences for their livelihood if these varieties happen to fail. There is no provision under the laws, as they now exist, for compensating users against such eventualities. Excessive preoccupation with seeds and seed material has obscured other important issues involved in reviewing the research policy. We need to remind ourselves that improved varieties by themselves are not sufficient for sustained growth of yields. in our own experience, some of the early high yielding varieties (HYVs) of rice and wheat were found susceptible to widespread pest attacks; and some had problems of grain quality. Further research was necessary to solve these problems. This largely successful research was almost entirely done in public research institutions. Of course, it could in principle have been done by private companies, but whether they choose to do so depends crucially on the extent of the loss in market for their original introductions on account of the above factors and whether the companies are financially strong enough to absorb the ‘losses’, invest in research to correct the deficiencies and recover the lost market. Public research, which is not driven by profit, is better placed to take corrective action. Research for improving common pool resource management, maintaining ecological health and ensuring sustainability is both critical and also demanding in terms of technological challenge and resource requirements. As such research is crucial to the impact of new varieties, chemicals and equipment in the farmer’s field, private companies should be interested in such research. But their primary interest is in the sale of seed materials, chemicals, equipment and other inputs produced by them. Knowledge and techniques for resource management are not ‘marketable’ in the same way as those inputs. Their application to land, water and forests has a long gestation and their efficacy depends on resolving difficult problems such as designing institutions for proper and equitable management of common pool resources. Public or quasi-public research institutions informed by broader, long-term concerns can only do such work. The public sector must therefore continue to play a major role in the national research system. It is both wrong and misleading to pose the problem in terms of public sector versus private sector or of privatisation of research. We need to address problems likely to arise on account of the public-private sector complementarity, and ensure that the public research system performs efficiently. Complementarity between various elements of research raises several issues in implementing an IPR regime. Private companies do not produce new varieties and inputs entirely as a result of their own research. Almost all technological improvement is based on knowledge and experience accumulated from the past, and the results of basic and applied research in public and quasi-public institutions (universities, research organisations). Moreover, as is increasingly recognised, accumulated stock of knowledge does not reside only in the scientific community and its academic publications, but is also widely diffused in traditions and folk knowledge of local communities all over. The deciphering of the structure and functioning of DNA forms the basis of much of modern biotechnology. But this fundamental breakthrough is a ‘public good’ freely accessible in the public domain and usable free of any charge. Various techniques developed using that knowledge can however be, and are, patented for private profit. Similarly, private corporations draw extensively, and without any charge, on germplasm available in varieties of plants species (neem and turmeric are by now famous examples). Publicly funded gene banks as well as new varieties bred by public sector research stations can also be used freely by private enterprises for developing their own varieties and seek patent protection for them. Should private breeders be allowed free use of basic scientific discoveries? Should the repositories of traditional knowledge and germplasm be collected which are maintained and improved by publicly funded organisations? Or should users be made to pay for such use? If they are to pay, what should be the basis of compensation? Should the compensation be for individuals or (or communities/institutions to which they belong? Should individual institutions be given the right of patenting their innovations? These are some of the important issues that deserve more attention than they now get and need serious detailed study to evolve reasonably satisfactory, fair and workable solutions. Finally, the tendency to equate the public sector with the government is wrong. The public space is much wider than government departments and includes co- operatives, universities, public trusts and a variety of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Giving greater autonomy to research organisations from government control and giving non- government public institutions the space and resources to play a larger, more effective role in research, is therefore an issue of direct relevance in restructuring the public research system.Which one of the following statements describes an important issue, or important issues, not being raised in the context of the current debate on IPRs?
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MCQ-> There are a seemingly endless variety of laws, restrictions, customs and traditions that affect the practice of abortion around the world. Globally, abortion is probably the single most controversial issue in the whole area of women’s rights and family matters. It is an issue that inflames women’s right groups, religious institutions, and the self-proclaimed ‘guardians’ of public morality. The growing worldwide belief is that the right to control one’s fertility is a basic human right. This has resulted in a worldwide trend towards liberalization of abortion laws. Forty per cent of the world’s population live in countries where induced abortion is permitted on request. An additional 25 per cent live in countries where it is allowed if the women’s life would be endangered if she went to full term with her pregancy. The estimate is that between 26 and 31 million legal abortions were performed in that year. However, there were also between 10 and 22 million illegal abortions performed in that year.Feminists have viewed the patriarchal control of women’s bodies as one of the prime issues facing the contemporary women’s movement. They abserve that the defintion and control of women’s reproductive freedom have always been the province of men. Patriarchal religion, as manifest in Islamic fundamentalism,traditionalist Hindu practice, orthodox Judaism, and Roman Catholicism, has been an important historical contributory factor for this and continues to be an important presence in contemporary societies. In recent times, govenments, usually controlled by men, have ‘given’ women the right to contraceptive use and abortion access when their countries were perceived to have an overpopulation problem. When these countries are perceived to be underpopulated, that right had been absent. Until the 19th century, a woman’s rights to an abortion followed English common law; it could only be legally challenged if there was a ‘quickening’, when the first movements of the fetus could be felt. In 1800, drugs to induce abrotions were widely advertised in local newpapers. By 1900, abortion was banned in every state except to save the life of the mother. The change was strongly influenced by medical profession, which focussed its campaign ostensibly on health and safety issues for pregnant women and the sancity of life. Its position was also a means of control of non-licensed medical practitioners such as midwives and women healers who practiced abortion.The anti-abortion campaign was also influenced by political considerations. The large influx of eastern and southern European immigrants with their large families was seen as a threat to the population balance of the future United States. Middle and upper-classes Protestants were advocates of abortion as a form of birth control. By supporting abortion prohibitions the hope was that these Americans would have more children and thus prevent the tide of immigrant babies from overwhelming the demographic characteristics of Protestant America.The anti-abortion legislative position remained in effect in the United States through the first 65 years of the 20th century. In the early 1960s, even when it was widely known that the drug thalidomide taken during pregnancy to alleviate anxiety was shown to contribute to the formation of deformed ‘flipper-like’ hands or legs of children, abortion was illegal in the United States. A second health tragedy was the severe outbreak of rubella during the same time period, which also resulted in major birth defects. These tragedies combined with a change of attitude towards a woman’s right to privacy led a number of states to pass abortion permitting legislation.On one side of the controversy are those who call themselves ‘pro-life’. They view the foetus as a human life rather than as an unformed complex of cells; therefore, they hold to the belief that abortion is essentially murder of an unborn child. These groups cite both legal and religious reasons for their opposition to abortion. Pro lifers point to the rise in legalised abortion figures and see this as morally intolerable. On the other side of the issue are those who call themselves ‘pro-choice’. They believe that women, not legislators or judges, should have the right to decide whether and under what circumstances they will bear children. Pro-choicers are of the opinion that laws will not prevent women from having abortions and cite the horror stories of the past when many women died at the hands of ‘backroom’ abortionists and in desperate attempts to self-abort. They also observe that legalized abortion is especially important for rape victims and incest victims who became pregnant. They stress physical and mental health reasons why women should not have unwanted children.To get a better understanding of the current abortion controversy, let us examine a very important work by Kristin Luker titled Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Luker argues that female pro-choice and prolife activists hold different world views regarding gender, sex, and the meaning of parenthood. Moral positions on abortions are seen to be tied intimately to views on sexual bahaviour, the care of children, family life, technology, and the importance of the individual. Luker identified ‘pro-choice’ women as educated, affluent, and liberal. Their contrasting counterparts, ‘pro-life’ women, support traditional concepts of women as wives and mothers. It would be instructive to sketch out the differences in the world views of these two sets of women. Luker examines California, with its liberalized abortion law, as a case history. Public documents and newspaper accounts over a 26-year period were analysed and over 200 interviews were held withheld with both pro-life and pro-choice activists.Luker found that pro-life and pro-choice activists have intrinsically different views with respect to gender. Pro-life women have a notion of public and private life. The proper place for men is in the public sphere of work; for women, it is the private sphere of the home. Men benefit through the nurturance of women; women benefit through the protection of men. Children are seen to be the ultimate beneficiaries of this arrangement of having the mother as a full-time loving parent and by having clear role models. Pro-choice advocates reject the view of separate spheres. They object to the notion of the home being the ‘women’s sphere’. Women’s reproductive and family roles are seen as potential barriers to full equality. Motherhood is seen as a voluntary, not a mandatory or ‘natural’ role. In summarizing her findings, Luker believes that women become activists in either of the two movements as the end result of lives that centre around different conceptualizations of motherhood. Their beliefs and values are rooted to the concrete circumstances of their lives, their educations, incomes, occupations, and the different marital and family choices that they have made. They represent two different world views of women’s roles in contemporary society and as such the abortion issues represent the battleground for the justification of their respective views.According to your understanding of the author’s arguments, which countries are more likely to allowabortion?
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