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Text A: Cultural Studies

Scared of Our Own Shadow? The Burka as A Metaphorical Mirror for Imperious
Culture Anthony Judge Journal of Futures Studies, November 2010, 15(2): 101114

This paper analyzes and offers an evaluation of four main points explored by the
author: facelessness of Citizens in Governance of Democratic Societies, freedom in
a consumer society, mirroring full-body imprisonment and the unconscious, and
mirroring taboos associated with death.

The article starts by analyzing the aspect of facelessness in western and democratic
societies. Facelessness simply means without a face or an identity. The author
claims that everyone has a face and needs it in order to be identified. The author
then points out that Islamic women are attracting attention to western societies, and
that they represent a condition of facelessness, which disturbs society. Furthermore,
Judge analyses that a detectable face involves a relation with another face contrary
to a veiled face. He highlights that the merit of the burka is that it draws attention to
the extent to which people in modern society are effectively veiled with respect to any
meaningful communication, even if their faces are visible.(2010:103) The different
points listed in this first part are interesting because it analyses the principle of
identity and facelessness, which are crucial elements in the understanding of the
problem of Europe with the burka. The arguments about attracting attention with the
Islamic full veil are relevant as are the ones about noticing the fact that a pure face
involves a relation and a visual contact. Indeed not being able to see the face of
another person is one of the main issues of this ban. Bruckner (2010) observes that a
Muslim woman is comparable to a shadow deprived of freedom of a social existence.
He also compares her to a ghost from a horror movie. However, the highlighted part,
where Judge suggests that people in western societies are also veiled to any deep
and important communication, is a little overstated. In this purpose, his argument
would have been more convincing, if it had been illustrated by a concrete example.
Unfortunately, this was not the case. Nonetheless, Judge provides, at the end of this
section, a relevant analysis of the burka as metaphorical mirror representing a
symbol of identity and of the current condition of society capable of affecting others.

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Text B: Management
A Critique Analysis of Arts Management Cutback Strategies: A Cross-Sector Analysis
by Palmer (1997) Nonprofit Management and Leadership Journal

By analyzing Palmers illuminating but flawed work, this essay aims to support his
initial prediction of the multiple cutback strategies; however, far from being a
unanimously accepted issue, criticisms of how could the financial retrenchment plans
adapt to practical situations in arts organizations also will be raised.

Generally, it is a very impressive analysis from which Palmers intellectual


contributions on cutback management covered many salient aspects of practical
solution in economic recessions of art field. According to Bielefeld(1994), due to the
organizational changes and todays financial environment, broader responses
featuring new revenue, legitimation, and retrenchment strategies need to be utilized
for non-profile sectors to secure their operational performance. Palmer successfully
added to this literature in his examination of 7 specific cutback strategies, and
ambitiously expanded it into a larger scope of public and for-profit art organizations.
To illustrate, the author defined the retrenchment approach as a prevalent strategy
highlighting cost reduction, downsizing and relocation decisions that mainly shape
PFP organizations cutback operations, while the political strategy is supposed to
align with the legitimation response, from which PNP and PUB sectors often take well
advantage to deal with their founding problems.

The main limitation of this study lies in its methodology, which is likely to affect the
results and therefore should be carefully addressed in future research. Firstly,
although 4 sources from previous literatures on visual and performing arts
organizations were delicately combined and modified in Palmers research, it fails to
conduct a comprehensive statistic table accurately. As Wyszomirski (1993) noted,
because of the diversity of the arts and the large proportion of so-called off-the-
books incomes in the business, setting up appropriate research in this area is
always a difficult task. This fact particularly reflects on the low rate of feedbacks in
Palmers investigation, where there are only 237 replies in a total of 473
questionnaires that originally had been sent out all over the country. Meanwhile, it
also could not be denied that organizational change in arts institutions is considered
to be a complex phenomenon at several levels, and that how we approach it can
influence our findings and final conclusions (Bielefeld 1994). In Palmers research,
the large number of small arts organizations with one staff member, whether paid or
voluntary, seems to be unpersuasive to give a general depiction of the organizational
changes in arts field. Therefore, more adequate sampling of large organizations need
to be acquired.

In addition, basic flaws in this research can also be identified in its sampling
coverage. Instead of conducting a survey in broader areas, most of the responses
were only collected from arts managers in the 2 most populated Australian states,
New South Wales and Victoria. This means the study design did not satisfy an
external validity and is supposed to bring with unanimous but biased consequence
because the similar marketing environment, imitation pressure (McKinley, 1995), and
institutional isomorphism (DiMaggio and Powell, 1991) may shape a managers
responses. For accurate study, therefore, the number of subjects in a broader area
should have been increased.

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Text C: Psychology
A Critique of The Developmental of automatic and controlled inhibitory retrieval
processes in true and false recall

This critique will focus on two aspects, which are the methodological issues and the
assumption of persuasiveness. Therefore, this critique will be given a brief summary
of the original article, and then elaborate into details of the strength and weaknesses,
that the criticisms have been raise previously.

Knott, et al. (2011) relies too heavily on previous findings of experimental design,
they had replicated the experiment 1 to present list of items on audiotape and
participants are required to recall orally, in order to extend their studies to conduct
experiments 2 and 3. By using auditory format is benefit to eliminate the effect of
iconic memory, in which participants are less likely to rely on pre-existing visual
imageries during the recalling section. However, the study does not take into account
the significant differences between visual imagery and auditory in the experiment.
Perhaps the most serious disadvantage of this method is that it possibly induce a
high variation in pronunciation, for example, people in Yorkshire, their accents are
very different to people in Ipswich. To what extent the experimenters would made
invalid data by wrong records, and, it has great potential to lower the validity of
results.

Previous study has suggested that there is significant differences in memory recall
via presenting items visually and auditory, in particular empirical evidence shows
visual is better than auditory (Pierce, Gallo, Weiss, & Schacter, 2005). As a
consequence, if the study conduct the experiments by adopted visual imagery, thus
the results would be different from existing research findings. Moreover, there is
another procedural problems in the methodology, although the lists of items have
adopted by many previous researchers, it is still critical of that participants have
being presented along with a plenty of items during a short periods of time, it seems
intentionally inducing interferences. Baddeley (2000) suggested human capacity
process in working memory, an average people can memorize 5 to 9 in the number
of unrelated words, in contrast, the authors have adopted the lists of items which is
more than this principle. In other words, the lists have maintained its pre-existing
problem, and participants were possible overload by numerous of items.

Apart from the methodological issues, it is important to criticize the persuasiveness of


assumption, the authors used theoretical evidences to support its hypothesis such as
AAT (Howe, et al., 2009) and fuzzy trace theory (FTT) (Brainerd & Reyna, 2005),
hence, the general idea of the article seems plausible. Nevertheless, as mentioned
earlier, the authors fails to take visual into account, there are three elements to be
discussed in the following in which may limited the persuasiveness of assumption
among the article: (i) Incomprehensible research, (ii) Over generalization and (iii)
external validity.

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Text D: Maritime Law
A Critique on The Security of Sea Lanes in Southeast Asia Written by Joshua H. Ho

This paper summarises and offers an evaluation of the four key points explored by
the author: the stakes of secured straits, the threat of piracy attacks, the threat of
maritime terrorism, and the actions undertaken by littoral states. The paper
concludes that despite the article presents clearly the importance of safe sea lanes in
Southeast Asia and recapitulates meticulously the measures implemented by the
concerned countries, the authors fails to engage with opposing views and provides
thus to the reader a partial research on the subject which need to be completed by
other sources.

The arguments presented in the first section are well supported with statistics and
constitute an efficient introduction on the maritime context of this part of the world.
However, the long and detailed description of the three straits tends to demonstrate
that this article is aimed at a non expert reader. In this purpose, this part would have
benefited from further explanations of why Southeast Asia has always been
considered as a hot spot in terms of piracy. Factors such as low depths, limited
widths, strong currents, dangerous rocks or thick jungle on the banks, restrict the
ability of vessels to manoeuvre, oblige Masters to reduce speed and offer thus
optimal conditions historically exploited by pirates to launch attacks in those straits.
Nonetheless, Ho provides in this section a relevant analysis of the major stakes
which exist in terms of security of sea lanes in Southeast Asia.

In the second part, the author focuses on the threat of piracy. Even if he presents
pirates as well equipped and organised gangs, he observes that attacks represent
only a very small proportion of the total traffic which transits in the straits. Ho
considers that the emphasis on combating piracy is important because it could form
a background noise from which maritime terrorist attack may materialize (p.562), but
suggests that a myth has been perpetuated (p.561) about the real proliferation of
piracy in this region.

The author supports his thesis with data issued from the International Maritime
Bureau (IMB), which tends, by providing a limited annual number of reported attacks,
to minimize the scope of the piracy phenomenon. However, Ho fails to mention the
major limitations inherent to those statistics. The IMB (2007) declares to be aware
that more than 50% of incidents go unreported. While other sources tend to estimate
this number more close to 90%, many reasons can explain the under-reporting. The
main one seems to be the pressure exercised on Masters by their ship-owners
concerned by the significant increasing of their insurance premiums once an attack is
reported.