ESSAY COLLECTION

分类:优秀作文选登 发布日期:2015-10-30 12:49:22 点击:1268

 

ESSAY COLLECTION

 

 

 

 

Paul Lin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TONGJI ? KENT EXCHANGE PROGRAMME

29/09/2014 ? 20/06/2015


 

Author: Paul Lin

 

Paul Lin is a final year student of Tongji University, majoring in English Language and Literature. He began his study in Department of English Tongji University in 2012, and went to University of Kent in September 2014 for an one year abroad exchange, studying in Linguistics, American Studies, English Language and French.

 

His one year study in Kent has offered him a colourful experience with abundant achievements. In October 2014, he founded the first student academic journal in University of Kent - ZERO, focusing on the subjects of Humanities and Social Science and targeting academic communication at an international level. This won him the nomination of Kent Student Award in outstanding contribution to media and communications. Paul were also active in a wide range of fields, ranging from independent art organization and foreign language teaching to TEDx Speech. In May 2015, Paul delivered a speech on TEDxUniversityofKent event in Canterbury - William Shakespeare’s and Paddington Bear’s Journal in China. This speech tried to illustrate the UK-China cultural exchange in the areas of drama, film, education and creativity, in line with Goldman’s gene-culture co-evaluation theory.

 

In August 2015, Paul has come back to Tongji University after his one year abroad study in Kent and three terms Interdisciplinary Summer School in the University of Cambridge. This collection contains 14 essays that he wrote for his studies in the UK and topics include linguistics, art education, drama, visual art, film studies, America studies, culture memory, English language etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

 

1. Describe the Current Situation of Drama Education in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), Explain How the Use of Process Drama Contributes to SLA, and Identify the Challenges of this Approach                                   5

                             

 

2. Describe the English in Malaysia and Assess the Influence of Local Culture in the Development of this Variety                                            13

 

 

3. Analyse the Contribution of Media to the Construction of 9/11 as Cultural Memory

                                                                   22

 

4. Explain the Consequences of the Norman Invasion on the Development of English

                                                                   30

 

5. Identify the Main Progress of Film Technology in the Period of 1929-1947 and Evaluate their Influence on Hollywood Film Style                           34

 

 

6. In What Ways Is Abstract Expressionism a Response and Antidote to American Popular Culture in the Post-war Era                                      42

 

 

7. Explain How the Multicultural Environment of Malaysia Developed Malaysian English                                                             50

 

 

8. What Issues Shape Immigration Policy in the United States Today?           58

 

 

9. Identify the Qualities of the Ideal Leader and Illustrate Them with Reference to a Specific Context or Individual (Political, Social, or Commercial)               66

 

10. What are the Main Characteristics of Marcel Duchamp’s Work that have been Influential?                                                         70

 

 

11. Book Review: Disney and his Worlds by Alan Bryman                    75                 

 

 

12. A Critical Assessment on Three Types of Academic Texts (Journal, Case Study and Report) in Terms of Complexity, Formality, and Accuracy                 77

 

 

13. Hedging, Boosting, and Positioning                                   80

 

 

14. Works Analysis: When is a Piece ‘Modern’?                            87                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe the Current Situation of Drama Education in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), Explain How the Use of Process Drama Contributes to SLA, and Identify the Challenges of this Approach

 

 

Paul Lin

 

 

    As a comparatively new approach, the use of drama for second language acquisition (SLA) was firstly introduced by Maley and Duff (1978) and Di Pietro (1987), in which they pioneered the interaction between drama and the target language (Stinson and Winston, 2011). Later, with the re-invigoration of this approach by Kao and O’Neill (1998) in the 20th century, process drama, a new method of teaching where both teachers and students are get involved, attracted educators’ attention (Piazzoli, 2011). This new pedagogy, with an innovative combination of drama and SLA, echoes with the interactionist theory of SLA, focusing on contextualised teaching and interaction through the target language (Krashen, 1981; Taylor, 2005). Over the last 17 years, the use of process drama for SLA has been proven both effective and practical according to a wealth research to improve students’ motivation and confidence of learning the target language (Kao and O’Neill, 1998; Piazzoli, 2011; To et al., 2011; Liu, 2002, cited in Bräuer, 2002). However, as a new approach in this field, it has been confronted by several challenges resulting from a gap between the theory and practice and left many unsolved questions for research in the future (Piazzoli, 2011; Stinson and Winston, 2011). Divided into three parts, this essay will first describe the current situation of drama education in SLA, by summarizing the achievements of previous studies and the unsolved questions for the future research. In the second part, which is the bulk of this essay, the definition of process drama will be offered and an explanation of  how it enhances SLA will be illustrated through three aspects: authentic text, affective factors, and classroom discourse. Finally, this essay will identify the challenges of this approach.

 

    The research and use of drama in second language acquisition is a growing field, although a large amount of explanations have been provided as to the usage of drama in first language acquisition (Stinson and Winston, 2011; Ntelioglou, 2011; Liu, 2002, cited in Bräuer, 2002). This drama approach in SLA was initiated by Maley and Duff in the 1970s, who introduced some drama-based activities to second language teachers, such as games, exercises and role plays (Stinson and Winston, 2011; Ntelioglou, 2011). Following them, Di Pietro further combined a language course with some role-play scenarios and raised the conception of acquiring a target language by interaction through it rather than for it (Stinson and Winston, 2011). Later, Kao and O’Neill’s research Words into Worlds (1998) combined process drama with SLA creatively, which not only focused on teachers’ pedagogy, but also analysed students’ responses, offering readers a comprehensive explanation as how process drama enhances SLA and acknowledging its limits in some particular contexts (Kao and O’Neill, 1998; Stinson and Winston, 2011). Over the recent decade, the use of drama in SLA, especially process drama, has attracted global interest, which could be noticed from the growing amount of research from a wide range of publishers, such as journal Scenario (Stinson and Winston, 2011). Nevertheless, many unsolved questions were left for future studies, such as the lack of evidence of the long-term impact of drama on SLA and the insufficient description of methodology in the reports (Piazzoli, 2011). In addition, further questions, such as under what circumstance is this drama approach most productive for SLA, need to be illustrated in future research (Piazzoli, 2011; Stinson and Winston, 2011) In brief, despite the achievements in the past decades, the use of drama, especially process drama, is still a growing field with many unsolved questions left for future research.

 

    Stinson and Winston (2011, p. 481) categorised drama teaching into three: ‘text interpretation and performance’, ‘improvisations and role plays’, and ‘process drama’. Incorporated with the former two approaches, process drama is a teaching method where both teachers and students are get involved (Liu, 2002, cited in Bräuer, 2002;). It focuses on active and spontaneous interactions which are similar to real-life events and highlights both verbal and non-verbal communication within a dramatic frame which describes specific contexts (Kao and O’Neill, 1998; Stinson and Winston, 2011). In addition, Kao and O’Neill (1998) claim that the nature of process drama highly echoes with the interactionist theory of SLA which emphasises social interactions, contextualised communication, and student-centred classroom as the basis of language learning. Therefore, by summarising the previous research, it would be clear to argue that due to the similarities of social interaction, contextualised communication, and active participation, process drama is closely connected with SLA and could enhance it in various ways (Kao and O’Neill, 1998; O’Toole, 1992, cited in Stinson and Winston, 2011). In the following three paragraphs, how process drama contributes to SLA will be illustrated sequentially according to three aspects: authentic text, affective factors, and classroom discourse.

 

    First of all, process drama could offer its participants (both students and teachers) an authentic text which would not only enhance their comprehension of the skills of the target language, but also contribute to their understanding about the culture behind this language (Kao and O’Neill, 1998; Piazzoil, 2011). An authentic text refers to the verbal and non-verbal texts which appear in real-life discourse rather than some artificial resources created specifically for language learners (Piazzoil, 2011; Even, 2011). Moreover, an authentic text represents the culture and complexity of the target language, which offers language learners a culturally rich context and improves their adaptability in real life (To et al, 2011; Piazzoil, 2011). On the one hand, DeCoursey (2012) argues that since the 1980s, studies of SLA have emphasized the importance of an authentic text in producing fluent and motivated language learners who are culturally rich in the target language. On the other hand, To et al (2011) claim that process drama provides its participants social interactions and contextualised communication, thus creating some authentic texts embedded in its dramatic frame. Therefore, the text in process drama is created through the target language rather than for it, and could be regarded as an authentic text and benefits the the second language learning. Take the findings of Cheng and Winston (2011) as an example. The research showed that the introduction of Shakespeare’s plays to some college students in Taiwan, who were already considered as competent in English while deficient at a cultural level, proved the effectiveness of process drama in improving their comprehension about English language skills and the culture behind this target language (Cheng and Winston, 2011). Different to the above explanation, Ntelioglou (2011) illustrates the potential of an authentic text generated by process drama in SLA through a multiliteracies approach. This approach could be generally divided into two parts: ‘situated practice’ and ‘identity texts’ (Nteliglou, 2011, pp.596-597). Situated practice in a specific dramatic frame provides second language learners with a learning environment that is related to their real-life situations, thus their life experience could contribute to their understanding of the target language (Nteliglou, 2011; Bolton, 1984). Moreover, identity texts, which embedded in process drama, focus on the belonging of participants and often reflect some symbolic and critical issues in their life (Nicholson, 2005, cited in Ntelioglou, 2011). Therefore, various identity texts which represent different participants would generate an authentic text that is beneficial to their understanding about social interaction and contextualised communication. In general, Ntelioglou (2011) argues that the multiliteracies nature of process drama adopts the growing cultural diversity of language learners, offering teachers and learners an authentic text that is beneficial to SLA. In short, process drama provides participants an authentic text with social interaction and contextualised communication, which would considerably enhance SLA.

 

 

    Secondly, three affective factors in second language acquisition - motivation, confidence, and anxiety (a psychological factor which could inhibit the language learning) - could be effectively accommodated by process drama, which would benefit the success of SLA (To et al, 2011; Piazzoli, 2011). According to Krashen (1985)’s affective filter hypothesis, these three affective factors could influence learners’ abilities to learn a second language. Furthermore, Gardner and Maclntyre (1992) developed this hypothesis and found a strong positive connection between motivation, confidence and the enhancement of SLA, and a negative connection between anxiety and language learning. Based on this hypothesis, several researchers argue that the use of process dram in SLA could increase the motivation and confidence of learners towards the target language and reduce their anxiety (Piazzoli, 2011; To et al, 2011; Ntelioglou, 2011). This is because that the collaborative nature of process drama provides participants with an atmosphere of trust, where participants work together with each other and believe the responses of others (Boal, 1995, cited in, Piazzoli, 2011). Stinson (2008) further argues that this atmosphere of trust offers learners an affective space - a safe psychological and physical space to use a foreign language to express ideas. Once this affective space is established in process drama, a better supportive and collaborative environment will be generated to weaken participants’ self-conscious attitudes while they are speaking in a second language (Piazzoli, 2011; To et al, 2011). By experiencing this process, participants would lower their anxiety and acquire more confidence and motivation towards the target language, resulting in spontaneous communication (Piazzoli, 2011; DeCoursey, 2012). Take the data of Piazzoli (2011)’s project for teaching Italian as a second language as an example. Through a comparison of the interview records and video clips which recorded the performance of participants in speaking Italian before and after the use of process drama, a researcher analysed their language and actions in psychological way and found that they were more confident and motivated to speak Italian and showed a lower anxiety towards this target language (Piazzoli, 2011). However, despite the demonstration of some research, the impact of process drama on these affective factors remains comparatively unknown to second language educators and more future research is needed to promote this approach (To et al, 2011; Piazzoli, 2011). In brief, through the use of process drama in SLA, learners could acquire more confidence and motivation to speak the target language and lower their anxiety, thus resulting in spontaneous communication and improved language learning ability..

 

    Finally, the use of process drama could effectively balance the classroom discourse by changing the teaching model from teacher-dominated to student-centred (To et al, 2011; Rothwell, 2011). This balanced discourse would enhance the second language acquisition in three aspects: motivated students, approachable teachers, and more nonverbal expressions (To et al, 2011). Firstly, the collaboration nature of process drama could considerably improve students’ motivation of getting involved in the classroom discourse (Rothwell, 2011; Anderson, 2012). To et al (2011) suggest that in an ordinary language classroom, learners are usually put in a passive position to be informed rather than take an active role to get involved. However, Cheng and Winston (2011)’s research indicates that students could find more opportunities to use the target language in process drama. Secondly, process drama provides teachers with a medium to interact with the students, which makes teachers more approachable (To et al, 2011; Cheng and Winston, 2011). In process drama, teachers are not merely the knowledge transmitters, but also serve as the role of facilitators (To et al, 2011; Even, 2011). For example, students’ interviews show that teachers’ authoritative images are changed after the use of process drama in second language courses (To et al, 2011; Rothwell, 2011). Thirdly, process drama offers participants a real-life learning situation which includes more nonverbal expressions. It is estimated that in real-life situation, at least 65 percent of information is delivered through nonverbal expressions (Burgoon et al, 1989, cited in To et al, 2011). These nonverbal expressions are comparatively rare in traditional the SLA classroom; however, the use of process drama provides students with more opportunities to use these nonverbal expressions, which will help them to better understand the usage of the target language in real-life contexts (To et al, 2011; Stinson and Dunn, 2011; Rothwell, 2011). In short, by using process drama in SLA, teachers and students share a balanced classroom discourse, which could effectively enhance the second language acquisition.

 

    Although the use of process drama effectively contributes to the enhancement of SLA, this new approach still has several challenges, which not only influence the effectiveness of this teaching method, but also question its fundamental research methods (Dunn and Stinson, 2011; Cheng and Winston, 2011; Ntelioglou, 2011). The most obvious challenge questions the effectiveness of teacher’s artistry, indicating that the inadequate dramatic knowledge of language teachers would inevitably limit the use of process drama in SLA and influence the outcomes of SLA (Dunn and Stinson, 2011; Ntelioglou, 2011). Dunn and Stinson (2011) claim that the limit is derived from two levels of teaching: macro-level and micro-level. At macro-level, the language teachers’ limit is that most of them have no previous experience in choosing effective pretext materials (the means how a dramatic context shapes language learning) to organize the classroom discourse (Dunn and Stinson, 2011; Ntelioglou, 2011). At a micro-level, teachers face greater challenges to make spontaneous decisions during the process drama if they are not familiar with this art form (Dunn and Stinson, 2011). In general, the use of process drama in SLA places a high demand on teachers’ awareness of both language teaching and drama art, especially in some advanced literature-based courses (Dunn and Stinson, 2011). The second challenge focuses on the gap between the theory and practice (Piazzoli, 2011). For example, research results reflect that a teacher-dominated classroom is still pervasive in Asian, even process drama has been used for SLA (Stinson and Winston, 2011) Other gaps, such as limited course time, are weakening the effectiveness of the process drama approach (Ntelioglou, 2011; Even, 2011). Apart from the following two challenges, this essay would further question the fundamental research methods of this approach - interview-based results. In previous research, an interview is a pervasive method to analyse and record the impact of process drama on SLA (Ntelioglou, 2011; Piazzoli, 2011; To et al, 2011). However, an interview reflects the subjective feelings of participants, and inevitably participants tend to give more positive comments than negative ones (Stinson and Winston, 2011). It would be better if further research could quantify the outcomes of this approach and use a more objective way to reflect on it. In brief, despite the success of process drama in SLA, several challenges need to be solved by future research and the promotion of this approach among educators.

 

    In conclusion, this essay briefly describes the current situation of drama education in SLA and then focuses on one of its branches - process drama, explaining how this new approach enhances SLA and identifying the challenges of this approach. As a new approach in a growing field, process drama could provide its participants with an authentic text, within which social interaction and contextualised communication would considerably enhance SLA. Furthermore, by accommodating learners’ three affective factors (motivation, confidence, and anxiety), more spontaneous communication is generated and the learners’ ability for learning language is enhanced. In addition, the use of process drama could balance the classroom discourse by switching the originally teacher-dominated discourse into a student-centred discourse, offering students more opportunities to use the target language. Nevertheless, despite the success of process drama in SLA, several challenges need to be solved in future research and through the promotion of this approach among educators, such as the limits of teachers’ dramatic knowledge, the gap between the theory and practice, and the flaws in the fundamental research methods. In general, as an effective approach to enhance SLA, process drama needs to be promoted to more educators and students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

 

Allen, J. (1979) Drama in Schools: Its Theory and Practice. London: Heinemann Educational Books.

 

Anderson, A. (2012) The Influence of Process Drama on Elementary Students’ Writing Language. Urban Education, 47(5), pp. 959-982.

 

Bolton, G. (1984) Towards A Theory of Drama in Education. Harlow: Longman Group.

 

Bräuer, G. ed. (2002) Body and Language: Intercultural Learning Through Drama. London: Ablex Publishing.

 

Cheng, A. Y. and Winston (2011) Shakespeare as A Second Language: Playfulness, Power and Pedagogy in the ESL Classroom. The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16(4), pp. 541-556.

 

DeCoursey, D. (2012) Dramatic Art for Second Language Education: Appropriate Process Objectives for Hong Kong Schools. Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education, 11(11), pp. 1-22.

 

Di Pietro, R. J. (1987) Strategic interaction: Learning languages through scenarios. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Dunn, J. and Stinson, M. (2011) Not without the Art!! The Importance of Teacher Artistry When Applying Drama as Pedagogy for Additional Language Learning. The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16(4), pp. 617-633.

 

Even, S. (2011) Drama Grammar: Towards A Performative Postmethod Pedagogy. The Language Learning Journal, 39(3), pp. 299-312.

 

Gardner, R. C. and MacIntyre, P. D. (1992). A student's contributions to second language learning. Part I: Cognitive variables. Language teaching, 25(04), pp. 211-220.

 

Kao, S. and O’Neill, C. (1998) Words into Worlds: Learning A Second Language through Process Drama. Stanford: Ablex Publishing.

 

Khatib, M. and Sabah, S. (2012) Task-oriented Conversations: The Implications of Drama for Second Language Acquisition. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(6), pp. 1120-1127.

 

Krashen, S. (1981) Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. New York: Pergamon Press.

 

Krashen, S. (1985) The Input Hypothesis: Issues and Implications, New York: Longman.

 

Maley, A. and Duff, A. (1978) Drama Techniques in Language Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Ntelioglou, B. Y. (2011) ‘But Why Do I Have to Take This Class?’ The Mandatory Drama-ESL Class and Multiliteracies Pedagogy. The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16(4), pp. 595-615.

 

O’Toole, J. (1992) The Process of Drama: Negotiating Art and Meaning. London: Routledge.

 

Piazzoli, E. (2011) Process Drama: The Use of Affective Space to Reduce Language Anxiety in the Additional Language Learning Classroom. The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16(4), pp. 557-573.

 

Rothwell, J. (2011) Bodies and Language: Process Drama and Intercultural Language Learning in A Beginner Language Classroom. The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16(4), pp. 575-594.

 

University College Cork (2015) Scenario Journal for Drama and Theatre in Foreign Language and Second Language Education. [online] Availabile at (Accessed: 3rd April 2015)

 

Stinson, M. (2008) Process drama and teaching English to speakers of other languages. In Jacqueline Manuel, John Hughes, and Micheal Anderson (Eds.), Drama and English teaching: Imagination, action and engagement. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp.193-212.

 

Stinson, M. and Winston, J. (2011) Drama Education and Second Language Learning: A Growing Field of Practice and Research. The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16(4), pp. 479-488.

 

Taylor, P. ed. (2005) Researching Drama and Arts Education: Paradigms & Possibilities. London: RoutledgeFalmer.

 

To, L. D., Chan, Y. P., Lam, Y. K. and Tsang, S. Y. (2011) Reflections on A Primary School Teacher Professional Development Programme on Learning English through Process Drama. The Journal of Applied Theatre and Performance, 16(4), pp. 517-539.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Describe the English in Malaysia and Assess the Influence of Local Culture in the Development of this Variety

 

Paul Lin

 

The English in Malaysia, with its distinctive linguistic characters and unique evolution process, is a unique variety among world Englishes, showing its expressive local cultural identities. Schneider (2007) states that Malaysian English has been structural localized in its multicultural context on all levels of language organization. Besides, Malaysian writer Raslan (2000, pp.188-9) compares Malaysian English to ‘an artificial limb’ showing the capability of Malaysian to ‘reinvent the language’ and their confidence of their own advantage. This essay will describe the English in Malaysia and assess the influence of local culture in the development of this variety. In the description of Malaysian English, which is the bulk of this essay, focus is on its linguistic features involving phonology, lexicon, syntax, and discourse. In addition, the influences of the local culture and languages have had on the development of Malaysian English and its features will also be assessed.

 

The phonological feature of Malaysian English shows its uniqueness under the influence of multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment. McArthur (2003) and Kachru et al. (2006) argue that Malaysian English owes much to the strong influence of local languages spoken by people of different ethnic roots and the multi-cultural context they created. According to Kachru and Nelson (2006, pp.188-9), Zuraidah (2000, cited by Kachru et al., 2006, pp.133-4), McArthur (2003, pp.336-7), Hashim and Low (2012), Melchers and Shaw (2011) and Mesthrie (2008), Malay, Chinese and other local languages strongly affect the phonology of Malaysian English and some salient features and examples are listed below.

 

1.      The loss of the contrast between tense and lax vowel. To be more specific, some examples have been listed: ‘merger of /i:/ and /ɪ/ : feel ? fill, bead ?bid all have /i/; merger of /u:/ and /ʊ/ : pool ? pull, Luke ? look all have /u/’;

2.      Variant realization of /ə/ : schwa is replaced by a full vowel and the quality of which is usually decided by orthography;

3.      Diphthongs are monophthongized : ‘coat, load with /o/, make, steak with /e/’;

4.      Influenced by the local stress pattern, the vowel reduction in unstressed syllables is missing, nous and verbs are undistinguished by the placement of stress, and the initial syllable is stressed in polysyllabic words;

5.      The word-final consonant clusters are often simplified, with the alveolar stop dropped;

6.      The final stops are omitted or replaced by glottal stops in monosyllabic words with a CVC structure, especially if voiceless;

7.      Dental fricatives are usually replaced by stops;

8.      The rhythm tends to be syllable-timed;

9.      Sift in the placement of accents;

 

Schneider (2007) and Kachru et al. (2006) point out that the lexicon of Malaysian English has incorporated from indigenous languages and formed its own lexical resources which enlarge the volume of the Inner-Circle English of their historical inheritance. According to McArthur (2003) and Kashru et al. (2006), these can be divided into several main categories, such as typical borrowings, hybrid compounds, neologisms and lexical items which change their meaning from the native language standard. Based on McArthur (2003, p.137), Kachru and Nelson (2006, pp.189-91), Kashru et al. (2006, pp.134-5), and Melchers and Shaw (2011), some examples are listed hereinafter.

 

1.      Typical borrowings are: ‘dadah (illegal drugs); bumiputra (from Sanskrit, ‘son of the soil’: a Malay or other indigenous person); dangdut (a kind of local music); red packet (from Chinese, envelop containing money given at a festival); makan (food)’;

2.      Hybrid compounds: ‘bumiputra status (indigenous status); dadah addict (drug addict)’;

3.      Neologisms: ‘girlie barber shop (a hairdressing salon that doubles as a massage parlour or brothel); crocodile (a womanizer); banana leaf restaurant (a South Indian restaurant where food is served on banana leaves)’;

4.      Changes of meaning: ‘stay’ (used for long-term residence, while in British English, live is used for long-term residence and stay for short-term residence); ‘keep’ (describes an activity, while, in British English keep describes a state).

 

Melchers and Shaw (2011) and Kashru et al. (2006) argue that the syntax of Malaysian English is also being restructured under the influence of local culture and languages, especially for informal varieties ? the basilectal and mesolectal Malaysian English ? which differ considerably from the standard. This influence shows that there has been an adaption process by which the exonormative model is accessible to the Malaysian learner (Baskaran, 1987). According to Kachru and Nelson (2006, pp.191-2), Schneider (2004, cited by Kachru et al., 2006, pp.135-6), McArthur (2003, pp.336-7) Melchers and Shaw (2011) and Baskaran (1987), some vital features are listed below.

 

1.      The distinction between count and non-count nouns is not as clear as in Inner-Circle English. For example, ‘furnitures, equipments, a consideration for others is important’;

2.      The distinction of gender among pronouns is usually missing. ‘He’ and ‘she’ may be used to refer to male and female randomly;

3.      The tenses of verbs are not always kept consistent. Sometimes adverbs are used to mark tense. For example, he came over with a basket of fruits;

4.      The innovation of verb phrase. For instance, in cope up with and cope with;

5.      Missing sentence constituents (‘object, subject, auxiliary verb, copula, and preposition’). For example, copula construction is missing in some sentence. The meaning of attribution is indicated by the simple juxtaposition of the subject and the complement. ‘We hungry or She Mary Jo’;

6.      Reflexive pronouns are used individually to emphasize. ‘Myself sick (I am sick)’;

7.      Reduplication is commonly used to express several meanings. Diminution: ‘stop stop a while (stop a little); continuity: Always stop, stop, stop (keeps on stopping); intensified meaning: Don't always eat sweet sweet things (very sweet)’;

8.      Several interjections and particles are in common use, such as ‘lah’ (a token of informal intimacy), ‘ma’ (justifying one’s belief, stating the obvious), and ‘ah’ (an interrogative marker). For example, Sorry, can't come lah - too busy lah; I told you ma; you crazy ah?

 

Malaysian English shows some distinct conventions in the area of discourse under the influence of various languages and cultures (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). This is obviously showed in its basilectal and mesolectal varieties (Kachru et al., 2006). Schneider (2007) and Kachru et al. (2006) state that the most striking feature is the use of code-switching and code-mixing between English and other local languages as a communicative device among different ethnic groups. On the other hand, code-switching and code-mixing among accomplished bilinguals is used for ‘rhetorical and accommodation purposes’ (Kachru et al., 2006, p.137). Furthermore, according to Kachru and Nelson (2006, pp.192-3), there are some other traditions of discourse in Malaysian English. 1) Terms of address: a convention by using a title and the first name of the person to address people. Thus Paul J. Potter may be addressed as Mr. Paul. 2) Some taboos in Inner-Circle English conversations are common in Malaysian English, such as ‘one’s age, salary, weight and marital status’. 3) Figures of local contexts: ‘mango green, chico brown’. Due to these distinct conventions of language use, Malaysian English shows a vigorous creativity in the area of discourse.

 

A new variety of English cannot be studied in isolation as a linguistic artifact, but must be contextualized in its cultural soil (Kachru et al., 2006). The development of Malaysian English and its features owe much to the influence of local culture and languages. In 18th century, British colonial empire started to establish trading centers in the Federal Malay States and English was increasingly used in various communicative contexts (Fennell, 2011). The connection between English and the indigenous culture and languages began. Firstly, as a consequence of two centuries and three decades of colonization and settlement, ethnic diversity brings a considerable influence to Malaysian English. As a communicative language among speakers of different ethnic backgrounds, Malaysian English shows diversity depending on the ethnic roots of the speakers: Malay 47%, Chinese 32%, and Tamil (Kachru et al., 2006). It not only brings extensive innovations in linguistic aspects, as mentioned above, but also integrates Malaysian English into a collage which represents a new variety of English while the trace of the ‘boundaries’ between each roots still exists. Secondly, indigenous languages contribute largely to the creativity of Malaysian English. Compared with the influence of local culture, indigenous languages have a much more direct effect, especially on linguistic aspects. Among various languages, Bahasa Malaysia has the most striking influence since it replaced English becoming the solo official language and medium of education in 1957. Moreover, local Chinese vernacular (mainly Cantonese and Hokkienese/Fujianese) is another considerable influence (McArthur, 2003). The result is that lingua-franca English exists in a wide range of varieties from an acrolect to a basilect (Melchers and Shaw, 2011). Thirdly, the shifts between English-medium education and Malay-medium education play a crucial role in the general level of English proficiency (Fennell, 2011). The early shift from English-medium to Malay-medium is regarded as a decline of proficiency, while, the re-shift promoted by the government now is regarded a revival of the country’s Standard English tradition.

 

In conclusion, Malaysian English has been weaved into a colorful and unique collage under the influence of the multi-cultural and multi-lingual context. This variety shows its own uniqueness and cultural identities in different linguistic aspects: phonology, lexicon, syntax, and discourse. As a communicative language, Malaysian English serves the purpose of establishing a shared stage for various local ethnic groups who speak different languages, on which diverse elements of local culture and languages interweave with each other, influencing the development of Malaysian English.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Baskaram, L., 1987. Aspects of Malaysian English Syntax. London: London University.

Crystal, D., 2006. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.

Fennell, B. A., 2011. A History of English: A Sociolinguistic Approach. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Fernando, L. Ed., 1986. Cultures in Conflict: Essays on Literature & The English Language In South East Asia. Singapore: Graham Brash.

Hashim, A. and Low, E. Eds., 2012, English in Southeast Asia: Features, Policy and Language in Use. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing.

Jenkins, J., 2003. World Englishes: A Resource Book for Students. London: Routledge.

Kachru, B. B. Ed., 1992. The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures. 2nd ed. Chicago: Illinois University Press.

Kachru, B. B., Kachru, Y., and Nelson, C. L. Eds., 2006. The Handbook of World Englishes. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Kachru, Y and Nelson, C. L., 2006. World Englishes in Asian Contexts. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Melchers, G and Shaw, P., 2011. World Englishes Second Edition, Abingdon: Hodder Education.

Mesthrie, R. Ed., 2008. Varieties of English: Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Mandal, S. K., 2000. Reconsidering Cultural Globalization: The English Language in Malaysia. Third World Quarterly, 21(6), pp 1001-1012.

McArthur, T., 2003. Oxford Guide to World English, New York: Oxford University Press.

Rajadurai, J., 2004. The Faces and Facts of English in Malaysian. English Today, 20(4), pp 54-58.

Schneider, E. W., 2007. Postcolonial English: Varieties around the World, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Analyse the Contribution of Media to the Construction of

9/11 as Cultural Memory

 

 

Paul Lin

 

 

Media were dominated by the socio-political construction and reconstruction of the terrorist attacks as cultural memory for months after 11th September 2001. During this period of time, horrific iconic sights as well as healing programmes were repeated endlessly through various media such as newspaper, broadcasting, television, internet, and memorial sites.[1] Even till now, repetitions of certain themes, such as the heroism of firefighters, are being constructed by media which were regarded as authoritative cultural storyteller of the past, providing people a uniformed template which contributed to the formation of cultural memory.[2] Therefore, the construction of 9/11 is described as one of the most influential global media actions in history.[3] Divided into three parts, this essay will analyse the crucial role of media in the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory. In the first part, an academic definition of ‘cultural memory’ will be illustrated in a critical way. In the second part, which is the bulk of this essay, a detailed analysis of the constructing functions of media toward 9/11 as cultural memory will be unfolded sequentially in three aspects: photographs, dynamic images and memorial sites. This will be followed by a comparison of the three methods of media that have contributed to the construction.

The term cultural memory was coined by the German sociologist Jan Assmann who defined it as an ‘institution’ which has been ‘exteriroized’ and ‘objectified’, existing in highly stable symbolic forms, and whose time frame belongs to the ‘absolute past’.[4] People’s memory could be possessed through constant interaction with objects - some outward symbols that function as carriers of memory - such as photographs, dynamic images, memorial sites and other contexts.[5] Therefore, at cultural level, by using these symbolic reminders as memorial triggers, cultural memory is made by groups who do not possess their own memory.[6] For its time frame, cultural memory is constructed on fixed points in ‘the most remote past’ , in which information is beyond the daily communication, rather than ‘the recent past’ where communicative memory is generated and only includes at most three generations.[7] Furthermore, in the remote past, cultural memory usually owns its ‘specialists’ both orally and literally, such as shaman, priests and scholars, while, in modern societies this role is diversified into various cultural media such as newspaper, television and museum.[8] Nevertheless, the definition of cultural memory could become problematic due to the vagueness of terminologies. Some memory studies scholars, such as Martin Zierold, argue that though the terminologies used by Jan Assmann are comparatively precise and the distinction between cultural memory and communicative memory is analysed elaborately, some basic terms such as ‘culture’ and ‘memory’ are taken for granted.[9] Moreover, Martin Zierold claims that Jan Assmann’s definition seems to be problematic because his concepts mainly focus on pre-modern societies and the absolute past so that recent memory processes, such as 9/11, could not be considered as cultural memory.[10] However, this essay would argue that the time frame of Jan Assmann’s definition includes both the remote and recent memory processes because the formation of cultural memory is dynamic and time-consuming. Just as Jan Assmann claims that cultural memory starts where communicative memory comes to an end, which means that the time line of cultural memory is much more longer than communicative memory and includes the recent processes which are in the process of becoming cultural memory.[11]

 

The remediation of photographs could be one of the most striking factors that contributes to the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory.[12] On the one hand, the reporting of photographic media sought for public attraction. Appearing repeatedly, photographs dominated various media for weeks and largely attracted collective attention and emotional interaction.[13] The duration of photographic remediation could be decades and centuries rather than merely few weeks, during which cultural memory of 9/11 would be solidified and externalized, thus creating and stabilizing icons of the event, such as burning twin towers, falling men and brave firefighters.[14] Furthermore, the more unambiguous and iconic these photographs become the more likely they would be for republishing.[15] Therefore, a circle of externalization and objectification was constructed and cultural memory of 9/11 also found photographs as its powerful carriers.[16] On the other hand, the photographic reporting personalized this tragic event. Photographs of victims were described in details, showing them as common people around survivors: children, parents, colleges, neighbors and friends.[17] Such personalized remediation not only functioned as healing therapies but also functioned as externalizing methods of cultural memory of terrorists attacks, by which people possessed specific contents to remember.[18] It seemed that it was not only the remediation but also the selection of photographs that contributed to the socio-political construction of 9/11 as cultural memory, in which some events were amplified while others were concealed according to the needs of different phases.[19] For example, the photographs of falling men almost disappeared from the public view for several months due to the sheer horror it caused and the appeal of respecting for the dead.[20] Nevertheless, some problems of photographic construction of cultural memory arise, among which the loss of authenticity and disappearance of memory followed by the digitization of photographs are called into question - whether could photographs be regarded as carriers of memory due to the crisis of authenticity of digitization.[21] In brief, despite the emerging crisis of authenticity in the digital era, photographs contribute largely to the constriction of 9/11 as cultural memory, reflecting in the process of remediation as well as the selection of various themes. 

 

Dynamic images, such as television programmes and films, played another crucial role in the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory, since in modern societies they dominated a comparatively high proportion of daily media which manipulated the information flow of the public.[22] If photographic remediation focus on the construction of icons, then dynamic images are concerned with the construction of a narrative.[23] On the one hand, compared with the long time line of film production which is usually between eighteen months to three years, television production could react at once with direct reports to the terrorist attacks.[24] Similar with the photographic remediation, television channels, such as ABC, NBC, and BBC World News, offered nonstop programmes coverage after the attacks.[25] The 24 hours television coverage record kept for 40 years was broken when various television channels kept on detailed news reports for days.[26] As the principal method most people learn about the the events, television programmes could be canonized as carriers of cultural memory and be considered as ‘historians’ who are the specialists of cultural memory in modern societies.[27] During the week of the first anniversary, at least sixty memorial programmes were on television.[28] On the other hand, the Bush administration was aware of the huge influence of film production, especially Hollywood film, as a powerful tool to shape the cultural memory of 9/11 and as an effective weapon of the ‘War on Terror’ on the ‘idea’ front.[29] The awareness that the cinematic explanation of 9/11 possessed far better effect in shaping cultural memory urged the corporation between America government and Hollywood; however, Hollywood did have an independent voice over the interpretation of the event.[30] The Hollywood construction of 9/11 as cultural memory proceeded simultaneously in two directions: healing and remembering. In the weeks after 9/11, the popular hyper violent films dominated the late 1990s were temporarily replaced by family films in order to relieve the stress caused by the attacks.[31] It was not until 2003 that cautious film producers began making documentaries and docudramas to reconstruct the narrative, focusing on personal experiences.[32] Films, such as United 93, World Trade Center, and Heroes of 2001, used realist strategies and personalized the events so as to construct externalized carriers of cultural memory, making audience almost forget that it was a fictional construction of events which had no witnesses alive.[33] In short, the operation of the dynamic images, including both television programmes and films, exerted a huge influence on the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory.

 

Memorial sites, such as monuments and museums, seemed to be another influential media that contributed to the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory. On the one hand, only a few hours after the terrorists attacks on 11th September, 2001, various temporary memorials began to appear around the United States. Within days, heated discussion over the style, location and meaning of permanently memorial sites was raised, reflecting the anxiety and uncertainty of the construction of cultural memory.[34] However, memorials sites themselves could be ideal teaching tools for understanding the reason of constructing cultural memory.[35] For example, the winning design of the World Trade Center, named ‘Reflecting Absence’, expressed the need of certain ‘emptiness’ so that cultural memory could generate.[36] On the other hand, exhibitions in museums and art galleries presented a more ‘institutional sanctioned’ and ordered construction of cultural memory, providing a crucial external support for memorizing.[37] Furthermore, these exhibitions could be considered as reframing acts, in which more details and connotations hid in the original work could be unfolded, transforming the simplicity of public discussion into a deep consideration on the construction of cultural memory.[38] In brief, memorial sites could be regarded as healing places as well as reframing acts, contributing to the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory.

 

General speaking, the above three methods of media - photographs, dynamic images, and memorial sites - contributed to the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory in different ways. First, compared with memorial sites, photographs and dynamic images possess a more direct and circulatory influence on the shaping of cultural memory due to the easy public access and the high frequency of media coverage. Second, it seems that photographs tend to focus on iconic constructions of cultural memory; dynamic images tend to focus on narrative constructions of cultural memory; memorial sites might put more emphasis on healing and memorial. Third, memorial sites might be more tangible than photographs and dynamic images due to their physical advantage. However, regardless of their different role in construction 9/11 as cultural memory, they catered the institutional characteristic of cultural memory, externalizing and objectifying the cultural memory of 9/11 into a stable and iconic form.

 

In conclusion, various types of media, such as photographs, dynamic images, and memorial sites, contributed largely to the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory in different ways. Photographs are most striking among different types of media because they are regarded as specific carriers of cultural memory - through the externalization and objectification - despite the crisis of authenticity in digital era. Dynamic images also shape the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory due to their far-reaching influence on the formation of people’s memory and the public opinion. The contribution of memorial sites, which is different from the functions of photographs and dynamic images as iconic and narrative constructions, might be providing healing and memorial places to the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory. It would be difficult to illustrate which type of media contributed more to the construction, while, it could be argued that various types of media, combined as a whole, contributed largely to the construction of 9/11 as cultural memory.                                                    

                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Assmann, Aleida, Cultural Memory and Western Civilization (Cambridge: Cambridge

          University Press, 2011)

 

Assmann, Jan and John Czaplicka, ‘Collective Memory and Cultural Identity’, New

          German Critique, 65 (1995), 125-133

 

Birkenstein, Jeff, Anna Froula and Karen Randell, eds., Reframing 9/11: Film,

          Popular Culture and the ‘War on Terror’ (New York: Continuum, 2010)

 

Dixon, Wheeler Winston, ed., Film and Television After 9/11 (Carbondale: Southern

          Illinois University Press, 2004)

 

Erll, Astrid and Ansgar Nűnning, eds., Cultural Memory Studies: An International

          and Interdisciplinary Handbook, (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008)

 

Erika, Doss, ‘Remembering 9/11: Memorials and cultural memory.’ OAH Magazine

          of History, 25(2011), 27-30

 

Frago, Marta, Teresa La Porte and Patricia Phalen, ‘The Narrative Reconstruction of

          9/11 in Hollywood Films: Independent Voice or Official Interpretation?’,

          Javnost - The Public, 3(2010), 57-70

 

Grusin, Richard, Premediation: Affect and Mediality After 9/11 (London: Palgrave

          macmillan, 2010)

 

Haskins, Ekaterina V and Justin P. DeRose, ‘Memory, visibility, and Public Space:

          Reflections on Commemorations of 9/11’, Space and Culture, 6(2003),

          377-393

Heller, Dana, ed., The Selling of 9/11: How a National Tragedy Became a Commodity

          (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)

 

Hewitt, Christopher, Understanding Terrorism in America: From the Klan to al

          Qaeda (London: Routledge, 2003)

 

Meusburger, Peter, Michael Heffernan and Edgar Wunder, eds., Cultural Memories:

          The Geographical Point of View (Heidelberg: Springer, 2011)

 

Neiger, Motti , Oren Meyers and Eyal Zandber, eds., On Media Memory: Collective

          Memory in a New Media Age (London: Parlgrave Macmillan, 2011)

 

Randall, Martin, 9/11 and the Literature of Terror (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University

          Press, 2011)

 

Sherman, Daniel J and Terry Nardin, eds., Terror, Culture, Politics: Rethinking 9/11

          (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006)

 

Simpson, David, 9/11: The Culture of Commemoration (Chicago: The University of

          Chicago Press, 2006)

 

Taylor, Diana, The Archive and the Repertoire: Reforming Cultural Memory in the

          Americas (London: Duke University Press, 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explain the Consequences of the Norman Invasion

on the Development of English

                  

Paul Lin

 

‘Language reflects society; language change reflects social change’ (Crystal, 2005, p.132). The year of 1066, one of the most significant turning points in the English history, witnessed the striking and profound influence of Norman invasion on the development of English. Some scholars argued that the invasion played a key role in the development of English, while, others regarded it as a decline (Graddol et al., 2003). This essay will explain the consequences of the Norman invasion on the development of English in two closely-related aspects: sociological aspect and linguistic aspect. The first aspect is concerned with the impact in the areas of social structure, education, and literature. The second aspect, which represents the bulk of this essay, explains the impact on vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

The Norman invasion brought a huge amount of sociological changes which greatly influenced the development of English. Firstly, social structure changed. Replaced by Normans, Anglo-Saxons lost their position as the ruling class (Barber et al., 2009). Meanwhile, the native aristocracies were largely destroyed and many ecclesiastical positions were given to Normans so that the church and education were dominated by them (Barber et al., 2009). Secondly, educational language changed. According to Crystal (2005), the balance of linguistic power was changing and French became the language for formal teaching of the elite who were the most influential people in society at that time. Ranulf Higden’s work Polychronicon showed that children were forced to study their lessons in French by abandoning their mother tongue (Barber et al., 2009). Thirdly, the tradition of English literature changed. ‘The Norman invasion brought a literary revolution even greater than its architectural revolution’ (Thomas, 2008, p.133). In this revolution, co-existence with French and Latin had a great influence on English literary tradition. Some of them were disrupted, for example, the historical writing in prose was lost. Robert of Gloucester was one of the writers who changed the writing style (Barber et al., 2009). However, according to Tomas (2008) some traditional elements were preserved, showing the continuity with the Old English, such as alliteration descended from the Old English poetry. The above three main sociological changes influenced by the invasion were reflected by many linguistic changes that will be further explained in the following paragraphs.

The Norman invasion brought a great linguistic influence on English. Comparatively speaking, there was much greater influence on written English than spoken English. After the Norman invasion in 1066, the use of written English gradually shriveled. It was not because Normans tended to do so but because of another three reasons. According to Tomas (2008), the first reason is Normans’ indifference about Anglo-Saxon works and the general preference to Latin in that time. At that time, writing and reading skills were only available to the elite and those associated with the Church. The second reason is that churchmen of English were more interested in saving Anglo-Saxon culture rather than the language itself. The last reason is the heavy rely on translation. On the other hand, spoken English received little impact comparatively. It was because the small population of Normans could not threat the overwhelming majority of population who spoke English as their first language (Tomas, 2008). Based on the influence of the invasion on written and spoken English, a more detailed explanation will be made in the following paragraphs, to the linguistic consequence in way of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.

The most striking consequences brought by the Norman invasion on the development of English were in the area of vocabulary. It has been estimated that there are about 9 percent of English vocabulary derived from French soon after the invasion (Graddol et al., 2003). These early French loanwords were taken from Normans. ‘Examples are duc, cuntess, curt (duke, countess, court)’ (Graddol et al., 2003, p.123). However, it was until the thirteenth and fourteenth century that the bulk of loanwords were taken from Central French (Barber et al., 2009). During the early period of Norman invasion, ‘English seemed to have less prone to use its own resource for word-creation’ (Barber et al., 2009, p.159). Some researchers argued that the earliest French-English hybrids were combined with English prefixes and suffixes (Barber et al., 2009). Two reasons to explain why there were such great consequences of the Normans invasion on English vocabulary: 1) French remained the second language of writing after Latin in many key areas for almost 350-years span, such as administration, law, business, education and literature. It was also much used by the upper class in England (Tomas, 2008). 2) The new expression from different domains, like architecture, religion, politics and so on, greatly enlarged the volume of English vocabulary (Crystal, 2005). For example, castle, chancellor, justice, fashion, mercy and so on (Barber et al., 2009). The largely increased vocabulary after the early period of the invasion, to some extent, reflected the dominance of Norman’s power.

The Norman invasion introduced comparatively limited consequences on English grammar. It has been abandoned that the simplification of the declension and conjugation was caused by the Norman invasion (Ward and Waller, 1907-21). These changes had already existed before the invasion (Tomas, 2008). The real reason is the changes of the spoken tongue among those bilingual upper and middle class. The literary conventions had no restriction on their writing when they tried to write in English. It is the replacement of the preposition of on the genitive inflection and the replacement of the polite substitution of the plural on singular in pronouns of the second person that showed the influence of the Norman invasion (Ward and Waller, 1907-21).

The Norman invasion left a light mark on pronunciation. New French words brought new pattern of sounds which changed the pronunciation (Crystal, 2005). However, they were soon assimilated into the English pronunciation system, and given the English sounds which are nearest to the French ones. However, spoken by the majority, Norman French developed its own characteristics in England and was then called Anglo-Norman (Barber et al., 2009).

In conclusion, the Norman invasion changed the development of English. The sociological upheaval brought by the invasion was far-reaching. English, as a native language, was inevitably involved into the vortex. As a result, a huge amount of profound linguistic changes took place, among which vocabulary, as the most prominent one, was influenced much more than grammar and pronunciation.

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Barber, C., Beal, J. C. and Shaw, P. A. (2009). The English Language: a historical introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Blake, N. (Ed.). (1992). The Cambridge History of The English, Volume II, 1066-1476, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Brown, R. A. (Ed.). (1984). The Norman Conquest: Documents of Medial History 5, London: Edward Arnold.

Crystal, D. (2005). The Stories of English, London: Penguin Books.

Clark, G. (1978). English History: A Survey, London: Book Club Associates.

Fennell, B. A. (2011). A History of English: A Sociolinguistic Approach, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Graddol, D., Leith D. and Swann, J. (2003). English: history, diversity and change, London: Routledge.

Kirkpatrick, A. (2011). World Englishes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pearsall, D. (Ed.). (1977). The Routledge History of English Poetry, Volume1, Old English and Middle English Poetry, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Tomas, H. M. (2008). The Norman Conquest: England after William the Conqueror.    Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Ward, A. D. and Waller, A. R. (Ed.). (1907-21). The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Volume I, From the Beginning to the Cycles of Romance, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

 

 

 

 

Identify the Main Progress of Film Technology in the Period of

1929-1947 and Evaluate their Influence on Hollywood Film Style

 

 

Paul Lin

 

 

The period 1929-1947 witnessed a considerable revolution in the history of film technology, during which drastic changes of Hollywood film style appeared with the arrival of the technological progress, such as the improvements in the synchronization between sound and film, the adoption of  the Technicolor three-colour system, and the production of powerful lighting supports (Cook, 2007; Parkinson,1997). This technological progress brought Hollywood films into a golden age, in which Classical Hollywood style gradually formed - a style that focuses on the physical and psychological description of characters in a more realistic way. For example, the technological progress in the sound system contributed to a more realistic description of characters’ voice (Bordwell and Thompson, 2010). However, Lewis (1994) claims that with the economic and social upheaval as the backdrop, the radical progress of film technology collided and fused with the already-constituted Hollywood film style, which inevitably revealed certain initial limits of the new film technology and caused some social hesitation on aesthetic choices. Moreover, Lewis (1994) and Cook (2007) find that the industrial standard of the Hollywood film style and technology in the subsequent years were considerably influenced by the varied structure of Hollywood studios resulting from the extreme pressure of the Great Depression and World War II. Divided into three parts, this essay will identify sequentially the main technological progress made during 1929-1947 in the systems of sound, colour, and lighting. Furthermore, the ways how this technological progress stimulated the new changes in Hollywood film style will be evaluated  in each part.

 

Maltby (2003) suggests that with the arrival of the sound era in the late 1920s, progress in the synchronization between sound and film contributed largely to the emergence of new film style (the definition of film style: the collection and presenting of conventional techniques used in film-makings). This progress, mainly made in 1930s, drove the standardization of sound recording format, the improvement of sound quality, and the promotion of film genres, such as musicals and gangster films (Lewis, 1994; Bordwell and Thompson, 2010). For example, in 1930, progress in sound synchronization contributed to the transition from sound-on-disc systems (sound was recorded separately from the film) to sound-on-film systems (sound was recorded physically on the film itself), offering the studios a standard presenting format which was compatible with any movie theatres (Salt, 1983; Maltby, 2003). Therefore, the transition to sound-on-film systems, such as Movietone system, was embraced by Hollywood studios in order to challenge the exhibition advantages of Warner Bros.’s sound-on-disc system Vitaphone (Lewis, 2008). Another example might be the improved sound quality resulting from the technological progress of the noise suppression in the synchronization beginning in 1931 (Salt, 1983; Maltby, 2003). By 1933, the re-mixing of recording without a large decrease of sound quality in final editing became possible, resulting in the extensive usage of background music (Cook, 2007). Moreover, the perfection of certain film genres, especially musicals, became possible with this technological progress in multi-soundtrack recording (Salt, 1983; Cook, 2007). However, Lewis (2008) suggests that the flourish of genres in 1930s was not only because of certain technological progress, but also due to the economic and cultural pressures from the Depression. For example, the popularity of gangster films in the early 1930s could result from the improvement of sound technologies which offered audience a vivid stimulation both visually and audibly (Cook, 2007; Lewis, 2008). The popularity also reflected people’s abandonment of faith in hard working and using criminality as a shortcut of success (Lewis, 2008). In short, the progress in synchronization technology in 1930s possess a far-reaching and profound effect on the changes in Hollywood film style.

 

Nevertheless, Bordwell et al (1994) claim that although sound film is regarded as revolutionary, it processes considerable continuity from silent film, thus the insertion of sound into the already-formed systems of the Hollywood style faced some problems in balancing sound and image. In another words, the general priority of sound over image caused by the technological progress could lead to certain setbacks of film styles (Parkinson,1997; Neale, 1985). The most obvious example would be the minimized alternative for musicians to influence the films, which largely decreased the diversity of the music in films, compared with the early live dubbing period (Bordwell et al, 1994). Another example is the reduced mobility of cameras in the early period, resulting from the requirement of the sound quality (Bordwell and Thompson, 2010). Cameras needed to be contained in immobile soundproof booths to suppress the noise, which inevitably decreased the continuity of images, resulting in a static style (Parkinson, 1997; Jacobs, 1974). In general, despite some setbacks caused by the progress of certain sound synchronization technologies, changes of new film style were introduced in 1930s due to the technological progress in the sound system, and these changes could be regarded as a logical progress in the expression of the motion picture.

 

The transition from the Technicolor (a company name) two-colour system to the Technicolor three-colour system began in the late 1920s, which drove some new changes in film style (Salt, 1983; Maltby, 2003; Cook, 2007). The continuing perfection of the Technicolor three-color system improved the quality of colour significantly and contributed considerably to the promotion of colour films and the setting of industry standards in the subsequent twenty years (Parkinson,1997; Cook, 2007). For example, after the decline of the box-office in the early 1930s and complaints about the quality of colour, the Technicolor Company developed its new Technicolor three-colour system (red, green and blue) which could offer films a full range of colours rather than the former red and green spectrum, which brought an enhanced portray of the characters and plots (Maltby, 2003; Balio, 1993). This progress was first used in Disney’s cartoons such as Flower and Trees (1932) and comedies such as La Cucaracha (1934), which helped them win critical success (Balio, 1993). Furthermore, studios’ interests in colour films were stimulated considerably by the new Technicolor three-colour system and the industry standard of colour films was gradually set (Cook, 2007). Balio (1993) indicates that in the 1930s, a large number of well-known films were made in colour, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and A Star Is Born (1937). Balio (1993) further estimates that around twenty to fifty Technicolor films were released every year during the 1940s. In addition, Salt (1983) argues that the progress in the new Technicolor three-colour system stimulated the production of some contrasting films which used the contrast between black-white and colour to distinguish the real world and fantasy world, such as The Wizard of Oz (1939).  In brief, the introduction of the Technicolor three-colour system largely contributed to the changes in the Hollywood film style.

 

However, the transition of new film style brought by the new colour system faced certain difficulties (Maltby, 2003). For example, the shooting of colour films with the new colour system confronted considerable financial and social barriers ? the Great Depression (1930s) and World War II (1939-1945) ? which seriously reduced the budget and expansion of film studios (Cook, 2007; Maltby, 2003). Influenced by these two historical events, despite the availability of colour technologies, most studios chose to reduce their input of colour films because they could not afford the high production costs (Lewis, 2008; Cook, 2007). It was estimated that the usage of colour could add around 30% of the production costs, thus in 1940, only 4% of Hollywood films were in colour (Cook, 2007). Moreover, the intensive control of the Technicolor Company over the film aesthetic could constrain the performance of directors (Maltby, 2003). Studios using the Technicolor three-colour system needed to hire Technicolor operators from the Company, rent their equipment, and followed their specific film-making processes, which resulted in the loss of the diversity of film style (Lewis, 2008)  In general, unlike the smooth development of sound, new progress in colour technologies created a new era by themselves facing a high level of pressure.

 

During the period 1929-1947, significant improvements in the lighting capability brought by several technological progress contributed largely to the new changes in film style (Cook, 2007; Bordwell and Thompson, 2010). On the one hand, these improvements were highly related to the requirements of new technologies in sound and colour, and technological progress in other industries (Cook, 2007). For example, the strict requirement of sound forced the design of the reduced-noise light (light with low noise), and Technicolor’s needs for brighter light to support the set and certain colours stimulated the improvement of arc lights (arc-shaped light) in the 1930s (Bordwell and Thompson, 2010). Cook (2007) summarises that this progress led to two commonly used lighting styles: low key lighting (normally for genres like noir) and high key lighting (often for genres like musical). In addition, technological progress from other industries also contributed to the improvements of film lighting capability, thus leading to new changes in film style (Bordwell and Thompson, 2010). For example, the war-developed technology of lighting, Colortran, stimulated the trend of location filming in actual settings rather than artificial settings (Cook, 2007). On the other hand, Cook (2007) and Bordwell and Thompson (2010) indicate that the improvements of brighter lights, combined with the faster film stock (an medium used for recording) and new lens coating, enabled the achievement of a greater depth of field (an area which expands behind and in front of the focus point of the lens), and this deep-focus style (objects are focused in equal sharp in a certain area) became a trend of many films after the late 1930s, such as Citizen Kane (1941). This deep-focus style in the cinematography tended to become sharper in image contrast and better in the screen illumination, which owed much to the efficient usage of light and improvement of the lighting capability (Lewis, 1994). However, before the late 1930s, most cinematographers were hesitated with this style. On the contrary, they preferred to the low image contrast and soft tones they used before, which slowed the spread of the deep-focus style (Cook, 2007).

 

Nevertheless, Ogle (1977) and Cook (2007) argue that technological progress in lighting system is not the only interpretation of deep-focus style.  Cook (2007) claims that it was not only this technological progress that drove this deep-focus trend but also some non-cinematic influence, such as the rise of social realism (an art form focuses on everyday conditions), photojournalism (using photo to tell the news), and documentary film movements throughout the 1930s. Ogle (1977) further argues that although technological progress are necessary for the formation of deep-focus style, an essential aesthetic choice needs to be made, and that is cinematic realism: ‘a sense of presence’ offered by deep-focus style, from which audience might feel closer to the reality. In brief, the technological progress of lighting could be regarded as the outcome of several interlocking elements and also had a comprehensive effect to the changes of film style.

 

In conclusion, during the period 1929-1947, the evolution of film style and story might not be regarded as the production of certain individual creativity, but an ‘accumulation’ of technological progress (Maltby, 2003, p.265). This progress in the synchronization of sound, the transition of Technicolor three-color system, and the improving capability of lighting made the period 1929-1947 a milestone of new changes in Hollywood film style. During this period, the standard sound recording format, the improved sound quality, and flourishing film genres appeared with the improvements in the sound synchronization technology. Besides, the improved colour quality and innovative colour films arrived with the continuing perfection of the Technicolor three-colour system. In addition, the requirement of the new technologies in sound and colour system also stimulated the improvements of the lighting capability, which drove the formation of certain film styles, such as deep-focus and the location filming. However, with the economic and social upheaval resulting from the Great Depression and World War II as a backdrop, this progress and changes in film technology and style confronted certain barriers. These barriers derived from the financial pressure of the studios, the initial limits on the new technologies, and the social hesitation on the aesthetic choice, due to the radical changes brought to the already-constituted classical Hollywood film style. All in all, the technological progress made during 1929-1947 possessed a considerable influence on the Hollywood film style, although certain historical events marked this period in an unsteady era.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

A Star Is Born. (1937) [Film] Directed by William Augustus Wellman. USA: Selznick International Pictures.

 

Altman, R. (1992) Sound Theory, Sound Practice. New York: Routledge.

 

Balio, T. ed., (1993). History of the America Cinema: Grand Design, Hollywood as A Modern Business Enterprise 1930-1939. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

 

Bordwell, D. (1998) On the History of Film Style. London: Harvard University Press

 

Bordwell, D., Staiger, J. and Thompson, K. (1994) The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960. London: Routledge.

 

Bordwell, D. and Thompson, K. (2010) Film Art: An Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.

 

Citizen Kane. (1941) [Film] Directed by Orson Welles. USA: Mercury Production.

 

Cook, P. (2007) The Cinema Book 3rd Edition. 3rd edn. London: British Film Institute.

 

Flower and Tress. (1932) [Film] Directed by Burt Gillett. USA: Walt Disney Productions.

 

Higham, C. (1970)  Hollywood Cameramen: Sources of Light. Bloomington: University of Illinois Press.

 

Jacobs, L. (1974) The Rise of the American Film: A Critical History, Experimental Cinema in America 1921-1947. New York: Teachers College Press.

 

La Cucaracha. (1934) [Film] Directed by Lloyd Corrigan. USA: Pioneers Pictures.

 

Lewis, J (1994) American Film: A History. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

 

Lowell, R. (1992) Matters of Light and Depth: Creating Memorable Images for Video, Film, and Stills through Lighting. Philadelphia: Broad Street Press.

 

Maltby, R. (2003) Hollywood Cinema 2nd. 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

 

Neale, S. (1985) Cinema and Technology: Image, Sound, Colour. London: BFIPublishing.

 

Ogle, P. (1977) Technological and Aesthetic Influences upon the Development of Deep-focus Cinematography in the United States. The Journal of the Society for Education in Film and Television, 17(1), pp. 81-108.

 

Parkinson, D. (1997) History of film. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd.

 

Salt, B. (1983) Film Style and Technology: History and Analysis. London: Starword.

 

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. (1937) [Film] Directed by David Hand, William Cottrell, Wifred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, and Ben Sharpsteen. USA: Walt Disney Productions.

 

The Wizard of Oz. (1939) [Film] Directed Victor Fleming. USA: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In What Ways Is Abstract Expressionism a Response and Antidote to American Popular Culture in the Post-war Era

 

 

Paul Lin

 

 

The year 1945 is generally regarded as a dividing line in the history of western art, because it is in this year that New York replaced Paris as the centre of  modern art and America claimed its dominance of the art world.[39] However, this significant shift could not happen without the development of the first and the most dominant American avant-garde - Abstract Expressionism.[40] This movement was born in the 1930s and matured in the subsequent two decades, during which America suffered from the economic, social and political upheavals brought by the Great Depression, World War II, Cold War, and a series of communist movements.[41] However, most worried by Abstract Expressionists was the crisis of American popular culture coming along with the decadence of capitalism, including the decreasing quality of art works brought by kitsch, the wandering over the subject matter, and the post-war anxiety of the fight among different ideologies.[42] In response to this cultural crisis, Abstract expressionists rejected to follow any known direction and dogma, such as Social Realism and Regionalism. Instead, they tried to search their own interpretation and innovation over the form of seeing.[43] Divided into three parts, this essay will try to illustrate how Abstract Expressionism reacted to American popular culture in the post-war era. Following a very short recall of the cultural crisis began in the 1930s in the first part, the second part would focus on the three ways in which Abstract Expressionism reacted to the crisis of American popular culture: searching subject, defending quality, and choosing ideologies. The last part would question the boundaries between Abstract Expressionism and American popular culture promoted by influential critic Greenberg and explore whether Abstract Expressionism must stand on the opposite side to respond against American popular culture.

 

In order to better understand how Abstract Expressionism reacted to the crisis of American popular culture, it is essential to recall how did this crisis rise in the 1930s, when only a few artists and critics began to work as a loose group so-called Abstract Expressionist later.[44] In the early 1930s, it was mainly the Regionalists and the Social Realists dominated the response to the the economic and cultural temper of the times, which seems to be a new urgency in the Depression. The former accepted a right isolationist ideology and sought to recall America’s Golden Age in their art works, while the latter was influenced by certain Marxist dogmas to encourage workers to get involved into class struggles.[45] Benefited from Roosevelt’s two crucial art projects (the Public Works of Art Project in 1933 and Federal Art Project in 1935), which hired almost 9000 artists, photographers, craftsmen, and designers to produce more than 10 thousand art works for public sites, Regionalists and Social Realists led the mainstream of American popular culture and dominated the 103 art communities established during this period of time.[46] However, because of this, more significant crisis began to emerge, although these two projects provided some future Abstract Expressionists, such as Pollock, De Kooning, and Rothko, opportunities to experiment freely.[47] These art communities were easily manipulated by the Communist Party, by using Regionalism and Social Realism as political propaganda to communicate with the public in order to incite revolution among the mass.[48] Under such cultural climate, according to Greenberg, American popular culture were producing kitsch which merely imitated the effect of the arts rather than the process of the arts. Catering the taste of the public, these kitsch largely lowered the quality of culture, and because of the controlled political ideologies of the Regionalism and Social Realism, artists were facing the difficulties in exploring the subject matter.[49] Therefore, in response and antidote to the crisis of American popular culture in subject matter, quality, and ideologies, some future Abstract Expressionists fastened their experiment with avant-garde.[50]

 

Among all the crisis of American popular culture in the post-war period, searching a proper subject is the most urgent one for Abstract Expressionism.[51] At the very beginning, with the decline of Regionalism and Social Realism, the needs for new subject led American artists to a path of re-evaluation, on which they were fascinating in searching supports from the Surrealism art works in Paris. Moreover, influenced by the Parisian artists who fled to New York during the War, new art works which imitated the Parisian art emerged in the galleries of New York.[52] However, Greenberg did not regarded this new subject related with Surrealism as an antidote to American popular culture. On the contrary, he claimed that what America needed was an innovation that could revive American popular culture rather than a pale imitation from the Parisian, and such imitation would only confuse and constrain the creation of artists.[53] Therefore, after rejecting all the existing subjects and stopping imitating the Parisian, the Abstract Expressionists were facing a more serious crisis in subject matter.[54] Nevertheless, it was Greenberg’s following articles about Pollock that led to the solution of the subject matter. In these articles, he further differentiated New York from Paris by promoting the importance of reviving America popular culture with innovation of formalism, which shifted the question from what to paint into how to paint.[55] Furthermore, developed by several Abstract Expressionists, such as Pollock and Rothko, this spontaneous and violent form of art reached a peak in 1947 and dominated the new art world, and it was in this year that the term Abstract Expressionism was coined.[56] However, this essay would argue that although Abstract Expressionism did make a response to the crisis of American popular culture in subject matter (a rejection to any existing theme), its function as an antidote was limited. This is partly because that the commercial factors of America were becoming stronger in affecting its popular culture after the revival from the Depression and after America’s dominance over the western culture.[57] Therefore, the ‘pure art’ idea of Abstract Expressionism would surely reject and stay away from these commercial factors, causing limited impact on American popular culture.[58] In brief, the innovation of Abstract Expressionism in a spontaneous, violate and abstract form could be regarded as a response to the crisis of subject matter, while its function as an antidote is limited.

 

Except for the reaction to the crisis of subject matter, Abstract Expressionism also responded to the ideological transformation of American popular culture and to some extent contributed to the exploration of American ideologies in the post-war period.[59] The motivation of this exploration of ideologies could be summarised by Henry James phrase ‘the imagination of disaster’, which reflected the post-war anxiety over people’s vulnerability and irrationality.[60] Form Marxism, Nationalism to Utopianism, more and more intellectuals and artists rejected to follow any existing ideologies, as these ideologies could no longer explain people’s behaviors during the chaos. After the War, Neoplasticism and Constructivism also lost their credibility.[61] Not only American popular culture, but also Abstract Expressionism itself lost their direction, especially when it came to the nuclear horror in the years of the Cold War.[62] On the one hand, the Abstract Expressionists needed to avoid becoming the representation of the terrible nuclear tension. On the other hand, they had to avoid the political exploitation to use them as propaganda.[63] Therefore, after exploration, the Abstract Expressionists believed that individualism, originality, and abstraction could be the best way to fight against the post-war anxiety and political tension, as well as respond to American popular culture.[64] After this exploration, it seemed that Abstract Expressionism had get rid of all the ideologies and only depended on their own interpretation to the cultural climate, but maybe unconsciously their central idea - individuality and freedom - echoed with the concept of freedom promoted by the Cold War Liberalism in Schlesinger’s Vital Center.[65] Perhaps this reconciliation of the ideologies between Abstract Expressionism and Liberalism could lead American popular culture to a clearer path in the exploration of ideologies in the post-war period, but the control of the political ideologies over both the American avant-garde and American popular culture also reflected the potential crisis of them being used as political propaganda in the post-war era, especially in the Cold War.[66] In short, Abstract Expressionism’ s exploration of the ideologies, from Marxism to Liberalism, would offer American popular culture certain guidance over the choice of ideologies in the post-war period.

 

The decreasing quality of American popular culture is another crisis that Abstract Expressionism needed to respond during the post-war period. In response to this, Greenberg’s article Avant-garde and Kitsch played an crucial role, in which he did not regard the decadence of bourgeoisie as the only cause of the cultural crisis of American popular culture, but also blamed this crisis on the the Communists and the Popular Font (a political coalition who promoted the idea ‘art for the masses’).[67] Greenberg and other Abstract Expressionists suggests that avant-garde seems to be the only way to defend the quality of American popular culture against the negative impact of kitsch and enable culture to progress.[68] In a different perspective from Greenberg, another two critics Adorno and Horkheimer discuss the relationship between American popular culture and capitalism. They argue that American popular culture is more like a brainwashing tool, which only provides consumers the same things rather than giving them freedom to chose.[69] To some extent, this low-quality repetition of machine-made is on the opposite side of Abstract Expressionism, which encourage unpredictability, freedom, individuality, and innovation. In brief, Abstract Expressionists believe that as American’s first avant-garde , Abstract Expressionism made a direct response to the post-war American popular culture in the crisis of decreasing quality.

 

Nevertheless, the permeability of the boundaries between Abstract Expressionism and American popular culture is worth questioning.[70] The so-called ‘Greenberg Effect’ that characterised Abstract Expressionism (avant-garde) as superior to American popular culture (so-called low art) is to some extent problematic.[71] This is because that in the history of America art, avant-garde, even abstract expressionism, has never been independent from American popular culture. In some occasions in the post-war era, Abstract Expressionism was keen on the interaction with American culture (‘low culture’) and was not rejecting to embrace it, such as Jasper Johns’s Flag (1954).[72] In brief, such exploration to the permeability of the boundaries encourages us to think about the relationship between Abstract Expressionism and American popular culture and thus draw a conclusion that perhaps these two parts are not always stand on the opposite side of each other.

 

In conclusion, this essay illustrates the three ways that Abstract Expressionism is a response and antidote to American popular culture in the post-war era. Firstly, the innovation of Abstract Expressionism in a spontaneous, violate and abstract form is a response to the crisis of American popular culture in subject matter, although its function as an antidote is limited. Secondly, by exploring the ideologies from Marxism to Liberalism, Abstract Expression reacted to the post-war anxiety and the wandering over ideologies of American popular culture, although the fight against the political exploitation would never stop. Finally, in response to the decreasing quality of American popular culture causing by kitsch, Abstract Expressionists drew a dividing line which separated them form American popular culture. However, the permeability of this line is worth thinking and certain critics’ theory about this issue could be problematic. As a sophisticated and controversial issue, the debate over the relationship between Abstract Expressionism and American popular culture would be clearer when further research on what constitutes the boundary between the so-called high art and low art, whether should this boundary exist, and what is the relationship between culture and capitalism.

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Acton, Mary, Learning to Look at Modern Art (New York: Routledge, 2004)

 

Anfam, David, Abstract Expressionism (London: Thames and Hudson, 1999)

 

Balken, Debra Bricker, Abstract Expressionism: Movements in Modern Art (London:

          Tate Publishing, 2005)

 

Frascina, Francis, ed., Pollock and After: the Critical Debate (London: Harper &

          Row, Publishers, 1985)

 

Gibson, Ann Eden, Abstract Expressionism: Other Politics (London: Yale University

          Press, 1997)

 

Greenberg, Clement, ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’ Partisan Review, 5 (1939), 34?49


Guilbaut, Serge, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract

          Expressionism, Freedom, and the Cold War (Chicago: the University of

          Chicago Press, 1983)

 

Jachec, Nancy, The Philosophy and Politics of Abstract Expression 1940-1960

          (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2000)

 

Johnson, Ellen, American Artists on Art From 1940-1980 (New York: Harper & Row,

          1982)

 

Kleeblatt, Norman L, ed., Action/ Abstraction: Pollock, De Kooning, and American

          Art, 1940-1976 (New York: The Jewish Museum, 2009)

 

Landau, Ellen G, ed., Reading Abstract Expressionism: Context and Critique

          (London: Yale University Press, 2005)

 

Polcari, Stephen, Abstract Expressionism and The Modern Experience

          (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991)

 

Rawlinson, Mark, American Visual Culture (Oxford: Berg, 2009)

 

Sandler, Irving, The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract

          Expressionism (London: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1970)

 

Sandler, Irving, Abstract Expressionism and the American Experience: a Reevaluation

          (New York: Lenox and School of Visual Arts, 2009)

 

Siegel, Katy, ed., Abstract Expressionism (London: Phaidon Press Limited, 2011)

 

Thistlewood, David, ed., American Abstract Expressionism (Liverpool: Liverpool

          University Press and Tate Gallery Liverpool, 1993)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explain How the Multicultural Environment of Malaysia Developed Malaysian English

 

Paul Lin

 

Malaysian English had undergone a distinctive evolution process under the influence of the multicultural environment of Malaysia and gradually possessed many linguistic features of its own (Fennell, 2011). Various ethnic roots as well as their languages, such as the Malay, the Chinese, the Tamil Indian and more than 30 minorities contribute considerably to the development of Malaysian English (McArthur, 2003). Kachru et al. (2006) argue that instead of analysing Malaysian English in isolation as a linguistic artefact scholars need to contextualize it into the multicultural environment of Malaysia. Meanwhile, Schneider (2007) states that all levels of language structure of Malaysian English have been localized in its multicultural context. Divided into three parts, this essay will explain sequentially how the multicultural environment of Malaysia developed Malaysia English. Firstly but briefly, the historical and socio-political evolution of this variety will be introduced. In the second part, which is the bulk of this essay, the influence of various ethnic roots and different languages on the development of Malaysian English will be analysed separately with the examples of its innovation on vocabulary, discourse, pronunciation, and grammar. Thirdly, some challenges of Malaysian English in its multicultural environment will be analysed.

 

The knowledge of the historical and socio-political evolution of Malaysian English is vital to understand how multicultural environment of Malaysia developed this variety of English. Since English was introduced in the 18th century, Malaysia English had undergone considerable changes due to the collision and fusion between English and local context (Melchers and Shaw, 2011). On the one hand, as a result of the British colonization, English was introduced into Malaysia with the early establishment of trading centres by the East India Company in 1789 (Fennell, 2011). Moreover, both Kachru and Nelson (2006) and Fennell (2011) state that with the establishment of Straits Settlements in 1826, the colonial rule began and lasted almost 140 years with the transient occupation of Japan (1942-45) and English was established as the language of law and administration. During this period of time, a huge amount of labourers and businessmen who came from China and India rushed into Malaysia to operate the mines and plantations (Melchers and Shaw, 2011). Fusing with a large variety of languages and cultures, Malaysian English absorbed various elements from its multicultural context and gradually evolved into a variety with rich diversity and innovation (McArthur, 2003). On the other hand, English was introduced into Malaysia through education. English-medium schools began to operate as early as 1816 and the British education system was brought in (Fennell, 2011). In late 1950s, English still served as a language of power and prestige, although the British began to withdraw (Kachru, 1992). However, as the result of the independence of Malaysia in 1957 English-medium education was replaced by Malay-medium education in order to assert the cultural identity of Malaysia (Schneider, 2007). Furthermore, policies to increase the use of Malay were enacted in different aspects and caused the decline of the general level of English proficiency of Malaysians (Kachru, 1992). Nevertheless, due to the incentive of globalization, the Education Act of 1996 was released to re-shift the education system back to English-medium and the government had to redouble its effort to sustain the country’s English language tradition (McArthur, 2003). In brief, due to the collision and fusion between the West and the East, Malaysian English has undergone considerable changes during its historical and socio-political evolution and has been nourished in its multicultural soil.

 

Firstly, the convergence of various ethnic roots in Malaysia is crucial for the development of Malaysian English (Schneider, 2007). As a multicultural and multiethnic nation, Malaysia is constituted by the Malay (50.5% of the population), the Chinese (23.6%), the Indian Tamil (7%), and more than 30 minorities (Fan, 2013). These multiethnic roots possess their own cultural and literary traditions which diversify the creation and innovation of Malaysian English, especially in the area of vocabulary and discourse (Kachru and Nelson, 2006).

 

On the one hand, Schneider (2007) points out that the influence of the cultural traditions of different ethnic roots on Malaysian English could be reflected by the expansion of the volume of vocabulary. Meanwhile, Kachru et al. (2006) state that Malaysian English has incorporated from the cultural traditions of multiethnic roots, including the Malay, the Chinese, the Indian Tamil and more than 30 minorities, forming its own vocabulary system. First, according to Melchers and Shaw (2011), many typical borrowings in Malaysian English could reflect the life style and living environment of the Malay. For example, ‘ikan bakar (grilled fish)’ reflects the piscatorial life of local fishermen; ‘dangdut (a kind of local music)’ reflects the unique culture of local music; ‘dadah (illegal drugs)’ which often appears in the social media such as English newspaper reflects the abuse of illegal drugs as a social problem in Malaysia (McArthur, 2003, p.337). Second, the vocabulary of Malaysian English is largely diversified by the Chinese who are the second largest ethnic root in Malaysia (Subramaniam, 2007; Kashru et al., 2006). They brought their traditional customs and festivals when they migrated to Malaysia and gradually interacted and co-existed with the local context, thus inevitably diversified the vocabulary of Malaysian English (Fan, 2013). For example, ‘red packet (envelope containing money given at a festival)’ shows the influence of Chinese traditional festivals and customs; ‘yang (traditional Chinese concept representing male light positive) and yin (female dark negative)’ reflect the influence of traditional Chinese belief (Melchers and Shaw, 2011, pp.175-176). Third, Indian culture contributes to the innovation of the vocabulary of Malaysian English as well (Fan, 2013). For example, the term ‘banana leaf restaurant (a South Indian restaurant) reflects the eating habits of Indian and the popularity of Indian restaurants in Malaysia (McArthur, 2003, p.337). In short, the multiethnic environment of Malaysia contributes considerably to the innovation of the vocabulary of Malaysian English and the borrowings from various ethnic roots make it more relevant to the local context (Kachru and Nelson, 2006).

 

On the other hand, due to the different cultural customs among various ethnic roots, Malaysia English developed its own uniqueness in the area of discourse (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). To begin with, Melchers and Shaw (2011) argue that the diversity of ethnic roots largely contributes to one of the most striking features of discourse in Malaysian English ? code-mixing (speakers frequently switch between English and another language during the conversation). It is used as a communicative tool among different ethnic roots in the multicultural environment of Malaysia (Schneider, 2007). Additionally, Kachru and Nelson (2006) state that due to the cultural differences among different ethnic roots, some taboos in western countries are common in Malaysian English. For example, questions about one’s age, salary, weight, and marital status are regarded as a sign of kindness. Furthermore, polite words like please and thank you are not commonly used in Malaysian English, though this is not a sign of rudeness (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). Finally, the terms of address in Malaysian English are distinct from the western counties because of the differences in name system (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). For instance, the order between the surname and the given name in Standard English is reversed in Chinese so that Paul Lin could be addressed as Mr. Paul (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). In brief, the discourse of Malaysia English has been localized due to the distinct cultural backgrounds of various ethnic roots, showing a vigorous creativity and uniqueness.

 

Secondly, as a part of the multicultural environment, local languages spoken by people of different ethnic roots possess a considerably influence on the development of Malaysian English (Kachru et al., 2006). McArthur (2003), Kachru and Nelson (2006) and Kachrus et al. (2006) argue that Malaysian English was largely localized in its pronunciation and grammar in the constant contact with various local languages of this nation among which Malay (47% of the speakers) possesses the most striking influence while local Chinese vernacular (32%) and Indian Tamil (an indigenous language in South India, 8%) are another considerable influence.

 

On the one side, the pronunciation of Malaysian English owes much to the influence of the local languages (Melchers and Shaw, 2011). First, speakers of Malaysian English are influenced by the convention of their first language in the arrangement of syllables and stress so that the pronunciation changes (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). For instance, Malaysian English tends to be syllable-timed so that the phrase a cup of tea is spoken one by one according to the words; nouns and verbs (‘excues and ex’cues) are undistinguished in Malaysian English by the placement of stress (Kachru et al., 2006). Next, both Malay and some Chinese vernacular (mainly Cantonese) have few final constant clusters (t, k, d) so that the word-final consonant clusters are often simplified in Malaysian English (Melchers and Shaw, 2011). For example, ‘last’ becomes ‘las’ and ‘great’ becomes ‘grea’ (McArthur, 2003, p.336). Although in most cases maybe it is not different to understand, the potential for misunderstanding exists in such context. For instance, pick for picked may lead to the misunderstanding of tense (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). In brief, in such a multicultural environment of Malaysia, local languages of different ethnic roots largely affect the pronunciation of Malaysian English.

 

On the other side, the grammar of Malaysian English is restructured as well under the influence of local languages (Kashru et al., 2006). In the first place, the complicated system of marking countability in Standard English is greatly simplified in Malaysian English because in some local languages, such as Malay and Chinese, the marking is not based on nouns. For examples, in Malaysian English furniture becomes furnitures (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). In the second place, McArthur (2003) argues that several Chinese interjections are introduced into Malaysian English, such as lah (a sign of intimacy). For instance, ‘Sorry, can’t come lah ? too busy lah’ (McArthur, 2003, p.337). In the third place, reduplication is commonly used for emphasis, showing the convention of some local languages (Kachru and Nelson, 2006). For instance, ‘Don’t always eat sweet sweet things (very sweet)’ (Kachru and Nelson, 2006, p.192). In short, the grammar of Malaysian English is considerably influenced by various local languages despite that these innovations in grammar are usually regarded as mistakes (Schneider, 2007).

 

Nevertheless, Malaysian English are facing some potential challenges under the influence of the multicultural environment in Malaysia and will still be so in the future, although it has developed considerably in such context (Raihanah, 2009). Issues of the cultural identity among various ethnic roots are aroused (Kirkpatrick, 2002). Fennell (2011) argues that the balance between Malaysian English and other local languages, especially Bahasa Malaysia (the solo national language of Malaysia), is undergoing some changes due to several languages policies and education policies since independence. Malaysian English may be marginalized by some ethnic roots as a result of showing their cultural identities (Raihanah, 2009). Furthermore, several language experiments made by some writers, such as ‘EngMalChin’, who tended to create an instrument of cultural communication in the multicultural environment of Malaysia, failed to show the cultural identity of the whole nation (Raihanah, 2009). In brief, the development of Malaysian English in such a multicultural environment shows its complexity in forming the cultural identity.

 

In conclusion, Malaysian English has developed considerably in its multicultural environment, showing its own uniqueness in different areas of linguistics. The understanding of the historical and socio-political evolution of Malaysian English is indispensable to explain the influence of multicultural environment on this variety of English. In the multicultural environment of Malaysia, the influence of various ethnic roots on the vocabulary and discourse is salient. In addition, distinctive local languages influence considerably the pronunciation and grammar of Malaysia English. Nevertheless, some potential challenges are thwarting the development of this variety, reflecting the complexity of forming a satisfied national identity among various ethnic roots under the influence of multicultural environment of Malaysia. Immersed into a multicultural environment, Malaysian English has been fused into a mosaic which represents a unique English variety while the differences between each culture still exist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Baskaram, L. (1987). Aspects of Malaysian English Syntax. London: London University.

Crystal, D. (2006). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.

 

Fan, P. S. (2013). Malaysian Chinese Literary Works in a Multicultural Environment. China-ASEAN Perspective Forum. 3(2), pp. 325-338.

Fennell, B. A. (2011). A History of English: A Sociolinguistic Approach. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Fernando, L. (Ed.). (1986). Cultures in Conflict: Essays on Literature & The English Language In South East Asia. Singapore: Graham Brash.

Hashim, A. and Low, E. (Eds.). (2012). English in Southeast Asia: Features, Policy and Language in Use. Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing.

Jenkins, J. (2003). World Englishes: A Resource Book for Students. London: Routledge.

Kachru, B. B. (Ed.). (1992). The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures. 2nd ed. Chicago: Illinois University Press.

Kachru, B. B., Kachru, Y., and Nelson, C. L. (Eds.). (2006). The Handbook of World Englishes. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Kachru, Y and Nelson, C. L. (2006). World Englishes in Asian Contexts. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

 

Kirkpatrick, A. (2002). English in Asia: Communication, Identity, Power and Education, Melboume: Language Australia Ltd.

Melchers, G and Shaw, P. (2011). World Englishes. 2nd ed.  Abingdon: Hodder Education.

Mesthrie, R. (Ed.). (2008). Varieties of English: Africa, South and Southeast Asia. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Mandal, S. K. (2000). Reconsidering Cultural Globalization: The English Language in Malaysia. Third World Quarterly. 21(6), pp 1001-1012.

McArthur, T. (2003). Oxford Guide to World English. New York: Oxford University Press.

 

Raihanah, M. M. (2009). Malaysia and the Author: Face-to-face with the Challenges of Multiculturalism. International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies. 5(2), pp. 43-63.

Rajadurai, J. (2004). The Faces and Facts of English in Malaysian. English Today. 20(4), pp. 54-58.

Schneider, E. W. (2007). Postcolonial English: Varieties around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Subramaniam, G. (2007). The Changing Tenor of English in Multicultural Postcolonial Malaysia. 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature. 13(3), pp.1-19.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Issues Shape Immigration Policy in the United States Today?

 

Paul Lin

 

The making of immigration policy in the United States today could be regarded as one of the most controversial topics due to the complexity and dynamic of the issues which shape policymaking.[73] America claims that immigration policymaking is based on the ‘national interest’ which ranks the moral priority of the America over the consideration of outsiders.[74] Some scholars point out several factors which influence the making of immigration policy in the United States, such as the economy, cultural values, social interests, political consideration, and national security.[75] While Tichenor argues that despite some merits in explaining policymaking, each of these factors possesses distinctive limitations and is inadequate for an all-around explanation of policy decision making.[76] This essay will sequentially discuss five issues that shape immigration policy in the United States today: economics, culture, national security, politics, and population-environment. In each part, the limitations of the particular factor will also be analysed.

 

Economics is one of the most striking issues that shapes immigration policy in the United States today. The policymaking is concerned with economics and focuses on the balance between cost and benefit.[77] Principally, the impact of immigration on the American labour market is where the debate concentrates. The policymaking is shaped by the need of the American labour market to protect native low-skilled workers while at the same time to ensuring an adequate supply of cheap labour.[78] It is also shaped by the need of America to attract high-skilled professionals to maintain its competitiveness.[79] On the one hand, argument is established that the immigration of low-wage and low-skilled labour may (or may not) harm American labour market.[80] Those who advocate restriction for immigration argue that American low-skilled labours have to compete directly with immigrants which could depress their salary and increase unemployment rate.[81] While those who advocate liberation for immigration argue that high level of immigration brings economic benefits to America which would increase the number of consumers and labours and helps the economics grow.[82] On the other hand, America is eager to attract the ‘best and brightest’ professionals of the world to maintain their economic competitiveness, especially in the field of science and computer industry.[83] For example, those foreign labours who come to America with H-1B visas require at least a degree of bachelor.[84] Besides, the policymaking also encourages entrepreneurship, creating countless business owned by immigrants.[85] For instance, one quarter of the business in Silicon Valley are set up by immigrants, including Google and Intel.[86] General speaking, the policymaking of immigration tends to be expansive when the U.S. economics is thriving and stable; on the contrary, the policymaking tends to be severely restricted.[87] However, this economic model may possess some limits on explaining the policy changes.[88] For example, the Immigration Act of 1990 was enacted to increase the immigration opportunities under an economic depression.[89] In brief, the U.S. economics in the 21st century is one of the most influential considerations that shapes the outcome of immigration policy in the United States, reflecting the need of America for a stable growth of labour force and a leading competiveness.[90]

 

Culture is another issue that considerably shape immigration policy in the United States today. Some scholars argue that immigration policymaking in the United States today is strongly influenced by several core values in the American culture.[91] On the one side, the American immigration policy tends to welcome immigrants when they agree with the core values of the United States: freedom, sacrifice, opportunity, hard work and tolerance.[92] The policymaking focuses on the questions of the cultural bonds that connect America together.[93] For those who advocate restriction and those who advocate liberation, debate concentrates on whether immigration contribute to a cultural unity or a cultural fragmentation of the United States, expressing the consideration of policymaking over the cultural assimilation of different roots.[94] On the other hand, American immigration policy is shaped by the drive of promoting cultural diversity.[95] The idea of melting pot and Americanization was popular for decades in the process of immigration policymaking, while the ideal of cultural diversification was growing that instead of being a pot to melt all cultural diversity America would more like to be a salad bowl to preserve the cultural differences.[96] It is true that today’s immigrants still maintain a tight connection with the culture of their home countries, speak their mother tongues and are reluctant to assimilate into the American cultural system.[97] The immigration policy of the United States might reflect a dedication to establish a ‘city on a hill’ where immigrants might find political freedom, refuge and equality.[98] However, the limits of cultural considerations to explain the outcomes of the policymaking is that it takes it for granted that a preeminent tradition of ideology occupied the policy outcomes and fails to explain the dominance of some liberal democratic beliefs.[99] In short, immigration policy in the United Stated today is largely shaped by the cultural considerations, expressing the needs for cultural unity as well as for cultural diversity.

 

National security, a striking issue in the 21st century, shapes immigration policy in the United State today, especially after the terror attack of 9/11.[100] The policymaking of immigration in the United States today is making balance between protecting America and the liberation for immigration.[101] The terror attack of 9/11 reflects how America’s expansive immigration policy under the Bush administration could be violated to bring terrible harm to the security of the nation, while it also indicates that immigration policy could be a crucial device to monitor terrorists and criminals.[102] The impact of the terror attack of 9/11 on immigration could be regarded as the result of the securitization of immigration, because of which comprehensive immigration reforms are made to ensure the national security.[103] Besides, a stricter border control, especially for illegal immigration, could be reflected on post-9/11 immigration policy.[104] Though the hijackers entered America legally, they could also enter America illegally through Mexican and Canadian borders, which indicates the flaws in the U.S. border control system.[105] In order to improve the border control system, the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 was enacted, adding 3000 immigration investigators and inspectors.[106] Moreover, the abolition of the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) which was moved to different sections of the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) in 2003 might be the most crucial change in immigration policy after the 9/11 attack.[107] In brief, national security is one of the most vital issues that shape immigration policy in the United States today.

 

Politics is another issue that shapes immigration policy in the United States today. The policymaking of immigration would change based on the electoral changes of different parties.[108]  Representatives who come from various constituencies may have different voting behaviors: those who come from constituencies that have more skilled labours would like to support an expansive immigration policy; while those who come from constituencies that have more unskilled labours would like to support a constricted immigration policy.[109] This explains why the debate on immigration policy is always at the forefront of America policymaking among political parties where different opinions co-exist.[110] Shifts in the partisan alignments of voters would bring new policy regimes.[111] However, electoral changes may have some limits in explaining the changes of immigration policy.[112] For example, some important turning points of immigration policy in the United States do not always fit the electoral changes of different parties.[113] In short, political consideration of different parties is an issue that shapes the immigration policy in the United States today.

 

Population-environment consideration might be a crucial issue that shape policymaking on the immigration in the United States today. Because of the relatively low levels of fertility and mortality in America today, immigration plays a vital role in the national growth of population.[114] The increasing number of the foreign-born is unexpected and unprecedented.[115] If current pattern of immigration continues, the U.S. population will reach 349 million in 2025 and 409 million in 2050.[116] Some scholars argue that the population growth brought by immigration would cause great burden on resource shortage, while other argues that the increasing population brought by immigration could keep the United States young.[117] In brief, population-environment consideration reflects the nation’s concern on the balance between the population growth brought by immigration and the environment degradation caused by it.

 

In conclusion, the making of immigration policy in the United States today is complicated and controversial due to the complexity and dynamic of issues that shape policymaking, such as the economics, culture, national security, politics, and population-environment consideration. Economics is one of the most striking of these issues, because it reflects the national need for both low-skilled workers and high-skilled professionals, required to maintain a stable supply of labour to sustain national competitiveness. Cultural considerations are another crucial issue that shapes the immigration policy in the United States today, expressing the need for cultural unity as well as cultural diversity. National security also impact widely on immigration policy, especially since the terror attacks of 9/11. Policy needs to reflect the balance between protecting America, preventing illegal immigration and immigration openness. Politics shapes immigration policy as well, mainly reflecting the standpoints of different representatives and parties. Population-environment consideration is another issue that shapes the policymaking on immigration in the United States today. This is because of the nation’s concern with the relationship between population growth brought by immigrants and the environment degradation caused by an increase in the number of people. Comparably speaking, policymaking on immigration in the United States today put more considerations on the economics, culture and national security, while political considerations are put in a less important place. Besides, population-environment issue is increasingly important due to the unprecedented population growth and the shortage of resources. Clearly, there is no single answer to explain the formation of immigration policy in the United States today. Each of these issues possesses some merits by the way of expatiation, while none of them is adequate to give an all-around answer because of the limits they possess. It is essential to combine all of them when analysing the decision making processes which surround immigration policy in the United States today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Boeri, Tito, Gordon Hanson, and Barry McCormic, eds., Immigration Policy and the Welfare System: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)

Brimelow, Peter, Alien Nation: Common Sense About America’s Immigration Disaster (New York: Random House, 1995)

Cornelius, Wayne A, and others, eds., Controlling Immigration: A global Perspective, 2nd edn (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004)

Daniels, Roger and Otis L. Graham, Debating American Immigration, 1882-Present

                    (New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2001)

DeSipio, Louis, and Rodolfo O. de la Garza, Making Americans, Remaking America: Immigration and Immigrant Policy (Colorado: Westview Press, 1998)

Facchini, Giovanni, and Max Friedrich Steinhardt, ‘What Drives U.S. Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes’, Journal of Public Economics, 95 (2011), 734-743

Gimpel, James G, and James R Edwards, Jr, The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform (Toronto: Allyn and Bacon, 1999)

Givens, Terri E, ‘Immigration and National Security: Comparing the US and Europe’, Whitehead J. Dipl & Int’l Rel, 11(2011), 79-89

Joppke, Christian, Immigration and the Nation-state: the United States, Germany, and Great Britain (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999)

King, Desmond, Making Americans: Immigration, Race, and the Origins of the Diverse Democracy (Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2000)

Philip, Martin, and Midgley Elizabeth, ‘Immigration: Shaping and Reshaping America’, Population Bulletin, 58(2003), 1-48

 

Ron, Hayduck, ‘Immigration, Race and Community Revitalization’ Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community, 33(1998), 1-50 [accessed 15 December 2014]

Salera, Virgil, U.S. Immigration Policy and World Population Problems (Washington: American Enterprise Association, 1960)

Sales, Rosemary, Understanding Immigration and Refugee Policy: Contradictions and continuities (Bristol: the Policy Press and the Social Policy Press, 2007)

Spencer, Abraham, Hamilton Lee H, and Co-chairs, Immigration and America’s Future: A New Chapter (New York: Migration Policy Institute, 2006)

Tichenor, Daniel J, Dividing Lines: The Politics of Immigration Control in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002)

Ueda, Reed, Postwar Immigrant America: A Social History (New York: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1994)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identify the Qualities of the Ideal Leader and Illustrate Them with Reference to a Specific Context or Individual (Political, Social, or Commercial)

 

Paul Lin

 

Ideal leaders usually possess some charismatic qualities which make them extraordinary. These qualities exert a considerable influence on their leadership career. Bacon (2003) argues that in leadership, character is more important than strategy. Lord, Devader, and Alliger (1986) find that qualities are strongly related to people’s perceptions of leadership. No matter in political, social, or commercial fields, ideal leadership is highly emphasized. With the examples of Nelson Mandela, this essay will sequentially illustrate three main qualities of an ideal leader: willingness to serve, forgiveness and determination. Further, the reasons for choosing these qualities and the analysis of their strengths and weaknesses will also be analyzed.

 

Willingness to serve is a crucial quality of an ideal leader. Leaders with this quality sacrifice their self-interests and give the needs of followers a highest priority (Northouse, 2013). Nelson Mandela, the political and social leader of South Africa, manifested this in a number of ways. Firstly, in fighting against apartheid for his people, Mandela endured 27 years of excruciating prison life (Sampson, 1999). However, he never forgot his duty to serve his people in the fight for freedom. According to Boehmer (2008), during this period of time, he took part in hunger strikes, initiated ‘University of Robben Island’ and negotiated with various official visitors. His people regarded him as their soul leader and launched a series of movements to free him. Secondly, Lodge (2006) points out that instead of amending the two-term limit for presidency, he spoke and fought for people’s rights and called for investment to South Africa around the world after his retirement in 1999. For his contributions, people called him the people’s president. Reason for choosing this quality is that it is easier for the followers to accept its altruistic nature and respect the leaders who own this quality. Greenleaf (1970) argues that ideal leaders treat themselves as servants first, but at the same time, they are highly respected by their followers. The most remarkable strength of this quality is its focuses on the destination of leadership ? bringing benefits both to the followers and leaders. Furthermore, leaders with this quality are popular and influential among their followers. Nevertheless, in some situations, followers are not willing to be supported and served (Liden, Wayne, et al., 2008). Follower’s readiness to receive it weakens its power. In 1979 many young BCM activists rejected Mandela’s suggestion of keeping a non-violence policy and called for militant action, which caused a large number of casualties (Sampson, 1999). In short, willingness to serve contributes greatly to an ideal leader.

 

Forgiveness is another important quality of an ideal leader. An ideal leader needs to create an inclusive environment based on forgiveness (Northouse, 2013). The power of forgiveness is a key part which consists of the ideal leadership of Mandela. For example, after his release, Mandela chose to forgive the tribulation and injustice he suffered in the past 27 years (Sampson, 1999). Instead of revenge he called for a non-violence way to unite South Africa. His forgiveness won him the loyalty and respect of the former white officials and brought South Africa a more peaceful development (Lodge, 2006). Furthermore, during his presidency Mandela highly emphasized national conciliation between the black and white populations. To avoid the departure of white elites, he claimed that ‘What past is past. Now we need your help…courageous people do not fear forgiving…’ (Mandela, 1990, cited in Martin, 2010, p.523). His effort not only boosted the economic recovery of South Africa but also firmed his leadership. Reason for choosing this quality is because it is much harder to encourage followers to forgive rather than to take revenge. This makes difference between ordinary leaders and ideal leaders. Sometimes to forgive is to truly lead and create better results. The strengths of forgiveness are manifested in two aspects. First, it helps build loyalty among followers. Second, it encourages followers to exert their creativity and improve their productivity. However, in some cases forgiveness is regarded as a sign of weakness. According to Sampson (1999), during 1950-1954 Mandela thought that non-violence protests and forgiveness would eliminate the apartheid, but the truth was that the revolutionary activities were largely suppressed by the government. Due to this, Mandela was questioned by his followers who interpreted this as weakness. In brief, forgiveness is a core factor that differentiates an ideal leader from an ordinary one.

 

Determination is another key quality of an ideal leader. Leaders with determination have the capacity to persevere in the face of difficulties due to a strong drive to fulfill the goal (Northouse, 2013). In Mandela’s leadership career, determination plays a crucial role. In 1943 Mandela joined the ANC and started to organize anti-apartheid activities. It was not until 1994 that he was finally elected as the president of South Africa (Sampson, 1999). During these 51 years, revolutions were always suppressed by the government and he himself endured 27 years of prison life. It was impossible for him to get though these tribulations without determination. Moreover, after 2004, Mandela still influenced some international affairs despite of a failing health. In 2005, aged 86, Mandela still went to the U.S. to call for economic assistant to Africa (Boehmer, 2008). In the process to an ideal leader, setbacks are inevitable. Determination helps leaders to keep going and at the same time encourage their followers. This is why it is chosen as a quality of an ideal leader. Leaders with determination are able to endure more tribulations than ordinary leaders. In addition, their determination can encourage their followers and directed them when it is necessary. Nevertheless, leaders with this quality may cause hurts to their followers and themselves. Mandela had paid for his determination which resulted in upset of his family like his wife Winnie being arrested and his children bearing an enormous trauma both physically and mentally (Mandela, 1995). In short, determination plays an indispensable role for one to become an ideal leader.

 

In conclusion, with the examples of Nelson Mandela, three core qualities of an ideal leader, reasons for choosing them, their strengths and weaknesses are all illustrated in this essay. As three indispensable qualities of an ideal leader, willingness to serve, forgiveness and determination exert a magic power on influencing ideal leaders as well as their followers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Boehmer, E. (2008). Nelson Mandela: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Greenleaf, R. K. (1982). The Servant as Leader. Indiana: Robert K. Greenleaf Center.

Lodge, T. (2006). Mandela: A Critical Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Martin, M. (2010). Mandela: A Biography. New York: PublicAffairs.

Mandela, N. (1995). Long Walk to Freedom. London: Abacus.

Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th edn.). California: Sage Publication, Inc.

Sampson, A. (1999). Mandela: The Authorised Biography, London: HarperCollinsPbulishers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the Main Characteristics of Marcel Duchamp’s Work that have been Influential?

 

Paul Lin

 

Marcel Duchamp’s works and their main characteristics have a considerable influence on the process of art history and the following artists. By challenging the conventions of what is art, his readymade brought a tsunami to the art world of his time and still has a unshakeable impact today. Due to his refusal to the traditional art, he creates a new path of art which emphasizes the notion that art should reflect people’s mind rather people’s eyes and is generally regarded as the father of the Conceptual Art. This essay will discuss the main characteristics of Marcel Duchamp’s work that have been influential with the examples of his own works. The first part will focus on the characteristic of the liberation from aesthetic preoccupations. The second part is concerned with the interaction with the audience in Duchamp’s work. The third part will discuss the ambiguity of his works.

 

The most striking characteristic of Marcel Duchamp’s work is the refusal to the traditional art ? the liberation from aesthetic preoccupations (Acton, 2004). It is obvious that Marcel Duchamp fought against of what he called retinal art which aimed at express the aesthetic considerations. American artist Jasper Johns states that Duchamp switched his works from the tradition of retinal art which established with impressionism into a new path where language, thought and vision are interweaved with each other (Johns, 1968). Duchamp’s thought contributes greatly to the emergence of Conceptual Art where the idea behind the works is as important their appearance (Acton, 2004). The art begins to explain the invisible idea under the surface rather than the visible appearance.

 

The characteristic of liberation from aesthetic preoccupations can be seen in his famous painting Nude Descending a Staircase (No.2) which has become an icon of twenty-century art. It is a sequential image that expresses the movement of the figure down the stairs rather than a photograph (Acton, 2004). In his expression of dislocation and movement, Duchamp tried to explore the meaning behind the surface ? the motivation of the movement of the character.  Duchamp once mentioned the desire to abandon what he called retinal art which is more interested in ideas rather than merely in visual products. Duchamp regarded that until the last hundred years all paintings were related with literature or religion ? they turned to serve the mind. It is clear showed that Duchamp wanted a return to moral and philosophical content (Acton, 2004). Another example is his painting L.H.O.O.Q.  The picture was created in 1919 when Duchamp was part of the Dada movement. Duchamp used the reputation of the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci and gave her a feature of a male ? a moustache. In this painting Duchamp was searching for the new meaning not merely a visual presentation. He questioned that could it be a piece of art if it had a moustache and is a reproduction? At that time artists were concerned with abandoning the tradition and fighting against the physical side of painting. Duchamp stated that Dada was intimately and consciously involved with literature. It was under such climate that Duchamp abandoned aesthetic considerations and chose to against Modernism in favour of meaning (Acton, 2004). The paintings need audience to think and question the meaning behind the surface. What make the characteristic more obvious is the readymade of Duchamp, because these works were not made in a traditional way which many painting were made. The appearance of the readymade questioned the essence of art ? what makes a piece of work the art. The aesthetic considerations here are not important since this work does more on conveying the meaning rather than the visual image. It seems that it  not only seek for the expression of specific theme but also search for the new meaning under the theme and the new way to express it. The use of new materials and the exploration of new method of expression mark a break from the tradition (Lin, 2014)

 

Another influential characteristic of Marcel Duchamp’s works is the interaction with the audience he created which could be regarded as a result of his attempting to explore new meanings of art. The switch in sensibility is not about the appearance of works but is more concerned with the exchange of information and the involvement of the audience in the conversation about what meanings the work would like to convey (Acton, 2004). Duchamp tried to make the audience a part of his work through the interaction between the viewers and the work. Duchamp believed that it was the audience that make the work of art complete and the whole thing only exists when the interaction happens (Acton, 2004). This characteristic could be seen obviously in Conceptual Art under the influence of Duchamp’s works. It involves the audience in thinking and participating, during the process of which the experience of the audience is the most important.

 

The characteristic of the interaction with the audience is very salient in the works of readymade which put the role of the audience into an extremely important place. Take the readymade of Bicycle Wheel as an example. Combined with a bicycle wheel, a fork and a kitchen stool, Duchamp tries to create a machine of useless.The bicycle wheel is raised in the air and fixed into the seat of a stool which makes the audience want to touch the wheel and spin it (Acton, 2004). In this piece of work, the audience are forced to involve into it and complete it with various possibilities. In his famous lecture of 1957, Duchamp described the artist as a medium ? a person who creates the atmosphere of interaction in which the communication between the audience and the work takes place. He claimed that it was the audience that brought the works in contact with the outside world by ‘deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications…’ Another example shows the interaction in Duchamp’s work is The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even which has a more familiar name ? Large Glass. The audience are invited to fully participate into the work by glazing through two holes in a wooden door at the body of a woman (Acton, 2004). This encourages the audience to ask the most fundamental question ? the meaning of the existence. The link which Duchamp established between the audience and his works turns to makes his works, especially in his readymade, is dynamic and vigorous. 

Ambiguity is another main characteristic of Marcel Duchamp’s works. In the early paintings of Duchamp, it was obvious to see that there was ‘a kind of symbolism with shifting meaning and ambiguous expressions’ (Acton, 2004, p.63). The answer why Duchamp has a considerable influence on Postmodernist artists is that his works, even himself, is full of ambiguity and contradictions. The influence of Duchamp’s ambiguity could also been seen in the works of Surrealism which is full of uncertain meaning.

 

The characteristic of ambiguity could be reflected in Duchamp’s work Nude Descending a Staircase which expresses an air of ambiguity (Acton, 2004). ‘The figure in front appears monkish as if it was wearing a cow and its face is half hidden as if to convey an air of mystery about who it is and what it is really doing’ (Acton, 2004, p.68). In the air of mystery created by Duchamp, the audience can help to guess the motivation of the figure. The poet Stephane Mallarmé once talked about the idea behind Symbolism. He stated that the perfect use of mystery is to evoke an object little by little in order to reveal a state of mind. Duchamp’s works aim to be ambiguous and mysterious, which tries to involve the audience into the process of searching the meaning of the works. The audience can also notice the characteristic of ambiguity in Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q. In this painting, the ambiguity of gender can be recognized. Duchamp said that ‘It is not a woman disguised as a man; it is a real man, and that was my discovery, without realizing it at the time.’ (Duchamp cited in Acton, 2004, p.71). Furthermore, there is also a characteristic in Etant Données. This creation creates an air of ambiguity and mystery, which is as enigmatic as the work of Duchamp made before (Acton, 2004). The ambiguity of what the audience experience is challenging the capability of them to search the meaning behind the work. It is the ambiguity that involves the audience into the conversation in which the audience could imagine the unlimited possibility of the works.

 

In conclusion, Duchamp’s works share some common characteristics which have a considerable influence on the development of art process. This essay has discussed three main characteristics of Duchamp’s works: the liberation from aesthetic preoccupations, the interaction with the audience, and ambiguity. These three characteristic could be noticed in many works of Duchamp, not only on the surface but also inside the spirit of his art world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Acton, M. (2004). Learning to Look at Modern Art. Abingdon: Routledge.

Danto, A. C. (2003). The abuse of beauty: Aesthetics and the concept of art. Chicago: Open Court Publishing.

Godfrey, T. (1998). Conceptual art. London: Phaidon London.

Tomkins, C. (2014). Duchamp: A Biography. New York: The Museum of Modern Art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Disney and his Worlds by Alan Bryman

 

Paul Lin

 

As a cultural icon, Disney film is well known by people and has a great influence on global culture. However, written by Alan Bryman, Disney and his Worlds leads the readers towards another mysterious kingdom ? Disney theme park. Although written in almost 20 years ago, this book is not merely a fantastic collection of Disney issues, but most importantly, it provides readers an inspiring method to understand a complex phenomenon ? Disneyization.

 

Divided into two unequal parts, the book shows Bryman’s considerable wisdom to connect and illustrate different themes of Disney issues. In the first part of this book, Bryman focuses on a ‘factual account’ of Walt Disney and the organization after his death, showing how business considerations have been taken and how these considerations created ‘fantasy and magic’. He also points out how biographies and popular articles make Walt Disney a ‘social construction’. In the second part which is the bulk of this book, Bryman’s analysis is focused on crucial issues about the theme parks, drawing on discussions by other scholars. Bryman raises four main arguments about the parks. 1) the theme parks are not purely sites of ‘postmodern sensibility’. 2) consumption plays a crucial role on the parks.  3) the parks’ nature is tourism. 4) the parks are the representation of past and future. Bryman weaves these two parts consistently, which provides the readers a clear ‘text’ on Disney matters. In the following two paragraphs, this review will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of his book.

 

Disney and his Worlds is a valuable book which provides cultural studies a clear overview of Disney organizations. Firstly, this book shows Bryman’s full immersion into the works of Disney issues. He establishes a powerful database in front of the readers, in which arguments of different scholars, like Jean Baudrillard, E.L. Doctorow, Umberto Eco, and Stephen J. Gould, were analyzed rationally in a systematic way. This method provides the readers a convenient access to the main resources in this field. Secondly, this book is neither an ‘encomia’ nor an uglification on Walt Disney and his organization. It shows the Disney organization neutrally, which is barely seen in other writings. For example, when it comes to Walt Disney’s public face, Bryman points out that Walt is ‘in a sense of a social construction’. The biographies and popular articles of him are tightly controlled by the company, thus, some ‘dark sides’ are omitted by the public. Meanwhile, Bryman also questions the motivations of other writings which focus on Walt’s dark sides excessively. Thirdly, Bryman’s explanation to the parallels between Disney theme parks and McDonald’s restaurants is insightful. By analyzing the four features of McDonald (predictability, control, efficiency and calculability), he questions many scholars’ belief that the parks ‘have succumbed to the ravages of McDonaldization’. He suggests with sufficient evidences that Disney emphasizes ‘quality of products or service’ which means the argument that calculability is the feature of the parks is not compelling. This supports his idea firmly that Disneyization seeks to offer ‘variety and differences’, while McDonaldization offers ‘likeness and similarity’.

 

Nevertheless this book would more convincing if it considered the following points. Although Bryman provide us with abundant argumentations of other commentators, his analysis heavily depends on secondary works which are not always reliable to non-academic readers. The absence of first-hand evidences, such as the interpretation of the official slogans of the company or the analysis of the Disney films (the heart of the Disney enterprise), may lead the analysis to a logical fallacy ? appeal to authority. Moreover, it seems that Bryman takes it for granted that the ‘juxtaposition and mixing of diverse epochs and cultures’ in the Disney theme parks are equal to a major feature of postmodernism - ‘dedifferentiation’. The former suggests the existence of boundaries between different time-space while the latter hints the collapse of boundaries. If he had made this point clear, his argument that ‘Disney theme parks are not purely sites of postmodernity’ would be further proved. Finally, when reading this book the readers need to consider some limitations of that era existing in this work because the Disney theme parks are always changing and the way people look at the traditional texts now are different from that in the past. There are some new factors which challenge the observations in this book, such as the emerging of new time-space theory and the overwhelming ‘Appleization’.

 

As Bryman mentioned ‘Disneyization takes up where McDonalization leave off.’ Disneyization belongs to our era; also, it is changing our era at the same time. Disney and his Worlds, explaining the Disney phenomenon in both culture and business aspects, is a revealing book to better understand this contemporary world.

 

A Critical Assessment on

Three Types of Academic Texts (Journal, Case Study and Report)

in Terms of Complexity, Formality, and Accuracy

 

Paul Lin

 

 Complexity, formality and accuracy are generally regarded as the three main features of academic texts; however, the frequency of these features varies in different types of academic writings (Jordan, 1997; Gullett, 2013). This assessment will compare these features sequentially in: Interpreting Ethical Foreign Policy (journal) by Gaskarth (2013), The Fluctuating Development of Cross-linguistic semantic awareness (case study) by Zheng (2012), and Consolidation of Stone Blocks Prior to Placement (report) by Ventolà et al. (2013).

 

Complex linguistic constructions are used in these texts but variations still exist. Compared with Gaskarth’s journal and Zheng’s case study, despite using comparatively shorter sentences, Ventolà et al’s report possesses both lexical and grammatical complexity due to the frequent application of various academic writing skills, such as usage of noun-based terminologies (‘double molybdenum crystal’), subordinate clauses (connected frequently by linking words such as ‘although’, ‘however’, and ‘thus’), and passive verbs (Swales and Feak, 2012; Ventolà et al., 2012, pp.437-441). By contrast, although sufficient academic skills are utilized, Gaskarth’s journal and Zheng’s case study possess some minor lapses of noun-complexity due to the requirement of presenting scripts of interviews, such as inevitably using simple sentences (‘It was a mistake.’; Gaskarth, 2013, p.199) and ‘Yes, probably so.’; Zheng, 2013, p.377). However, high level of complexity is exhibited in these three type of text with various academic skills.

 

Sufficient evidence suggests that the degree of formality is varied in these three texts. Some informal expressions decrease the formality of Gaskarth’s journal, perhaps due to the requirement of presenting oral interviews, such as using personal pronouns (‘I’ and ‘we’) and two word verbs (‘set out’), asking questions, absence of align of the text, and failure to follow the Harvard Style ? absence of italics in bibliography (Swales and Feak, 2012; Gaskarth, 2013, pp.192-209). In contrast, Zheng preserves using formal pronouns (‘the author’) , except for the absence in acknowledgment and interviews; however similar features of informality are identified, such as absence of capitalizing the title, and using of numbering and sub-titles (Bailey, 2011; Zheng, 2013, pp.369-388). Different from the above two texts, style of formality is preserved throughout Ventolà et al’s report, where personal pronouns are avoided and formal words like ‘exhibit’ are used, only with occasional appearances of informal expressions (‘done’ and ‘carry out’; Ventolà et al., 2012, pp.437-441). In short, various levels of formality is expressed in these three texts.

 

Upon close study there seem to be some minor drawbacks of inaccuracy in all texts. Unlike the other two texts, Zheng’s case study displays: extensive absence of hedging (cultural difference between China and the UK) and vagueness of explanation to certain Chinese lexicons, such as ‘cuiruode’, although clear signallings (‘first’ and ‘furthermore’) contribute to the explicitness of the structure throughout (Zheng, 2013, pp.369-388). Gaskarth’s journal seems to be better conformed with the style used in academic writings than Zheng’s, due to the frequent usage of hedging (‘would’, ‘seem’ , and ‘suggest’) and signallings (‘however’ and ‘by contrast’), despite some ‘run-on sentences’ and certain barriers of comprehension caused by ‘dinosaur sentences’ (Caplan, 2012; Gaskarth, 2013, pp.192-209). Comparing Ventolà et al’s report with the above two texts highlights its comparative higher degree of accuracy, regardless of certain grammatical and spelling mistakes caused by second-language writing (‘as we as’) (Lourdes et al., 2012, p.441). In brief, the causes of certain inaccuracy of these texts might be various.

 

In conclusion, the degree of complexity, formality and accuracy would be varied based on the types of text and the authorship. In this assessment, Ventolà et al’s report reflects a higher degree of complexity, formality, and accuracy than Zheng’s case study and Gaskarth’s journal. On the other hand, Zheng’s case study possesses a higher degree of these features than Gaskarth’ journal.

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Bailey, S. (2011). Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.

 

Caplan, N. A. (2012). Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

 

Gaskarth, J. (2013). Interpreting Ethical Foreign Policy: Traditions and Dilemmas for Policymakers. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 15(2), pp. 192-209.

 

Gillet, A. (2015). Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education. [Online] Available form:

http://www.uefap.com/writing/writfram.htm [Accessed: 10th February 2015].

 

Jordan, R. R. (1997). English for Academic Purposes: A Guide and Resource Book for Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Swales, J. M and Feak, G. B. (2012) . Academic Writing for Graduate Students. 3rd ed. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

 

Ventolà, L., Vendrell-Saz, M and Giraldez, Pilar. (2012). Consolidation of stone blocks prior to placement: A Case Study of the Roman Wall in Tarragona (Spain): Report and Methodology. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 13(4), pp.437-441.

 

Zheng, Yongyan. (2013). The Fluctuating Development of Cross-linguistic Semantic Awareness: A Longitudinal Multiple-case Study. Language Awareness, 23(4), pp.369-388.

 

 

 

 

Hedging, Boosting, and Positioning

 

Paul Lin

 

 

Halliday (1994) claims that grammar can not only present experiential (what will be presented) and textual meaning (how to present), but also could express interpersonal meaning (authors’ attitude and position). In academic texts, interpersonal meaning is mainly expressed by using hedging and boosting (Caplan, 2012; Swales and Feak, 2012). Hedging presents the uncertainty of the arguments, while boosting shows the authors’ confidence of the claims (Hyland, 2000). Both hedging and boosting can be reflected by various grammatical devices, such as verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conditionals, comparatives, superlatives, and equatives (Foley and Hall, 2010; Caplan, 2012). By using these grammatical devices properly, authors are able to evaluate other research and studies effectively and show their position clearly to their readers (Caplan, 2012). However, the use of these grammatical devices to hedge and boost could be variable and sophisticated, because practically authors tend to combine these devices together to present a more complicated meaning (Kapp and Bangeni, 2009). Moreover, Hu and Cao (2011) argue that the difference of authorship in cross-cultural contexts would inevitably enhance this complexity. In this essay, the journal article of Stewart (1996), Globalization and Education, was chosen as a sample to explain the usage of hedging, boosting, and positioning in academic texts. In the following three paragraphs, the usage of hedging, boosting, and positioning will be explained by analysing the effect of several grammatical devices (verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conditionals, comparatives, superlatives, and equatives) and the stances of the author reflected in these devices.

 

Hedging is considered a crucial feature of academic writing to express authors’ uncertainty and caution over the arguments (Caplan, 2012; Gillett, 2013). It could be reflected in various grammatical devices (Foley and Hall, 2010). In Stewart (1996)’s article, the author hedges his arguments by using several grammatical devices, including verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conditionals, and comparatives. These grammatical devices help the author hedge his claims effectively and evaluate others’ arguments responsibly (Caplan, 2012; Gillett, 2013). For example, the use of different types of verb and adverbs shows the author’s uncertainty over the evidence (Hyland, 2000). In Sample 4, the combination of the reporting verb ‘suggests’ and adverb ‘most’ reveals the author’s cautious attitude about the specific evidence, reflecting his responsibility for the argument (Stewart, 1996, p.327; Gillett, 2013). Another example is the use of some modal verbs, such as may and would, as a sign of showing the author’s caution about the claims (Bailey, 2008; Caplan, 2012). In Sample 3, ‘may’, as the most common modals used for hedging, indicates the author’s uncertainty over the predication that globalist tendencies will be defeated (Stewart, 1996, p.327; Hyland, 2000). Furthermore, in Sample 12, the unreal meaning of ‘would’ effectively distances the author’s predication from himself and weakens the strength of other boosters (‘consequently’ and ‘dramatic’) in the same sentence (Stewart, 1996, pp.329; Caplan, 2012). Moreover, conditionals are another useful device to hedge the author’s claim because they set certain conditions for the realization of arguments (Huddleston, 1989; Caplan, 2012). In Sample 1, the two clauses are connected by a less used connector ‘unless’, showing that developed countries need to conduct a series of actions so that they can compete with global economies (Stewart, 1996, p.327; Caplan, 2012). This real condition led by ‘unless’ reveals the author’s cautious and responsible consideration over his claim (Foley and Hall, 2010). However, Crystal (2005) emphasises that some hedge words may not always reflect the uncertainty and tentativeness of the authors’ arguments; on the contrary, they could be used as boosters, which depends on the context. For example, comparatives could be used to hedge in certain contexts, but the same words could also be used to boost (Hood, 2010). In Sample 6, for example, although the comparative phrase ‘much faster than’ seems to be hedged when compared with ‘very much faster’, it is also a booster to show author’s confidence of the fast growth of global sales (Stewart, 1996, p.328; Hood, 2010). In brief, there are various grammatical devices that could be used as hedges, such as verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conditionals, and comparatives. These hedges have the effect of distancing authors with their claims, predictions, and hypothesis, showing their uncertainty, caution, and responsibility. Nevertheless, depending on the contexts, there could be certain switches between hedges and boosters, even when they are the same words.

 

Aside from hedging, boosting is another important feature of academic writing to show authors’ confidence of the claims (Caplan, 2012; Gillett, 2013). Similar to hedging, boosting can be revealed by different grammatical devices (Foley and Hall, 2010). In Stewart (1996)’s article, the author shows her strong confidence of the claims by using several grammatical devices, including verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, comparatives, and superlatives. These grammatical devices help the author show her strong confidence of her own claims and agreement of others’ arguments (Caplan, 2012; Gillett, 2013). For example the use of different types of verb could reveal the author’s strong confidence for the arguments in both positive and negative ways (Hyland, 2000). In Sample 7, the author uses reporting verb ‘emphasise’ to show her very strong confidence of her argument that economic globalization faced many restrictions at the beginning (Stewart, 1996, p.327; Gillett, 2013). However, despite the use of certain reporting verbs as boosters, the frequency of using action verbs and linking verbs to show strong confidence is relatively low in Stewart (1996)’s article. Another example is the use of certain modal verb, such as must and can, as a sign of showing strong confidence in the claims (Biber et al, 2008; Caplan, 2012). In Sample 11,can’, as the most frequently used modal verb in academic writing, strengthens the author’s claim and shows her strong confidence over the ability of poor countries (Stewart, 1996, pp.328; Hyland, 2000). Furthermore, in Sample 14, a very strong obligation is effectively conveyed by the use of modal verb ‘must’, showing author’s high appreciation of the successes of global economies (Stewart, 1996, p.329; Caplan, 2012). In addition, adverbs can be used for boosting by enhancing the strength of verbs they modify (Crystal, 2005; Caplan, 2012). For example, in Sample 13, ‘very’ and ‘significantly’ are two adverbs that appear frequently in academic writing as boosters and they are effectively used in this text to show how optimistic the scenario is (Stewart, 1996, pp.329; Hood, 2010). Besides, a boosting verb could be combined with a hedging modal verb to reveal the authors’ confidence but also leave some space for mistakes (Caplan, 2012). In Sample 9, the combination in the clause ‘...globalisation would be dramatically different...’ clearly expresses the author’s attitude over the effects of globalisation, showing strong confidence as well as weakening the strength a little bit (Stewart, 1996, p.328). Moreover, gradable adjectives in superlative form are often regarded as boosters to show strong certainty, although they could be considered as hedges (Hood, 2010; Caplan, 2012). In Sample 8, for example, ‘most important’ reveals author’s emphasis on the serious restrictions, showing the importance of these restrictions (Stewart, 1996, pp.328). Nevertheless, Caplan (2010) suggests some grammatical devices that could not be merely considered as boosters, which means that these devices can also be hedges under specific contexts. For example, ‘most important’ may still not be that important (Stewart, 1996, pp.328). In short, there are various grammatical devices that could be used as boosters, such as verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, comparatives, and superlatives. These boosters have the effect of showing authors’ strong confidence over the claims. However, depending on the contexts, boosters might also contain the meaning of hedging.

 

Swales and Feak (2012) define positioning as a means of writing a reliable and objective academic text. Caplan (2012) and Karoko (2013) explain further that by using appropriate evaluative language, academic writers can evaluate others research and studies effectively and raise their own arguments objectively, and during this process of word choosing, writers’ stances are reflected. In Stewart (1996)’s article, the author positions herself by using various evaluative language, such as reporting verbs, action verbs, linking verbs, and descriptive adjectives (Caplan, 2012; Foley and Hall, 2010). This evaluative language could be neutral, but in most situations, they are either positive or negative and could be hedged or boosted in various ways, to show the author’s positions (Caplan, 2012). For example, reporting verbs could be tentative, neutral, and strong (Gillett, 2013). The reporting verb ‘suggest’ in Sample 4 is a hedged verbs with tentative attitude, showing author’s argument with less confidence; while, the ‘emphasise’ in Sample 7 is a boosted verbs with strong attitude, revealing author’s claims with strong confidence (Stewart, 1996, pp. 327-328; University of Sydney, 2006-2012; Gillett, 2013). Conversely, the former two verbs, the reporting verb ‘have found’ in Sample 2 tends to be neutral, showing author’s objective description of the situation (Stewart, 1996, p. 327; Crystal, 2002). Similar to reporting verbs, action verbs can carry evaluations as well (Gillett, 2013). For example, a series of action verbs in Sample 10 (‘helps’, ‘enrich’, ‘empower’, and ‘raise’) are boosted to show the author’s strong confidence and conveys his positive evaluation to the benefits of education (Stewart, 1996, p. 328; University of Sydney, 2006-2012; Caplan, 2012). In addition, appropriate use of linking verbs could also help authors position themselves effectively (Hyland, 2000). In Sample 5, linking verb ‘appear’ is used to hedge the author’s uncertainty over the global net, and it is doubled hedged when combined with the modal verb ‘might’, showing author’s very strong uncertainty over the issue (Stewart, 1996, p. 327; University of Sydney, 2006-2012; Caplan, 2012). Moreover, the combination of several different evaluative words can clarify a authors’ position effectively (Hyland, 2000; McCarthy, 2006). In the same Sample (Stewart, 1996, p. 327), the combination of several different evaluative words shows the author’s struggle with the arguments (comparative ‘much more...than’, adverb ‘tightly’, modal verb ‘might’, and linking verb ‘appear’). The boosted comparative and adverb show the author’s confidence over the claim, while the hedged modal verb and linking verb reveal his strong uncertainty (Caplan, 2012). This combination expresses author’s stance effectively and evaluates her own arguments objectively (Hyland, 2000; McCarthy, 2006). Nevertheless, according to Maroko (2013), positioning in academic writing seems to be a new area which needs more research and studies to further clarify in what exact way academic writers position their own stance and attitude. In brief, appropriate positioning is essential for academic writers and scholars to evaluate others’ arguments and express their own stance objectively and reliably.

 

In conclusion, academic writers tend to use various grammatical devices to express interpersonal meanings, such as verbs, modal verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conditionals, comparatives, and superlatives. These different grammatical devices can be used to hedge or boost, which depends on writers’ stance and attitude. By using hedging and boosting, writers can evaluate others’ opinion effectively and show their own positions to their readers clearly. However, the combination of hedging, boosting, and positioning is complicated and flexible in practice. In Stewart (1996)’s article, the author hedges his claims and predictions by using a wide range of grammatical devices, such as modal verbs and conditionals, showing his uncertainty, caution, and responsibility. Moreover, the boosters used by the author are also reflected by various grammatical devices, such as adverbs and superlatives, revealing his strong confidence over the claims. In addition, the author positions herself clearly with abundance of evaluative words, which ranges from reporting verbs, action verbs, linking verbs, and descriptive adjectives. Although sometimes the flexible combination of hedging, boosting, and positioning is complicated and same words may contains both hedging and boosting, the use of these academic skills can clearly present authors’ stance and attitude and help authors effectively evaluate others opinion.

 

Reference

 

Bailey, S. (2008) Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. London: Routledge.

 

Biber, D., Conrad, S. and Leech, G. (2002) Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow: Longman.

 

Caplan, N. A. (2012) Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

 

Crystal, D. (2002) Rediscover Grammar. Harlow: Pearson Education.

 

Crystal, D. (2005) Making Sense Grammar. Harlow : Pearson Education.

 

Foley, M. and Hall, D. (2010) Advanced Learners’ Grammar: A Self-study Reference & Practice Book With Answers. Harlow: Longman.

 

Hu, G. and Cao, F (2011) Hedging and boosting in abstracts of applied linguistics articles: A comparative study of English- and Chinese-medium journals. Journal of Pragmatic. 43(11), pp. 2795-2809.

 

Huddleston, R. (1989) Introduction to the Grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Maroko, G. M. (2013) Learning about Author Positioning in Written Academic Discourse. Argentinitian Journal of Applied Linguistics. 1(2), pp. 47-60.

 

McCarthy, M. (2006) Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Stewart, F. (1996). Globalisation and Education, Int. J. Educational Development. 4(16), pp.327-333.

 

Swales, J. M. and Feak, C. B. (2012) Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills. 3rd ed. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press.

 

University of Sydney (2006-2012) Module 2: Unit 4: Reporting Evidence. [online] Available at (Accessed: 9th April 2015).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Analysis: When is a Piece ‘Modern’?

Paul Lin

What makes a piece modern and different from the traditional ones is that artists are trying to express their conceptions by getting rid of the shackles of the traditions of the past. This analysis will choose two objects of modern era and try to explain why they are considered as modern. The first piece is the painting of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso. The second one is the readymade of Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp.

 

Influenced by African masks and sculptures, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Picasso is an alternative expression of tradition subjects, definitely with new means of artistic skills. The appearance of this painting marks the rise of Cubism. There is no doubt that this piece of work is considered as modern. Firstly, this painting represents the traditional objects-nudes and still life-with a new angle, in which involves some unprecedented ‘treatments of form and space’ (Acton, M., 2004, p.8). The image of the three women in the left shows the audience a deformation of classical human bodies. To some extent, this kind of simplification reminds people of the paintings in ancient Egypt. The woman in the top-right hand shows the influence of Africa power and the one in the bottom right-hand is painted in a way of multi-viewpoint.  On the other hand, the background can be seen as a fragmented space, which makes the painting own a sense of three-dimension. Secondly, this painting also expresses some changes of aesthetic attitude in the modern era. The new treatments of form and space is a new break of the ‘single viewpoint perspective’ (Acton, M., 2004, p.8). The break of traditional composition and perspective reflects the exploration of the artist and the influence of modernity.

 

It seems that modern art not only seek for the expression of specific theme but also search for the new meaning under the theme and the new way to express it. One typical example is the readymade of Bicycle Wheel by Marcel Duchamp. Two reasons to explain why this piece of work is considered as modern. Firstly, as the first readymade of Duchamp, it expresses a kind of challenge towards traditional aesthetic philosophy. Tradition artwork is regarded as something original. However, Duchamp’s readymade argues that everything is not original, for example, paintings are painted by pigment made in factories which is regarded as readymade. The challenge towards traditions reflects Duchamp’s ponderation over the invisible meanings which hide beneath the surface. Secondly, combined with a bicycle wheel, a fork and a kitchen stool, Duchamp tries to create a machine of useless (Acton, M. 2004). The use of new materials and the exploration of new method of expression mark a break from the tradition and create an interaction between the artist and the audience.

 

In conclusion, modernity reflects in the ways of artists’ exploration of invisible meanings and alternative ways of expression. It is the interaction between artworks and the audience that creates a fantastic space, in which the modern art shows the audience a new way to express our world.

 

 



[1] Terror, Culture, Politics: Rethinking 9/11, ed.by Daniel J. Sherman and Terry Nardin (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), p.44.

[2] On Media Memory: Collective Memory in a New Media Age, ed. By Motti Neiger, Oren Meyers and Eyal Zandber (London: Parlgrave Macmillan, 2011). p.7.

[3] Richard Grusin, Premediation: Affect and Mediality After 9/11 (London: Palgrave macmillan, 2010), p.9.

[4] Cultural Memories: The Geographical Point of View, ed. by Peter Meusburger, Michael Heffernan and Edgar Wunder (Heidelberg: Springer, 2011), pp.17-25.

[5] Meusburger, p.17.

[6] Ibid, p.18.

[7] Ibid, pp.18-19.

[8] Ibid, p.22

[9] Cultural Memory Studies: An International and Interdisciplinary Handbook, ed. by Astrid Erll and Ansgar Nűnning (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2008), p.400.

[10] Erll, p.401.

[11] Jan Assmann and John Czaplicka, ‘Collective Memory and Cultural Identity’, New German Critique, 65 (1995), 125-133 (pp.128-131)

[12] Erll, p.392.

[13] Ibid, p.374.

[14] Ibid, p.393.

[15] Ibid, p.374.

[16] Christopher Hewitt, Understanding Terrorism in America: From the Klan to al Qaeda (London: Routledge, 2003), pp.7-9.

[17] Hewitt, p.7.

[18] Sherman, pp.114-116.

[19] Neiger, pp.4-6.

[20] Sherman, p.46.

[21] Erll, p.375.

[22] Hewitt, p.110.

[23] Erll, p.394.

[24] Marta Frago, Teresa La Porte and Patricia Phalen, ‘The Narrative Reconstruction of 9/11 in Hollywood Films: Independent Voice or Official Interpretation?’, Javnost - The Public, 3(2010), 57-70 (p.58).

[25] Film and Television After 9/11, ed. By Wheeler Winston Dixon (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2004) p.12.

[26] Hewitt, p.7.

[27] Neiger, p.3.

[28] Dixon, p.4.

[29] Frago, p.58.

[30] Ibid, pp.58-66.

[31] Dixon, p.2.

[32] Frago, p.58.

[33] Ibid, pp.62-66.

[34] Doss Erika, ‘Remembering 9/11: Memorials and cultural memory.’ OAH Magazine of History, 25(2011), 27-30 (p.27).

[35] Erika, p.27.

[36] Ibid, p.28.

[37] Ekaterina V. Haskins and Justin P. DeRose, ‘Memory, visibility, and Public Space: Reflections on Commemorations of 9/11’, Space and Culture, 6(2003), 377-393 (p.384).

[38] Ibid, p.384.

[39] Serge Guilbaut, How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art: Abstract Expressionism, Freedom, and

  the Cold War (Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, 1983), p.2.

[40] Pollock and After: the Critical Debate, ed. by Francis Frascina (London: Harper & Row, Publishers,

  1985), p.153.

[41] Irving Sandler, Abstract Expressionism and the American Experience: a Reevaluation (New York:

  Lenox and School of Visual Arts, 2009), p.5.

[42] Frascina, pp. 153-164.

[43] Irving Sandler, The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism (London:

  Harper & Row, Publishers, 1970), p.1.

 

[44] Action/ Abstraction: Pollock, De Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976, ed. By Norman L Kleeblatt

 (New York: The Jewish Museum, 2009), p.2.

[45] Sandler, p.5.

[46] Ibid, p.5.

[47] Reading Abstract Expressionism: Context and Critique, ed. by Ellen G Landau (London: Yale

 University Press, 2005), pp. 383-385.

[48] Frascina, pp. 155-156.

[49] Clement Greenberg, ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’ Partisan Review, 5 (1939), 34?49 (pp. 36-49).

[50] Sandler, p.10.

[51] David Anfam, Abstract Expressionism (London: Thames and Hudson, 1999), pp.10-12.

[52] Sandler, p.30.

[53] Guilbaut, p.159.

[54] Nancy Jachec, The Philosophy and Politics of Abstract Expression 1940-1960 (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2000), pp. 4-5.

[55] Frascina, p. 159.

[56] Guilbaut, pp. 1-3.

[57] Mark Rawlinson, American Visual Culture (Oxford: Berg, 2009), pp. 173-177.

[58] Rawlinson, pp.173-177.

[59] Jachec, p.1-16.

[60] Sandler, p.29.

[61] Ibid, p.29.

[62] Frascina, p. 160.

[63] Ibid, p. 160

[64] Jachec, p.1-2.

[65] Sandler, p.175.

[66] Frascina, pp.161-164.

[67] Clement Greenberg, ‘Avant-Garde and Kitsch’ Partisan Review, 5 (1939), 34?49 (pp. 34-37).

[68] Frascina, pp.154-156.

[69] Rawlinson, pp.180-182.

[70] Ibid, p.185.

[71] Ibid, p.174.

[72] Ibid, pp.173-185.

[73] Giovanni Facchini and Max Friedrich Steinhardt, ‘What Drives U.S. Immigration Policy? Evidence from Congressional Roll Call Votes’, Journal of Public Economics, 95 (2011), 734-743 (p.742).

[74] Rosemary Sales, Understanding Immigration and Refugee Policy: Contradictions and Continuities (Bristol: The Policy Press and the Social Policy Association, 2007), p. 98.

[75] Abraham Spencer, Hamilton Lee H, and Co-chairs, Immigration and America’s Future: A New Chapter (New York: Migration Policy Institute, 2006), p.3.

[76] Daniel J. Tichenor, Dividing Lines: The Politics of Immigration Control in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), p.18.

[77] Roger Daniels and Otis L. Graham, Debating American Immigration, 1882-Present (New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2001), p. 161.

[78] Ron Hayduck, ‘Immigration, Race and Community Revitalization’ Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community, 33(1998), 1-50 [accessed 15 December 2014] (p.15).

[79] Spencer, p. xiv.

[80] Martin Philip and Midgley Elizabeth, ‘Immigration: Shaping and Reshaping America’, Population Bulletin, 58(2003), 1-48 (p.4.).

[81] Daniels, p.161.

[82] Philip, p.4.

[83] Ibid, p.8.

[84] Ibid, p.8.

[85] Spencer, p.xiv.

[86] Ibid. p. xiv.

[87] Tichenor, p.20.

[88] Ibid, p.20.

[89] Ibid, p.21.

[90] Spencer, p.3.

[91] Daniels, p.51.

[92] Spencer, p. 12.

[93] Philip, p.4.

[94] Daniels, pp.167-168.

[95] Hayduck, p.14.

[96] Daniels, pp.163-164.

[97] Controlling Immigration: A global Perspective, 2nd edn, ed. by Wayne A. Cornelius, and others (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004), p.72.

[98]  Tichenor, p.26.

[99]  Ibid, pp.26-27.

[100]  Terri E. Givens, ‘Immigration and National Security: Comparing the US and Europe’, Whitehead J. Dipl & Int’l Rel, 11(2011), 79-89, (p.79.).

[101] Philip, p.3.

[102] Spencer, p. 15.

[103] Givens, p.80.

[104] Immigration Policy and the Welfare System: A Report for the Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti, ed. by Tito Boeri, Gordon Hanson, and Barry McCormic (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), pp.282-283.

[105] Philip, pp.19-20.

[106] Ibid, p.20.

[107] Ibid, p.20.

[108] Tichenor, p.27.

[109] Facchini, p.735.

[110] Ibid, p.735.

[111] Tichenor, p.27.

[112] Ibid, p.27.

[113] Ibid, p.28.

[114] Philip, p.20.

[115] Ibid, p.20.

[116] Ibid, p.22.

[117] Daniels, p.173.

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