Tuesday, September 17, 2019
With reference to the headscarf debate in France, analyze the extent to which laicite has played a major role in the French law 2004-228.
Introduction On March 15th, 2004 the government of French Republic passed a law that banned the wearing of Ã¢â¬Å"conspicuous signsÃ¢â¬ of religious affiliation in public schools (Bowen, 2007). Whilst this law affected Jewish skullcaps, large crosses, Sikh turbans, many scholars (i.e. Wing and Smith, Tarhan) believe that its main purpose was to ban the wearing of the headscarves, known also as hijab by young Muslim girls. Currently there are approximately 5 million Muslims living in France (CIA, 2012). The majority of them are the immigrants from former French colonies in North and West Africa. Muslims constitute 5-10% of the French population, while Islam is the second largest religion in France (Tarhan, 2011). Hence, the law from 2004 led to objections and protests amongst French Muslims. They regarded the decision of French government as a sign of discrimination and violation of religious freedom in France (Wing and Smith, 2006). French government, in turn, emphasized that French secularism (known also as laicite), assuming separation between state and religion, was a main reason standing behind its decision (Astier, 2004)). Until nowadays the French law 2004-228 is very controversial. The supporters of this law believe that a ban on religious symbols confirmed a secular character of French Republic and defended French national identity. They also postulate that a ban contributed to a greater equality amongst women and men within Muslim society. The opponents, in turn, emphasize a largely symbolic character of the ban, as it affected only Muslim girls attending public schools and did not apply to Muslim women on the streets or university students. The opponents often also rejected laicite as a basis of the French law 2004-228. Instead, they postulate that a fear of multiculturalism and growing division within the French society, especially after September 11th, had a key impact on the governmental decision (Scott, 2005). The following essay aims to examine whether French secularism, laicite, was a key factor responsible for the banning of headscarves in France. First, the essay explains the role of female headscarf in Muslim religion and tradition in order to understand a strong objection against a ban from Muslim side. Second, the essay presents shortly a debate on wearing headscarves in France that had its beginning in the 1980s. Further, the essay considers the concept of laicite in France and its impact on passing the French law 2004-228. The essay analyzes other factors that influenced on the banning of religious symbols in France in order to compare their role and the role of laicite in passing the law. Finally, the essay considers the ban as an unsuccessful reform and presents policy recommendations. The role of headscarf in Muslim tradition The headscarf is an important religious symbol in the Islamic tradition. The Quran, perceived as the source of AllahÃ¢â¬â¢s command by Muslims, states that: Ã¢â¬Å"believing women (Ã¢â¬ ¦) should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbandsÃ¢â¬â¢ fathers, their sons, their husbandsÃ¢â¬â¢ sons, their brothers, or their brothersÃ¢â¬â¢ sons or their sistersÃ¢â¬â¢ sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.Ã¢â¬ (Quran 24:31)Therefore, following AllahÃ¢â¬â¢s law, Muslim women are obligated to remain modest and to cover their beauty. Moreover, the Quran says: Ã¢â¬Å"O Prophet! Tell Thy wives And daughters, and the Believing women, that They should cast their Outer garments over Their Persons (when outside): That they should be known (As such) and not MolestedÃ¢â¬ (Quran 33:59). It indicates that there are two purposes of the wearing of headscarves by Muslim women. First, headscarf should protect Muslim women from gazes of strange men and from being an object of strangerÃ¢â¬â¢s desire. Second, headscarf should help to distinguish Muslim women from women of other religions (Syed, 2001). It is worth adding that the Quran does not state precisely which parts of womanÃ¢â¬â¢s body should be covered. Hence, there are different types of head (and body) coverings amongst Muslim women in various countries, depending on QuranÃ¢â¬â¢s interpretation and culture. They range from the simple hijab, covering the head and neck to Afghani burqa, covering the entire body and leaving only so-called mesh screen so th at the woman is able to see (Wing and Smith, 2006). Further, the following sentence from the Quran: Ã¢â¬Å"O Prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better so that they may be recognized and not annoyedÃ¢â¬ (Wing and Smith, 2006, p.751) indicates that Muslim men are also obligated to Quran to make sure that their wives have got appropriate covering when they leave their houses. With the beginning of decolonization in the 1950s and the 1960s, the European countries, in particular France and the United Kingdom, had experienced massive immigrations from the Middle East and African countries. Most of the immigrants were Muslims. Hence, the Western countries, characterized by Christian roots had to face different religion, culture and values brought to the Europe by Muslims. Headscarf has become one of the most visible elements of these differences in the EuropeanÃ¢â¬â¢s public eyes (Wing and Smith, 2006). Headscarf debate in a contemporary France There are currently around 5 million of Muslims in France, constituting 5-10% of the total French population (CIA, 2012). Mostly they are immigrants from the regions such as the Maghreb, the Middle East, Turkey and Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Additionally there is an increasing number of people of European descent in France who are deciding to convert into Islam. In the recent years, Muslims in France has strongly manifested its cultural and religious separateness. They aimed to Ã¢â¬Å"create an Islamic identity with local institutional, societal and cultural structuresÃ¢â¬ (Wing and Smith, 2006, p.753) and they focused on building new mosques and loud practices of their religion. It led to Islamophobic tendencies in France which were often manifested by hostility, discrimination in employment and housing as well as larger socio-economic exclusion of Muslim society. Currently Muslims continue to be separated from the rest of French society. Key indicators of this exclusion are li mited access to the education for Muslims, houses in the urban ghettos (known also as the zones of economic and social exclusion) but also lack of involvement in French political life and culture from the Muslim side. The debate on headscarves in France has got its root in 1989 and is known as the affaires de foulard (Scott, 2005, p. 1). At that time, three Muslim girls were expelled from their secondary state school in the town of Creil after they refused to take off their headscarves. Although it was not a first such a case (the director of this school had earlier banned Jewish students from wearing the Kippah in school), it brought an extensive attention of French media. The director of school argued that he made a decision on the basis of French laicite, a concept postulating separation between the state and religion (Tarhan, 2011). Muslim society was supported by Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders. Together, they postulated that laicite should have been regarded as toleration for other religions rather than condemnation of religion (Scott, 2005). This approach was also accepted by the former Minister of Education, Lionel Jospin. He announced that religious symbols and clothing at sch ools were allowed as long as they did not threaten other religious beliefs (Tarhan, 2011). Despite this governmental announcement, a number of similar cases has dramatically increased between 1989 (400 cases) and 1994 (3000 cases), what led to racial and religious violence in France (Bowen, 2007). In 1994 the tensions were so intense that education staff were sending letter to the French government, asking for advices on how to deal with the situation. In result, new Minister of Education, Francois Bayrou implemented new rules on religious symbols in schools. He allowed only discreet symbols in schools, while he prohibited ostentatious symbols. Discreet symbols were defined as those that Ã¢â¬Å"demonstrated personal religious convictionÃ¢â¬ (Tarhan, 2011, p.18), while ostentatious Ã¢â¬â as those that led to discrimination and differences into the educational communities. BayrouÃ¢â¬â¢s claim was controversial and brought the attention of French media. In result, the Conseil d Ã¢â¬â¢Etat, the highest administrative court in France, decided to investigate the controversial issue. The court rejected BayrouÃ¢â¬â¢s decision and obligated school administrations and teachers to make decision on the actions of their students. The French government appointed a Muslim woman, Hanifa Cherifi, as a governmental mediator responsible for handling the wearing of headscarves. In result, the issue has grown quiet for nine years (Scott, 2005). The issue of headscarves was brought to the public attention again in 2003, when the Minister of Interiors and Cults, Nicolas Sarkozy postulated that Muslim women should take off their headscarves while posing for official identity photographs. As Muslims became an important minority in France with the beginning of the twenty first century, SarkozyÃ¢â¬â¢s claim reflected growing frustration and intolerance towards visibility of religious symbols in public places amongst French politicians and society. It also brought back the issue of headscarves in schools. In effect, French President, Jacques Chirac formed a commission led by Bernard Stasi in order to investigate the implementation of laicite in French educational institutions. . Students, teachers, intellectuals and also the European Commission got involved in the work of StasiÃ¢â¬â¢s Commission. Muslim girls chose to be interviewed undercover, as they wanted to voice their opinions about wearing the hijab anonymously. The report produced by StasiÃ¢â¬â¢s Commission presented an in-depth study on the role that the hijab plays in the Muslim community. In reference to Islam, one of the most important results was that young Muslim girls, that used to grow up in a society dominated by western culture and values found difficult to reaffirm their identities as Muslims by the way they had to dress. Further, it showed that young Muslim girls were often not participating in classes such as P.E (physical education) as they were afraid of violence and assaults from Muslim menÃ¢â¬â¢s side. Moreover, Muslim girls often confessed that they were being forced to wear the hijab by their families and peer groups. The StasiÃ¢â¬â¢s Report also drew open other issues su rrounding Muslim women such as female genital mutilation and forced marriages (Vaisse, 2004). The StasiÃ¢â¬â¢s Report pointed out that the existence of religious symbols in schools was not compatible with the concept of laicite. The Report postulated that the veils were responsible for the alienation of women. As secularism and gender equality were regarded as the important features of laicite, the Report recommended banning religious symbols in schools (Wing and Smith, 2006). It is important to add that the critics of the StasiÃ¢â¬â¢s Report aimed to undermine the validity of the report. They postulated that the report was mainly based on western perceptions on the hijab and Muslim women. The link between forced marriages, female genital mutilation and the hijab, were all based upon the commission negative image of Islam, there was no empirical research to back their findings (Schiek and Lawson, 2011). Muslim women argue that the hijab is worn voluntarily and it brings them a sense of belonging and community (Schiek and Lawson, 2011). Following the StasiÃ¢â¬â¢s Report, on February 10th, 2004, French National Assembly passed the law on the banning conspicuous religious symbols in schools. A huge majority of the Assembly, 494 members, were in favour of the ban, while only 36 members voted against the ban. At the same time, 31 members abstained from voting. Similarly, on March 3rd, 2004, the French Senate also passed the same legislation. 276 voters were in favour of the ban, while 20 of them voted against the ban (Weil, 2009). The implementation of the new law was preceded by three demonstrations, respectively, on December 21st, 2004; on January 17th, 2005; and on February 14th, 2005 that aimed to stop passing the law 2004-228. Mohammed Latreche, an Islamist activist mobilized and encouraged French citizens to participate in these demonstrations. He established a political party, Pati des msulman de France (the Party of French Muslims) with the headquarters in Strasburg. The demonstrations, showed the Muslim publ ics outrage at the law that was about to be passed. The legislative ban was regarded as an attack on Muslims with the Muslim society. Two girls even went as far as hunger strikes to show their opposition to the ban. Some posters propagated slangs such as Ã¢â¬ËStasi killed meÃ¢â¬â¢ and Ã¢â¬Ë1 veil= 1 voteÃ¢â¬â¢ (Bowen, 2007). Officially, the law was implemented on March 15th and it is known as the law 2004-228. Despite the demonstrations, the legislative ban in France has been largely supported by the French society. According to Pew Research Centre (2006) 78% of the French population have supported the ban, while only 22% of the population have regarded the banning as a bad idea. The concept of laicite and its impact on the banning of headscarves in France Many scholars (i.e. Wing and Smith, Scott) believe that the concept of laicite was a key factor behind the decision on the banning of headscarves in France. Laicite has a long tradition in France and hence, it is crucial to analyze its influence on the ban of religious symbols. As it was mentioned above, laicite, known also as a French secularism, postulates separation between the state and religion as well as freedom of religion (Tarhan, 2011). It can be viewed as passive neutrality or non-intervention by the state in the private religious domain. This interpretation suggests that the exercise of religion in the private sphere is permissible, and that the French state will not openly support overt religious practices in public spheres (Scott, 2005). Another interpretation of the laiciteÃ¢â¬â¢ can be viewed as a more active secularism, in terms of which the nation is promoted as a fundamentally political society fiercely independent of any religious authority (Wing and Smith, 2006), and one in which the values of the state can be defended through the concept of LÃ ¢â¬â¢ORDRE PUBLIC in order to justify interference where necessary with some religious organisations. This definition of laiciteÃ¢â¬â¢ gives the government more control over public institutions and the amount of religious activity that goes on there, for example schools (Weil, 2009). The concept of laicite was developed during the French Revolution (1789). Initially it concerned the separation between the state and the Catholic Church, which played a major role in France in the seventeenth century. Revolutionaries aimed to redefine citizenship and nationhood and hence, to separate Catholicism from the French identity. New citizenship was meant to be universal, secular and inclusive. Instead, the French Revolution led to Ã¢â¬Ëxenophobic nationalismÃ¢â¬â¢ (Tarhan, 2011, p.4) which targeted foreigners as well as priests, rebels, political opponents and noblemen. Similarly, the Revolution started to reject religion rather than tolerate it. The laicisation of French public schools began with an article that was passed on June 28th, 1833. This law entailed that primary school teaching should have no religious affiliation. Further, laicite was implemented in France through the creation of the public school system, in the years 1881-2 with Jules FerryÃ¢â¬â¢s public school laws (Bowen, 2007). However, despite these steps Catholicism remained an important element of French regime until the end of nineteenth century. More significant changes started in 1901 when France passed a new law, Law of Association according to which religious associations became obligated to have a state supervision. Further, in 1904 the religious communities were forbidden to provide education. In result, approximately 30,000 of clergy lost their teaching jobs and stopped taking salaries from the state. Nonetheless, the legislation passed in 1905, known as the Separation Act, is regarded as first meaningful success of secularists in France (Tarhan, 2011). The 1905 law has become the legal guideline for the separation of the state and the church. The word laicite did not appear in the 1905 law. However, the first article of the law emphasized freedom of religion in France, as it stated that: Ã¢â¬Å"the republic ensures freedom of conscience. It guarantees the free exerci se of religions with the sole restrictions decreed hereafter in the interest of public orderÃ¢â¬ (Tarhan, 2011, p.7). The second article, in turn, declared that Ã¢â¬Å"The Republic does not recognize, fund or subsidize any religion. [Ã¢â¬ ¦]State, departmental and commune budgets, together with all expenses relating to the exercise of religions will be abolished.Ã¢â¬ (Tarhan, 2011, p.7) and hence, it guaranteed stateÃ¢â¬â¢s neutrality towards religions. The legislation from 1905 gave a political and legal character to the concept of laicite in France. More importantly, it indicated that laicite was a process that had emerged in France through the confrontation about national identity between Clerics and Republicans (Scott, 2005). Although the concept of laicite in France does not show any historical links to the Islam religion, the ban on religious symbols from 2004 seems to emphasize an impact of laicite on the French politics and tradition. Nowadays laicite is regarded in France as one of the foundations of French Republic and the French collective (national) identity (The Economist, 2004). It represents a sharp contrast to Anglo-American model of multiculturalism. French believe that laicite guarantees tolerance, freedom of religion, peace as well as social cohesion. Further, laicite postulates a sharp division between public and private spheres. Religion and ethnicity can be manifested in the private sphere. However, the only visible legitimate identity in the public sphere should be French national identity. Further, the laic state has right to interfere in the religious issues if the national unity and common values of the French Republic are threatened (Weil, 2009). According to the concept, Muslim soc iety should accept French norms and culture in order to become a part of French political unity. Nonetheless, Muslims have become a significant minority in France, unwilling to adopt French tradition and lifestyle. Instead, they strongly manifested own culture, tradition and identity (The Economist, 2004). Islam was perceived not only as a religion but also as a rigorous lifestyle that rejected Western values such as liberty, freedom and laicite. Muslims were often regarded as the extremist group. Hence, French started to perceive Muslims and Islam religion as the threads to the French national unity that had to be addressed and resolved. The debate on headscarves in France confirms this negative perception of Muslims within French society (Tarhan, 2011). With the exception of laicite, there were also other factors that had an influence on the ban of religious symbols in France. As stated in the StasiÃ¢â¬â¢s Report, the ban aimed to empower Muslim women and to guarantee greater equality amongst the Muslim women and men. However, in this case, the ban was just a symbolic gesture, as it only applied to the young Muslim girls in public schools and did not affect adult Muslim women, working in some public places or just walking on the streets (Bowen, 2007). In contrast, there are several external factors that might have influenced the timing of headscarves debate in France. When the first debate on headscarves took place in 1989, the Communist system in the Central and Eastern Europe collapsed. Instead, the Europe experienced massive inflows of Muslim immigrants and spreading Islam religion across the European countries. Hence, Islam quickly started to be perceived as a thread to the Western values that replaced an old thread, communism . Further, in 1994 there was a civil war in Algeria, a former colony of France that was caused by the conflict between the secular military government of Algeria and Islamic fundamentalists. The Algerian conflict indicated a possibility of similar problems between the state and its largest religious minority in France. Finally, in 2003 the Europe was still strongly affected by the consequences of September 11th (2001). Additionally, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the worsening of the conflict between Israel and Palestine resulted in sharp divergence between the West and Islam culture. At that time, French Muslims definitely identified with the Muslims in other parts of the world and the wearing of headscarves manifested such identification. French government, on the other hand, faced real threads of terrorism. Hence, the main principle of French defense became to prevent French citizens and institutions from potential challenges to their integrity (Scott, 2005). Conclusions To sum up, the ban of religious symbols in schools implemented in France in 2004 was very controversial and led to numerous protests and demonstrations in France. The supporters of the ban underlined the secular character of France and the need to separate religion from the public sector. The opponents, in turn, postulated a minor impact of the ban, as it only affected Muslim schoolgirls, constituting relatively insignificant percentage of Muslim female population in France. Without a doubt, laicite had a key impact on the legislative ban. However, the main factor behind the governmental decision was not separation between the religion and the state, regarded as a traditional element of the concept of laicite. In the contemporary France, key elements of laicite have become nation identity and unity. As the French society was characterized by a strong division on Muslims and non-Muslims as well as by strengthening Muslim influences, the French conservative government of Chirac has become responsible for protecting the French national identity. The ban was believed to be a successful tool to achieve this goal. Except laicite, there was a number of international events such as Afghan war, Iraqi war or Israeli-Palestinian conflict that strengthened Islamophobic in Western countries, in particular in secular France that has always been characterized by the opposition to multiculturalism and foreignness. Although some scholars postulate that gender equality wa s also a factor influencing French decision on the ban, there is no strong evidence to support this claim. In fact, the ban affected only small number of young Muslim girls being in public education. Nowadays it is certain that Muslims have to accept cosmopolitan values and freethinking if they aim to stay in the Western countries. Currently a number of Western countries such as United Kingdom, Spain or Germany have been characterized by a trap of two conflicting cultures. However, forcing Muslims to go against their religious practices, as applied in France seems to be counterproductive. The ban of religious symbols in France led to the riots (2005) in so-called les cites, ghettos focusing North Africans and Arabs that spread around the major French cities. During these riots two Muslim teenagers were accidently killed. However, the ban of religious symbols could have disastrous consequences. Young Muslims, rejected by the French government and regarded as a second-class society, often accept extremism and violence as the solution of their problems. The example of the United States demonstrates prominently the negative consequences of rejecting and underestimating its ethnic min ority. The young, radical Muslims in the US, trained by the conservative European imams became responsible for the dramatic events from September 11th (Kiersh, 2008). The French government should have learnt a lesson from the United States and should stop pushing its Muslim society towards extremism and encouraging violence amongst them. Instead, the French government should establish a long-term strategy in order to incorporate their Muslim minority into the environment they regard as unfriendly. The government must develop new, comprehensive measures that will help Muslims to identify with the rest of the French society and to become involved in various aspects of French lifestyle. In order to achieve these goals, the French government must focus on the reduction of job and housing discrimination in the first place as well as on changing the attitudes within the French policy towards Muslim male immigrants. The French government can expect that other European governments (in particular British, German and Spanish governments) will be also willing to address the problem of separation between Muslims and mainstream society, as they struggle with the same problem. Together, these countries have enough resources to implement reforms and changes so that the Muslims can assimilate with the rest of the societies. Also the United States could probably get involved in such a cross-countries program in the framework of the War on Terror. Without a doubt, the European governments would be more willing to accept such a form of terrorism fighting rather than military interventions in the Middle East. The following concept requires in-depth analyzes and detailed policy planning. However, it would definitely bring larger and more positive outcomes than the ban of religious symbols in public schools (Kiersh, 2008). List of references: Astier, H., (2004). The deep Roots of French Secularism [online] available from: (Accessed on 25.04.2012). Bowen, J., (2007). Why the French do not like the Headscarves. New Jersey: Princeton University CIA, (2012). The World Factbook: France [online] Available from: (Accessed on 25.04.2012). Kiersh, A., (2008). Why the Headscarf Ban is wrong for France [online] Available from: (Accessed on 25.04.2012). Morin, R. and Horowitz, J., (2006). European debate the Scarf and the Veil [online] Available from: (Accessed on 25.04.2012). Scott, J., (2005). Symptomatic Politics: The Banning of Islamic Head Scarves in French Public Schools. New Jersey: Institute for Advanced Study. Schiek, D and Lawson, A., (2011). European Union Non-Discrimination Law and Intersectionality: Investigating the Triangle of Racial, Gender and Disability Discrimination. London: Ashgate Publishing. Syed, , (2001). Women in Islam: Hijab [online] Available from: (Accessed on 25.04.2012). Tarhan, G., (2011). Roots of the Headscarf Debate: Laicism and Secularism in France and Turkey. Journal of Political Inquiry, 4, p. 1-32. The Economist, (2004). The war of the headscarves [online] Available from: (Accessed on 25.04.2012). Vaisse, J., (2004). Veiled Meaning: the French Law Banning Religious Symbols in Public Schools. Washington: The Brookings Institute. Weil, P., (2009). Why the French Laicite is liberalCardozon Law Review, 30(6), p.2699-2714. Wing, A. and Smith, M., (2006). Critical Race Feminism Lifts in Veil?: Muslim, Women, France and the Headscarf Ban. California: UC Davis.  The headscarf wore by Muslim women is commonly known as hijab in the Europe. However, Quran uses two Arabic terms: Ã¢â¬Å"khimarÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"jilbaabÃ¢â¬ in reference to headscarf or veil.  The concept of French laicite will be discussed in details in the next chapter.  It is worth adding that StasiÃ¢â¬â¢s Report also postulated the recognition of majority religious feasts as public holiday. However, this law was not passed.
Monday, September 16, 2019
It has been 20 years since I have been in school and I want to be here at The University of Phoenix to finally get the degree that I have put off for so many years. I realize there may be road blocks ahead of me that I am not aware of at this time, but I am making a commitment to myself to be successful. The road I have chosen is long overdue, but I believe it is the right choice and something I strongly desire. I selected the U of P due the accelerated program offered, the high caliber of educators, and recommendations by friends. After just one class, IÃ¢â¬â¢m very excited about my choice and look forward to the challenges ahead. At the U of P, I hope to obtain the knowledge and tools to help me be successful and to finally make things Ã¢â¬Å"rightÃ¢â¬ with myself and my employer. I say this as, in the past, I have misled my former and current employers that I have an education beyond high school. Through hard work and dedication, I have been able to produce and prosper in my professional life, even without an education beyond high school. But I feel with a Ã¢â¬Å"realÃ¢â¬ degree in hand, IÃ¢â¬â¢ll be more confident and proud of myself for the hard work and dedication it will take to accomplish this goal. Also, the dark cloud of my misrepresentation will finally be lifted. I believe I will finally be proud of myself and gain the honor and integrity I desire. My personal goal is to obtain a Bachelors degree in Business Management. As I pursue my goal at U of P, I must dedicate myself. To achieve this goal, there must be commitment, discipline, desire and expectations. There will be many challenges that lie ahead of me as I steadily make my journey to achieving a degree. But I feel I can overcome any obstacles and face any challenge, due to my maturity level and positive outlook. Twenty years ago, I did not feel the need or have the desire as I do now. Other than the obvious goal of obtaining a degree, I hope to finally have the skills, knowledge and tools to obtain further success in my professional life. I also feel a degree will give me more confidence in myself both personally and professionally. The education that I will receive will help me tremendously in my professional career. I feel I will be much more marketable to my present employer as well as future employers. AdvancementÃ opportunities will come to fruition as I go through the educational improvement process. Throughout this new learning process, I hope to develop the skills to be a better communicator, both orally and in written communications. IÃ¢â¬â¢ve always somewhat lacked confidence in writing and I hope to gain the skills to write effective letters and reports. I hope to develop leadership skills and have confidence in myself and in the decisions I make. I hope to learn how to set priorities and manage my time better both at home and at work. Just making the decision and taking the steps to further my education feels liberating and eases the anxiety IÃ¢â¬â¢ve always felt about not furthering my education. I feel my fears about Ã¢â¬Å"not measuring upÃ¢â¬ will subside and a sense of camaraderie will develop with my associates at work. Since beginning classes, I hope the stimulation I feel now will continue to grow and ease the fears IÃ¢â¬â¢ve always had about Ã¢â¬Å"learningÃ¢â¬ again. I expect my confidence level to rise and as I get more confidence, my mind will open up to new ideas and better ways of doing things. I hope this stimulating environment will foster new ideas that I can use in my professional life. Above all, I believe this journey will bring to me a sense of accomplishment, pride, and confidence. In my personal life, I realize I must make many sacrifices. The time I must invest in obtaining a degree will require I give up the very little free time I currently enjoy with my family. My work schedule is extremely full now and leaves very little time with my family. Taking classes will totally eliminate any time I had to spend with them, but they are very supportive and understand the rewards we will all reap from this undertaking. IÃ¢â¬â¢m doing this for all of us, as I know the personal and professional growth and successes will be invaluable for our future.
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Since 1983 public education has been an issue in America. The system has been constantly changing every year with reforms. This constant change has been driven by the American peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s perception that education has declined and something should be done about it. First there was an increased emphasis on basic skills, making school years longer and more graduation requirements. Second, many began focusing on increasing teachers professionalism. Third, they began restructuring many things such as how the schools were organized and how the school day was structured etc. Now today the most of the American people believe that not enough money is given to public schooling. They associate academic improvement with the money the school is funded. But I believe otherwise. Spending more on education will not improve academic success but diverse teaching methods will. Public education funding is at an all time high in America. There is no problem with the funding for schools. There is more of a problem on how the money is distributed. To truly understand the problems of education in America,Ã¢â¬ ¦The United States prides itself on its public education system making it a core value of many families. The level of education a person has will influence their career achievements. Americans expect their public system of education to provide a solid curriculum. Most of the people in the United States place their trust in the public school system in which they support through taxes. This trust although is contradicted by the public system of educationÃ¢â¬â¢s current shape. Much of the schools in the United States are either deteriorating, or failing all together. The drawbacks of public education create an unhealthy environment for student learning. Many people think public school can dip their hands into the public treasury for funding if they are ever in need of money; however many schools do not qualify to get these funds. Ã¢â¬Å"The disparate funding for public schools and between states and within metropolitan areas has turned some public schools into meccas for affluent students and others into decaying infrastructures with overcrowded classrooms and soaring drop-out ratesÃ¢â¬ (Ã¢â¬ ¦
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Health Issues in the Aborigines Culture Over the course of history, the state of Aboriginal health has deteriorated in a relation much similar to the cultureÃ¢â¬â¢s struggle to survive in the ever-changing society. As a result, this state has changed from an ideal balance with nature during the days of their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, to the more disoriented form of endurance in order to cope with obligatory integration and open antagonism by other Ã¢â¬ËmodernÃ¢â¬â¢ communities (Grbich, 2004).This has led to an augmentation of the encumbrance of illness and death as well as diverse forms of morbidity that Aboriginal communities experience throughout their lives. It is indeed ironical that while under the context of an organized and industrialized nation such as Australia, indigenous communities continue to face increased health problems even despite countrywide efforts at eradicating health risks thereby reducing mortality rates for children and adults alike as well as communic able and non-communicable morbidity indicators.Indigenous health problems are also noted to be a combination of third world-associated quandaries such as high rates of maternal and infant mortality as well as low life expectancy, malnutrition and other communicable diseases; as well as more Ã¢â¬ËWestern lifestyleÃ¢â¬â¢ health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, and many others (Lewis, 2003). This paper therefore looks at the epidemiology of the state of health for the Aboriginal community, delving into the possible sociological reasons behind this increasingly deplorable condition.At the same time, a clearer perspective will be offered into the widening gap that is noted between the state of health for Aboriginal communities and that of other Australians further putting this into a social context. The effect of a modern society on health care provision to indigenous communities is also discussed, as well as the health issue s facing these people such as high blood pressure, stress, drugs, alcohol and poor childrenÃ¢â¬â¢s health. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008), the Aboriginal community faces higher rates of ill health than any other group in Australia.From the estimate of an average of 450,000 Aborigines in Australia, it is observed that when compared to other communities, this community faces enhanced problems of chronic illness and problems from cigarette smoking in addition to other health issues. Among the various problems faced by the Aboriginal people include childrenÃ¢â¬â¢s health issues. These include low birth weight accompanied by an infant mortality rate that is almost three times that of the national average; such a figure results to 15. 2 deaths of Aborigine infants as compared to 5 from other communities per 1,000 births (Thomas, 2003).Other factors connected to low birth weight include that of an enhanced risk for consequent diseases during puberty and adultho od that may lead to neonatal death. Low birth weight of the infant is associated with a slow growth rate and short pregnancy length, with Aboriginal women noted to have a 12. 4% chance to have a low birth weight baby as compared to 6. 2% for a non-Aboriginal woman (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). Other issues noted in Aboriginal children include the prevalence of poverty among the members of this group thereby leading to ill-health and poor benefits especially for the young.In addition to a higher rate of low birth weight in Aboriginal women, their children also face a greater risk of malnutrition. The advantage of breastfeeding is noted during the early months, with this offering an additional defense against common infant diseases. However, after weaning, the lack of nutritious foods increases the likelihood of children to contract infectious diseases further enhancing the childrenÃ¢â¬â¢s malnutrition. Other health problems faced by children include the prevalence of mid dle ear infection, consequently affecting the learning abilities of the child that may have speech and hearing problems.At the same time, the high rate of smoking among the Aboriginal community leads to a high exposure of the children to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and even after birth. This then leads to the noted increase in the prevalence of respiratory disorders including asthma and other related ailments. Other diseases faced by pre-pubescent Aborigines include chest and throat infections as well as injuries from accidents. Adult male Aborigines also face higher risks of accidental injuries as compared to non-aboriginal adult males.This increases their chances for hospitalization which is also enhanced by heart and chest diseases as well as digestive tract ailments. Aboriginal women similarly have higher rates of urinary and reproductive complications as compared to non-aboriginal women with the latter complications leading to strained pregnancy and births. On an overall bas is, members of the Aboriginal communities are twice as likely to be hospitalized as compared their non-aboriginal counterparts (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). These results from an enhanced susceptibility to injuries sustained during accidents as well as the aforementioned causes.It is also noted that Aboriginal people usually have a higher vulnerability to infectious diseases such as sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, as well as other potentially fatal conditions such as Tuberculosis and Haemophilus influenza type b (Lutschini, 2005). Diet and nutrition plays a major role in the state of health of the Aboriginal people. Before the influence of settlers who arrived in Australia, Aboriginal people were used to their hunter-gatherer lifestyles that incorporated the consumption of wild meats and fallow plants.These customary foods were rich in nutrients, protein and carbohydrates, while also having limited supplies of sugars and fat. As a result, the Aboriginal people were healthy and did not face diet-related ailments. With the introduction of Westernized foods, which contain higher levels of sugars and fat, while being low on essential nutrients, the Aboriginal people have become more vulnerable to diet disorders such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. This increased rate is also noted to be higher in Aborigines than in non-aborigines who are considered to be used to these Ã¢â¬ËmodernÃ¢â¬â¢ foods.Aboriginal people have also been noted to have a shorter life expectancy than that of non-indigenous communities with Aboriginal males expected to live for around 57 years as compared to 62 years for their female counterparts; this translates to a shortfall of around 18 to 20 years when compared to non-aborigines (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008). There are diverse causes of this early death amongst the aborigines that include twice the rate of cardiovascular disorders that include strokes and heart failures as compared to non-aborigines.At the same time, aborigines are three times as likely to succumb to injuries sustained from accidents as well as other causes such as homicide and even suicide. When seeking an explanation as to these health profiles, it is important to take into consideration the historical context of the changing environment that the Aborigines have had to contend with. Prior to European colonization, these individuals were used to a supportive environment as well as a multifaceted social support network. They also had an advanced comprehension of their ecology which was advantageous in providing all their nutritional and health requirements.This was also enhanced by an active lifestyle whose foundation was a community that promoted a family culture that exhibited psychosocial veracity (White, 2002). The advent of colonization brought with it a change in lifestyle making the Aborigines more inactive and dependent on the European settlers. This resulted in t heir acquisition of undesirable products and infectious diseases that their health systems were not equipped to handle. At the same time, a societal shift was noted that clashed with the culture, heritage as well as the concept of family that the Aborigines were used to.In recent years, there has been an effort at social integration coupled with dealing with public health issues at all facets of the community (Carson, Dunbar & Chenhall, 2007). However, even with an overall reduction in the mortality and death rates of all Australians, it is noted that the Aboriginal community still records significantly higher rates of the same. Due to the overall effect that historical events have had on the Aboriginal community including lack of education, poor employment opportunities, elevated drug and alcohol abuse, the improvement of health amongst this community continues to be an uphill battle.Other problems are as a result of the lack of access to health services by some Aboriginal communit ies. This is credited to both the physical distance to such amenities as well as various aspects of cultural insensitivity. Due to the occupation of rural areas by the Aboriginal people, they accessibility to healthcare is hampered by the lack of transport usually resulting in less frequent visits to health professionals. The cultural perception about health and quality of health services also plays a major role in healthcare service provision (Germov, 2004).Indeed, it is noted that the Aborigines are more likely to be influenced by spiritual beliefs such as curses and punishment from alleged transgression than biomedical views on health. As a result, Aboriginal people are more likely to accept the views of traditional healers as opposed to opinions offered by Western health professionals. Other conflicts between traditional Aboriginal views and those provided under the constructs of biomedical provisions include the notion of informed consent especially when an approval is sought t o proceed with a medical procedure.For instance traditional applications of the role of kinship as well as community relationships will take precedence, in the minds of the Aborigines, over that of the sole consent of a patient (McGrath & Phillips, 2008). These cultural differences also expand into the concepts of immediacy and time, the comprehension of health and illness, as well as information on the potential benefits, and harms of treatment especially when a language barrier is present thereby hindering the patient-doctor interaction.In precis of the epidemiological aspects of Aboriginal health, it is noted that the advent of European colonization brought with it the change in the communityÃ¢â¬â¢s health structure. This was either due to an alteration of the epidemiological dynamics of diseases that were already present including an induction of novel and contagious diseases, or by a change in lifestyle increasing the vulnerability of the indigenous people to such ailments.Ir respective of the sources of the problem, it is noted that the prevalence of health problems is higher in Aborigines than in non-aborigines with inequities arising due to inadequate healthcare for the former, as well as cultural disparities that exist between the two societies and that promote the further segregation of health services among them. When making considerations into the various views held by social theorists to the situations faced by Aborigines, a further analysis can be drawn into the health situation and the disparities faced by this community in relation to that of non-aborigines.MarxÃ¢â¬â¢s view of class, work and alienation, is such a theory. This theory has been utilized by many ideologists who have affirmed the presence of an oppressive structure in any society that is maintained by the dominant culture, language or social position (Western & Najman, 2000). The lesser group therefore undergoes manipulation and control at the will of the more ascendant group. T his phenomenon is also noted to traverse generations, cultures and time therefore being present in all societies.To further its causes, the dominant culture promotes its ideologies through education as well as other services provisions which favor the ruling class and keep the lesser group unaware of their rights. Thus the ownership of power of capital maintain structures that provide for the maintenance and concentration of this power among the elite thereby ensuring that it is not lost or watered down with the effects of time. Such structures, according to various social theorists, extend past the constructs of schools and education and even go as far as health provisions such as the case under study (McGrath & Phillips, 2008).In the societal and cultural context of the state of Aboriginal health in Australia, it can be argued that its structure over time has been altered to serve the best interests of the more dominant non-aboriginal communities. As a result, the Aboriginal peopl e have received constant interference, oppression and misinterpretation as to the rights that are provided to them in healthcare as well as other community services that they are entitled to. There are also similarities noted between this form domination and the colonialist tyranny by Europeans over other societies in Africa, South American and parts of East Asia.The main effect of such oppression was the changing of the mindset or perceptions of the indigenous communities as to their rights and the changes they had to make to their traditions (Grbich, 2004). Proponents of this view argue of its accurate assertion on the negative Western attitudes towards cultural aspects and the wellbeing of Aboriginal people and how these have been propagated in all aspects of the society, including healthcare provision.This can therefore be construed as the actions of a dominant culture that reserves its gains in science to not only promote the agenda of this Ã¢â¬ËstrongerÃ¢â¬â¢ community but to also portray the Aborigines as being crushed and submissive. This further alienates the two societies further alienating the Aboriginal people and resulting in cultural insensitivity. Indeed, this has been noted as one of the reasons behind why the Aborigines do not advocate for the use of biomedical options of treatment but opt to stick to traditional forms of healing based more on their spiritual beliefs.The sociological change in relation to this theory can be observed with the Aboriginal approach at self-empowerment in which they aim at gaining the necessary skills to seek their rights thereby gaining security from current and future forms of oppression. This is evident with the acceptance by the Aboriginal communities to not only seek biomedical approaches to treatment but to also comprehend the underlying aspects of science and language that the non-aboriginal communities had used to oppress them in the past.By taking a proactive approach at undertaking research into the h ealth issues affecting them as well as the possible application of their findings into their communities, the Aboriginal people are gaining assurance and assertion from the knowledge of medicine and other forms of science through. As a result, the possibility of improving their health and wellbeing becomes an ever-closer reality (White, 2002). Another perspective that can be adopted scrutinize issues based on Aboriginal health are those proposed by Erving Goffman.This theorist discussed various notions such as stigma, passing, deviance and social control and how these affected social structures and the manner in which individual members of a community interacted with each other. For instance, Goffman affirmed that the prevalence of stigma resulted from the lack of comprehension of an unknown, with this perspective leading to a change of attitude or behavior towards the object under scrutiny. This theorist further described three forms of stigma including physical abominations, imper fections of character, and tribal stigma (Lewis, 2003).Aspects of the latter form can therefore be observed in the provision of healthcare to Aboriginal communities being neglected by the mainstream communities that are predominantly non-aboriginal. This is due to a lack of understanding of the Aboriginal customs and beliefs especially regarding health and illness and the associated forms of treatment. Similarly proponents of the theoristÃ¢â¬â¢s views assert the clear observations of aspects of social control against Aboriginal communities in all aspects of the society, and including the healthcare system.In the past, some form of segregation has been observed amongst healthcare providers when offering their services to Aborigines and non-aborigines (Carson et al. , 2007). The poor delivery of health services the former leads to the deplorable health state of this particular community and can be further attributed to the widening gap between the states of health on a community lev el. Providing primary health care to meet specific Aboriginal needs has not been put under consideration with this being a major indicator of the flaws of the system.Various other social theorists have added their diverse views about the state of health of the Aboriginal community in Australia. According to McGrath & Phillips (2008), research into the effects of public health system and especially on the response by various institutions to indigenous public health needs is lacking. At the same time, healthcare provision for aboriginal communities is not directed by the needs of the indigenous people, as it should be, thereby demonstrating a flaw in the power structure between non-aboriginal health experts and Aboriginal health workers.As a result, provision of indigenous health care takes a back seat thereby promoting the already deplorable state of affairs. Such a notion is further promoted by the sociological view that the flaws in the public healthcare systems that are not in the favor of the Aboriginal community, stem from the unbalanced nature of the political economy. According to this perspective, the political and economic relations that exist promote the negative effects noted in the public healthcare system.The asymmetrical access that the Aboriginal people have to the political and economic resources in Australia is therefore translated into various structural and situational disadvantages such as the lack of access to health services by Aboriginal communities. At the same time, the public health system is flawed for dealing with population-based aspects of healthcare in which the population is considered to be asocial.The resultant notion therefore asserts that the public health system assumes that the needs of various communities are similar and that no underlying societal disparities exist (Western & Najman, 2000). The resultant situation is that of a system that deals with the needs of the predominant culture or community which in this case is t hat of the non-aborigines and neglects the needs of the lesser communities. This leads to the lack of appropriate health care for the needs of the Aboriginal people further adding to the poor state of health affairs faced by the indigenous societies.In retrospect, the sociological explanations behind the state of Aboriginal health are noted to be based on flaws in the political and economic structures that provide the basis of public health. As a result, a relation can be further made between the social and political influences and the provision of public healthcare to Indigenous communities. Such flawed structures can therefore be blamed for the poor state of affairs in a situation that can be controlled by an emphasis for health services that cater for the needs of the Aboriginal community.Such systems should also not offer any room to any form of segregation whether as a result of stigma or as a result of forms of oppression by a dominant culture over another that it deems as inf erior. Aboriginal health is indeed an important aspect of health, illness and well-being in Australia that needs consideration. The increasing disparities that are noted between the states of health of Aborigines and non-aborigines provide a sufficient need to worry especially with the differences being added by sociological boundaries that exist in the healthcare system.The changes in social, political and economic attitudes should provide a foundation to improve health services and awareness of the Aboriginal community in order to increase life expectancy, decrease mortality rates at all stages of life, reduce the impact of diseases and enhance the social and emotional well being of members of this and all communities, thereby leading to a unified healthy nation. Works CitedAustralian Bureau of Statistics 2008, The Health and Welfare of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2008, Viewed June 3, 2009, Carson, B, Dunbar, T ; Chenhall, RD 2007, Social Determinant s of Indigenous Health, Allen ; Unwin, Sydney Eckersley, R, Dixon, J, Douglas, RM ; Douglas B 2001, The social origins of health and well-being, Cambridge University Press Grbich, C 2004, Health in Australia: Sociological Concepts and Issues, Pearson Longman, Sydney Germov, J 2004, Second opinion: an introduction to Health Sociology, Oxford, Melbourne Lewis, MJ 2003, The People's Health: Public health in Australia, Greenwood Publishing Group, Sydney Lutschini, M 2005, Ã¢â¬ËEngaging with holism in Australian Aboriginal health policy Ã¢â¬â a reviewÃ¢â¬â¢, Australia / New Zealand Health Policy, vol. 2, no. 5, Department of Public Health, University of Melbourne McGrath, P & Phillips, E 2008 Ã¢â¬ËWestern Notions of Informed Consent and Indigenous Cultures: Australian Findings at the InterfaceÃ¢â¬â¢, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, vol. 5, no. 11, pp. 21-31 Thomas, RK 2003, Society and health: sociology for health professionals, Springer Publishers, New York Western, JS & Najma n, JM 2000, A sociology of Australian society, Macmillan Education, Sydney White, K 2002, An Introduction to the Sociology of Health and Illness, Sage Publications: London Willis, E 2004, The Sociological Quest: an introduction to the study of social life (4th Ed), Allen & Unwin, Sydney
Friday, September 13, 2019
Law and Intellectual Property Memorandum Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words - 1
Law and Intellectual Property Memorandum - Essay Example Yes, Mr. Kenobi is entitled to a fair royalty from Jedi and he also could seek a court injunction requiring his pictures to be removed from JediÃ¢â¬â¢s website until the royalty is received. Since i) Mr. Kenobi can prove that the pictures are his and ii) Jedi did digitally copy the pictures intentionally by deliberately uploading them onto EmperorÃ¢â¬â¢s server, this constitutes primary infringement. No, Mr. Kenobi is not entitled to any damages or royalties from Emperor. Since Empire is only providing a hosting service for JediÃ¢â¬â¢s website, Emperor did not directly nor intentionally copy the pictures, it simply received a copy of the pictures from Jedi through the rendering of a hosting service. This only constitutes secondary infringement and there was no intent to copy. Probably, Empire is liable to Jedi for the fair market value of the secret formula, unless specific damages had been outlined in the contract between them. Since Empire did not copy the information directly, it does not constitute primary infringement. Although it did inadvertently provide the means for others to do so, Empire did not have any intention of copying, therefore it does not constitute secondary infringement either. However, the data was explicitly labeled as confidential by Jedi and Empire was negligent in protecting the confidentiality of the data. Yes, Jedi is entitled to a fair royalty from its competitors for use of their unregistered design right and could also seek a court injunction to not only prevent the further illegal use of their secret formula but also have all products where their secret formula was illegally used recalled until the royalty is received. This office is considering possible liability between Jedi, Emperor, and Mr. Kenobi. Jedi has posted on its website (hosted by Empire) pictures reputed to belong to Mr. Kenobi.Ã Ã
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Case study - Essay Example The study takes into account the implications of social media from the context of customer as well as employees. It also analyzes social media as a tool for Customer Relationship Management. The study also highlights ways to implement social media in organizations. It suggests certain guidelines that must be followed by organizations while implementing social media in organizations. Finally an effort is also taken to include the measurement of success of social media with the balanced scorecard approach. The term Ã¢â¬Å"Social MediaÃ¢â¬ generally refers to media dedicated for social interactions. Social media makes use of various online and web technologies to transform the media monologues into their sociable forms. In the contemporary context social media can be appropriately defined as a collection of web based applications which build the foundations of the internet. Social media has come a long way from being an exclusive element of IT domain to everyday social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs etc which command a huge reach and can drastically affect a firmÃ¢â¬â¢s business prospects. Social media has been effectively used by organizations as a tool for reaching out to their prospective customers. The growth of social media has been largely used by many organizations as a promotional tool. Moreover, with the advent of social networking and blogging sites, social media has become an important means of getting customer feedbacks about their products and services. These days many organizations have a dedicated department that handles social media related issues. Organizations need to frame their social media policies so that it provides them with the ways and means to deal with possible opportunities and threats. The spread and easy accessibility of the internet has taken away the luxury that used to exist when non web based sources were used as a social media tool (Kane, et al., n.d.). The use of social media enables organizations to get
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
Initial Market - Essay Example The latter poses the most difficult challenge as it requires creativity and a real close look at what consumers want. One issue that can be addressed is the combination packaging of products for the 1 million male cigar and cigarette customers who use both products. We can obtain some information from this segment in terms of cigar to cigarette use ratios, to provide the most desirable product combination. Branding efforts of cigarette products should continue to focus on the retailers who will likely sell higher volumes of product. Data from each retailer and customers who purchased our cigarette brand have disclosed the amount of sales volume we can expect at each location. Survey research efforts have provided information regarding target segments. In addition to the 1 million male cigar/cigarette smokers, the 10 million smokers in Britain come from all geographic regions, with highest concentrations in urban areas. The largest age group is 18-34, almost equally male and female, w ith construction, production and service jobs being the most reported occupations. Though many in the 35-55 age group have ceased to purchase tobacco products, this segment still contains a significant portion of cigarette consumers, as the largest segment of the general population. population. For the youngest age group cost and convenience are the main reasons for selecting brand, though recognition is another important factor as well. This group selects brand products based on exposure or influence. As peers share products and discuss products they expose others to product brands. Promotional activities for this age group should include referral bonuses and similar programs. Registration cards are sent or given to consumers who have already provided survey information. Three detachable coupons are given to friends so they can go to a retail location for a free pack of cigarettes. The customer is also entitled to one free pack for their efforts. Such activities will help to increase brand awareness. Our brand should be priced just below competitors, to urge repeated purchase and imprint the brand on this age group. "Pricing and price related promotions are among the most important marketing tools employed by tobacco companies" (Chaloupka, et al). Though this may be true in the introductory phase, future efforts should focus on brand image and availability as they are long term factors that affect buyers. The 35-55 age group is a tougher market. Smokers is this segment will likely have tried several brands. While price is a factor, taste and availability are the most important considerations. Market saturation, with placement of products in the most frequented retailers should be the main focus. Preliminary market research data suggests that our brand satisfies consumers at a moderately high level, within the 1-5 ratings system used. Availability is also important. Those established with families and careers often don't Have time to search for desired brands. Our research data also indicated that many in this segment frequent retailers located along routes to and from work. Proper distribution also improves brand recognition. "The marketer doesn't just need to tell people about the product, but also to ensure that it is priced, distributed and engineered correctly In this context, "correctly" means in a way that meets the needs of the customer" (Hastings, MacFayden &Eadie). Meeting the needs of customers in a relatively saturated market is difficult. However, opportunity exists for unique offerings that are generally provided by specialty tobacco companies. In Greece, tobacco use