Rhetoric And Media



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Social capital has been a term used lately in sociology theories. It is a term that has been in use for a while with Durkheim proposing that involvement and participation in groups can have positive consequences for the individual and the community (Durkheim, 2014). In this day and age, social capital describes the intensity of networks among people and the shared values that arise from those networks. With the rise of so many social networks in the world, there are so many changes to social capital happening.

People who would never have interacted before are forming their own networks which have both negative and positive effects. Understanding how the changes are impacting interactions is important to both policy-makers and the communities they occur in. Can social capital be measured? It is complex but it can be done. One way to measure it is levels of trust, membership to their selected social networks and how much social contact the individuals have. The internet has blurred social capital and it is no longer about physical contact.

Individuals are connecting and helping people who they have never met before leading to a surge of charity based networks. Citizens are able to organise petitions to their governments on issues they feel should be looked into and this has brought with it a kind of ‘citizen police’. As with everything, it also has its negative impact. This essay will look at social capital, aspects of social capitals and networks and the impact internet has had on social capital. Has use of the internet increased decreased or supplemented social capital? Do the capabilities of the internet reduce contact, participation and involvement in the community? How is it possible to measure the effects of the use of internet on social interactions? An attempt will be made in the following sections to answer these questions.




A social relationship is the common factor in all definitions used for social capital. Social capital has been linked to social status, health and well-being and indication of prosperity. Social capital has several elements; first, social networks and social support is necessary. This support includes information exchange, emotional, financial or social support. Those within similar circles ask for help from each other as they are more familiar and have similar interests. The other aspect is trust and often comes as a result of participating in social networks. It is built over time and is essential to the social network growing.

There are various forms of social networks within social capital (Wellman, 2001). First, there are formal and informal networks. Formal networks are more organised such as sports clubs and create formal support such as neighbourhood associations. Informal networks could be a group of friends who met on a trip and is more of an emotional bond between the members of that network. Another form of social network that is often confused is between bonding and bridging networks. Bonding networks refer to those who are similar to each other whereas bridging networks refer to those who are different from each other. Bonding networks are based on similarities whereas bridging networks are based on differences. It has been shown in previous studies that there are differences in social capital geographically and a decline in social capital in various countries.

When the internet was introduced, it was feared that its use would only be limited to traditional internet users such as engineers and computer scientists. Over the years, its use has expanded to include students, businesspeople, professionals and parents. It is easily accessible across the globe and can be found everywhere including homes and schools. The internet offers constant social connectivity on a larger and faster scale. The internet has created new forms of online interaction, connecting those with similar interests, overcoming limitations of distance and time. The internet has enabled friends and family to keep in contact at low costs with sharing of photos, music and videos therefore enhancing the relationship.

Organizational development has also improved with the amount of information found on the internet and the flow of information between individuals and groups. People are able to arrange offline to meet online and discuss their interests and keep up-to-date with current situations. So if the internet increases social capital, then there should be more offline personal contact and community participation. The final element in social capital is community, be it local or global. All the social networks create a sort of community that is held together by their beliefs, interests or cause. Looking into how something as global and powerful as the internet affects social capital would be key to understand how social capital has changed over the years.

A positive impact on social capital is that performance and attitudes across the globe are improving. Individuals are able to access information and share with others. They are able to advise each other and feel like they are playing a role in the community. This improves an individual’s self-worth and improves their mental health. Governments are able to interact with their citizens more effectively and let them know current happenings. Citizens as well are able to participate more effectively such as creating on line petitions for issues they feel strongly about and effect change. Such interactions improve relations between communities that though diverse, have common interests.

The internet has also improved attitudes towards various issues such as race, sexual orientation and climate change. It has provided a platform for communities to present their ideologies and beliefs. Though each individual has a right to their own opinion, injustices and prejudices are being exposed daily on the internet; as a result people are aware of what is happening around the globe and bringing attention to issues that would otherwise be hidden away. Offline contact is increasing as communities gear towards showing solidarity in causes such as marches and meetings. This has been seen with communities protesting particular social injustices.

A different view is that the internet has decreased social capital as a higher value is placed on offline interactions compared to face-to-face interactions which are inherently of higher value. Internet activity has been increasing steadily which has led to decrease in time committed to other activities. Attention is drawn from physical activities and the less time people spend with one another, social skills decline (Nie et al, 2002). This has been compared to the effect television has had on the society.

Studies have shown that because of the internet, there is less interaction between individuals. In households, this has led to lack of communication and increased incidences of children misbehaving. Parents are able to bring their work home and so do not give their children the attention and guidance they need. The internet has also made available a lot of information to children and so they make decisions off of what they see online. This has led to increase in bullying and them seeking validation from online communities (Valkenburg, 2009). Social capital has decreased dramatically within adolescents as shown in recent studies. Social skills are on a decline as individuals skills in interacting face-to-face are decreasing.

The internet has provided an alternative means of communication other than the conventional methods; it is cheaper and faster. Online interactions have also created new relationships that would not have existed before. It is able to connect people with similar interests and opinions across the globe thereby creating online communities (Quan-Hasse & Wellman, 2004). The relationships formed online are no different to those formed offline (Mckenna et al, 2002). The anonymity of the internet may have helped in the formation of these relationships but it also comes with less disclosure and opportunities to mislead others. This plays on levels of trust within people; and trust is a measure of social capital.

The threat of terrorism has had an impact on social capital. Extremists use the internet to propagate propaganda and have led to an increase in number of individuals joining terror groups. As a result, companies and individuals are being monitored and this has led to decrease in trust between individuals and companies that handle their information. In addition, hackers have been active in the last five years, releasing sensitive information. These incidences have not been studies yet to see how social capital is affected. It would be a worthwhile research pursuit. Internet use supplements network capital by extending existing levels of face-to-face and telephone contact. The Internet is especially used to maintain ties with friends. Friends usually interact as either two people or two couples, whereas family and neighbours are likely to be in densely knit social networks.

The internet is used as a tool for solitary activities that keep people from engaging with their families and in their communities. Not all online activities compete with offline interactions, for example, people read newspapers or search for information online or offline. Internet use increases participatory capital. The more people are on the internet and the more they are involved in online organizational and political activity, the more they are involved in offline organizational and political activity as shown in a previous study (Wellman et al, 2001). People already participating offline will use the internet to extend their participation. This is because they can be able to find like-minded people and it increases their enthusiasm for their cause. This in turn, increases community involvement as a wider group of people get involved and contribute to their cause or interest. It has been argued that the internet cannot be a source of ‘real relationships’ as the interactions on-line are only on surface value known as secondary relationships whereas primary relationships are more intimate (Turkle, 1996). Accountability and responsibility are not clearly defined in online communities and so this has been shown in online retaliations that often go out of hand.

The internet is an ever evolving social technology which evolves according to social trends. It has created new forms of social capital that need to captured using new forms of measurement. It is also important to note that not all internet use is social; it is also used to gather and disseminate information. This is a function that is not considered when looking into social capital.

The Internet occupies an important place in everyday life, connecting friends and those with similar interests. It is adding on to rather than transforming or diminishing social capital. Although it helps connect distant communities, it also connects local communities. Online communities around a wide variety of topics grow by allowing people to exchange ideas and provide social support (Wellman & Gulia, 1999). The Internet has led to new communication forms, for example, the use of short text messages on mobile phones to increase social contact as it is often used to arrange face-to-face meetings with friends (Katz & Aakhus, 2002). The internet’s effects on society will be important and its effects on social capital may be extensive in the long run.



















Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital. American journal of sociology, S95-S120.

Durkheim, E. (2014). The rules of sociological method: and selected texts on sociology and its method. Simon and Schuster.

Lee, D., Jeong, K. Y., & Chae, S. (2011). Measuring social capital in East Asia and other world regions: index of social capital for 72 countries. Global Economic Review, 40(4), 385-407.

McKenna, K. Y., Green, A. S., & Gleason, M. E. (2002). Relationship formation on the Internet: What’s the big attraction?. Journal of social issues, 58(1), 9-31.

Nie, N. H., & Hillygus, D. S. (2002). The impact of Internet use on sociability: Time-diary findings. It & Society, 1(1), 1-20.

Sparrowe, R. T., Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., & Kraimer, M. L. (2001). Social networks and the performance of individuals and groups. Academy of management journal, 44(2), 316-325.

Turkle, S. (1996). Virtuality and its discontents searching for community in cyberspace.

Valkenburg, P. M., & Peter, J. (2009). Social consequences of the internet for adolescents a decade of research. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(1), 1-5.

Wang, C., & Steiner, B. (2015). Can Ethno‐Linguistic Diversity Explain Cross‐Country Differences in Social Capital?: A Global Perspective. Economic Record, 91(294), 338-366.

Wellman, B., Haase, A. Q., Witte, J., & Hampton, K. (2001). Does the Internet increase, decrease, or supplement social capital? Social networks, participation, and community commitment. American behavioral scientist, 45(3), 436-455.







Homeland security is becoming a thriving career field for anyone including me who has interests in protecting the country from foreign threats. This comes as a result from the 9/11 terrorist attack that hit the country hard. A degree in homeland security covers concepts such as border security, prevention of theft instances and also provides deep training in quick decision making and crisis management. When studying homeland security under a degree program, one should expect to study forensics studies, crime scene investigation, criminal justices, how to dispose off of hazardous material and bioterrorism. One is taught how to be prepared to work in situations with crises and one also learns how to provide protection for learning institutions, government agencies, families and also other different institutions through negotiations, criminal disarmament and other security skills.

I chose this cause because I am interested in preserving the security of the country and its people. Another reason why I chose it is my interest in forensic science and security which can be grown and matured in an environment of homeland security. The degree curriculum includes studies in psychology, engineering, biotechnology and even political science. A full degree program a typical curriculum covers topics related to crisis management. Field experience also happens to be an important aspect of this degree which may include internship that involves working with law enforcement, military and also other homeland security professionals.  This internship offers direct experience because one works with other advisors and administrators involved with the program.  At the end of the course one is required to have a better understanding of how the different agencies come together and work together to make homeland security successful. Part of the coursework involves table top exercises that are group activities where different teams must work together in responding to situations and are mostly used to prepare the department for such situations as those they practice on.

An average bachelors degree takes up to 3 to 3 and a half years which is full time with 4 years being the normal if part time, the degree takes four, four and a half years. If online, it takes two and a half years to four years worth of studies.

In future, this degree will help me land a job with homeland security agencies. It will help me with knowledge on instruction of securing borders as stated earlier, waterways and seaports. This program will provide me with an important understanding of safety and security issues. It will prepare me for the growing field of private and public sector disaster preparedness.  Also, there is rising demand for employees with knowledge and experience in security and emergency fields. There are high employment prospects for people who have done a homeland security degree. After graduation, I will be prepared to work in different settings.














McElreath, David; Jensen, Carl; Wigginton, Michael; Doss, Daniel; Nations, Robert; Van Slyke, Jeff (2014). Introduction to Homeland Security (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-1439887523 .


Research Outline on benefits of medication for children with ADHD



Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is one of the common disorders affecting children. The core elements of ADHD are the development of inappropriate poor attention span or age-related inappropriate hyperactivity or impulsivity, or both. The disorder can cause significant impairment in daily functioning of a child.

Treating and managing ADHD is thus a very important step that should be taken. Ideally, there are many management approaches that can be taken. However, the use of medication is considered the most suitable management approach for ADHD among the children. The outline will explore why this approach is considered the best.


  1. Medication reduce hyperactivity and impulsive behavior
  1. Methylphenidate can lessen motor activity and hence address hyperactivity (Millichap, 2010).
  2. Methylphenidate can increase focus and attention and grades of affected children
  • It has also been found that in small moderate doses, methylphenidate benefits learning without hindering creative or flexible thinking (Millichap, 2010).
  1. Medication improve the motor functioning of the child
  1. A controlled study on Ritalin reveals that it enhances visual perception of a child
  2. One of the earliest controlled studies of the effectiveness of Ritalin shows that it can improve eye-hand coordination and hence improves drawing and handwriting (Millichap, 2010).
  • Methylphenidate can lessen motor activity hence allowing children to coordinate his or her hand with the brain
  1. Medication improve cognitive performance of the children
  1. A study on the use of methylphenidate and other central nervous stimulants involving about 5000 children reveals that 70-80% of children experienced improved learning abilities (Millichap, 2010).
  2. Controlled trials on the effectiveness of Ritalin reveals that the participants showed improvement in intelligence and cognitive functioning.
  • Controlled doses of methylphenidate can improve learning without hindering creative or flexible thinking (Millichap, 2010).



Despite the fact that medication has many benefits as far as management of ADHD among children is concerned, some parents are concerned that a medication given to help focusing ability and control impulsivity may at the same time reduce creativity and flexibility of a child’s thinking


Researchers evaluating effects of medication on creativity found that methylphenidate has no adverse effects on creativity in 19 boys with ADHD


Some parents are worried that psychostimulants have some contraindication when used to treat ADHD (Brown, 2009).


A more recent literature has challenge the absolute contraindication of stimulants among the children because most children do not have cormobid conditions and that drugs such as clonidine do not have any contraindication (Brown, 2009).


Based on the foregoing analysis, it is apparent that there are many benefits of taking medication for children with ADHD. The analysis reveals three key benefits, which are fully supported by evidence-based findings. Although the paper also identified some counter-arguments, it is apparent that most of them are baseless.




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Hendren, R. L. (1999). Disruptive behavior disorders in children and adolescents. Washington, D.C. ;London: American Psychiatric Press.

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Brown, T. E. (2009). ADHD comorbidities: Handbook for ADHD complications in children and adults. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub.

Millichap, J. G. (2010). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder handbook: A physician’s guide to ADHD. New York: Springer

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Capital Flows and Current Account Imbalances

The first important to note with regard to capital flows is that they can be influenced by external factors, such as low interest rates abroad and also recession, and internal factors such as high margins of capital productivity domestically, reforms in structures, as well as better credit worthiness that may be induced by good macroeconomic policies.

With regard to current account imbalance, when capital flows are inwards as a result of the internal or pull factors there will be no imbalances. On the other hand, when capital flows are influenced by the external factors, the likely outcome is that it will cause current account imbalances. The reason for this outcome is that there are four policy responses that may influence how the current account is impacted by the capital inflows. These policy responses are sterilization, the fiscal policies, the exchange rate policies, and capital control policies (Yan, 2008). Because there are time frames and political influence in the implementation of each of these policies, sterilization is the mostly commonly used one because the other three, are not very easy to implement on the basis of time and politics.

In the event of excess capital inflows, the monetary authority in a nation will either apply full, partial, or even no sterilization. In the case of no sterilization or partial sterilization, inflation will most likely increase and the result could be a deteriorated current account, hence an imbalance. It is good to note that in case of excess capital inflows and there is full sterilization, the current account will remain unchanged hence imbalances on the current account as a result of capital inflows happens mainly when there is partial or no sterilization because of the monetary expansion within the economy.


Yan, H. (2008). Foreign Capital Inflows and the Current Account Imbalance: Which Causality Direction? Journal of Economic Integration, 23(2), 434-461.

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A Choral Finale (Beethoven)


The Chloral finale depicts the musical values that are manifested in innovativeness that are intimately connected with Beethoven and his music. 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is one of the best known works in classical music where the composer, Beethoven uses voices of four vocal soloists and a chorus to generate a symphony. The success of the musical concert by Beethoven was revealed by one of the most prominent musical newspapers in Vienna which referred to the concert as a grand performance of a new work (Khnopff, 1883).

One of the reasons that made the concert a success was the time dedicated to the entire performance. The performance was long complex and required a larger orchestra.  The use of a chorus and vocal soloists in the final movements made the chorus a great success (Khnopff, 1883).

Another critical aspect that is loudly manifested in this classical musical concern is the fact that the composer, Beethoven decided to merely convert an already existing poem by Fredrich Schiller called “Ode to Joy” to a classical music performance. Despite the success realized by the concert, Beethoven’s lack of originality makes his works less appealing to poets and other musical artists, composers and performers (Khnopff, 1883).

The 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony reveals the actions of a great music composer in terms of style and dynamics. A great music composer’s actions should always be animated through back and forth movements, stretching and crouching among other movement actions in music performances (Khnopff, 1883).

Another important attribute that made Beethoven’s musical performance a classic masterpiece was his deafness. Beethoven could not hear the applause from the audience at the end of the symphony, the mezzo-soprano soloist had to tap him on the arm so that he could be able to turn around and witness the thunderous applause from the audience and many of those attending the concern found it one of the most touching music stories of all time (Khnopff, 1883).

The 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony works was created in an era of repression that was characterized by the French revolution, and napoleon wars and the author, Sachs demonstrates that the composer, Beethoven was not the only one who was unhappy with the state of the world at the time, and that Beethoven’s classical music masterpiece became a prism through which people could use to view politics, aesthetics and the world at the time (Khnopff, 1883).

In the 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Soprano and Alto were performed by two famous young singers. The Sopranoist was a German born young singer who had made her debut in music at a tender age of 15 was admired for her charming personality and fleet colotura skills. The contralto was a 21 year old Austro-Hungarian whose stage debut was in native city and was admired for her mastery in anecdote regarding the applause at the 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for turning the deaf composer, Beethoven around to witness the thunderous applause from the audience after the classical music performance (Khnopff, 1883).

After the 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, testimonies from the participants revealed that the music performance was under-rehearsed and that the participants only engaged in two full rehearsals which were rather scrappy despite the success in the actual performance, Beethoven was several measures off, yet he continued to conduct the performance, however, the public reception was beyond expectations (Tovey, 2015).

The success of the 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony performance can also be attributed to diverse instrumentation used at the premiere and they included woodwinds, brass, voices, percussion and string which were augmented with a wind pipe assigned two players to each (Khnopff, 1883).

The Form used in the 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth was based on four symphony movements which were marked as allegro, scherzo, adago molto and recitative (Tovey, 2015).

Some of the performance challenges witnessed in the premiere include use of an uncalibrated and damaged metronome, horn and trumpet alterations and that the second bassoon was found to be doubling basses in some measures of the finale (Watson, 2010).

One of the most outstanding aspects of the 1824 Premiere of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was that it was so unorthodox that it confused and amazed the audience during the premiere and yet it has become a standard for creative artists and composers in the subsequent generations (Khnopff, 1883).

The age in which the symphony was created especially the music is clearly manifested in the events that are depicted in the play, summed up through acts of repression and isolation. The manifestation of these events in the play is a motivation for the audience who are encouraged to confront a brave new emotional, spiritual and sound universe (Watson, 2010).

Finally, Beethoven’s actions in the classical music play conflicts with all his embracing love for humanity because he shows great contempt for most human beings. However, the justifications for his actions are compounded by his campaign against social ills at the time (Khnopff, 1883).




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Fernand Khnopff, (1883): Listening to Schumann