Present Day Issue in Contemporary America

The articles I will discuss are Casselman, Ben’s “Why Some Scars From the Recession May Never Vanish.”  Published in The New York Times on 5 Oct. 2017  and Arenge, Andrew , et al. “NBC News Poll: American Fears of War Grow.” Published in NBC News on 18 July 2017.  Arenge et al.’s article utilizes the positivist theoretical approach since it is concerned with numbers and statistical interpretation of the issue in question (Babbie 33). The research aims to unearth the Americans’ feeling towards the probability of the USA engaging in a military conflict with Asian countries especially the North Korea. In the article, about three-quarters of Americans feel that America is likely to get involved in a military conflict within five years. Majority of them consider North Korea as the greatest threat to America as compared to Russia and ISIS. They feel that over the past year, the relationship with North Korea has deteriorated making it the most immediate threat to America. As opposed to the majority of Republicans the Democrats view diplomacy as the most appropriate method of addressing the situation.

America, being a great country, will continue to remain so provided what made it great remain unchanged. One of the most significant pillars of America is the liberty of conscience. Humans being superior to other animals on earth have inherent ability to decide what is best for them. To live well, one needs to acquire basic needs like food and security. To feel secure, one needs not only to live in a safe environment but also feel free from potential threats. In carrying a research such the one presented by Arenge et al., I would recommend positivist approach as I would like to exonerate my preconceived ideas and get the real picture about what others feel. Moreover, getting results from an appropriately selected sample would give a better view of what the whole population would be thinking. In employing questionnaires, social surveys, and structured interviews, I would not only widen my sample population but also get it a lot easier in data analysis and conclusion. Since North Korea started performing nuclear missiles tests, many Americans have a reason to worry, and by employing this method, it would be easier to get a picture representative of the whole country rather than a few peoples’ opinions.

Casselman’s article seeks to find answers as to why, even after the effects of the great recession appears to wane, many of the previously employed Americans have failed to get hired. Unemployment rate which was at its peak in2009 seems to diminish to less than 5% but many of citizens remain jobless.  Although it is not vivid why this has happened, Casselman gives some pointers. The economy has grown at a lower rate than before 2007. Also as some economists point out, the recession may have left permanent changes in the economy such that recovery alone may not suffice to bring those who were left jobless back to work. It is also speculated that federal disability payments may have motivated some people to opt to be out of work. However, these payments are mostly made to the elderly who take a smaller fraction of the workforce.

In this article, the researcher seeks to understand the question at hand. In undertaking this kind of study, I would employ interpretive theoretical approach. The fact that some people are unemployed may not necessarily indicate a lack of a job. There is a myriad of factors that may encourage or discourage one from seeking employment. People come from different social and educational backgrounds. A task which one person takes with enthusiasm may not be motivating for another person of the same skills. Therefore carrying this kind of research may require more participatory techniques rather than knowing the number of unemployed. In this kind of research, human behavior and interest play a key role in determining their working preferences. For instance after one loses a job; they may fall into drug abuse such that when a new job is available, the person may not be mentally or physically fit for the job. To comprehend the reasons for unemployment, social parameters such as language, shared values, and consciousness has to be put into consideration.

When undertaking studies, some ethical principles should be practiced. Of principal value is the willingness to participate. The intended sample population should be made aware of the research and be allowed to make an informed decision to join. Of equal importance is confidentiality and privacy of the participants. Information obtained should be guarded and used strictly for the study. Professionalism should reign on the part of the researcher throughout. For instance, in Casselman’s study, a participant may reveal that they drifted into alcohol and drugs use after losing the earlier jobs such that they fail a drug test for their next jobs. Such information should not be used to ridicule the participant but rather for the sole purpose of the research.

While Casselman employs interpretive approach, Arenge et al. use the positivist approach. While in Arenge et al.’s study one may employ structured questionnaire most and may be done online,  Casselman’s study requires one to interact more with the participants. Therefore regarding ethics, the researcher in Casselman’s study needs to more careful since while interacting with the participants, a wrong question may affect the response obtained from the participant. And in a worse scenario, if the participants feel the intrusion of their privacy they may refuse to continue with the study.

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