A question of taste. Fashion

Concept and a general characteristic fashion, the stages of its origin and development, as well as the main factors affecting this process. Assessment of the role and importance of fashion in today's society, a description of the common areas and trends.

Рубрика Социология и обществознание
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 31.03.2016
Размер файла 21,8 K

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A question of taste. Fashion

trend fashion society

Fashion is something we deal with every day. Even people, who say they don't care what they wear, choose clothes every morning that say a lot about them and how they feel that day. What influences our choice of clothes is an interesting question. I believe that most of the people do not follow the fashion displayed on the catwalk. That kind of clothes is a product of famous high-class designers' work, it is often very extravagant and extremely expensive. It is also not designed to be worn every day, but it is suitable for some special occasions.

However, we definitely borrow some ideas about fashion from music clips, videos, books and television. Movies also have a big impact on what people wear. For example it is known that more sunglasses were sold in America after the movie «Men In Black.» Sometimes a trend becomes world-wide. Back in the 50's teenagers everywhere dressed like Elvis Presley. Musicians and other cultural icons as well as political and royal figures have always influenced what we are wearing. Newspapers and magazines reported on what Hillary Clinton was wearing when she was the 1st lady. The death of Princess Diana was a severe blow to the high fashion world, where her clothes were daily news.

Depending on their attitude towards clothes and fashion, people can be divided in three groups: fashion slaves, spending all their money on the latest clothes even if they don't look good in them; fashion fans, who enjoy wearing modern clothes but not obsessed by them and people who just don't care how they look. Personally I place myself between fashion fans and people who don't care how they look. Although I enjoy shopping very much and like to try things on, especially when I look good in them, I don't spend much time choosing and buying clothes. And of course I do it only when I really need something new to wear, and not in order to kill time.

My style and the range of clothes that I have are defined by the activities I engage in. Work occupies most of my time and therefore most of the clothes that I have corresponds with the dress code, registered in the policy of our company. According to the dress code, an employee is not allowed to wear certain items of clothing to work. For example, men are supposed to wear ties and business suits, and nobody is allowed to wear jeans, except on Fridays. Women's clothes are not supposed to be skin-tight, too short and too open. All of the shirts are supposed to have collars. Clothes also can't be too bright, the colors should correspond to the corporate colors - dark blue and white.

American Character

American society seems to be much more informal than the British and, in some ways, is characterized by less social distinction. Students do not stand up when a teacher enters the room. One does not always address a person by his title, such as «Major» or «General» or «Doctor» in the case of a holder of a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The respectful «Sir» is not always used in the northern and western parts of the country.

However, it is best to use a person's title when first meeting him/her, and then allow the person to tell you how he/she wishes to be called. They use first names when calling each other, slap on the back, joke and are much freer in their speech, which is more slangy than the conventional British English. You will often hear the word «Hi» (a form of greeting among friends) used instead of the usual «Hello,» and «Howdy» instead of «How do you do?»

Those who don't easily show these signs of friendship are called «snooty» or «snobbish.» In contrast, people who show such simple signs of friendship, particularly to their own economic and social inferiors, are praised as «regular guys,» or as «truly democratic.» As a description of character, democratic is generally used to signify that a person of high social or economic status acts in such a way that his or her inferiors are not reminded of their inferiority.

Yet, in spite of all the informality, Americans, even in the way they address each other, show consciousness of social distinction. For example, one is likely to use somewhat more formal language when talking to superiors. While the informal «Hello» is an acceptable greeting from employee to employer, the employee is more apt to say «Hello, Mr. Ferguson,» while the employer may reply «Hello, Jim.» Southerners make a point of saying «Yes, sir,» or «Yes, Ma'am,» or «No, sir,» or «No, Ma'am,» when talking to an older person or a person in a position of authority. While this is good form all over the United Stales, «Yes. Mr. Weston» or «No, Mrs. Baker» is somewhat more common in a similar situation in the North or West.

Certain other forms of politeness are observed on social occasions. Women may wear hats in church. in restaurants, and often when attending luncheons in public places and other public social functions except those that take place in the evening. Men who do wear hats ordinarily remove them in elevators, churches, restaurants, private homes, business offices - in fad, in most public situations when they wish to show respect.

American values

It is believed that we learn our culture only through knowledge of other cultures. That is why it is necessary to compare and analyze their basic values and beliefs.

The most important thing to understand about American is probably their devotion to individualism. They have been trained since very early in their lives to consider themselves as separate individuals who are responsible for their own situations in life and their own destinies. They have not been trained to see themselves as members of a close-knit, tightly interdependent family, religious group, tribe, nation, or other collectivity. Conversely Russians find themselves part of some group. They always have some kind of attachment, especially family relations.

Another distinctive difference is in the attitude to change and future. Americans are generally less concerned about history and traditions than are people from older societies. «History doesn't matter,» many of them will say. «It's the future that counts.» They look ahead. People from many other cultures, as well as Russian, have a pronounced reverence for the past. In those cultures the future is considered to be in the hands of fate, God, or at least the few powerful people or families dominating society.

Time is also of great importance in the USA. For Americans, time is a resource, like water or coal, which can be used well or poorly. «Time is money.» Thus, Americans admire a well-organized person, one who has a written list of things to do and a schedule for doing them. The ideal person is punctual and considerate of other people's time. Russians are more likely to conceive of time as something that is simply there around them, not something they can use.

The values and beliefs that we point out as national can be found worldwide. But what is plausible in the USA is not quite valid in Russia. Whereas Americans value one concept, in Russia it is not paid any special attention.

Demographic Changes - Overpopulation

The surge in population is both a cause of the changed relationship and one of the clearest illustrations of how startling the change has been, especially when viewed in a historical context. From the emergence of modern humans 200,000 years ago until Julius Caesar's time, fewer than 250 million people walked on the face of the earth. When Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World 1,500 years later, there were approximately 500 million people on earth. By the time Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the number had doubled again, to I billion. By midway through this century, at the end of World War II, the number had risen to just above 2 billion people.

In Other words, from the beginning of humanity's appearance on earth to 1945, it took more than ten thousand generations to reach a world population of 2 billion people. Now, in the course of one human lifetime - mine - the world population will increase from 2 to more than 9 billion, and it is already more than halfway there.

Overpopulation is often defined as the condition of having more people than can live on Earth in comfort, happiness, and health and still leave the planet a fit place for future generations. To most environmentalists, the data suggest that the planet is already overpopulated. Because of differing concepts of carrying capacity, however, experts differ widely over what level of population is considered too high.

Some project that if everyone existed at a minimum survival level, the earth could support 20 to 48 billion people. This anthill existence would require that everyone exist only on a diet of grain, cultivation all arable land, and mining much of the earth's crust of a depth of 1.6 kilometers (1 mile). Other analysts believe the earth could support 7 to 12 billion people at a decent standard of living by distributing the world's land and food supply more equitably and shifting from less abundant resources (such as lead, tin, uranium, oil, and natural gas) to more abundant resources (such as aluminum, glass, and various forms of solar energy).

Others opposed to population regulation feel that all people should have the freedom to have as many children as they want. To some, population regulation is a violation of their deep religious beliefs. To others, it is an intrusion into their personal privacy and freedom. To minorities, population regulation is sometimes seen as a form of genocide to keep their numbers and power from rising.

Proponents of population regulation point to the fact that we are not providing adequate basic necessities for one out of five people on Earth today who don't have the opportunity to be a net economic gain for their country. They see people overpopulation in MDCs (more developed countries) as threats to Earth's life support systems for us and other species.

These analysts recognize that population growth is not the only cause or our environmental and resource problems. They believe, however, that adding several hundred million more people in MDCs and several billion more in LDSs (less developed countries) will intensify many environmental and social problems by increasing resource use and waste, environmental degradation, rapid climate change, and pollution. To proponents of population regulation, it is unethical for us not to encourage a sharp drop in birth rates and unsustainable forms of resource use to prevent a sharp rise in death rates and human misery and a decrease in Earth's biodiversity in the future. Despite promises about sharing the world's wealth, the gap between the rich and poor has been getting larger since 1960. Proponents of population regulation believe this is caused by a combination of population growth and unwillingness of the wealthy to share the world's wealth and resources more fairly. They call for MDCs to use their economic systems to reward population regulation and sustainable forms of economic growth instead of continuing their unsustainable forms of economic growth and encouraging LDCs to follow this eventually unsustainable and disastrous path for the planet.

Recently, the Population Crisis Committee complied a human suffering index for each of 130 countries based on ten measures of human welfare. They found a high correlation between the level of human suffering and the rate of population increase in countries. The 30 countries falling in the extreme human-suffering range-all in Africa and Asia-averaged a high annual rate of population increase of 2.8%. The 44 countries with a high human suffering rate-all in Africa, Asia, and Latin America-also had an average annual population increase of 2.8%.

Hobbies

A «hobby» is a special interest or activity that you do in your time off. Some people keep pets as hobby. They keep rabbits, or fishes. They train dogs to do tricks, or keep pigeons to race and carry messages. Some are crazy about plants. They try to grow cacti or rare tropical flowers in their kitchens and sitting rooms.

Others are mad about their car or their motorbike. They spend their Saturdays and Sundays washing them, painting them, or buying new bits and pieces to make them go even faster.

Children and teenagers are great collectors. They collect stamps, or postcards or matchboxes, or pictures of a favourite footballer or pop star.

Many people make things as a hobby. Some teach themselves at home, but a lot of people go to evening classes at their local college. Just look under letter B in a list of London or New York evening classes and you'll find: Ballet, Batik, Bengali, Body building, Breadmaking and Byzantium.

But not everyone goes to evening classes to learn about his special interest. No one helped these people to do what they did.

A «hobby» is usually something that a person does alone. But American (and British) families sometimes like to do things together, too.

American families often have quite a lot of money to spend on their recreation. They can all enjoy their holiday home or their boot somewhere in the country away from home.

Americans love to get out of town into the wild. and many go for holidays or long weekends into the thirty-live fabulous national parks. These magnificent areas of countryside include tropical forests, high mountains, dry deserts, long sandy coasts. grassy prairies and wooded mountains full of wild animals. The idea of these parks, which cover 1% of the whole area of the USA. is to make «a great breathing place for the national lungs», and to keep different parts of the land as they were before men arrived. There are camping places in the national parks as well as museums, boat trips and evening campfire meetings.

Americans really enjoy new «gadgets», especially new ways of travelling. In the winter, the woods are full of «snowmobiles» (cars with skis in the front). In the summer they ride their «dune buggins» across the sands or take to the sky in hang gliders.

But Americans do not only spend their free time having fun. They are very interested in culture too. Millions take part-time courses in writing. painting and music, and at weekends the museums, art galleries and concert halls are full.

Country-Side

Nature has always been a favourite theme for poets. Storms and adventures on the sea have inspired them to write stirring verses. Great forests have led them to write solemn songs. Mountains and valleys, hills and meadows, too, have given them inspiration. And, indeed, can you find anyone who would not be thrilled by the beauties of nature, who would not be stirred by the charms of shape, colour and motion?

I think everyone enjoys being out in the country. There is a great charm about gathering berries or looking for mushrooms in the silence of the wood. Perhaps you enjoy sauntering in the fields or rambling through the sweet-scented woods where as you move along you stop now and then to admire the white-stemmed birch trees or some blossoming shrubs. You may like climbing lulls or following strange trails or looking for unusual plants. At the top of each hill, at each turn in the trail you come upon something new, unexpected.

Perhaps you prefer watching insects, animals or birds. You may watch lines of busy animals as they carry bits of food to their lull-like home, or bees as they hover over flowers. The more you observe, the more you come to know about the beauty of the world around you, and you find a new interest in trees and flowers, fields and valleys and in the animals of the forest.

Ecology

We live on the earth. It is very, very big. There is a lot of water on the earth. It is in rivers, lakes, seas and oceans. There are a lot of forests and fields, hills and mountains on it. The earth is full of wonders. Different animals live on the earth. Different plants grow on it. The earth is beautiful. There are large countries and small countries. There are warm countries and cold countries. There are some countries where there are four seasons in a year and some countries where there are only two. When the sun shines it is day. When the sun does not shine it is night. When it is day in one country it is night in another. You can see the moon and the stars in the sky at night. People live in different countries. They speak different languages.

People have lived on our planet for many years. They lived and live on different continents, in different countries. People depend on their planet, on the sun, on animals and plants around them. People must take care of Earth. Our ecology becomes worse and worse with every new day. Many species of animals and birds are disappearing nowadays. People destruct wildlife, cut down trees to make furniture. They forget that people can't live without trees and plants, because they fill air with oxygen. And, of course, great problems are population and animals destruction. The main reason of pollution is rubbish. Most of our rubbish goes to big holes in the ground, called `dumps'. But dumps are very dangerous for our life `cause they are full of rats, which can carry infections away from dumps. Another way to get rid of rubbish is to burn it. But the fires make poisons, which go into the air and pollute it. But pollution isn't the only actual problem. Every day a big number of animals disappears. People kill animals for different aims: e.g. people hunt whales for their meat and oil; elephants for their tusks, crocodiles for their leather and so on. And also animals are used for medical experiments. The most wide - speared from such animals are monkeys. Modern life is bad for animals, birds, fish. The air isn't fresh and the water isn't pure. They don't have good meal and facilities for the life. You can find their names in the Red Book.

The planet Earth is only a tiny part of the universe, but it's the only place where human beings can live. Today, our planet is in serious danger. Acid rains, global warming, air and water pollution, overpopulation are the problems that threaten human life on Earth.

Who is to blame for the disaster? The answer is simple: all of us. Our forests are disappearing because they are cut down or burnt. If this trend continues, one day we won't have enough oxygen to breathe.

The seas are in danger. They are filled with poison: industrial and nuclear waste, chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The Mediterranean is already nearly dead; the North Sea is following. The Aral Sea is on the brink of extinction. If nothing is done about it, one day nothing will be able to live in the seas. Every ten minutes one kind of animal, plant or insect dies out for ever. If nothing is done about it, one million species that are alive today may soon become extinct.

Air pollution is another serious problem. In Cairo just breathing the air is dangerous - equivalent to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. The same holds true for many Russian cities. Factories emit tons of harmful chemicals. These emissions have disastrous consequences for our planet. They are the main reason for the greenhouse effect and acid rains. An even greater threat are nuclear power stations. We all know how tragic the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are.

Fortunately, it's not too late to solve these problems. We have the time, the money and even the technology to make our planet a better, cleaner and safer place. We can plant trees and create parks for endangered species. We can recycle litter. We can support green parties and put pressure on those in power. Together we can save the planet and all of us with it.

Of course, people can't stay indifferent to these problems. There are a lot of special organizations, which try to save our nature. The most known are: The Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals (The RSPCA), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenpeace. The RSPCA tries to protect animals from bad use. It operates big nation campaigns aimed at lost pets, circus animals. The WWF rescued several species of animals, mammals as well as birds. These organization also helped to create more than 250 National parks. Greenpeace began its work 20 years ago from saving whales. And now Greenpeace is a world-famous organization, which saves plants, animals and people. These organization, want to rescue animals, to help them to survive and to save jungle rain forests, which are in danger of destruction. And they also help animals `cause many of them have already gone as they have nowhere to live. Their homes, the trees, have disappeared. We must save wild animals. And we must find the right way to save land, people and animals. We must lake care of nature, because we are part of it.

I would advise everyone to think about this problem. Together we can find a solution!

Seasons

There are four seasons in a year: spring, summer, autumn and winter. In the United States autumn is called Fall. Each season lasts three months. In most countries of the world the new year begins on the 1st of January. This day is a holiday in Russia.

Every season is beautiful in its own way. Winter in Russia is cold, especially in the northern regions. The sun sets early and rises late. The rivers and lakes are frozen over. Everything is covered with snow. Sometimes it is very cold, and the temperature can drop to thirty below zero. Going out in weather like this isn't very pleasant. Winter is a good time for sports. People go in for skating and skiing. Tobogganing is also popular, not as a kind of sport, but rather as fun. Winter in St. Petersburg is worse than in Central Russia because it is damp and clouds often cover the sun.

In March it gets warmer and warmer. The sun becomes hotter and brighter. The days grow longer, the snow and ice gradually melt away. Spring comes, and nature awakens to new life after its winter sleep. The air is fresh, the sky is blue and cloudless. All kinds of plants and flowers appear. The ground is covered with bright-green grass, and the first flowers; the trees are in full blossom. Birds return to the North from their winter stay in the South and start building their nests. Farmers get ready to plough their fields. The days are warm, and everything is full of life and joy.

Spring is followed by summer. The weather is usually fine in summer, but it can be very hot, especially in July. Sometimes there are storms with thunder and lightning, but they do not last long. They freshen the air and help the plants fight the heat. In summer people try to get away from the city noise and spend more time in the open air. They pick mushrooms and berries in the forest, swim in the rivers and lakes, go fishing and boating. Most people prefer to have their holidays in summer. In St. Petersburg in June the sun does not set at all. This period is known as the White Nights.

Autumn begins in September. The days become shorter and the nights become longer. The leaves turn yellow, red and brown and fall to the ground. Most birds fly away to warm countries. There is a short spell of dry sunny weather in September which is called Indian Summer. It is a beautiful time when the sky is cloudless, the trees around are golden, the air is transparent and it is still warm. September is also rich in fruit and all kinds of vegetables grown round St. Petersburg and also brought from Central Russia. It gets colder towards the end of September, and mists and drizzle begin. In October we have some really chilly days. In St. Petersburg November often brings snow with it.

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