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Study On The Deprivation Trap Religion Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Theology
Wordcount: 4857 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The government of South Africa has called in an expert in community development to assist a group of individuals who have created an NGO (Non- governmental organization) to help deal with the alien landing that has happened 20 years ago. The humans ‘salvage’ the aliens and put them in a restricted zone on the outskirts of the city called District 9. In the beginning the MNU (multinational united), a multinational cooperation was in charge and was recently disbanded from service because the company ill-treating the alien group. It is the experts’ job to help the NGO better manage the aliens and treat them the way a typical community in South Africa would be treated, as many say that the very fact that they have traveled here means this particular species (or synthetic intelligence) is so far beyond us. The idea that the human race regards them, as low-grade life forms is not quite realistic. In summary, the main aim of the MNU was around the forced relocation of the aliens from District 9 to District 10, moving the aliens even further outside the outskirts of South Africa. Besides being constricted to the township and being forcibly relocated, they suffer various other kinds of oppression by MNU, very closely to the way blacks were treated during the time of apartheid, making the aliens fearful and unable to trust the human race further.

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According to Flora and Flora (1993) Community development unites the knowledge of “community” with “development.” Community being a group of people who share common characteristics, identity, Interests and perceived itself as separate in some regard from the larger society it exists. For this reason, community development depends on interaction between people and combined action, rather than individual activity. Cavaye (2000) added that putting the two terms together – community development – means that a community itself participates in a procedure intended to recover the social, economic and environmental situation of the community. While on the other hand development is the process of choice, different ways of thinking, anticipate change and try to improve quality of life for those living in the community.

2. The deprivation trap

The concept of the ‘deprivation trap’ (Refer to the Appendix) shows clusters of groups of deficiency that interact with each other (pentagon of interactive links between each) to form the trap the people find themselves in and trying to survive it. This traps framework consists of the following:

Powerlessness, this purely means someone who does not have any power, who is helpless as they are lacking the necessary legal authority. People who fall in this heading are fearful to express their needs and are trying to hold on to what little they have without having that taken away from them, Heywood (2007) In short stated it is the lack of social and economical influence.

The aliens are stranded in South Africa, as they are unable to find the necessary object needed to start their ship to take them back home. Therefore not only are they in a foreign place with no knowledge of the customs they are also unable to help themselves because they do not have the necessary resources. The humans therefore take advantage of this by forcing them to relocate to district 10 without giving them notice before hand. If the human did not like the answer, the aliens gave to their questions they would shout and threaten to shoot them and in some instances gloat at them.

Isolation, people who live in remote, inaccessible, secluded and quarantined areas, where assess to health care facilities, job opportunities, clean water, security, education etc… is either out-of-the-way, scarce or in some cases non-existent. Therefore, their geographical area secluded them from the rest of civilization, where help is not easier to come across.

There is a special section of Johannesburg that frosted the aliens (district 9), this keeps them away from the human civilizations; the humans do prefer it this way. An individual from the community says, “They must fix the ship and go.” Another state “at least they kept away from us”

Poverty, Swanepoel and de Beer (2011) in short stated that poverty can roughly be seen as the lack of having necessary land, assets, jobs, money, skills etc… to be able to function properly to meet abstract (e.g. Human dignity), concrete (e.g. Clean Water) and most importantly basic needs (e.g. food) needs to function in society healthy both financially and mentally.

They do not have money, human education, resources therefore they are taken advantage off and are treated like animals (served cat food as meals).

Physical Weakness, a person is in a state of being weak; therefore, they do not have any physical strength to improve their lives. In some cases chronic illnesses are contracted which affect physical weakness even more.

They are placed in an area that is not hygienic, there are piles of litter everywhere, they urinate in the opened, there are meat chopping in the middle of the road, over all the area looks like the slums. Therefore, they are not physically strong or have the energy to do anything about it. The only proper source of food that they could possibly purchase is cat food, if they are unable to afford that which are given in exchange for the aliens advance weapons, they have to eat the pile of dirty leftover food

Vulnerability, this is where a person has limited choice and engagement, which makes them easy candidates to be intimidated, and taken advantage off.

Since they had no power, and are living in poverty and isolation this makes the aliens vulnerable, Humans knowing this used ways of manipulations to get the aliens to do what they needed, they bribed with cat food and other occasions threatened to take way their children if they did not cooperate with what they wanted. In other cases, we see that they destroy the alien’s eggs, which they call “abortion.”

The deprivation trap is an interconnected trap, the only way a CDW (Community developer worker) can break the hold the trap has over the people is, according to Swanepoel and de Beer (2011) is to figuratively break the links in the chain and then the trap shall be broken or at least loosen that hold. With the above information, it is clear to see how easy it was for the humans to coerce the aliens into doing as they please.

3. Ethical and practical principles

3.1 Ethical Principles

Van Heerden (2005) states that ethics is a set of rules or a standard that regulates the lives of people and are used to make decisions in some instances. Each individual have their own personal ethics and this helps them determine the rightness and wrongness of things. Swanepoel and de Beer (2011) mentioned six districted ethical principles that every community developer should consider when going into a community:

3.1.1. Human Orientation

People who have fallen into the deprivation trap have not been successful in meeting their daily basic needs, therefore a CDW should help enable the community to live fulfilling life with all their needs met. The most important abstract need is human dignity; this is where they are aware that they are able to make decisions for themselves making them feel self-relevant and self-efficient. As they meet their internal potential, it motivates the community to fulfill their physical needs

Human dignity according to Kleyn and Viljeon (2010) is one of the essential needs for individuals. Looking at the way the aliens where treated its clear that their human dignity has not been met. They aliens where unable to reach their full potential as the humans restricted their movements, this discouraging them even further. They where also treated as barbarians, given names such as “prawn”, constantly being swore at and treated as punching bags and humiliation around every corner, they are also shown publically urinating, savagely ripping meat apart, and fighting with each other constantly.

3.1.2. Participation

When the community participate they become part of the decision making and planning process, which on return makes them feel empowered and in control of their surroundings. The humans avoided at all cost getting the aliens to be involved in maintaining the environment and having some say about their circumstances, thus encouraging the submissiveness of the aliens.

3.1.3. Empowerment

Simply stated by Heywood (2007) empowerment refers to the political power, not having the necessary skills to complete a task but instead have power to make decisions.

The aliens had no power in any circumstance, they where always watching their back and worried about a human encounter. When a human approached they had to go down on their needs to show that the humans had the authority, they where always being belittled and mocked and if they showed a sign of emancipation they where gun downed.

3.1.4. Ownership

This helps people gain power to make decisions in their own life. According to Swanepoel and de Beer (2011), they mentioned that it is the persons own future and development no one else, as they are the main role- players. Mobilization is used to help trigger the people and allow them to take responsibilities of ownership and management in their future and future projects.

Mobilization was not implemented at any point in the handling of the aliens. Humans preferred that they took the ownership away from the aliens so that they could be in charge of the alien community at all time, giving the humans a sense of authority.

3.1.5. Release

The real goal of developmental projects is eliminate poverty, not to address poverty or deal with some of its manifestations of poverty. Therefore trying to release the hold the deprivation trap has on the community. They try to gradually improve the communities situation, as a result releasing them from poverty not relieving.

As stated on the top, the goal of release is to try and rid the community from poverty, by the looks of the way MNU maintained district 9 it seems as if they where trying to keep the aliens in poverty. They did not try to produce means of improving their living circumstance, such as providing education so the aliens can learn necessary skills to help themselves. Instead, they left them living in slum-like living condition.

3.1.6. Sustainability

If the natural environment is under threat or damaged, then individuals who are integrated part of the environment will also be under threat or in harm. Healthier natural environment means a gradual improvement of the community’s health.

The aliens living condition proves the top true. The environment in which the aliens lived was constantly threating their ability to survive. It was rubbish dumb with aliens urinating everywhere, meat being cut in the opened, alien tug-of-war happening in the middle of the road, aliens fights, aliens vomiting in the opened etc…

3.2 Practical Principles

Swanepoel and de Beer (2011) mentioned four districted practical principles that every community developer should consider when going into a community. These practical principles need to be pursued and regarded in order to carry out the ethical principles (mentioned above):

3.2.1. Learning

The learning process has an aim to meet needs for an adaptable, continuous, investigational, action-based and assistance. This helps the Community and the CDW to exchange knowledge and resources. Van Heerden (2005), states that people can lead their own change processes of learning, because of some of the success stories that she have taken note off. The main aim is to emphasis autonomy as the community is very capable to make their own decisions, as this would also give them a sense of empowerment.

Firstly, MNU provided no learning opportunity for the aliens thus not giving them an opportunity to try to make a difference in their community and the human one. They had no autonomy or empowerment so they where unable to be adaptable and make decisions in their own lives. Secondly there was no CDW’s or projects implements in attempts to help better their stay and encourage knowledge building in district 9 for the aliens.

3.2.2. Compassion

CDW should pursue being able to be sympathetic or empathetic, this is especially useful when the community is in that deprivation trap and have lost hope. Baron, Branscombe and byrne (2009) states that Compassion helps them build trust, gain friendships and co-operation with the community members.

Considering the other particle principle discussed it is accurate to say that compassion was one of the main practical principle that MNU fell short off. There was no compassion was so ever shown to the aliens, the aliens where constantly being called derogatory names, blasphemed, threatened usually for no reason, being captured, their baby eggs being burned, Nigerians kill and eat the aliens, the aliens held at gun point or being shot at from the sky.

These principles are undeniably essential to make community development works as it works on freeing the people from the deprivation trap.

3.3 Conflict

Van Heerden (2005) wrote that conflict is when two or more values, perspectives and options are contradictory in nature and have not been aligned or agreed about yet. The main reason conflict arises is by miscommunication, meaning messages that have been carried across wrongly. Since communication arises from miscommunication, the way to overcome it is by good communication. There are varies causes of conflict that Mersham and Skinner (2009) mentioned such as unclear boundaries which are definitions not being understood clearly, Clashing interests and personalities, situation, consensus needed, misunderstanding and unresolved prior conflict with the receiver. Cavaye (2004) went on saying that values are another reason why conflict arises. Community values are diverse and inherently involve conflict. Community members maintain very unusual values based on their own experience and background. The expression of values involves managing conflicting views and community power.

There was definitely a communication barrier that arise between the humans and the aliens, which did in fact cause conflict which lead to hundred of aliens being killed.

3.4. Rights violation

Each individual on this planet when born is entitled to rights. According to Kleyn and Viljoen (2010) rights are the core to humanity and is therefore inviolable, no one can take these rights away, people are born with them. Human rights are the formulation of the requisite for fairness, acceptance, mutual respect, and human dignity in all endeavors. Grech (2006) states ones human rights are not granted by the state and instead is an innate quality that each human been is granted when they are born.

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When it came to the handling of the aliens there where regrettably numerous areas of the rights that where violated, for instance the right that was most violated was the right of human dignity, this is according to Kleyn and Viljoen (2010) is having respect for the individual and regarding their self-respect. The aliens where treated with no respect, the humans manipulated them on many occasions and demoted them as individuals, there was even a derogatory names for them called “Prawns”, referring to them as bottom feeders and those who scavenge the leftovers and made the aliens basic food supply being cat food. Other right that where violated was the right to life, as the humans killed the aliens without second guessing and in one instance burned a house of eggs that was soon to hatch with baby aliens. The right to privacy, the aliens had the right to do as they please in their homes but the humans rampaged in their houses and accusing them of unnecessary allegations. The right of freedom of movement which was demolished when the aliens where restricted and detained to living only in district 9 and where not allowed to move from that area or they would be killed. The right to nationality and a free and fair world, meaning everyone has the right to be a certain colour, gender, age etc… the aliens where alienated because they where a different nationality from what the average human race is used to therefore being treated as felons and excluded from civilization. There was no free or fair treatment taken into consideration toward them. The right to food, shelter, and education, shelter was provided but not sufficient or safe enough. Food supply was only cat food, which is only appropriate for cats. In addition, education at no point in time was offered to help teach the aliens about the human customs. The right to live free, the humans killed the aliens without hesitation and made some of them into experimental lab rats. Freedom of expression, if the aliens Questioned the human authority they where held at gunpoint or manipulated in to giving in.

The violation of rights leads to suffering and devastation which most of the time arises from conflict ( discussed in the previous section), in some cases it can cause physical and psychological harm and in the instance of the aliens political oppression of discrimination arise which made their basic needs easier to deny. Maises (2003) states war crimes as the laws of armed conflict forbid acts of hostility on people in a community and the use of firepower that triggers unnecessary suffering or long-term environmental damage, exactly what happened with the aliens in district 9. Lastly, genocide was is also an issue that arises especially with the aliens, when the humans coldly burnt the alien’s baby eggs.

5. Recommendation for better handling of the aliens.

It was clear that MNU handling of the aliens were cruel, vicious, brutal, merciless and appalling which made the aliens untrusting, fearful and skeptical of the humans. The new NGO group is trying to overcome this circumstance and make the planet livable for all. By doing this, the following recommendations should be taken into consideration:

5.1. The organization as an enabler of community development

The main goal of any Community developer is to make the community enablers and an enabling environment. This simply means that it enables the community to adapt to the ever-changing environment that they live in.

The aliens where unable to be involved in development previously, so it is essential that a CDW gets the aliens to be involved in community work, this contributes to helping them feel welcome and at the same time facilitating confidence building within.

5.2. The local development environment

The local environment helps CDW become aware of the global context, as the existing situation being the environment is fundamentally valuable. By knowing these environments, it helps aid towards support and strengthens it. These environments also play a key role in communication, also being one of the fundamental aspects of an enabling community and improvement of the community. The following are the different environment that would be useful to the alien community we have:

Social Environment, Baron, Branscombe and Byrne (2009) notes that this environment consists of bodies such as families, churches, clubs or formal institutions such as friendships. All communities are organized differently and a CDW should consider those when entering one. Some of the negative factors in this area could be power struggle, different group formations and crime.

By understanding the way the aliens gather and group to form entitles it would make the CDW able to better communicate and make the necessary change that is needed. The social environment is very important and should be stable so that adaptation is successful to eradicate the negative aspects.

Cultural Environment, this consists of society’s values, morals and the person tradition. It is essential that a CDW creates an environment where the individuals space is true to the values they where brought up in. Cavaye (2004) states that values regulate progress significances. Additionally by understanding these traditions, it forms a framework of understanding the reasons behind the way people act and react to actual life.

The aliens have come from a different cultural background therefore the CDW should broaden their knowledge on the aliens culture so that the aliens can feel part of a bigger picture. It is also important for the aliens to understand the South African culture if they would like to reside on the planet comfortably.

Psychological Environment, every persons experience to life would be different from each other. Willian and Sheffe (1989) writes that abstract manifestation of their experience of reality is know as the psychological make-up of people. The negative aspects could be stress, psychological scars, fear, and feeling of rejection, lack of self-esteem and empowerment and apathy from outside community.

Due to the unfortunate circumstance that the aliens had to deal with during MNU rein, which left the aliens scared, battered and fearful of any future endeavors. It is important that the CDW beings working on those abstract feeling so that trust can once again be integrated in their lives, which will motivate them into helping create a better future for themselves and the community alike.

5.3. Community as the main actor

According to the Oxford study dictionary (2002) defines Community as a body of people living in a distinct place considered as a whole, they have common interests and values. According to the definition, it is easy to say that the community should be the main-role players as they have the expert community knowledge about their specific area they live in.

The aliens where treated submissively since their arrival 20 years ago, therefore by creating a space where they feel they are in charge can bring some of their confidence back. It can also help the humans gain trust from the aliens and finally help the aliens to have some authority in terms of the living conditions they preferred, this would to help make them feel comfortable, as they are far away from their home.

5.4. Communication and Motivation

Communication is a very intricate process that is unpredictable because different people use different codes of communication, hence why there can be barriers of communication that can arise. Swanepoel and de Beer (2011) mentioned some barriers that can arise is the receiver ( The target person) might be afraid of the sender (where the message originated), receiver may have expectations, the receiver at the moment may be preoccupied, there could be a physical disability, environmental interruptions

If communication was done from the beginning, there would have never been that conflict between the aliens and the humans. Communication would have created understanding on both parts and thus interventions could have been installed to help sort out the novelty that has arise. Communication would of also made the human community a bit more open minded to the arrival of the aliens, therefore CDW aim should be to communicate effectively so that both side without a doubt understand each other till the very end.

Motivation, communication is implemented for various reasons, one of those reasons are to motivate people. Van Heerden (2005) said that motivation could contain hope and a positive outlook on life, being enthusiastic and keen and help change the communities’ attitude in a progressive way. In summary motivation can lead a person to change their mindset in a positive and innovating way such as feeling a sense of triumph, being entrusted with responsibilities and achieving them.

It is noted that due to the harsh after effects of MNU the aliens have lost all hope in the human race. It is the CDW job to try to change their perception about the human race, hence why motivation is the best tool for this instance. Motivation in all occasions in the aliens life can help push the aliens to start getting smart and adapt to the South African environment, and with the efforts from the aliens would push the humans to become more productive in trying to understand and fully accepting the aliens.

5.5. Goals of contact making

The main goals are to get to know the people and being accepted in and analyze exactly what the community needs. Getting to know the people is all about understanding the circumstance of each person. The needs are what the individual want introduced to better their circumstances e.g. schools for the children.

The needs of the aliens are to be accepted unconditionally and to live a normal life free to pursue their human rights and meet their basic needs on a regular basis. By making this possible, they shall gain a sense of empowerment that will help motivate them for further development in their lives and in the community.

5.6. Outcomes of community development

Most CDW fail in their attempt to help develop the community, mainly because they are approaching the approach wrong. There are couple of positive attributes that needs to be followed to create a positive outcome for the community as stated by Swanepoel and de Beer (2011):

Awareness creation, this approach is used to help the community become aware of their surrounds and therefore understanding it better.

When the aliens becomes aware of themselves in terms of the environment, needs, resources etc… there are able to make some changes to their situation, and with that gaining knowledge.

Further development, by becoming aware the community is able to recognize what needs to be done, therefore goals are set, some are reached, and therefore further development can be done

When the Aliens become aware and are able to further develop they are able to fulfill abstract needs and gain confidence and optimism to approach new horizons.

Demonstration effect, successes in certain places have influence on other areas and outside observes to participate in leading a hand. By a community accepting the aliens and attempting to bond with them, other would follow in their steps, according to Baron, Branscombe and Byrne (2009) this know as social influence.

Community Building not only does the concept of community development aid in strengthening a community but is also helps support abstract and concrete needs and help them become more aware, creating dignity in which they can be self-sufficient and self-relevant.

This helps the aliens become more involved and for that reason can teach them skills such as being adaptable, organized and becoming their own community developers.

5.7. Education and human rights

As discussed in Part 1 by assigning human rights to the aliens and living up to those promises it would help the handling of the aliens become easier and developmental run smoothly. Rights are important as it provides the framework of security, which would give the aliens piece of mind knowing they have their rights to fall back on so a repeat of MNU’s behaviors shall not be impose on them again.

Education is also on of those very essential aspects of growth in any community. By educating, the aliens they will be better able to function in the community thus reduce their fighting among each other, their disempowerment and submissiveness, their demotivation, and lack of survival skills. With the correct education there are able to find jobs, better looks after their family, homes and better handle the community and the human race. Education can be seen as their green card into living and making it on planet earth.

6. Conclusion

It was clear that MNU approached the whole situation wrongly from the beginning, not only did they violate the rights of the aliens, but they also did not attempt to effectively communicate and implement a peaceful society for all. Society was quick to judge and isolate those that where slightly different without attempting to make means to understand the aliens better. The aliens have arrived in a new planet many are unsure whether it was planned or not but it has happened so if positive interventions are laid out it shall be a interesting challenge to combine the alien and human races. This time using effective method to get the aliens educated and to get the human informed so that better communication is done and there will be no repeat of MNU’s behavior.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust


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