Friday, 11 October 2013

Q2: Possible Questions/Why Views May Differ

As well as evidencing you've spoken to two people of influence over your chosen issue (the inequalities of global trade; how this works and can be challenged at a local and national level, especially through the group Fairtrade), you've got to analyse the differences between the views expressed by the two speakers.
Therefore you need to have prepared possible questions for both speakers, then analyse the difference. Your questions could be designed to highlight points of difference, so think about the role, responsibilities and likely opinions of both speakers in advance of meeting with them.
Here's a reminder of the section 2 questions:

2. Application of skills of advocacy and representation (15 marks) [35mins]

2. a) Communicate with two people in positions of power or influence to find out what they think about the issue. Attach evidence that shows how you tried to communicate, influence or persuade these people. Outline the views of the two people and compare these with your own view. 
2. b) Why do you think people hold different views on this issue?
Below are just some of the possible questions you have come up with in advance of these meetings (I've abbreviated Fairtrade to FT):
  • how might FT benefit the school
  • how might the school benefit FT
  • are you personally for/against FT
  • do the school caterers sell (enough) FT food
  • do you buy FT
  • what have you done to promote FT
  • could you do more to promote FT
  • could/should the school do more to promote FT
  • who else needs to get involved to promote FT
  • is FT sufficiently advertised/promoted around school
  • what have been the most memorable IGS events to publicise FT
  • how does IGS compare to other schools/places you've worked in on this issue
  • are there any downsides to FT
  • does FT make sense in a time of economic depression and austerity measures
  • should we have FT for UK farmers (eg, look at price supermarkets pay UK farmers for litre of milk)
  • is it right to focus on FT when there are so many other worthy charities
  • is it a politically correct choice
  • should we know more (should FT be more open) about the actual prices FT pay, and the salaries/admin costs FT pays itself
  • should students have a greater say in what we focus on, eg in Citizenship
  • have we always focussed on FT
  • do FT see our school support as significant
  • has the school's work made any difference/impact
  • should we not prioritise environmental concerns (eg, discourage shipping of imported foods like bananas which cause significant greenhouse gas emissions)
  • do you agree/think its right that FT is linked to religion, and perhaps a particular religion (Traidcraft, meetings in churches etc)

2b: Why Views May Differ
If you're still seeking inspiration and ideas, you could try this web page by a right-wing think-tank which argues for free market/trade and against any 'interference' with free market conditions; they argue that FairTrade should be opposed as its ineffective! Even if you utterly disagree with their point of view, this is a useful resource for answering Q2b (why views differ)
Some other factors you could explore:
  • environment: some would argue we should discourage importing food/materials from so far away given the pollution this causes
  • excludes UK poor? do relatively high prices for FT products put them out of reach for the poor in the UK? 
  • supermarket PR: the supermarkets still get to charge what they want for FT goods; do they exploit the positive publicity from this?
  • UK farmers get a raw deal: when UK farmers are struggling to survive (also feeling exploited by supermarkets driving down prices) should we focus on them instead?
  • not radical enough?! some might say Fairtrade seeks to improve the conditions of capitalism rather than challenge the free market system itself
  • other causes: not everyone will rank the Fairtrade cause as important compared to other causes/charities
  • ignorance?! perhaps some people might think differently if they knew more about the issue and what impact FT can have? (and maybe thats where you could come in...)
Your various questions to our guest speakers suggested several more issues you could explore here

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