We live in a world full of challenges. In many places, people are experiencing rising unemployment,
political violence, poverty, and looming ecological disasters, most of these problems created by or
related to human activity. As individuals living in a free society, we are also free to pursue our private
satisfactions independently of others. Yet we are embedded in a broader societal context that includes
our family, our communities, and our nation – not to mention that it is common today to speak of an
even wider global community. In addition to these challenges, consider how social media, new media
technology and even automation are changing and shaping the world.
**Please read carefully**
This assignment includes two parts:
Part 1) A 750 word written response [short essay] to the questions below and
Your presentation will discuss – using fluent, academic arguments (meaning ideas argued from academic
sources with a creative, compelling, logical and an imaginative use of language) – the following
In your opinion, what is the role of the individual in helping to solve some of the problems
mentioned in the paragraph above?
Are we more likely to solve the problems if we embrace a sense of common purpose and public
spirit focused on the collective good? Or,
Should we focus on our private pursuits and a market mentality that says our consumption is
what makes the world go round? Does your argument account for a differing points of view?
Is there a balance between what the individual is responsible for and what our role should be in
the public sphere?
To place the topic of this week’s assignment into broader historical, political, and/or social
context, search for three academic sources (e.g. books, peer-reviewed journal articles) and
reference those sources in your analysis of the individual’s role in society.