what is capitalism, and how has society changed as a result of capitalist development?
Over the next several weeks, we will begin to examine: 1) how modern societies developed in tandem with capitalist development, 2) some of the most significant features of this new form of social organization, and, 3) the social and ecological impacts of modernity.
This week, we will be focusing explicitly on cultures of modernity as they pertain to capitalist development. In a minimum of two single-spaced pages, please respond to the following questions:
First, define the concept of culture and describe its central features, providing specific examples of each (I highly recommend using examples from the film clips here to illustrate each of the central features of culture highlighted in the lecture).
Second, what is capitalism, and how has society changed as a result of capitalist development? In your analysis, be sure to analyze the centrality of profit as the guiding value in capitalist culture, and how this value has shaped social relations between workers and capitalists. Be sure to engage with the lecture and Callero’s essay to fully answer this part of the question.
Finally, explain the relationship between individualism and capitalism. How have individualistic values shaped the development of capitalist culture over time? What are some of the most significant consequences of individualism in American society today?
In your analysis, be sure to engage with, provide specific examples from, and cite** all of the assigned materials from this week (this includes lectures, readings, videos, podcasts, etc.) to illustrate your points. Remember, these writing assignments are an opportunity for you to:
Demonstrate you understand the sociological concepts and perspectives examined this week;
Demonstrate an ability to synthesize information from multiple sources to make your claims; and,
Demonstrate an ability to use empirical evidence (specific examples) to support your claims.
Use the grading criteria to guide you as you write, and as always, please feel free to attend the optional discussion sections and/or sign up for office hours to get additional assistance.
** Please use the ASA Citation Style handout to cite your sources as you write (available in the “Guidelines and Grading Criteria for Writing Assignments” tab in the “Start Here” module). See page 4 of the handout for examples on in-text citations. You are not required to submit a bibliography, unless you cite material from outside sources. Please note, though, that any outside sources should be used sparingly; your analysis should focus primarily on the assigned materials.