- This topic explores how the concept of authority is viewed in America.
- It is argued that exerting authority or ‘pulling rank” in America has traditionally been seen as a sin against democracy.
- The rejection of democracy by Americans is symbolized to rejection of the “authoritarian European father. This aspect is visible in the military. For instance, during World War I, GI’s were known for often-refusing orders from their superiors. In addition, the colonization era was characterized to a belief that every man was his own master and, therefore, no one had the right to exert his will over the other.
- The problem of authority is also encountered in the business world.
- Alex Tocqueville, a historian and social scientist is quoted to have stated that the emphasis on distrust of authority and personal autonomy are essential components of any working democracy. This is the reason why Americans consider themselves to be so democratic
Youth and Progress
- The topic looks at the relationship between the youth or the young people and progress. It is mentioned how a simple greeting can lead to the discussions about the newest dances, hairdos public personalities, an aspect that is essentially associated with the youth. Everyone is, therefore, forced to be “young in spirit” to keep up with the newest trends in America.
- No one in America really looks up to being old
- Americans are obsessed with the youth because it is assumed that the future of the nation belongs to the youth
- America has for long be the land of the youth, but decreasing birth rates indicate that the future will not really “belong to the youth” but will be characterized by older individuals. An aging population will result in several changes, in several areas including social security financing, junk food consumption, television content, crimes, traffic accidents, fads in pop music and dress and so on.
- Youth in contemporary society is usually associated with inexperience but in America, it seems that every generation has its own misdoings and not just the youth
- Americans believe that success from one’s personal hard work is sweeter although this is not the real situation as personal hard work no longer cuts it and does not guarantee instant success. In fact, there are some who hide the help of others so as to claim that they achieved due to personal effort alone.
- While America values youth and change, both aspects are however looked upon with suspicion
The Paradox of Education
- This topic looks at the role of education in solving social problems in America.
- It is shown that Americans nowadays value education that deals with practical problems
- There has been less emphasis on college course such as history, anthropology, and English literature and more emphasis on courses such as engineering, medicine and business management.
- American cannot be deemed to be a nation of scholars as many only read what is necessary to alleviate their situation or solve a particular problem
- Some society groups such as the church view education as corrupting the faith and morality of young people
- Although Americans place great faith in education, its relatively high cost means that many become unwilling to pay for it, for instance the high college fees.