Democracy requires a balance between individual freedom and the common good.
“To all care of each other’s good and of the whole by every one.” Mayflower Compact, Cape Cod, MA. 1620
“With liberty and justice for all.” Pledge of Allegiance, 1892
Class terms (values) for democracy from class 3: freedom/opportunity, voice/freedom of speech, vote/participation, equality/equal rights
Assignment: Survey your media screens to consider how content you favor and that which otherwise comes across your social media, displays values, beliefs, and practices of democracy (or not). This might be expressed around issues of politics, activism, charity, civic engagement, societal concerns, news, and social critique, including parody and other forms of performance (visual, rhetorical) that address social issues, e.g. memes.
Steps — written response required
- Keep (write out) an informal log of your primary social media uses. List top 5 regular sites, feeds, streams you follow. This could include regular streaming sites such as Netflix.
- As you survey your uses, perhaps over the course of a few hours, observe the kinds of discourses (ideas about how the world is or should be) that are expressed. These could be about individualism, consumerism, beauty, success, anger, fear, sadness, hopelessness, cynicism, altruism, friendship, social conscience, concern for the common good, what else? Does the discourse accept the existing normative order? Does it resist? Call for change?
- Do political and social issues circulate on sites and streams you follow? Specific causes and advocacy groups/individuals? If so, what are some of the issues, causes, and groups? Is there online discussion of these issues? Are these issues that concern you? Do you participate in online discussions of such issues?
FOR THESE THREE QUESTIONS, WRITE NOTES ON WHAT YOU OBSERVE. NO LONGER THAN TWO PARAGRAPHS to address all three questions.
- OPTIONAL for extra credit: Capture a screen image (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, what else?) that somehow represents values-discourses of INDIVIDUALISM, CONSUMERISM and that which represents a sense of social critique, conscience, and/or concern for THE COMMON GOOD. POST in class 15 social media screen shots album on class FB group.
Written assignments should be single-spaced & typed in Times New Roman or Arial (size 12 font), 1-inch margins all around. PROOFREAD! First page should have a heading (single-spaced) with name, date, and assignment title.