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How Individualism Has Affected The American Society

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We tell ourselves that it is okay to start off working in a lower class job, or in retail. We always believe that our “puritan work ethic” would make it possible to advance up into society and eventually move to a suburban area like Northbrook. Americans believe that hard work will bring you reward. In Ben Franklin’s Autobiography, he explains that people can work during the Industrial Revolution to escape being born in the lower class. Investopedia defines the American Dream and claims that it takes hard work, “[The American Dream is] The belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone. The American dream is achieved through sacrifice, risk-taking and hard work, not by chance.” Social mobility is an example of intellectual perseverance because in in order to advance classes in society, you have to persevere through many obstacles such as long hours when you start off. You also have a better understanding about what it means to have a “puritan work ethic” because you worked for your reward, instead of inheriting it like others.

As Americans, we tell ourselves that we can do whatever we want to do and say whatever we want to say without getting in trouble. Americans believe that you are free to do what you please. Americans believe in freedom because our individual freedoms are protected under the first amendment to the constitution, which are the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, petition, and religion. Americans also express this freedom at all sporting events when they sing “land of the free” in the National Anthem. In America, there is no mandatory military service once you have become of age, unlike other countries. There are also no laws against guns, alcohol, and social media, which are banned in many countries in Asia. Freedom is an example of innate wish fulfilment because we have always been told through the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the National Anthem that everybody is free to do what they please. However, there are some acts that are illegal such as any libel. Moreover, other acts are very controversial such as gun owning, abortion, and gay marriage; which you can be punished for.

Americans tell each other that they have the power to vote for elected officials during elections, and that their viewpoints are heard in government. Americans believe that the people have the power to govern. Americans believe in popular sovereignty because enlightenment figures such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques-Rousseau believed it a social contract where the people elect the government to protect their interests. Popular sovereignty is also out lined in the opening of the Declaration of Independence when it states, “…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” America has a democratic republic, which means that we elect officials to represent our views. These elected officials cannot act against our will, and if they do, we have the right to rebel. Popular sovereignty is an example of intellectual autonomy because we believe that us people govern ourselves. Our own beliefs and values are represented. We can also question government action or confirm it by showing support.

Americans tell ourselves that we should learn about our history and celebrate our accomplishments through family athersings and holidays. Americans believe that all citizens should be patriotic. At all national sporting events, the audience sings the national anthem before the game commences. In the morning everyday at school, we stand up out of our desks to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. There are also national holidays that both students and adults receive breaks for such as Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Memorial Day. For both Independence Day and Memorial Day, Americans display their patriotism by hanging their flags outside their doors, and marching in parades down their community streets. On Thanksgiving, families gather together, and are able to watch “America’s Team,” the Dallas Cowboys, on National TV. Patriotism is an example of innate sociocentrism because we as a community, believe that America is the best country on Earth. We believe that we always win wars, solve world conflict, and is the best place to live. Because of these qualities, people celebrate our nation.

As Americans we tell ourselves that that everybody accepts each other for who they are, so we can’t get in trouble for expressing ourselves through acts and clothing. American’s believe that people can express who they truly are. Everyday, more and more rights are being passed for the LGBT community. In fact 32 states have legalized gay marriage. In other countries around the world, being and LGBT might be reason to have you killed. Specifically, homosexuality is illegal in 79 countries, mostly in Africa and Asia. You can express yourself in a variety of ways in America including how you dress and how you act. In some Middle East countries, there are bans on showing skin, long hair, crossdressing, and makeup. Individualism is an example of government fair mindedness because they have to treat all different people fairly, despite sexuality, gender, beliefs, and personality.

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