Ideas Causing Up a Storm

My professor is assigning the rhetoric & composition class a research project on a current controversial topic in America that relates to race, gender, rights and themes of the like.

Though most would groan at the thought of writing an academic paper on controversial American topics (apparently reality television was on the suggestion list handed out to the class…I wish much luck to whoever can turn Keeping Up with the Kardashians into an academic research paper), my face glows and my eyes open up like a child on Christmas morning. I, unlike other people, have too many ideas to write about instead of too little. Within five minutes, my mind had already compiled a list of topics:

  1. Fashion: freedom of expression or merely conforming to the masses
  2. Crime: what is causing the wave of violence within our borders
  3. Poverty: U.S is one of the wealthiest nations in the world but the standard of living is constantly followed by poverty and inequality (namely wealth and income). Could this be due to the highly capitalistic nature of our economy’s structure?
  4. “Americanism”: The ideology of freedom for all turned into a political debate (just like any other issue)
  5. Students’ rights within the public school system: how limiting the rights of students began; does it impact the student’s mentality towards knowing and using the power they truly have later in activities such as politics?

Fashion and freedom and politics oh my! My heart and mind are currently leaning towards “Americanism” and how time has changed it from being an “everybody is on board” to “liberals believe in this; conservatives believe in that”. Considering I do not affiliate myself with a political party (but find government interesting), it will be the easiest to analyze without a bias in a certain side’s political beliefs. Plus, America really does need a reality check (in my opinion. I am not stating as fact but simply sharing my view).

Wish me luck on my journey into the world of research and academia!

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3 thoughts on “Ideas Causing Up a Storm

  1. Nicole, some interesting ideas here. How do you define “Americanism”? What arguments about that idea exist? I wonder whether you will be able to find one monolithic idea of “Americanism.”

  2. Americanism is an ideology of the American identity. It was originated with Declaration of Independence as freedom by the people, for the people. But with time and events affecting American policies, Americanism has been divided into two subgroups: progressivism (supported by liberals) and social conservatism (supported by conservatives).

  3. I am skeptical as to whether you will be able to find concrete arguments about “Americanism” taking place today. When you turn in your research proposal on Thursday, please provide some primary sources for this argument, preferably from this year. The onus is on you to prove that this is a viable controversy with strong voices representing two or more sides.

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