Introduction to Business and Society 2018-19
SOSC 1340/1349 A Essay 2
Synthesizing Course Materials
You are required to draw on one of the films Surviving Progress or The Corporation or the creative readings by Rice, Garrett and Steinbeck to illustrate your understanding of the key concepts raised in the text(s) you will be analyzing. The essay writing process involves several preliminary stages: formulating a working thesis, organizing your notes and constructing an essay plan. Please review the guidelines and SPARK links from the first essay instructions.
You are writing a ‘persuasive essay’ which involves some research. You will need to find and use two secondary ACADEMIC sources for this essay (no Wikipedia, dictionary.com, etc.). You MUST use proper referencing techniques and engage in textual analysis. Failure to properly and consistently document and acknowledge your sources constitutes PLAGARISM and makes you subject to academic sanction.
Pick one of the essay topics below. DO NOT simply answer the questions in the order that they appear in the topic. The order of presentation is something you need to think deeply about: you need to think about what it is that you want to say and the order that it would be best to say it in order to show how well you understand the concepts, issues and arguments under consideration. Return to your introduction after you have completed your draft to ensure that the order of presentation you outline here corresponds to the structure of your essay.
Your title page must include your name, student number, TAs name, and submission date. You will need to find and use two secondary ACADEMIC sources for this essay (no Wikipedia, dictionary.com, etc.). Include a properly formatted bibliography at the end of your essay. Your essay must start with a comprehensive introduction which includes: i. The position the author takes on the key question; ii. Your thesis; and iii. An explanation of how your essay will be organized. Your essay must have a clear paragraph structure, each starting with a clear topic sentence.
1. Critically examine three of the progress traps discussed by Wright (hunting, farming and ‘civilization’). Drawing from at least two examples of civilizations that have collapsed, what are the lessons Wright seeks to draw for us? How does the ‘Victorian ideal of progress’ contribute to an ideology of progress that obscures the fact that our civilization is in the midst of ‘the biggest progress trap in human history’?
2. What is the difference between the ‘social division of labour’ and the ‘detail division of labour’, according to Braverman? How does the capitalist management of work (Babbage Principle, Taylorism) differ from pre-capitalist forms? What are the social consequences of the capitalist organization of production? How can we use Rice’s play to illustrate the effects Braverman describes?
3. What definition of the corporation offered in the film The Corporation best captures what a corporation is? How did they get so much power, according to Nace? Where did they come from? What are the key differences between the classical and the modern corporation? How does its legal form give it greater powers than human subjects? Who—or what—is responsible for what happens to the farmers in Steinbeck’s story?
4. Should the corporation have legal and ethical obligations to society beyond promoting the private interests—maximizing profits—of shareholders? Why does Friedman refer to ‘social responsibility’ as a ‘dangerous doctrine’? Does Garrett’s main character (Mr. Galt) behave the way he ought to, according to Friedman? How does Glasbeek’s critique of the ethical justification of capitalism represent a response to Friedman?