On Power, Poverty, and Possibility

Please complete BOTH parts of the entry!
Readings to consider: (all earlier readings are also available for use, of course, especially those on citizenry, and you are free to use additional readings as you see fit, so long as you cite them and they are credible sources of research!)
v  Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience
v  Terry Tempest William’s Commencement   http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/136
v  William F. Buckley’s “Why Don’t We Complain”
v  On Suffering and  Structural Violence (Farmer)  ( Week Two Reading Folder)
v  Maslow’s Hierarchy    http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~rbrokaw/maslow.HTM
v  UN Millennium Website    http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
v  “The Altruism in Economics” (Mercer)   http://odewire.com/60291/the-altruism-in-economics.html
v  ‘Jeffery Sachs’ 200 Billion Dollar Dream” (Munk)    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/07/sachs200707
v  “What Money Can Buy (Specter)   http://www.michaelspecter.com/wp-content/uploads/gates.pdf
v  The Declaration of Children’s Rights (Korshack) 
v  “The Lost Children of T. Don Hutto Family Prison”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9Ub_9uQFk8
Part One:  Approx 2 pages, 1.5 spacing
For this first part of the Commonplace, you are going to be working with the idea of citizenry.  We read three pieces about the concept of citizenry, “Civil Disobedience” by Thoreau, “Commencement” by Terry Tempest Williams, and “Why Don’t We Complain” by William F. Buckley.  We also read, “Who Are You, and What Are You Doing Here,” and “Dwelling in Possibilities” that, in a sense, advocate for a sort of citizenry.  You may have also experienced other readings/films in other classes that may be relevant to this conversation.

Given these readings, class discussion, and your own experiences thus far in the world, this entry should explain to your reader how you envision your emerging role as a citizen.  
For example, Thoreau writes “It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”  Terry Tempest Williams writes that the four tenents of democracy are to “Question, Stand, Speak, Act.”  Buckley says that we must fight against our own apathy and discomfort with confrontation.    Mark Edmondson tells us we must fight even to get a good education.

Do you see your role as a citizen to connect with these ideas, or even act them through?  Why, or why not?   However you choose to answer this, reflect in detailed, specific, creative ways that help your reader appreciate and understand your perspective.  Don’t feel afraid to take a risk, to try on a new idea. 

I would strongly consider starting your entry with an anecdote from you own experience, a quote from the reading, etc.  Remember, you don’t need to limit yourself to these three readings and the video.  I DO NOT WANT a formulaic, five-paragraph essay.  I want genuine, honest, engaged conversation with your reader.
Part Two:  What Money Can Buy (approx. 2 pages, 1.5 spacing)
Sometimes the lack of substantive freedoms relates directly to economic poverty, which robs people of the freedom to satisfy hunger, or to achieve sufficient nutrition, or to obtain remedies for treatable illnesses, or the opportunity to be adequately clothed or sheltered, or to enjoy clean water or sanitary facilities…   Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom
For this part of the entry, entry, I would like you to apply Farmer’s ideas about structural violence to at least three of the other articles we read.   While Farmer is writing primarily with respect to extreme suffering, his use of the term “structural violence” is technically more broad, and offers a framework for us to better understand some of the issues we are studying.
To do this, you’ll first want to define the idea of structural violence.  This will require an outside internet source (other than Wikipedia, please) along with the Farmer text and your reading notes in order to assist you in developing a good working definition of structural violence (don’t forget to cite what you use!  Very important!!). 
After doing so, you’ll be using at least three sources (more are fine!) with examples and specifics from each to both question and illustrate the idea that economic policies, institutions, and belief systems become “axes” of oppression.  For example, what kind of structural violence does the article about Jeffery Sachs illuminate for us?   How does Mercer’s “The Altruism in Economics” relate potentially to structural violence?  These are just some ideas for focus, but I have confidence you can also come up with examples of your own.  Be specific, clear, and detailed in the examples that you choose, and offer clear, accurate in-text citation as you go!
Grading Criteria:
·         Thoroughness—use of detail, examples, and attention to each part of the assignment
·         Divergent thinking and critical analysis– essential!
·         Grammar and mechanics
·         Thoughtful attention to beauty, grace, style with respect to language

·         Careful attention to in-text MLA citation (if you have questions, visit the Purdue OWL website for further assistance!)