1. Do you see a link between increasing attention to individualism and declining attention to morality? Explain.
2. Do you think government can or should do anything about these changing social conditions and the link between them, if it does exist? Explain.
Scholars now have access to a giant Google database of 5.2 million books published between 1500 and 2008. They can type in a word and see how frequently it has been used over the years. One study looking at 1960 to 2008 found individualistic words (e.g., self, standout, unique) were used more frequently over those 48 years whereas communal words (e.g., collective, common good, band together) declined in use. Another study found that general moral terms (e.g., virtue, decency, conscience) and words associated with moral excellence (e.g., honesty, patience, compassion) receded in use over the course of the 20th century.

  • CreatedOctober 02, 2015
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