Life Before and After Consumerism

Please write a 5-page-minimum, double-spaced, size-12-font synthesis paper on one of the two topics below. Make sure that your paper has 1) a title that clearly indicates the topic you are choosing; and 2) correct MLA format in-text citation and the Works Cited page (NOTE: ***the Works Cited page is excluded from the page limit***).


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Life Before and After Consumerism
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What are the similarities and differences between the simple life of Thoreau (Walden) and the simple life of the Ladakhis before modern economic development (Ancient Futures)? How do their lives compare to the so-called “good life” introduced by consumerism, as described in Schor’s The Overworked American, The Overspent American, and Jhally’s “Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse”? Map these authors’ arguments by using key terms such as: need and desire, necessity and luxury, physical comfort and psychological fulfillment, individual happiness and collective welfare, human prosperity and ecological wellbeing.
How do Thoreau (Walden), the Ladakhis before modern economic development (Ancient Futures), and the post-WWII Americans (The Overworked American and The Overspent American) arrange their relationships with work and leisure? How are work and leisure defined differently for them? What purposes should work and leisure, respectively, serve for our lives? What would happen when this relationship is thrown off balance? Map these authors’ arguments by using key terms such as: work and play, labor and leisure, toil and enjoyment, individual happiness and collective welfare, human prosperity and ecological wellbeing.

Grading Criteria

You’ll be graded holistically (not by a point system) based on these following dimensions:

Solid understanding of the readings (by accurately recounting the authors’ key arguments, concepts, phrases, and/or quotes from the readings);
Thoughtful connections and comparisons between the readings;
Clear and well-supported thesis that shows analytical rigor and original insight;
Coherent and well-structured essay without answering the sub-questions separately;
Proofread and free of grammatical and syntactical errors;
Correct usage of the MLA citation format, both within the main text and in the Works Cited page.

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