Medival archaeology

Inequality in Locke, Rousseau, and Marx and in the world

This assignment asks you to find something in the world that pertains to social or economic inequality, and to explain how one of the thinkers from this unit (Locke, Rousseau, or Marx) would analyze that object.
Choosing your object: It might be a news article, OpEd, song, ad, painting, poem, graffiti, political leaflet you picked up at Commons. It could be a passage from Trump’s inauguration address or a recent Supreme Court decision, a debate about raising taxes, an account of an uprising or war somewhere, or something else. There are only two constraints: 1) It should not be too long or large for you to work with effectively in a 5 or 6-page paper. So, if it is written, it should be no more than a few pages and if it is a video clip, it should be no more than a few minutes. 2) It needs to be minimally reproducible –by copier, photo, URL, or hand-drawn reproduction—and submitted with your paper.
Doing the analysis: After you have found your instance of inequality in the world, analyze it drawing upon one of the thinkers from this unit. You must really engage the arguments of the reading you’ve chosen to develop your analysis. You do not have to agree with the author and may want to disagree. But you are engaging your chosen author as a way to explore the meaning, power or problems in your scrap of world.
Warning: You may find a scrap of world that initially excites you but turns out not to be conducive to this kind of work. Or, you may initially choose an author who turns out not to be appropriate to your object. This means you must not let this assignment go until the last minute. Choose something by the end of break and give yourself time to reflect on the object and on the appropriate readings with which to analyze it. Allow yourself time to falter and regroup.
Technicalities: Papers should be 5 or 6 pages, double-spaced, with standard margins and standard 12 point font. (A paragraph less or more is fine.) Writing quality matters. Proofread. Check spelling, grammar and syntax. Proofread again.
In citing the primary texts (Marx, Locke, or Rousseau),  you can simply include parentheses after the material is quoted, the author and page number e.g. (Locke, 52). Beyond these texts, use of any thinking that is not your own must be footnoted.
You only need to use the texts assigned for this course as the basis of your analysis. If you want to use other work by the same author, you must ask me first (before the due date) via email. While you may use secondary sources to elaborate upon your object, do not use secondary sources to help interpret or explain the authors/primary texts.

Last Updated on March 18, 2018

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