Essay on Reversing the Culture of Greed

Essay on Reversing the Culture of Greed

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In the article entitled “Reversing the Culture of Greed,” Jung-kyu Kim gives us the opportunity to explore current America’s societal breakdown, which we attempt to view through the eyes of George Herbert Mead and James S. Coleman. We will focus on James S. Coleman’s Rational Choice Theory and its ramifications on present-day society and explore George Herbert Mead’s theory of Symbolic Interactionism as a solution to these ramifications. Rational Choice Theory is well represented within the article; but rather than focusing on the literal component of Symbolic Interactionism therein, we will focus on its absence and necessity in preserving the cohesion of modern society.

“Reversing the Culture of Greed” begins by describing the current economic division of wealth in America and the burden that this state of affairs places on middle class America. While the rich focus on becoming richer, the commoners are merely trying to make ends meet. Due to the nature of politics, today’s political agenda is so preoccupied with special interest groups and reelection that government fails to take into account the need to reduce taxes in order to decrease this gap in income. Businesses are uninterested in individuals, their only interest being the obsession of profit maximization; seemingly oblivious to all other human, social and environmental considerations. (Kim, 2013). This philosophy, “in its short-sighted greed, precipitated the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.” (Kim, 2013).

The article offers a theory as to how the current state of affairs came into being, citing that “the main culprit was the widely held belief that pursuit of self-interest is the "rational" thing to do.” (Kim, 2013). He attributes the decline in soc...

... middle of paper ..., and mutually recognized symbols. The ties that bind should bring forth cohesion and solidarity, not alienation and separation. While both theories have their caveats, they both aid in the explanation of the current division of wealth within modern America. I believe that I would rather continue looking at the world through “Mead-colored glasses” as opposed to adopting Coleman’s philosophy.

Works Cited

1.Kim, J.-K. (2013, September 24). Reversing the Culture of Greed. Retrieved from Huffington Post website:
2. Ritzer, G., & Stepnisky, J. (n.d.). Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots 4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
3. Subjective Consciousness. (n.d.). Retrieved November 5, 2013, from Wikipedia website:

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