Wednesday, February 10, 2016

NEOLIBERALISM HAS BROUGHT OUT THE WORST IN US


“An economic system that rewards psychopathic personality traitshas changed our ethics and our personalities”
Paul Verhaeghe
Level of Difficulty: ***
TAKE THE TEST
BEFORE YOU READ
WATCH AND LISTEN
QUESTIONS
  1. What misconception do we need to be disabused of?
  2. The reason why economic change is having a serious impact on who we are and what we believe in is the fact that……………………………………………………………………………………
  3. It can be concluded from the text that being glib is more important than being
·         Shallow
·         Frivolous
·         Profound
·         Insignificant
  1. Being glib is not enough on its own; it only becomes a bonus if it is accompanied by a propensity to……………………………………………………………………………………………..
  2. The above provides an added bonus the individual in the modern business world is completely free of …………………………………..
  3. The fact that modern man feels no accountability also means he is free to be as ………………………..as he likes. This results in secure /speculative / dependable / sound / dangerous endeavors.
  4. Currently, the EU is pressuring Turkey to open its borders to the refugees but closing their own borders to the same refugees. They are doing this because in the modern world it is more important to……………………..This is what the system,………………………, demands.
  5. Bullying is now witnessed in workplaces too because ……………………………………….
  6. The loss of self reliance and self dependence in the workplace can be linked to…………on the one hand and to ………………………….on the other.
  7. The serious drop in the levels of self respect people feel in the modern world is due to a lack of…………………………………………………………………………..
  8. The message of society that everyone can succeed if they try is ironical because in fact ……………………………………………..
  9. Why is the message of neoliberal meritocracy described as a fairytale?
·         Because it is extremely beautiful
·         Because it is completely ridiculous
  1. Read Zygmunt Bauman’s views concerning the age we are living in. Which of the following can be deduced about modern man?
·         We are far freer, in every respect, than we used to be
·         We are not nearly as free as we used to be
·         We think we are far freer in every respect
·         We think we are not nearly as free as we used to be
  1. Which of the following individuals would be ‘breaking the rules governing modern society’?
·         A new mother who prefers to return to work immediately and hire a nanny
·         A teacher who turns down a well paying job at a private university because he feels he has more to give students of a state university.
·         A young person with an excellent education who chooses to take up acting instead of pursuing a career.
·         A person who uproots his family to move to another city because he has got a promotion.
WRITING TASK
The first alternative:
“We are forever told that we are freer to choose the course of our lives than ever before, but the freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited” To what extend do you agree? Discuss.
The second alternative:
“The current economic system is bringing out the worst in us” To what extent do you agree? Discuss.
NEOLIBERALISM HAS BROUGHT OUT THE WORST IN US KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This brilliant text is full of some serious home truths about the current era and is, therefore, rather depressing. It should, however, provide plenty of food for thought and lead to some lively discussions. You should find it interesting to see how cynical or idealistic your students are.

  1. That our identities are stable and largely separate from outside forces.
  2. Meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalizes others.
  3. Profound
  4. To lie and feel little guilt
  5. Responsibility (for his own behavior)
  6. Flexible and impulsive / speculative
  7. Extract more profit from the situation / neoliberal meritocracy
  8. The impotent need to vent their frustration on the weak
  9. Constant evaluations / infantilisation of the workers
  10. Recognition
  11. The freedom to choose outside the success narrative is limited (notice the key word is ironical so answers like an increasing number of people fail… will not work; there is no irony)
  12. The second
  13. We think we are far freer in every respect
  14. The second and the third

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