I. The subjects noted several positive and negative changes inthe society’s treatment of age, gender, ethnicity, and race. Forexample, the modern era provided women with more opportunities forhigher education in comparison to the silent generation.Consequently, instances of gender inequality were reduced to a largeextent. The modern laws also made numerous provisions to cater forthe needs of elderly persons. Some of these benefits includepensions, assisted living, and retirement homes. Nevertheless, thesubjects were quite adamant concerning the occurrence of racism. Inparticular, they noted the gradual deterioration of relations betweenblacks and whites. Some institutions shunned African Americans infavor of whites. Most of the subjects noted how blacks were exposedto discrimination at the hands of law enforcement agencies. Theformation of movements such as Black Lives Matter was testament tothe strained relations between whites and African Americans. Manyblacks felt that they were subjected to increased police brutality.In some areas, African Americans were more likely to be stopped,searched, and arrested by law enforcement. Statistics also showedthat blacks served longer sentences than whites, who were convictedof similar crimes. Although significant strides were made since thesilent generation, the subjects felt that racism remained a prominentfabric of American society.
II. The subjects lived during the onset of the GreatDepression. Hence, they were exposed to harsh economic conditions.Over 20% of eligible workers were unemployed. Many people also losttheir homes and were forced to live on the streets. Notably, thesubjects noted how the Great Depression affected people from allsocial classes. In fact, there were little distinctions betweenindividuals from the upper and lower classes. Americans experiencedsimilar challenges that led to widespread starvation. Contrariwise,the subjects noted how capitalism had created fundamental changes inthe American society. For instance, the gap between the rich and thepoor continues to widen. Wealthy individuals control the means ofproduction while workers are provided with low salaries. Therefore,it has become harder for people to move up the social classes. In thesame manner, distinctions have become clearer since the top 5% ofrich persons consume the majority of resources. Family dynasties alsoamassed plenty of wealth. A small section of the population lived inposh residences located in secluded neighborhoods. The majority ofcitizens were concentrated in the middle-class level. Many people hadto perform multiple jobs to pay for rent, mortgages, food, transport,school fees, and insurance. Consequently, the proliferation ofcapitalism has led to class distinctions.
III. The subjects noted that many American values had remainedthe same during their lifetimes. For example, the country stillprovides equal opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop theirbusiness ideas. Freedoms of expression, association, and worship arealso acknowledged throughout the country. Therefore, citizens arefree to hold peaceful demonstrations against perceived injustices.The subjects praised the country’s decision to elect a blackpresident. America had made a great improvement in providing civilliberties to its citizens. Notwithstanding, the subjects offeredseveral suggestions concerning how the American society could beimproved in future. Firstly, greater accountability was requiredconcerning the utilization of public resources. Secondly, citizenshad to show more tolerance towards people from different ethnicities.The subjects were pleased with how modern technology was used toimprove healthcare, education, communication, and transport. Some ofthe respondents expressed how they had utilized electronic gadgets tomonitor their health. However, the subjects were disgusted with howmodern technology was used to abuse privacy and confidentiality. Theauthorities used intrusive surveillance techniques to spy oncitizens. Moreover, personal files and communication were accessed byunscrupulous hackers. Consequently, the exploitation of moderntechnology exposed people of various ages to inherent risks.
IV. The subjects were hopeful of change with regards toeducation, religion, and buying habits. America was a leading centerfor higher education. Ivy League schools such as Harvard,Massachusetts Information of Technology, and Stanford had acquiredglobal acclaim for their high standards. In fact, students fromdifferent places qualified to benefit from their educationalprograms. Nevertheless, the subjects noted how countries such asCanada, United Kingdom, and Australia had become prime destinationsfor global scholars. Drastic improvements in fee structures, semesterschedules, and recruitment procedures were needed to attract a highnumber of applicants. New students also need to be trained on how toadapt to the American culture.
The subjects were also hopeful that more religions would be allowedto operate in the country. Admittedly, different forms of faith werepermitted to hold public gatherings and seek more adherents.Nevertheless, restrictions against some societies had to be lifted.Furthermore, all religions should be exempt from remitting taxes ontheir collections. The subjects also noted the changes in consumerpreferences and buying habits. In the 1930s, women wore long dressesmade of thick fabric. However, modern forms of attire were trendy andfashionable. Middle-class residents also chose to use coupons whileshopping for items at the supermarket. Nonetheless, large retailerssuch as Wal-Mart had to provide subsidized products for homelessindividuals. Street families needed to access basic provisions ofshelter, food, clothing, and medication.
V. The subjects felt that the family setup had deterioratedover the decades. In fact, the society had a greater number ofsingle-parent families. Additionally, the rates of separation anddivorce were also higher than those in the silent generation. Thebreakdown of the family was manifested in poor academic performanceand wicked social perceptions. Many students had low grades due tothe lack of parental guidance. Violence and crime had also increasedin the society. Therefore, individual families had to strive tocultivate close relationships among one another. Parents needed topay closer attention to the physical and emotional needs of theirchildren. Dysfunctional families may require counseling to addresstheir unique challenges. Consequently, both parents and childrenwould acquire protection from their families.
Admittedly, the marriage laws still fostered monogamy such that oneman was legally bound to have one wife. In this regard, the marriageinstitution was functioning well by limiting promiscuity andpreventing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Nevertheless, the subjects wereappalled by the legalization of gay marriages. The majority of therespondents noted how homosexuality had made a mockery of moralvalues. Inevitably, the subjects wished for amendments that woulduphold the sanctity of heterogeneous relationships.
VI. The interviews were quite enlightening since the subjectsprovided objective opinions about the American society. Consequently,I developed several conclusions as follows:
Racism remained one of the biggest challenges in the American society
Although gender relations had improved, occurrences of discrimination could be reduced.
Class distinctions between the poor and the rich had increased.
American values of equality and liberty were well-maintained
Increased tolerance and greater accountability could transform the American society
Advanced technology should not be used to infringe on privacy.
The family setup had to improve to provide security for both parents and children
VII. Notably, all subjects were white, middle-class citizens.Their individual details are as follows:
Charles, 66, is a retired Army veteran, who served in the Korean War.
Dorcas, 67, is a former nurse, who treated wounded soldiers duringcombat.
Timothy, 68, is a former engineer with several decades of experiences
Daniel, 70, is my maternal grandfather, who worked as an economistunder the Secretary of Finance in the 1940s.
Patience, 72, is a former air hostess, who worked for severalairlines during her 40-year career.