Tag Archives: rights and responsibilities

World Perspectives–The Social Experience

Once and for all you can know there’s a universe of people outside and you’re responsible to it. – A. Miller

One of the challenges highlighted in history and in literature is striking the balance between individual and societal rights and responsibilities; between personal goals and societal needs; between personal ambition and the common good; between personal values and social values.

Beyond Personal Goals–Individual, Group, and Societal Responsibility
What are our responsibilities to others?
Related Questions:

  • What is our place in society?
  • What are our responsibilities to self? To society? To future generations?
  • How do we balance self-preservation with concern for others?
  • What are our individual rights and responsibilities? What might be our responsibilities and rights as members of particular groups within society?
  • What are our societal rights and responsibilities? Does society count on us as individuals? If so how?
  • What actions are expected of individuals within a society?
  • How does society ensure there is respect for both individuals and for groups?

Dealing with Universal Issues, such as Truth and Justice
What is “truth” and what is “justice”?
Related Questions:

  • How do we define “truth” and “justice”?
  • What are the important truths in life?
  • How do we find truth? How do we tell right from wrong?
  • What are the rights of all?
  • Why is justice often hard to achieve? Is justice fair? Infallible?
  • Why does justice sometimes “sting”? How do we remedy injustice?
  • Are there situations in which it is more just to treat people differently than to treat them the same?

Ambition, Power, and the Common Good
What is the nature of ambition and power?
Related Questions:

  • What gives a person status? Is status achieved the same way in all societies? Within a society?
  • How do ambition and power drive us? How do they challenge us?
  • What is meant by “the common good”? Who decides what the common good is? Is the common good best for every individual in a society?
  • What is the appeal of being in the position of “ruling” other people? What disadvantages accompany being the authority figure?
  • How does lack of power affect particular individuals or groups?
  • What is the reality of being colonized or “ruled”?
  • What is the advantage in treating others as we wish they would treat us? Why is this often difficult?

Social Criticism–Conformity and Nonconformity/ Resistance
What is social criticism?
Related Questions:

  • What societal issues concern us?
  • What is the purpose of social criticism?
  • What is conformity? What is nonconformity? What is meant by “the status quo”? What is rebellion? Do different people define these differently? Are they manifested differently in different societies?
  • What is the role of the state in Canada? What is the role of the individual or groups within the state?
  • How should the state treat its citizens? Is this the same in every country?
  • What is the relationship between the individual and the state in Canada? In other countries?
  • What are the shortcomings of Canadian society? How can we, as citizens, address them?
  • Why do some individuals or groups challenge the system while others abide with it? What is political protest? How does Canadian society treat nonconformity? Rebellion? Is rebellion risky in Canada as compared to other countries? Why or why not?
  • How does Canadian society respond to challenges?

Addressing the Issues–Causes and Crusades
How can we make the world a better place?
Related Questions:

  • What matters most to us as individuals? As groups? As a society?
  • Do all people tackle causes in their lifetimes? Why or why not? What causes might our generation tackle?
  • What do people do when faced with a decision between advancing a cause and doing what they believe is right?
  • Are there situations in which individuals might challenge authority? What are some responsible ways of challenging authority?

Equality–Pain and Pride

He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.
– Edwin Markham

We want to be judged by who we are–our words and actions–not by mere appearances or social standing. Yet our world is filled with inequalities. In this unit, students examine the issues of equality and rights recognizing that, in our society, we need to balance personal needs with responsibilities and demands required of citizens. There is both pain and pride in being human.

What is equitable treatment?
Related Questions:

  • Why is it important to step in or speak out in someone’s defense? When is it important to keep silent?
  • What role does socio-economic status play in inequality? How can wealth be distributed equally? How does the unequal distribution of wealth affect the power that groups of people hold?
  • What role do political, racial, and religious issues play in inequality?
  • What role does gender play in inequality?
  • How do we give all individuals a voice in our society?

Perceptions: Judging and Misjudging People and Their Actions
How do we form judgements about people?
Related Questions:

  • What things do we value in people? Are these things the same in all cultures?
  • How accurate are first impressions based on appearances?
  • How important is race or socio-economic status in forming perceptions of people? What role do language and culture play in perceptions of people?
  • What role does stereotyping play?
  • How can discrimination affect one’s judgement of people? How can we prevent discrimination?
  • Why do people sometimes hurt others who have done nothing to them?
  • Why do some people become victims in our society?

Rights and Responsibilities
How are our rights and responsibilities determined?
Related Questions:

  • Who is responsible for our lot in life?
  • What can we do if we feel our rights have been denied?
  • How are rights related to responsibilities?
  • Is everyone in a society responsible for others in that society? How can people exercise their responsibilities?

Racial Tensions
What role does race play in a pluralistic society?
Related Questions:

  • How might the values of one group differ from those of another in a pluralistic society?
  • What racial tensions exist in our society? Why might there be racism in the justice system? What role did colonialism play in racism?
  • How do we resolve racial tensions and conflicts in our society?
  • What accomplishments can the world communities recognize and celebrate?
  • What is the best way to ensure world peace?

Justice and Fairness
How can we ensure justice and fairness for everyone in a society?
Related Questions:

  • What is fair and just? When is a situation fair?
  • What is right and wrong?
  • What is the purpose of the law? When are laws fair? What might cause an individual to ignore the law?
  • What is “legal”? What is the difference between “legal” and “moral” justice?
  • How is fairness dealt with in the workplace?
  • How should we deal with unjust and unfair situations? How should we speak out or act against injustice?