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In what ways do systems shape individuals, and in what ways do individuals shape systems? (Essay Sample)


Readings: Naomi Klein. “Hot Money: How Free Market Fundamentalism Helped Overheat the Planet.” (Required); Faludi, Susan. “The Naked Citadel.” (Required)
In her article, Klein explores how the global trade system, as well as the earth’s climate system and the policies meant to address climate change, were developed “in solitude” from one another. Parallel development of trade and climate policies have led to a socioeconomic and political system in which global trade ultimately “trumps” the climate and earth upon which global trade exists.
We encounter a closed system – or institutional and social system – in “The Naked Citadel.” Here, Susan Faludi argues that students attempt to “obscure a domestic male paradise with an intensifying of virile showmanship in violence” (100). The utopic society of the Citadel, her interviewees argue, only works with the exclusion of women, whose presence would otherwise disrupt the intimacy and familial sociality of the cadets. From their perspective, Faulker’s entry into the Citadel would destroy its central mission of making the “Whole Man,” in turn destroying the institution and the system of values upon which it was founded and operates – or does it, and has it always historically?
For your first essay, use close reading analysis (that is, evidence that supports or substantiates your argument) of Klein and Faludi’s works to develop and original, independent thesis claim to the following question: In what ways do systems shape individuals, and in what ways do individuals shape systems? In other words, to what extent are individuals able to choose their own lives and identities – and to what extent can they choose to shape the world around them?
Make sure to use both authors “in conversation” in every paragraph through close reading and connective analysis to make and support your argument.

Questions to start your thinking:
Remember that these questions should not be answered in a list! They’re here to help generate your thinking.
How What is a system? How do you understand that term? Are there different types?
What is a person? What is an individual? Is a person solely an individual, or not?
What systems, institutions, and other things do you encounter in your daily life that shape the person that you are – or do yourself help to shape? Words like “influence,” “impact,” and the like are very broad; think of specific examples.
What is within your control, and what, if anything, is outside it?
Make an argument – a claim – and provide solid close reading analysis as evidence to support your argument.


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In What Ways Do Systems Shape Individuals, And in What Ways Do Individuals Shape Systems?
It is the nature of human beings to belong to a certain system. A system is considered as a set of regulations that bind people together. The failure to follow such regulations could result in a punishment of the involved party. To some extent, a person has control over their life, but in the case where they belong to a certain system, then they are bound to having their lives controlled by the system. Various scholars have put across arguments to identify the relationship between individuals and systems. Therefore, this paper will focus on the ways through which systems shape people, and people shape the systems.
Based on the definition of a system, certain rules and regulations govern the actions of people within the system. In turn, this plays a substantial role in shaping the behavior of people. Every member of the system will be required to follow the regulations, failure to which, they risk being punished. It is through such rules that the system can create equality among the people. 

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