For our second unit, we will study and analyze a controversy in our community and the debate surrounding it. Our understanding of “controversy” is broad: anything that involves a problem, issue, or question that lends itself to disagreement or multiple perspectives. This could be a public debate or issue that has been addressed in the media and relevant publications; it could be a conversation between academics or within a professional field; it could be a question specific to a particular company or organization.
Also, our understanding of the relationship between our controversy and your community can be flexible here as well. For example, the economic crisis of 2008, caused to a large extent by the housing bubble and derivatives trading, was not mainly about accountants, but it involved larger concerns with finance, business ethics, etc., and could be a relevant controversy for accounting majors. Concern over concussions in the NFL isn’t only coming from psychologists, but this controversy could be relevant for psychology majors.
You will have an opportunity to explore this controversy and the debate around it through our next several assignments. For the Debate Proposal, your challenge is to identify a controversy and to begin thinking about the debate surrounding it. Your paper should be formatted as a one page memo (see Moodle for memo guidelines) and it should respond to the following prompts and questions:
- What is the controversy? How did it arise?
- What are some of the key terms in the debate? Who are some of the main people in the debate?
- How is the controversy significant for your community? How has the controversy affected your community?
- Generally speaking, what are some of the ways people have responded to the controversy? What are some of the main positions in the debate?