Inherent Threats to the American Way of Life: Privacy and Isolation in the U.S.




Stuart, Ashley Lynn

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Equality, freedom, and individualism characterize basic American traditions and values and are imperative for sustaining American democratic institutions. However, these values can have detrimental effects if they are backed by selfish motives. Community interaction and social capital must work together with these values for them to be beneficial to our societies, and build a quality and meaningful ways to live. Americans value their privacy and personal space to an extent that could be damaging to their social ecology. The values that the United States was built on have become individualized and selfish and have detrimental potential for their communities, society, and nation. Today, these damaging affects are exasperated by modern life in the United States. Technology, sprawl, and bureaucratic systems have facilitated a selfish motivation for the practice and distribution of these values among our society. This has resulted in the weakening of American social institutions, community relations, and civil participation over the past three to four decades. The negative effects of this, foreseen and unforeseen, are numerous and dangerous; however, we may be able to turn things around.



social capital, community, individualism, social ecology, suburban sprawl, technology and society, American society, democracy in America, Honors College


Stuart, A. L. (2008). Inherent threats to the American way of life: Privacy and isolation in the U.S. (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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