Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Udi Butler


In this paper, the author begins with the question of how we can recognize whether or not we are in an opportune time to re-evaluate our current economic system. Through a literature review the canvas is set for the surveys of 63 people from across the United States about the way they feel about the economic system within which we currently find ourselves. Through the survey, he establishes that people who report having had a harder time during the “economic recovery” of the Great Recession were more likely to act in the hopes of bettering their community than those who found themselves relatively unaffected. This did not, however, necessarily correlate with whether the participants could envision a more equitable economy for the United States or their self-reported beliefs about altruism. Many participants expressed views of futility in the face of such a large economic/power structures, showing a desire for change but expressing doubt that things can or will change.

The implications of the limited study are that people looking for systemic reforms to our economy need to adopt a wider set of rigorously studied communications tactics to help reclaim the economic system and discourse from the increasingly wealthy and powerful. The researcher’s survey suggests critical mass for system change sentiment may exist, however, the author suggests that to facilitate change, we must re-evaluate the way we communicate with each other. Furthermore, the purpose of our education system must be re-evaluated, promoting collaborative learning processes to facilitate a sense of empowerment and ownership of the imperfect systems within which we live and operate.


Economic History | Economic Theory | Other Communication


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