Unit 8 Discussion: Understanding the history of now
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Although we rarely stop to think about it, the recent past shapes our lives in countless ways. Our place in the world as Americans has been altered by many developments since the Cold War’s end, including economic restructuring due to increased globalization, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the wars in the Middle East, and the economic collapse known as the “Great Recession.” Our individual identities, how we understand who we are and how we fit in society, have been shaped by immigration, civil rights struggles, feminism, religious movements, and economic changes. Our political identities align to varying degrees with a two party system that has undergone significant realignment in recent decades. Our ability to communicate with loved ones and define our public personas has been shaped by communications technology that was only in its infancy just three decades ago. 

In this discussion post, you will identify and explain how the events of the recent past (1991-present) most impact your own life today. To do so, please answer the following questions in your post:

What single event, social movement, political issue, or economic change of the past three decades, presented in Unit 8, has most impacted your own life or the lives of your family members?
Why is this development, above all others, so impactful for you?
How does your own experience (or that of your family) fit within the larger historical narrative in this unit? Is your own experience similar or dissimilar to the common American experience of the recent past?
Your response is rooted in your own experiences/perspectives, so there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. However, your response of 200-300 words must be backed up by historical evidence from Unit 8 material. See discussion post guidelines Actions  for more information.

Remember, for full credit, you must also respond to at least two other classmates’ posts by the unit deadline. A meaningful response will engage with their ideas and evidence. Comments like “good job,” “couldn’t agree more,” and “I don’t agree” are not sufficient for full credit without further elaboration.

NOTE: You must post your initial response before you can see your classmates’ replies. You also cannot edit or delete your initial post once submitted, so be sure that you are ready to post. I strongly suggest composing your post elsewhere, such as in Google Docs or a Microsoft Word file.


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