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Description One of the goals of this course is to have you walk away with knowledge and awareness that extends beyond the confines of the classroom. The textbook is full of information and lessons that you can apply to your everyday lives to enhance not only your own experience, but to contribute to bettering society as a whole. The purpose of this Heroism Assignment is to get you to reflect intelligently on what you have learned and to think about how you can put that knowledge into action. This project is comprised of several components/activities as described below. You will present your work in a readable format (APA is not imperative, but the format must show that you used common sense). The maximum for the paper is 15 written pages. This does not include the appendix or references. Sections of Your Paper Introduction: You will do this last! You will need to complete all of the components of the paper before you can write a proper introduction. Basically, you will introduce the notion of a hero and why it is important to think about heroism in this day and age. Part I – Your definition of a hero: Before you start doing any background reading or preparation for this paper, I want you to describe what the word “hero” means to you. How do you define heroism? Is it defined by characteristics of the individual? The situation? Both? Reflect on how you came to develop your notion of what a hero is. What were your influences? Family? Friends? Experience(s)? Books? Movies? Other media? List three people you believe are heroes and provide a reason why each of these people is a hero (one paragraph for each person). Part II – Society’s definition of a hero: It’s always interesting to see how your perception compares to those of others. For this component, perform a media analysis of society’s definition of heroism. Look for five examples of people that have been hailed as heroes in the media. These should be people who otherwise may not be known to the general public. Give a short description of the person and the act that he/she is being praised for and reflect on how this fits/does not fit with your definition of heroism. Do you notice any trends or patterns among the sources? Be sure to include as an Appendix, the first page of the article/webpage featuring the hero you are describing. To get a sense of how accurately what you read/see in the media reflects the view and opinions of everyday people, interview four people (2 adults & two children) on the topic of heroism. You can interview these people individually or as a group. This should be a very informal discussion in which you will ask three questions: 1) what is a hero; 2) who do you know who is a hero; and 3) why is that person a hero. Be sure to take notes – you may record the interviews but you will have to transcribe them afterwards. Your interview notes or transcriptions must be included as an Appendix. Do an analysis comparing the hero perspectives encountered thus far: yours, that of the media, and that of your interviewees. What are some of the commonalities and/or differences you observe across these various perspectives? Part III – Zimbardo’s definition of a hero: For this part you will need to consult three sources: 1. Your textbook 2. The Franco, Blau, & Zimbardo (2011) article found on Moodle 3. The Heroic Imagination Project website ( The idea here is to broaden your perspective on what it means to be a hero. I want you to reflect on how this perspective differs from the ones you have been discussing so far. I also want you to reflect on how this new perspective ties into concepts discussed on the textbook. What are some of the social traps we need to avoid that will allow us to behave in more heroic ways? Zimbardo discusses a lot of these ideas on the HIP website. For example, he touches on concepts such as conformity and obedience to authority, to name a couple. What are some other concepts from the textbook that are relevant to this discussion? Part IV – Your revised definition of a hero: Now that you have had the opportunity to read up on and analyze Zimbardo’s perspective on heroism, do you feel compelled to revise your original definition? Would you make changes to the list of heroes you generated? If so, who would you add/exclude, and why? If not, how do your heroes fit in with Zimbardo’s definition? Part V – Your “hero in training” manifesto: You will notice that Zimbardo is proposing that we make a paradigm shift from thinking of heroes as unique and unusual to thinking of ourselves as a “hero in waiting”. On his website, he suggests that every day, we should engage in “hero in training” activities. Based on the advice provided on his website and from material presented in the text, what do you believe you can reasonably do to be a hero in training? Write a “hero in training” manifesto and include it as an Appendix. You may write this in bullet point form (in other words, an in formal, non-APA style). Feel free to borrow from Zimbardo’s website but as always be sure to reference it. Paraphrase whenever possible (do not simply plagiarize!). Part VI – Conclusion Wrap up your paper with a few comments on the notion of heroism, your opinion (positive or negative) of the Heroic Imagination Project, and what sort of impact you think having done this paper has had and will continue to have on you. Again, feel free to be honest, but also be constructive! Assessment You will be graded on the following: Completeness, quality of writing, critical thinking, and integration of resource material. This assignment is worth 20 points and is due by the end of the day (23:59) on Sunday, November 29th, 2020. To avoid any late issues, I recommend handing it in early. Each day late will result in a deduction of 10%, no exceptions. Assignments more than 5 days late will NOT be accepted, and will receive a grade of 0.


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