Benjamin Busch will deliver a multimedia lecture on how our sense of service has changed in the new century. As America transitions from manufacturing to an economy increasingly defined by service and consumption, laborers are struggling to hold their place as contributors to national production. As wealth consolidates in the one percent, few can work enough to sustain a family or rely on employment to deliver them to retirement with benefits. The nation has also been in ideological contest with religion, fighting a global ghost in its war on terror. The military, often a last resort employer in regions where other career options are thinning or gone, has also lost much of its long appeal as a way to "serve the country."
This lecture will examine the changing relationship of Americans to patriotism, citizenship, and service. It asks what we work for, how our labors define us, how unemployment harms our identity and how military service is perceived by politics, college and home