Summer 2018: Ethics in the Movies
You are required to watch ONE movie from the list I provide below. These are the only movies eligible for this assignment. You may watch the movie as a group, but you must complete the paper INDIVIDUALLY! Remember, this is an ethics course. Your paper is due via Canvas no later than 11:59pm on Wednesday, June 12, 2018.
I want you to dig deep, think critically, but also enjoy this assignment. This is essentially a case study via film. All of the films eligible for this assignment possess ethical issues. While I do want you to be entertained, I want you to view the movie you choose through an ethical lens. Think about the concepts we have discussed in class and how these are evident in the movie.
Movie choices (choose one):
Stranger Than Fiction (Rated PG-13; Will Ferrell)
General questions to address:
What is/are the ethical dilemma(s)? Is/are the ethical issue(s) faced by a leader, followers, or society in general? What decision is faced, and who or what is affected by this decision…is it far reaching (organizational, societal) or just limited to the individual or a small group? What are the implications, short-term and long-term effects, of the actions of the character(s) in the movie? These are general questions and are likely to be subsumed in the questions below.
Questions connecting class concepts:
• From Chpt. 1: Is this an issue of shadow(s) of a leader (e.g., power, broken loyalty, etc.) or challenge(s) of a follower (e.g., obedience, obligation, etc)? If so, be specific.
• From Chpt. 5: There are six general ethical perspectives or models (Utilitarianism, Kant’s Categorical Imperative, Justice as Fairness, Communitarianism-4th edition, see your notes-, Pragmatism, and Altruism). Which of these appears to be the perspective(s) used by the characters in the movie? Do you agree with their perspective? If not, which of these models would you use and why?
• From Chpt. 6: Take a side or make a definitive decision on an ethical issue in the movie. This is your decision. Use one of the four decision making formats in the chapter (Kidder’s checkpoints, Nash’s 12 Questions, Lonergan/Baird method, and Foursquare protocol). Make sure you address all elements of the format you choose to arrive at your decision. Clearly articulate each step.
• From Chpts.7&8: What type of influence and leadership, if any, is displayed in the movie? Support this with examples.
The essay should be 6-8double-spaced pages in 12-point font. You are all graduate students, so I do expect proper grammar and clear writing. While I do value your opinion on the ethical issues of the movie, I want to see that you can connect objective class concepts (ethical models, decision making formats, etc.) to support your stance. Make sure you use APA-style citation when necessary.