Friday, 22 June 2012

Academic Writing - Task 2 (Model answer)

A person’s worth nowadays seems to be judged according to social status and material possessions. Old-fashioned values, such as honour, kindness and trust, no longer seem important. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Today value systems seem to have shifted from one extreme to another. Whereas in the past personal qualities were important, today people are valued according to their assets such as flashy cars and luxury houses as well as the position they hold in society.

As society has become competitive and people struggle to survive in a world with limited resources, values that bound communities together in the past when life was simple are disappearing. In a drive to make a profit and gain an attractive salary, ambitious, career-oriented individuals have no time for solid old-fashioned values. Having a kind or honourable personality is often regarded as a weakness in today’s power driven society and assertive or aggressive people often push for what they want rather than maintaining loyalty to a single person or an organisation.

This is not however true of all societies. In some developing countries such as India and in some religions like Buddhism human qualities such as compassion and honesty are promoted. These types of internal characteristics exist even today despite the fact that these people live in poverty and are regarded as a measure of a true human being.

How a person has been brought up and what values are given priority varies among individuals. The influence of advertising and consumerism adds pressure to people’s value system while competitiveness challenges a person’s sensitivity in favour of materialism and a false sense of superiority due to the acquisition of wealth. Although material wealth is a sign of a person’s financial success it does not necessarily reflect their human nature.

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