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Asshole Assignment

English 150 - Pasquel

We all use the word asshole on a daily basis to describe particularly bothersome people, but what is an asshole really, and why do we care? In Assholes, a Theory where the author defines a true asshole, not to be confused with a douchebag or a sociopath, he puts forth three definitive characteristics.

1)      The Asshole systematically takes special advantages
2)      The Asshole does so out of an entrenched sense of entitlement
3)      The Asshole’s entitlement immunizes him against arguments from others

Of course, not all assholes are individuals. Indeed, it seems most appropriate to attribute these characteristics and the corresponding label to various entities operating around the world, especially in light of Robert Merton’s theory of Manifest and Latent Functions.

            Manifest Function: The intended and recognized consequences of a given institution
            Latent Function: The unintended and unrecognized consequences of a given institution.

So, choose a corporation, a media outlet, a charitable organization, a chain restaurant, or an organization offering entertainment, to name a few possibilities, and delve into the evidence to uncover their asshole tendencies and the repercussions of such behavior!

Your Task:

In a well-organized and properly developed essay, prove that the entity of your choice operates as an asshole in accordance with Dr. James’ definition. Please discuss the manifest and latent functions of your entity and examine the effect of these intended and unintended consequences on society at large.

7-10 pages
4-5 sources from COM library databases
Use CRAAP Test

Course Text

Cover Art
Assholes: A Theory - Aaron James
Call Number: BJ1474 .J35 2012
ISBN: 9780804171359
What does it mean for someone to be an asshole? The answer is not obvious, despite the fact that we are often stuck dealing with people for whom there is no better name. We try to avoid them, but assholes are everywhere—at work, at home, on the road, in the public sphere—and we struggle to comprehend why exactly someone should be acting like that.

Asshole management begins with asshole understanding. Finally giving us the concepts to discern why assholes disturb us so, philosopher Aaron James presents a provocative theory of the asshole to explain why such people exist, especially in an age of raging narcissism and unbridled capitalism. We get a better sense of when the asshole is best resisted and best ignored—a better sense of what is, and what is not, worth fighting for.


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