One question I may explore through my own college course is the apparently growing divisions at both the national and the international level. I would explore this question because the political, social, and technological developments over the last few decades should have resulted in more unity at national and international levels, at least in theory, yet that is not the feeling I or most of my friends get. The science fiction writers, the sociologists, and the technology visionaries had repeatedly assured us the world will become one small global village. The globalization has continued to weaken the geographical barriers among countries and more people visit other countries now than they have ever before. Similarly, the tremendous progress in informational technologies has made communication both cheaper and more convenient. The diversity is not just a fact of life in America and few developed countries but is becoming a normal phenomenon even in developing countries. All of these trends should have resulted in declining divisions and not more yet some of us have been forced to wonder whether globalization and information technologies have worsened the situation instead of improving it. These growing divisions have been particularly evident in the western world including the U.S., U.K. and a host of other European countries.
I have come across a number of hypothesis that attempt to explain these growing divisions and it will be my priority to investigate these potential explanations through my course. I even feel the answers to these questions may mostly require old-fashioned ways of research and learning including meeting people in person, especially, those with different point-of-views on political, economic, and social issues. I still believe the economics and social interests of those on the opposite ends of the political spectrum are often more similar than different yet it seems such a challenge to reach a consensus whether in America or other countries.
I often wonder whether over-reliance and over-optimism on modern progress is also a major culprit since it blinded us or at least prevented us from realizing the true extent of potential costs and shortcomings of events like the globalization and technological progress. I am still optimistic about the future but I also feel the problem of growing divisions has to be tackled. I hope this course will help me determine some of the ways we can attack these growing divisions at national and international levels.

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