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The Protestant Work Ethic

Updated June 8, 2022
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The Protestant Work Ethic essay

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According to his essay “The Protestant Work Ethic: Just Another ‘Urban Legend’?,” Jonathan Klemens, a practicing pharmacist, claims that due to the early Protestant religious concept in strong work ethic traits and upsurge of morale from post-World War II, American work ethic is defined as the inherent mechanism that provides beneficial services to the country’s capitalistic economy and society. I agree with Klemens that Protestant American work ethic is a valued social trait that is still completely entrenched in American culture today. Not only is this social trait is evidently rooted in the American workforce’s mentality of pursuing for economic success in the United States today, as seen from observation within my own family, but it is also integrated into the younger generations’ behaviorism as fundamental social attribute to assimilate into society as productive and passionate workers, which is implemented through the current American educational system and film media.

In reference to the distinguished work of Max Weber, a pioneer in modern sociology, Klemens explains that the inception of American work ethic derives from the Protestant, alongside with the Puritan and Calvinist, religious beliefs in good work ethic characteristics and their correlation to a prosperous capitalistic society. Not to mention, the patriotism and morale from post-WWII effort also contribute to the expansion of American work ethic in producing passionate workers, who are devoted in providing services that are both favorable to society and personal satisfaction. Thus, Protestant American work ethic is illustrated as the driving force behind the U.S.’s powerful economy and society.

In the U.S. today, it is apparent that strong work ethic is still preeminent in the American labor force as it is an underlying social trait for working individuals to achieve economic success in society. For example, the American work ethic is ingrained in my mother’s mindset, who is a part of the American workforce, as a valued trait that is essential in achieving personal financial success. She would work restlessly for six days a week, with only one day-off reserves for running errands such as grocery shopping, paying bills, or doing housework, instead of resting. Despite being an immigrant, to her, the integrity of working hard and diligently are imperative to pursue a status of financial stability, in which her and her family are able to live comfortably in the U.S. Similar to my mother, there are millions of working Americans who also maintain a standard work ethic as motivation to achieve personal economic success. This shows how prevalent American work ethic still is in today’s world as it is implanted in individuals’ daily lives of upholding good work principle as a mean to attain their desired financial accomplishment. So, Klemens’s idea of strong work ethic still being rooted in American culture today is evident in my mother’s demonstration of good work virtue and her representation of other working Americans’ driving force in their pursuit of economic success.

Moreover, strong work ethic is still pervasive in American culture today as it is cultivated as a valued intrinsic trait to the youth to later become productive workers in society. To elaborate, in the current American educational system, good moral principle is taught in school to help students maintain adequate behaviors that will later be beneficial to them as working adults. As mentioned in Klemens’s interpretation of Weber’s work, characteristics such as honesty, innovative thinking, diligence, modesty, and determination are fundamental components in upholding good work ethic. From a young age, children have been taught these work ethic traits that are considered appropriate and expected of in society. Specifically, students in high school are expected to dress in appropriate attires for academic presentations and follow a set of ethical codes similar to Klemens’s good work ethic traits. All of these implementations serve as a way to prepare the youth, who will soon become working adults of society, to develop into productive workers with good work ethic in real life. This demonstrates how the role of American educational system today allows for the youth to assimilate into society as working members of society, who uphold strong work ethic that reflects Klemen’s idea of a virtuous concept in American culture. Therefore, due to the continuing application of work ethic in American schools, work ethic is still prevailing in American culture today as a social trait being passed on and on after generations.

Additionally, with the manifestation of virtuous traits being demonstrated in popular film media today, the concept of good work ethic is teaching the youth to assimilate into society as passionate and productive workers. As seen from the Disney animation film The Princess and the Frog (2008), the main character’s demonstration of strong work ethic serves as a model for the young audience to learn from. The underlying theme of the movie revolves around good work ethic of working passionately and diligently in order to pursue personal goals, which can be applicable to real life. In the movie, the main character, Tiana, works multiple jobs tirelessly and earnestly in order to save up and establish her own restaurant. While there are fairy tale-like elements in the story, such as being turned into a frog, defeating the bad guys, and falling in love with a handsome prince, that render a magical and unrealistic aspect; Tiana’s strong work ethic in pursuing her dream proves to be adamant as she righteously buys and builds her own restaurant using her own hard-earned savings. Tiana serves as an influential image as a Disney princess to set an example for adolescents, and even young adults, to pursue after and develop strong work ethic traits that will lead them to become passionate workers in the future. This shows how the character’s practice of good work ethic traits like diligence and passion demonstrates the American work spirit of diligence and dedication to satisfy personal passion and provides service to society at the same time. Overall, the influence of film media affirms the prevalence of strong work ethic as a valued American social trait with its purpose in cultivating the youth and oncoming generations to grow up into ardent and productive members of society.

Not only does virtuous work ethic allows people to pursue economic success in American capitalism, as seen from my own family member, but it also provides the youth the fundamental asset in becoming productive and passionate working adults, which is enforced through the current American educational system and film media. A person’s work ethic can determine his or her role in society as a contributor to society and economy, and the success levels he or she is willing to work to achieve. Good work ethic is not only essential to an individual in order to be successful, but it plays in the factor of the overall labor force. With every individual putting in their full effort with hard work and diligence, the capability American society will then expand with its capitalistic economy into the great nation that Klemens regards as.

The Protestant Work Ethic essay

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The Protestant Work Ethic. (2022, Jun 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/the-protestant-work-ethic/

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