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The article under consideration is concerned with the way business celebrities are presented in contemporary society and the reasons for such trends. It is a fact that Steve Jobs was one of the most famous and admired business persons in the world during his life and became an iconic figure after his death. At the same time, Streeter (2015) notes that this popularity and admiration are not determined solely by the inspiring leader, but shaped by the overall values and beliefs existing in society.
The researcher’s claim concerning ‘romanticism’ is quite relevant as society views individuals as capable and worthy of making a difference. Loners who oppose the society are favorably accepted and are often regarded as messiahs, which is also reflected in various films made in the 2010s. The same trends have been true for the business world as well, and many researchers have paid significant attention to it.
One of the most valuable aspects of this article is that the author explains the way these beliefs and values occurred not just restates what has already been proven. Another strength of the article is that the author takes into account political and social aspects when considering the development of business icons.
Apart from people’s focus on iconic rebels, the value of the article increases as the author provides insights into the way a favorable image of corporations are created through the development of an enigmatic figure of their leaders. The author’s argument concerning the nature of such innovators’ uniqueness is rather eye-opening as it becomes clear that Steve Jobs was only one of the thousands who contributed to innovation. This opinion is not quite heard among the voices of admirers, but the author’s position is well-grounded and is likely to attract more attention later when the trends in the social change.
Streeter (2015) manages to explain the roots of the American romanticism in business. The author claims that Americans lived through the stages of “big industry” and “the giant corporation” and entered the “age of the entrepreneur” (Streeter, 2015, p. 3112). The way the society turned to neoliberalism is rather remarkable as people got tired of corporations as well as governmental control and longed for certain individual liberty in business. Entrepreneurship provided this freedom.
Streeter (2015) emphasizes that Steve Jobs is not a prodigy who changed the world but the product of certain trends that existed in the society at that moment. The author states that people loved hearing about successful loners who broke rules and listened to their inner selves. The media provided the public with the necessary stories. Steve Jobs was one of the examples of neoliberalism that became popular in the second half of the twentieth century. It is necessary to note that people made Jobs iconic not his abilities or achievements.
This important observation unveils the secrets of the business world as well as the way human society evolves. It is also clear that media reflect societal values by looking for the corresponding stories. For instance, romanticism is still a prevalent trend in the world, so people hear numerous stories about individuals who oppose the entire world. The abundance of courses associated with entrepreneurship can be regarded as an example of peoples’ adherence to the values of entrepreneurship.
At present, young people are searching for strength in their selves without paying much attention to others. Everyone hopes to become a new Jobs and achieve success through breaking rules and thinking in a ‘new’ way.
It is possible to note that the two articles in question focus on the way people’s views and values affect the development of society. However, the two authors focus on different spheres as Streeter (2015) explains the way people shape the development of the business world while Winner (1980) concentrates on the technological aspect. Both researchers provide eye-opening arguments that make the reader consider quite ordinary things from a new perspective. The two articles are also rooted in the philosophy of positivism as science and progress are seen as pillars of societal development.
It is necessary to note that both articles provide arguments against the views that the development of society is determined by some phenomena. For instance, Streeter (2015) opposes the view that individuals shape society stressing that individuals’ stories are brought to the fore as there is a certain demand in such accounts. Winner (1980) opposes the idea of the so-called technological determinism and proves that things (technology) do not shape society as they only reflect the needs of people and their inclinations.
The author states that technology has always reflected the trends existing in society. Examples of bias and prejudice are especially remarkable. The two articles provide sound evidence that people’s attitudes and ideas (or in other words, culture) produce iconic figures as well as innovations. Another important point to pay attention to is the fact that the authors stress that it can be hard to predict which icon or technology will be brought to the fore as it is produced by a myriad of factors.
In my opinion, the articles are thought-provoking as they unveil the secrets of the human society. I agree that people’s values and desires affect the way technology, as well as business, evolve, not vice versa. I also believe that individual life stories, as well as innovations, can be regarded as products of societal development. More so, the stories and innovations the public learns about are also determined by the existing trends in society.
Streeter, T. (2015). Steve jobs, romantic individualism, and the desire for good capitalism. International Journal of Communication, 9 (1), 3106-3124.
Winner, L. (1980). Do artifacts have politics? Daedalus, 109 (1), 121-136.