Chapter 2: Evidence
Now that you have completed the process and drafted a blueprint and opening for this essay, watch Video 2.3: Analysis of Article and Constructing the Two-Storey Opening to see what we came up with. It is important to remember that your interpretation of the text does not have to be the same as ours. There is no right or wrong interpretation of a text when that interpretation is supported by evidence from the text. Consider the argument we make in our close reading, but pay more attention to the work we put in to get to that interpretation. While your focus and claim need not be the same as ours, it should have the same level of support.
Interesting words or phrases
create and submit to government
environmental pollution control
erosion of public transit
New words or phrases
Synonyms and Related Terms
Save the planet: walkable, car-free, green homes, biodiversity
Young People: pre-political, high school students, kids
Responsibility: taxes, public sacrifice, or the restraint of private choice
Making tomorrow, today!: community visioning and master planning, ambitions, desired future, young people engage
Cogs: clients and consumers, wage earners, property owners, taxpayers, and voters,
Power: submit to government; coerce; government regulation, bloated bureaucracy, or an oppressive “nanny state;” rarely truly accessible to all
Swedish Students’ Concerns: insufficient government action, inadequate protection or provision of public goods and services, decline in green spaces, loss or erosion of public transit, lack of bicycle paths or gathering spaces
American Students Concerns: inadequate provision of public goods, more public transportation or an improved public skate park, undesirable side effects of business, too many chain stores, construction leading to displacement of wildlife and natural areas, government actions, lack of business or types of business
Lowered Expectations?: hesitant, expect; perceived capacity; privatization or charging fees for what were once public services is common everywhere from parks to police protection; an ideology of limited expectations from government
public or social v. private goods
Stockholm, Sweden v. Keene, New Hampshire
adults v. high school students
“malls and amusement parks” v. “clean waterways, street art, and public transit”
Stockholm students’ vision v. Keene students’ vision
active citizenship v. “something to do”
private realm v. public realm
lack of imagination v. challenging the perceived status quo
consumerism v. civil disobedience?
We have chosen as our two best observations the contrast of “Stockholm students’ vision v. Keene students’ vision” and the list of synonyms titled “Lowered Expectations?” (It is again worth noting that the choice of these two observations as the “best” does not mean we throw away or ignore the remaining observations. Rather, we use the selected observations as a lens through which we can view, select, and organize the remaining information into our most interesting and persuasive analytical reading.)
In “Kids Around the World Just Want to Hang Out” Michael Welsh compares the responses given by two separate groups of high school students from Stockholm, Sweden and Keene, New Hampshire who were surveyed about “their preferences and visions for their cities.” Welsh uses this comparison to convey a distressing reality he hopes his American readers will be motivated to address: while both groups of students seemed to have the same hopes and visions for a greener, cleaner future for their cities, the students of Keene displayed considerably less vision than their Stockholm counterparts, “limited expectations” of their government’s ability or interested to help them attain their goals, and a worrying reliance on commercial companies to provide them the accessible, common, and entertaining spaces they desire.
Point One: Analyze the similar desires Welsh identifies within the responses of both groups of students making note of how the only difference seems to be the Keene students’ “lack of vision.”
Point Two: Analyze how Welsh seems to point to the influence of commercialism on these students as not only a possible source of this “lack of vision” but also a source of inspiration and salvation for these hopeful but surprisingly uninspired students.
Point Three: Analyze how Welsh subtly insinuates the dangerous difference between a public commons and a corporate sponsored commons
Point Four: Analyze how Welsh discusses what is really at stake here and what is really lost. Free thought and innovation are fostered in free and open common spaces. What will happen to the future if these spaces are no longer “free” but sponsored by corporations with their own desires and agendas?