Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Political Science




american, society, citizens, responsibilities, work


Contemporary American citizens have become increasingly negligent towards their responsibilities to their country. The ability to congregate in plurality and discuss pressing political and social matters was once a coveted commodity. Yet, in today’s society, American citizens are becoming increasingly isolated from one another and indulging in the individualistic lifestyle that plagues our nation. We have become wrapped up in the rampant consumerism that has flooded every avenue of nearly all American communities. It is my contention that a thorough analysis of the work of Hannah Arendt will help reshape the modern American understanding of what it truly means to be a citizen. Through studying the work of Arendt, the reader is able to more fully appreciate the responsibilities of citizenship and the significance of following through with those responsibilities. My argument focuses around the concepts of freedom, action, and politics, which are three main areas of Arendtian philosophy. These areas of Arendt’s writing best correlate with the present state of affairs in contemporary American society. Each concept can be looked at through a modern lens and recognized as a part of society which we struggle with today. Arendt’s work has the potential to play a considerable role in reinventing American society and inspiring citizens to a level of involvement not seen since this country’s foundation.