An Awareness of the System

The person being interviewed, DD, is an 18-year-old student who has been working in the retail space since the age of 16. DD does not have a set career path yet and seems to be interested in the sciences over the humanities. From what she has explained her family is tentatively middle-class.

When asked about how she defines capitalism she describes it as “money, the cycle of buying things, paying for things and earning money to continue buying and paying for things.”

Following that she was asked how capitalism impacts the economy and explained that “not in a good way, there’s a lot of people who are poor and are starving while people like Jeff Bezos are very rich, I don’t think that is very good for an economy to have someone hoard money.”

She was asked how she viewed herself in a capitalist system and she explained that she viewed herself as a “target” because “they want to sell me everything and anything, sometimes it works but sometimes not, I feel like I’m just there to work if I don’t work I don’t get paid and then I cant take care of myself.”

The follow-up question was how her parents viewed this system compared to her: “They care a lot about it, I think they think that the system only works if you try to earn money” When asked to elaborate she said, “they think that the only way to get by is to work hard, they think people are just lazy, I don’t know, I don’t argue with them.”

When asked if she think that capitalism was beneficial, she said, “how do we know? I mean, something else could work but no one wants to try,” and responded to the question of if capitalism is good for the community with “it makes people greedy, it can’t be good if it makes people worse.”

She was asked at the end of the interview if her experiences shaped her understanding of the topic and she said she wasn’t sure but that it likely did. At various times she talks about how economic instability can ruin a person’s life and it is likely that her experience in the workforce informed this notion.

The answers that DD gave seem indicative of awareness of capitalism and how it functions. Her answers were succinct and showed a more colloquial understanding of the topic at hand. What was notable was how often she would argue that the system was not beneficial for people’s well-being and harmful to a majority of people. Her answer about how she fits into the system was interesting as she seems to view it as cohersive in some way and ultimately a negative relationship. It is clear in her answers that she has some knowledge of the perceived damage of the economic system and holds some contempt for the people who are meant to be in control of the system.

Her opinion on capitalism also seems to heavily contrast her parents’ opinions on the system. This could be indicative of how younger generations may have a more negative view of the system and are more informed on its negative outcomes over other aspects of capitalism.

Overall, the interview may give credence to the idea that people have become more aware of the system that they currently live in. DD talks about how this system negatively affects people and how from her perspective people arent doing enough to stop these effects. While she admits that she is largely uninformed on political and economic concepts, it is evidenced that she is aware that she is living in an economic system that has a direct impact on her life.

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