Conceptions of the Cold War
As your reading and Discussions point out, one of the biggest issues that citizens and politicians confronted during the 1960s was the Cold War, which might be defined as the geopolitical tensions, and proxy wars fought between the United States and the Soviet Union. Indeed, for anyone who grew up during the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, the Cold War was a household topic everyone seemed to understand.
The purpose of this assignment is to analyze how people understand the Cold War today. For example, what do everyday people today think of when they hear the term “Cold War”? This is what you are going to find out!
In this assignment, you will do brief interviews with three people, asking them about their conceptions of the Cold War. Your interviewees can be anyone of your choosing: family members, friends, and so on. Below are some suggested questions that you may want to ask:
- What words or phrases come to mind when you think of the term Cold War?
- Did you ever study the Cold War in school? If so, what are some aspects of the Cold War that you remember?
- Who were the parties involved in the Cold War?
- Can you name any key events that we mainly associate with the Cold War?
Take notes on what each of your respondents say. You will need these notes to refer to later when you do the formal write-up of the assignment.
After you have completed the assignment, write up your findings in a brief essay, which addresses the following:
- Using quotes from your interviews, describe how each of your three respondents understand the Cold War.
- Explain to what extent their definition/understanding of the Cold War differs from the definition above (see the bold typeface in the Overview section above).
- If your respondents’ understanding of the Cold War is different from the way the Cold War is defined in this course, explain why that might be the case. (Also, if their definition of the Cold War is very similar, explain this as well!)
Your essay should be 2-3 pages in length (500–700 words)
- Double spaced
- #12 font –Times New Roman
- 1” margins on all sides
- Separate cover page and reference page
- A minimum of one (1) outside (including texts from the course, if you like) scholarly source