Bruce Springsteen's Model Of Moral Development Essay

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Bruce Springsteen gets people. He gets Americans. Through Springsteen’s ability to listen, understand, and retell the stories of everyday American citizens, he connects to people of varying races, genders, religions, and backgrounds. Springsteen exhibits a strong sense of moral development and wellness through his music and through his lyrics he gives his listeners the opportunity to think profoundly about other people and the situations of their lives. Lawrence Kohlberg published a model for moral development that includes three levels of development. The first level of Kohlberg’s model is “preconventional morality” which involves “personal interests in terms of what is good for the individual” (Green, 345). In other words, this first …show more content…

Springsteen’s song tells the story of Amadou Diallo who was an African immigrant who was mistaken as a criminal suspect by Bronx police officers. When Diallo reached for his wallet to show his identification, the officers assumed that he was reaching for a weapon and they shot him forty-one times. He was unarmed. Springsteen shares the perspectives of the white police officers as well as an African American mother instructing her son on what to do if he encounters white police officers. Springsteen is able to deconstruct the constrictions of race, class, and occupation in order to allow his listeners to feel empathetic toward the subjects of the song. While the song is based on the events surrounding Diallo’s tragic death, the meaning behind Springsteen’s words transcends time. The issues outlined in the song are still issues in our modern day. It is unfortunate that we still live in a society where People of Color and police officers live in fear of one another and do not know if they will be able to return to their families every time they leave their homes. Springsteen’s ability to write with such relevance and diversity makes this song an example of conventional and postconventional levels of moral

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