The American Dream: In the Age of Diminished Expectations
Wilson, Kevin Dwayne
In 1931 James Truslow Adams coined the phrase "the American Dream" in his historical account of the United States in The Epic of America. Over generations, this premise has shaped the belief that all members of society, regardless of social class, should have an equal opportunity at achieving economic success and upward social mobility. The American Dream in and of itself symbolizes the idea of personal freedom, but this freedom only exists to the extent that we have actual opportunity. According to Jennifer Hochschild and Nathan Scovronick, in their book The American Dream and the Public Schools, our nation's education system has become a barrier to the American Dream, where underfunded schools systems prevent students from obtaining the opportunities afforded to students in more affluent schools.Furthermore, this thesis assesses how our dependence on education, consumerism and economic stagnation, has created a sense of diminished economic expectations for middle and working class families. In order to fix these issues that plague our nation this thesis will propose solutions toward the root causes of our economic downturn, through formal education reform and labor reform. This is followed by a look at the importance of the American Dream and why opportunity is so essential to the survival or our country.
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