Modern Day American Dream

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Modern-Day American Dream

The modern American dream is defined in terms of materialism, technology and the pursuit of quick, easy solutions to life's challenges. Over time, it shifted from the traditional American dream anchored on the Founders' dream of having the right to pursue freedom, prosperity, and happiness.

THE AMERICAN DREAM TODAY

  • The American dream is defined by today's contemporary society in terms of materialism, technology and the pursuit of quick, easy solutions to life's challenges.
  • Today's definition of the American dream further lays more emphasis on the economic aspect of things and with a relentless attainment of the accumulation of wealth and the accomplishment of prestige.
  • It is more characterized by one underdog reaching for a higher status in his world in terms of the societal and family dynamics at play.

THE TRADITIONAL AMERICAN DREAM

  • Similar to the modern American dream, the traditional American dream is anchored on the set of beliefs that each individual has the right and freedom to pursue prosperity and happiness, regardless of their place of birth or capabilities.
  • The modern American dream and the traditional American dream are also the same in that, they both encourage through hard work, growth of an individual from whatever social or economic surroundings that that individual found themselves in at any given time, to a better one.
  • The modern American dream and the traditional American dream are also similar in that both are considered and regarded as an opportunity for success: be it in terms of earning money, having a fulfilling family or attaining happiness in life.

CHANGES OVER THE YEARS

  • Over the years, the American dream has shifted from the founders' dream of protecting opportunities and more to the acquisition of material things.
  • It has also repositioned towards a focus on innovation and the pursuit of technological solution to modern societies complex problems.
  • Over the years, it has also changed in that it has not only become more difficult to achieve, but also having different goals to the original one.
  • It has also transitioned to a more frequent overtime workload for the young professionals and the requirement to be on call more often, not only into the night but the weekends as well.
  • It has also changed in the way the media portrays it and sells it to the public, as today's media relentlessly depicts and emphasizes the lavish image of suburban living and consumerism more than anything else.

CAUSES OF CHANGES

  • These changes have been brought about by technological advancements and the creation of a round-the-clock work culture.
  • Higher educational advancement has enhanced each individual’s chances at professional status as well as economic success, and social security which subsequently has contributed significantly to the redefinition of the modern American dream.
  • Political and economic freedom and advancement has led to more economic opportunity and the prospect of an increase in median household income compared to earlier generations, a factor that has enhanced a modern shift in the American dream.

LINKS TO REPORTS AND STUDIES

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Quotes
  • "The phrase “American Dream” was invented during the Great Depression. It was the author James Truslow Adams who in his 1931 book Epic of America wrote, “But there has been also The American Dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” The years that followed after the Great Depression, The American Dream came true for many of the young people, but the definition of The American Dream has changed over the years."
  • "The American Dream is considered an opportunity for success, and according to Adams, success is earning money. For others, success is all about family and happiness. My ancestors emigrated from Sweden to the United States, hoping for a better life. "
Quotes
  • "How the American Dream Changed Throughout U.S. history, the definition of happiness has changed as well. In the Roaring 20s, it shifted from the Founders' dream of protecting opportunities to acquiring material things. "
Quotes
  • "While the phrase has grown and expanded to mean many different things to many different people, its rise to popularity started in 1931, when famed historian and writer James Truslow Adams wrote in his book The Epic of America about “the American dream, that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.” Read on for a closer look at the American Dream through the years."
  • "What does the American Dream look like now? It’s a lot more complicated. Modern technology juxtaposed with the fall of the housing market has made the American Dream more convoluted. Miguel Suro, a licensed attorney in Florida and a personal finance blogger, says the American Dream has changed in two main ways over time: it’s harder to achieve, and the goals are different. “The main culprit here seems to be technology and the round-the-clock work culture it has created,” Suro says. “To have a similar quality of life (to the one their parents had), most young professionals nowadays (or at least those we know) have to be “on call” into the night and on weekends, and must very frequently work overtime"
  • "Alvin Garcia, a marketing apprentice at Fueled, says the dream has shifted to a focus on innovation, inclusion, and opportunity. “Silicon Valley is a great representation of the current American Dream,” Garcia says. “This dream aspires to solve complex problems with technology rather than use technology to keep things moving like back in the industrial age"
Quotes
  • "While the phrase has grown and expanded to mean many things to many different people, its rise to popularity started in 1931, when the famed historian and writer James Truslow Adams wrote in his book “The Epic of America” that “the American dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement."