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.