Presenters

Faculty Sponsor Name

Amy Buddie

Abstract (300 words maximum)

One of the most prominent ethoses of the United States of America is that of the “American Dream.” While James Truslow Adams was the person to coin the term “American Dream,” the concept dates back to the Declaration of Independence, which states that all men have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” While the “American Dream” can be thought of as a single concrete goal, Ştiuliuc argues, however, that “it constitutes a cultural narrative with manifold implications in the multiple and distinct immigrant stories that created America” (2011:364). In order to determine the validity of this statement, a study will be distributed online asking participants to define their version of the American Dream. In order to accomplish this task, the survey will be broken into two main sections. The first will contain demographic questions that will be the basis for our analysis (age, race, religion, etc.) while the second will contain questions pertaining to goals that are a part of the “American Dream” (e.g., desired homeownership, desired income, desired marital status, etc.). We predict that those from a higher socioeconomic background will be more ambitious with their ideal “American Dream” than those with poorer economic backgrounds. We also predict that younger individuals will be more ambitious/optimistic with regard to their “American Dream” than older individuals. The results of this study will add to the literature regarding the extent to which different groups of people endorse aspects of the American Dream.

Project Type

Poster

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Once Upon an American Dream: What the American Dream Means to Different People

One of the most prominent ethoses of the United States of America is that of the “American Dream.” While James Truslow Adams was the person to coin the term “American Dream,” the concept dates back to the Declaration of Independence, which states that all men have the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” While the “American Dream” can be thought of as a single concrete goal, Ştiuliuc argues, however, that “it constitutes a cultural narrative with manifold implications in the multiple and distinct immigrant stories that created America” (2011:364). In order to determine the validity of this statement, a study will be distributed online asking participants to define their version of the American Dream. In order to accomplish this task, the survey will be broken into two main sections. The first will contain demographic questions that will be the basis for our analysis (age, race, religion, etc.) while the second will contain questions pertaining to goals that are a part of the “American Dream” (e.g., desired homeownership, desired income, desired marital status, etc.). We predict that those from a higher socioeconomic background will be more ambitious with their ideal “American Dream” than those with poorer economic backgrounds. We also predict that younger individuals will be more ambitious/optimistic with regard to their “American Dream” than older individuals. The results of this study will add to the literature regarding the extent to which different groups of people endorse aspects of the American Dream.