"The Petersons have two children, two cats and two cars. They were high school sweethearts. Marc Peterson has a small business that sells windows and his wife, Amie, is a nurse. They have a three-bedroom, single-story house with a garden in Cape Coral, where they have lived since 1991, when they became engaged. The Petersons are a model middle-class family, the kinds of people everyone recognizes from the colorful TV series that celebrate the American dream."
what TV series are they talking about? from reading over the article again the conception of the "American dream" is still very wishy-washy. If I had not the exposure to American television and therefore into the psych of the average American citizen I would still have very little to draw on to form my conception of the American Dream. Therefore my question of
"What is the American Dream?" I feel is still applicable
If the American Dream is derived from American television than we can conclude that it is fictional and if fictional that it's tangibility is not entirely ensured. This Dream unfortunately seems just that, a dream and fictional reality that was manufactured by a group of very smart people to persuade people to live in a way that suited there interests i.e. buying their shady wears and developing a insatiable desire for "better", newer, things and services (or put more generally the development of the individual as consumer). One possible aspect of the American Dream is to own things. As an American you go out and you get a house, a wife, children, dogs, money, an education, a job, a career etc. and having these things are said to make you happy and successful. If you don't have these things you can not be happy or successful. In this way people are taught through the use of the concept of the American Dream to devalue themselves (and others) in substitute for owning property, and "working hard".
Now before I get flamed for saying that getting an education, a job, a house is in some sense bad let me reassure you it is not. However developing the attitude that since you have such things gives you some type of authority or power over others that don't have these qualities is (there is something to say for people being humble). To say that a doctor is in some way "better" than a garbage man would be incorrect. This in here lies the "better than the Jone's" problem that I equate as a natural circumstance stemming from the development of the American Dream conception.
on another note;
It would seem that if we took the 1950's television show "Leave it to beaver" as our model for the "American Dream" as I assume most would agree would be a textbook characterture of this concept, then such a television show (as most art is) would be influenced by the recently past and current social/political attitudes and ideology of that time. If this were the case than the American Dream as portrayed by the television program "leave it to Beaver" shows a white, patriarchal family of which the patriarch is between the ages 30 - 60, some people like to call this the nuclear family and fits as well with the 1950's American dream reference frame as it does in the above quoted articles reference frame.
Therefore although the earlier comments made by my poster may have seemed racist, sexist, ageist and highly offensive I hold a stance of immunity from such categories being placed on my character since as decibed above the very reference frame for the American dream is racist, sexist, and highly marginalizing (although covertly) to the majority of people within and especially exterior to the United States if the reference frame of "leave it to beaver" and the owns articles depictions are held as true representations of the American Dream.
Edited by dfar, 03 January 2011 - 01:29 AM.