The American Dream : An Unequal Construction Dependent On The Economic, Political, And Social Economy

1797 Words8 Pages
The American Dream as previously stated is an unequal construction, dependent on the economic, political, and social states of its society. Although these factors change how and who gets to achieve the American Dream, the universal hope of accomplishing this Dream has not changed, as individuals are still optimistic about their hard work translating into upward mobility. The chances, though, for their hard work to become the Dream have drastically changed due to economic, political, and social fluctuations. This is evident within second-generation immigrants, as the cohorts prior and after 1985 encountered different prospects. Gans (1992), for instance, perceived that there would be a decline in the new second generation, due to the…show more content…
Instead “... immigrant youths who remain firmly ensconced in their respective ethnic communities may, by virtue of this fact, have a better chance for educational and economic mobility through use of the material and social capital that their communities make available” (82).
Some second-generation youth, therefore, do not consider middle-class assimilation as relevant in their path towards the American Dream, unlike their older counterparts. This tension of perception can be seen through the differences between Richard and Olivia. Although, these two people have faced quite distinct barriers and privileges, they exemplify this intergenerational variance. Richard Rodriguez, for instance, thinks that success and achieving the Dream can only be accomplished through assimilation into white middle class culture. Olivia, on the other hand, attained a class-consciousness that helped her to realize that the American Dream did not require white assimilation. So instead, Olivia tried to form strong ties with the Chicanx community. Their paths, although contrary, lead to the same achievement, the American Dream. The change of path changed their chances of achieving the Dream, as assimilation in one historic context facilitated the path towards upward mobility, while in another historic assimilation became segmented. This segmentation brought forth a segmentation of opportunity, as there is no longer that framework of
Get Access