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The Power Of The American Dream

Decent Essays
Land of Opportunity, Home of the Brave, and Land of the Free often come to mind when envisioning the United States for most individuals around the world. Through media, America and the American Dream are depicted as the salvation for poverty, sorrow, and hardship. The Founding Fathers invented the American Dream, offering life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately, an abundance of immigrants fell short of possessing the American Dream and slowly began to realize that these alluring portrayals were merely a facade. Wealthy and influential corporations needed to revitalize the American Dream before it dissolved amongst the masses. In order to keep American deception ongoing, a new American Dream was implemented into society. This…show more content…
To live the American Dream means to be incorporated into American society. Corporate companies capitalize on this ideology, claiming that they will discover the consumer's identity through marketing. In their advertising schemes, companies often express how their products can improve and reshape an individual’s identity. Often times, marketing advertisements include phrases such as “we can help you,” “this product will change your life forever,” or “it’s good for you.” According to Laura Oswald in The Place and Space of Consumption in a Material World, she declares, “Consumption enables individuals to change “hats” [identity] as the occasion demands. As a result, the meaning of products, their “brand image,” is central to the formation of personal and social identity in consumer culture” (5). When individuals purchase and consume products, they buy into that brand’s image (Miller). Companies inform consumers that their products will allow them to discover their ‘empty identity.’ In turn, companies convince individuals into believing that once their identity is found, they will be accepted by the masses. Large corporations exploit Americans’ thirst for belonging, insisting they will provide the remedy of social entry. They express that their ads will help to discover self if they consume their brand, thus creating a ‘consumerist alliance.’ Furthermore, as the customer continues to purchase more and more of their…show more content…
The American Dream perpetuates the idea of the accessible and limitless opportunities. The exploitation of opportunities during the eighteenth and nineteenth century made by many colonizers formulated the societal ideal for desiring more (Shames 78). The more opportunities an individual utilizes, the more likely an individual will attain happiness and reward. This idea of obtaining a greater need for a favorable outcome correlates through consumerism. According to Shames, American society measures progress and happiness by expansion in individuals’ standard of living (80). Seemingly, the more one obtains translates into the happier he or she will be. Corporations create mechanisms that perpetuate this notion, establishing a constant cycle of purchasing more. Commercials express: “the more you have, the happier you will become.” Manipulative marketing schemes persuade consumers that they must possess ‘more’ in order to seek identity and attain happiness. Consequently, the idea of consumerism becomes inescapable for the mass, forcing individuals to acquire any and every available product, similar to their American
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