RCL 8 Paradigm Shift

American Dream

Thesis :


With time and changing eras, the dream seemed to alter to fit society’s wants and needs. It challenged beliefs that people were set on and forced new lifestyles. The linkage between the individual and society is from what an individual think the American Dream is. Their aspirations decide their actions which ultimately cause shifts in society. The American Dream has occupied numerous different meanings and ideals that are continuously changing.


The term “American Dream” means something different to each and every one of us. It’s a crucial part in the way we live our lives and what we decide to pursue. Every since the dream came to be in the 1920’s, it has been altering to the circumstances of the world.



  • Pink Houses By John Mellencamp 1983
  • Born in the USA By Bruce Springsteen 1984
  • America by Neil Diamond (immigrants) 1980
  • American girl by tom petty 1976


Immigrant views of the dream




  • The Great Gatsby


  • Started to acquire a longing for material objects
  • Greed
  • Ultimately led to the stock market crash and the great depression of 1929 – the balance.com



  • James Truslow Adams in 1931, “life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth – loc.gov
  • Millions of suffering americans
    • 25% unemployment
  • FDR elected and promised to make americans lives better
    • Social security act, new deal – history.com
    • Patriotism through the roof
  • Japan bombing pearl harbor stimulated american industry and therefore put an end to the Great Depression – history.com



  • Women in factories men still overseas
  • Women in workplace created a huge step for feminism
    • Working is most women’s american dream
  • Instead of simply wanting a husband, a family, and a place to call home, they now had the opportunity to seek out employment, a new financial freedom. This would allow a woman with or without a husband to make her own money, to be a contributor to the daily allowance instead of just receiving. By the time the war was over, instead of running back to their homes, women began to take on more jobs in the workplace until they married or became pregnant. – ultraswank
  • Support for the troops – ads, magazines
  • Becoming more of a consumer society – war bonds, buying food to send troops
  • At the end of ww2, the american dream shifted slightly
    • Perfect american household
      • Suburban house, steady job, married, with kids


1950’s – ultraswank

  • Opportunities and futurism
  • Music, theater and film were taking off
    • Opportunity surrounded americans
  • Parents truly believed it when they told their children they could be anything they wanted to be
  • 1955 space race and futurism
    • Failing to beat russia to space but still pushed forward everyday technologies such as fridges, washing and drying machines, computers in the workplace
  • 40 and 50 maintained backbone of hard work, family value, and hope



  • peace , freedom and equality
  • Vietnam war – sparked anti war protests
  • Equality and rights mainly blacks and women
    • Martin luther king jr speech



  • World peace and a better richer life
  • Space exploration curiosity – exhibit
  • Working hard to support family
  • Everyone had the right to life liberty and pursuit of happiness



  • Economy in recession
  • carefree , fun, making money
  • Hard times for farmers – crop prices declines – exhibit



  • Money, power, status
  • Much like 80s but more developed
  • Individual success, fame, fortune – exhibit


Present day

  • Get rich, buy a house and a car, support a family without much hard work
  • Getting jobs that prove money to get rich quick – exhibit


How this will affect the future

  • The future’s not looking bright right now. We are so focused on the things we can accomplish to benefit ourselves that we are forget about the bigger picture. The United States has been ignoring critical facts about this earth whether it be climate change or increasing criminality. The world is so set in their selfish ways that it’s going to take a huge phenomenon to change the American Dream to that of kindness and pure caring for others.
  • Overlooked
  • Heading down the wrong path
  • Even though there are people who are pushing for a better future, the Individualistic feel proves to be a concrete aspect of the Dream.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.