The American dream is one thing that everybody fantasizes about in a part of their life. Well, for me, I believe that from the three social classes in our society today, the American dream takes a different form depending on the social class one is in. depending on whether you are in the top, middle, or the lower social class one’s theory of the American dream will differ from the other. Many people have been asked what they think the American dream is, and everyone had different answers to this.
From the protest of the George Floyd incident, I would say that the American is the national philosophy with the specifics of attributes such as democracy, equality, freedom, and rights that accord individuals equal opportunities regardless of who they are (Glenn, 2002). I agree this is an American dream, but also, I think that this is the American dream in the political environment. Politicians such as Martin Luther King Thomas Jefferson made this their American dream speech and always aim to achieve it with time, but only if they are willing to make a change in the society will this dream only be achieved but also come to reality.
The series ‘Real Housewives of New York City’ and ‘Beverly Hills’ and ‘Games People Play’ have also created a perspective of the American Dream. They portray success, fame, money, family ties, and careers as the most critical elements in one’s life. This can be said to be the American dream. They display that one’s life needs to be as luxurious as possible, with the many houses in Beverly Hills, fancy million-dollar cars and jets, private events, fame, and power that one gets. This, to me, is an American dream. Even if people say money can’t buy happiness, the actors seem to be living the best lives even though it is scripted.
The American dream to many millennials and teenagers has always been dictated by the sports and talents one possesses. In the series like ‘All American’, ‘Ballers’, ‘High School Musical’, ‘Coach Carter’, teenagers portray the American dream as when one goes pro or makes it to the NFL or gets sponsored by a vast company participate or win American got talents. In football, mainly many players aspire to reach the NFL or go-pro so that their lives can change for the better. The series ballers showcase ‘spencer’ aka ‘Dwayne Johnson’ the main character as a retired NFL player and become a financial manager to help the other players at the NFL. His life is displayed as successful and famous for his participation, and his friends are all successful. Being successful talent-wise and in sports is an aspiration that I can say is an American dream because it’s an opportunity that one has been given to showcase his abilities equally with the rest and is handpicked from the category.
Celebrities and artists such as David Dobrick, Jimmy Donaldson, aka Mr. beast, Avicii all have demonstrated the American dream by explaining it as living the life you want the way you want it and doing what makes you happy. Avicii released the song ‘the nights’, which states that one should live a life that they will never forget and always bring happiness. Mr. Beast, a successful YouTuber, dropped out of school and pursued content creation, which is a career for him. David Dobrick, also a successful YouTuber, has made a living from youtube, podcasts, and TikTok through doing what he loves with his friends. This has paved his way into even starting a show in the discovery channel, and also, they all chipped in into helping the less fortunate in society. The American dream, in this case, is achieving success in life through doing what you love and being the sole proprietor of your life.
In 2019 the bank of America released a great advertisement that contained people of every race and age walking, playing, going to the gym, etc. This advert displayed what power one could benefit the individual. It was named the power to be me, and for me, this made me think that the American dream entails the individual prowess to show who they are and what they can do in life freely and together without any judgment from the outside world.
This meme below shows negatively what the American dream is all about. Immigrants have always had a difficult time in their survival. All they want is to find a conducive environment where they can call home, earn a living and live without fear. People migrate to all kinds of places and try to make a living regardless of their income. Being accepted into the community or area or the society, e.g., the LGBTQ community, the immigrants, or even how women are not treated equally, is like an American dream. Being viewed equally by society creates a sense of belonging and acceptance, and that for me, I can call the American dream.
Cox, C. (2017). Broke Ballers: The Mediated World of Football and Finance. InMedia. The French Journal of Media Studies, (6).
Dixon, P. J., & Dundes, L. (2020). Exceptional injustice: Facebook as a reflection of race-and gender-based narratives following the death of George Floyd. Social Sciences, 9(12), 231.
Glenn, C. L., & de Groof, J. (2002). Educational Freedom and Accountability: An International Overview. Program on Educational Policy and Governance, Harvard University.
Lee, M. J., & Moscowitz, L. (2013). The “rich bitch” class and gender on the Real Housewives of New York City. Feminist media studies, 13(1), 64-82.
Marone, V., & Rodriguez, R. C. (2019). “What’s so awesome with YouTube”: Learning music with social media celebrities. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 9(4), e201928.
Soyege, N., & Nilsson, S. (2021). Representation of Gender Roles, Femininity and Subject Positions in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: Erika Girardi/Erika Jayne.
Youtube page: Davd Dobrik Mr. Beast
The American Bank commercial available at : https://youtu.be/XAuwEVb1XqI