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American Dream: Personalized and Collectivized - Essay Example

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In the paper “American Dream: Personalized and Collectivized” the author analyzes different ideas of American Dream, defined as completing a college education, attaining financial security, enjoying civil rights and freedoms, and finding personal fulfillment…
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American Dream: Personalized and Collectivized
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"American Dream: Personalized and Collectivized"

Download file to see previous pages Millenials, mainly minorities of the U.S., continue to give importance to the role of a college diploma in attaining success and happiness. Martha notes that for one survey, more people think that a college degree is unimportant to the American Dream: “Nearly two-thirds says it’s possible to achieve the American Dream without a college degree…” (par.2). She is saying that people no longer feel the relevance of finishing college to their material goals. Millenial minorities will have a hard time believing that, especially Asians who value education as key to success. For them, a college education is a must if one wants to be successful in America and in life. Moreover, Asians are particularly attached to the meaning of college education to their identities. They see education as part of who they are. Meacham understands this thinking when he quotes the U.S. Department of Commerce, which defined the middle class. The Department says that: “middle class families are defined by their aspirations more than income…[they] aspire to home ownership, a car, college education for children…” (par.8). These aspirations are shared by middle-class Millenials too. They are families who consistently believe in the power of college education in transforming their lives. Asian families, in particular, will sacrifice their own goals in life, if they can send their children to college. Parents will be disappointed, if their children do not finish their college education. They find it as a mark of failure to not attain a college diploma. Millenials, especially minorities, maintain some aspect of the original American Dream, especially the part that values college education as means to financial security and happiness. Connected to the role of college education is its contribution to financial security. Kadlec pertains to a good retirement life as an element of the American Dream: “Nearly half of adults say that a comfortable retirement is the new American Dream” (par.4). Financial security is defined as enjoying retirement without worrying of hunger and homelessness. The same applies for Millenials. They value the basics of retiring with peace of mind. The difference between Baby Boomers and Millenials, however, is how they plan to attain financial security. White reports that 28% of the Baby Boomers “plan to rely on the government and their employers’ retirement plans and simply hope that’s enough to support them through their senior years,” while “less than 20% of Gen Y respondents say the same thing” (par.4). Millenials think of financial security as something they have to ensure on their own. White mentions “self-sufficiency” (par.6) and this is important to Millenials, who seek to preserve their economic security. They may have different ways of attaining it. They can start a business or find ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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