Equality. Opportunity. Prosperity. The American Dream paints a vision in which each of these ideals are ever present and available to all individuals inside the vast border of the nation. The notion is that every individual can, through concentrated efforts and dedication, improve their own socioeconomic class and climb up the hierarchy. Social mobility is within the grasp of each person so long as they earnestly invest themselves. There exists, however, a dissonance between the achievement ideology and reality as discussed in Jay Macleod’s Ain’t No Makin’ It. In his book, Macleod perfors a longitudinal study over a group of young black men, the Brothers, living in the projects of Clarendon Heights and reveals the insidious social factors that …show more content…
The Brothers faced this challenge in their, largely, futile attempts to achieve middle class status through achieving a proper education. Macleod highlights that, historically, the “overall structure of class relations from one generation to the next” is extremely reluctant to change(4). The Brothers evince this in their inability to earn work with greater wages than their parents, forcing them to live in working class neighborhoods like they did. Although some of the Brothers did manage to obtain middle class work, they struggled to keep those jobs as they either got laid off or were pressured out believing that they just didn’t fit in the workplace environment- though this is largely in fact due to differences in cultural capital, knowledge, disposition, and skills passed on generationally, that arise from the different upbringings of the supervisors and the Brothers. Moreover, differences in cultural capital makes the structures of inequality extremely stable as working class individuals struggle to match the syntactic and lexical constructions of the upper socioeconomic classes. While the those on top utilize elaborated codes that express unique perspectives, the working class grow up learning a restricted code that is context dependant. Schools also enforce an elaborated code, causing working class students such as the Brothers to struggle in school, lacking the cultural capital …show more content…
In it, Macleod evinces how inequality is supported by those at the top and the bottom and how the structure of inequality itself is stagnant. Through the young working class men dubbed the Brothers, Jay Macleod illustrates the hopelessness in their attempts at Makin’
Ain’t No Makin’ It, is a three part book written by Jay MacLeod that looks into the lives of two groups of boys growing up in Clarendon Heights. The two groups that MacLeod interviewed were the Hallway Hangers and the Brothers. He started his work by getting close to the boys and making sure they would be comfortable with him asking questions. After interviewing the boys and writing about their lives in his first edition of the book he made another edition. Eight years later he returned to the projects to find the men not doing so well.
The Non-existent American Fantasy What is the “American Dream”? Work hard, climb the ladders of society, and achieve economic prosperity for oneself and family. However, what of those who fail to do so and drown to the bottom of disparity? They are generally looked down upon and mostly ignored. In “Is a Hard Life Inherited?”
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Thomas Jefferson. The American dream is the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to meet success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. George Hilton from mice and men, traveled miles to find a successful job. George also, dreamed about big houses and jewelry, but instead found a stable job.
“Things usually work out in the end.” “What if they don’t?” “That just means you haven’t come to the end yet.” (Walls 259) By definition, The American Dream is both the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American as well as a life of personal happiness and material comfort as traditionally sought by individuals in the U.S.
The “American Dream” is a lifestyle that many citizens of the country fantasize about living. Yet, it’s shocking to think that this country is somewhere that poverty and luxury live only a block apart. The American culture is one that is despised by most and idolized by few. Some believe the nation to be ironically contradictive of how it is portrayed; they believe it to be an American nightmare rather than a dream. Others chase green cards and citizenship to socially move upward from blue collar customs to achieve a white picket fence lifestyle.
In this society, working class are valued due to their hard work ethic, especially those working class who made a living by their sweat equity without a college education, because they struggled economically which also means not every working class can have that success . On the other hand working class are known as lazy people, failures, uneducated people. In American popular culture, according documentary Class Dismissed: How TV Frames the Working Class, by “Leistyna” working-class people are often portrayed as losers, however the documentary focus mostly on under-representation of working class people and their concerns and stereotypes use to portray their intersectional identities. If you go to work and do your job then go home, and have no or little control or authority of your work, you belong to working class,
In James W. Loewen’s “The Land of Opportunity,” he states that social class affects the way children are raised. He discusses the inequality in today’s society and how the textbooks in high school do not give any social class information. The students in today’s time are not taught everything they should be taught. He states that your family’s wealth is what makes up your future. Loewen discusses that people with more money can study for the SATs more productively and get a better score than someone who has less money.
Anderson begins the section by explaining that there are two separate cultures in inner-city neighborhoods. The first are the “decent” this group is defined by commitment to “middle-class values,” (101). However, they are not mainstream in that they
There is lower, middle, and upper class, but there are also subcategories that fill the gaps in between, like the impoverished and the top one percenters. “Class in America”, written by Gregory Mantsios, addresses the myths and realities about socioeconomic class in America and how they affect American lives. His article highlights the unequal divide that has persisted over the course of history and will continue to manifest in the future. To introduce the existence of this issue, Mantsios states that this country’s citizens “don’t like to talk about class...or class privileges, or class oppression, or the class nature of society” (Mantsios 378). This is the case in America today because people are neglecting to acknowledge the existence of these elusive
The American dream is a dream of a land in which one can prosper with ambition and hard work. This idea has created many illusions for some because in reality the American dream is proven to be something that is rarely achieved. No individual is guaranteed success or destined for failure, but it is apparent that women, people of color, and those born into poverty will face greater obstacles than others, despite being a greater part of the American population. An author that tackles the issue of class in the United States is Gregory Mantsios. In his essay, “Class in America-2009”, Mantsios aims to prove that class affects people’s lives in drastic ways.
In “The Inequality Cycle,” Oren Cass states that “social class… [interferes] with opportunity” (5). It is difficult for children of poor families to find their true selves because they have the added weight of having to worry about whether they will have dinner next week, whether their parents will be out late working, and whether the electricity will be on when they get home from school on any given day. Impoverished children often have to take on issues that are far beyond their maturity levels because their parents cannot be as active in the children’s lives due to their own worries about their financial state. An example from “Sonny’s Blues” of Sonny’s distraction from developing his own identity is when his parents die and he is left with a brother as his guardian and not very much money to support the two of them. Sonny lacked the opportunity of getting a head start on his musical career because his brother did not support the pursuit of a career in music due to the fact that it was not known to be a stable income that could make a living for a young man.
The popular perception of the American dream is that it is the perfect formula to achieve whatever you desire through unmatched opportunities. However, in reality the core of the dream holds many hidden flaws that ultimately discredit its validity. Throughout American History, examples of the privileged citizens see more respect to every life task that occurs. As for the rest of the population, the minorities who have been stepped over, suffer bias opinions that affect success barriers they attempt to cross. There is a sense of hypocrisy within the American dream discussion because the minorities that supposedly make this country diverse, fall under the crumbles of the privileged.
The American dream is a dream of land in which life should be better and richer for everyone. It’s a land where people succeed to accomplish their ambition of a better life. Most of the people have a different way of defining this American Dream. Unfortunately, for some, it could mean wealth,status,or power whereas for others it could mean companionship, good morals,love,and amity. According to our Declaration of Independence, it entitles every man and woman the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thematic Essay- Society and Class Society and class is an important theme in “The Outsiders”, a novel written by S.E Hinton. “The Outsider”, is a book about two gangs, the Greasers and the socs who are rivals because of their economic and social differences. Throughout the book, S.E Hinton outlines that Socs, who have a better economic status are unaware of all of the other aspects in life and feel superior over the Greasers. In book, The Outsiders, it 's shown that a human society can be separated a society because of society and wealth.