The American dream or nightmare? Understanding the change in perceptions of the American dream
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The American Dream remains at the heart of many Americans’ national identity, and is a major theme throughout entertainment and news media, most significantly throughout political elections. It is an ideal uniquely able to ignite emotion in Americans and is something that connects people around the country, while also used as a tactic by politicians because of its impact. Since its origin, though, there has been a decline in belief in the American Dream, specifically among millennials, with growing pessimism in the amount of opportunity there really is in the United States for all. This pessimism is thoroughly explored through the studies of various authors beginning in the 1950s, and also through data conducted this past year asking respondents across the country a variety of questions regarding their sentiments on economic opportunity and American Dream. Through the usage of variables such as age, party identification, opinion on the news, and more, the change in perceptions of the American Dream is examined and uncovered.