The American Dream: A Cultural Analysis

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Despite us being aware of the real problems of the consumption of materialistic goods we still conform to it. With that being said Marcuse (2009) argues that to a certain degree the general unhappiness has decreased rather than increased. The individual’s awareness of the existing repression is blunted by the manipulated boundaries of their consciousness. This course of action alters the contents of happiness. Happiness is not in the simple emotion of satisfaction but in the truth of freedom and satisfaction. Happiness involves knowledge: it is the privilege of human nature. In the midst of the decline in consciousness, due to the control of information from the culture industry and, with the assimilation of individual into mass communication, …show more content…
The relation between this is the socio-economic conditions which influences happiness, Kroll (2011). This explains how people with more advantages such as a higher income, higher social class, better education and being the majority in terms of ethnicity and gender have greater advantages in life and subsequently towards happiness. Yet again, referring back to the culture industry and the role of power, these factors are what make up the majority of people in control of the culture industry and hence they can be viewed as happier than those with disadvantages. With that being said it may not be true in speaking for all of people in power of the culture industry.

Furthermore, continuing from Western societies, the concept of the American Dream explores the idea of social goals for people in society and how it is the norm by achieving the American Dream, as it is seen as being successful in society, Ehrenreich (2009). With the American Dream comes financial success, and with this it has harmful consequences for a variety of aspects of psychological security. Ehrenreich (2009) argues that the notion of optimism carries over into the economy. This is supported by how our society if filled with inventors and thinkers, Ehrenreich
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Lazcano (2011) argues that not only is materialism the key to happiness but also success. An example of this is in education, the necessity for higher education. Now tertiary education is seen as a fundamental element for one’s life, and in order to get employment due to political and social factors in which getting a job is now becoming difficult. The social status of a person can account towards happiness, Lazcano (2011). As this is how we are viewed and respected in society, someone with a high social status, higher education and a high- paying job is part of being successful in terms of the norms in

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