Is the American Dream Attainable in Contemporary Society?
Updated: Nov 11
The famous “American Dream” has been the motto and inspiration for many immigrants to immigrate to America. This has always been solid and undoubtable: “If you work hard, then you can achieve anything you want.” Karma played a role, and this has helped many Americans go through tough times and work for their goals. However, according to recent events in these past couple of years, this has become a topic that is argued by many people. Some say American Dream is still achievable in this modern society, and others say that it is no longer applicable today. The contemporary economy and society today has conflicted many American dreams and the so-called American Dream is slowly starting to fade. The American Dream is not attainable in contemporary society due to racism, socioeconomic inequality, and unacceptance of various opinions.
First, the American Dream is not attainable in contemporary society because of all the racism that has been happening, especially recently. African Americans, Asians, people of color, and many more races are being discriminated against just because of the color of their skin or their cultures that go with their race. For example, the famous George Floyd incident that happened on May 25, 2020 caused a huge uprising, protesting that African Americans are being discriminated against by police without fair judgement. Another example is the Stop AAPI Hate Movement. Asians, particularly Eastern Asians who look like the Chinese, have been getting both physically and verbally harassed, being told to “go back to their own country” or “stop spreading the virus.” Many Asians have had to go to the ER and experience death just because of their race and ethnicity. Even though some people assumed to be Chinese have stated that they are not, they were still harassed. Even within schools and communities, some students and teachers discriminate against fellow students and educators because of their race. People are left out, called names, and shunned for something they cannot control as a human. This is a prime example of why the American Dream is not achievable in society today.
Second, social class and inequality matters more than anything in our economy today. Rich and poor are clearly distinguished against each other and even though many put in much effort to stop this kind of inequality, it happens no matter how hard it is tried to be prevented. Healthcare is a dominant example. Some receive better treatment and more professional care when they are in dire situations than others who cannot afford this type of protection. Upper class people are treated better and higher just because of the amount of money they own. It doesn’t matter to society whether or not your situation is absolutely desperate, if you do not have money to support yourself, you are looked down upon and shut out. If you don’t own a specific type of item or don’t have something that you can’t afford, you’re outcast by your peers and your opportunities are stripped away. It is hard to attain the American Dream when you don’t even get a chance to achieve it. Money and social class is dominant in our society today whether we like it or not.
Lastly, the unacceptance of various opinions causes the American Dream to be unlikely to be attainable. Before all of this inequality and lack in justice increased, opinions were respected and well debated upon. People weren’t just outcasted because of their own thoughts or what they believed in. This, however, has changed rapidly in society today. In politics particularly, having a different view or opinion different from the majority public can cause harassment or being shunned out before getting to express your thoughts. Now people are “cancelled” or ignored when they speak out against an idea, stating their opinion. The American Dream cannot be attained if your own thoughts and opinions are not even valued in society. No matter how hard you work, if you cannot state your ideas, your goals will be impossible to achieve.
In conclusion, the American Dream is not attainable in contemporary society. No matter the amount of effort you put in or no matter how hard you work to achieve your goals, if opportunities are not given to you because of your ethnicity, race, social class, or opinions, you cannot attain the dream that has been spoken of for centuries. Society will only get worse from here as ideas advance and topics become more diverse. We as people need to unite as a nation and fight the injustice happening in America, so that the American Dream will eventually become attainable to everyone no matter their case.