Racism and the American Dream Essay by Research Group

Racism and the American Dream
This paper is a criticism of the ideas brought forward in Jennifer L. Hochschild's "Facing up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of the Nation".
# 26375 | 2,701 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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The writer argues that Hochschild attempts to show that adherence to the shared ideology of the American Dream will somehow avoid the social breakdown that is inevitable so long as so many Americans, black and white, accept the plausible rather than the preferable course. The paper looks at the piece by Hochschild and gives a strong argument as to why some of the ideas mentioned in the piece can be seen as flawed.

From the Paper:

"Hochschild's principal discoveries are the difference in degree of faith in the American Dream between poor and middle-class African Americans and between black and white citizens of both classes and the manner in which racial prejudice and discrimination contribute to and perpetuate the declining faith in the Dream. She first notes that white and black perceptions of the position of African Americans in the society are strongly divergent. Although there have been enormous improvements in the status of a large number of African Americans since the advent of the Civil Rights movement in the early 1960s these differences and the expansion of opportunities for black people in general has been much smaller than white Americans tend to assume. Black Americans, however, see the advances, and their very limited nature, far more realistically. Hochschild found that white Americans are profoundly misinformed about the nature of black Americans' position in society and many are not even aware how many black Americans there are, as the average white American was shown to believe that African Americans made up 33 percent, rather than the correct 13 percent, of the population."

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