The American Dream has been the inspiration of many political speeches, political writings, and works of literature throughout American history. Most recently, it has inspired political groups like the Center for the New American Dream and academic groups like the Xavier University Center for the Study of the American Dream. As of late, the notion of the American Dream has begun to crop up more often than not in main stream political discourse, especially surrounding the topic of immigration with the aptly named Dream Act. Why has the American Dream drawn this new attention and inquiry? Why and how is it important to American Political thought? What does it mean? Why does it endure? As a complex issue of American culture, this thesis will use disparate methods of analysis to form answers to these questions. The American Dream is often referred to as our national myth. It is comprised of the many ideals and narratives which undergird American politics and culture. Through examination of literary works of fiction and of political texts, this research will examine the meaning and the history of the American Dream. Then, using secondary survey data, this research will examine the implications and state of the American Dream. Finally, to answer the question of why the American Dream endures, this research will employ elements of psychoanalytic and Marxist theory to argue that the Dream works as a cycle of American political thought.
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Houghton, David Patrick
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Horning, Sarah Marie, "A case study of national identity: an analysis of the american dream in politics and literature" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1407.