The following is an annotated bibliography, created to aid the construction of my final research paper.

Cohen-Marks, Mara A., and Christopher Stout. “Can the American Dream Survive the New Multiethnic America? Evidence from Los Angeles1.” Sociological Forum, vol. 26, no. 4, 11 Nov. 2011, pp. 824–845, 10.1111/j.1573-7861.2011.01286.x.

  • This text is conclusions from a sociological survey done in Los Angeles. African Americans and Asian Americans were less likely to believe in the American Dream than white people. Latinos stood out with their optimism in their ability to achieve the American Dream. This study defines the American Dream as “if you work hard enough and play by the rules then you should have a shot at success”.
  • The American Dream will continue despite its continued shortcomings. A survey done in Los Angeles showed that most Americans, regardless of race or gender, remained optimistic about the possibility of achieving the American Dream. This shows the hold that the American Dream has over the citizens of this country and thus ensuring its influence into the future.

Corak, Miles. “Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility.” The Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 27, no. 3, 2013, pp. 79–102, Accessed 30 Apr. 2022.

  • This is a journal article focused on economics. It is written by Miles Corak who is an economics professor at the City University of New York. The article focuses on what the American Dream looks like when translated into the world of economics, which is actually known as ‘The Gatsby Curve”. The Gatsby Curve is a function that represents the relationship between inequality of incomes and intergenerational economic mobility (or the economic advantage/disadvantage passed down to children). The Gatsby Curve signals rather than directly measure this relationship. In the US, a college degree allows a person to make on average 70% more than a person without a college degree, and the study found that children of high-income families had a much better chance of graduating college. Inequality lowers mobility because it shapes opportunity. Therefore, the difference between opportunity and outcomes is circumstances of economic advantage.

Harding, Brandon Lee. Economic Inequality and America’s Dominant Ethos: Examining the Effect of Rising Wealth and Income Inequality on Beliefs about the American Dream. 2016, Accessed 30 Apr. 2022.

  • This text is a dissertation written by a student at San Diego State University. This student, Brandon Lee Harding, was studying in the field of political science in 2016. His research questions “Are young college students aware that wealth and income inequality has markedly increased since 1970?”, “Has rising economic inequality affected this sample group’s belief in the American Dream?”, and “What demographic categories influence one’s opinion of economic inequality and one’s belief in the American Dream?”. This study showed an inconsistency in ideologies. The group believed that the American Dream is a withering process but also that the group is still attached to the idea that individual effort determines success, which is the basis for the American Dream. In fact, 51% of those surveyed believed that the American Dream was achievable. White and affluent people showed to believe more in the American Dream than Hispanic, African-American, and non-affluent populations. The American Dream does not match the realities of America’s current conditions. This survey did focus on college-aged millennials. The conclusion was that they were aware of rising wealth and income inequality, and overall had a pessimistic outlook on the American Dream, but they still believed i the ideals that the American Dream was founded on. This is evidence of two competing ideologies within the population.

Hauhart, Robert C. “American Sociology’s Investigations of the American Dream: Retrospect and Prospect.” The American Sociologist, vol. 46, no. 1, 2015, pp. 65–98, Accessed 30 Apr. 2022.

  • This is an article published in The American Sociologist in 2015 by Robert Hauhart. The paper was written to persuade the sociology community to re-dedicate efforts to analyzing the American Dream, like it once did. Overall, it might not sound to be completely relevant to my chosen research, however it proved to be very useful. Hauhart first defines the American Dream, using evidence from author James Truslow Adams, as the idea that America is a place where life is better and fuller for all, with endless opportunity for anyone and everyone. Hauhart goes on to say that to define the American Dream as simply the goal of economic achievement, is to diminish its meaning and influence. He also states that Americans still believe in this dream, despite evidence against, due to needing an ideal to anchor themselves to. Hauhart states that Americans, as a whole, have already diminished their belief in the institutions of religion, family, and community; they cannot also lose faith in the entire meaning and purpose of their country. Hauhart then delves into the history of the sociological study of the American Dream, which I almost dismissed because of its apparent inapplicability; however, it wildly shows the disadvantaged population’s experience with the American Dream. 

Hoyt, Crystal L., et al. “Believing in the American Dream Sustains Negative Attitudes toward Those in Poverty.” Social Psychology Quarterly, vol. 84, no. 3, 3 July 2021, pp. 203–215, 10.1177/01902725211022319.

  • This is a research article. The team of researchers were trying to connect a belief in a meritocracy (outcomes distributed by merit) to negative attitudes toward those in poverty. They demonstrated that these beliefs promote negative attitudes through blame. Influencing feelings towards the poor affects potential future policy.
  • Believing in the American Dream affects our belief in others, and in the humanity around us. A research article published in 2021 showed that there was a connected relationship between the belief in meritocracy, or the American Dream, and negative attitudes towards people in poverty through blame. The American Dream makes us critical of the efforts of everyone around us without ever looking to be critical of the system that creates these circumstances.

Newman, Benjamin J. “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Local Gender-Based Earnings Inequality and Women’s Belief in the American Dream.” American Journal of Political Science, vol. 60, no. 4, 22 June 2015, pp. 1006–1025, 10.1111/ajps.12195. Accessed 21 Nov. 2018.

  • This is a 2015 Political Science article exploring the gender wage gap and its effects on women’s belief in the American Dream. The author argues that a variation in the economic status of women in an area should influence belief in the American Dream in the same area. To determine this the author used a survey. The results conclude that an individual woman’s belief in the American Dream is directly influenced by other women achieving or attempting the American Dream around them.
  • Women have so rarely been the achievers of the American Dream that they stopped believing that it was achievable for them. A 2015 survey done by Benjamin Newman found strong evidence for this relationship. Women have been the losers of the American Dream for so long that their belief in the American Dream is tied to the success of the women around them. Their belief in this dream is only changed when another woman proves that it is possible.

Riggio, Clara R. “Defifining the American Dream: A Generational Comparison.” Modern Psychological Studies, vol. 27, no. 1, 1 July 2021, pp. 1–21, Accessed 13 May 2022.

  • This is a study done on how different generations view and define the American Dream. This study was conducted through a series of 20 interviews. The data collected showed that older generations have a clearer view and strong faith in the American Dream, while younger generations had doubts. No two people defined the American Dream the same way.
  • The definition of the American Dream has changed over time, and throughout generations. Belief in the ideology of America has waned and the change of definitions across generational boundaries is evidence of that. A small research project done by Clara Riggio, published in journal of Modern Psychological Studies, provides a clear picture of this.

Ştiuliuc, Diana. “The American Dream as the Cultural Expression of North American Identity.” Philologica Jassyensia, vol. 7, no. 2, 1 Dec. 2011, pp. 363–370, Accessed 13 May 2022.

  • This article is published by Diana Stiuliuc, who is a graduate student at a Romanian University. She claims that the American Dream shapes this nation, and we also shape the American Dream. The Dream changes depending upon who you are and that is the point.
  • The American Dream is defined differently by each individual because of the diversity in the US. The US is often called “The Melting Pot” because of its multiethnic population. To eact of these individuals is a different struggle unique to race, gender, and age. For every unique struggle, there is a unique dream of success. Romanian scholar Diana Stiuliuc wrote an article in detail over this point.