Document Type : Research Paper


University of Tehran



Abstract: American Dream is a national ethos of the United States which was first coined by James Truslow Adams in 20th century meaning everyone should have the opportunity to reach what s/he desires according to his/her abilities and attempts. However, the concept existed from the beginning of the existence of America. But it has gone through changes throughout history. This study evaluated the changes of the three elements of the American Dream-homeownership, employment and income- in the 21st century from president George Bush to the end of president Obama presidency in 2016. The result of the study showed that financialization of the American Dream which had begun since late 20th century accelerated during the period which means financial institutions were expanded and prioritized over Americans’ interests. While presidents Bush and Obama promised to realize American Dream for all Americans in practice their administration policies were more to the interest of financial institutions and the rich rather than low- and middle-class Americans. Homeownership while due to housing deregulation had a rising trend after the financial crisis fell up to the end of Obama presidency. The income of Americans while had a rising trend during presidents Bush and Obama tenures the income of the wealthy rose hugely from the beginning of the 21st century to the end of Obama presidency while the income of low- and middle- income Americans rose barely. Unemployment rose since 2006 to 2009 but fell throughout the Obama presidency partly due to government intervention.


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