Upon asking several family members andpeople from work who are immigrant about what the American dream mean to them,most answered that its symbolizes freedom. Freedom to them is being part of thecommunity being considered U.S citizens, just another body in America whowants to make a living. However, there are myth that set an unrealistic goalfor some people. For example, Alger’smyth implies that we all have merits; we have the opportunities to develop themno matter the obstacles that escalate in our life. Harlon Dalton argues thatblack people are excluded from the concept of being successful and placed themin racial category. Even today people are being racial categorized.
Cultureinnate our merits and we start to judge and set a standard or acceptance of whocan have the same merits. However, we can’t say which are correct or which arebetter because everyone perceives experiences differently. However, peopledon’t get jobs solely off merit. Merits are also shaped by the experiences wehave and how we come to perceive them. Alger’s myth suggest that mobility issuccessful, we must create our own opportunities despite the circumstances. Ifgetting jobs solely on merit, then gender or race should not be an issue forwhite people for the fear of losing power. Out of mind, out of sight; whitefolks believe in the Alger’s myth because it doesn’t mention about racial,gender setbacks created by them.
Alger’s concept is a myth. White people needto recognized that they are the reason for the fluctuation of inequality onminorities and that they have been assisted by their own race to rise mobility.It is easier said, then done especially if white folks ignore the exactobstacle that detain people from social mobility.The realityis that the American Dream ideology does exist and it comes with positive andnegative element.
In a Dominant ideology, sets of culturalbeliefs and practices help maintain powerful social, economic and politicalinterests.Functionalistsbelieve that stability in society depends on a consensus and support ofsociety’s members. Society issues are avoided, and the ideology of the Americandream is strongly advertising everywhere to convey people to findjobs that will one day make them capable of reaching that ideology. The issueis that people with the economic power persuade low and middle class to pursuejobs that limits their social mobility.
One positive is that in recent year the American Dream has been seenthrough conflict theory allowing people to understand and realize that commonculture exists but that it maintains privileges of certain groups, who enforcenorms. Common culture, tie our cultural values of competitiveness and materialsuccess to our country’s capitalist economy.