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Happiness for All?Unequal Hopes and Lives in Pursuit of the American Dream$
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Carol Graham

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169460

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169460.001.0001

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Who Believes in the American Dream?

Who Believes in the American Dream?

Public Attitudes about Mobility in the United States and Beyond

(p.42) Chapter 3 Who Believes in the American Dream?
Happiness for All?

Carol Graham

Princeton University Press

This chapter goes on to ask who still believes in the American Dream. It begins with a review of what we know about the relationship between inequality, well-being, and attitudes about future mobility. It summarizes what we know from survey data on attitudes about inequality and opportunity in the United States, and then places those attitudes in the context of those in other countries and regions, based on new data and analysis with a focus on individuals' beliefs in the role of hard work in future success. Evidence suggests that the American Dream is very unevenly shared across socioeconomic cohorts. The poor and the rich in the United States lead very different lives, with the former having a much harder time looking beyond day-to-day struggles and associated high levels of stress, while the latter is able to pursue much better futures for themselves and their children, with the gaps between the two likely to increase even more in the future.

Keywords:   American Dream, inequality, well-being, mobility, rich, poor

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