There are many different opinions on what American values entail and what the American dream is. To me, individuality and equality are the most important values. These two values may seem contradicting at first. How could you value individuality and equality? These two values have to work together. As a society, we are still growing in social and moral ways in order to achieve equality, so in order to be independent citizens, we have to know that equality exists.

The article, “The Changing American Family” , backs up my claim of individuality and equality being key values. This covered a lot about American families and how they are not just the typical husband, wife, and kids anymore. It states, “Families, they say, are becoming more socially egalitarian over all, even as economic disparities widen. Families are more ethnically, racially, religiously and stylistically diverse than half a generation ago — than even half a year ago (Shiller, para 8).” This statement further proves the individuality that is widening in our society. In the sentence, “Families, they say, are becoming more socially egalitarian over all, even as economic disparities widen”, it shows how citizens are becoming more accepting of each other and are starting to believe more in the principle that all people are created equal and have equal rights.

This topic is also talked about in the article, “An Adventure in American Culture & Values”. This post made a list of some of the major American values in our country today. A few of them were individuality, privacy, equality, and informality. When talking about equality, it states, “U.S. Americans uphold the ideal that everyone “is created equal” and has the same rights. This includes women as well as men of all ethnic and cultural groups living in the U.S. There are even laws that protect this “right to equality” in its various forms (Beane, para 4).” Although we do have many rights and freedoms, we still have a lot of social equality to work on as a society.

The American dream can be achieved with equality and individualism. In the article, “The Transformation of the ‘American Dream’”, the New York Times talks about the controversy of the American dream. It states, “…in the 1930s, it meant freedom, mutual respect and equality of opportunity. It had more to do with morality than material success (Angier, para 3).” Many citizens believe that the American dream is purely materialistic, but we need to remember the core issues of our country and bring back the real dream, which is a society where every person gets equal opportunities.

Without the values of equality and individuality, our country would not be the same. We would be missing the culture, the diversity, and the opportunity to pursue our American dream.

 

Citations:

Shiller Robert, J. “The Transformation of the ‘American Dream.’” The New York Times, The New York Times, 4 Aug. 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/04/upshot/the-transformation-o

f-the-american-dream.htm?mcubz=1

 

Angier, Natalie. “The Changing American Family.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Nov. 2013,  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/26/health/families.html?pagewanted=all&m

cubz=1

 

Marian Beane, Director, International Student/Scholar Office, UNC Charlotte. “An Adventure in American Culture & Values.” Study in US, A Spindle Publishing Company Publication, http://www.internationalstudentguidetotheusa.com/articles/culture.htm

 

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4 Comments
  1. Sam 1 year ago

    Lila,

    Thanks for posting on this discussion topic. I really enjoyed reading your piece. One part really stood out to me as I read along, when you said that “many citizens believe that the American dream is purely materialistic.” I found this sentence particularly interesting because I hadn’t really thought about this before and it is scarily accurate. I thought it was a very good idea to use “The Changing American Family” as a source because it applies to your argument very well. Overall this piece left me wondering what I think the American dream is really about. Thanks for posting!

    Sam

  2. Lilian 1 year ago

    Lila, I completely agree with your statement that equality and individualism are one of the same in our society. The fact that we are independent with individual thoughts and beliefs living in a civilization where we are surrounded by separate and divergent ideas and perspectives is a huge sign of equality. In a world where every one is different we have equal rights to speak our minds and express our individual opinions.

  3. Lucy 1 year ago

    Your comparison of individuality and equality is interesting, because you’re right- they do seem contradictory at first. although, the concept of equality is especially relevant when discussing individuality, as equality pertains to the fair and balanced treatment of people despite their differences. These ideas are essential in the discussion of American family, American culture, etc. Your discussion of newly diversifying families was particularly interesting to me, as it seems like communities have recently become more accepting of racially diverse families, same sex couples, etc. and I’m glad the data shows a new predominance in diverse families in the US to reflect this new equality and acceptability.
    Lucy

  4. Allison 1 year ago

    I agree with your statement “Without the values of equality and individuality, our country would not be the same. We would be missing the culture, the diversity, and the opportunity to pursue our American dream.”. If no one ever did anything different we would be a sad group of people with no electricity, but over time Humans specifically Americans have strived to have their own indivuality. I like how you brought up the example of how families are changing, because most people can relate or know of a family that is not the same as everyone.

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