The Dream is Dead--Long Live the Dream? Re-defining This American Life

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Thumbnail image for american-dream-graffiti.jpgThis week on NPR's The Take-Away, the question of what the new American dream is was discussed in depth--as well as what it was, what it was meant to be, what it still could be. In Vanity Fair magazine this month, David Kamp  takes a look at the idealized American family life depicted in photo tableaux from the 50s and 60s and looks at how those ideas measure up to our present-day realities. These are questions that permeate the lives and minds of each and every one of us, those who are finding old paths closed off and looking for reinvention as well as those struggling to hold onto what they have created and feel like they might be about to lose. And maybe some of you never took this idea to heart--however, in a diverse little town like our own, there are connections that stretch well beyond our borders, to immigrant families who redefined that American ideal at the beginning of the twentieth century. So here we are in the Age of Technology and Over-Information--how does it help us figure out where we want to go?

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Right now the American dream seems to be survival. However, hasn't it always been a thing in flux? Depending on the economic times, depending on the mores of the society, the American dream is either achievement, equality or greed. Take your pick. What's the future? I'd love to think there's room for a more balanced pattern of financial success for all American families.

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