Show me the Money: How College Students Perceive the American Dream - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Show me the Money: How College Students Perceive the American Dream

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  1. Show me the Money: How College Students Perceive the American Dream by  Christine A. Wernet, Ph.D. 

  2. What is the American Dream? • College students at a small, public, liberal arts university responded to the question: • What is the American Dream? • Twelve themes emerged. . .

  3. Themes • Material Wealth • Love and Family • Satisfying Job • Freedom • Having 2 Children • Happiness • Success • An education • Equal Opportunity • Having a Dog • Work Less • Stay home with Kids

  4. Show me the money!

  5. Material Wealth 91% of respondents mentioned material wealth as at least part of the American Dream.

  6. Material Wealth 91% “The American Dream is to be a millionaire.” 20 year old African American female, college junior “To be rich.” 18 year old white male, college freshman

  7. Material Wealth 91% “The American Dream is to have a life of freedom and happiness. Americans wish to obtain a life full of wealth and strength in whatever they are trying to achieve.” 18 year old white male, college freshman

  8. Material Wealth 91% The typical American Dream has the following goals: • Make as much money as you can • Be independent • Have a family • Get a good education 19 year old white female, college sophomore

  9. Material Wealth 91% “The American Dream, hmm. I think this could be a lot of things. I think it is to be able to live a long life of happiness, with a few bonuses. Bonuses, meaning having more than average income, less work, great family, etc… I believe this is what the average person wants in their American Dream. I believe that it is the same for all people to want more than they have no matter if they are the richest person in the nation.” 20 year old white male, college junior

  10. Love and Family 60% • Money • Family • A good job • Happiness • Love • (3 p’s) Power, Property, Prestige! 19 year old white female, college freshman

  11. Satisfying Job 43% “To finish college with good grades and to love your job, hopefully making a lot of money. At least enough that you can live comfortably and travel out of the country once a year. It would not be complete without the man or woman of your dreams to spend the rest of your life with and the pitter, patter of little feet when the time is right. Loving family and loyal friends.” 24 year old white female, college junior

  12. Satisfying Job 43% “The American Dream, I believe is to have a good job, a lot of money, a big TV, cable, to be popular in society, to have your kids go to college, and when you are retired to get a boat and go fishing.” 24 year old Latino male, college junior

  13. Education 11% “The American Dream is getting a good education and striving to be everything that you can be, because America is known as the land of opportunities.” 22 year old African American female, college freshman

  14. Having a Dog 11% “To have a satisfying job that pays well enough to own your own home, car, etc. . . to find your perfect mate and have a boy and a girl and a cocker spaniel!” 49 year old white female, non-student

  15. Themes • Material Wealth • Love and Family • Satisfying Job • Freedom • Having 2 Children • Happiness • Success • An education • Equal Opportunity • Having a Dog • Work Less • Stay home with Kids