Event Title

Is the American Dream Dead Among College Students?

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

16-4-2013 10:00 AM

End Date

16-4-2013 12:00 PM

Student's Major

Marketing and International Business

Student's College

Business

Mentor's Name

Kristin Scott

Mentor's Department

Marketing and International Business

Mentor's College

Business

Description

One of the key components of the American Dream is that success and happiness in life is dependent on procuring monetary wealth. This Dream has created a materialistic society where having the big house, nice car, and home appliances are more important than social issues. However, values might be changing due to economic, environmental, and humanistic reasons (poverty, fair trade, etc). To become a more sustainable society, significant changes need to be made. Are these changes already taking place among college students? Method Data was collected at a Midwestern University through an online survey administered by Survey Monkey. Participants were recruited through two different methods to ensure a variety of majors and classification. A total of 487 students completed the survey. The survey consisted of both open-ended and closed-ended questions. Frugality, environmental concern, and materialism scales were created to measure the extent to which these students saw their American Dream as being similar to the traditional Dream. Findings/ Conclusion The results of this study suggest that the American Dream is not dead among college students. Instead it is a fluent concept that allows for multiple interpretations. Certain aspects of the traditional American Dream, such as being better off than the previous generation, may not be as relevant to younger generations. Importantly, the younger generation believes that although the Dream is not outdated, it should include aspects such as family, happiness and personal fulfillment and sustainability goals.

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Apr 16th, 10:00 AM Apr 16th, 12:00 PM

Is the American Dream Dead Among College Students?

CSU Ballroom

One of the key components of the American Dream is that success and happiness in life is dependent on procuring monetary wealth. This Dream has created a materialistic society where having the big house, nice car, and home appliances are more important than social issues. However, values might be changing due to economic, environmental, and humanistic reasons (poverty, fair trade, etc). To become a more sustainable society, significant changes need to be made. Are these changes already taking place among college students? Method Data was collected at a Midwestern University through an online survey administered by Survey Monkey. Participants were recruited through two different methods to ensure a variety of majors and classification. A total of 487 students completed the survey. The survey consisted of both open-ended and closed-ended questions. Frugality, environmental concern, and materialism scales were created to measure the extent to which these students saw their American Dream as being similar to the traditional Dream. Findings/ Conclusion The results of this study suggest that the American Dream is not dead among college students. Instead it is a fluent concept that allows for multiple interpretations. Certain aspects of the traditional American Dream, such as being better off than the previous generation, may not be as relevant to younger generations. Importantly, the younger generation believes that although the Dream is not outdated, it should include aspects such as family, happiness and personal fulfillment and sustainability goals.

Recommended Citation

Olson, Kathryn. "Is the American Dream Dead Among College Students?." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 16, 2013.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2013/poster-session-A/51