Understanding the symbolic idea of the American dream and its relationship with the category of whiteness

MADRIAGA, M. (2005). Understanding the symbolic idea of the American dream and its relationship with the category of whiteness. Sociological research online, 10 (3).

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Official URL: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/10/3/madriaga.html

Abstract

This article examines the impact the category of 'whiteness' has on individual interpretations of the American Dream. Via twenty-five life-history interviews, this article presents how US military male Veterans have varying interpretations of the collective idea according to their ethnic and racial background. The evidence presented in this article shows that the idea of the American Dream has racial dimensions or aspects. It suggests that 'whiteness' is taken-for-granted in this symbolic idea. For most ethnic minority respondents, this association between American Dream and 'whiteness' places them in a position to straddle the boundaries of American-ness and Otherness. This has implications in their everyday lives and sense of belonging. This article highlights a wider question regarding the extent 'race' shapes the boundaries of American national identity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: American-ness, American dream, American identity, community, ethnicity, Latino, 'race', social identity, social categorization, 'whiteness'
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Quality Enhancement and Student Success
Sociology, Politics and Policy Research Group
Depositing User: Caroline Fixter
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2010 16:21
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2011 14:33
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1315

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