Indeed, its promise of success through personal virtue and hard work continues to beckon immigrants from around the world to the shores and borders of the United States.
In contrast, global education that overemphasises the liberal dimension, and excludes the instrumental, invites pathologies of inertia and hopelessness, and does not give young people a fighting chance to advance themselves, especially when the odds are long.
A History of Evangelicalism in America, Randall Balmer argues that American evangelicalism "grew up" against the backdrop of a particular American story, a story white fundamentalists and evangelicals felt they rightly created and must maintain.
Anchor Books, This content is intended solely for the use of the individual user. In other words, if you have not succeeded then it must somehow be your fault. Before exploring this troubling conflation and its impact on evangelical ethics, some comments on the American Dream are needed.
These ideas underpinning the American Dream tend to become conflated with the personal and social ethic of American evangelicalism. The four principles in her proposal are: Indeed, each higher education institution is under pressure to prove that its graduates earn more than the graduates of other institutions and a growing industry has developed to capture this data.
It can even make us uncomfortable with our comforts. In other words, as historian Howard Zinn put it: This has produced a simplistic strategy in social ethics that believes that "changed people change society" which ignores the reality that "changed societies change people.
However, there is nothing that intrinsically links the American Dream to wealth, material possessions or creature comforts. All of these are authentic measures of success for some people.
Although, on the flip side, appearances can be deceiving and there is no shortage of structural and systemic inequalities in most, if not all, countries, which thwart the pursuit of success. However, versions of this idea also have been embraced by countless millions if not billions of people around the world.
As Smith and Emerson note, "although much in Scripture and tradition points to the influence of social structures on individuals, the stress on individualism has been so complete for such a long time in white American evangelical culture that such tools are nearly unavailable. Christian ethics has a voice in challenging the values on which our current economic system is based.
Chatham House Publishers, Because evangelicals employ the personal influence strategy, it serves to obscure, for them, the effect of forces outside themselves on their interpersonal relationships, along with their capacity to comprehend adequately how the social world actually works and to formulate relevant and responsive solutions to complex social, economic, political and cultural problems.
King famously dreamed of a country in which people would be judged by the content of their character rather than the colour of their skin. However, so as not to call entirely into question either the explicit belief that success is a function of individual effort or the implicit belief that people who fail to succeed have only themselves to blame, they also have turned to education, and global education in particular, as the prescription for personal success in the global marketplace.
One of the most troubling flaws, according to Hochschild, is the connection between failure and sin, which enables dominant groups to claim virtue for themselves and legitimate their right to rule based on an illusion that success is a product of moral goodness.
Embattled and Thriving, Smith writes: Perhaps even the number of friends, followers, likes or views you have on the internet.
Subscriber Characteristics,"3. In other words, far from being just another US export or an example of cultural imperialism like Coca-Cola, McDonalds or Mickey Mouse, the American Dream in its richest form becomes a truly global dream with myriad local implications and possibilities.
How might this acceptance impact the shape and flavor of evangelical social ethics? This economic criticism cannot be made for the rich, for they are successes. Beacon Press, ; and Robert E. That is to say, it is a direct challenge to any and all narrow, limited or cramped understandings of the American Dream.Hochschild, J.
L. (). Facing up to the American dream: Race, class and the soul of the nation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp.
15 – What is the American Dream? "In the beginning," wrote John Locke, "all the world was America." Locke was referring specifically to the absence of a cash nexus in primitive society. An Analysis of the Different Kinds of Success in Jennifer Hochschild's "Facing up to the American Dream: Race, Class, and the Soul of a Nation".
Jennifer Hochschild, in her book, Facing Up to the American Dream: Race, Class and the Soul of the Nation, explores the ideology of the American Dream which is focused on the achievement of success. 12 The four tenets of the American Dream according to Hochschild are all related to the promise and guarantee of success.
The ideology of the American dream--the faith that an individual can attain success and virtue through strenuous effort--is the very soul of the American nation. According to Jennifer Hochschild, we have failed to face up to what that dream requires of our society, and yet we possess no other central belief that can save the United States from chaos.
Hochschild JL. Social Class in Public Schools. Journal of Social Issues. ;59 (4) Criticisms of the American Dream The American Dream, as popular as it is, is not unquestioningly embraced by everyone. Many criticisms of the American Dream focus on its preoccupation with money and the things that money can buy.
From this perspective, the American Dream is flawed because it measures success in the wrong way – it is overly materialistic and consumeristic.Download