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  The American Dream is a hopeful vision of boundless opportunities for individuals to succeed economically and live a happy life based on consumption.

 

The American Dream is a hopeful vision of boundless opportunities for individuals to succeed economically and live a happy life based on consumption. This uniquely American belief that “you can be anything you want to be” never acknowledges that a person’s class position influences life chances or that life chances influence patterns of social and economic mobility in all social classes. The belief that “you can be anything” also discredits poor and low-income people by associating poverty with individual failure, laziness, and weakness of character.

Your task for this discussion question is to react to the following scenario: Your soccer coach tells you and your teammates that sports are uniquely American activities because they embody the American Dream and are organized so that money has no influence on performance. He also says that sports are the best way for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get ahead in life. One of your teammates doubts the truth of what the coach said and asks you to analyze and critique his comments.

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