The Myth Of The American Dream Essay — страница 2

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reliance on welfare are represented as the causes of poverty rather than the effects of it. The poor may also affected by this misrepresentation by believing themselves that they are part of a minority group that should only be concerned with becoming part of this immense and prestigious middle class. The truth is “working class families are the single largest group of families in the country. These are the men and women, by far the largest part of the American work force”(Rubin: 30). If in fact the working class makes up the largest section of the population, it is necessary to explain why they are represented as a troublesome minority. The continuance of myths like these serves to benefit only those who already have access to wealth and resources. It should come as no

surprise then that “unlike other cultural institutions, ownership and control of the mass media is highly concentrated. Twenty-three corporations own more than one-half of all the daily newspapers, magazines, movies studios, and radio and television outlets in the United States”(Ore: 71). When the wealthy are identified as having so much control over the media it is easy to recognize how the myths it promotes serve to keep the working class divided and thus unable to initiate social change. In addition to prolonging the myth of equal opportunity, the media is responsible for exploiting race differences in reference to the distribution of wealth. According to the coverage provided by the media, one would think that minority groups in urban areas made up the bulk of the

impoverished population. In actuality, most of the poor in America are white and live in rural areas. The purpose of this sort of misleading depiction is to prevent the working class from uniting and having a chance at instigating social change. This is just another example of inaccurate social beliefs promoting the welfare of the wealthy ruling class in this country. As long as the working class is encouraged to stay divided, it will not become a threat to these values that support the uneven distribution of wealth in America. These myths must be dispelled for until they are, the smallest segment of the population will continue to control the greatest percentage of resources. What is most dangerous about these destructive myths and cultural values is how easily they are

presented as being of a positive nature. The reason that these false beliefs are so prevalent in our society is because they are distorted meticulously in order to seem virtuous. Although the idea of America as an Egalitarian society is a myth, the idea of equal opportunity evokes nothing but positive feelings. The idea of an enormous middle class sharing wealth and opportunity is not inherently corrupt. The idea however, becomes corrupted when one realizes that the middle class by that definition is non-existent. Through this corruption of otherwise positive values and beliefs, the American people have been exploited in the worst way possible. Although hegemonic values in this country often serve to promote inequality, most people don’t hold those values for that reason.

Instead, people hold onto dominant values and beliefs because they are deceived into believing that these ideals are the ideals that this country was founded on. To free ourselves from cultural myths that encourage categories of difference, we must look beyond the surface of our cultural values and examine them critically. Only then, will these ideologies become exposed for the chains they actually are. The idea of equal opportunity and the American dream were undoubtedly originally intended to represent the highest of ideals. Unfortunately, a small but very powerful section of the population has found a way to take advantage of these ideals to in order t