The American Dream has captured the imagination of all of us, but what is the price we pay for our individual pursuit of this ideal?
The United States currently leads the developed world in the extent of its income inequality, with some 80 percent of the US population at risk of economic vulnerability at some point in their lifetimes. Combining personal interviews and a longitudinal study covering 40 years of income data, Cornell professor development sociology Tom Hirschl’s new book “Chasing the American Dream,” co-authored with sociologists Mark Rank and Kirk Foster, describes the ups and downs of a riskier and more unequal economy and suggests that personal success and economic well-being are becoming harder to reach. In a Chats in the Stacks book talk presented at Mann Library in November 2014, Hirschl discusses this work to recast our understanding of the American dream in terms that encompass not only wealth, but economic security and the pursuit of one’s passions.
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