The American dream essay

The American Dream and Media Effect

The American dream is a set of principles that includes freedom, chance for family upward social mobility, and prosperity attained through hard work. Rights, equality, liberty, democracy, and opportunity are part of this group of principles. The media is the most recent obstacle to the American dream, which has confronted many over the years. Both good and negative aspects of the media's development have been brought to society. One such problem is recent out-of-control advertising, which has harmed the century-long family unity. The most recent offender for the detrimental effects of media advertising is the image of the American ideal. Media distorts the American Dream's image by aggressively advertising too materialistic and consumptive lifestyle to young adults.

Impact of Media on Children

Research has established that television is an important source of information especially for small children. Children usually learn about products from television adverts or commercials. Children are however vulnerable to the information these television stations show on their shows or during news. The shortcoming of the children is that they do not have the knowledge and experience to understand and critically evaluate the information broadcasted by the persuasive adverts.

"Research has shown that exposure to affluence and materialistic behavior on television over time is correlated with materialistic values in children." (Malik and Bartosz 410)

Materialism in Media Advertising

The negative aspect of these Medias is that their advertisements are too materialistic. One good example is based on technology. For instance, smartphones have continued to grow each year. These companies produce the same phones each year with a slight modification. However, the product is still the same. Additionally, young people feel affected by some of the advertisements such as their body sizes.

"Female and male adolescent tend to compare themselves with models in television advertisements more frequently at this age and as a result both the gender feel insure and lack of confidence in themselves." (Sood)

Undermining the American Dream

The media has help fuel this kind of materialistic element in the society instead of advertising value for a particular product. These products are not as a result of hard work but rather excitement that is generated by the media. The product has the same functions as most other products in the market.

Media has also undermined the American Dream by constantly advertising consumptive lifestyle especially for young people in the society. The goal of these medias is to make money and as such, it has forego educating the young people about the most important values such as hard work, humility, being responsible and using the few opportunities to better oneself. Television has rapidly eroded these virtues in the society through their cancerous advertisement. For instance, one can identify how toys are advertised on television as if they are a necessity in life. It is impossible to find a child without one expensive toy. This kind of consumptive lifestyle has eroded the American Dream image as exemplified by the current crop of lazy young people in the society. The advertisement affects young children the most that do not have any idea about the struggle in the world. Parents who compete add to theses problems by fueling the sales.

Exploitation of the Imaginative Quality in Young People

Media has continued to exploit the imaginative quality in young people. Banning such vices is however difficult due to one of the set ideals of the American dream; rights. The Media have the right to show such advertisements as long as it is not bad to the public. The quote below predicted the case of television in the future,

"Television has culture by the throat... when a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is re-defined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public discussion becomes baby-talk, when... a people become an audience and their public business becomes a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk." (Douglas)

The Need for Action

Unless a proper measure is put in place, media will continue to erode important values in the society by continuing to fuel materialistic and consumptive lifestyle. The government and the people should take action soon before the media stations wipes out the important values in the society while increasing the vices that are currently negatively affecting the young people.

Works cited

Douglas, Winnail. "How The Media Mold The World". Tomorrow's World, 2017,

Malik, Christina, and Bartosz W. Wojdynski. "Boys Earn, Girls Buy: Depictions of Materialism on US Children's Branded-Entertainment Websites." Journal of Children and Media 8.4 (2014): 404-422.

Sood A, Barve G. "Effects Of Advertising On Youth (Age Group Of 13-19 Years Age)". Journal Of Mass Communication & Journalism, vol 05, no. 05, 2015, OMICS Publishing Group, doi:10.4172/2165-7912.1000260.

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