Ashkar, T. (2021). Exploring first and second generation immigrants’ perceptions of the American dream. The Young Researcher, 5(1), 304-317.
The U.S. is accepted as the “nation of immigrants’’ because immigrants represent the appeal of America: a place where those seeking opportunity can succeed. Therefore, immigration stories are quintessential to understanding the American Dream. It is estimated that by 2050, about 37% of the U.S. population will be composed of first and second generation immigrants and as this population grows, so does the necessity to center their perspectives on the American ethos they hold a large role in defining. This study explored first and second generation immigrants’ perceptions of the American Dream in a non-experimental, qualitative approach, through a Google Form openended survey. Themes emerging from the forms’ responses portray first generation immigrants as more traditional, optimistic, placing emphasis on hard work, and expressing material success. Responses portrayed second generation immigrants as “realistic,” placing an emphasis on barriers to success and idealistic views of success.
Keywords: American dream, immigrants, second generation immigrants, content analysis, open-ended survey