Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy and Public Affairs

Reader 1

Rima Basu


The American national identity is built upon a dream of assimilation commonly referred to as the American Dream. The American Dream speaks to and attracts millions of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, seeking to assimilate into an identity that would fulfill a good life. Though many people have different interpretations of what defines a good life derived from the American Dream, it is generally associated with two key features: upward mobility and economic success. These features, as the American Dream promises, are the key to obtaining a good life. Yet, for many Americans, these features are difficult to obtain and utilize because of contemporary issues that stem from a lack of equitable opportunities and a deep economic inequality in the United States. This paper will address the difficulties that many Americans face in their journey of assimilation due to contemporary issues that lead to challenges with the people and traits of themselves that they hold dearest.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.