Abby Anne Pech


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



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The ideology of the American Dream has a negative impact on those who are low income by creating a false perception of what it takes for residents to reach their full potential. The American Dream emphasizes that everyone has the freedom and ability to suc­ceed, economically and socially, through hard work and dedication, but fails to address the underlying barriers that stand in the way of this achievement. Drawing on narratives from the Facing Project in Dayton and social science literature, it is clear that non-merit factors such as social capital, cultural capital, and inheritance hinder the poor from achieving the American Dream. The goal of this poster is to highlight the historical impact of the American Dream on people in the Dayton area and emphasize how the upper class has an unfair advantage over the lower class. It will delve into the functional and conflict explanations of poverty and examine the is­sues surrounding the four ingredients needed to obtain the American Dream, which include talent, the right attitude, hard work, and moral character. In order to level the playing field in the Dayton area, I recommend a number of measures that could begin to foster equal opportunity to the American Dream.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Danielle C. Rhubart

Primary Advisor's Department

Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work


Stander Symposium project



Challenging the American Dream in Dayton, OH

Included in

Sociology Commons