Semester Paper Info
?American Dream?
Deadline: May 3rd, 2013

Intro: “In the United States, one major ideology has been the American Dream, which suggests that equality of opportunity exists and that your positions in the social class structure are a reflection of what you deserve.”

Please write a short essay on the American Dream. The paper is worth 15 points. You must use at least four sociological concepts. You have to define every concept you choose. You have just below some suggestions to consider in your essay.

1. What is the ?American Dream?? What comes up if you do a search on or other search engines?

2. Does every American have the same opportunity to obtain the American Dream? Are indeed social mobility and social class positions based on merit? Are social class positions based on unequal access to resources and power? Which is the role of prestige in building one?s social class position? How ascribed statuses (race, ethnicity, gender, age etc) may impact reaching the “American Dream“. How the three Ps (property, prestige and power) are interlinked. Please explain. Give examples and try to use sociological theories and concepts.

3. Please talk about your own and your family ?American Dream?. Talk about intergenerational social mobility (how social socio-economic positions change between generations), openness of American class system, meritocracy, social classes, importance of education in social stratification, wealth/prestige/power stratification, family values and socialization, equal or unequal life chances, etc. Think sociologically!

So, above I gave you many suggestions, but you do not need to touch all of them! You are expected to discuss some issues so that you will cover the minimum four concepts expected.

Defend your point of view using the arguments from at least two bibliographical resources you can find at the library or on. I will deduct one point for every missing bibliographical resource. Make sure to mention the resources at the end of your assignment, according to the ASA citation style (see below more info).

Deadline: May 3rd, 2013 (Wednesday) at the beginning of the class (hard copy only; no emails accepted). If you know that you cannot be present that day, submit the paper in advance. You have been announced about this assignment well in advance to have time to do it. Those failing to submit the assignment in time will receive zero points for it. Late papers are not accepted under any circumstances.
Extrapoints: you will get two points extra if you submit the paper before April 26th.

Editing Requirements: The paper must be at least 3 full pages of writing, typed, double spaced, Times New Roman font, 10 or 12 cpi font size, 1 inch margins. You will have points deducted if you do not have the minimum number of pages. For every half a page missed text you will lose 2 points. Papers that are not stapled or attached with a paper clip are not accepted!

The writing assignment focuses on communication skills and critical thinking skills. Grammar, spelling, organization and clarity count. One point is withdrawn for every three grammar errors. I strongly recommend you to use the free services of the Writing Center if you need assistance for writing the essay. Before you submit the writing assignment, ensure that you have a hard copy or a copy on a computer file. Keep the graded assignment until the end of the semester as a record of your scores.

Please be original. I strongly recommend avoiding ?copy-paste? writing. I reserve my right to check any paper by Moodle App of Turnitin in case I will have suspicions of plagiarism. Zero points will be given to every non-original post. Please, avoid plagiarism as this is considered fraud and it must be reported to the administration.

How to quote and write the “Reference List”: You are expected to use AmericanSociological Association reference requirements.

DIRECT QUOTES ? Whenever an author?s exact words are used, document the source. Quotations in text must begin and end with quotation marks; the citation follows the end quote mark and precedes the period.

Example: ?In 1998, however, the data were reported by more specific job type which showed that technologically oriented jobs paid better? (Hildenbrand 1999:47).

-so you will quote as following (author year of publication: page)

Begin the reference list on a separate page headed with the word “References? in upper and lower case (no quotation marks).

? All references cited in the text must appear in the reference list.
? All references in the reference list must be cited in the text.

Examples of References

Books ? One Author
Prus, Robert C. 1996. Symbolic Interaction and Ethnographic Research: Intersubjectivity and the Study of Human Lived Experience. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Articles from Journals ? One Author Mehdizadeh, Shahla A. 2002. ?Health and Long-Term Care Use Trajectories of Older Disabled Women.? Gerontologist 42:304-13.

Articles from Magazines and Newspapers Gibbs, Nancy. 1999. ?Noon in the Garden of Good and Evil: The Tragedy at Columbine Began As a Crime Story But Is Becoming a Parable.? Time, May 17, 153:54.

Information Posted on Web Pages, etc. ?Social Science Information Gateway: Sociology.? 2005. University of Surrey Retrieved April 27, 2005 (

-see more on how to quote on:

Good luck!

Dr. Gabriel Lataianu