Public Agenda

The Invisible Dream

Creating a New Conversation About the American Dream

What is the American Dream? What do we need to help more Americans achieve it? Does the way we talk and think about the Dream hinder our ability to achieve it? The Invisible Dream, a partnership between Public Agenda and the GALEWiLL Center for Opportunity & Progress, aims to facilitate a more nuanced national dialogue around the American Dream and injects the public's voice into the conversation about this important topic. Through focus groups around the country and a national survey of over 2000 respondents, we listened to what Americans had to say about the Dream. Our research suggests that Americans, regardless of political party, race, gender, income and education, have a strong consensus on the things that are absolutely essential to achieving the dream: a strong work ethic, parents or other adults who instill values, and a good education. At the same time, Americans are torn on the role government and communities should play in helping more Americans achieve the Dream, as well as whether people with good values and a strong work ethic have access to the Dream.


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About the Survey

This data comes from a nationally representative survey study of 2041 adults, conducted between August 15 and August 29, 2012, through online interviews. The data was collected by Harris Interactive Service Bureau (HISB). HISB was responsible for data collection only. Public Agenda and Galewill designed the survey and analyzed the results.

About the GALEWiLL Center for Opportunity & Progress

The GALEWiLL Center for Opportunity & Progress is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to create and promote research, content and programs with the potential to move the world forward. It is established as a private operating foundation that will invest in ideas, people and organizations that empower others to improve their station in life. The GALEWiLL Center can be found online at http://galewill.org/.


Download the PDF of the Survey Findings

The Invisible Dream

Creating a New Conversation About the American Dream

Media Type: PDF

What is the American Dream? What do we need to help more Americans achieve it? Does the way we talk and think about the Dream hinder our ability to achieve it?

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Press Release Monday, October 1st, 2012

Hard Work Is Essential for Achieving the American Dream, But Is It Enough? Americans Are Divided According to a New Survey