Самарский Медико-технический лицей
Научно-практическая конференция учащихся
Секция: Английский язык
The American Dream like a social phenomenon and the possibility of it’s
realization in Russia.
Ниц Маргарита Андреевна
Самарский Медико-технический лицей
Научный руководитель Несмелова Елена Борисовна
The American Dream like a social phenomenon………………………………….4
Criticism if the American dream……………………………………………………7
The Russian mentality and the “Russian dream”…………………………………8
The comparative analysis of values of the American and Russian young
The United States of America nowadays holds leading positions in
the most important parts of business, economics and scientific
explorations in the western world. A country that inspired many
appellations – “Land of Opportunity”, “Melting Pot”, “God’s country” is
still referred to people as a land of superlatives – “the richest”, “the
greatest”, “the most”. The American’s style of life, which is based on
the idea of realization of the American dream, becomes more and spread
all over the world. America’s culture, formed not long times ago, has
already extended along many countries.
The Russian Federation is not the exception as during the period
of the last 16 years Russian traditional culture has changed much
because of Western one.
After perestroika, when the borders became opened and the
Western civilization burst into our country, many Russian people began
taking the style of life and habits of citizens of foreign countries and
adopting them to ours. The greatest influence had the USA. Many young
people were impressed by the original and sometimes inadmissible for a
soviet citizen way of life in America, by the wealth of American
citizens, by their rights and freedoms. They wanted to reach the same
prosperity and that’s why they began spontaneously copying different
aspects of American culture. This brought lots of pluses: the people
became more determined and ambitious, they got acquainted with modern
techniques, and people got the opportunity of communicating with
foreigners that broadened their outlook. That was the useful influence,
bur there was also the bad one.
Very often young people couldn’t take right from wrong that lead
to very unpleasant consequences. In the 90’s there was a rapidly
increasing number of addicts, AIDS sick persons, teenager’s pregnancies
and crimes. Nowadays the situation in Russia is not the same, but the
problem of Western, especially American influence is still actual.
In my work I will find out the core of the term “American Dream”
and will find out the possibility of its realization in nowadays Russian
reality. I will also compare the perspectives on life and interests of
young Americans and Russians in order to find out if they are common or
I .The American dream like a social
The American Dream is a subjective term usually implying a meaningful,
successful and satisfying life. This term usually implies financial
security and material comfort, but can also imply a dream of fame,
exceeding social, ethnic, or class boundaries, or simply living a
fulfilling life. Perceptions of the American dream are usually framed in
terms of American HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism”
\o “Capitalism” capitalism , its associated HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meritocracy” \o “Meritocracy” meritocracy
, and the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_of_Rights” \o “Bill of Rights” Bill
of Rights .
The term is not easily defined, and has subjective meaning to many who
claim it. The American Dream is often associated with HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration” \o “Immigration” immigration
, as the dream of religious freedom, economic prosperity, and
meritocracy has historically driven immigrants to the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States” \o “United States” United
States . The term is used by many modern Americans to signify success in
life as a result of hard work (as in, “living [or pursuing] the American
The origin of the American Dream, a term coined by HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Truslow_Adams” \o “James Truslow
Adams” James Truslow Adams in his book “The Epic of America” (1931),
stems from the departure in HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government” \o “Government” government
and HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics” \o “Economics”
economics from the models of the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_World” \o “Old World” Old World .
This allowed unprecedented freedom, especially the possibility of
dramatic upward social mobility. Additionally, from the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolutionary_War” \o “American
Revolutionary War” American Revolutionary War well into the later half
of the HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteenth_century” \o
“Nineteenth century” nineteenth century , many of America’s physical
resources were unclaimed and held out the promise of land ownership and
lucky investment in land or industry. The development of the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_Revolution” \o “Industrial
Revolution” Industrial Revolution combined with the great natural
resources of the enormous and as yet unsettled (by HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European” \o “European” Europeans )
continent created the possibility of achieving wealth and transitioning
“from rags to riches”.
The terrible living conditions in Europe and the hope of a better
standard of living in America led to the migration of hundreds of
thousands to the new world. Impoverished HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Europe” \o “Western Europe”
western Europeans escaping the Irish HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potato_famine” \o “Potato famine” potato
famines in HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ireland” \o
“Ireland” Ireland , the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_clearances” \o “Highland
clearances” Highland clearances in HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotland” \o “Scotland” Scotland and the
aftermath of HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon” \o
“Napoleon” Napoleon in the rest of Europe came to America to escape a
poor quality of life at home. They wanted to embrace the financial
mobility and constitutional freedoms that existed in the United States.
The Industrial Revolution was one of the great forces that developed the
American Dream. The Industrial Revolution, amidst all the government
corruption of the HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilded_Era”
\o “Gilded Era” Gilded Era , resulted in the creation of hundreds of
thousands of jobs. The development of big business, the HYPERLINK
“Transcontinental Railroad” Transcontinental Railroad , and the
increase in oil production greatly increased the American HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_of_living” \o “Standard of
living” standard of living . “Rags to riches” stories of business
tycoons like HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Carnegie”
\o “Andrew Carnegie” Andrew Carnegie and HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Rockefeller” \o “John D.
Rockefeller” John D. Rockefeller led to the belief that if you had
talent, intelligence, and a willingness to work extremely hard, you were
more likely to live a good life. The stories of many successful people
of that time seem to be fairy tales but they are truthful lifestories.
The best example is John Davison Rockefeller, Sr. ( HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_8” \o “July 8” July 8 , HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1839” \o “1839” 1839 – HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_23” \o “May 23” May 23 , HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1937” \o “1937” 1937 ), an HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States” \o “United States”
American HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrialist” \o
“Industrialist” industrialist who played a prominent role in the early
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_industry” \o “Oil
industry” oil industry with the founding of HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Oil” \o “Standard Oil” Standard
Oil ( HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExxonMobil” \o
“ExxonMobil” ExxonMobil is the largest of its descendants. ).He was
second of six children and his father was was a traveling salesman of
dubious products, such as “cancer cures,” a philanderer and bigamist.
16-year-old Rockefeller began his career as an apprentice bookkeeper at
Hewitt & Tuttle for 50 cents a day. His seriousness, diligence, and
honesty led to steadily increasing responsibilities and pay over the
next two years. Nevertheless, Rockefeller reached the point where he
felt he was no longer getting paid according to his contribution and, in
1859, left to form his own produce commission business with a partner,
Maurice Clark. Clark & Rockefeller quickly became a successful firm, and
its partners accumulated enough capital to invest in other Cleveland
businesses. His business became more and more successfull. In the early
1870s,he established Standard Oil company, which soon become one of the
largest shippers of oil and kerosene in the country.Over a forty-year
period, Rockefeller built Standard Oil into the largest and most
profitable company in the world, and was for a time the HYPERLINK
“List of America’s richest people” richest man in the world. His
business career was controversial. He was bitterly attacked by
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muckraker” \o “Muckraker”
muckraking journalists; his company was convicted in federal court of
monopolistic practices and broken up in 1911. He spent his last forty
years focused on philanthropic pursuits, primarily related to education
and public health, eventually giving away most of his wealth.
Rockefeller and many other businessmen reached thir wellfare only by
their hard work and intelligence.
Jack London in his novel “Martin Iden” also described a character of
an illiterate “a self made man” sailor, a hardworking, determined,
persistant person, who was not afraid of any type of work, energetic and
composed,so that he could learn the everithing from reading to
philosophy by himself that’s why became a famous wrighter and reached
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Valley” \o
“Silicon Valley” Silicon Valley initiated the Computer Age and the
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot-com_boom” \o “Dot-com boom”
dot-com boom . Companies such as HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hewlett-Packard” \o “Hewlett-Packard”
Hewlett-Packard , HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EBay” \o
“EBay” eBay , HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo%21” \o
“Yahoo!” Yahoo! , HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel” \o
“Intel” Intel , HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google” \o
“Google” Google , HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Computer” \o “Apple Computer” Apple
, and HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_Corporation” \o
“Oracle Corporation” Oracle remain headquartered there.
In the 20th century, the American Dream had its challenges. The
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Depression” \o “Great
Depression” Great Depression caused widespread hardship during the
Thirties, and was almost a reverse of the dream for those directly
affected. Racial instability did not disappear, and in some parts of the
country racial violence was almost commonplace.
The comfortable, not very hard life in the family circle became the
main idea of the American Dream in the 50s of the XX century. Since the
end of HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II” \o “World
War II” World War II , young American families have sought to live in
relative comfort and stability in the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suburbs” \o “Suburbs” suburbs that were
built up around major cities. This led to the rise of the relatively
conservative 1950s, when many pursued the “perfect family” as a part or
consequence of the American Dream. This period was shattered by a new
generation of young people who embraced the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie” \o “Hippie” hippie values of the
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960s” \o “1960s” 1960s ,
denying traditional values such as the American Dream. In modern times,
the American Dream is seen as a possible accomplishment, as all children
can go to school and get an education. Though the drive to it waned
during those years, the dream itself has never died out.
In the HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990s” \o “1990s”
1990s , the pursuit of an even newer version of the American Dream could
be seen in the HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot-com_boom”
\o “Dot-com boom” Dot-com boom . People in the United States, as well
as the world poured their energy into the new HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_Rush” \o “Gold Rush” Gold Rush –
the HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet” \o “Internet”
Internet . It was again driven by the same faith that by one’s ingenuity
and hard work, anyone can become successful in America. Ordinary people
started new companies from their garages and became millionaires. This
new chapter of the American Dream attracted many entrepreneurial people
from HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China” \o “China” China
and HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India” \o “India” India
and elsewhere to HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Valley” \o “Silicon Valley”
Silicon Valley to form HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startup_company” \o “Startup company”
startups , and seek fortune in America.
Another recent example of the American Dream being realized is the case
of HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamir_Sapir” \o “Tamir
Sapir” Tamir Sapir . An immigrant from the former HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union” \o “Soviet Union” Soviet
republic of HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_%28country%29” \o “Georgia
(country)” Georgia , Sapir arrived in America in HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973” \o “1973” 1973 and started as a
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxicab” \o “Taxicab” taxicab
driver in HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City” \o
“New York City” New York City . Saving up to buy an electronics store,
he catered primarily to HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russia” \o “Russia” Russian clientele.
Eventually he made contacts with the Soviet contingent to the
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations” \o “United
Nations” United Nations in New York, and traded electronics for oil
contracts, which he then sold to American companies. Investing the
profits in Manhattan HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_estate” \o “Real estate” real estate
, he became a HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billionaire” \o
“Billionaire” billionaire by HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002” \o “2002” 2002 , less than thirty
years after arriving penniless in America. Like many HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rags_to_riches” \o “Rags to riches” rags
to riches stories, his is a unique one that would be hard to replicate.
Yet today Sapir is becoming known as America’s “billionaire HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabbie” \o “Cabbie” cabbie “.
Criticism of the American
Nowadays the American Dream is often regarded as wrong conception of
style of life, and it’s ideas – errneous as it propagandizes low moral
standards. The argumets proving this point of view are the following:
It propogandizes HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumerism”
\o “Consumerism” consumerism and HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_materialism” \o “Economic
materialism” economic materialism . Its emphasis on material
possessions as a way of finding happiness is seen by critics as being
somewhat superficial or meaningless. Many literary works level exactly
that criticism at the American Dream, such as HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Miller” \o “Arthur Miller” Arthur
Miller ‘s play HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_a_Salesman” \o “Death of a
Salesman” Death of a Salesman . The play, a classic American work of
literature, finds the main character Willy Loman struggling to come to
grips with the fact that his American Dream is unattainable.
The American Dream is criticized as promoting an ethic of selfishness
and promoting social inequality.
The American Dream is criticized as a useful HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal” \o “Ideal” ideal for social
control by encouraging people to spend their time and energy working
hard for material possessions rather than working to change the balance
of power and the way that society is structured.
The concept of the American Dream also ignores other factors of success
such as luck, family, language, and wealth one is born into. Proponents
of the dream argue that starting wealth is irrelevant because of the
belief that there is no level of poverty from which one cannot rise with
hard work and determination.
Some consider the American dream to be having two children and living in
a house with financial security. Currently this iconic middle class
lifestyle is however not lived by the majority of the population but
rather only by a sizable minority.
Certain laws allow the wealthy to keep more of their money. For example,
the recent cuts in the HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estate_tax_%28United_States%29” \o “Estate
tax (United States)” estate tax and HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_gains” \o “Capital gains” capital
gains taxes may work to further solidify wealth once it is earned. A
counter to this argument are studies that show that “great family
wealth” is nearly always lost in three generations.
It can be difficult to successfully start a business. One reason is
because of the economies of scale necessary to survive in a HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commoditization” \l “Commoditization” \o
“Commoditization” commoditized market, although many markets today are
Research has suggested that features like HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ” \o “IQ” IQ and HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extroversion” \o “Extroversion”
extroversion may give certain people some advantages over others when
it comes to making smart business decisions or career choices, and in
establishing a HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network”
\o “Social network” social network .
As in other countries, actions considered ethical vary between
Americans. For example, a HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CEO”
\o “CEO” CEO who sees certain stock options as excessive monetary gain
would find it harder to attain great wealth than one with a different
The HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_dream” \o
“American dream” American dream may have an HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overtone” \o “Overtone” overtone and
HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influence” \o “Influence”
influence in promoting HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism” \o “Materialism” materialism
philosophy with HYPERLINK
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_instinct” \o “Herd instinct” herd
II The Russian mentality.
The way of development of Russian culture, forming of it’s social and
political thought, Russian ideals have always been quiet different from
the western one.
Original criterion of national originality, the special formula of
“Russian” became “a mysterious Russian soul “. And what the depth of
this mysteriousness is verified by? It is told, that it “by arshin can’t
be measured “. The Russian soul is often thought to be many-sided and
rich. Distinctive and most appreciable features of Russian national
character were formed not in a one day, and developed centuries,
absorbing in itself such epoch, as unification of Russia, the Mongolian
yoke, heathenism and acceptance of Christianity, board of monarchs and
arrival of the Soviet authority.
The basic, deepest character trait of Russian people is its
religiousness and the search of absolute goods connected with it, e,
such goods, which can be found only in God’s Empire. The perfect goods
without any impurity of a harm and imperfections exists in God’s Empire
because it consists of the persons who are quite carrying out in their
behavior two precepts of Jesus Christ: love the God more than itself and
fellow creature, as itself. Members of God’s Empire are absolutely free
from egoism and they create absolute values – moral goods, beauty,
knowledge of true, the blessing indivisible and ineradicable, serving to
all world. The relative blessings- those, using of which for one persons
brings prosperity, and for others do harm, do not combine with the idea
of God’s Empire. The pursuit of them makes the main maintenance of a
life of a persons with egoistical character, i. е. persons who do not
possess the perfect love to the God and prefer itself to others.
Search of absolute goods is not meant, certainly, that by the Russian
person, for example the commoner is meaningly attracted to God’s Empire,
having in the mind a complex system of doctrines about it. Fortunately,
in a soul of a person there is a force attracting to goods and
condemning angrily, irrespective of a degree of education and its
knowledge: this force – a voice of conscience. The Russian person
possesses especially sensitive distinction of good and harm; he
sharp-sightedly notices imperfection of all acts and customs, being
never satisfied with them and never stops to search the perfect goods.
According to Dostoevsky, simple, having little education people can
reach high spiritual life. The best example is the book “Frank stories
of the wanderer to the confessor “. Dostoevsky finds synthesis and end
of all kind properties of Russian people in its Christian spirit.
“Perhaps, the only love of russian people is the Christ “, – Dostoevsky
thinks. Having recognized sanctity as the maximum value, aspiring to
absolute goods, Russian people, Dostoevsky says, does not erect
terrestrial relative values, for example a private property, in a rank
of “sacred” principles.
To number of primary properties of Russian people, together with
religiousness, search of absolute goods and will power, are concerned
the love of freedom and its maximum expression – freedom of spirit. This
property is closely connected with search of absolute goods. Askoldov in
his clause ” Dostoevsky’s Religious and ethical value ” says, that the
person as the individual essence, demands that all norms of a life have
to receive his personal sanction, i. е. they have to be selected and
estimated either thinking, or irrational moral intuition, or experience.
Therefore the strongly pronounced person often enters the conflict to
external conditions, can even commit a crime “in the search of higher
rules of behavior”. Dostoevsky represents character of Russian people,
daringly putting on trial values and generally accepted norms. The
examples of such people are Raskolnikov, Stavrogin and Ivan Karamazov.
Owing to free search of the truth and courageous criticism of values,
makes difficult to Russian people to come to an agreement with each
other for a common cause. Jokers speak, that when three Russian will
begin to argue about any question, as a result there will be even not
three, but four opinions because someone from participants of dispute
will hesitate between two opinions. In the organizations based for any
common cause, easily arise splits, form different parties, circles; in
political parties – some fractions.
In a public life love of freedom of Russians is expressed in propensity
to anarchy, in pushing away from the state. K. Aksakov has developed the
characteristic doctrine for Slavophiles about the state. It approves,
that Russian people sharply distinguishes “their Land” and the state.
The “Land” is a community; it lives according to the internal, moral
truth. Shubart writes: “to Russian and in general to Slaves is peculiar
the aspiration to freedom, not only freedom from a yoke of foreign
people, but also to freedom from fetters of all passing and transitory
Contempt for narrow-mindedness, for bourgeois concentration on the
property, on earthly blessings, on that “to live as all”, to have good
conditions, a dress, an apartment is an extremely characteristic feature
of Russian society. Herzen, Dostoevsky, L.Tolstoj, having seen a life of
the Western Europe, with disgust describe its petty-bourgeois character.
Ivanov-Razumnik has written three-volume, rather detailed work “History
of Russian public idea. Individualism and narrow-mindedness in the
Russian literature in a life of XIX century.” The term
“narrow-mindedness”, according to Ivanov-Razumnik, includes such
conceptions as collective mediocrity, a moderation and accuracy, hatred
to bright individuality. Lev Tolstoy at the beginning of his literary
activity in the story “Lucerne” has described egoistical isolation in
itself of the rich people living in magnificent hotel with great
indignation. In blossoming of the art creativity he has stigmatized
narrow-mindedness, having represented in “War and peace” Berg’s and his
wife’s persevering diligence “to live as all”. In his “Dead souls” N. V.
Gogol depicts a brilliant character of Chichikov, a person, whose aim of
life was the pursuit of richness. The reader can see the sarcasm the
author speaks not only about the main character, but about the whole
Russian nobility and officialdom, i.e. about the ruling rich classes.
Unlike others, “Russian dream” includes such rare component as social.
The main Russian question formulated by Dostoevsky is: “And whether
there is all happiness of the world of tear of the unique children?”
Europeans, especially Americans, are not really interested in humanism;
they just want to seem philanthropic. As Russia has always had ideas
about public happiness the communism, with it’s ideas of equality of all
people and their well-being because of collective labour, in Russia has
III The comparative analysis of values of American and
Russian young men
Purpose: To make a social questioning among young Russian and American
people in the age of 14 – 19 years about their values and plans on
future in order to compare them and to find out the possibility of
realization of the American Dream in Russian reality.
Tasks: 1) To make a social inquiry among Russian young men
2) To make a social inquiry among American young
3) To compare the results of both tests.
4) To make a conclusion.
Methods of research. In the work was used a method of social
questioning. The Russian and American young people were asked the same
questions, concerning their plans on future life, their values and moral
standards. In addition the Russians were asked special questions about
their preferences of a choice of production of a masscult concerning the
country of the manufacturer. The interrogation of Russian young people
was made in the gymnasium №11 and Art school №1. The Americans were
asked on the Internet.
The questions the respondents were asked are the following.
Choose the most important for you vital value:
l) Good luck
The results: (number of people)
What is the most important thing you need to do in the nearest 15 years?
The most popular answers are (in number of persons):
Plan Russians Americans
To success in my career 7 17
To establish a family 16 9
To get a good education 13 10
To earn money 23 24
To travel round the world 2 1
Russian young people’s answers
American young people’s answers
The special questions, considering the attitude of Russian young people
to American culture, and to America in general were the following:
1)- Name your three favourite films and the country of the manufacturer.
– Do you prefer to listen to domestic or foreign music?
– Do you prefer books of the American or Russian writers?
About preference of a choice of film-production it was found out, that
63 % of the interrogated teenagers choose the American cinema for
viewing. But, despite of this choice, the group of teenagers (46 %)
says, that if in Russia high-quality film-production was made, they,
certainly, would look our cinema was made. 31 % interrogated prefer only
Russian films, and these are films of Soviet times. The remained 6 %
can’t choose the answer.
43 % of young people have chosen the American singers and the American
groups. 28 % are declined aside European musical production and only 29
% listen to exclusively Russian music.
The Russian young people answered a question on preference on book
production as follows. 62% read only Russian literature. And in the
majority it is the classical literature. 22 % choose foreign writers, 16
% from them prefer the American literature (Steel, Sheldon, King). At
this part of interrogated the style of a fantasy uses success.
2) In order to understand what do Russian young people think about the
influence of the American culture and the American Dream upon them they
were asked the following questions:
– Whether the American culture influences personally on you?
е. process of Americanization. Though 62 % of interrogated speak that
they don’t feel on themselves influence of the American culture, in
their answers the following idea is traced: the USA at the given stage
of historical development takes the leading positions, including in
manufacture movie and musical production.
The answers referring to the American Dream have divided approximately
50:50. 54% of people say that its idea is right as we live in the epoch
of capitalism and only a person himself can reach success in every
sphere of life and prosperity that is the main aim of life. Others (45%)
say that American Dream propagandizes egoism, the people who live
according its principles often forget about humanity, friendship, family
relations and kindness.
According to the results we come to a conclusion that American and
Russian people’s values are still quiet different. Russian young people
put an emphasis on such aspects of life as family, friendship. They are
also interested in getting a perfect education, to be erudite persons,
but they do not forget that it is impossible to live in modern society
without money. Americans, on the contrary, are mostly interested in
getting success in their career, earning a big sum of money. But they
are not much concerned in studying hard and getting high education.
Speaking about the impact of the American culture on Russian one it is
necessary to note a high degree of influence of the American masscult on
subculture of the Russian young people. Traditional values of the
Russian culture are steady, and the hobby for the American culture is
explained by aspiration for “the present”, fluidity and variability of a
The American culture impacts greatly on other subcultures and the
Russian one is not the exception. Mostly this influence becomes apart
among young people in the sphere of a masscult as most of teenagers
prefer the American films, music, games. This can be explained by the
better quality of American production and its entertainment character.
The young people recognize the penetration of the American culture and
they see it as normal, appropriate process as the USA nowadays holds
world leading positions in many spheres.
But the core of the American culture and the American Dream itself (half
of respondents even criticize its idea) haven’t integrated in the
Russian traditional culture. This proves the statistics. It reflects
that the main part of traditional Russian values hasn’t changed: the
main part of young people prefer national classical literature, Russian
society is still a patriarchal country, regarding family the most
important vital value, respecting friendship, education, healthy style
of life. Americans, on the contrary do not attach importance to family,
friendship, education. They put emphasis on success, career, material
comfort, fame. But, it is necessary to say, that capitalism has changed
the attitude of Russians to money, as both, Americans and Russians,
consider earning money one the most important thing.
To sum up, it is possible to say that nowadays, in view of economical
and social situation in Russia and because of Russian mentality, the
American Dream can’t be realized in our country.
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