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The American Dream - A History About Credit

Lunds universitet/Mänskliga rättighetsstudier
Publication Date
  • Credit
  • The American Dream
  • Education
  • Consumption
  • Modernization Theory
  • Social Sciences
  • Economics
  • Education


The American Dream is a concept that includes several spectra of the economic cycle in the U.S. It also actualizes values such as self-fulfillment, hard work and possibilities to achieve a better life irrespective of ones background. The discussion of what The American dream is, what it has become and how you can achieve it, varies depending on whom you ask. According to several scholars traditional values regarding the dream seem to have shifted and gone from noble ideas to more materialistic ones. If the American Dream has become a dream about plenty it would also mean that it is not only achievable through hard work but could also be financed using modern credit channels. After discussing a possible shift of content regarding the Dream and how one can obtain it, I will examine individual’s propensity to purchase on credit. Furthermore, what impact education seems to have on a people’s way of spending using credit. I will make use of a quantitative method and a regression analysis (using data from a national telephone survey involving 752 individuals) to study the extent individual's´ level of education affects and correlate with the amount of credit debt a person is willing to take on. The theory offers an extensive debate about whether education promotes or prevents individuals to consume using credit in America. My work fore holds two distinguished advocates (Sprenger et. al and Hume) representing two different sides of the debate concerning what impact education has on an individual when it comes to the use of credit. They will constitute the grounding for two hypotheses regarding the subject. The result of the performed analysis indicates that education correlates with a decrease in the propensity to consume using credit. The support found and given its strength, means most likely that there are other factors in addition to the variables I´ve used, which affect consumers and their propensity to use credit.

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