What do you think is the American Dream? Is that dream possible? Does any and everyone have access to making good on the pursuit of happiness? Those are some of the fundamental questions raised by Professor Robert Putnam of Harvard University, also a consultant to President Barack Obama.
Professor Putnam will be the keynote speaker at Wayne State University’s Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society on Monday, March 28th. The topic of his talk will be Urban Families: The American Dream in Crisis.
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson talked to Putnam about the increasing lack of access to social mobility throughout the working class.
Putnam told Henderson, “The gap between rich kids and poor kids has widened a lot…” and it’s “pushing America towards a caste-based society.” Putnam says talent is equally distributed across every class but opportunity is not. He says there has been a cultural shift in America where the focus has went from creating opportunity for all children, to people only focusing on their own biological kids. “We now have a shriveled sense of who we are responsible for,” he says.
Click on the audio link above to hear the entire conversation.