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Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography - Daniel Altenburg Annotated...

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Daniel Altenburg 4/3/09 Annotated Bibliography Boorstin, Daniel J. Image: A guide to pseudo-events in America . New York: Atheneum, 1971. 239-61. Boorstin provides an interesting look at the pseudo-America, one that does not distort reality but creates a new one. In the last chapter Boorstin speaks to the prevalence of the American Dream both in America and abroad, coming to the conclusion that the uneducated primarily believed the American Dream, but mostly the idea is falling from favor. In its place, Boorstin creates the idea of American illusions consuming our lives to the point that Americans live in them. Illustrious dreams of grandeur are not coveted, are not dreamed about by Americans because the focus has shifted from striving to attain these dreams on the home front to projecting those dreams abroad. While his argument is strong when speaking of middle or upper class who have already attained so much, I question Boorstin’s blindness to the poor in America. He speaks of Americans as a whole, undivided, almost scheming to create illusions to the rest of the world. While this is certainly an injustice in the piece, one can logically surmise that the poor abroad wrestle with the same false images of grandeur that poor Americans may, perhaps with a language gap thrown in. This is relevant to most American Dream topics because it takes the fallacy one step further. Some sources say it exists while others say it’s dead. Boorstin concludes that, yes, it is alive, but has adapted to globalization quite well. Chillman, Catherine S. "Working Poor Families: Trends, Causes, Effects, and Suggested Policies." Family Relations 40 (1991): 191-98. JSTOR . 2 Apr. 2009 <http://www.jstor.org/stable/585482>. While this article is a bit old, being written in 1991, it is interesting to note the lack of positive changes that have taken place over the past 18 years. Chillman (professor at the School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) addresses many factors used to assess the
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poor, and especially unemployed, by researches and the government: poverty line, numbers of working poor/unemployed, causes of the problem, results of poverty wages on family, etc. An interesting note is that at this time major research focused merely on the affects of unemployment, not the working poor (those that are young, belong to young families who are uneducated and of a racial minority). If anything, the working poor still are not spoken about to as high of a degree as unemployment. Basically they fall off of the map because they are working, so they must be okay. But that is far from the truth, in fact, quite the opposite. Because the working poor do not receive the same amount of attention, they also do not receive the same amount of help. This discrepancy provides a great platform on which contrasting characters (in a story) can show differences in perspectives with each being correct.
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