In this module, we will explore how the "American Dream" has influenced its citizens values. This is the first of a three part series on U.S. Cultural Values and Ideals 101. The first value we will look at is the"pursuit of happiness" as discussed in the Declaration of Independence
Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence — which identifies the pursuit of happiness as an unalienable right, along with life and liberty — and the French Revolution both reflected an increasingly popular idea: that happiness is necessary for the health of the individual and society.
Americans feel that being happy is essential for living a long, healthy and successful life. We take the pursuit of happiness very seriously. We long for it, talk about it, sing about it, and make movies about it.
Today, happiness is ever-present in our cultural conversation and often at the forefront of our minds.
Advice on how to be happy is everywhere. A Google search for “happiness” yields nearly 420,000,000 million results.
See the music video below as an example of this pursuit:
What does happiness entail for Americans? See the video below for more info.