American Dreams: Place, Identity and Power
The American dream is different for everyone, since everyone is unique as an individual and the American dream can be interpreted in many ways. In this podcast we explore the American dream from the perspective gay college athletes, American immigrants, inmates serving in the US penal system, and women with regards to their reproductive rights.
To stream the episode, press play below:
Act 1: In Act 1 of this podcast, Mike Lansing explores the struggles and obstacles that a person in the gay community must go through in order to achieve their American Dream. He interviews Jesse Klug, a soccer player from Bucknell University who is openly gay, and he tells me what he has to deal with in order to be happy and not to be looked at as someone who is less than everyone else. The sense of hetero-normativity prospers in the US and can cause people of the gay community to struggle in their pursuit of happiness.
Act 2: In Act 2 Connor Hayes explores the American assimilation process that immigrants and subsequent generations go through in order to become a part of the mainstream American society. It is through assimilation that American culture is strengthened and unified by immigrants while they retain their own identity through heritage and lineage. Hayes’ podcast is told through the eyes of Italians and Italian-American immigrants, like his grandfather, Anthony.
Act 3: This podcast describes the type of culture that develops within a prison environment and how it impacts correctional officers perspectives and values. A masculinist culture is the root of the prisoner’s violation of rights. In Act 3 Dan McManus discusses the 8th amendment in the context of the US prison system. He explores the ways certain spaces (prisons) can shape the development of particular (masculinist) identities and cultures.
Act 4: No aspect of women’s reproduction is a universal or unified experience, nor can such phenomena be understood apart from the larger social context that frames them. For many women, reproductive health care is a luxury that falls near the bottom of a long list of more urgent health concerns. The lack of control women have over their bodies is a result of a political system that favors patriarchal standards, and a skewed notion of what it means to have freedom and live the ‘American Dream’. Both at the state and national level, women’s bodies are under attack, and it is time more women’s voices are heard. In this podcast Taryn Pontilillo identifies some of the current crises modern women are facing, and the political barriers that are pushing them back.