American Space Leipzig frequently offers workshops for teachers from Mitteldeutschland to discuss current events and phenomena in American society and politics.
On December 3, around 35 teachers visited us for a workshop on the American Dream in the 21st century.
Four experts in history, sociology, politics, and minority studies presented new positions on the American Dream and discussed with the teachers how the idea has become increasingly complex in the 21st century.
Prof. Crister S. Garrett gave a basic introduction into the terminology and the historical development of the American Dream. He introduced first insights into how the rather broad idea of achieving your personal dream of individual freedom triggers diverse and equally relevant imaginations.
Prof. Hartmut Keil then looked at the sociological aspect of the concept and how it acted as a beacon drawing over a million immigrants a year to America during the last decade. In light of increasing competition and social frictions the question arises in how far the American Dream is still achievable in the 21st century.
Prof. Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez continued the discussion of immigration to the US and considered contemporary challenges but also opportunities an increasingly multi-ethnic society presents.
Prof. Paul Rundquist then addressed the political relevancy of the American Dream, especially in the upcoming presidential election. He looked at how the concept is still highly relevant in the rhetoric of political campaigns today.
The workshop ended with a final discussion and evaluation of the day.
American Space Leipzig will continue this tradition and invite more teachers for such workshops in the future.