January 18, 2013
Data point: The American Dream echoes across borders
It’s likely the American Dream will be invoked during Barack Obama’s second inauguration as U.S. president on Monday. While the U.S. may have branded the notion of the American Dream, its ideas strike a universal chord, according to a JWT survey of 5,625 people in 25 countries. Almost 90 percent of respondents reported components key to their nation’s Dream that align with factors considered key to the American Dream (as outlined in our September 2012 report, “American Dream in the Balance”).
As in America, “The Dream” is multifaceted across the globe, comprising various factors relating to basic human desires and societal freedoms. In 23 of the 25 markets surveyed, the most important pillars of “The Dream” are personal striving (factors like “a better life for my children,” “being my own boss,” “a comfortable lifestyle”) and societal freedoms (“freedom from fear of oppression,” “freedom of speech,” “freedom to go anywhere you want”). The study, conducted last October using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool, also found that in Brazil, China and many other emerging markets, “The Dream” is closer to home, with an emphasis on factors like “a better life for my children” and “a comfortable lifestyle.” By contrast, in France, the U.K. and most other developed markets, respondents were more likely to associate societal freedoms with their version of “The Dream.”