Profs & Pints DC: American Dream, American Division-Door tickets remain available.

By Profs and Pints (other events)

Sunday, May 15 2022 3:00 PM 5:30 PM EDT

Advance tickets sales have ended but plenty of additional tickets remain available at the door.

Profs and Pints DC presents: “American Dream, American Division,” a look at how our nation’s political landscape is being reshaped by declining faith in advancement through hard work, with Liz Suhay, professor of government at American University, public opinion researcher, and scholar of economic inequality.

Why do some people earn much less than others? The mythos of the American Dream—the idea that "you can make it if you try”—suggests that those with less simply have not worked as hard as others.

It’s a belief that has helped earn our nation a reputation for blaming the poor for their own poverty and for providing them relatively little government assistance.

It’s also a belief that’s the subject of growing doubt, with huge implications for American politics, according to Professor Liz Suhay, who has spent more than a decade researching American public opinion, focusing heavily on the connection between Americans' understandings of socioeconomic inequality and political attitudes.

Although Americans overwhelmingly expressed belief in “the American dream” in public-opinion surveys over much of the twentieth century, times clearly have changed, Dr. Suhay has found. Her talk will discuss how the public has gone from being full of “American Dream believers” to being increasingly skeptical that the economy provides ample and equal opportunity to individuals and social groups.

Moreover, this skepticism is distributed unevenly, with diverging beliefs about the American Dream giving rise to heated campaign rhetoric, rising partisan polarization, and divisions among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.

Dr. Suhay will argue that we appear to be in the midst of a fundamental shift in Americans’ views on the fairness of our economy and on the appropriate federal response to social inequality. Her talk will awaken you to the major changes in the political landscape occurring as a result. She plans to donate her proceeds to Community of Hope, a Washington D.C. nonprofit that provides services to homeless families. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in. Bring proof of vaccination and a mask as they may be required in response to local infection rates. The Bier Baron will be requiring event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.)

Image: A 1937 Margaret Bourke-White photo of black families in Louisville, Ky., lined up for relief supplies after the Ohio River flooded.