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Small-Town America by Robert Wuthnow

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The Frog Pond

Making Sense of Work and Money

A STANDARD INTERPRETATION OF THE AMERICAN dream holds that it is all about achieving success. The path to success involves getting as much education as one can, finding a rewarding career, and moving up the ladder as one gains greater skills and matures. A successful person is expected to move from place to place in search of career opportunities, rather than becoming too attached to their community, and work hard and attain specialized knowledge that is rewarded in a competitive market. Success may not come in the form of an extremely high salary or powerful position but instead is attained, usually in comparison with one’s parents, by taking advantage of the opportunities at one’s disposal, ...

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