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one paragaph response to the belowThe documentary follows two struggling families as they pursue the “American Dream.” Both the Neumanns and the Stanleys have similar goals, a house, a steady job, a good future for their children and a secure retirement. Both are finding these goals to be nearly impossible to attain, and putting a strain on their family. Both found steady employment to be elusive even during “good” economic times. Both saw the future as full of uncertainty. The Neumanns attend family counseling and church to try to keep their family together. The Stanleys rely on their faith in God to see them through.The documentary shows how social forces affect families. These social forces are primarily economic. Both of these families would be much better off if they simply had better paying, more secure employment. Mortgage payments, college tuition and other expenses are sources of enormous stress and anxiety. Economic forces put tremendous strain on families. Often families break apart when a husband is unable to fulfill his role as breadwinner, and seeks to escape from the pressure or the shame of being unable to provide for his family as society expects. In other families, religious forces predominate. A great faith is required to see through difficult times. Often one’s faith is no match for extreme or discriminatory political policies, but is enough to keep a family going in the face of these overwhelming odds. These two families are clearly representative of large portions of the American public who are finding a comfortable middle class life to be a myth, a cruel joke.

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