In the past century, American culture has developed a well-entrenched, commonly shared national narrative to explain and justify success – the myth of the “American dream”. But, observes Jefferson, while “the American dream narrative explains upward mobility … we have fewer cultural narratives to help us understand and cope with downward mobility”. Thus, widespread foreclosures pose a “narrative challenge”; there is no single, commonly agreed national way to explain these events. Different groups are fighting to control the story.
The column is here.