While scanning RSS feeds early this morning, I came across some information for a new documentary releasing in November called American Dreams. The film will focus on understanding the consumer culture in early 21st century America, especially on the “prosumer“, i.e. consumers who are especially socially and environmentally aware. Obviously interesting fare for those of us in the retail industry – and fans of St. Elsewhere wondering what Dr. Ehrlich has been up to.
Then when I picked up my USA Today a bit later this morning, I noticed a cover story on births fueling Hispanic population growth in the US. Interesting in light of immigration’s status as a hot – and apparently somewhat moot – campaign topic the past few elections, but with the marketing hat on, understanding the dynamics of “acculturated” Hispanics and a move to more rural areas becomes enlightening. What does that mean for the previously mentioned American Dream (the general construct, not the documentary)? Many times in marketing when we think Hispanic, we assume “urban”. Sounds like demographic shifts may make that an obsolete assumption in the not-so-distant future.
Very much related on the multicultural front was Friday’s release (also front page billing on USAT yet not cross-referenced in today’s story about Hispanics – a media miss if I’ve ever seen one) by Yankelovich and Radio One of research on the diversity and optimism that exists with in the African-American/Black (the research actually asks for preference on these two labels, thus I use them both) community – not to mention the close of the Digital Divide. It seems the “fragmentation” of the Black community is leading that community to more fully achieve the American Dream, or at least feel more positively disposed about the opportunity to achieve it. A step further, this helps obliterate another pre-conceived marketing notion – that “African-Americans” or “The Black Community” think and act in simple buckets of behaviors.
And to put a nice bow on this line of thinking on The American Dream, a trip to Barnes & Noble yesterday so my son could redeem a gift card led me to purchase The Post-American World. This best seller delves into how the concept of a flat world and globalization is allowing other nations to rise closer to the US’s financial prowess. While many pundits and media outlets have spun this to negative affect, Fareed Zakaria takes a positive view on America’s role in a world where we may no longer be #1 in everything.