American Aspirations is working to drive narratives that drive change in America
Insights, Inspiration and Tools for Driving Narrative Change

If you work to create social change in America, chances are good you’ve come up against  dominant narratives about the country that stand in your way. Cultural narratives are ideas so common in our culture that they sound like common sense. They frame our perceptions of the way the world works, and our preferences for the way things should be.

American Aspirations works to disrupt cultural narratives that drive inequality—and drive narratives that motivate people to support social change.

For example, one powerful idea in our individualistic culture is the myth of the “rugged individual” and the value of “individual responsibility.” This says we’re all on our own—Americans “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.”

The idea of individual responsibility isn’t necessarily negative, but this narrative is often used to oppose government policies to address inequality, such as funding anti-poverty programs. While 8 out of 10 Americans want to live in a country “where people take responsibility for themselves,” a similar number want to live in a country where “people look out for each other.”

American Aspirations works to disrupt cultural narratives that drive inequality—and drive narratives that motivate people to support social change.

Our team of strategists and social scientists talks to people from all walks of life, all across America, exploring their aspirations for their lives, communities and country.

We share research insights, produce content and design tools that can help you communicate in new ways, transcend social and political divides—and connect your cause to hopes and values that really matter to people.