Very interesting book The Sum of Small Thing A theory of the Aspirational Class.
Written by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett
and written taking inspiration by "The theory of the Leisure Class" published more than two centuries ago by Thorstein Veblen, this teacher will compare the situation found by Veblen analyzing the present condition of the new American elite called by her Aspirational Class.
new elite brings in itself substance and essence because it's dominated
by people of culture with interesting jobs. It's not said that they are
rich by birth, maybe they became rich thanks to their work. Maybe
they're not rich in the common sense of the word.
The Aspirational Class is not anymore attracted by the so-called "visible social status symbols."
the past social status symbols of rich people recognized by certain
objects that the working class and middle class could just blandly
objects of luxury and distinction between the very rich American people
(1% of the entire population) and the rest of people are yachts and
In the past rich people tended to buying Rolex, expensive shoes, clothes, big cars, Louis Vuitton's bags.
Some of these brands dedicated to this exclusive market
opened, launched a special market also for common people. Objects,
of course is still important for this niche of people, but there is a
new movement dedicated to picking up good clothes made in USA with good
Famous brands loved in the past are not anymore a top priority.
The trendy bag at the moment is a tote bag, better if it "speaks" about you and your tendencies, policy literature, environment.
The essence of a clothe? A shirt, a dress of good quality made respecting the environment the new direction given by the elite.
Money spent for unnecessary and expensive objects directed to most important life's sectors.
We call conspicuous consumption the objects we buy and that we can classify as unnecessary.
This process is not new at all.
Rich Romans lived with a lot of conspicuous consumption at their times.
Egyptians in their graves! as well.
The only difference is that now there is a largest percentage of people, a sort of standardization of luxury and exclusive items ready for them and their wallets .
The real big difference between rich people and common ones can't be anymore the possession of an iPhone or a SUV.
Let's add that the middle class spend more money than not the rich class for these status symbols.
The Aspirational Class, is in this sense different and they also go for the so-called inconspicuous Consumption.
The best is not necessary what they can buy, but what give satisfaction in terms of qualit.
These people will treasure for food, choosing the best ones
directly from farms, eating well, organically, avoiding where possible
industrialized food, drinking well, doing Pilates.
They will preserve the tradition of
sending letters and postcards, living in an old-fashioned way and
giving importance to little things and treasuring their time.
Women will choose to breast-feeding their children a habit pretty uncommon in the USA.
They will have nannies for their children, they will avoid structures where to put them while they work.
This, for giving to their children a best quality of life.
moms are more than 30s because they studied and they realized their life professionally.
is the most important part of their life with good schools and later
great colleges for their children, so that their quality-work will be
great, their friends pretty good as they are, and once they will retire
they will experience a lot of gratifications.
These people read a lot: surely The New York Times (if you also mention some reporters or very famous editorialists you will see that they will be all happy and cheerful to talking to you all excited).
The NYT costs says the author 2 dollar and 50 cents everyday and 5 dollars on Sunday morning.
If you read the NYT you pay a lot for your culture add Currid-Halkett.
The New Yorker is another magazine that the Aspirational Class loves to read so badly.
These newsmagazine a magazine are read only by people of a certain culture.
Cities and life-styles different from the one lived in a little town.
The author told the example of her life while she was studying in NYC.
She paid the rent of her apartment just for sleeping there.
For the rest, her life was all outside.
one of the elite invites a friend in their flats in NYC, but everyone enjoy to seeing friends and colleagues in clubs, restaurants,
NYC is a big home for its citizens and everyone
love to go out from their flats, apartments, houses for living the city
The book is very interesting, written with a captivating style, interest grows up every chapter you read.
Anna Maria Polidori