Thorstein Veblen wrote his “Conspicuous Consumption” towards the end of the industrial revolution in 1902. The work intended to highlight what Veblen saw as frivolous consumption for the sake of status rather than for a necessity. Veblen witnessed large scale consumerism in its early stages and pinpointed the essential characteristics of a caste system based entirely upon one’s ability to purchase the correct things.
The upper level of Veblen’s caste system was known as the “leisure class,” a class which ostensibly consumed luxuries, and was wealthy enough to indulge in leisurely activities.… Read the rest here
“The Theory of the Leisure Class”, written by Thorstein Veblen, was a piece written from observations on the effects of capitalism of the leisure class. Veblen mentions that the only purpose for the wealthy/leisure class is to consume. Veblen sees this type of lifestyle as a waste. He does not say it out right but Veblen looks at this time period as a sort of step back in terms of society and not a step forward.… Read the rest here
In 1899 Thorstein Veblen wrote “The Theory of the Leisure Class” on his observation of division of labor; specifically the effect capitalism had on the upper/leisure class. As a child of immigrant parents being raised in Wisconsin, Veblen had trouble adjusting and felt isolated from the American way. This detached upbringing seems to have an impact on the way he describes the leisure class, as he speaks as though he is on the outside of society looking in. … Read the rest here
Author: Thorstein Veblen, Conspicuous Consumption (1902); American-born son of Norwegian immigrants who owned a farm where he spent his youth; his rural background may have led to his prejudice against the so-called “wasteful consumption” urban dwellers engaged in, leading him to write this essay
Context: beginning of the 20th century, during a period of rapid urbanization; the influx of Americans to large cities allowed the economy to grow because of the rise of the middle class, or the “leisure class” as he calls it
Language: he seemed to have disdain for the rise of the leisure class; he often mentions these people’s spending habits as wasteful and unnecessary
Audience: seems to be written for educated individuals, perhaps directed at those within the leisure class; may have been an address to enlighten those who participated in “conspicuous consumption” about the faults of their actions
Intent: again, it seems to have been written as a wake-up call to those within the leisure class to prevent them from further spending wastefully; he wished to highlight the divide between the middle class (those who in his eyes spent money wastefully and those who appeared to be more thrifty)
Message: The essay noted the rise of a socioeconomic class that fell somewhere between the upper class as he knew it and the lower class.… Read the rest here
Author: Thorstein Veblen was an American sociologist and economist born in Wisconsin in the year 1857. He was raised in a prosperous Norwegian household by his two parents, and he thrived as from an early age they instilled solid life values and beliefs in him. He studied at multiple prestigious colleges around the country. He wrote his most famous work The Theory of the Leisure Class, when he was in his forties.
Context: This piece was published in 1899, during a period known as the Gilded Age.… Read the rest here
Author: Thorstein Veblen, born in 1857, was a respected American sociologist and economist. He was raised in Nerstrand, Minnesota by successful Norwegian parents who accentuated the values of hard work and education while contributing to his disdain for lavishness. He began his formal studies in economics at the age of seventeen and worked under the tutelage of many prominent economists.
Context: Veblen’s renowned economic treatise, The Theory of the Leisure Class, was published in the United States in 1899.… Read the rest here
Author: Thorstein Veblen was born in Cato, Wisconsin on July 30, 1857. He spent the majority of his childhood working on his family farm as part of a Norwegian immigrant farming community. His parents stressed hard work and education, an emphasis that would factor into his disgust for conspicuous consumption. Veblen studied and worked at several universities including Johns Hopkins, Yale, and Cornell. Veblen wrote The theory of the Leisure Class when he was in his early forties.… Read the rest here