conspicuous consumption

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conspicuous consumption

a term coined by VEBLEN to help define the characteristics of the LEISURE CLASS. Rather than consuming goods or services for their utility, Veblen suggests that some consumption is for show alone, i.e. the demonstration of one's social STATUS. This idea has been re-examined in the work of Fred Hirsch (1977) on POSITIONAL GOODS, and by BOURDIEU (1984a).
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
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