affluent society


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affluent society,

term coined by John Kenneth GalbraithGalbraith, John Kenneth
, 1908–2006, American economist and public official, b. Ontario, Canada, grad. Univ. of Toronto (B.S., 1931), Univ. of California, Berkeley (M.S., 1933; Ph.D., 1934). After becoming (1937) a U.S.
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 in The Affluent Society (1958) to describe the United States after World War II. An affluent society, as the term was used ironically by Galbraith, is rich in private resources but poor in public ones because of a misplaced priority on increasing production in the private sector. Galbraith argued that industrial production was being devoted to satisfying trivial consumer needs, in part to maintain employment, and that the United States should shift resources to improve schools, the infrastructure, recreational resources, and social services, providing a better quality of life instead of an ever greater quantity of consumer goods. His critique influenced efforts during the 1960s to improve the quality of public institutions and facilities. The term has lost its original ironic meaning and is now used simply to indicate widespread prosperity.

affluent society

  1. a description of British society, especially in the mid-1950s and early 1960s, in which it was assumed that rising living standards were leading to profound changes in social attitudes, including a decline in traditional working-class support for the Labour Party See also AFFLUENT WORKER, EMBOURGEOISEMENT THESIS, CLASS IMAGERY.
  2. (GALBRAITH, The Affluent Society 1958) an account of US society in the late 1950s as a society in which basic economic scarcity and insecurity had been substantially conquered, but where private affluence was accompanied by ‘public squalor’ (e.g. producing cars in abundance, but disregarding road improvement and pollution control), and where poor provision was made for the casualties of capitalism. If increasing state expenditure in the 1960s and 1970s led to a departure from this pattern, monetarism and the changing political climate of the late 1970s and the 1980s has again tipped the balance against state provision. Echoes of Galbraith’s concerns exist, however, in the importance of environmental issues in modern politics (see GREEN MOVEMENT).
References in periodicals archive ?
Overall, though, it is a empathetic assessment of Galbraith's work, not only in The Affluent Society but also in a range of his other publications up to The Good Society that Berry describes as his last major work (albeit not the very last, that being a slim, seriously witty volume on The Economics of Innocent Fraud which Galbraith wrote just two years before he died).
It said the Transitional Justice Coordination Group appreciated the ten-year achievements in government-building, civil and political rights, human rights, women's rights, education, reconstruction and other fields, but these trends had not yet taken root in the country and constituted initial steps on the path to a stable and affluent society in peace and Justice.
This picture indicates there were plenty of customers ready to buy the new vehicles suggesting a more affluent society in the Middlesbrough of 1935 than the history books tell us.
I feel sorry for the country, where cricket was originated as a pastime for the affluent society, for not getting any prominence in the modern era and blaming the subcontinent for it.
People are choosing between heating and eating, and in a modern, affluent society this is unacceptable.
When the economy is booming, it's just as easy to accept that the money spent by a caring, affluent society on the seemingly endless battle to cure the users of their addiction is a wise investment.
In today's modern, affluent society, people should simply never be in a position where they are forced to choose between whether they 'heat or eat'.
We are supposed to be an affluent society yet too many people cannot afford to heat their homes, something that is fundamental.
Following a brief biographical sketch and a summary review of his continuing importance as a thinker, they conduct a chronological explication of his writings in political economy, including A Theory of Price Control, American Capitalism, The Great Crash, The Art of Controversy, The Affluent Society, The Liberal Hour, Economic Development, The Anatomy of Power, The Culture of Contentment, and The Good Society.
He termed London as old capital and said if we are hearing voices for revolution something will happen, but revolution will be for affluent society and not for poor.
Increased safety fears, the Americanisation of Halloween, and a more affluent society are all possible reasons for the demise of the good, bad and downright ugly Guy Fawkes effigies.
Apprenticeships really do change lives and by making sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to become involved, we will lay solid foundations for the future and the creation of a more highly-skilled, affluent society.