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 ?
In the 1964 essay "Dialogue Between the Church and Modern Culture," Del Noce argues that the affluent society replaces universal values with subjective ones.
This paper found evidence that questions the popular theory that environmentalism is a post material, affluent society, developed nation phenomenon.
Miss European Tourism Association president and CEO Paul Chetcut said Filipino Josh Mangila, editor in chief of 'XPEDITION,' a luxury travel magazine targeted to the affluent society in the Middle East, will be recognized for his 'utmost efforts to inspire people to travel, explore, and respect different cultures' through his writing.
The GCC is an affluent society overall, we are used to having without trying and this makes us complacent.
Nowhere is the question of whether humans should greatly scale back their ambitions more acute than in the debate between the advocates of greater economic growth (and the affluent society) and those advocating for scaling back economic activities and reliance on most technologies.
Since its foundation in March 1976, Ad-Sol Nissin Corporation has been developing business with an eye toward customer satisfaction and the development of an affluent society. The main business domains include the social infrastructure domain covering energy, transportation, and network, the ubiquitous domain covering embedded system, sensor networking, and the financial domain covering the next generation financial infrastructure.
The wide variation in phone prices affords the various sections of the affluent society a chance to flaunt their respective monetary standings.
MEMBERS of Qatar's affluent society came together to take part in a charity auction-cum-dinner called 'A Night for Nepal' at Grand Hyatt in Doha on Thursday.
In the affluent society which we have today, were the sacrifices of the servicemen and women worthwhile?
As Sharon Sernik of Journey's End in Merrimack sees it, the pet hospice momentum is also a byproduct of a more affluent society."
"Even in our affluent society, educated couples negotiate through their relationship to achieve the perfect balance.
Of these, The Affluent Society is the most widely celebrated, having been an absolute blockbuster when it first appeared in 1958 (and probably not surpassed in this respect until Thomas Piketty's remarkable smash-hit this year).