conspicuous consumption


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Conspicuous Consumption

The purchase of items one does not need simply to show that one is able to afford them. For example, a person who buys an exotic automobile may be engaging in conspicuous consumption.

conspicuous consumption

the CONSUMPTION of goods and services not for the UTILITY derived from their use but for the utility derived from the ostentatious exhibition of such goods and services.

A person may buy and run a Rolls-Royce motor car not just as a vehicle for transportation but because it suggests to the outside world something about the owner. That person may wish to be seen as affluent or as a person of taste. This phenomenon (known as the VEBLEN EFFECT) can be viewed as an alternative to the more usual consumption theories where the quantity of a particular good varies inversely with its price (a downward-sloping DEMAND CURVE). A conspicuous consumption good may well have an UPWARD-SLOPING DEMAND CURVE so that the quantity demanded increases with its price.

References in periodicals archive ?
But let's also sit down with our kids and a copy of the Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue, or the Sunday New York Times Magazine, and talk with them about conspicuous consumption, conformity, snobbery, and ostracism.
Or else you'll end up with a bunch of conspicuous consumption,'' said Schult, noting that frequent flier miles and iPods aren't always the best incentive to swipe plastic.
Foreign dudes with weird names, chicks, midgets, God, conspicuous consumption
This is especially the case regarding conspicuous consumption, luxury, effeminacy, the ideology of renunciation, and much else upon which he dwells.
Organic food is a luxury, another bit of rich American conspicuous consumption.
But the conspicuous consumption of some people who are not particularly talented, I think, is obscene.
The advent of commercial capitalism made such representations increasingly problematic, however, and Shakespeare's depiction of the fairy queen as a tiny aristocrat engaged in conspicuous consumption revealed the distance between the precapitalist world of folklore and courtly myth, and the market-driven turmoil of early modern London.
In his new book, Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World, Mark Pendergrast does his best to educate the drinker and provide some moral alternatives to conspicuous consumption.
The "she" of She's Here and She Was Here is an apparition from that other world of conspicuous consumption and obsolescence.
The conspicuous consumption of the Reagan years is not fashionable anymore," says Stephen Sanders, fur buyer for Marshall Field's.
The 1980's was the decade of conspicuous consumption, overspending and overborrowing and the real estate market was one of the biggest players in this game.