The Theory of the Leisure Class Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter Abstracts

Chapter 1 Introduction

• Upper classes do not hold industrial positions, only positions with prestige associated with them.

• In primitive cultures, production and consumption were not distinct, but in industrial culture, work is stigmatized by the upper classes.

• In industrial culture, man exhibits power over nature and becomes predatory as a result of technology and the use of tools.

Pecuniary Emulation

• The leisure class came into being with property ownership, when the accumulation of goods became desirable.

• The desire to own property is the desire to work, and the possession of wealth becomes a meritorious act.

• People are judged and ranked in terms of their wealth.

Conspicuous Leisure

• The avoidance of labor distinguishes the leisure class from the industrial class.

• The leisure class must follow a strict regimen of manners and conspicuous consumption of wealth to distinguish the classes from one another.

• Servants' dress and manners reflects on the wealth...

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