The Theory of the Leisure Class Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. What does Veblen say about the upper classes in Iceland and Polynesia?
(a) That they offered their vassals' labor to the priests.
(b) That they worked alongside the rest.
(c) That they invested the capital and give laborers the means of production.
(d) That they were barred from physical labor.

2. What do silver spoons have that machine-made spoons do not?
(a) Utility.
(b) Aesthetic design.
(c) Serviceability.
(d) Conspicuous waste.

3. What does Veblen say comprises people's standard of living?
(a) Their habitual expenditures.
(b) Their debt.
(c) Their luxuries.
(d) Their necessary consumption.

4. What did men use to display their exploits during the earliest forms of ownership?
(a) Gold.
(b) War booty.
(c) Enemy women.
(d) Stories.

5. Why does Veblen say women wore corsets?
(a) Because making them slenderer made them seem more expensive.
(b) Because restricting their movements prevented them from work.
(c) Because discomfort was a luxury.
(d) Because restricting their movements made them less threatening.

6. What factors drove the emergence of the leisure class?
(a) Geographical forces.
(b) Military forces.
(c) Economic forces.
(d) Technological forces.

7. Spending money on ornate buildings is an example of what?
(a) Devout waste.
(b) Vicarious consumption.
(c) Vicarious waste.
(d) Conspicuous waste.

8. What employments did upper-class people in Iceland and Polynesia work in?
(a) Government, military, and the ministry.
(b) Arts, music, and entertainment.
(c) Management, service jobs, and newspapers.
(d) Investment banking and diplomacy.

9. What happens when people attain a certain level of consumption?
(a) They are free to move down, but it is difficult to move further up.
(b) They try to raise their children with less frivolous things.
(c) It is difficult to move to a lower level.
(d) It is easier to reach what has been just out of reach.

10. What does Veblen say a woman's dress indicates about her spouse?
(a) Her affection for him.
(b) Her interdependence upon him.
(c) Her independence from him.
(d) Her reliance upon him.

11. What do expensive handmade clothes have that cheap imitations do not?
(a) More authentic components.
(b) The signature of the maker.
(c) Patented features.
(d) The aesthetic quality of the original.

12. Why do people spend more than they need for physical comfort?
(a) They conform to a code of decency.
(b) They want to impress their superiors.
(c) They need to stimulate their local economy.
(d) They cannot keep excess wealth.

13. How does Veblen explain the change of fashion from year to year?
(a) It is a form of conspicuous waste.
(b) It is a constantly renewed way to police who is current and who is classic.
(c) It is a shallow form of bourgeois emulation of different aristocratic idols.
(d) It is a form of cultural restlessness.

14. How do standards of consumption change?
(a) Very slowly over time.
(b) Faster in societies with less social mobility.
(c) They change with every season.
(d) Slower in societies with more social mobility.

15. How does Veblen say wealth is obtained?
(a) Through conspicious consumption.
(b) Through exploitation.
(c) Through hoarding.
(d) Through labor.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Veblen call the code of conduct for servants?

2. What does Veblen say the effects of an ownership society are on the behavior of its members?

3. What distinction does Veblen say emerged between types of labor in cultures that had a leisure class?

4. What makes dress a good indicator of conspicuous waste?

5. What are signs of vicarious consumption?

(see the answer keys)

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