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

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What does Veblen say happens to those who need to work but do not work?

2. What standard does Veblen say guides people's behavior?

3. What incentive does Veblen say results from the desire to own property?

4. What does Veblen say was lacking in primitive culture?

5. What does Veblen say a person's possessions determine in ownership societies?

Short Essay Questions

1. How are churches and ornate buildings related to conspicuous waste?

2. How does style ensure conspicuous waste?

3. How are the different social classes distinguished?

4. How did women practice production and consumption in early predatory culture?

5. How are lawns and public grounds evidence of pecuniary beauty?

6. What is the relationship between the necessities of life and an individual's standard of living?

7. What is emulation, and how does it function in society?

8. In what way is dress an example of conspicuous waste?

9. How does the individual consumer think of his conspicuous waste?

10. How have women's clothes demonstrated that the woman does not engage in productive employment?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Why does society need to have its industrial efficiency reduced through devout observances and the belief in unseen hands? What would happen if society accelerated toward efficiency? What does reducing efficiency allow for a leisure class? What does it offer for the other classes?

Essay Topic 2

Is Veblen dividing society into people who blindly follow fashion on one hand and others who see the true value of things on the other? Or is he describing a split in the industrial culture by which people can see the artificiality of their habits at the same time that they perform them?

Essay Topic 3

How American is "The Theory of the Leisure Class"? Is it descriptive of industrial economies generally, or is it limited to Veblen's American environment? How does he account for aristocratic or feudal culture or other European social systems?

(see the answer keys)

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