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

2. Why do people spend more than they need for physical comfort?

3. Which cultures exhibited the leisure class?

4. What did men use to display their exploits during the earliest forms of ownership?

5. What distinction begins to be drawn as the group around the patron grows?

Short Essay Questions

1. What distinguishes the leisure class from the other classes?

2. What status is attributed to scholars?

3. What was the earliest form of ownership?

4. What is the purpose of leisure?

5. How did primitive societies divide the labor?

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

7. How does wealth stratify society?

8. What do expensive clothes say about a person?

9. How are the different social classes distinguished?

10. Why do most people spend in excess of what is required for their physical comfort?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Describe the role Darwinian thinking plays in "The Theory of the Leisure Class." Is Veblen simply applying Darwin's ideas to society, or is he using Darwin's ideas as tools to show things Darwin's theories would not have described?

Essay Topic 2

Are members of the leisure class the pacesetters and leaders of a culture, or are they the most conservative members, slowest to change and adapt to new cultural conditions?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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