The Affluent Society Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Affluent Society.
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American Affluence and Conventional Wisdom

Asserting that the United States in the twentieth century is an anomaly in world history due to its unprecedented affluence, Galbraith states that economic theory up to this point is based primarily on societies characterized by poverty and is, therefore, inadequate to addressing the economic condition of the United States in the twentieth century. He introduces the concept of conventional wisdom, which refers to the generally accepted ideas within any given society. Galbraith asserts that conventional wisdom is based primarily on tradition and does not accommodate changes in society and so must be viewed with skepticism. He observes that the early economic theorists - the leading fires being Smith, Ricardo, and Malthus - of the previous centuries based their theories in a world economy characterized by poverty. Galbraith then provides an overview of major currents in economic theory since the Industrial Revolution in...

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This section contains 1,210 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Affluent Society Study Guide
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The Affluent Society from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.