The Affluent Society Themes

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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Conventional Wisdom

Perhaps the most widespread and lasting impact of The Affluent Society is the entrance of Galbraith's phrase "conventional wisdom" into common parlance. The effect of conventional wisdom on attitudes about the economy is a key theme in this book. Galbraith explains that the conventional wisdom about the economy stems from nineteenth-century economic conditions and is, therefore, no longer relevant to the American economy in the twentieth century. However, he observes that many people in positions of power have a "vested interest" in the conventional wisdom in that it serves to maintain the status quo. He also claims that economists have a vested interest in conventional wisdom because it represents the basic assumptions upon which economic theory is based. Throughout the book, Galbraith asserts two main points about conventional wisdom. The first is economists, as well as the general public, must look beyond the outdated assumptions of conventional...

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This section contains 920 words
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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.