Social Class And Social Status Essay

1428 Words Jan 28th, 2015 null Page
Discussions of social class and social status have historically been difficult to initiate, often resulting in awkward conversations wherein individuals avoid questions that may reveal weaknesses in their knowledge of social status norms. The emergence of technology, along with an increase in the need to voice one’s own opinion and the introduction of social communities, has helped to ease this tension, if only through one-way conversations. The example of the “Redneck Neighbor”, and simultaneously the obsessive author, is one that helps to offer insight into the subtleties of social class that make it so difficult to define. Using the writings of Thorstein Veblen on “conspicuous consumption” as a baseline, we can begin to pick apart the “redneck neighbor” and uncover some underlying themes about social class. More specifically, the focus will be on three interlocking “rules” for consumption and class: the consumption of the right goods, the consumption of the right amount of goods and the consumption of goods in the right way.
The consumption of the right goods is the basis for these three interlocking “rules” as the individual aspiring to move up the social ladder must decide what goods to consume to lift him/her to the next rung. Veblen states that “In order to avoid stultification he must also cultivate his tastes, for it now becomes incumbent on him to discriminate with some nicety between the noble and ignoble [undistinguished] in consumer goods”. In the case of…

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