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discretionary income

The money available to a household over and above what it requires to have a comfortable standard of living.


Hate to part with their money; experience emotional pain when they make purchases


enjoy buying everything in sight


- Brand aspirationals
- Price-sensitive affluents
- Value-price shoppers

behavioral economics

or economic psychology, studies the "human" side of economic decisions"

consumer confidence

a measure that reflects how optimistic or pessimistic are about future health of the economy and influences their decisions. Such as world events

social class

the overall rank of people in a society


the tendency to marry people in a similar social class to ours. "assoratative mating"

social stratification

the creation of artificial divisions.

status hierarchy

a structure whereby some members are better off than others

social mobility

the passage of individuals from one social class to another.


Young, lower-class men and women who mix flashy brands and accessories from big names such as Burberry with track suits.


Brazil, Russia, India, China

mass class

the hundreds of millions of global consumers who now enjoy a level of purchasing power that's sufficient to let them afford high-quality products- except for big-ticket items like college educations, housing, or luxury cars


term coined by social critics to describe the failure of material goods to bring happiness to people who have the financial means to afford them

taste culture

A group of consumers who share aesthetic and intellectual preferences.

restricted codes

focus on the content of objects, not on relationships among objects

elaborated codes

more complex and depend on a more sophisticated worldview


a status-marking force that causes consumption preferences to cluster together

cultural capital

set of distinctive and socially rare tastes and practices - knowledge of "refined" behavior that admits a person into the realm of the upper class

invidious distinction

we use the products we buy to inspire envy in others through our display of wealth and power (Veblen)

conspicuous consumption

refers to people's desires to provide prominent visible evidence of their ability to afford luxury goods.

parody display

to deliberately avoid status symbols to seek status by mocking it ( ripped jeans)

status crystallization

The extent of which different indicators of a person's status (income, ethnicity, occupation) are consistent with one another.

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