Luxury Beliefs are Status Symbols


Key takeaways


  • In Veblen’s day, people exhibited their status with delicate and restrictive clothing like tuxedos, top hats, and evening gowns, or by partaking in time-consuming activities like golf or beagling. These goods and leisurely activities could only be purchased or performed by people who did not work as manual laborers and could spend their time and money learning something with no practical utility.
  • The yearning for distinction is the key motive here. And in order to convert economic capital into cultural capital, it must be publicly visible. But distinction encompasses not only clothing or food or rituals. It also extends to ideas and beliefs and causes.