Sunday, May 29, 2005

Status, Class, and Neighborhoods

This morning's NY Times has a great piece about class and status-seeking in contemporary America. It's well worth your while to read the whole thing, but this paragraph caught my attention:

In the last 30 years or so, however, [professor Shor] said, as people have become increasingly isolated from their neighbors, a barrage of magazines and television shows celebrating the toys and totems of the rich has fostered a whole new level of desire across class groups. A "horizontal desire," coveting a neighbor's goods, has been replaced by a "vertical desire," coveting the goods of the rich and the powerful seen on television, Professor Schor said.

"The old system was keeping up with the Joneses," she said. "The new system is keeping up with the Gateses."
Yet another reason to lament the decline of neighborhoods: even our envy is going upscale.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

I nearly posted exactly the same quote from the same article. We are interested in the same issues. I look forward to reading more of your blog