Do you believe that spending $15,000 on a media center is vulgar, but that spending $15,000 on a slate shower stall is a sign that you are at one with the Zenlike rhythms of nature? Do you work for one of those visionary software companies where people come to work wearing hiking boots and glacier glasses, as if a wall of ice were about to come sliding through the parking lot? If so, you might be a Bobo. In his bestselling work of "comic sociology," David Brooks coins a new word, Bobo, to describe today's upper class -- those who have wed the bourgeois world of capitalist enterprise to the hippie values of the bohemian counterculture. Their hybrid lifestyle is the atmosphere we breathe, and in this witty and serious look at the cultural consequences of the information age, Brooks has defined a new generation.
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class And How They Got There is a book by David Brooks, first published in 2000. The word bobo, Brooks's most famous coinage, is a portmanteau of the words bourgeois and bohemian.
The Habits of Mind That Really Determine How We Make Decisions
Author: Scott de Marchi
Category: Business & Economics
The hidden patterns behind the way we make decisions Several recent books, from Blink to Freakonomics to Predictably Irrational, have examined how people make choices. But none explain why different people have such different styles of decision making—and why those styles seem consistent across many contexts. For instance, why is a gambler always a gambler, whether at work, on the highway, or in a voting booth? Scott de Marchi and James T. Hamilton present a new theory about how we decide, based on an extensive survey of more than thirty thousand subjects. They show that each of us possesses six core traits that shape every decision, from what to have for lunch to where to invest. We go with “the usual” way of deciding whenever there’s a trade-off between current and future happiness, when facing the risk of a bad outcome, or when a choice might hurt other people. We’re also consistent about how much information we want and how much we care about the opinions of others. Readers can determine their own decision-making profile with a test in the book. Once they understand the six core traits, they’ll have a big advantage in their marketing campaigns, management strategies, investments, and many other contexts.
All historians would agree that America is a nation of nations. But what does that mean in terms of the issues that have moved and shaped us as a people? Contemporary concerns such as bilingualism, incorporation/assimilation, dual identity, ethnic politics, quotas and affirmative action, residential segregation, and the volume of immigration resonate with a past that has confronted variations of these modern issues. The Columbia Documentary History of Race and Ethnicity in America, written and compiled by a highly respected team of American historians under the editorship of Ronald Bayor, illuminates the myriad ways in which immigration, racial, and ethnic histories have shaped the contours of contemporary American society. This invaluable resource documents all eras of the American past, including black–white interactions and the broad spectrum of American attitudes and reactions concerning Native Americans, Irish Catholics, Mexican Americans, Jewish Americans, and other groups. Each of the eight chronological chapters contains a survey essay, an annotated bibliography, and 20 to 30 related public and private primary source documents, including manifestos, speeches, court cases, letters, memoirs, and much more. From the 1655 petition of Jewish merchants regarding the admission of Jews to the New Netherlands colony to an interview with a Chinese American worker regarding a 1938 strike in San Francisco, documents are drawn from a variety of sources and allow students and others direct access to our past. Selections include Powhatan to John Smith, 1609 Thomas Jefferson—"Notes on the State of Virginia" Petition of the Trustees of Congregation Shearith Israel, 1811 Bessie Conway or, The Irish Girl in America German Society in Chicago, Annual Report, 1857–1858. "Mark Twain's Salutation to the Century" W. E. B. DuBois, "Of Our Spiritual Strivings" NAACP on Black Schoolteachers'Fight for Equal Pay Malcom X speech, 1964 Hewy Newton interview and Black Panther Party platform Preamble—La Raza Unida Party Lee lacocca speech to Ethnic Heritage Council of the Pacific Northwest, 1984 Native American Graves and Repatriation Act, 1990 L.A. riot—from the Los Angeles Times, May 3, 15, 1992; Nov. 16, 19, 1992 Asian American Political Alliance President Clinton's Commission on Race, Town Meeting, 1997 Louis Farrakhan—"The Vision for the Million Man March"
Economic downturns and terrorist attacks notwithstanding, America's love affair with luxury continues unabated. Over the last several years, luxury spending in the United States has been growing four times faster than overall spending. It has been characterized by political leaders as vital to the health of the American economy as a whole, even as an act of patriotism. Accordingly, indices of consumer confidence and purchasing seem unaffected by recession. This necessary consumption of unnecessary items and services is going on at all but the lowest layers of society: J.C. Penney now offers day spa treatments; Kmart sells cashmere bedspreads. So many products are claiming luxury status today that the credibility of the category itself is strained: for example, the name "pashmina" had to be invented to top mere cashmere. We see luxury everywhere: in storefronts, advertisements, even in the workings of our imaginations. But what is it? How is it manufactured on the factory floor and in the minds of consumers? Who cares about it and who buys it? And how concerned should we be that luxuries are commanding a larger and larger percentage of both our disposable income and our aspirations? Trolling the upscale malls of America, making his way toward the Mecca of Las Vegas, James B. Twitchell comes to some remarkable conclusions. The democratization of luxury, he contends, has been the single most important marketing phenomenon of our times. In the pages of Living It Up, Twitchell commits the academic heresy of paying respect to popular luxury consumption as a force that has united the country and the globe in a way that no war, movement, or ideology ever has. What's more, he claims, the shopping experience for Americans today has its roots in the spiritual, the religious, and the transcendent. Deft and subtle writing, audacious ideas, and a fine sense of humor inform this entertaining and insightful book.
Navigating the Contradictions of the New Trend Landscape
Author: Robyn Waters
Category: Business & Economics
From the former trendmaster of Target—how the power of contradictory trends can help reframe your business strategy Contradictions are everywhere! These days we wear Old Navy with new Gucci, Hanes T-shirts with Armani suits, couture Chanel with vintage denim. Suburban mansions are filled with flea market finds, and we show off our Michael Graves teakettle from Target on Viking stoves in our gourmet kitchens that might even include cabinets purchased from IKEA. When Robyn Waters began her career in the late 1970s, a trend was defined as something that everyone wanted at the same time. Fashion and business magazines proclaimed what was "in" and what was "out." Back then, it was fairly easy for companies to determine the next big trend, and ride it all the way to the bank. In today’s marketplace the "next big thing" has been replaced by a thousand next big things. And in order to discover what consumers are hungry for companies need to discover what’s important…to them. Today a cookie cutter approach no longer works. Waters explains that for every trend there’s an equally valid countertrend. In The Hummer and the Mini, Waters explores the new trend landscape and urges companies to stop looking for the one right answer in their industry. There are many good ways to design products, develop a line of goods, merchandise a store, or craft a marketing message. You can thrive by selling huge cars (the Hummer) or tiny ones (the Mini). You can turn something old into something new and desirable (the Vespa) or turn a commodity into a luxury (In-and-Out Burgers at the Oscars). You can even customize a product designed for the masses (personalized postage stamps) or sell less as more (Minute Clinics). Through lively tales of influential trends and countertrends, The Hummer and the Mini will show you how to live with the contradictions, make the most of the inconsistencies, and embrace the paradoxes of business as a source of fresh ideas.
The Irish Economic Triumph and the Rise of Ireland's New Elite
Author: David McWilliams
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Business & Economics
Named for the ironic coincidence of the Irish baby boom of the 1970s, which peaked nine months to the day after Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Dublin, The Pope’s Children is both a celebration and bitingly funny portrait of the first generation of the Celtic Tiger—the beneficiaries of the economic miracle that propelled Ireland from centuries of deprivation into a nation that now enjoys one of the highest living standards in the world.
*WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2014* A young army captain who risked execution to swim from free-market Taiwan to Communist China. A barber who made $150 million in the gambling dens of Macau. The richest woman in China, a recycling tycoon known as the ‘Wastepaper Queen’. Age of Ambition describes some of the billion individual lives that make up China’s story – one that unfolds on remote farms, in glittering mansions, and in the halls of power of the world’s largest authoritarian regime. Together they describe the defining clash taking place today: between the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control. Here is a China infused with a sense of boundless possibility and teeming romance. Yet it is also riven by contradictions. It is the world’s largest buyer of Rolls Royces and Ferraris yet the word ‘luxury’ is banned from billboards. It has more Christians than members of the Communist Party. And why does a government that has lifted more people from poverty than any other so strictly restrain freedom of expression? Based on years of research, Age of Ambition is a stunning narrative that reveals China as we have never understood it before.
Why doesn't self-help help? Cultural critic Micki McGee puts forward this paradoxical question as she looks at a world where the market for self-improvement products--books, audiotapes, and extreme makeovers--is exploding, and there seems to be no end in sight. Rather than seeing narcissism at the root of the self-help craze, as others have contended, McGee shows a nation relying on self-help culture for advice on how to cope in an increasingly volatile and competitive work world. Self-Help, Inc. reveals how makeover culture traps Americans in endless cycles of self-invention and overwork as they struggle to stay ahead of a rapidly restructuring economic order. A lucid and fascinating treatment of the modern obsession with work and self-improvement, this lively book will strike a chord with its acute diagnosis of the self-help trap and its sharp suggestions for how we can address the alienating conditions of modern work and family life.
From Membership to Management in American Civic Life
Author: Theda Skocpol
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Category: Political Science
Pundits and social observers have voiced alarm each year as fewer Americans involve themselves in voluntary groups that meet regularly. Thousands of nonprofit groups have been launched in recent times, but most are run by professionals who lobby Congress or deliver social services to clients. What will happen to U.S. democracy if participatory groups and social movements wither, while civic involvement becomes one more occupation rather than every citizen’s right and duty? In Diminished Democracy, Theda Skocpol shows that this decline in public involvement has not always been the case in this country—and how, by understanding the causes of this change, we might reverse it.