Uneasy Street: The Anxieties of Affluence, 1st Edition

  • Rachel Sherman
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0691195161
  • ISBN-13: 9780691195162
  • DDC: 305.523409
  • 328 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2019 | Published/Released October 2019
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2019

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This book offers a surprising and revealing look at how today’s elite view their wealth and place in society. In television and movies, our popular culture portrays the wealthy as materialistic and entitled, but what do we really know about those who live on easy street? In this penetrating book, the author draws on rare in-depth interviews that she conducted with fifty affluent New Yorkers—from hedge fund financiers and artists to stay-at-home mothers—to examine their lifestyle choices and understanding of privilege. She upends images of wealthy people as invested only in accruing social advantages for themselves and their children. Instead, these liberal elites, who believe in diversity and meritocracy, feel conflicted about their position in a highly unequal society. As the distance between rich and poor widens, this volume not only explores the lives of those at the top but also sheds light on how extreme inequality comes to seem ordinary and acceptable to the rest of us.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Other Frontmatter.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Other Frontmatter.
Uneasy Street.
1: Orientations to Others: Aspiring to the Middle or Recognizing Privilege.
2: Working Hard or Hardly Working?: Productivity and Moral Worth.
3: “A Very Expensive Ordinary Life”: Conflicted Consumption.
4: “Giving Back,” Awareness, and Identity.
5: Labor, Spending, and Entitlement in Couples.
6: Parenting Privilege: Constraint, Exposure, and Entitlement.
Methodological Appendix: Money Talks.
Discussion Questions.