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Secular Immorality and the American Ideology of Affluence.

  • Literature


Extending the Warnerian tradition of social class dynamics, this article explores the attainment of secular immortality through affluence. A diverse set of literary media directed to or written about wealthy consumers was interpreted in a hermeneutic fashion to discern the dominant themes composing the ideology of affluence. Among the themes identified were entrepreneurial achievement, the achievement of celebrity status via consumption, and secular achievement in artistry and craftsmanship. The ideology of affluence was found to promote the seeking of personal secular immortality through the cultural celebration of achievement, wealth,and the accumulation of possessions. Copyright 1990 by the University of Chicago.

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