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The Sum of Small Things


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix 1 The Twenty-first-Century "Leisure" Class 1 2 Conspicuous Consumption in the Twenty-first Century 24 3 Ballet Slippers and Yale Tuition: Inconspicuous Consumption and the New Elites 46 4 Motherhood as Conspicuous Leisure in the Twenty-first Century 78 5 Conspicuous Production 110 6 Landscapes of Consumption 148 7 "To Get Rich Is Glorious"? The State of Consumption and Class in America 182 Appendix 199 Notes 221 References 233 Index 247

About the Author

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett is the James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning and professor of public policy at the University of Southern California.


"One of the "Wise Words 2017 Books of the Year" in Culture"
"A remarkably fine-grained portrait of how the spending habits of Americans have evolved over the decades."-The Economist
"The aspirational class gets a kick in the quinoa courtesy of Elizabeth Currid-Halkett's The Sum of Small Things."-Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair
"[A] thorough book.... Currid-Halkett argues that the educated class establishes class barriers not through material consumption and wealth display but by establishing practices that can be accessed only by those who possess rarefied information."-David Brooks, New York Times
"Currid-Halkett's biting, often humorous commentary is not just a send up of the so-called `coastal elites.' It's a trenchant analysis that combines economic and sociological evidence to describe major trends."-Dan Kopf, Quartz

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