Culture of wealth

Posted: 18 October 2010 in Uncategorized
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Apparently, now that the rate and number of poor people are at a 15-year high, scholars are returning to the idea of culture to explain the persistence and growth of poverty.

Perhaps I can suggest an alternative research agenda: the “culture of wealth.” Scholars might decide to put aside the idea of structural factors (like capitalist inequality, racism, and lack of real work) and instead focus on the cultural roots of problems like the “wealth trap” (how wealthy families stay wealthy), “moral cynicism” (believing that “laws were made to be broken”), and weak community ties (which allow the rich to do whatever is necessary to accumulate and protect their fortunes, and make decisions that bring the world economy to its knees, without regard to the consequences for others in society).

Such a research agenda might be seen as “politically incorrect” but, that’s OK, because we now have a “new generation of scholars without the baggage” of the previous lack of attention to the “culture of wealth.”

  1. […] The last time the issue of the “culture of poverty” was raised, I suggested focusing on the “culture of wealth.” […]

  2. […] it was the “culture over poverty.” Now, it’s the pathological behavior of the poor. Both are attempts to blame the […]

  3. […] of inequality that allows those on the top to avail themselves of economic opportunities within a culture of wealth, which in turn creates poverty and near-poverty for a growing number of people at the […]

  4. […] culture of wealth debate has finally […]

  5. […] it was the rediscovery of the “culture of poverty.” Then, it was the “pathological behavior” of the poor. Now, the focus appears to […]

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