Chapter 8. Wealth and Leisure: The Merging of Consumption, Culture, and Lifestyle


The superfluous is very necessary.

 --Voltaire (1694–1778)

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization.

 --Arnold Toynbee (1889–1975)

Has the nature of everyday life been radically changed by wealth creation? Absolutely, and it’s happening everywhere at this very moment. This chapter explores the symbiotic nexus among leisure time, consumption, lifestyle, globalization, and culture. Over the last century, civilization has evolved away from a production-focused agrarian existence to a greater emphasis on the consumption of goods and services. In this respect, a 22nd Century archeologist rummaging through our collective refuse might ...

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