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Publisher's Summary

In today's world, the leisure class has been replaced by a new elite. Highly educated and defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket, these individuals earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption - like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and Toms shoes, and listening to the Serial podcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children's growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates.

In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this segment of society "the aspirational class" and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, the aspirational class reproduces wealth and upward mobility, deepening the ever-wider class divide.

©2017 Elizabeth Currid-Halkett (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"There is a lot to learn here about the contemporary face of income inequality." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Emma
  • Massachusetts
  • 02-27-18

What I already knew, but couldn't name

I really enjoyed this book. It really articulated a lot of concepts that I knew internally but wasn't sure how to express or prove. It was very easy to digest, too!

There really is a lot of hypocrisy and nonsense in modern culture, and a lot of it stems from our outdated assumptions about what money is worth and how it affects us. Our brains are stuck in the financial realities of the early 20th century, but the world and our economy has changed drastically since then.

Highly recommend!

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Insightful, fact-based explanation of our various “identities”

This book provides a history of how various identity groups have formed in America, and what that means for our future and the world’s future.

Reading it should give you insight into “how come those other folks are like that?”

0 of 1 people found this review helpful