Law in Contemporary Society
I wonder whether Veblen’s concept of the trophy wives is outdated. Today, there seems to be many wealthy married women that continue to work despite not “needing” to and even after they have achieved a certain social status. Would Veblen say that such couples have not yet reached the “leisure class”? Or is this a modern wrinkle on the definition of leisure (The subtext being we are so wealthy that the wife can work even though everyone knows that she doesn’t need to)?

I found this thread about “gold-digging” in New York amusing:

-- EdwardNewton - 20 Mar 2008

My sense is that these days, most women whom others would describe as a "trophy wife" per the freakonomics article have little interest in a professional life independent of their husbands'. If they had an independent and established career, there would be no tendency to label them trophies (based solely on their physically attractive qualities). That said, I think the post-WW II feminist movement and the pill have changed women's expectations and the expectations of those around them, at all socio-economic levels (what I'd call a trickle-around effect). I agree that all of this doesn't seem to fit Veblen, but probably only because his observances pre-date the 1950s and only focus on socio-economic trickle-down effects. When you talk to people currently in their 70s and older and compare those conversations to conversations with people in their 50s, you often feel the vestiges of what I'm talking about.

-- BarbPitman - 21 Mar 2008



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r5 - 07 Jan 2010 - 22:57:04 - IanSullivan
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