13/05/2023

Media appearances

’Luxury beliefs’– American psychologist Rob Henderson at the Danube Institute

"Luxury beliefs" have become the main indicators of the standard of living in American society, as individuals use them to express not only their material background but also their social status, often to the detriment of lower social strata, said Rob Henderson, author, psychologist, Austin University fellow and primary expert on the topic, who pioneered the concept of luxury beliefs in the American status system, at the Danube Institute event on May 12, 2023.

Henderson began his presentation by explaining that he had first-hand experience of the marked differences between social classes from his childhood, which he incorporated into his research to show the main characteristics of luxury beliefs not only from a social but also from an economic and psychological perspective. His reflections were echoed by Danube Institute staff - Rod Dreher, Director of the Network Project, and guest researchers Dr Eric Hendriks and Wael Taji Miller.

Social conspicuousness is by no means a new phenomenon, as Thorsten Veblen and Pierre Bourdieu, among others, have already dealt with the social representation of luxury beliefs, and have primarily compared it with the economic and cultural capital of the individual.

According to Henderson, in contemporary American society, in addition to luxury hobbies, people's college education, their support for police resource extraction and drug legalisation, their support for the traditional family model, and their bowing to the woke doctrines, which are now used by the upper classes as a status statement, are all determining factors.

Danube Insitute

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