Luxury Beliefs Are Status Symbols


Date: 12 May 2023

Mr Henderson will speak about ‘Luxury Beliefs’, a phrase he coined a few years ago that has enjoyed widespread use among opinion formers throughout the English-speaking world. 

The idea derives from Thorsten Veblen’s observation that the affluent consumed and displayed luxury products as costly status symbols to demonstrate their economic capital and social rank.

However, economic capital is often converted into cultural capital, in which the struggle for distinction is expressed by opinions, knowledge, vocabulary, tastes, and habits.

He will share empirical research and theory from sociology, economics, and psychology, to suggest a novel approach to understanding social status: luxury beliefs, defined as ideas and opinions that confer status on the affluent, while often inflicting costs on the less fortunate.

- Rob Henderson, writer, psychologist, and faculty fellow, University of Austin
- Rod Dreher, Visiting Fellow, Director of Network Project at the Danube Institute
- Wael Taji Miller, Visiting Fellow, Danube Institute, PhD Candidate in Behavioral Neuroscience, Semmelweis University
- Eric Hendriks, Visiting Fellow, Danube Institute
- Melissa O’Sullivan, Deputy Director of the Danube Institute