Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Are you Rich or Tasteful?

While driving between appointments last week, I heard the first half of The Conversation Hour on ABC Radio. I caught most of the interview with Andrew West about his book Inside the Lifestyles of the Rich and Tasteful. The book looks at upper middle class Australia and the division between the materialists and the culturists.

When it comes to defining the upper middle class, they're still only a small sub-group of the Australian population. The broad group that we're talking about represents 10 -15 per cent of the Australian population. This book is not about celebrities; in fact, a lot of Australian listeners and viewers will see themselves in this book. I'd say they're probably earning between 75 and 400 thousand dollars a year. But the tension is a question of taste and consumption. The culturists crave authenticity in everything... the materialists crave the newest and the biggest and the shiniest.

I'd be interested in reading a copy of this book. I'm not sure it's so black and white. I think I see a bit of both in my lifestyle -- I like new tech gadgets, but otherwise I'm fairly frugal and not into conspicuous consumption.


Post a Comment

<< Home