Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Role of the Yuppies

The article I found is from Jan 29th 2002 from the St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. The definition of a Yuppie is a young Urban Professional a term coined by the media. These yuppies were from middle and upper middle classes who decided to spend money on themselves and making their lives more elegant with the latest fashion, the most expensive cars and the best gourmet food. The media called the 1980's “me generation” and the “decade of greed”. With this rich lifestyle came a kind of “hard core” drug culture, cocaine was a popular choice of drug and pretty much everyone was taking some sort of illegal substances because they had the money to do these drugs. The aim of “the game” of life was to have everything you could ever possibly want or need and as in the article it states “whoever dies with the most toys, wins”. Wealth was measure by the material possessions that consumed peoples lives and their efforts to maintain a fulfilled and perfect image in the media's eye.

The article stated that the 1980's yuppies had “been raised with a sense of their own importance and entitlement and they had been given jobs with salaries that reinforced that sense” that they can have what they want because of where they came from and where they are at now in life. Yuppies also had pressure to maintain their lifestyle and make as much money as possible to keep up with the expectations of their social groups of friends and the media.

With the crash of the stock market in 1987 a lot of people went into debt, there was no money in savings to maintain the lifestyle the yuppies had been living and with huge pay cuts and redundancy a lot of people were forced to sell up and move to smaller spaces. The need to sell items from the yuppies homes led to "yuppie pawnshops" where yuppies could sell their things to a middle class market. The article goes on to say that the definition of yuppie had changed to meaning "young unhappy professionals" because of losing this lavish lifestyle to one where they had to struggle to get by, paying bills in lower paying jobs. This was the the end of the Yuppie lifestyle for many as they no longer had the social image and money to keep up with appearances.

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