Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yuppie Culture in the 1980's.

The word Yuppie stands for young, urban, professional, and the cultural lifestyle was very popular with young, successful people throughout the 1980's. The culture the Yuppie lifestyle lived has helped to shape and mold many of our current living lifestyles without us knowing.

The article I found shows how the Yuppie lifestyle formed into a culture and a way of life.It starts but naming many stereotypical ways of declaring yourself as a Yuppie in the 80's, for example, prefer wine to beer and pasta to a Big Mac, to name a few. It then goes on to show how the term "Yuppie" was first used in print by Chicago Tribune columnist Bob Greene in a March 1983 piece on Jerry Rubin, a hippie-turned-yuppie, and was bandied about extensively in the 1984 presidential campaign in which Colorado senator Gary Hart, a contender for the Democratic nomination, seemed tailor-made to appeal to the fiscally conservative but socially liberal yuppie voter. It says that a Yuppie was a synecdoche of Reagan's America and that Yuppies were lambasted as excessively consumptive in their pursuit of the American Dream without much regard for those left behind. It also reads that the Yuppie culture was the main reason for the stock market crash in 1987 due to their excessive needs , resulting in their short lived cultural phenomenon.

The article gives an in-depth view into the Yuppie lifestyle. It quotes "Considerable debate raged as to the number of genuine yuppies. The Newsweek cover story estimated that there were 1.2 million, while American Demographics determined that about 5 percent of baby boomers (4.2 million) qualified. Nearly three-fourths of yuppie households were headed by couples, and a yuppie sub-set called DINKS -- double-income, no-kids couples -- was identified. Married or not, DINKS worked long hours at professional/managerial jobs, postponed having children for the sake of their careers, and had lots of discretionary income which they used in consuming conspicuously, like good yuppies did. Yuppies often worked so hard that they had little time for sex; more than one DINK couple admitted that they had an answering machine at home just so they could talk to each other at least once a day. It also goes on to quote "Yuppie consumers played a key role in the emergence of New Age music -- an alpha-state, impressionistic fusion of jazz, acoustic and classical styles. It's leading purveyor, Windham Hill, grossed $25 million in 1985 sales, primarily to young, white professionals. Pianist George Winston's December album remained on Billboard's Top 40 jazz chart for over three years. Other highly successful New Age artists included Steve Halpern, Jerry Goodman, Vangelis and Kitaro".

The Yuppie lifestyle was the birth of commercial 'work before family' life. Their continuous obsession to have many expensive material goods and a high social status was inevitably their downfall. However, the Yuppie has certainly left a footprint in American culture, as said by Jason Manning in this article.

It is possible that the Yuppie lifestyle is still current in American lifestyle, as some Americans are still obsessed with work, money and social status, and care little about family. The article concludes with "As the decade came to a close, the term yuppie became synonymous with greed, self-absorption and a lack of social conscience, and no one would admit to being one. But in hindsight yuppies weren't all bad. As Hendrik Hertzberg, editor of the New Republic wrote, "The fact is that . . . yuppies have better taste than yesterday's well-off young adult Americans, are less ostentatious in their display of wealth, . . . set a far better example of healthful living, and are more tolerant." Here's the bottom line -- today many Americans still live the yuppie lifestyle, or wish they did". It concludes that although they're are not many people that class themself as a "Yuppie", the lifestyle Yuppies lived is still contemorary in 21st Century America, showing its impact on cultural America.

No comments:

Post a Comment