from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun Materialism or overconsumption in affluent societies, seen as a societal and environmental menace, as in large-scale consumer debt and product waste.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A feeling of
dissatisfaction, anxiety, etc, caused by the dogged and ongoing pursuit of more.
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Bowles also ties this cultural affliction sometimes known as affluenza back to our dependence on a media system that won't really allow other voices to be heard:
I think of the vast majority of Americans now awash in the virus of affluency, an 'affluenza' of sorts, a toxicity of wealth wherein obesity, diabetes, and chronic illnesses abound.
Back in the Clinton days of untrammeled prosperity, people did claim that "affluenza" was an affliction that made us smug and self-satisfied and, therefore, worse as citizens, family members, and human beings.
A number of recent studies which have examined the problem of "affluenza" highlight the heightened unhappiness levels seen in children in affluent families.
And if you type the word "affluenza" into Amazon's search engine, you'll come up with four books and a PBS special bemoaning our rise from poverty.
At the opposite of "affluenza" is voluntary simplicity, and there are varying lifestyles in between.
For "affluenza," which is the term that was coined by British psychiatrist Oliver James to describe the fever of spending that gripped the country, seems to be a disease that was foreign.
Indeed, the disturbing implications of both the "paradox of choice" and what is now being called "affluenza," a new disease-like phenomenon of epidemic proportions, have become so ubiquitous in society today that you can even find books with titles bearing these exact words in your local bookstore and library!
This would be no surprise to Juliet Schor, a Harvard University economist, who explored the disease of "affluenza" in her book, "The Overspent American".
Two years ago we heard words like 'affluenza' and 'masstige' but those words died amid the bank bailouts and the recession.