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

[Blend of affluence and influenza.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Blend of affluence and influenza


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  • 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:

    Danny Schechter: Media Complicit in "Shopapocalyse" as Consumers Go Wild 2008

  • 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.

    Rejecting Willful Ignorance 2010

  • 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.

    Obama will make Greg Mankiw a better father?? 2008

  • A number of recent studies which have examined the problem of "affluenza" highlight the heightened unhappiness levels seen in children in affluent families.

    Stephen Josephson: Teach Your Children Well 2009

  • 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.

    There Is No Upside to a Down Economy 2009

  • At the opposite of "affluenza" is voluntary simplicity, and there are varying lifestyles in between.

    Affluenza Divers 2008

  • 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.

    Melissa Biggs Bradley: Why Being Nouveau Pauvre Cheers Britain 2008

  • 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!

    Alex Pattakos: Finding Meaning In The Financial Crisis 2008

  • This would be no surprise to Juliet Schor, a Harvard University economist, who explored the disease of "affluenza" in her book, "The Overspent American".

    Don't Feed the Beast! Ending the cycle of consumerism, credit and crisis 2007

  • Two years ago we heard words like 'affluenza' and 'masstige' but those words died amid the bank bailouts and the recession.

    Luxist Deidre Woollard 2010


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  • The $10,000-camp universe appears to be rife with what mental health professionals are now calling “affluenza,�? a social pathology that, they say, is rampant at a time when getting and spending — a lot — have become our nation’s most cherished activities, and when purchasing power has become, to an unprecedented extent, almost the sole source of many people’s status and identity.

    The New York Times, Camp Codependence, by Judith Warner, July 31, 2008

    August 1, 2008

  • "The bottom line is that the typical suburban lifestyle requires 31 acres of prime, productive land - farms, mines, fields and forests - to meet just one person's needs. The problem with this equation is that there are fewer than five acres available to each person in the world, and those five acres per capita must also feed and shelter millions of other species whose health and stability we rely on. If the rest of the human race catches the affluenza that infected America's suburbs, we'll need four or five more planets."

    - D. Chiras & D. Wan, 'Superbia!'.

    November 4, 2008

  • Yanno, "affluenza", which might strike one as being modestly witty upon first acquaintance, just doesn't hold up well upon repeated exposure.

    And "Superbia!" is lame beyond belief. Who *are* these people?

    November 4, 2008

  • I don't fancy Superbia! as a title either, although the allergic reaction is mild. One of my favourite figures titled his autobiography 'Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters' and I refused to read it on the grounds the title was too bloody silly to warrant. But back to the 'burbs, given the subject matter and the authors' presentation of various approaches to (sub)urban regeneration, they have actually not gone to town on execrable buzzwords. Further, neither zonesmithing, woonerf or affluenza were their creations.

    November 4, 2008