Description: The following premise is based on the ideas of social theorists who have contributed to understanding the importance of image in society. This proposal argues that political participation is susceptible to exploitation in the form of conspicuous consumption as defined by Thorstein Veblen. The analyses that follow will test the degree to which Americans who demonstrate more traditional forms of conspicuous consumption also tend to show more activity in political venues. While the correlation of these two variables is not sufficient to demonstrate cause and effect, it may be significant enough to attract more researchers to this question: are Americans using political involvement to positively influence the way that their social status is perceived by others?
Date: August 2005
Creator: Bouressa, Andrea Kelly