The Theory of the Leisure Class was written by Thorstein Veblen at the turn of the 20th century. It delves deeply into the nature of economics and the social institutions, exploring the forces that create and maintain class division, how these forces evolved through history, and how they influence the economy.
In this work, Veblen presents a critique of capitalism on the basis of "conspicuous consumption", a term that he himself coined. He examines economics as a function of evolution, tracking the division of labor and stratification of social class during the development of society. Veblen shows contemporary economic and social circumstances to be a natural extension of the social institutions of the feudal period.
The Theory of the Leisure Class, though written more than a century ago, continues to provide accurate predictions of the emerging economic structure of a developing industrial society. It was an unprecedented examination of the social and psychological factors that shape the economy and industrial growth.
The narration of the full text is preceded by a summary that explores the background of the work, the life of the author, and the historical context and criticisms of the piece.
The AudioLearn version of Veblen's work is suitable for economic scholars and for anyone interested in the nature of economy and sociology.
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