Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Yuppie in 80's culture

An article found on a website named 'The Eighties Club' does a decent job at representing and stereotyping the yuppies and their culture. The article points out that the term yuppie stands for 'Young Urban Professional', the description itself gives a feel of the type of person you'd expect, a young college graduate in a high paid city job who's main aim is to blow all their money. 

The article referred to earlier goes into far more detail about the stereotypes of yuppies and references things such as "Were L.A. Law and thirtysomething two of your favorite television shows?  Did you prefer wine over beer, pasta over Big Macs, designer ice cream (or yogurt) over the supermarket brands?  Did you read the Wall Street Journal and USA Today more often than the local newspaper?"..."chances are you were a yuppie, even though you might not have admitted it." 

From just those simple stereotypes it is easy to see that these yuppies had a taste for the good life, even something as simple as preferring pasta over big macs shows a cultural difference between the yuppie and working classes. That isn't to say all the working classes preferred big macs but it was often the cheaper and easier to obtain meal, especially on a lunch break. 

Don't be fooled though it isn't all rainbows and roses for the yuppies, they did have a demise. Following the stock market crash of October 1987, the blame mostly fell on "Yuppie folly" and soon enough the term yuppie became derogatory. It seemed that such young and inexperienced workers were being allowed to gamble with more than they should and soon enough they began their downfall. 

There was also a special type of yuppie known as DINKS, these were double-income, no kids, couples. DINKS often worked such long hours that they rarely saw one another and rarely had time for sex. Some couples married and eventually settled down but usually due to their high earnings the time they spent together they would spend a vast amount of their money whilst not saving much. The article describes how one DINK couple even bought and answering machine for their home so they could speak to each other at least once a day because they were both so busy.

A quick mention of the picture; what is so interesting about this picture is that the man looks so uninterested and bored. Obviously the picture is staged and appears to be from a TV show or film but I'm not sure which. In any case, it can be representative of the DINK couple and how they were more interested in earning money than being with their partner.

To wrap this up, the yuppie is still alive today. 30 years on and there is no doubt that we still live in an age with yuppies, some may save a little more or earn a little less, but the obsession with spending and love for money is still alive in many university graduates. This means that the yuppie has had cultural resonance for he best part of 3 decades.


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