How Whole Foods, yoga, and NPR became the hallmarks of the elite

Released Thursday, 14th November 2019
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If you're anything like me, this episode will make you think about the way you shop, learn, eat, parent, and exercise in a whole new way.
My guest today is Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California whose most recent book The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspiratio…documents the rise of a new, unprecedented elite class in the United States. Previously, the elite classes differentiated themselves from the rest by purchasing expensive material goods like flashy clothes and expensive cars. But, for reasons we get into, today’s elite is different: We signify our class position by reading the New Yorker, acquiring elite college degrees, buying organic food, breastfeeding our children, and, of course, listening to podcasts like this one.
These activities may seem completely innocent — perhaps even enlightened. Yet, as we discuss here, they simultaneously shore up inequality, erode social mobility, and create an ever-more stratified society — all without most of us even noticing. This is a conversation that implicates us all, and, for that very reason, it is well worth grappling with.
Book recommendations:
Just Kids by Patti Smith
 Art Worlds by Howard S. Becker
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
If you enjoyed this episode, you may also like:
When meritocracy wins, everybody loses
Work as identity, burnout as lifestyle
What a smarter Trumpism would sound like

My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at
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You can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app.
Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld
Researcher - Roge Karma
Engineer - Jeff Geld

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Episode Details
1h 13m 57s

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