Yuppies-Young Urban Professionals or Young Upwardly mobile Professionals – are considered to be a combination of “hippies” and “preppies”. While they have the materialism of preppies, they share the self absorbed perfectionism of hippies minus the anti-establishment attitude.
The relation between yuppies and hippies is particularly significant as yuppies are in fact the baby boom generation coming of age. The poor economic and moral state of the United States after the 1970s led people, more so young people, to reconsider their views, and look at what they wanted. This resulted in people realising they wanted financial power and economic security, opposed to the hippie lifestyle they once adopted. The Times article about the fall of the yuppie raised significant points about the feelings and general reaction to yuppies during the 80s:
“Back then everyone hated them – even Yuppies felt obliged to hate yuppies. They were the confident and uncaring face of the new capitalism.”
Yuppies were most defiantly the beginning of mass materialism, and even though everyone disliked them, everyone wanted to be one. This desire to be one stems from the visual aspect. Everything they had you could see, unlike the hippies based themselves on particular values. But while they were greatly disliked, they opened doors for many, and changed the ways from only those of privileged backgrounds being able to make it in big business in the cities to people of any background getting a chance. The times also point out that the yuppie culture broke the English hypocrisy and embarrassment about the creation and spending of wealth. They made materialism an acceptable culture.
Despite the huge impact yuppie culture had on the world, it is hard to exactly distinguish the number of yuppies that there actually were. To fit into this category you had to have been born between 1946 and 1959, earn over $40,000 a year through a business occupation and live in an urban area. Mightystudents essay predicts this to be about 1.5 million during the 1980s.
The number of yuppies was relatively minor compared to the influence and affect they had. It is confusing to determine the exact amount because the image was copied by many who did not work in business. In many ways, the yuppie became less about businessmen and women, and more about a fashion style. Although the stereotypical yuppie is no longer a social type, their legacy still lives on in our generation, as materialism is still growing strong.
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