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Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, ISBN 0-684-85378-7, is a book by David Brooks, first published in 2000.

Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There
Author David Brooks
Publisher Simon & Schuster
Publication date
May 3, 2000
Pages 288
ISBN 0-684-85378-7



The word bobo, Brooks' most famously coined term, is an abbreviated form of the words bourgeois and bohemian, suggesting a fusion of two distinct social classes (the counter-cultural, hedonistic and artistic bohemian, and the white collar, capitalist bourgeois). The term is used by Brooks to describe the 1990s successors of the yuppies. Often of the corporate upper class, they claim highly tolerant views of others, purchase expensive and exotic items, and believe American society to be meritocratic. The term has also become widely used in France, although without general recognition of its origins.[1]


The thesis is that during the late 1970s a new establishment arose that represented a fusion between the bourgeois world of capitalist enterprise and the hippie values of the bohemian counterculture.[2] He refers to these individuals as bobos, a portmanteau word for "bourgeois bohemians".

Description and behaviourEdit

Bobos are noted for their aversion to conspicuous consumption while emphasizing the "necessities" of life. Brooks argues that they feel guilty in the way typical of the so-called "greed era" of the 1980s so they prefer to spend extravagantly on kitchens, showers, and other common facilities of everyday life. They "feel" for the labor and working class and often purchase American-made goods rather than less expensive imports. The term "bobo chic" was applied to a style of fashion, similar to "boho chic", that became popular in uptown New York in 2004-5.[citation needed]

Bobos often relate to money as a means rather than an end; they do not disdain money but use it to achieve their ends rather than considering wealth as a desirable end in itself.

The New York Times, where Brooks works, has written about the changing tastes of bobos: "Made in the U.S.A." used to be a label flaunted primarily by consumers in the Rust Belt and rural regions. Increasingly, it is a status symbol for cosmopolitan bobos, and it is being exploited by the marketers who cater to them."[3]

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