Page contents not supported in other languages.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
WikiProject iconSociology Start‑class Mid‑importance
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Sociology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of sociology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
StartThis article has been rated as Start-class on Wikipedia's content assessment scale.
 Mid This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject iconEnvironment Start‑class Mid‑importance
WikiProject iconThis environment-related article is part of the WikiProject Environment to improve Wikipedia's coverage of the environment. The aim is to write neutral and well-referenced articles on environment-related topics, as well as to ensure that environment articles are properly categorized.
Read Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ and leave any messages at the project talk page.
StartThis article has been rated as Start-class on Wikipedia's content assessment scale.
 Mid This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Clarification /Compare with conspicuous consumption[edit]

The article tries to present affluenza as an actual disease, rather than a social theory capable of explaining negative effects of a hyper-consumerist society. "Affluenza" really seems to be more of a newly coined buzzword to describe set of conditions that have long existed in modern societies. The idea should be compared with conspicuous consumption.

Affluenza is presented too literally, as though it's a recognized mental disorder and/or a widely recognized and accepted theory. Until such recognition of Affluenza becomes more prevalent, this article should focus more on the history and origins of the term itself, proponents, arguments used by proponents for advancement, criticism of theory, etc. To say "the United States suffers from Affluenza" is inappropriate at this time. Rather "proponents of Affluenza, citing the consumerist conditions of the United States, would say that Americans most prevalently display the negative consequences of a society focused on consumption", or something to that effect, seems more appropriate. (talk)

agreed on the ambiguity of 'consumerism.' Ralph Nader was a main proponent of consumerism in his efforts for justice for consumers/buyers in the marketplace. 'conspicuous consumption' would be a better word. (talk) 18:21, 21 December 2015 (UTC)[edit]


In fact the Wiktionary article is at Wiktionary:affluenza with a small "a". -- JimR 05:43, 28 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Keep Wikipedia article[edit]

There is enough information in this article to maintain a separate article rather than merging with consumerism. Several books and a series have been written around this term; more detailed material could be included from those works. Also, the term crops up enough that having a separate Wikipedia article is useful to readers. WpZurp 12:42, 4 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I agree that the Wikipedia article could be expanded enough to merit a separate existence. Since the article has already been transwikied to the Wiktionary, I'm replacing the Transwiki tag recently re-added with an expand tag instead. -- JimR 05:43, 28 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I've now added a summary of the arguments of one of the books on the topic, as WpZurp had suggested. -- JimR 06:31, 28 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please keep it as is. Affluenza != Consumerism They are similar, but not the same. The identification of anti-consumerists via the use of this term would be lost if Affluenza were buried as some subsection of a larger article. And the roots of the term are more clearly given here in a shorter article. Maybe put a "See also" in the Consumerism article, but don't merge it. 13:37, 23 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think it quite defines affluenza correctly, despite the fairly concerted attempt to do so. I am going to look it up in sources; generally affluenza means the social malaise based on being wealthy rather than just aspiring to wealth or material accumulation, although it can include those; in other words, it's a specific illness of the rich, poor things. That includes the "relatively rich" and so many take it to mean for example most people living in developed countries. LiberalViews 21:35, 2 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Note that the article previously had an expand template like this:

but it was moved to this talk page by SimonP on 21 October2005. This seems reasonable since the article has probably been expanded enough already to stand on its own. -- JimR 05:23, 23 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree strongly. The article is weak, does not include anything about what affluenze seeks to address and if anything seems to present it in a slightly unfavorable light.

Perhaps it should be rewritten by someone more favorably disposed to environmental and social issues.

Perhaps it should be rewritten by someone less favorably disposed to environmental and social issues. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 21 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Looking at the portmanteau page is there some doubt as to whether Affluenza really is a portmanteau in the proper sense? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21 May 2006.

That page says (in part): "A folk usage of portmanteau refers to a word that is formed by combining both sounds and meanings from two or more words." This sense, if not the formal one, does seem to apply to affluenza as a combination of affluence and influenza, so it's reasonable to use the term portmanteau here. -- JimR 04:22, 21 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article is POV, for instance, when it talks about the American middle class not being satisfied. Is it really just the middle class in America? -THB 21:01, 28 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. I don't think the section in on Affluenza in America is even relevant to affluenza, but rather bashing middle class and quoting Cheryl Crow.
I agree, too. I'll remove it. I'll also remove the POV tag - please reinsert and explain here if it still applies. — Sebastian (talk) 07:44, 21 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This concerns POV tag cleanup. Whenever an POV tag is placed, it is necessary to also post a message in the discussion section stating clearly why it is thought the article does not comply with POV guidelines, and suggestions for how to improve it. This permits discussion and consensus among editors. This is a drive-by tag, which is discouraged in WP, and it shall be removed. Future tags should have discussion posted as to why the tag was placed, and how the topic might be improved. Better yet, edit the topic yourself with the improvements. This statement is not a judgement of content, it is only a cleanup of frivolously and/or arbitrarily placed tags. No discussion, no tag.Jjdon (talk) 00:08, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Am I the only one who finds it strange to call this a virus? I realize it's a reference to influenza, but there is no literal virus nor actual vaccine. More of a social condition than a "virus". CallmeNiel 10:36, 15 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it's fair to call it so, as James book clearly discusses it in this way. James' book also finishes each chapter with 'Vaccines', to help overcome 'afflunza'. Sure, it's not a medical virus, but just like computer virus aren't 'real' virus, it's a useful model. peterl (talk) 10:37, 25 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Call it a meme if you prefer. It's a contagious idea-virus, caught by interacting with it. --Jaded-view (talk) 02:49, 17 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A biological virus is an organism which invades a host cell and hijacks its genetic code in order to reproduce. A computer virus behaves the same way, using the host computer to reproduce. As such, calling affluenza a virus is WRONG on both accounts. If some dork talks about it as a virus in his book, he too is WRONG. this wiki article shouldn't be so WRONG just because that book is WRONG too. Why not call it a bacteria or a space ship? Cause those are also WRONG.

Confusing mix of economic and political labels[edit]

Their greater Affluenza is explained as the result of 'Selfish Capitalism', the neo-Conservative or Market Liberal political governance found in English-speaking nations compared to more unselfish capitalist governeance in mainland Europe.

That really needs to be cleaned up, especially if it is an inaccurate generalization or paraphrase of the actual original text, because the distinguishing feature of mainland Europe as being "unselfish capitalism" is just false. Mainland Europe is known to have more socialistic policies than the U.S. The Third Way is just not some form of "unselfish capitalism". Also, using "neo-Conservative" in this context seems incorrect and needs to be verified. Mmortal03 07:43, 1 December 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree, the term "neo-liberal" is more appropriate than "neo-conservative."
the entire part needs to be removed. It's a pile of words which don't belong together. It assumes that self-interest and self-determination are equatable to "selfish capitalism" and that government-determination is less selfish. I agree that it wrongly equates socialist europe with capitalism. This sections appears to have been written by a college hippy who was on drugs at the time of writing. not that i mind drugs. :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:00, 21 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

United States[edit]

i removed this part because it was a political view point message and not logical. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 21 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


A large chunk of this article seems to be coming from [this online encyclopedia article on affluenza.] (talk) 19:36, 14 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the pointer. I've removed a large chunk of copyvio and am investigating further. bobrayner (talk) 18:44, 15 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm. It might not be copyvio; that book was first published in 2009 but the suspect text in this article appeared in approximately the same form in January 2008. Maybe the book was copied from wikipedia rather than vice versa. Any comments / suggestions / complaints?
I deleted the text from the article, treating it as copyvio, but it now appears much more likely that the book copied the article rather than vice versa, so I'll restore it. bobrayner (talk) 21:21, 15 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Affluenza as a legal defense[edit]

Affluenza was just used as a legal defense to reduce the sentence for the defendent from 20 years in prison to probabtion. see (talk) 16:40, 12 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Was "Affluenza" actually used as a defense in a meaningful sense - did a lawyer stand up and say "Your honor, the defendant pleads YOLO affluenza" - or was it just a word that was used as part of a broader argument in court? bobrayner (talk) 00:03, 13 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The judge never said her reasoning was based on affluence. This is all comming from the deffence. We dont know the judge's reasoning-- (talk) 17:06, 13 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Then we need to accept pofluenza as a defense for poor people.Robinrobin (talk) 17:51, 13 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think until we know the judge's reasoning, we shouldn't use something like "after his attorneys successfully argued that the teen suffered from affluenza". IANAL, but that also doesn't even seem like the correct way to phrase it legally. 10max10 (talk) 16:51, 15 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Affluenza is a societal disorder and not a human disease and therefore *cannot* be used as a legal defense. The lawyer's misuse of the term has caused millions of people to be misinformed. This section must be deleted. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:32, 18 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Stop changing it back. That lawyer's definition is completely unrelated to the rest of the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:56, 18 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As long as it's sourced, it warrants mention in the article until a clear distinction can be made which would warrant a second article for the "second" definition of the term. That being said, there are sources that conflate and relate the term. yonnie (talk) 21:13, 18 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Marco Muzzo[edit]

Should we mention Marco Muzzo? He is one of Canada's richest people with a net worth of C$1.7 billion who was just convicted of 18 charges, including the impaired driving deaths of three grandchildren and their grandfather in Vaughan. This incident is covered throughout Canadian media. Johnny Au (talk/contributions) 02:42, 5 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not familiar with this case but currently no clear link is made to affluenza in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:06, 22 October 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've just taken the liberty of taking it out of the article, since neither of the two references given even mentions the term "affluenza". --jae (talk) 20:28, 29 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Earliest Usage in 1918[edit]

According to an article at Meriam Webster, it looks like Affluenza was used as early as 1918. Can we add this to the article?

" Affluenza is defined in Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged as “the unhealthy and unwelcome psychological and social effects of affluence regarded especially as a widespread societal problem.” The word was not coined at Couch’s trial; it has been in English use throughout much of the 20th century. Initially it was employed in a jocular fashion, as in an article from the Houston Post in 1918:

“It is not the sneezing of the Spanish influenza that Liberty needs, but a little more ‘coughing’ on the part of American affluenza.” " — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mylesgoins (talkcontribs) 22:37, 4 May 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Used in 1908 here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:03, 13 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Affluenza. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 13:49, 15 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]