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People rushing into a shopping mall in the United States to take advantage of the sales on Black Friday in 2013


Blend of affluence +‎ influenza.



affluenza (usually uncountable, plural affluenzas)

  1. A feeling of dissatisfaction, anxiety, etc., caused by the dogged and ongoing pursuit of more goods and possessions.
    • 2003, Dale P. Andrews, “Preaching a Just Word in Privileged Pulpits: Healing Affluenza”, in André Resner, Jr., editor, Just Preaching: Prophetic Voices for Economic Justice, St. Louis, Mo.: Chalice Press, →ISBN, page 169:
      The tension heightens when speaking about "affluenza" from within the economic cultures of Western countries and in particular our North American society. We do live quite privileged lives. Our privileges have clearly become expectations. [] Affluenza has been defined as a cultural disease of excess—an excess that seldom satiates the desire for more. The virus is identified by its symptoms: the feverish pursuit of products, possessions, and privileged passions, which might be outpaced only by a market-driven economy, ravenous consumption, an increasing anxiety over exponential debt, and the yield of excessive waste. Affluenza has also been more personally identified by unmanageable stress and pervasive feelings of emptiness.
    • 2007, René Syler; Karen Moline, “Affluenza Season”, in Good-enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting, New York, N.Y.: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, →ISBN, page 225:
      I think that all moms, no matter what their faith, struggle with the expectations of Affluenza Season, especially with the rosy Norman-Rockwell-type images of happy families shown in commercials starting at 12:01 a.m. the day after Halloween (didn't it use to be the day after Thanksgiving?).
    • 2010, Andrew Brennan; Y. S. Lo, “Beyond Individual Responsibility: Governance and the Affluenzic Society”, in Understanding Environmental Philosophy (Understanding Movements in Modern Thought), Durham: Acumen, →ISBN, page 184:
      Many contemporary industrial societies are characterized by the condition some writers call "affluenza". In the affluenzic society, the continuous growth in material wealth and consumption of material goods sits at the centre of human life and aspirations, rapidly reducing and replacing other goals and values of human fulfilment []. Constituted by a set of robust positive feedback mechanisms, affluenza is the larger system under which many local and global economies now operate, and which shapes the personal values of many individuals and the social priorities of many nations and governments.
    • 2010, Kim Humphery, “The New Politics of Consumption”, in Excess: Anti-consumerism in the West, Cambridge; Malden, Mass.: Polity Press, →ISBN:
      This minor epidemic of affluenzas does not signal a politics that is, in analytical terms, creative. Rather, it signals a type of commentary that has reached an impasse, uncertain of how to further develop an interpretation of and response to the exigencies of global consumption. Even more damagingly, talk of ‘affluenza’ has become a dead end in a time beyond the millennial boom; an era that requires a far more nuanced understanding of why and how the West consumes than is evident in a trite, if pithy, labelling of the western individual as manic shopper.

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From Latin affluentia.


affluenza f (plural affluenze)

  1. attendance, turnout

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Further reading[edit]

  • affluenza in – Vocabolario Treccani on line, Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana