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aspirational +‎ -ism


  • IPA(key): /ˌæs.pəˈɹeɪ.ʃə.nəl.ɪz.əm/
  • (file)


aspirationalism (uncountable)

  1. The philosophy or practice of striving to better one's situation in life, especially economically and materially.
    • 2010, Mary O'Hara, "It's the people who provide a real insight into US politics", The Guardian, 13 July 2010:
      We think of America as a familiar place, yet it is in so many ways as incomprehensible to outsiders as it has always been. The boundless aspirationalism even among its most marginalised people is one of its most striking and perplexing anachronisms.
    • 2011, "Profile: Mark McCrindle", The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 April 2011:
      "The late '90s had a focus on aspirationalism - more, better, bigger, faster, the McMansion and the huge flat-screen TV," he says.
    • 2012, Max Fisher, "Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea's Music Video Sensation", The Atlantic, 23 August 2012:
      The emphasis on heavy spending, coupled with the country's truly astounding, two-generation growth from agrarian poverty to economic powerhouse, have engendered the country with an emphasis on hard work and on aspirationalism, as well as the materialism that can sometimes follow.