The Ezra Klein Show

Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Stacey Abrams feels about identity politics? How Hasan Minhaj is reinventing political comedy? The plans behind Elizabeth Warren’s plans? How Michael Lewis reads minds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

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episode 274: How Whole Foods, yoga, and NPR became the hallmarks of the modern elite


If you're anything like me, this episode will make you think about the way you shop, learn, eat, parent, and exercise in a whole new way.My guest today is Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California whose most recent book The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class documents the rise of a new, unprecedented elite class in the United States. Previously, the elite classes differentiated themselves from the rest by purchasing expensive material goods like flashy clothes and expensive cars. But, for reasons we get into, today’s elite is different: We signify our class position by reading the New Yorker, acquiring elite college degrees, buying organic food, breastfeeding our children, and, of course, listening to podcasts like this one.These activities may seem completely innocent — perhaps even enlightened. Yet, as we discuss here, they simultaneously shore up inequality, erode social mobility, and create an ever-more stratified society — all without most of us even noticing. This is a conversation that implicates us all, and, for that very reason, it is well worth grappling with.Book recommendations: Just Kids by Patti Smith Art Worlds by Howard S. BeckerThe Gold Finch by Donna TarttIf you enjoyed this episode, you may also like: When meritocracy wins, everybody losesWork as identity, burnout as lifestyle
My book is available for pre-order! You can find it at www.EzraKlein.com.Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.comYou can subscribe to Ezra's new podcast Impeachment, explained on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, Pocket Casts, or your favorite podcast app. Credits:Producer and Editor - Jeff GeldResearcher - Roge KarmaEngineer - Jeff Geld Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices


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   1h13m