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Thrift

  • By: Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

The usual understanding of the word thrift links it with “sparing use or careful expenditure of means” (Oxford English Dictionary). This comes close to the meaning of the word frugality, understood as moderate expenditure or use of assets. It might be easy to think of thrift simply as a form of being passive in relation to the world of goods. Instead of accentuating the idea of negative restraint, this entry emphasizes thrift as active management of everyday life: it is a way in which household economies are sought to be made thriving. In this entry, thrift is analyzed, first, with a historical glance at its role as a liberal virtue that was transformed with the emergence of welfare regimes; and second, by discussing the current ...

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