Positional Goods

Positional goods are goods that are desirable because they confer status on the owner. This is because the goods have a quality that makes them desirable but not easily accessible. This may be because they are expensive, in short supply, not widely available, stylish, or simply because they are new. Owning positional goods gives the feeling of social distinction, leadership, and exclusive access.

Although status seeking is characteristic of many societies, in a modern consumer society the search for status is often expressed through consumer goods, and people are judged by the goods they possess. Consumer goods become symbols of success, and some goods are better than others at indicating success.

Vance Packard, in his book The Status Seekers, pointed out that the use of consumer goods ...

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