Thursday, February 12, 2009

Modern critique of urban sophistication

Rousseau had mistrusted urban sophistication. Much of this comes from his view of mankind; when they leave a state of nature and move into civilization, they become corrupted because of competition over resources.

A modern example of Rousseau's critique of urban sophistication is a website called Stuff White People Like. Though it may sound like a website that supposedly paints with a broad paint brush, it actually goes after "a very specific demographic sliver of left-leaning, city-dwelling white folk" (Sternbergh, TNR). This demographic has been called yuppies or most recently grups. SWPL itself says that its website is "a scientific approach to highlight and explain stuff white people like. They are pretty predictable."

As with any critique, it may be insightful. It may offend. I hope it makes you laugh.

CNN's story on Christian Lander, author of SWPL -
NPR's Feb. 2008 story on SWPL -
The full list of what white people like -
The New Republic's take on SWPL -

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