The Yuppie Handbook

Posted By admin On 29/08/21


Vuonna 1983 ilmestyi satiirinen The Yuppie Handbook pukeutumisohjeineen, ja Newsweek-aikakauslehti julisti vuoden 1984 ”juppien vuodeksi”. Kirjailija Jay McInerney (Manhattanin valot, 1984) kiteytti New Yorkin 1980-luvun juppikulttuurin taidoksi ”olla oikeassa paikassa oikeaan aikaan oikeissa vaatteissa”. So odd to realize that the 'Yuppie Handbook' came out in the mid-'80s- a more aggressive and American follow-on to the British 'Sloane Ranger Handbook', and a marker for the transformation of the low-key, reticent, old-money preppy class of 'The Official Preppy Handbook' into corporate strivers. So odd to realize that the 'Yuppie Handbook' came out in the mid-'80s- a more aggressive and American follow-on to the British 'Sloane Ranger Handbook', and a marker for the transformation of the low-key, reticent, old-money preppy class of 'The Official Preppy Handbook' into corporate strivers.

Yuppie (short for 'young urban professional' or 'young upwardly-mobile professional')[1][2] is a term that refers to a member of the upper middle class or upper class in their 20s or 30s.[3] It first came into use in the early 1980s.


Yuppies are mocked for their conspicuous personal consumption and hunger for social status among their peers. Cornell University economist Robert H. Frank, author of Luxury Fever, has remarked, 'When people were denouncing yuppies, they had considerably lower incomes than yuppies, so the things yuppies spent their money on seemed frivolous and unnecessary from their vantage point.'[4] Pro-skateboarder and businessman Tony Hawk has said that yuppies give 'us visions of bright V-neck sweaters with collars underneath, and all that was vile in the eighties', and he has also remarked that a 'bitchin’ tattoo cannot hide your inner desire to be Donald Trump.'[5]

Author and political commentatorVictor Davis Hanson has written:

Yuppism.. is not definable entirely by income or class. Rather, it is a late-20th-century cultural phenomenon of self-absorbed young professionals, earning good pay, enjoying the cultural attractions of sophisticated urban life and thought, and generally out of touch with, indeed antithetical to, most of the challenges and concerns of a far less well-off and more parochial Middle America. For the yuppie male a well-paying job in law, finance, academia, or consulting in a cultural hub, hip fashion, cool appearance, studied poise, elite education, proper recreation and fitness, and general proximity to liberal-thinking elites, especially of the more rarefied sort in the arts, are the mark of a real man.[6]


Although the term yuppies had not appeared until the early 1980s, there was discussion about young urban professionals as early as 1968.

Critics believe that the demand for 'instant executives' has led some young climbers to confuse change with growth. One New York consultant comments, 'Many executives in their 20s and 30s have been so busy job-hopping that they've never developed their skills. They're apt to suffer a sudden loss of career impetus and go into a power stall.'[7]

Joseph Epstein was credited for coining the term in 1982,[8] although this is contested and it is claimed that the first printed appearance of the word was in a May 1980 Chicago magazine article by Dan Rottenberg.[9] The term gained currency in the United States in 1983 when syndicated newspaper columnist Bob Greene published a story about a business networking group founded in 1982 by the former radical leader Jerry Rubin, formerly of the Youth International Party (whose members were called yippies); Greene said he had heard people at the networking group (which met at Studio 54 to soft classical music) joke that Rubin had 'gone from being a yippie to being a yuppie'. The headline of Greene's story was From Yippie to Yuppie.[10][11]East Bay Express humorist Alice Kahn claimed to have coined the word in a 1983 column. This claim is disputed.[12][13] The proliferation of the word was affected by the publication of The Yuppie Handbook in January 1983 (a tongue-in-cheek take on The Official Preppy Handbook[14]), followed by Senator Gary Hart's 1984 candidacy as a 'yuppie candidate' for President of the United States.[3] The term was then used to describe a political demographic group of socially liberal but fiscally conservative voters favoring his candidacy.[15]Newsweek magazine declared 1984 'The Year of the Yuppie', characterizing the salary range, occupations, and politics of yuppies as 'demographically hazy'.[3]

In a 1985 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Theressa Kersten at SRI International described a 'yuppie backlash' by people who fit the demographic profile yet express resentment of the label: 'You're talking about a class of people who put off having families so they can make payments on the SAABs .. To be a Yuppie is to be a loathsome undesirable creature'. Leo Shapiro, a market researcher in Chicago, responded, 'Stereotyping always winds up being derogatory. It doesn't matter whether you are trying to advertise to farmers, Hispanics or Yuppies, no one likes to be neatly lumped into some group'.[3]

Later, the word lost most of its political connotations and, particularly after the 1987 stock market crash, gained the negative socio-economic connotations that it sports today. On April 8, 1991, Time magazine proclaimed the death of the yuppie in a mock obituary.[16]

In the 1990s, most yuppies made a transition to the middle class but they maintain an upper-middle level lifestyle, as they age well to their 30's and 40's the 'yuppie' generation often got married and settled down to have children. The economic boom at the time have transformed some yuppies or higher-income couples into Bobos or the 'bohemianbourgeois'.

The term has experienced a resurgence in usage during the 2000s and 2010s. In October 2000, David Brooks remarked in a Weekly Standard article that Benjamin Franklin- due to his extreme wealth, cosmopolitanism, and adventurous social life- is 'Our Founding Yuppie'.[17] A recent article in Details proclaimed 'The Return of the Yuppie', stating that 'the yuppie of 1986 and the yuppie of 2006 are so similar as to be indistinguishable' and '[h]e’s a shape-shifter.. he finds ways to reenter the American psyche.'[4]Victor Davis Hanson also recently wrote in National Review very critically of yuppies.[6]

Usage outside of the United States

A September 2010 article in The Standard described the items on a typical Hong Kong resident's 'yuppie wish list' based on a survey of 28 to 35 year olds. About 58% wanted to own their own home, 40% wanted to professionally invest, and 28% wanted to become a boss.[18] A September 2010 article in the New York Times defined as a hallmark of Russian yuppie life adoption of yoga and other elements of Indian culture such as their clothes, food, and furniture.[19]

In Mexico, the term 'yupi' is a neologism for high class young people usually from the largest cities and known for having a modern white-collar economy. Yuppification has occurred in economic booming nations of China, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South Africa in the late 1990s and 2000s.

In popular culture

  • In Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson uses the term to describe one who had adapted to the urban lifestyle, and could not hold their own if they were to have to go into survival mode. Robertson often calls his sons and daughters-in-law yuppies.[20]
  • The Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe, a 'satire of yuppie excess'[21]
  • Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney[22] (McInerney himself has been called 'the archetypal yuppie')[23]
  • Family Ties, the TV show, features a young Michael J. Fox as the Republican coat-and-tie-wearing 'yuppie-in-the-making' Alex P. Keaton and his parents (played by Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter-Birney) as former hippies.[24]
  • Fight Club, the 1996 Chuck Palahniuk novel and 1999 film adaptation, follows 'a disenchanted yuppie .. numbed by the sterile materialism of modern life.'[25]
  • In John Carpenter's They Live, a pair of working class protagonists come into possession of sunglasses that reveal yuppies as predatory aliens.
  • Girl with Curious Hair by David Foster Wallace, a short story about a young Republican after enjoying life after prep school with a group of punk rockers.[26]
  • Slaves of New York by Tama Janowitz[22] describes a later (early 1990s) evolution of the Yuppie, in which the upper tier made considerably more than the lower, supporting tier, the 'slaves' of the title, who were trapped by rents and insufficient salaries into a struggle merely to stay afloat in Manhattan.
  • American Psycho, the 1991 Bret Easton Ellis novel and 2000 film about yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman.[27][28][29][30][31][32][33]
  • thirtysomething, U.S. TV series, seen as a representation of 'yuppie angst' and midlife crisis.[34]
  • Stuff White People Like, a satirical blog that pokes fun at generalizations and yuppie culture.[35]
  • Wall Street, the 1987 film about stock traders, has been described as 'encapsulation of 80s yuppie greed culture', particularly Bud Fox, Charlie Sheen's naive 20-something character.[36]
  • 'Yuppy Love', a 1989 Only Fools and Horses episode based on Gordon Gekko from Wall Street, in which Del Boy reinvents himself as a yuppy and hangs out in trendy wine bars.[37] Del's attempts at reinventing himself as a 'Yuppy' were a recurring theme over the next few seasons.
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, a 1989 comedy, features neighbors Todd and Margo as the quintessential yuppies.[38]
  • Married with Children, a Fox TV comedy sitcom (1987–97) featured the Bundy's neighbors: A couple led by twice married Marcy D'Arcy (her two husbands Steve Rhodes and Jefferson D'Arcy, are upwardly mobile men she's attracted to), a bipolar paleoliberal-neoconservativefeministbanker who loathes their blue-collar neighbors and she bullies Al Bundy, a failed shoe salesman.
  • Jeff Goldblum's character in the 1983 movie The Big Chill is a quintessential yuppie who sold out his 1960s hippie ideals for money.
  • The Last Days of Disco features male characters in the early 1980s who complain that they are referred to as yuppies.
  • King of the Hill features the Hill Family's next door neighbors, Kahn Souphanousinphone, Sr. and his wife, Minh. They are stereotypical yuppies based on that stereotype about Asian Americans since Khan and Minh are Laotians originally from Laos then moved to the U.S. through Anaheim, California, a known yuppie cultural center in Southern California and finally they ended up in fictional Arlen, Texas.
  • 'Yer So Bad' song by Rock singer Tom Petty features the verse 'My sister got lucky, Married a Yuppie'
  • 'Paranoid Android', a song from Radiohead's OK Computer album, features the lines 'The dust and the screaming/The yuppies networking'
  • 'Ghosts of the Overdoses', a song from Damien Dempsey's 'Seize the Day' album, features the line 'From the cities, to make way for all the Yuppies'

Related terms

  • Reporter David Brooks characterized yuppies as bourgeois bohemians, or Bobos, in his book Bobos in Paradise - the term became somewhat popular in the 2000s.
  • A buppie is a black urban professional.[39]
  • A huppie is a Hispanic/Latino urban professional.
  • DINKs (DINKY in the UK) is an acronym is for Dual Income, No Kids [Yet];[40][41] at least one authority considers this to be synonymous with 'yuppie'.[42]
  • A scuppie is a Socially Conscious Upwardly-Mobile Person (the term is not commonly used).[43][44]
  • A Brazilianplayboy: while in first this term had the same usage as in English, from the 1990s to the 2010s it changed its meaning to a local version of yuppie which first appeared in Greater Rio de Janeiro. Stereotypes of the Brazilian playboys include being classist, womanizer and sexist, at least way more than their yuppie counterparts from more developed countries, which in turn is result of social anxieties of the poor and the lower middle class against the upper middle and upper classes, or being great seekers of social status and influence. They also, contrary to yuppies, do not fashionize intellectuality, and can or can not be socially liberal (social divisions between liberals and conservatives, specially in the upper classes, makes much less sense in Brazil than in the Anglosphere). In the 2000s, some lower middle and middle middle class Brazilians from Greater São Paulo formed a new urban subculture also called playboy which is little to not related to the former. Non-urban young professionals in Brazil are called by the slang agroboy.
  • A winder is a young individual, uninhibited with regards to its own social success,[45] and willing to comply only to a very soft (and versatile) set of moral standards.[46]
  • Yuppification often replaces the word gentrification; it is the act of making something, someone, or someplace appealing and thus marketable to yuppie tastes.[47]
  • Yuppie flu was a sometimes derisive, and inaccurate, term applied to chronic fatigue syndrome.[48]
  • Yuppie food stamp is a slang term in the United States for a $20 bill, because ATMs there typically dispense only $20 bills.
  • Puppie is a poor urban professional (a.k.a. welfie and cheapie).
  • YURP is a term describing the diverse group of young professionals who are dedicated to rebuilding New Orleans, and many low-income locals accuse them of 'carpetbaggery'.
  • Yuppie Angst is when a yuppie experiences stress in pursuing a busy work schedule, anxiety attacks over minor fears or challenges, reckless driving on highways and overreacting in panic.
  • Yuppie Puppy, derogatory term, synonymous with Malibu Barbie or Malibu Ken i.e. the vacuous overly spoiled and narcissistic offspring of the aforementioned Yuppies.
  • Yuppiedom, a mockery of the term 'kingdom' or a place of yuppies.
  • Yuppie Values, also a mocking of core beliefs, trends and behavioral traits of yuppies as more of upper-income liberalism or an evolution of 'Hippie values' about trying new or exotic things while pursuing a money-based life.

See also

  • Liberal Elite (a.k.a. Latte Liberal or Limousine liberal)
  • White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (W.A.S.P.)


External links

  • Yuppies entry in the St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture
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At a party my mother threw this weekend, I chatted with an old friend’s father, kidding him about the way he used to make his daughters cook and do the laundry for the family. “We also used to tie their allowances to taxes,” he told me. “When our taxes went up, we gave them less, so they’d learn.”

“But you didn’t succeed in making them Republicans,” I said.

“Not yet,” he said. “When they get money, that’ll happen. Everyone becomes Republican at some point when the money comes in.”*

Official Preppy Handbook Online

I thought about that exchange this morning when I read this piece, The Return Of The Yuppie (originally from 2006 but making the rounds again on Facebook), written ruefully by a man who once muttered Die, yuppie scum. Twenty years later:

I have become the enemy. Hi, my name is Jeff, and I am a yuppie.We’re all yuppies now.

Of course, that term, yuppie, has fallen so out of favor that we’re not even supposed to use it anymore. We’re expected to come up with a neologism — a clever 21st-century inversion of the word. But we’re not going to do that, because we don’t need to: The yuppie of 1986 and the yuppie of 2006 are so similar as to be indistinguishable. A used copy of The Yuppie Handbook recently fell into my hands. The book was published in 1984 as a jokey piece of social anthropology, and it made a slew of observations about this new American species. The yuppie’s bizarre lifestyle preferences were intended to elicit populist guffaws. Here are some of the things, according to The Yuppie Handbook,that the budding yupster could not live without: gourmet coffee, a Burberry trench coat, expensive running shoes, a Cuisinart, a renovated kitchen with a double sink, smoked mozzarella from Dean & DeLuca, a housekeeper, a mortgage, a Coach bag, a Gucci briefcase, and a Rolex.

C’est moi, he realized. Quelle horreur.

This spring, Teddy Wayne at the Times added to the portrait of the modern-day Yuppie:

We have plenty of [pop cultural] equivalents today, such as “This Is 40” (and nearly every other romantic comedy) and TV’s “Togetherness” and the recently departed “Parenthood” and “How I Met Your Mother” (and most other dramedies and sitcoms). Their organic-buying, gym-going, homeowning characters, however, aren’t tagged as yuppies as readily as those from the previous era were. It’s not because they aren’t from the narcissistic upper middle class; they certainly are. But they look different now.

The yuppie has shifted from standing on the prow of his yacht in an attitude of rapaciously aspirational entitlement to a defensive crouch of financial and existential insecurity. This instability has fragmented the yuppie’s previously coherent identity into a number of personae, each of which can trace its lineage to its ’80s paterfamilias.

Collectively, these microyuppies are just as strong in their ranks as their progenitors, if not more so. Three decades ago, the yuppie was viewed as a self-interested alien invader in an America that had experienced a solid 20 years of radical activism and meaningful progress in civil rights and women’s liberation. A generation and a half later, we have so deeply internalized the values of the yuppie that we have ceased to notice when one is in our midst — or when we have become one ourselves.

If Kafka wrote “the Metamorphosis” today, it would begin like so: “One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin: a yuppie.”

The story would be about how his family would have to learn how to deal with him and their instinctive disgust. Stp file viewer. Only his sister would figure out a way to be kind — until finally even she, with tears in her eyes, would sidle into his dark bedroom one day, throw him a hoodie and some hair gel, and tell him it would be best for everyone if he left and got a job at Twitter.

Well, I’m not terribly bothered by idea that I might be a yuppie, considering I’m lucky to be making it in New York at all. I’m young(ish), I’m urban, I’m professional. I’m not huge on conspicuous consumption, but all I can really boast is that my gadgets are last generation: behold, my still-not-fixed iPhone 4; witness my creaky old Roku box! What can I say in my defense, before I am led to the guillotine? I voted for Obama twice, even when my husband was a corporate lawyer? At least I recycle?

*My friend’s father was not referencing Churchill, by the way. The quote often attributed to him — about being liberal at 25 unless you have no heart and conservative at 35 unless you have no brain — is actually unsourced but experts agree that it predates the 20th century. It might have been uttered originally by anyone from the King of Sweden to Victor Hugo.

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