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Abstract


AFFLUENT SOCİETY, CONSUMER SOVEREİGNTY AND SOCİAL PROBLEMS İN THE ECONOMİC ANALYSİS OF JOHN KENNETH GALBRAİTH
The main aim of this study is to examine the conceptual framework of Galbraith’s analysis in Affluent Society which claims that the view of mainstream economic theory at his time was the source of many social problems. Galbraith has analyzed the economic transformations, American society went under, especially following the massive economic breakthrough during and after World War II. The core of issues of the analysis of Galbraith are accumulation of wealth, consumption, production and social imbalance in America after the Second World War. The analysis in “Affluent Society” comprises of criticism of American economy and society in terms of sociological and economical observation and data. The analysis echoes of periods of optimism due to increasing wealth and a pessimism due to following slowdown and problems of distribution and accumulation of wealth. The scarcity of the resources was not an issue anymore but these abundant wealth was diverted for meeting the artificial (want creation) desires, and was the cause of a negative outlook of the society. This negative outlook is analyzed in terms of core economic problems such as production, consumption and distribution. Galbraith claims that the mainstream economic theory is incapable of explaining this situation and a new perspective is required. His core analytical tools, conventional wisdom, dependence effect and his criticism of the notion of consumer sovereignty are elements of his alternative approach.

Keywords
Affluent society, conventional wisdom, consumer sovereignty, social imbalance, dependence effect.


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