- (proh.luh.TAYR.ee.un drift)n.The tendency for originally upscale products to eventually become popular with the working class; the tendency for most elements of the culture to eventually appeal to the lowest common denominator.Example Citation:[T]he usual life cycle of consumer products in the U.S [is that] they're first adopted by upscale metropolitan clusters before undergoing a process called "proletarian drift" that eventually sends them to the hinterland. Eventually, even Starbucks caffe latte ends up at an isolated market in Appalachia.— Michael Weiss, The Clustered World, 2000Earliest Citation:Paul Fussell, the nation's newest world-class curmudgeon, is taking aim at The American Experiment. For the 58-year-old don, author and omni-pundit, that includes even the leafy collegiate charm of Princeton. "It used to be a great center of wit," says Fussell in mid-stroll, glowering at the placid streetscape, "but now it's subject to prole drift." Prole drift? "Everything in the modern world drifts prole-ward all the time. Even the better classes have to wait in long lines, the quality of food degenerates, airline seating grows more cramped. In another 100 years, there will be no visible difference between the Soviet Union and the United States."— Curt Suplee, "A Class Critic Takes Aim at America," The Washington Post, September 28, 1982Notes:This phrase wears its brazen elitism on its sleeve thanks to its use of the adjective proletarian which, at best, refers to the working class, but in its most hostile sense is a sneering reference to the lowest of the low, the vulgar and the vile. (The word comes from the Latin proletarius, the lowest class of Roman citizen who served the state only by reproducing.) Today's term was likely coined by the academic Paul Fussell, although he called it prole drift. That phrase appears in his 1983 book Class and also in the interview excerpted below.Related Words: Categories:A related concept is the idea of technology reaching "street level", as typified in "cyberpunk" science fiction. The seminal/archetypal work in this genre is, of course, W. Gibson's "Neuromancer".
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Prole drift — Prole drift, a shortened form of proletarian drift, refers to the trend of originally upscale or upper class things to appeal to and be utilized by lower income classes. The term was coined by Paul Fussell in 1983 to describe the phenomenon of… … Wikipedia
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Culture (General) — Culture General after party agnotology Anglosphere anti anti American atomic sit ups audism backstory badge ball … New words
Retail — anchor store BAM battery boutique big box store Black Friday bricks and mortar cash mob checkout line ra … New words
Sociology (General) — Sociology General acoustic privacy adorkable age heaping anticipointment antiskeptic banana problem behalfism … New words
blandiose — (BLAN.dee.ose) adj. Relating to something that appears impressive or that has pretensions to grandeur, but that is actually bland. Example Citation: Delivered in the mellifluous voice of a didactic monodrone, each track is a blandiose blend of… … New words
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covert couture — n. High quality, custom made fashions designed to look like off the rack clothing. Example Citation: A regular bespoke suit can cost about $5,000, already out of the range of most of us. But with every minor mogul and hip hop artist sporting… … New words