For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Culture of capitalism.

Culture of capitalism

The culture of capitalism or capitalist culture is the set of social practices, social norms, values and patterns of behavior that are attributed to the capitalist economic system in a capitalist society. Capitalist culture promotes the accumulation of capital and the sale of commodities, where individuals are primarily defined by their relationship to business and the market. The culture is composed of people who, behaving according to a set of learned rules, act as they must act in order to survive in capitalist societies.[1]

Elements of capitalist culture include the mindset of business and corporate culture, consumerism and working class culture.

Capitalist culture and ideology

While certain political ideologies, such as neoliberalism, assume and promote the view that the behavior that capitalism fosters in individuals is natural to humans,[2] anthropologist Richard Robbins opines that there is nothing natural about this behavior - people are not naturally dispossessed to accumulate wealth and driven by wage-labor.[3]

Political ideologies such as neoliberalism abstract the economic sphere from other aspects of society (politics, culture, family etc., with any political activity constituting an intervention into the natural process of the market, for example) and assume that people make rational exchanges in the sphere of market transactions. However, applying the concept of embeddedness to market societies, the sociologist Granovetter demonstrates that rational economic exchanges are actually heavily influenced by pre-existing social ties and other factors.[4]

In a capitalist system, society and culture revolve around exploitative business activity (the accumulation of capital derived from the surplus generated by the labor of workers). As such, proponents of capitalism would have us believe that business activity and the market exchange are absolute, or "natural", in that all other human social relations revolve around these processes (or should exist to facilitate one's ability to perform these processes).[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ Robbins, Richard (2005). Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. Pearson. p. 13. ISBN 978-0205917655. The culture of capitalism is devoted to encouraging the production and sale of commodities. For capitalists, the culture encourages the accumulation of profit; for laborers, it encourages the accumulation of wages; for consumers, it encourages the accumulation of goods. In other words, capitalism defines sets of people who, behaving according to a set of learned rules, act as they must act
  2. ^ Ed Rooksby (2010). "Who's correct about human nature, the left or the right?". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  3. ^ Robbins, Richard (2005). Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. Pearson. p. 13. ISBN 978-0205917655. There is nothing natural about this behavior. People are not naturally driven to accumulate wealth. There are societies in which such accumulation is discouraged...People are not driven to work; in fact, contrary to popular notions, members of capitalist culture work far more than, say, people who live by gathering and hunting.
  4. ^ Granovetter, M. (1985). "Economic action and social structure: the problem of embeddedness". The American Journal of Sociology. 91 (3): 487. doi:10.1086/228311. S2CID 17242802.
  5. ^ Bertell Ollman. "Market Mystification in Capitalist and Market Socialist Societies". New York University. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
  6. ^ Robbins, Richard (1999). Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism. Allyn and Bacon. ISBN 9780205193370.
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Culture of capitalism
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?