Yippie Hippie Yuppie!

Ash’s entry about what he feels is a misconception about ‘yuppies‘ got me thinking about that term.

To be honest, despite having heard/read of the term ‘yuppie’ since I was knee-high to a belalang, I’ve only ever associated it with images of Wall Street types, you know the ones immortalised in Oliver Stone’s movie and James B. Stewart’s book.

So to hear of the phrase “regular yuppie but with a sense of humour”, I was suitably intrigued to look up the complete definition of the word.

Answers.com (via Google) returns some useful results (and has Google been anything but useful? Ah, Google, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways….)

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition states that yuppie, derived from Young Urban Professional, means:

A young city or suburban resident with a well-paid professional job and an affluent lifestyle.

OK. So I’m not a yuppie. Neither well-paid nor affluent am I.

WordNet says

a young upwardly mobile professional person; someone under 40 who prospered during the 1980s.

Well, I think I did save about 50 ringgit during that decade from my school allowances, but I can hardly say that was prosperous (although, on the other hand, RM 50 is a lot for a primary school kid, as I was then…)

And then there’s Wikipedia. I love you too, Wiki baby….

The yuppie stereotype

Yuppies are more conservative than the preceding hippie generation. Dispensing of the social causes of their more passionate parents (who themselves shed traditional values), yuppies tend to be 9-5 professional workers. Yuppies tend to value material goods (especially trendy new things). In particular this can apply to their stocks, imported automobiles, development houses, and technological gadgets, particularly cell phones.

Unfortunately, the fast-paced pursuit of these material goods has unintended consequences. Usually in a hurry, they seek convenience goods and services. Being “time poor”, their family relations can become difficult to sustain. Maintaining their way of life is mentally exhausting. Sometimes, they will move every few years to where their job goes, straining their family. The fast-paced lifestyle has been termed a rat race.

Heavily influenced by a competitive corporate environment, they often value those behaviours that they have found useful in gaining upward mobility and hence income and status. They often take their corporate values home to their spouses and children.

According to the stereotype, there is a certain air of informality about them, yet an entire code of unwritten etiquette can govern their activities from golf and tennis to luncheons at cocktail and sushi bars.

Hmmm… ok, this sounds a bit (not a lot, just a wee bit) like me. And to be honest, it sounds like a lot of people I know.

So maybe, a yuppie isn’t just a term that applies to a select demographic anymore.

Maybe we’ve reached the point where pretty much any city-dwelling 9-to-5 drone is a yuppie.

I don’t even know how to conclude this post (this is what happens when you don’t think about what you’re gonna write before you write it) so if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to stop. Right. Now.


5 thoughts on “Yippie Hippie Yuppie!”

  1. In which case, dude – I am far from one; since affluent and upwardly mobile are VERY far from describing me (unless of course it refers to my mobile phone bills…)

  2. Well paid professional job? Does that include being an assassin?

    I have better chance being a guppy then. No, I take that back. I could not transform myself to be that small.

  3. I realise that people now tend to use the term ‘X-gen’ to mean the same thing. According to some youngsters, Yuppies refers to their uncles and much more elder brother who were born in the early 70s (like me). I guess these are terminologies created by Marketers to seel products and keep people confused. Much liek the commonly used ‘Metrosexual’.

  4. Yuppies talk about investment portfolios, german automobiles, corporate wrangglings etc.

    So what do we call OUR generation? The ones born in the 80s. (Sashi that excludes you… ehehe, and I guess Ash and Vlad too… but I dont’ think we have a generation gap. We’d do ok if we sit on the same table)

  5. I think our generation’s a bit neither here nor there…and already there’s a new generation of people wanting to know what their generation is called…
    But are we from gen-Y? as in Y so much shoulder padding………..she said, as she watched her sentence deflate and fall into the crevice where cornY jokes go to die…

Comments are closed.