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THE SUM OF SMALL THINGS Book Launch

Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 7:00pm

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett appears in conversation with Sloane Crosley to celebrate the publication of Currid-Halkett’s The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class. With a signing to follow. Refreshments will be served!

About The Sum of Small Things
Today’s elites are defined by cultural capital rather than income bracket. They earnestly buy organic, carry NPR tote bags, and breast-feed their babies. They care about discreet, inconspicuous consumption—like eating free-range chicken and heirloom tomatoes, wearing organic cotton shirts and TOMS shoes, and listening to the Serial podcast. They use their purchasing power to hire nannies and housekeepers, to cultivate their children’s growth, and to practice yoga and Pilates. In The Sum of Small Things, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett dubs this segment of society “the aspirational class” and discusses how, through deft decisions about education, health, parenting, and retirement, the aspirational class reproduces wealth and upward mobility, deepening the ever-wider class divide. With a rich narrative and extensive interviews and research,The Sum of Small Things illustrates how cultural capital leads to lifestyle shifts and what this forecasts, not just for the aspirational class but for everyone.

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett is the James Irvine Chair in Urban and Regional Planning and professor of public policy at the University of Southern California. Her research focuses on the arts and culture and most recently, the American consumer economy. She is the author of The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art and Music Drive New York City and Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity. Her most recent book is The Sum of Small Things: A Theory of the Aspirational Class. Currid-Halkett’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Salon, the Economist, the New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement, among others.

Sloane Crosley is the author of essay collections, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, a finalist for The Thurber Prize for American Humor, How Did You Get This Number and the novel The Clasp. She served as editor of The Best American Travel Writing series and has contributed to a variety of anthologies. A contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine, her next book, Look Alive Out There will be published in spring 2018. She is also on the board of Housing Works Bookstore Cafe and The Young Lions Committee at The New York Public Library.

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