Please provide a summary of Chapters 1-6 of the book Affluenza. Discuss two symptoms of affluenza that you have experienced and provide a chapter and page reference. What do you agree with in...

Please provide a summary of Chapters 1-6 of the book Affluenza. Discuss two symptoms of affluenza that you have experienced and provide a chapter and page reference. What do you agree with in Chapter 6 of Affluenza (provide a page reference)?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapters 1-6 of Affluenza by John de Graaf, David Wann, and Thomas H. Naylor are in the section called "The Symptoms." Chapter 1, "Feverish Expectations," deals with the explosive consumerism that has affected the United States since the end of World War II in 1945. The authors cite fear as one of the factors that motivates Americans to buy far more than they need. In Chapter 2, "All Stuffed Up," the authors discuss the immense amount of material goods Americans possess. The excess material goods Americans own leads to hoarding and to traffic that clogs our highways and airports.

Chapter 3, "Stressed to Kill," documents that Americans have become more stressed rather than more leisurely in an attempt to compile consumer goods. Chapter 4, "Family Fractures," discusses how materialism has invaded family life, as families compete to make sure their children engage in more activities and compile better resumes to get into college to make more money. Chapter 5, "Community Chills," talks about how the drive to compile goods has interfered with the growth of community life and has led to Americans isolating themselves. Chapter 6, "Heart Failure," is about how Americans yearn for meaning in what has become a largely meaningless consumerist culture.

On page 63 of Affluenza, in Chapter 6, the authors discuss the work of Michael Lerner, a writer and rabbi, who found that middle-class Americans want to contribute to the common good but feel that they do not have the opportunity to do so. The reader may also agree with this sentiment. There are several symptoms of "affluenza" the reader may also relate to, such as the tendency of Americans to isolate themselves watching TV or playing video games at home rather than choosing to relate to community organizations (page 53). On page 43, the authors discuss the over scheduling of American child, as their parents try to make them competitive in college admissions so that they can eventually earn more money. This type of over scheduling is another feature of American life that many readers might have experienced.