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November 12, 2003

What is a Bobo?

Just curious what readers think. David Brooks said this about bobos:


A bobo is a bourgeois bohemian. These are the people who are thriving in the information age. They're the people, you go into their homes and they've got these renovated kitchens that are the size of aircraft hangars, with plumbing. You know, you see the big sub- zero refrigerators and you open the door and you think, they could stick an in-law suite in the side. So these are the people who are really making a lot of money, and I spent the last few years going across upscale America looking at the people who are really thriving in the information age. And one of the things, the chief characteristic I noticed, was that they've smashed the old categories.

Spending 1.5 weeks in Houston, it was funny going around town and stumbling across "Boboish" enclaves, some of the same stores that are mentioned in Bobos in Paradise are clustered together!

Posted by razib at 03:15 PM




I've been calling them yuppie technocrats. I don't know that I like "bobos" better. I'm too cheap to be as conspicuous a consumer as most bobos, but I fit the category. The bobos are getting a lot of grief from the conservative media - "liberal elite" is the nicest thing they say. So, not everyone is so positive about bobos as Brooks. With all their wealth - the bobos have not really been engaged in politics and other social activism. I think this is coming, as a reaction to religious conservatives. The bobos around me are up in arms at this point.

Posted by: Jamais Vu at November 12, 2003 05:09 PM


yeah, jonah goldberg has been making the same points. bobos are getting politicized and are the core of the green party types and the dean candidacy.

i used to call myself a bobo, but upon consultation with friends who are far more boboish than i, i realized i am more a narcissistic bohemian. nevertheless, bobo culture serves as the substrate in which we narcissistic bohemians operate, so i favor it....

Posted by: razib at November 12, 2003 05:19 PM