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In Pursuit of PrivilegeA History of New York City's Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis$
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Clifton Hood

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172165

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172165.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Making Spaces of Their Own

Making Spaces of Their Own

The 1940s

(p.251) 7 Making Spaces of Their Own
In Pursuit of Privilege

Clifton Hood

Columbia University Press

From the standpoint of the upper class, the most significant development in the early twentieth century was an organizational transformation that gave rise to the corporate executive. As corporations grew larger and more complex, salaried managers became the cornerstone of modern business enterprises. Senior executives and their families and close associates formed the corporate elite – and New York’s was easily the largest and most powerful in the nation. The mode of life these corporate elites constructed and the ideology they and their successors formulated became the basis of a new upper class that in time would challenge the prerogatives and meanings of the Gilded Age upper class. Corporate elites cared more about managing these gigantic organizations than about social pedigree, and they took pride in their educational and career successes. Their attention to career and their work ethic gave them a middle-class orientation, yet they also wanted to separate themselves from those in the broader middle class who had not reached their level of wealth and status. They did so by means of their elite suburban residences, their membership in country clubs, and the preparatory schools where they sent their children.

Keywords:   corporate elite, corporate headquarters, suburbs, Scarsdale, NY, Rye, NY, country clubs, private schools

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