Orange Class’ scandalous behavior and wastefulness that was poured out like dirt
here and there in our society, there is something new hanging around in Korea.
They are called the BOBOS class. Who or what is the BOBOS class?
Originally, the word BOBOS is a compounded word from
Bourgeois and Bohemian, which indicates the new upper class in America, who
enjoy the physical utilities of the Bourgeois, and the mental richness of the
Bohemian at the same time.
|1. They are strongly
2. They have their own unique shopping sense.
4. They do not care about the latest fashions.
are extraordinary and novel.
6. They enjoy their work.
7. They have
8. They are positive.
9. They do not waste though they
have lots of money.
BOBOSs are a ‘civilized elite’ in the
information-oriented age. An American journalist, David Brooks, defined the
BOBOS class as “a new culture and business authority with the free spirit of the
Bohemian, and have the cultural treasonous intention and mundane ambition of
Bourgeois enterprisers”. Economical abundance and living in comfort is similar
to the Bourgeois lifestyle, but a Bohemian’s blood is flowing in an aspect of
their sensibility. Therefore, they have creativity and resistance at the same
time. It is the BOBOS class that steps into both the Bourgeois world and
Bohemian world. They enjoy their abundant living, but take precautions against
falling into drastic materialism. The American BOBOS class shows an objection to
vested rights, though they unconsciously grew up in a vested rights class, but
because the BOBOS class has risen to the surface of adulthood, it is not too
much to say that a boundary line between the Bohemian and Bourgeois has been
meaningless. They combined the Bohemian’s value system with the Bourgeois’
culture superbly, besides they are rising as the strong, who rule America in the
digital information-oriented age.
However, the Korean BOBOS is a little bit
different. Korean BOBOS, who are in their late twenties to mid-thirties and have
physical abundance, yet they are more frugal than the Orange class, for example,
they just slip on old pants and shirts, and do not care about the price or brand
name. When they buy expensive brand clothes, it is at a time that is correct
with their tastes and values. If the Orange class were to fall to Bourgeois, the
BOBOS class will be rich Bohemians. The Orange class falls into corruption and
pleasure necessarily, but the BOBOS class loves culture and art instinctively.
Most of the Orange class members have no jobs or they were students studying
abroad, who had to come back to Korea. On the other hand, the BOBOS class
members usually work as professionals and have pride in their jobs.
class members have jobs, which they regarded as having inventiveness. They also
drink just one glass of gin or whiskey at the jazz bar after they leave the
office. Sometimes, they enjoy the jazz music or roll up their sleeves to join
the musicians and play the piano at the club. They have their own styles,
tastes, and individuality. Also, they can use moderation, but indulge in luxury
only when they feel the need to. On the other hand, the Orange class is fond of
a uniform fashion. They do not have their own style; the level of appreciation
is low. Although, the Orange class likes to dress up with jewels and celebrated
brand fashions, their outward look is sometimes seen as shallow.
extravagance and waste, except when they have to spend money on quality. They do
not care about celebrated brand names, or what others’ see as fashionable. These
people merely attach importance to their taste and sensibilities. Accordingly,
happiness and satisfaction are the most important things for them.
class prefers comfort and naturalness to high grade brands. For example, they
easily wear wrinkled shirts, basic sweaters, and vests, which are woven with
wool, such as natural quality clothes. In addition to this, they love country
things, so they do not spare any expense when eating fruits and vegetables,
which are made organically. Also, they are concerned about the
However, the BOBOS class pursues
high-grade quality in everything. They are not luxurious, yet they spend a lot
of money on what they like and basic things. As you know, money is important to
them. The reason is that they hate to be restricted in their freedom and hate
it, when they cannot do what they want to do with their money.
|▲ American TV
series, SEX AND THE CITY|
This third culture, BOBO Culture,
alternates between the mutual competitive standards of Bohemian and Bourgeois as
forming successive new rules with spending canons. These new rules and canons
alternate spending patterns for the educated classes now. They have to show
people that they are concerned human beings, not vulgar snobs.
The core of
the BOBOS class, who seem to like to chase only freedom, is located somewhere
else, unexpectedly. That is in their altruism. These people think that others’
freedom is as important as theirs. This means BOBOS have cognizance of other
people, who is different from themselves, though they do not care about another
person’s taste in reference to themselves.
Sometimes BOBOS cause social
problems, such as creating fantasies in those outside their class. The BOBOS
class’ life is luxurious as you know, so many people generally think that the
BOBOS class is special and they have something different. The BOBOS class
appears a lot on television serial dramas, which have characters from this
financial clique, such as a millionaire’s son or an ordinary woman. People watch
their life through the Braun tubes, feeling jealous with envy. The TV is not the
only way of seeing inside the BOBOS life. You can see it in university culture.
Ten years ago, many college students placed a great deal of weight in the
opinions of their peer groups or clubs, more so than in their personal
activities. In the past, students hung around together, whether he or she likes
the others or not, and they worried about common problems together. However,
nowadays students give a great deal of weight to their personal interests and
problems, such as their hobbies, traveling, part-time jobs and activities of
entering professions. These examples are related to the BOBOS class
A good example of Korean BOBOS life style is the Brunch Cafe in
Korea. There are so many people, who are waiting for their tables at the Brunch
Cafe in Chungdam-dong. Originally, brunch is a compounded word of breakfast and
lunch in America, which means a late breakfast. A Korea the Brunch Cafe’s brunch
time is generally from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brunch Cafes are almost exclusively
located in Chungdam-dong. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., it is a jam-packed time for
the Brunch Cafe on the weekend. Generally, you can see people, who enjoy brunch,
wearing sunglasses, reading newspapers and eating sandwiches, or omlettes at the
Cafe from a terrace that could be reminiscent of Europe or America. One manager
of the Brunch Cafe said, “People love the terrace and enjoy brunch under the sun
like in foreign countries even though the sunshine is too strong to open their
eyes.” It means people like their spare time and comfort, which are good points
of the BOBOS lifestyle.
However, the Brunch Cafe is not an example of the
western BOBOS lifestyle. Do you know the American TV series, Sex and the City?
Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda are good examples of the BOBOS class
and the Sassy class. Sassy means affluent, successful, stylish and young,
especially, for those between the ages from 25 to 35 years old. Today’s talented
women are rising as the representatives of the Sassy class. Consequently, the
Sassy class is under the influence of the BOBOS class.
|▲ A brunch cafe
The BOBOS class does
not want someone to be sacrificed for their freedom, because they think they
cannot suppress another person’s freedom and tastes to have real freedom.
Besides, they have some sensibilities of art and metal depth as an aspect that
they pursue abundance of spirit, not emphasizing outward appearances. They are
glowing with pride. People, who have a free temperament, can quit their jobs,
and climb up the Himalayan Mountain at any time. They have thoughts that they
can leave whenever they want, so they do not regard jobs as lifetime jobs. It
means they do not have secular excessive fondness, but you cannot be a man of
the BOBOS class by just living freely. A special feature of the BOBOS is that
they have self-restraint and altruism. If BOBOSs always have self-restraint and
altruism, their trouble free marches will continue. Moreover, the real BOBOSs
will appear and not go astray as the Orange class
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