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"Yuppie" is a shorthand for "Young Urban Professional".

It is used to describe people between the ages of early twenties and late thirties, generally of the middle-to-upper class. Yuppies tend to be fresh from graduate school and hold a job in the professional sector, and follow all the latest trendss. In many cases, in the late 1990s, yuppies looked and sounded a lot like the cast of Friends.

Most people use the term dismissively.

Perhaps the classic image of the Yuppie (in the United Kingdom at least) is that of the '80s Yuppie complete with red suspenders/braces, mobile phone the size of a brick, filofax, and optional pony-tail.

Table of contents
1 The Yuppie Stereotype
2 What becomes of the "Yuppies"
3 Related terms
4 See also

The Yuppie Stereotype

"Yuppies" refers to more than just a demographic profile: it is also a psychographic profile. It describes a set of behavioural and psychographic attributes that have come to constitute a commonly believed stereotype in America.

Yuppies are thought to be more conservative than the preceding hippie generation. Dispensing of the social causes of their more passionate parents (who themselves shed traditional values), yuppies tend to be 9-5 professional workers. Because of this, some people see them as sellouts. Yuppies tend to value material goods (especially trendy new things). In particular this can apply to their stocks, imported automobiles, development houses, and technological gadgets, particularly cell phones.

Unfortunately, the fast paced pursuit of these material goods has unintended consequences. Usually in a hurry, they seek convenience goods and services. Being "time poor", their family relations can become difficult to sustain. Maintaining their way of life is mentally exhausting. Sometimes, they will move every few years to where their job goes, straining their family. The fast-paced lifestyle has been termed a rat race.

Heavily influenced by a competitive corporate environment, they often value those behaviours that they have found useful in gaining upward mobility and hence income and status. They often take their corporate values home to their spouses and children.

According to the stereotype, there is a certain air of informality about them, yet an entire code of unwritten etiquette can govern their activities from golf and tennis to luncheons at cocktail and sushi bars.

What becomes of the "Yuppies"

An interesting question is "What happens to these ambitious young professionals as they get older?"

Some of the professionals become established and settled in their careers and need not be as ambitious as they were previously. Others find that they are prosperous enough to retire early.

Some re-consider their lifestyle. Some go through a Mid-life Crisis (a state of disillusionment experienced in all socioeconomic groups, and reached when you realize your life is more than half over and you start reflecting on what you have done with your life). Yuppies may feel that their lifestyle has failed to provide meaning to their lives, after devoting a disproportionate amount of time to their career.

As for the "Urban" component of the Yuppie acronym, many later moved to suburbs and commute.

Ironically, some "Yuppies" have found their wealth was over financed by credit, and therefore find themselves in heavy debt.

Related terms

A yumpie is a "Young Upwardly-Mobile Person". While this term is far less common, many confuse the derivation for Yuppie with that of Yumpie, and the two express broadly the same connotations anyway.

A bumpie is sometimes used to refer to an African-American yuppie.

Yuppify and Yuppification are a slang terms used in place of the words gentrify and gentrification but in a connotation of becoming like or catering to the Yuppie.

See also