assume a certain level of

ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

The most striking thing about hygge, though, might be how its proponents tend to take prosperity for granted. All the encouragements toward superior handicrafts and Scandinavian design, the accounts of daily fireside gatherings and freshly baked pastries assume a certain level of material wealth and an abundance of leisure time. As a life philosophy, hygge is unabashedly bourgeois, and American readers of a certain stripe will be familiar with its hallmark images—still-lifes of hands cradling a mug, candles lit at dusk on a picnic table, bikes with woven baskets and child safety seats leaning against a colorful brick wall. Artisanal this and homemade that, fetishizing what’s rustic as authentic, what’s simple as sophisticated: urban American sophisticates already know this aesthetic; we’ve aspired to it for a long time.

(This comes from newyorker.com The Year of Hygge, the Danish Obsession with Getting Cozy by Anna Altman on December 18, 2016.)

What does "assume" here mean? I feel it means "need", but I don't find this meaning in dictionaries.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
assume /əˈsjuːm/vb (transitive)
  1. (may take a clause as object) to take for granted; accept without proof; suppose
  2. to take upon oneself; undertake or take on or over (a position, responsibility, etc): to assume office
  3. to pretend to; feign: he assumed indifference, although the news affected him deeply
  4. to take or put on; adopt: the problem assumed gigantic proportions
  5. to appropriate or usurp (power, control, etc); arrogate
Thanks in advance!
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes. It’s even explained in the previous sentence: the proponents of hygge “tend to take prosperity for granted”.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Does "All the encouragements toward...and an abundance of leisure time" repeat its previous sentence? That is, the proponents take prosperity for granted, and their practices (i.e. encouragements and accounts) also take prosperity (i.e. a certain level of material wealth and an abundance of leisure time) for granted?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The first sentence says that the aficionados of hygge take their prosperity for granted (they don’t feel guilty about being rich). The text goes on to say that the same assumption of wealth and leisure is attached to the material luxuries and cosy gatherings that characterise this perfect lifestyle.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    The first sentence says that the aficionados of hygge take their prosperity for granted (they don’t feel guilty about being rich).
    I can understand this.
    The text goes on to say that the same assumption of wealth and leisure is attached to the material luxuries and cosy gatherings that characterise this perfect lifestyle.
    Sorry, but I can't understand this. I wondered if you could explain it in a more detailed way.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    All (a) the encouragements toward superior handicrafts and Scandinavian design, (b) the accounts of daily fireside gatherings and freshly baked pastries assume a certain level of material wealth and an abundance of leisure time.

    I think this refers to (a) advertising and (b) lifestyle articles in the media and online. Both of these rely heavily on stereotypes of luxurious home comforts and happy family life, the premise (= basic assumption) of which is that the rich are the only people able to benefit from such luxuries. The rich are therefore the audience/clientele at which all the publicity is aimed.
     
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