peasant mindset/mentality

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Senior Member
Hello everybody

Context: Jake is a talented artist and he is so damn good at playing the guitar but he has many problems with his father. His father is a devout catholic.
Jake wants to study music and follow his dreams. On the other hand,his father wants him to get married as soon as possible and start working with him. (His father owns a store and he wants Jake to work for him).
According to his father, a perfect life means getting married before the age of 25, having at least four kids and having a modest income, just like his father and his ancestors.
Jake decided to consult a therapist. The therapist told him:
Some people have a peasant mentality/mindset. They don't understand what following dreams means. They don't want to live their dreams , they are satisfied with the status quo and they don't want to change their lives.
This is my question:
Does the highlighted part sound correct in this context?
Can I use both of them?
I think I can use either "mentality" or "mindset" but I'm not sure.
Please tell me your opinion.
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I'm not sure that "getting married before the age of 25, having at least four kids and having a modest income, just like his father and his ancestors" is a "peasant mentality," but between your alternatives, I would go with "mentality."

    Is this your writing? (Source)
    Last edited:

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    It would be interesting to know the source and the cultural setting. Jake's dad's notions sound middle class to me, what we might call 'bourgeois', except having four children isn't stereotypically British.
    Describing somebody as a 'peasant' is unusual here and would refer more to behaviour in general, except that we have many other words for that type of person.
    Anyway, 'bourgeois mentality' is far better than 'mindset'.


    Senior Member
    Sorry for my late reply.
    First of all, thanks for your answers.
    Second, I want to talk about psychology. What I'm really looking for is describing a kind of mentality. According to this mentality, you should do what your father and ancestors did. For example , if your father got married at 21 and have 4 children , you should be like him. I mean like a peasant in the feudal era, this kind of people are satisfied with what they gain. They are not ambitious to gain more. In other words, they have no ambitions like a peasant in the feudal era and they are satisfied with the status quo.


    Senior Member
    English UK
    So you're writing this, keramus?

    I like "peasant mindset". But I wouldn't die in a ditch over it. And I see that Copyright and Hermione both prefer "mentality".

    Scrawny goat

    Senior Member
    English - Ireland
    Who is your audience?

    ‘Peasant’ is really not a word we use nowadays. Although ‘peasant mindset’ sounds clever, to me it has no real meaning and therefore is more of a cheap shot.

    Many of my ancestors were probably considered peasants. Some of them emigrated to the USA to make a better life. Some of them took part in movements to overthrow the government of the day and replace it with one where people like them could have better opportunities. Honestly I don’t know that ‘peasants’ in Ireland were ever too happy with their lot. We seem to have had an uprising every generation for several hundred years.

    In sum, I wonder what ‘a peasant mindset’ is. It certainly wouldn’t include early marriage, as it was not possible for the poorest to marry, as they had no property.

    Also FYI membership of the Catholic faith (which is spelled with a capital letter) is no more an explanation for a limited world view than membership of any other religion.

    I see I have cross posted with you and you are now considering ‘slave mentality’ as a word to describe someone who is happy with their lot and doesn’t want things to change. Really? Do you know anything about slavery?


    Senior Member
    US English
    I agree with Loob; make the score 2-2 for 'mindset' & 'mentality' :) Which would you guys (sorry, Andygc!) 'n' gals say is closer to 'way of thinking'? But for the other half of your question, perhaps 'slave'.
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