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White Anglo-Saxon Protestant

Harvard College, historically one of several favored undergraduate schools for the WASP elite, though in some years it enrolled a few blacks.[1] Seen here is the 1836 Harvard alumni procession.

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) is an informal, sometimes disparaging term[2] used to describe a closed circle of high-status and highly influential White Americans of English Protestant ancestry.[3] [4] The term applies to a group which historically has controlled more social, political, and financial power in the United States than other groups in society.[5]

Scholars agree that the group's influence has waned since the end of World War II, with the growing influence of other ethnic groups in the United States.[6] The term is also used in Canada and Australia for similar elites.[7][8][9] The term is occasionally used by sociologists to include all Americans of North European ancestry regardless of their class or power.[10] People rarely call themselves WASPs, except humorously. The acronym is typically used by non-WASPs.[11]


  • Etymology 1
    • Anglo-Saxon as a modern term 1.1
    • Expansion of term for other groups 1.2
  • Culture attributed to WASPs 2
    • Protestantism and social values 2.1
    • Ivy League 2.2
    • Social Register 2.3
    • WASP neighborhoods and cities 2.4
    • Fashion 2.5
  • Political influence 3
  • Fading dominance 4
    • Post-World War II 4.1
  • In popular culture 5
  • See also 6
  • Notes 7
  • Further reading 8


Historically, "Anglo-Saxon" referred to the Anglo Saxon language (today called "Old English") of the inhabitants of England and the Scottish lowlands before about 1150. Since the 19th century it has been in common use in the English-speaking world, but not in Britain itself, to refer to Protestants of British descent. The "W" and "P" were added in the 1950s to form a witty epithet with an undertone of "waspishness" (which means a person who is easily irritated and quick to take offense).

The first published mention of the term WASP was provided by political scientist Andrew Hacker in 1957, indicating WASP was already used as common terminology among American sociologists, though the "W" stands for "Wealthy" rather than "White":

The term was popularized by sociologist and University of Pennsylvania professor E. Digby Baltzell, himself a WASP, in his 1964 book The Protestant Establishment: Aristocracy and Caste in America. Baltzell stressed the closed or caste-like characteristic of the group, arguing, "There is a crisis in American leadership in the middle of the twentieth century that is partly due, I think, to the declining authority of an establishment which is now based on an increasingly castelike White-Anglo Saxon-Protestant (WASP) upper class."[13]

Anglo-Saxon as a modern term

St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. is an important church for the WASP community. Built in 1816, it is known as the "Church of the Presidents" for the many US presidents who have worshiped there.

The concept of "Anglo Saxon" and especially "Anglo Saxon Protestantism" evolved in the late 19th century, especially among American Protestant missionaries eager to transform the world. Historian Richard Kyle says:

Protestantism had not yet split into two mutually hostile camps – the liberals and fundamentalists. Of great importance, evangelical Protestantism still dominated the cultural scene. American values bore the stamp of this Anglo-Saxon Protestant ascendancy. The political, cultural, religious, and intellectual leaders of the nation were largely of a Northern European Protestant stock, and they propagated public morals compatible with their background.[14]

Before WASP came into use in the 1960s the term "Anglo Saxon" filled some of the same purposes. "Anglo-Saxons" by 1900 was often used as a synonym for all people of English descent and sometimes more generally, for all the English-speaking peoples of the world. It was often used in claims for the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon race, much to the annoyance of outsiders. For example, Josiah Strong boasted in 1890:

In 1700 this race numbered less than 6,000,000 souls. In 1800, Anglo-Saxons (I use the term somewhat broadly to include all English-speaking peoples) had increased to about 20,500,000, and now, in 1890, they number more than 120,000,000."[15]

In 1893 Strong envisioned a future "new era" of triumphant Anglo-Saxonism:

Is it not reasonable to believe that this race is destined to dispossess many weaker ones, assimilate others, and mould the remainder until... it has Anglo-Saxonized mankind?"[16]

Like the newer term "WASP," the old term "Anglo-Saxon" was used derisively by writers hostile to an informal alliance between Britain and the U.S. The negative use was especially common among Irish Americans and writers in France. "Anglo-Saxon", meaning in effect the whole Anglosphere, remains a term favored by the French, used disapprovingly in contexts such as criticism of the Special Relationship of close diplomatic relations between the US and Britain and complaints about perceived "Anglo-Saxon" cultural or political dominance. It also remains in use in Ireland as a term for the British or English, and sometimes in Scottish Nationalist discourse. Irish-American humorist Finley Peter Dunne popularized the ridicule of "Anglo Saxon", even calling President Theodore Roosevelt one. Roosevelt insisted he was Dutch.[17] "To be genuinely Irish is to challenge WASP dominance," argues California politician Tom Hayden.[18] The depiction of the Irish in the films of John Ford was a counterpoint to WASP standards of rectitude. "The procession of rambunctious and feckless Celts through Ford's films, Irish and otherwise, was meant to cock a snoot at WASP or 'lace-curtain Irish' ideas of respectability."[19]

In Australia, "Anglo" or "Anglo-Saxon" refers to people of English descent, while "Anglo-Celtic" expands to include people of Irish and Scottish descent.[20]

In France, "Anglo Saxon" refers to the combined impact of Britain and the United States on European affairs. Charles de Gaulle repeatedly sought to "rid France of Anglo-Saxon influence."[21] The term has had more nuanced uses in discussions by French writers on French decline, especially as an alternative model to which France should aspire, how France should adjust to its two most prominent global competitors, and how it should deal with social and economic modernization.[22]

Outside of Anglophone countries the term "Anglo-Saxon" and its translations are used to refer to the Anglophone peoples and societies of Britain, the United States, and other countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Variations include the German: "Angelsachsen",[23] French: "le modèle anglo-saxon,"[24] Spanish: "anglosajón",[25] Dutch: "Angelsaksisch model",[26] and Italian: "Paesi anglosassoni."[27]

Expansion of term for other groups

Sociologists William Thompson and Joseph Hickey noted the expansion of the term's coverage over time:

WASPs vary in exact Protestant denomination, however the great majority have traditionally been associated with Episcopal, Presbyterian, and other mainline Protestant denominations.[29] Today, the usage of the term has expanded to include not just English American elites but also families of Protestant, non-English, Northern European and Northwestern European origin, including Scottish Americans and Ulster Scots, Dutch Americans, French Huguenots,[30] German Americans, and Scandinavian Americans.[31]

Historian Charles J. Scalise, coined the term "WIP" (White Italian Protestant) for Italian Americans who convert to Protestantism.[32]

Culture attributed to WASPs

The WASP elite dominated much of politics and the economy, as well as the high culture, well into the 20th century. Anthony Smith argues that nations tend to be formed on the basis of a pre-modern ethnic core that provides the myths, symbols, and memories for the modern nation and that WASPs were indeed that core.[33] WASPs are still prominent at prep schools (expensive private high schools, primarily in the Northeast), Ivy League universities, and prestigious liberal arts colleges, such as the Little Ivies or Seven Sisters.[34]

In the Midwest, WASPs favored the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, and University of Chicago. In the Detroit area, WASPs dominated the wealth that came from the huge industrial capacity of the automotive industry. After the 1967 Detroit riot, they tended to congregate in the Grosse Pointe suburbs. In Chicago, they are present in the North Shore suburbs, the Barrington area in the northwest suburbs, and Oak Park and DuPage County in the western suburbs.[35]

Some of the WASPs Protestant denominations have the highest proportion of graduate and post-graduate degrees of any other denomination in the United States, such as the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),[36][37] as well as the most of the American upper class.[38] Episcopalians and Presbyterians also tend to be considerably wealthier[39] and better educated than most other religious groups,[40] and they are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business and law.[41] From 1854 until at least 1964 they were heavily Republican.[42] In recent decades, Republicans slightly outnumber Democrats.[43]

According of Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United State by Harriet Zuckerman, a review of American Nobel prizes winners awarded between 1901 and 1972, 72% of American Nobel Prize Laureates, have identified from Protestant background, compared to about 67% of the general population during that time period.[44] Overall, 84.2% of all the Nobel Prizes awarded to Americans in Chemistry,[44] 60% in Medicine,[44] and 58.6% in Physics[44] between 1901 and 1972 were won by Protestants.

Protestantism and social values

David Brooks, a commentator on class who attended an Episcopal prep school, writes that WASPs took pride in "good posture, genteel manners, personal hygiene, pointless discipline, the ability to sit still for long periods of time."[45]

Category:High society

  • Allen, Irving Lewis. "WASP—From Sociological Concept to Epithet", Ethnicity, 1975 154+
  • Allen, Irving Lewis: Unkind Words: Ethnic Labeling from Redskin to Wasp (NY: Bergin & Garvey, 1990) ISBN 9780897892209
  • Brookhiser, Richard. The Way of the WASP How It Made America and How It Can Save It, So to Speak, (1991) 171 pages. ISBN 9780029047217
  • Chabal, Emile., "The Rise of the Anglo-Saxon: French Perceptions of the Anglo-American World in the Long Twentieth Century", French Politics, Culture & Society (2013) 31#1 pp. 24–46 online
  • Cookson, Peter W.; Persell, Caroline Hodges: Preparing for Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools (1985) ISBN 9780465062683
  • Davidson, James D.; Pyle, Ralph E.; Reyes, David V.: "Persistence and Change in the Protestant Establishment, 1930-1992", Social Forces, Vol. 74, No. 1. (September., 1995), pp. 157–175.
  • Friend, Tad. Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of WASP Splendor (2009). ISBN 9780316003179
  • Fussell, Paul. Class: A Guide Through the American Status System (1983) ISBN 9780671792251
  • Jensen, Richard. "Yankees" (2004) p 1391Encyclopedia of Chicago
  • Kaufmann, Eric P. "The decline of the WASP in the United States and Canada" in Kaufmann, ed., Rethinking ethnicity (2004) pp 54–73 ISBN 9780415315425
  • King, Florence: WASP, Where is Thy Sting? (1977)
  • Pyle, Ralph E.: Persistence and Change in the Protestant Establishment (1996)
  • Salk, Susanna. A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style (2007)
  • Schrag, Peter.: The Decline of the WASP (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1970)
  • Useem, Michael. The Inner Circle: Large Corporations and the Rise of Business Political Activity in the U.S. and U.K. (1984)

Further reading

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ The dictionaries define WASP as "an upper- or middle-class American white Protestant, considered to be a member of the most powerful group in society."(Oxford Dictionaries); or "an American of Northern European and especially British ancestry and of Protestant background; especially a member of the dominant and the most privileged class of people in the United States." (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
  4. ^ Irving Lewis Allen, "WASP—From Sociological Concept to Epithet," Ethnicity (ISSN 0095-6139) 1975, pp. 154
  5. ^
  6. ^ Eric P. Kaufmann, "The decline of the WASP in the United States and Canada" in Kaufmann, ed. Rethinking ethnicity: Majority groups and dominant minorities (Routledge, 2004) .pp 54-73, summarizes the scholarship.
  7. ^
  8. ^ Margery Fee and Janice McAlpine, Guide to Canadian English Usage (2008) pp. 517-8
  9. ^ "WASP" in Frederick Ludowyk and Bruce Moore, eds, Australian modern Oxford dictionary (2007)
  10. ^
  11. ^ Allen, "WASP—From Sociological Concept to Epithet," (1975)
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Tom Hayden, Irish on the Inside: In Search of the Soul of Irish America (2003) p. 6
  19. ^ Luke Gibbons, Keith Hopper, and Gráinne Humphreys, The Quiet Man (2002) p 13
  20. ^
  21. ^ John Newhouse, De Gaulle and the Anglo-Saxons (1970) pp 30-31
  22. ^ (Spring 2013) 31#1 pp. 24-46.French Politics, Culture & SocietyEmile Chabal, "The Rise of the Anglo-Saxon: French Perceptions of the Anglo-American World in the Long Twentieth Century,"
  23. ^ See ] (2014)The world domination of the Anglo-Saxons [Die Weltherrschaft der AngelsachsenPeter Winkelvoß,
  24. ^ Chabal (2013), p 35
  25. ^ See "Concepto de anglosajón"
  26. ^ see "Angelsaksisch model"
  27. ^ See "Paesi anglosassoni"
  28. ^ William Thompson & Joseph Hickey, Society in Focus 2005
  29. ^
  30. ^ Abraham D. Lavender, French Huguenots: From Mediterranean Catholics to White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (P. Lang, 1990)
  31. ^ Charles H. Anderson, White Protestant Americans: From National Origins to Religious Group (1971) p 43 says "Scandinavians are second-class WASPs" but know it is "better to be a second-class WASP than a non-WASP"; cited in Martin E. Marty, "Ethnicity: The skeleton of religion in America," Church History (1972) 41#1: 5-21 at note 17 online
  32. ^ Charles J. Scalise, "Retrieving the 'WIPS' Exploring the Assimilation of White Italian Protestants in America," Italian Americana (2006) 24#2 pp 133-46 in JSTOR
  33. ^ The Decline of the WASP?: Anglo-Protestant Ethnicity and the American Nation-State
  34. ^
  35. ^ Stephen Richard Higley, Privilege, power, and place: The geography of the American upper class (Rowman & Littlefield, 1995)
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ a b c
  40. ^ a b Irving Lewis Allen, "WASP—From Sociological Concept to Epithet," Ethnicity, 1975 154+
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ "A Deep Dive Into Party Affiliation: Sharp Differences by Race, Gender, Generation, Education' Pew Research Center April 7, 2015
  44. ^ a b c d Harriet Zuckerman, Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United States New York, The Free Pres, 1977 , p.68: Protestants turn up among the American-reared laureates in slightly greater proportion to their numbers in the general population. Thus 72 percent of the seventy-one laureates but about two thirds of the American population were reared in one or another Protestant denomination-)
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^ Useem (1984)
  48. ^ Karal Ann Marling, Debutante: Rites and Regalia of American Debdom (2004)
  49. ^ Paul M. Pressly, "Educating the Daughters of Savannah's Elite: The Pape School, the Girl Scouts, and the Progressive Movement." Georgia Historical Quarterly (1996) 80#2 pp: 246-275. online
  50. ^ Peter W. Cookson, Jr. and Caroline Hodges Persell, Preparing For Power: America's Elite Boarding Schools (2008)
  51. ^
  52. ^ The Philadelphia volume included Wilmington, Delaware.
  53. ^ examples may be found in Page 2 of the 1925 Social Register of St. Louis, Missouri
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^ a b Liesl Schillinger, "Why, Bitsy, Whatever Are You Reading?" 10 June 2007New York Times
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ Nicol C. Rae, The Decline and Fall of the Liberal Republicans: From 1952 to the Present (1989)
  60. ^ See Jan. 17. 1969Time"Are The Wasps Coming Back? Have They Ever Been Away?"
  61. ^
  62. ^
  63. ^ a b
  64. ^ See
  65. ^ Richard L. Zweigenhaft and G. William Domhoff, Diversity in the power elite: how it happened, why it matters (2006) pp. 242-3
  66. ^ Kaufman (2004) p 220 citing Lerner et al. American Elites, 1996)
  67. ^ Frank, Robert. "That Bright, Dying Star, the American WASP." Wall Street Journal 15 May 2010.
  68. ^ John Aubrey Douglass, Heinke Roebken, and Gregg Thomson. "The Immigrant University: Assessing the Dynamics of Race, Major and Socioeconomic Characteristics at the University of California." (November 2007) online edition
  69. ^
  70. ^ Richard Brookhiser, The Way of the Wasp: How It Made America, and How It Can Save It, So to Speak (Free Press, 1991)
  71. ^ See also Tad Friend, Cheerful Money Me, My Family, & the Last Days of Wasp Splendor (2009)(Author)
  72. ^ Wilmington, Michael. 'Meet the Parents' Finds Success by Marrying Classic Themes to Modern Tastes, Los Angeles Times, November 6, 2000. Accessed March 30, 2010.
  73. ^ See (May, 2013).Menonnite Life, Arsenic and Old LaceKeith L. Sprunger, "Another Look Another Look: Joseph Kesselring, Bethel College, and the Origins of
  74. ^


See also

The play and film tell how the hero Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant) makes the horrifying discovery that his two beloved maiden aunts, are serial murderers of homeless old men. The Brewsters trace the family back to the Mayflower, and the walls of their genteel Brooklyn home are hung with oil portraits of their ancestors. Religion is repeatedly alluded to (one of the murdered old men is identified as having been a Baptist and a main character is the daughter of the minister of the church next door, with some scenes taking place in its ancient graveyard). The Brewsters have delusions of grandeur. Mortimer's brother who lives with the two sisters believes that he is President Theodore Roosevelt. The sisters see themselves as philanthropists who help lonely old men. Wearing old lace, the two kill old men with wine laced with arsenic. The Brewster family is so eminently respectable that the Irish police reject the idea that there could be 13 murder victims buried in the basement. In the finale, Mortimer Brewster discovers he was adopted and is not really a Brewster. If he is not a member of the Brewster family, he realizes he will not become insane or a murderer. In the film's closing scene he exclaims "I'm not a Brewster, I'm a son of a sea cook!" as he gleefully takes his new bride on their honeymoon. Gunter argues that the deep theme of the film is the conflict in American history between the liberty to do anything (which the Brewsters demand), and America's bloody hidden past. He notes that the evil disfigured nephew was played by Raymond Massey. He was well known at the time for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln; now he is a disfigured monster, and Gunter suggests a link between Lincoln and American atrocities.[74]

In 1939, the old elite came under ridicule in the smash Broadway comedy hit, "Arsenic and Old Lace". The play was later adapted as the Hollywood film, "Arsenic and Old Lace" (shot in 1941, released in 1944). The play was written by Joseph Kesselring, a former music professor at Bethel College, a school of the pacifist Mennonite church. The play appeared at a time of strong isolationist sentiment regarding European affairs.[73]

American films including Annie Hall and Meet the Parents have used the conflicts between WASP families and urban Jewish families for potential comedic effect.[72]

In popular culture

In the 21st century, "WASP" is often a derogatory criticism based on snobbishness and exclusivity associated with the privilege, such as restrictive membership in private social clubs.[63] Occasionally a writer praises the WASP contribution, as conservative historian Richard Brookhiser did in 1991 when said the "uptight, bland, and elitist" stereotype obscures the "classic WASP ideals of industry, public service, family duty, and conscience to revitalize the nation."[70][71]

A significant shift of American economic activity toward the Sun Belt during the latter part of the 20th century, and an increasingly globalized economy have also contributed to the decline in power held by Northeastern WASPs. While WASPs are no longer solitary among the American elite, members of the Patrician class remain markedly prevalent within the current power structure.[69]

Since the 2010 retirement of John Paul Stevens (appointed 1975), the U.S. Supreme Court has no Protestant members.[67] The University of California, Berkeley, once a WASP stronghold, has changed radically: only 30% of its undergraduates in 2007 were of European origin (including WASPs and all other Europeans), and 63% of undergraduates at the University were from immigrant families (where at least one parent was an immigrant), especially Asian.[68]

[66] In the federal

It was not until after World War II that the power of the old Protestant establishment began to decline. Many reasons have been given for the decline of WASP power, and books have been written detailing it.[64] Self-imposed diversity incentives opened the country's most elite schools.[65] The GI Bill brought higher education to new ethnic arrivals, who found middle class jobs in the postwar economic expansion. Nevertheless, white Protestants remain influential in the country's cultural, political, and economic elite.

A number of analysts have suggested that WASP dominance of the institutional order has become a thing of the past. The accepted wisdom is that after World War II, the selection of individuals for leadership positions was increasingly based on factors such as motivation and training rather than ethnicity and social lineage.[63]

According to Richard Schaeffer:

Post-World War II

Eric Kaufman argues that "the 1920s marked the high tide of WASP control."[61] In 1965 sociologist John Porter, in The Vertical Mosaic, argued that British origins were disproportionately represented in the higher echelons of Canadian class, income, political power, the clergy, the media etc. However, more recently Canadian scholars have traced the decline of the WASP elite.[62]

Fading dominance

Catholics in the Northeast and the Midwest, usually Irish-American, dominated Democratic party politics in big cities through the ward boss system. Catholic (or "white ethnic") politicians were often the target of WASP political hostility.[60]

While WASPs have been major players in every major American political party, an exceptionally strong association has existed between WASPs and the Republican Party, both in political activity and popular consciousness. Politicians such as Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, Prescott Bush of Connecticut and Nelson Rockefeller of New York exemplified the pro-business liberal Republicanism of their social stratum, espousing internationalist views on foreign policy, supporting social programs, and holding liberal views on issues like racial integration. A famous confrontation was the 1952 Senate election in Massachusetts where Irish Catholic John F. Kennedy defeated WASP Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.. However the challenge by Barry Goldwater in 1964 to the Eastern Republican establishment helped undermine the WASP dominance.[58] Goldwater himself had solid WASP credentials through his mother, but was instead mistakenly seen as part of the Jewish community (which he had never associated with). By the 1980s, the liberal Rockefeller Republican wing of the party was marginalized, overwhelmed by the dominance of the Southern and Western conservative Republicans.[59]

View of Manhattan's Upper East Side. Traditionally, the Upper East Side has been dominated by WASP families.

Political influence

By the 1980s, brands such as Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and Vineyard Vines and their logos became associated with the preppy fashion style which was associated with WASP culture.[57]

In 2007, the New York Times reported that there was a rising interest in the WASP culture.[56] In their review of Susanna Salk's A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style, they stated that Salk "is serious about defending the virtues of WASP values, and their contribution to American culture."[56]


Like other ethnic groups, WASPs live in proximity of each other in close social circles. Neighborhoods and cities with large populations of WASPs are oftentimes the most sought after neighborhoods of the city. These areas are largely exclusive and upper class with top private and public schools, high family incomes, well established Christian church communities, and with high real estate values.[54] The Sun Sentinel identifies Coral Gables, Florida as a WASP community.[55]

WASP neighborhoods and cities

The Social Register were designed as directories of the social elite in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia,[52] Pittsburgh, Portland (Oregon), Providence, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., as well as ones for "Southern Cities".[53]

Once, the Social Register was a juggernaut in New York social circles....Nowadays, however, with the waning of the WASP elite as a social and political force, the register's role as an arbiter of who counts and who doesn't is almost an anachronism. In Manhattan, where charity galas are at the center of the social season, the organizing committees are studded with luminaries from publishing, Hollywood and Wall Street and family lineage is almost irrelevant.[51]

The social elite was a small closed group. The leadership was well known to the readers of society pages, but in larger cities it was impossible to remember everyone, or to keep track of marriages and the new debutantes.[48] The solution was the Social Register, which listed the names and addresses of about 1 percent of the population. Most were WASPs, and they included the families who mingled in the same private clubs, attended the right teas and cotillions, worshipped together at prestige churches, funded the proper charities, lived in exclusive neighborhoods, and sent their daughters to finishing schools[49] and their sons away to prep schools.[50] In the heyday of WASP dominance, the Social Register delineated high society. Its day has passed. The New York Times stated in 1997:

Boston's Beacon Hill, a neighborhood composed traditionally of Old Money, and politically WASP families.

Social Register

Admission to these universities is based on academic merit, but there is nonetheless a certain preference for "legacy" alumni. Students can form connections which carry over to the influential spheres of finance, culture, and politics. Many alumni from these universities go on to successful careers, continuing the WASP cultural and economic influence.[47]

The Ivy League universities have strong WASP historical ties, and their influence continues today. Until about World War II, Ivy League universities were composed largely of WASP students. As some of the nation's top universities, they still continue to be the university of choice for WASP families today. The Big Three (Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities) have traditionally been the top three universities of choice for WASP families.

Ivy League

A common practice of WASP families is presenting their daughters of marriagable age (traditionally at the age of 17 or 18 years old) at a débutante ball, such as The International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.[46]


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