The contention is that though American culture has been manipulated into accepting materialistic 'must have' consumerism as a cultural value, there are those, past and present, who provide a glimmer of hope for a return to the better, more humane values of the American way of life.
According to Rao (2004), writing from an Indian viewpoint, the American Dream encapsulated "freedom," and "democracy" in a "land of opportunities." In reviewing the book, 'Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic', he cited figures from De Graff et al (2003):
Embedding of this value was reflected in "one poll found that 93% of teenage American girls rate shopping as their favorite activity." (Rao, 2004). He further contended that only about one quarter of mall shoppers are seeking to buy a specific item, the rest use shopping as therapy, for amusement, or just for its own sake. Americans in general would seem to have adopted shopping as a cultural value, a way of life. ...Show more