Shopping as an American Culture Value

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Culture may be defined as how a society developed ways of life that pass down through generations. These ways include skills, values, laws, habits, patterns of thought, institutions and so on, that go to make up the norms of the culture. Class, status, gender and ethnicity are given meanings within these norms.


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. ...
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