Psychological Effects of Consumption

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It may be appropriate to say that consuming the fashionable, or on too narrow a range of goods and services is the focus of one's aspiration, and is unlikely to lead to deeper forms of fulfillment and achievement. But the depth of an individual's appetite for personal fulfillment and autonomy goes far further than this participation in consumer markets superficially suggests and makes consumerism the new way of life…

Introduction


The dynamics of consumerism in modern social life partially indicates a collapse of other narratives of progress like religious, ideological and other traditional community values which no longer occupy such a central place in the public priorities as they did a few decades before. In their absence, the only markers of progress are the relentless accumulation of market-based assets like stock market indices, property prices and disposable income. Now, even professional and educational qualifications, are subject to obsessive interest as clues to an individuals status in the society.
Benjamin R Barber in his book Jihad vs. MacWorld aptly puts it by saying "Just beyond the horizon of current events lie two possible political futures-both bleak, neither democratic. The first is a retribalization of large swaths of humankind by war and bloodshed: a threatened Lebanonization of national states in which culture is pitted against culture, people against people, tribe against tribe-a Jihad in the name of a hundred narrowly conceived faiths against every kind of interdependence, every kind of artificial social cooperation and civic mutuality. ...
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