StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Consumer Culture - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Consumer Culture

The Lexicon Webster dictionary defines the act of consumption as "to destroy or expend by use; to destroy as by decomposition or burning." Consumerism thus suggests a wasteful, unnecessary act that follows the use, and so spawned a culture that is based on luxury not need. The luxuries of consumer culture become more than simply goods but "appear as markers of social status or moral decay," Stearns, P. (2001) observes. What bothers social and behavioral scientists is that consumerism is animated by exactly the same objects of luxury and non-essentials. This has characterized the movement of consumer culture from its origin in the West to its worldwide spread that matched the rapid pace of globalization. Many are therefore asking: Is consumerism making the world too homogeneous
From the beginning, consumerism grew in the West precisely out of the desire for luxury and vanity, not necessity. It is believed that aristocrats and noblemen in the old British empire, France and parts of Italy and Germany started it all as they sought ways to avoid the stench from markets and factories back in the18th century or earlier when public sanitation and garbage disposal systems were yet to be developed. When it was raining or the sun was ablaze, the old-world people wanted cover and comfort when they stepped outside. They then came up with the earliest specimens of consumer goods: bathroom soaps, perfumes, umbrellas, handkerchiefs. These came along with the earlier forms of consumerist leisure, notably restaurants, coffeehouses and resorts.

The Americans later picked up the idea to set off what became known as the second stage of consumerism, giving birth to the department store as the new venue for consumption. As the department stores competed for the favors of the growing consumer market, advertising emerged as the chief apparatus of consumerism. With the advent of mass production and the free market concept in the early 20th century, consumerism really took off with the coming of new consumer goods (automobiles, bicycles, food) and consumer leisure (movies, spectator sports). Consumer culture also became an integral part of celebrations like holidays, birthdays.

Stearns, P. (2001), who looks at the development of consumerism as one of the greatest changes in the human experience, puts forth the theory that the consumerist society came into being in the 18th century "through a complex web of factors, including an increase in wage earnings, a desire and opportunity to emulate the rich, and a need for goods of value to compensate for the coordinates of identity lost with the passing of a stable, rural way of life." This jibes with the modern sociological view that man is by instinct a creation that desires to be in the swim of things, to look successful and lavish.

As Western culture brought consumerism along in its spread to all parts of the world, consumers everywhere behave in basically the same manner: they buy goods that they don't need for subsistence but as a means of "demonstrating modest achievement in new ways." The goods themselves come from the same mold, identical in every ...Show more

Summary

To the hard-boiled economist, consumer spending is the motive force, the dynamics of development. The wider the consumer market unhinged by the economy, with more people buying non-essential and luxurious goods, the more advanced and viable that economy is…
Author : krystina92
Consumer Culture essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Consumer Culture"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

Consumer culture
On the other hand materialism is the significance that a customer attaches to a specific good or service and it is characterized with satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Consumer culture assumes both consumerism and materialism therefore it can be defined as the social nature or lifestyle of customers and consumers where buying and spending is not only a predominant activity but also vital and significant to social organization, this implies that there is mediation between consumer material resources and meaningful ways of life as well as lifestyle culture and consumer social resources through a given market (Lury 2011).
12 pages (3000 words) Essay
Fashion and Consumer Culture
Fashion and Consumer Culture Fashion designs keep changing each day following the demand of the society. In many cases, the society would go for the latest fashion in the market without asking who designed the fashion. Fashions designers take their time to come up with new designs in order to keep the consumers buying.
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
Sex in Consumer Culture
Even though, human feelings of sexuality appear more artificial, sexual emotions and activities are naturally classified alongside other significant ways of expression in the social units such as family. Christian values relate sexuality to wrongdoing, hence can only be acceptable if the act is for procreation.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Photography and Consumer Culture
So, what made the ad so successful? What was the reason behind its immense popularity? The reason for the immense success was that the ad targeted the essence of the consumer culture. Now, what is consumer culture? Consumer culture is the culture of the market: a pattern of beliefs, values, and customs shared by a group of people in a limited or restricted geographic area, in a tribe, and/or over a shared value system etc.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Globalisation of Consumer Culture
The developments of new technology, cross-border tourism, and labour mobility have been the drivers of global consumer culture (Merz, He & Alden, 2008). However, opinions differ on the impact of change and the extent of change. While globalisation and cultural practices have a reciprocal relationship (Tomlinson, 1999) opinions differ on the extent to which cultural homogenization has taken place.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Consumer Culture
These have a great influence in the way they feel about themselves, act and interact amongst themselves. Gender identity is the internal sense of being female, male or something else. When people identify their gender there is a way in which they communicate their gender identity to people.
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
Rise of Consumer Culture
Because of the opposite intellectual poles they occupy - literary intellectuals dabbling in armchair romantic constructs of reality vis--vis empirical scientists whose conception of reality is limited to the sensible, measurable, and commercialisable - Snow hoped for a third culture to bridge the gap.
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Consumer culture
Rejecting the Marxist principle of production as the solo economic determinant in capitalist civilization, Lury presents consumerism as an evenly active performer in the free market. Instead of
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Consumer Culture - Research Paper
For instance, information that would take ages to reach particular parts of the world reach people through the television. The television, in itself, has provided numerous benefits in
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Consumer culture
The consumer culture has been a characteristic of individual and societies in United States. As a result, the culture has been significantly associated with United States. The culture has also
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation