Consumer Culture

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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.


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. ...
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