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Media Advertising and the Culture of Consumerism: a Sociological View - Essay Example

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Media Advertising and the Culture of Consumerism: a Sociological View

It specifically addresses the link between media, chiefly advertisement, as a socializing force in promoting the culture of consumerism (consumer society) that ‘cripples’ humans in the postmodern world today. The paper holds that, media is the greatest drive for increased culture of consumption/consumerism. Undeniably, one of the social features of the postmodern population today, especially in the developed countries like America, is the drive to consume more and more goods, a behavioral pattern referred to Consumerism or Consumer Society. Consumer society or rather consumerism is viewed as an economic as well as a socio-cultural structure tailored on the calculated systematic creation and the processes of fostering the desire to purchase goods and services in greater amounts and sometimes with a tinge of variety depending, predominantly, on how the media exposes them (Tester 84). Manufacturers and distributors, for instance, have demonstrated a concerted attempt of building a culture of consumers as the drivers of decisions and processes that influence marketing. To them, the use of popular avenues such as the media has been the most effective in the realization of their objectives (Tester 85). So, what is the media’s influence on the culture of consumerism? Inherently, the argument that consumer society is driven by choices or that they drive choice in consumption of goods and services must be examined in a number of ways. These should include the understanding of what consumer society

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is all about, its features and drivers with a focus on advertisement ‘forced’ on people, so that they can purchase more and more (Janiszewski and Warlop 7). Broadly speaking, consumerism is a process that sows the seed of social belongingness in people’s mindsets and influences business restructuring in response to popular media culture. In America, a number of departmental stores have cropped up in response to consumerism. Janiszewski and Warlop asserts that one of the escalating habits nowadays is that, with the arrival of convenience stores, people spend much of their shopping in supermarkets and sometimes choice of goods is based on how popular a brand is presented by media adverts (8). Day and Edwards see consumption as a lifestyle and something that comes as a result of media socialization/enculturation. For him, social scientists must see consumption as presenting different values, attitudes and a sense of belonging. This way, the characteristic of the consumer society can be examined in the context of the common expressions that support the concept of consumer society and the lifestyle that individual and collective consumers exhibit as far postmodern is concerned (44). For Sociologists, therefore, a number of factors come into play as far as consumer choices go. These include income the media, goods and their nature, educational status, social expectations, peer influence among others. Interestingly, the media seems to have the greatest influence today (Day and Edwards 45). Indeed, mass consumption and consumerism values/attitudes have over the years become part of the social and cultural reconstruction. For Max Weber, the ‘puritan ethos’ supports this view. The argument here is that workers and consumers are viewed through social lens which is determined by popular expressions including media adverts. This would, for example, mean that the ability of workers to purchase more and
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Insert Name Insert Insert Insert Date Media Advertisements and the Culture of Consumerism: A Sociological View The relationship between media and culture in social analysis is increasingly crucial in academic discourses and policy deliberations…
Author : cierrarosenbaum
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