Consumerism

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Bricolage is the process by which mainstream products are adopted and transformed by subcultures. In many cases, commodities that have undergone bricolage often develop political meanings. For example, Doc Martens, originally marketed as workers boots, gained popularity with the punk movement and AIDs activism groups and became symbols of an individual's place in that social group.

The widespread sale and marketing of Doc Martens brought the boots back into the mainstream. While corporate America reaped the ever-growing profits of the increasingly expensive boot and those modeled after its style, Doc Martens lost their original political association. Mainstream consumers used Doc Martens and similar items to create an "individualized" sense identity by appropriating statement items from subcultures they admired.

When consumerism is considered as a movement to improve rights and powers of buyers in relation to sellers, there are certain traditional rights and powers of sellers and buyers. American Dream has long been associated with consumerism. China is the world's fastest-growing consumer market. Ehrlich , "If everyone consumed resources at the US level, you will need another four or five Earths. Since consumerism began, various individuals and groups have consciously sought an alternative lifestyle.

Building on these movements, the discipline of ecological economics addresses the macro-economic, social and ecological implications of a primarily consumer-driven economy. In many critical contexts, consumerism is used [ by whom? Consumerism can take extreme forms - such that consumers sacrifice significant time and income not only to purchase but also to actively support a certain firm or brand.

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He discusses how consumerism won in its forms of expression. Opponents of consumerism argue that many luxuries and unnecessary consumer-products may act as a social mechanism allowing people to identify like-minded individuals through the display of similar products, again utilizing aspects of status-symbolism to judge socioeconomic status and social stratification.

Some people believe relationships with a product or brand name are substitutes for healthy human relationships lacking in societies , and along with consumerism, create a cultural hegemony , and are part of a general process of social control [39] in modern society. Critics of consumerism often [ quantify ] point out that consumerist societies are more prone to damage the environment, to contribute to global warming and to use up resources at a higher rate than other societies.

Jorge Majfud says that "Trying to reduce environmental pollution without reducing consumerism is like combatting drug trafficking without reducing the drug addiction. In , economist Victor Lebow stated:. Critics of consumerism include Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI , [43] Pope Francis , [44] German historian Oswald Spengler , who said: "Life in America is exclusively economic in structure and lacks depth" [45] , and French writer Georges Duhamel , who held American materialism up as "a beacon of mediocrity that threatened to eclipse French civilization".

Francis Fukuyama blames consumerism for moral compromises. Another critic is James Gustave Speth.


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He argues that the growth imperative represents the main goal of capitalistic consumerism. In an opinion segment of New Scientist magazine published in August , reporter Andy Coghlan cited William Rees of the University of British Columbia and epidemiologist Warren Hern of the University of Colorado at Boulder saying that human beings, despite considering themselves civilized thinkers, are "subconsciously still driven by an impulse for survival, domination and expansion Rees went on to state that at present, 85 countries are exceeding their domestic "bio-capacities", and compensate for their lack of local material by depleting the stocks of other countries, which have a material surplus due to their lower consumption.

Furthermore, some theorists have concerns with the place commodity takes in the definition of one's self. Media theorists Straut Ewen coined the term "commodity self" to describe an identity built by the goods we consume.

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The ability to choose one product out of an apparent mass of others allows a person to build a sense "unique" individuality, despite the prevalence of Mac users or the nearly identical tastes of Coke and Pepsi. The idea of individual choice is exploited by corporations that claim to sell "uniqueness" and the building blocks of an identity. The invention of the commodity self is a driving force of consumerist societies, preying upon the deep human need to build a sense of self.

Not all anti-consumerists oppose consumption in itself, but they argue against increasing the consumption of resources beyond what is environmentally sustainable. Jonathan Porritt writes that consumers are often unaware of the negative environmental impacts of producing many modern goods and services, and that the extensive advertising -industry only serves to reinforce increasing consumption.

Consumerism isn't a sellout - if capitalism works for all

In the 21st century's globalized economy, consumerism has become a noticeable part of the culture. However, several scholars have written about the intersection of consumer culture and the environment. Discussions of the environmental implications of consumerist ideologies in work by economists Gustave Speth [53] and Naomi Klein, [54] and consumer cultural historian Gary Cross. He says that,. First, capitalism entered a qualitatively new globalizing phase in the s. As the electronic revolution got underway, significant changes began to occur in the productivity of capitalist factories, systems of extraction and processing of raw materials, product design, marketing and distribution of goods and services.

As of today, people are exposed to mass consumerism and product placement in the media or even in their daily lives. The line between information, entertainment, and promotion of products has been blurred so people are more reformulated into consumerist behaviour. Goss says that the shopping center designers "strive to present an alternative rationale for the shopping center's existence, manipulate shoppers' behavior through the configuration of space, and consciously design a symbolic landscape that provokes associative moods and dispositions in the shopper".

The success of the consumerist cultural ideology can be witnessed all around the world. People rush to the mall to buy products and end up spending money with their credit cards , thus locking themselves into the financial system of capitalist globalization.

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Ryan, Michael T. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Consumerization or Consumption economics. Economic systems. Economic theories. Related topics. Anti-capitalism Capitalist state Consumerism Crisis theory Criticism of capitalism Cronyism Culture of capitalism Exploitation Globalization History History of theory Market economy Periodizations of capitalism Perspectives on capitalism Post-capitalism Speculation Spontaneous order Venture philanthropy.

Anarcho-capitalism Authoritarian capitalism Democratic capitalism Dirigism Eco-capitalism Humanistic capitalism Inclusive capitalism Liberal capitalism Liberalism Libertarian capitalism Neo-capitalism Neoliberalism Objectivism Ordoliberalism Right-libertarianism Social democracy.

Main article: Mass production. This article's Criticism or Controversy section may compromise the article's neutral point of view of the subject. Please integrate the section's contents into the article as a whole, or rewrite the material. July Theories and ideas. Notable works. Organizations and groups. Adbusters Crass CrimethInc.


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Deep Green Resistance Democracy Now! Related social movements. See also.

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Main articles: Anti-consumerism and Affluenza. Anthropological theories of value Bourgeois personality Commercialism Commodity fetishism Consumer Bill of Rights Consumer capitalism Consumer ethnocentrism Consumer movement Consumtariat Cost the limit of price Ecoleasing Economic materialism Frugality Geoffrey Miller psychologist Greed Homo consumericus Horace Kallen philosopher Hyperconsumerism Hypermobility travel " Keeping up with the Joneses " Life spans of home appliances Moonlight clan Overconsumption Participatory culture Philosophy of futility Planned obsolescence Planetary boundaries Post-materialism economics Productivism Prosumer Sharing economy Steady state economy.

Journal of Global Marketing. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia Online. Globalization and Culture, Vol. London: Sage Publications. In Brobeck, Stephen ed. Encyclopedia of the Consumer Movement.

The problem with consumerism | Life Squared

Santa Barbara, Calif. Journal of Consumer Affairs. Spring World Affairs. Retrieved 23 April European Journal of Social Theory. Retrieved 1 November Independent Press-Telegram. Carl Menger and His Legacy in Economics. Duke University Press. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Penguin UK. Retrieved 28 October McKendrick dated The Birth of a Consumer Society confidently to the third quarter of the eighteenth century, and located it in Britain. A race got under way, as one after another claimed a 'consumer revolution' for their own period. Stuart historians have spotted it in seventeenth-century England, Renaissance scholars traced its roots to fifteenth-century Florence and Venice, while medieval historians detected its embryonic stirrings in a new taste for beef and ale and playing cards.

Scholars of China added that the Ming dynasty , too, had a cult of things and deserved to be recognized as 'early modern'. Captains of Consciousness. Basic Books.

University of Minnesota Press. Hachette UK. Archived from the original PDF on 10 August Retrieved 29 October The Design Observer Group.