Consumer Culture in America: Yesterday It Was Limited, Today We Can’t Get Enough of It, Stay Tuned for What Happens Tomorrow.

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21 February 2013

Consumer Culture in America: yesterday it was limited, today we can’t get enough of it, stay tuned for what happens tomorrow.

Seventy or so years ago we were just seeing the beginning of World War Two and if you grew up in that era you learned to appreciate what you had because it wasn’t handed to you. Your father would go to a job that he hated everyday of his life just to provide for his family, mother stayed home and reared the children, kept the house, did the laundry and made homemade meals from scratch. She went to the local grocery store with a budget and made the meals she could ration out for as long as possible for as little money as possible, if they were lucky enough to have money to do that of course. If you didn’t have the money then you made do with what you had and bought only what you couldn’t grow in your own backyard. . Simple means of living meant simple ingredients in life. Growing up in that time was hard on a lot of families, especially the families whose father went to fight in the war effort. Companies didn’t have the funding to do much advertising to get consumers interested in buying anything that wasn’t needed at that time, due to the obvious war effort that was taking place. Keep in mind that most households only had radios to listen to, (which was live broadcasting). The companies that wanted to promote their product knew exactly when to make their pitch, and who their target audience was. Surprisingly it was not children; it was geared more towards the house wife, so as to simplify her job or chores so that she would be able to spend more time with her family, instead of spending time doing more work. Life was so much simpler, though it was much tougher to live.

Jonathan Foer discusses suggested in his article “Against Meat (or at Least 99% of it),” that “We weren’t rich, but we always had enough.” (516). This alone has a lot of meaning, in this time period, people struggled to keep what they had, and...
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