Consumer Society

Topics: Consumerism, Consumption, Advertising Pages: 4 (1186 words) Published: July 20, 2012
To what extent are we controlled by the consumer society we live in? The rise of the consumer culture is a phenomenon characteristic for our century. Most American people consider themselves the most prosperous and most free people in the world. Unfortunately, not everything is what it seems to be because of consumerism. It is a cultural cycle that whittles away America's intellectual prosperity. Consumerism itself is defined by the spending habits of the nation's middle and upper classes. According to Juliet Schor, the consumer culture represents a force too powerful to resist, thereby making it impossible to escape even if we wanted to. Therefore, people continue to be buying different products, even after they reach a state of comfort. In this essay, I will explain why I agree with Juliet Schor's statement.

It is believed that advertising manipulates the society through the products of consumer culture, and promotes a false consciousness of needs that later on becomes a way of life. Pervasive advertising and consumer culture have caused a decline in the intellectual standards of U.S. popular culture. Peoples lives today involve little thought; most facts and ideas are fed to a person by the media. Often, misleading or untrue statements are passed through different ads, and only few are noticed or complained about. This system threatens the integrity of American democracy and ideology. This media-oriented society threatens to bring about an age of ignorance as we have never seen it before. The importance of the problem of consumerism cannot be understated.

Another characteristic is that Consumer Culture is identified with private choice and private life. The next characteristic feature is that the consumer's needs are unlimited and insatiable. He argues that in the age of consumption the identities are negotiated though consumption, with which he means that we define ourselves more and more by what we consume. His last characteristic to the definition of...
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