Richard A. Thompson
Professor Heather Williams
27 October 2013
Consumerism and Happiness
In modern day society our entire economy is based upon a consumerist system in which people seek happiness through constant expansion of their material standard of living. In consumerism, people are driven to consume by two processes; these processes being want-creation and a growth of personal status. In both of these processes one consumes constantly with little to no change in long term happiness. This is because if one lives through consumerism, then their personal goals will never be fulfilled due to the ever-changing drive of wanting more and more. In order for someone to be happy, that person must have self-satisfaction; moreover, if someone wants more than what he or she has then clearly that person is not satisfied.
Many argue that they are satisfied with all their stuff and that they would not be happy without it. I respectfully disagree and argue that, most of the time, someone experiences a temporary happiness or a certain level of comfort with material possessions that is often confused with the long-term happiness one hopes to achieve. To test this theory I conducted interviews with one male and one female of each generation across the span of 3 generations. The participants in this survey were as follows; two friends of mine, Joseph Robinson and Jenna Winn; my parents, Allan Thompson and Lori Turner; and my grandparents, Cleveland and Joyce Turner. I decided to conduct the interviews in this manner in order to gather a more accurate representation of general society’s beliefs. The survey consisted of ten open-ended questions pertaining to their personal happiness and what they believe brings an individual happiness in order to establish if consumerism truly brings an individual happiness.
Upon analyzing the responses from the interview, it is clear that the idea of what happiness is and how one goes about achieving this idea is, in...
Cited: Robinson, Joseph. Personal Interview. 8 October 2013.
Thompson, Allan. Personal Interview. 9 October 2013.
Turner, Cleveland. Personal Interview. 9 October 2013.
Turner, Lori. Personal Interview. 9 October 2013.
Turner, Joyce. Personal Interview. 9 October 2013.
Winn, Jenna. Personal Interview. 8 October 2013.
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