Consumerism: Good or Bad?

Topics: Advertising, Small business, R. J. Reynolds Pages: 6 (1921 words) Published: February 5, 2007
In today's society consumerism is often portrayed to be a negative aspect of people's lives and purchasing behaviors which inevitably leads to materialism. Many of these viewpoints can be analyzed as being subjective in that they focus primarily on "frivolous" products and "debts" created, but yet fail to acknowledge the processes of the concept of Consumerism. Consumerism is defined as, "The movement seeking to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and marketing, product guarantees, and improved safety standards; and the theory that a progressively greater consumption of goods is economically beneficial." ( The definition of consumerism and the image depicted by a large majority of today's society contradict one another to a great degree. Consumerism is a part of a perpetual monetary cycle that fuels today's socio/ecological marketplace.

Consumerism has been unjustly epitomized as some sort of iniquity that is demolishing today's society (Rosenblatt 23). This is also believed to be true by Judith Levine of Publishers Weekly. Levine considers consumerism to mimic "street drugs" in that they are very much addicting and are continuously destroying economies around the world (Levine). Consumerism is inexpensively apparent in the persistent buying of new goods and services, with diminutive awareness to their total value to the customer (McCormick). Consumerism is fueled by large amounts of money directed towards advertising that's intended to generate mutually a want to pursue fashions, and self fulfillment through acquirement of goods. A considered consequence of consumerism by anti-consumers is Materialism. Numerous anti-consumerism activists believe that consumerism hinders the mechanics of society through the substitution of normal aspirations for an abundance unneeded materials with small regard for the true usefulness of being efficient. "Out with old, in with the new" and "bigger is usually better" are believed to be the usual and anticipated consequence of producer or whoever profits from consumerism (Colvin). Growth in consumerism has illuminated various sardonic reactions; yet, society frequently tries to overlook consumerism's positive aspects which are circulated in all portions of modern society. It is the depiction of the irresistible influence the media is able to place upon society, which provides a pure example of the "bad" consumerism people scrutinize, also known as false advertising. Consumerism is coupled with media consequently; it is obligated to act as a strong foundation within the base. Advertising does not represent consumerism as an evil since it only gives a representation of consumerism through the use of multimedia and imagery. It is impolite and egotistical to generate the beliefs that people attack consumerism unfairly whereas they partially depict an aspect. Additionally, these beliefs are fueled from the same source on the grounds of which they can draw the same masses to their side. Consequently, while consumerism creates progressiveness through its influence, it should certainly not be depicted as "bad" by society. Consumerism is represented by the media as an incentive which promotes the interest of the buyer, conversely, this is purely advertising. Consumerism is a faction that encourages the interest of the consumer. Encouraging the attention of the consumer is described as a positive element of consumerism; however, it is advertising which promotes the interest of the consumer, consequently, influencing their control (Kulman).

Consumerism is also known as a movement that seeks to provide adequate information about products so that consumers can make wise decisions in purchasing goods and services. Most people confuse the actual meaning of consumerism with the definition of advertising, explaining the negative connotation attached to the word consumerism. Nevertheless consumerism is essentially opposed when...

Cited: Betts, Kate. "LUXURY FEVER." Time : Style & Design 1 Oct.2004: 50,52,54,56. Research Library. ProQuset. Z. Smith Reynolds library. 8 Feb. 2006 .
Colvin, Geoffery
Levine, Judith. "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping." Publishers Weekly 2 Jan. 2006: 48. Research Library. ProQuset. Z. Smith Reynolds library. 8 Feb. 2006 .
Lohr, Steve. "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?" New York Times [New York, N.Y.] 7 Dec. 2003, Late Edition (East Coast): 4.1. New York Times. ProQuset. Z. Smith Reynolds library. 8 Feb. 2006 .
McCormick, Patrick. "Dying of Consumption." U.S. Catholic 1 Apr. 2004: 38-40. ProQuest Religion. ProQuset. Z. Smith Reynolds library. 8 Feb. 2006 .
Rosenblatt, Roger, ed. Consuming Desires. Washington DC: Island P, 1999.
Woolman, James. "Born to Buy." Dollars & Sense 1 Sep. 2004: 24-26,28. Research Library. ProQuset. Z. Smith Reynolds library. 8 Feb. 2006 .
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