Contemporary Consumerist

Topics: Social class, Time, Consumerism Pages: 2 (2493 words) Published: April 11, 2013
To outline the main point of this essay, which is about consumerism, the reader has to know roughly the structure of it. It begins with Veblens book about conspicuous consumption, what this is, and how the modern reader can relate to it. Second part will talk about a different theory of Heath and Potter’s book about the anti-consumerism, how is it that people come to be anti-consumerist, and the reasons it has not been as successful as it is often think it would be. Leading us to the third part, which answers the question of what is the relation between this two, and why is the ‘system’ something we cannot escape from. In the book, The Theory of Leisure Class, Veblen talks about “conspicuous consumption”. This means to buy objects or services, which a person does not really need. We do this in order to show the others that we can actually spend money in what we want. That is better known as fitting in the society. With all the different social classes, there is a lot of pressure on people. Everyone has a certain status to maintain and in the best case, upgrade to a better one. That is what is seen in society as success. By Leisure class, Veblen talks about the higher social class. From there is where the other classes see what is “in” and what they should aim for. It comes from the times when the nobles lived in their huge residences and the lower class had to do hard works in fields, with poor living conditions. From that time people wanted to have everything the high class has, but only a few years ago this became in some way possible. This is why we can see similar, but lower quality objects in high streets. People want to feel they can be like celebrities, but without having to spend that much money. What they end up doing is what Thorsten talks about, they buy anything to look “cool” thinking it is essential in their lifes but really it is not. QUOTE This theory of conspicuous consumption now can be applied to a wider percentage of people, as the ‘leisure...
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