Ethics of Consumerism

Topics: Consumerism, Capitalism, Business ethics Pages: 31 (11652 words) Published: September 14, 2010
Ethics of Consumerism


Consumerism is the economic philosophy that the increased consumption of goods and services by people above the commonly established level of basic needs is good for the society and economy. The question of ethics came into existence in this context because of the nature of the business interest groups to exploit the opportunity in the wake of increased consumer spending to their advantage irrespective of what would be the consequences over a longer period of time. Ethics are needed not only for sustained growth of a business but also the overall well being of the economic structure which is again linked to the long term stability of the businesses in particular and the overall economy in general. The ethics are not generally defined as hard and fast rules in any business domain or geographical area, but generally established as a consensus in a particular industry or country. Ethics followed as common practice in one country may not be applicable and practically feasible in another country. Likewise Ethics which are followed in one industry or business domain may not be possible to be honored in another business domain. Advertisements not showing the price less than what would be effectively be charged finally to the end customer may be the part of business ethics in a country and in a business domain, for example in computers in USA, the price advertised is the final price the customer pays excluding the sales tax while this may not be possible in a country such as UK where the advertised price cannot be given in all the counties and also in other industries like cell phones where the price of the cell phones shown does not show the price the customer needs to pay in case they want to opt out of the contract with which the price shown is effective. The Ethics in general and in context of the increasing consumerism culture are critically evaluated for contrast in the above factors as well as the opinions of the critics of consumerism are expressed in separate sections. The role of ethics in the consumerism culture is analyzed and opinions of experts are mentioned in context. The different faces of consumerism as mentioned above is described in various contexts with some extra emphasis being laid upon the healthcare industry in USA where the ethics of consumerism has got lot of significance with the need for private enterprise itself being under scrutiny. The Private business acting in USA in place of a Public funded social form of health care system which is its counterpart in most other developed countries in the west gave birth to lot of questions ethical and moral in USA and countries with similar setup of the industry. For example, Hospitals encouraging the people into unhealthy lifestyle for the sake of increased business is a very common question regarding ethics in private health care industry. There will be lots of similar questions which will be raised to the particular industry as well as the overall consumerist culture in the wake of the above findings in the essay to follow.

Aims and Objectives:

The main aims and objectives of the outcome of this project are going to be the different perspectives of consumerism as seen around the world at different times. The other aims of the project are performing case studies of diverse cases to give the reader a real world perspective about the ethics and the rising consumerism culture. Another aim of the project will be giving the reader an idea about the ethics of consumerism referred to different scenarios and business domains. The objectives of the project are literature review, case studies and various different topics that need to be discussed. The literature review is done about various diverse literature about the varied opinion about consumerism available in online and offline arena. The case studies are planned to be done about two topics yet to be decided which will be very diverse fields which will allow the...

References: 1. John Mills, 2008, “Consumer driven Healthcare summit.”
3. John Mills, 2005, “getting our Money’s Worth: Consumerist Attitudes among Indiana University Students”
5. Po-keung Hui, 2004, “The Cultural Value of Advertisement.”
7. Anonymous, 2008, “Consumerism and Ethical Responsibility.”
10. Anonymous, 2008, “Eastbourne Citizens Advice Bureau Financial Literacy”
12. Bernays, 2004, “Why Overcoming Consumerism?”
14. Jack Samways, 2007 in “The Rise of the Supermarket: An Investigation into Environmental ethics, Consumerism and Corporate Social Responsibility”
16. Geoffrey Wells, 2007, “Consumerism, The shopping as a picture of life.”
18. DWS Auto India, 2008, “Here 's looking at ya, Nano!”
21. Vijay Govindarajan, 2009, “The Tata Nano: Product or Social Innovation?”
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