Concept Of Consumerism

1986 Words8 Pages
This research paper will discuss the various concepts of consumerism; predominantly regarding the therapeutic characteristics central to consumer culture. The paper will firstly introduce the reader to the culture of consumption, commodity excess and the success of consumerism in the modern era. The paper will then deconstruct four crucial consumerism theories, namely Proximity, Modernity, Flânerie and Globalised Consumerism. This paper will lend detailed descriptions, as well as deliver critique on its therapeutic abilities to the consumer and provide visual examples to illustrate each of the above mentioned theories. This paper will conclude with a brief commentary on said theories while simultaneously delivering a holistic address on consumerism.…show more content…
These advertisements predominantly push the message that the viewer’s life is in need of some new product, hence the existence of commodity excess. (Quarc [Sa]). The advertisers create somewhat of a limbo effect where customers are caught up in a dissatisfaction with their previous and current purchases, while craving to acquire a newer (often lacking any significant improvement) commodity. Theoretically; in an anti-consumer culture based on economic or psychological consumption choices, the free choice of consumers intensively orient the production of goods by manufacturers. (EBO 2008. Sv “consumerism”). In current consumer culture; however, the supply of goods controls the consumer, leading the individual to consume a larger quantity of specific goods due to the abundant availability thereof. For example; after sugar became a relatively easy commodity to acquire in the 18th century, Britain’s consumption of the goods increased by close to 20 times the original rate. We can thus see that wasteful consumerism, or commodity excess occurs when the consumption factor is based off the supply, rather than the demand. (Jackson 1994) Now that we have a basic understanding of consumer culture and the factors that influences it, we can deconstruct the main theories that constitute the culture of consumption, namely Proximity, Modernity, Flanerie and consumer culture on a global scale. Each of these concepts will be extensively analysed and critiqued based on their socio-psychological…show more content…
The noticeable affect window shopping has on consumer culture becomes noticeable when taking window displays into account. The presence of luxurious items, print and televised advertisements adoring the windows and visible consumer movement within the retail space all gravitate towards enticing the consumer to enter. The ideas of mass following and a better quality of life are centre points to manipulating the consumer’s willing mind. (Walter [Sa]) All the Flâneur needs is a nudge into the right direction - which is exactly what the advertisers are doing on an interpersonal psychological level with each and every consumer. Ethics and consumer morality considered, Proximity and Modernity include aspects favouring the consumer to a relative degree, whereas Flânerie departs these conventions by becoming a tool of commodity
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