Materialism is a problem in American society, everyday people go for the next best thing just to show off their possessions. People show off what they have, and once they get tired of it, they begin to go for the latest, cellular devices, clothing’s, cars etc. According to Tim Kasser, “People develop ideals looking at the lives of their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives” (Kasser52). What he is trying to say is, instead of every person helping each other expand in life, everyone is in rivalry with one another. In order to make an attempt at fixing the American society, making it less materialistic, people must become and think correspondingly of a minimalist.
Over the years materialism has attracted the interest of many scientists in consumer research, psychology, sociology and many other fields as it has a great impact on the individual’s life. Materialism is defined as a “devotion to material needs and desires, to the neglect of spiritual matters; a way of life, opinion, or tendency based entirely upon material interests” (Oxford English Dictionary, 1989). There is also another description of materialism that can perfectly describe its meaning: “The importance a consumer attaches to worldly possessions” and “possessions assume a central place in a person’s life and are believed to provide the greatest sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction” is a description of materialism (Belk 1984). Materialists believe that if they purchase high valued goods, their happiness will automatically increase, so they spend more money than others in order to achieve their goal (Watson 2003). While in the Western culture the idea that the acquisition of material possessions produces happiness is being promoted and supported (Kilbourne and Jhally, 2000), in other countries materialism developed to a philosophy of science (Graham, 1994).
The various objects and idols they acquire consume their minds, which in turn controls their lives. The immorality of a materialistic individual portrays our modern society as a substance consumed product that is constantly being altered by the materialistic possessions. Materialistic possessions and desires control the behaviour and mentality of an individual.
In a quote stated in the book,”The more stitches, the less riches..." (52).People identify themselves by what they own, rather than by something less superficial. What you own ends up owning you in a sense. Consumerism is due to the perpetuated idea that you cannot be happy unless you surround yourself with things.They are taught to never question and constantly consume.Many people in society today depend highly on money as a driving force. They would much rather spend a Sunday in the mall, than a Sunday in church. Consumerism has got the best of people today in that many place purchasing goods above religion, family, and education.
He decides to leave, donating his money and burning the rest. He went into the wilderness, living off the land. He demonstrates materialism by taking only what was on his back. Materialism is a tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values. The average person requires possession of physical objects in order to be content.
In 21st century America, it is important to understand these aspects of commodity fetishism that creates the problem of distorted consumerist practices that have become common in the marketplace. Sociologically, the “magical” process of abstracting the value of a product is critical to understanding why many Americans blindly follow a consumerist culture in this form of capitalist economy. Commodity fetishism describes many of the key problems with the valuation of products that trick Americans into over-consuming in a Marxist
This could be from bullying and pressure from social media. Models and the way other’s lives appear on social media in fact can affect a teenager in many ways. Social media can make teens feel pressured enough to post mature content. Teenage girls will go as far as posing seductive pictures to boost their self esteem, likely due to the
Materialism Among Consumers Materialism refers to ‘the importance a person places on possessions and their acquisition as a necessary or desirable form of conduct to reach desired end states, including happiness’ (B.Zhang, J.H Kim 2013). In other word, materialism is the belief about the importance of possessions in life by emphasizing on the ability to own material objects in terms of the type and quantity of the purchased products, focusing on the value placed on the acquisition of material objects (Kamolwan T. and Wiwatchai J, 2010). They feel that those luxury brands can boost their status by consuming luxury products publicly and possessing visible wealth (Liao and Wang, 2009). As consumers consider luxury brands as status-oriented possessions,
From a philosophical point of view, idealism helps in realizing that ideas, emotions and morals are more significant than material objects and also highlights that human development should be according to moral, ethical and spiritual values as this helps the person in gaining a variety of knowledge of unity. According to idealism, spiritual world is of more importance than material world. The main reason of this is that the material world is physical (worldly) and it’s also (myth). On the other hand, the spiritual world is considered to be the world of beliefs, emotions and principles of knowledge and this also exposes the actuality of mind and soul. Idealism assists in understanding that only spiritual world is the heart of reality which is eternal and genuine.
Minimalism has been around for thousands of years but it seems it is becoming increasingly popular lately. Perhaps that is because so many people, used to living a material life, are starting to question why all these "things" don't make them happy, or even satisfied. Some are realizing that they can get more by living with less. What is Minimalism? Minimalism has several meanings, some are related to art and music and others refer to interior design and architecture, Still others are political in nature.