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Consumerism .pdf

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Western University
Sociology 2172A/B
Gale Cassidy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 Consumerism “We invented credit cards, suburnam shopping malls, and day care just to make our consumerism more efficient. We sent our wives, husbands, children, and grandparents out to work, just to pay for all the stuff we weaned - needed - to buy.” Korten’s When Corporations Rule the World 1995 ▯ What is Consumerism? - Consumerism is the preoccupation with the acquisition of goods to satisfy needs through material things. - - Have we developed unsustainable consumption patterns? How have we reached this point? ▯ C Wright Mills - Personal or Social Issues - Trend of consumption is major contributor to deterioration of our environment - Industrial World: 20% of population using 80% of the world’s resources - AverageAmerican uses 30 times the goods of someone living in the developing world ▯ Cycle of Consumerism - Advertisement - Purchase - Indebtedness - Alienation ▯ Role ofAdvertising - - To manipulate us into buying with little reflection Advertisements - Appeal to our insecurities - Solve our problems - Achieve happiness & freedom - Lower class marketing: Value of associating success & social standing when advertising to people who aren’t well off, lower well individuals more likely to spend money on things that will give them instant gratification - Restrain our distastes: Cars destroy our environment but advertised to conquer mother nature, & to environmentally friendly ▯ What are the Consequences? Consumerism: Material Goods Consequences: Decreased Savings, Consumer Debt (200,000 per family of four on average) Personal Bankruptcies, Credit Card Ownership (Average Canadian over 18 have 3 credit cards) ▯ ▯ Page ▯ of▯3 The Store is Born - 1870s Marshall Fields in Chicago - John Wanamaker In Philadelphia - One of first places
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