Consumerism in America
Consumerism has always been a big part of society back in the golden days. In today’s society, the ongoing debate of wants and needs are not justified by an individual’s wealth, but it is rather opinionated by the generalized public. Not only are the consumers getting caught in this mess, but many retailers are being sucked in as well. Retailers, have to stay up to date with the latest trends, to make sure they get their products across. Human identity is no longer determined by how much a person makes an hour, but by the commodities they possess. Consumers are so centralized on the materialistic items, that they forget what is more valuable and important. Unfortunately, the frivolous consumption has taken over the identity of consumers by the manipulation of retailers, which brand names are in possession, and the growing popularity of social media.
The formulation of identity has been extremely impacted by the misleading products and information provided by retail industries. These massive retailers will go beyond their means to get their products across to the consumers. While shopping around, Siegfried Zepf, a professor of psychoanalysis at the University Hospitals of Sarrland, analyzes that “In one way or another, advertisements must appeal to the individuals’ longings and give the illusion that they can be satisfied by purchasing the advertised commodity” (145). This statement indicates that consumers are easily manipulated into believing that they must buy a certain product to meet their expectations. For instance, in today’s culture, women are constantly drawn to having the perfect body or skin that is seen on magazines and television ads. There are multiple advertisements about body shapers, diet ...
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...nt it” (Kulman 60). They want the respect and envy from their peers, thus the drive of consumerism continues.
Consequently, it is the matter of quality over quantity. These influences continue to swallow the pockets and faces of individuals, society will continue to maintain an identity that consumers are in a pursuit of. Industries are constantly innovating and creating new products for buyers to purchase. Hence, the supply and demand is a nonstop cycle. As the ever expanding economy continues to change, so will the spending on materialistic items that are unnecessary. Individuals will continue to purchase goods and materials in excess to their actual needs and society will maintain that thrive on what commodities someone possesses. The building of an individual’s identity, continued branding, and social networking will be relentless in satisfying their ego.
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