In twenty first century America our stories have become one and the same. The want to consume is nothing new; we work to consume, we live to consume, we are what we consume. It seems as though all of America is starting to consume the same things. Increasing numbers of Americans spend their hard earned money on unnecessary things like expensive cars and rims for their cars; massages, designer wear, imported water, and jewelry. This type of consumption is no longer only for the rich, the luxury experience has become thoroughly middle- class as well.
In society, one establishes an identity, not only by what one does or says, but also by purchasing and being seen to possess certain types of cars, houses, or clothes, or by being seen to live in a certain neighborhood, shopping in certain stores, going to certain theaters, decorating one’s home in a certain way, and taking certain vacations. All of these are social symbols to which society has attached certain connotations of a superior, different, or normal identity.
Before the twentieth century, conspicuous consumption served most often to distinguish members of aristocratic class from members of the upper class bourgeoisie , and members of the lower, working classes. (Source) Members of each class bought and used objects that...
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