What Does Consumerism Mean?

9463x 10. 07. 2019

With expression consumerism we often meet very often in discussions, in the media, but also in everyday people. It is considered to be the "curse" of today's time in which we live. It is as if we have lost real value and sought happiness in the consumption of goods and services. But is that really the case?

  • With marking "CONSUMER WAY OF LIFE" American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen came in 1899. It was economic the view that buying and consuming goods are beneficial to society. Although the desire for goods and services beyond mere necessity has been ubiquitous throughout history, reasoning directly affects the consequences of the industrial revolution.
  • When machines and work organization led At the end of the nineteenth century to increase productivity, consumer goods became more accessible. Veblen noticed increasing demand for goods stemming from improvements in financial situation and purchasing power emerging middle and upper classes in Europe, which in the end led him to recognize that the company is going to consume goods because of consumption itself.
  • Consumerism is closely linked s Veblen concept of spectacular consumption, within the reason for acquiring goods and services is not in their usefulness, but in an effort to show wealth and social status.

Spectacular consumption

Spectacular Consumption = Acquisition of goods and services for public display of wealth or status. Veblen in his book Idle Class Theory (1899) Points to the clear feature of the newly created late 19th-century upper class and the emerging middle class of the twentieth century, which accumulates luxury goods and services for a clear purpose, which is to show prestige, wealth and social status.

  • The intent of this boasting is in contrast to procuring goods and services because of their own value or their intended purpose. The interesting thing is that spectacular consumption can occur in every socio-economic class, from the richest to the poorest. It is possible to get things pointing to social status in any social environment. If we focus on the "consumption" element, then Spectacular consumption refers to the acquisition and display of goods that are not absolutely necessary, and mainly concerns the middle and upper classes, which then set out patterns of social behavior and consumption that others imitate.
  • Spectacular consumption brings so-called "Luxury tax"that increases the price of goods and services that it serves primarily as a demonstration of influence to raise profits and redistribute wealth with little loss to consumerswho buy because of their position and not because of need.

The way of life goes even further and suggests that it is good for members of society to participate in constant spending and consumption, not because of maintaining their social status, but also because they drive the economy of the economy, contributing to the development of consumer goods. The impact of consumerism on Western society has led to the development of strong businesses and giant economies, but also to increased reliance on credit and debt.

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