Consumer Society or Capitalism Term Paper

  • Length: 7 pages
  • Subject: Economics
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #81909579

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Consumer Society or Capitalism

Consumer society which evolves out of capitalism has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. But even with its disadvantages, consumer society has now become an accepted from of modern society.

Under the pressure of corporate politics, the commercialization of culture and the influence of mass media, the conventional literary values of Western society are deteriorating. For the public in general, the mixing and transformative experiences of culture have been restored by the joint viewing experience and by contribution in consumer trends. (Cronk, Consumerism and the New Capitalism) George Orwell described consumer society as the air we breathe. High worker output and high general levels of consumption typify efficiently improved societies of late 20th century. Though this prosperity is endorsed with making benefits like raised education and health care, it is also linked with much extended work hours, raised lose-lose social rivalry, uneven communities, economic disparity, and environmental dilapidation; extreme and irregular consumption is responsible for local and global unsustainability. (The Consumer Society)

John Benson in 'The Rise of Consumer Society in Britain' makes out consumer societies as those in which option and recognition are quickly available, in which social value is described in terms of buying power and material assets, and in which there is a wish, above all, for that which is novel, current, thrilling and trendy. For years studies on the history of consumerism had been twisting the clock up to the nineteenth century as the beginning point of a culture of consumption that fits Benson's narrative. There should be an adequate section of the population with sufficient money to buy goods ahead of their daily requirements; there should be dominant creative forces to make sufficient goods available and permit for new policies of marketing and selling; there also should be a trend among people to start investing social meanings and feelings in the acquisition of goods, for these societies to survive. History informs us that industrialization geared up the ground for a consumer culture to expand; we are grateful to flexible markets, large production lines, increase of shopping, publicity, promotion, etc. (Slater, Consumer Culture and Modernity)

The following are the qualities of the consumer society. Characteristics are shaped mainly out of things as things have significance. People value their lives by currency and possession of things. People are sure that to expend is the definite road to individual joy, social status, and national success. Publicity, casing, and marketing form deceptive requirements that are considered real because the economic machine has made people feel lesser and insufficient. People have to be displeased with what they contain, hence, with whom they are to make the economic machine work. Thus, the significance of one's life is present in purchase, possession, and utilization. Market values saturate every facet of daily lives in a consumer society. Marketplaces are nonfigurative, bare of culture, of social relations, and of any social-historical background. Customers are positioned at the center of the good society as persons who liberally and freely practice choices through rational means, making a society by the power they apply in the market. (McGregor, Consumerism as a Source of Structural Violence)

Capitalism and consumerism have become worldwide as entrepreneurs look for fresh markets to sell their goods and people are lured by the returns and profits of consumption. (Global Capitalism Has Developed a Planetary Consumer Culture Based Upon Exploitation and Exclusion: Discuss) In the culture of capitalism, the preservation of continuous growth and the phases of formation and consumption are important. Capitalism is an unavoidable result of an open market. (Goldman, Consumer Society and its Discontents: The Truman Show and the Day of the Locust) The formation of the society of growth and the characteristics of capitalism made the creation of a new phase in a continuous world wide process of historical growth which took its shape from the 15th to the initial part of the 19 the century. The formation of the human element that denotes this phase, which is the consumer, soon followed after the formation of two other historically famous groups, namely the capitalists and the laborers. (Robbins, 2005, p. 4)

Each part of life becomes a product, something to be procured and sold, whether it is a computer, the latest automobile, sporting or technological skills, sex, or our capacity to work. In spirit, capitalism is general commodity creation, the changing of all life into a thing, something to be possessed or sold. (Livergood, The Wall Street-Treasury Complex as Counterpart to the Military-Industrial Complex) Gans argues out that the market is not an item, but the combined result of the personal choices of all of its members. In capitalism rivalry between companies for global markets necessitates that they continuously produce new and better ways to create things at reduced costs. (Goldman, Consumer Society and its Discontents: The Truman Show and the Day of the Locust)

In a "consumer society" like the U.S., workers must purchase and sell to survive. (The Wall Street-Treasury Complex as Counterpart to the Military-Industrial Complex) The view point of U.S. governments is that with the intention of keeping ourselves engaged despite individual consumptions and ecological consequences, we must take up consumer society as a subject of national policy. This supposition flows intensely. Broadcast news programs present reviews on shopper's willingness to pay out as though they were events of national importance when they deal with retail districts in the holiday season. In mid-1990, when depression struck the United States, everybody from the President to the lowest level started pleading loyal Americans to spend. (Thein, 1992, p. 105)

As consumers are independent and strong-minded and their independence is based on their sensible abilities, on their capability to recognize and describe their own needs and to follow them sensibly, liberalists and utilitarian have always considered the consumer as a superman. However, another idea of consumer as a fool who is not self-governing and liberated enough from the chains of influential markets to decide his or her own wants and describe his or her wishes is also fashioned by liberalism rather inherently. (The Consumer Society) Thus consumer society has its disadvantages as well in a sizeable amount. Consumerism, and the mass customs that follows it, is an essential vice of a mass democratic society. All societies need some organizational code to avoid uncontrolled clash and opposition. Earlier societies, primeval, medieval, and Renaissance, were organized along more social structure. In current democratic societies, authority is comparatively decentralized, and market forces control authority, which are always susceptible to distrust and anger. As suggested by Adam Smith, a free market includes extensive competition as an optimistic force, rather than restricting it by strict hierarchical differences. The current world adjourns the possible aggression of unreserved competition by permitting each person to make individual differences. (Goldman, Consumer Society and its Discontents: The Truman Show and the Day of the Locust)

Further the consumer society tries to overcome Marxism on the level of pure materialism by revealing how an open market society can attain bigger fulfillment of material human requirements than communism, while evenly leaving out sacred values. Actually, while on the one hand it is correct that this social model shows the breakdown of Marxism to give to a caring and healthier society, on the other hand, insofar as it refutes an independent survival and worth to morality, law, culture and religion, it consents with Marxism, in the sense that it completely shrinks man to the ball of economics and the contentment of material requirements. (Whitmore, Capitalism, the Free Market, and the Difference between Them) People's consumer preferences are viewed as signs of who they are as an individual and of their change within the games of rank, status, position, hierarchy and fashionability. In a consumer society, people ultimately think that things are out of thump, preferences are varied, and ethical center is mislaid so they spend more to conceal the trepidation. The system is devoted to the propagation of cursory variety. Loss of biodiversity is paralleled by loss of cultural diversity through cultural homogenization, which is concealing the whole thing with a blanket of similarity covering the distinctiveness. (Features of a Consumer Society)

Mass media affects consumerism as a preference of the New Capitalism. Corporate preferences and the business morals are not essentially compassionate or economically responsive. The paid employee does not have the inducement of the entrepreneur capitalist within the corporate ladder. The compassionate morals concerned with small business have vanished. The corporate capitalist assurance for fewer rivalry and bigger earnings has squashed the small business. Large business is regularly the rival of the people. Consumerism is the way by which the New Capitalism preserves the control of its buying public, rather than just indemnifying the profit. (Cronk, Consumerism and the New Capitalism)

Consumerism has become the belief that people will be indebted and included by consuming. As an instant, people think that all problems have a material or money result, to recompense for the pressure. People use expenditure and materialism as a means to form a…

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