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American consumerism - Essay Example

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Summary
The culture of buying in the U.S has completely changed over the years and this has coincided with a shift in advertising tactics from the product companies. Advertisements nowadays play a lot on the emotions and psychology of consumers. He emotions and psychology of consumers…
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American consumerism

Download file to see previous pages... Therefore, as they grow up, they also pass it on to their kids. Very many individuals are living on the premise of- fake it till you make it. Which basically means, if you don’t have it, act like you do have it, till you actually have it. In the American society today, a lot of emphasis is laid on the quantity of “stuff” in life as opposed to the quality of life. Therefore in order to determine whether one has a quality life, we simply look at the quantity of “stuff” in his life. In a recent interview, Virgin Atlantic Airways president Richard Branson stated that he would donate half his wealth to charity. When asked why he would do this, he said that the quality of life is determined by good health, family and friends and not the things one owns. He gave an example of their house which burnt down which included all their possessions and the only thing they missed most were their photo albums and not the priceless antique and art that was lost. In truth, there is a very distinct difference between one’s wants, needs and desires. However, the way of living has made the difference so vague that nowadays there is a very thin line thus affecting ones mode of purchase. To fully understand this I will give an example, the fashion world same as the technology world is growing at a very high pace. It is very common to hear someone saying I need to buy a Gucci or Louis Vuitton bag or shoes. Focus on the word need. Do you really need a designer bag? What purpose does a bag serve? To carry personal items and may be secondarily act as an accessory, purposes that would also be served by non-designer bags. My point is the consumer’s definition of need, desire and want is skewed....
The aspect of the need to identify with a social group has been at the expense of individual identity. Who are you as a person? What values do you uphold in life? And what do you deem to be important, quantity of “stuff” or quality of life? Very many individuals have conformed to societal expectations that they have long forgotten their own expectations. People tend to live for others and everyone is turning into a “people pleaser”. With such an attitude, the individual gets lost in the crowd. This is by no means meant to glorify radicalism. It is simply advocating for people to be comfortable in their own skins. Americans did not suddenly become greedy. This did not happen over-nght. It has been a gradual process and the journey back to where they were initially will be gradual as well. That being said, the structural changes for instance the decline of community and social connection, has greatly contributed to the new consumerism. The structures in place naturally class people into different social stratas. For instance, there are neighbourhoods for the affluent and for those who are in the middle class and for the low income earners. The same has aaplied to the recreational places- hotels. If these structures could change, then people would stop classifying themselves and aspiring to move to the next level. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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