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Hyperconsumerism - Essay Example

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Ever since the dawn of civilization, humanity has moved forward. Over the entire period of the evolution of human society, the pattern of production and consumption has changed. From the Stone Age to the hi-technology modern era, society has undergone many social, economic, political and institutional changes…
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Hyperconsumerism
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Download file to see previous pages The basic theory of consumption in economics stresses that human beings consumes a commodity because it provides some utility or satisfaction to the consumer. For example, the hunger of a man is satisfied by the food he eats; the man who is shivering in the cold gains utility from a blanket; someone who feels thirsty satisfies that thirst by drinking water. Utility theory argues that, as more a commodity is consumed, less extra satisfaction is derived from consuming one additional unit of that commodity. Therefore, when the desire for one commodity is fulfilled, one feels the desire to have some other commodities. For example, economists say that the basic three needs are food, clothing, and shelter. Once these requirements are fulfilled, the next important areas are health and education. If these further needs are fulfilled, then the person will wish to expand his set of consumed goods, moving further beyond necessities towards luxuries.
From these basic patterns, the behavior called consumerism emerges.. The present era is often termed the age of the consumerist society. All over the globe, we find the expansion of consumer goods industries ranging from fast-marketed consumer foods to durable consumer goods, and from daily household commodities to luxurious items.. In many countries there is a rapid expansion of consumer markets. ...
The companies use different devices to make people interested. Hence, all over the world we can find an accelerating trend of consumerism, which is often termed hyper-consumerism. This trend results in the unquenchable desire to have more and more goods for one's own use or pleasure.
In this paper, we are not much concerned about the definition of hyper-consumerism, nor are we interested in discussing the emergence of consumerism in general. The main theme discussed here is the answer to the question: 'Does hyper-consumerism increases the happiness of consumers, or it is a factor which increases unhappiness'. The history of consumerism has been described effectively by Sassatelli (2007) in his book Consumer Culture: History Theory and Politics. The book is a good synchronization of history and sociology. It is a historical review of how consumerism emerged from mercantilism to modern capitalism through the path of the neoclassical economic theories. The nature and growth of consumer culture are well explained in this book. The role of the neoclassical school of economics, the essence of which is the free operation of markets to promote a well-functioning market-oriented system, is explained. This book provides the history of the consumer-oriented culture all over the world. The roles of economic theories and social and economic institutions are well addressed. The focus is on the combination of historic, institutional, political, social, and economic factors which transformed mercantilism into modern capitalism. The existing cultures of societies have also played a crucial role in promoting the modern type of consumerist society. Moreover, the role of political factors which underlie the emergence of modern materialism is evident from the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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