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Consumerism and Car Design - Essay Example

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We equate personal happiness and a perception of prestige through the acquisition and exhibition of material goods. “Every adult life could be said to be defined by two great love stories. The first – the…
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Consumerism and Car Design
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Download file to see previous pages es to “status anxiety” leads to the idea that the admission of ones mortality puts into perspective elements of status, such as careers, possessions, appearance and fame.2 A need for material possessions represents an attempt to gain approval and acceptance. It is a tangible means for people to compensate for their insecurities and doubts about self-worth. The intricate psychological reasoning for these insecurities is as varied as the individuals themselves. Life experiences that frustrate the fulfillment of people’s basic needs such as independence, competence and interrelationships result in feelings that lead to differing levels of materialistic pursuits. This tendency is especially heightened under the current atmosphere of cultural consumerism.3 To deal with cultural pressures and their effects, people may resort to what psychologist term as compensatory consumption. That is, consuming even more to feel better. “This is ironic because this additional consumption often stems from the culture of consumerism itself.”4 We, in effect, buy a lifestyle. Brands help turn perceptions into reality, thus encouraging purchases based on fashion and peer/social pressures in order to fit in.5
The market has positioned the most physical of products such as cars, in ways that provide a kind of healing to consumers. Consumers have been drawn into a self-willed daze by an assault of feel-better-about-yourself advertising.6 There are few more powerful desires than the desire to be treated with respect. We long for status and dread humiliation. Status refers to one’s value and importance in the eyes of the world and is awarded in relation to financial achievement. Status brings feelings of significance and sense of value that others convey in admiration of ones possessions and by extension, the owner. The purchase of what we perceive others believe as beautiful possessions enable us to feel significant and worthwhile, at least for a short time. Cars, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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