Illustration… Culture of Consumerism

Published April 15, 2012 by Dezirae Mccausland

Mai, A. (2005, Dec 02). Consumerism — instant culture, just add water. Coquitlam Now, pp. 14-14.

“Consumerism has been recognized by many as an illness, a fixation on material happiness that is destroying the values of our society and depleting our world or resources” (Mai, 2005).

“Consumerism. It’s instant culture, my friend — just add water” (Mai, 2005).

Our society today has become one that is obsessed with buying, it has become a culture of consumerism. We see millions of ads and commercials for all sorts of product, for every aspect of our life, and it is the mass media’s job to sell us these products. They present to us the idea that we need what they are selling and once we have bought the products that our lives will become better and as a result and we will be happier. Every other month there is a new holiday or season where we are presented the idea that we ‘need’ to buy the latest products. In the text, “Mediated Society: A Critical Sociology of Media” it explains that Commodity Fetishism is “when consumers project a value onto a commodity as if the value came from the commodity itself rather than the labour that produced it” (Jackson, Nielsen, HSU, 2011, p. 257). As our culture is one of consumerism, constantly wanting more, bigger, and better things, people rarely stop to think where the product is from and how much work was actually put into the product. The article by Alice Mai, is a very interesting one with very good statements about how obsessed our society have become with things. Mai states that the basic needs of humans are “food, water, shelter” (2005), but the mass media sells goods and products as if they are also ‘needs’ which are important for our ultimate happiness and survival.

~What would we do if we could not buy the latest style of shoes?! EAK!


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