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Consumer Culture In The Twenty First Century

1350 words - 5 pages

Consumer Culture plays a significant role in our everyday lives. The articles In Praise of Consumerism and Needing The Unnecessary; The Democratization of Luxury by James Twitchell show strong arguments in favour of consumer culture. Both articles focus on how important consumerism has become in the modern commercial world and how more people wealthy or middle class are buying luxury items to be accepted by others in society. People in today's society who buy luxury items find it "arousal seeking" and it is believed that consumerism will soon be the new world culture. These two articles show similar views on consumerism and hold valid information in favour of consumer culture. Korten shows that the transition from an Empire to Earth Community would be alot easier without the increase in consumerism in the 21st century.James Twitchell wrote an article In Praise of Consumerism about how consumerism is a significant part of everyday life. Commercialism is in practically everything that we encounter on a day to day basis. It is in the water we swim in, the air we breathe, our sunlight and shade. In our society you can't consume an object without consuming meaning which is a major part of the modern commercial world. People like having things and it has come down to the quality and quantity of what you have as to how you are perceived by others in society. Twitchell states in his article that the American Century will be the next era and that it will likely be the commandeer of the 21st century. So basically American culture is well on its way to being recognized and used by cultures all over the world. It will soon be the new world culture. Korten states that the United States has been the world's most aggressive national proponent of economic growth and consumerism as the tickets to happiness; however what did clearly increase in the United States over this period were measures of depression, anxiety, distrust and psychological dysfunction. Although this article focuses on consumerism being a positive development for the 21st century, Korten shows that along with consumerism comes many personal and social issues.In the article Needing The Unnecessary: The Democratization of Luxury he talks about how consumerism has changed from the 1950s to the twenty first century. In the 1950's the wealthy upper class people were the ones who had the luxury items and they could flaunt what they had. But if you were a middle class person who had luxury items you had to be very subtle about it. If you flaunted what you had you were frowned upon by other people in society because luxury items were lightly tainted with shame. In the 21st century it is completely the opposite. Since the 1980's more middle class people have been buying more luxury items as opposed to the wealthy. Alot of people are buying things they can't afford with money they don't have by using credit cards, loans, mortgages and cash advances. This allows more middle class people to buy more luxury...

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