This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Consumer Society Essay

3580 words - 14 pages

“People recognise themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobiles, hi-fi sets, split level homes………social control is anchored in the new needs which the consumer society has produced." (Marcuse,1968:24)To what extent are we controlled by the consumer society we live in?

The rise of the consumer culture is a phenomenon characteristic for the twentieth century. The impact of this cultural movement is disputable.

The quote above was taken from Marcuse’s book “One dimensional man.”(1964) Marcuse believed that the products of consumer capitalism indoctrinate and manipulate society to promote a false consciousness of needs which become a way of life. He saw this as another form of totalitarianism which binds consumers to producers and uses the pleasures of consumer lifestyle as instruments of control and domination. Therefore the question arises whether the culture of consumerism poses a profound threat to the freedom and individuality of the consumer.

In response to this claim, the essay will argue that Marcuse has been right in arguing the advertising and consumerisms aims to manipulate the consumer’s consciousness.
Furthermore by taking an existentialist approach it will argue that society ultimately chooses their own path and consents to their own destiny. It also takes into consideration that in the contemporary society consumerism is omnipresent; therefore the option of choice is diffused.

The essay, will be structured in the following way. It will first outline the concept of consumer culture and its development in the last century. Moreover it will outline the change from the age of modernism to the post-modernist era.

According to Slater (1997), Consumer Culture is the culture of market societies and is defined though market relations. It predominantly is the product of capitalism. He believes that this new culture is a pecuniary culture based on money. The central claim is that the values from the realm of consumption will spill over into other domains of social action. He further argues that Consumer Culture is in principle, universal and impersonal. He simultaneously agues, that there is an ultior claim towards this definition, as although it seems universal and is depicted as a land of freedom, in which everyone can be a consumer, it is also felt to be universal because everybody must be a consumer. Another characteristic is that Consumer Culture is identified with private choice and private life. The next characteristic feature is that the consumer’s needs are unlimited and insatiable. He argues that in the age of consumption the identities are negotiated though consumption, with which he means that we define ourselves more and more by what we consume. His last characteristic to the definition of consumer culture is that Consumer Culture represents the increasing importance of Culture in the exercise of power.

Ritzer (1999) refers to the places in which consumption takes place...

Find Another Essay On The Consumer Society

Consumer Psychology and Marketing Communication Essay

860 words - 4 pages Consumer psychology is an important part of current society. The reasons behind why products are in some areas and not others are determined by consumer psychology. Businesses must decide what to sell. They must also decide how and where to sell their products. Psychological concepts assist businesses in making decisions and discovering the best options available to them. Companies find ways to creatively brand their products to entice consumers

Consumer Behavior Paper

926 words - 4 pages , sociopsychology, anthropology, and economics. It attempts to understand the buyer decision making process, both individually and in groups. It studies characteristics of individual consumers such as demographics, psychographics, and behavioural variables in an attempt to understand people's wants. It also tries to assess influences on the consumer from groups such as family, friends, reference groups, and society in general (Wikipedia, 2006).Organizations are

A Critique on the Impact of Advertising in our Society

1017 words - 4 pages impact upon society, whereas advertising portraying women as sex objects has negative social impacts. There are also positive economic impacts on society such as providing funding for the media and stimulating an active, competitive economy.There are a number of proven ways to persuade the consumer that he or she needs the product being advertised. These methods of persuasion, instead of concentrating on the actual product, usually concentrate

Consumer Rights

2066 words - 9 pages stakeholders from fraud that may be perpetrated by the business. Other than customers, these laws provide protection for the vulnerable consumers in society. The four consumer rights are the rights of safety, of information, of choice and the right to be heard (Bevans, 2011). Before the end of the twentieth century, consumer rights were limited. This was about customer-product interaction as well as commercial producers. Consumers could not defend

Report on Consumer Behaviour Using Motorbike Segment in India as Reference

906 words - 4 pages finds value in a bike while going daily to his work-place. We have carried out this research to find out the opinions, requirements, likes and dislikes of those who use these bikes to have a insight how a consumer decides on his/her preferences.SURVEY OBJECTIVESA.To understand and identify unfulfilled needs and wants of the customers, define and measure their magnitude.B.To analyze needs, identify opportunities, and create value-rich offers for

Drugs Deteriorates Civilized Society

1160 words - 5 pages . Theoretically, a civilized society is defined as a society that shows evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; the society is to be humane, ethical, and reasonable. However, illegal drug consumers will be one, of several, perfect adversary to heavily injure a civilized society. This will be true because prohibited drugs cause the addict to become ignorant and eventually cause harm to others. The consumer begins to damage the society through

This is a literature about consumer behavior

2370 words - 9 pages this materialism in American culture: "In a fundamental sense the basic source of the drive toward higher consumption is to be found in the character of our culture. A rising standard of living is one of the major goals of our society" (Duesenberry, 1949 P26 [appendix]) His points of Consumer Behavior have a very important effect to the development in this investigating area.Nowadays Consumer Behavior is more and more popular. It divided into

Australian Consumer Law Objective

2005 words - 8 pages actions, in this case HP had withheld communicating to consumers their rights. Consumer Law was first recognised in society by the pioneering decision by the English House of Lords which established the understanding of Consumer Protection Law. This case Donoghue v Stevenson also known as the “snail in the bottle case” , identified there being a liability in negligence for injury caused by another in absences of a contract. The ruling found that

Jurisdiction of consumer protection

1798 words - 7 pages , in contrast to ideas of European Union and Croatian society, acts of unfair business exist in this country. Those acts are that dealers and sellers operate to harm interest of consumers before, during and after of legal transaction of particular product. The number of these practices is still too high, but EU and Croatia are currently working on reducing it. Jurisdiction in consumer protection in United Kingdom Consumer protection rights in

McDonalds Advert Comparison - English - Comaprison

1123 words - 5 pages Advertising Comparison The use of advertising is to attract the attention of the consumer, each product has a particular targeted audience and therefore so does the advert. The targeted audience influences the advert in the ways of text, imagery and wording. These techniques develop and change over time due to the progression and change in society and the targeted demographic. Above there are two adverts from McDonald's, one from the 1970’s

The Effectiveness of Marketing Strategy Used in Online Business Among Young Adults

2457 words - 10 pages 2.2.1 Pre-exposure Level Pre-exposure level of consumer response does usually not exist in consumer response but it is imperative to be included in the online consumer response process. During this level online consumer proceeds through literacy, intentional and voluntary phases before he/she prepare for interaction or expose to the web-based commercial communication (Hanekom, 2006). In offline environment, consumer tends to purchase product

Similar Essays

The Consumer Society: Advertising And Online Shopping

2236 words - 9 pages idea of obtaining a rare item in such a convenient way overpowers the insignificance of the product towards the consumer. Lury (1996) adds her insight that fetishism of the commodity in modern society is ignorantly manipulated in the practices of packaging, promotion and advertising. Applying it in our example, packaging comes in the form of the space of consumption itself, which is in online medium, whereas the promotion is under the price and

Consumer Society In My Life Essay

973 words - 4 pages Cambridge University defines a consumer society as: A society in which people often buy new goods, especially goods that they do not need, and in which a high value is placed on owning many things. For some, this excess of possessions may be electronics, home goods or even rare collector’s items, but for me its clothes, mountains of clothes that litter every surface of my bedroom floor and occasionally snake their way into the hallway

My View Of Consumer Rights In Society

984 words - 4 pages to accept returned goods in this case, it can make the difference of whether the consumer will purchase there in the future. We are living in the threshold of a new era, the age of information society, in which consumers are experiencing the first advantages and disadvantages of what such a society can bring. The new communication technologies and new services are already beginning to have considerable impact on businesses and the way many

The Rise Of Consumer Culture Essay

1710 words - 7 pages Consumer culture has developed over the years for many different reasons such as the demise of the social class and embourgeoisement which are both key factors in capitalism and has therefore led to the argument that consumer society merely reflects the rise of capitalism which I plan to discuss within this assignment. The origins of consumer culture have been discussed by Grant McCracken (1998) who argues that there is minimal agreement in