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The Dangers Of Consumerism Essay

1915 words - 8 pages

In an article presented by Sud Jhally, “Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse,” he mentions that consumerism is dominating our culture and also the hazardous acts of it (2000). To analyze these dangers in our culture, I have presented an evaluation that illustrates my consumption behaviour in regards to fashion. Through this interpretation, it is hypothesized that the consumption of fashion is highly dangerous. This is seen through the influence it has on emotions, class, alienation and the difficulty in attaining an identity. This is significant because in a capitalist society, consumption is a part of people's daily lives; being that so, it is important to be aware of the ...view middle of the document...

As the consumption continues, it slowly becomes a way of living. The psychological motives of fashion are divided into two categories: rational motives and perceptual motives. A rational motive described the individual need of higher quality, better pricing and good appearance whereas perceptual motives refer to the need to show off, unrealistic comparisons and conformity. The psychological motives for consuming fashion differentiates from culture to culture. For example, in countries that new rich classes are establishing, like China, it is more likely that they have more of a perceptual motive consuming to show off. Unlike China, European and American countries use more of a rational motive, the consumption of fashion to strive for happiness. Although many American may strive for happiness, they still have the motive to show off (2012). The theories presented by Fang Ma et al. briefly portrays what consumption does to the psychological aspect of individuals who enjoys buying products that portray them as part of the wealthy social class.
Being part of a middle class family, the consumption of my analysis is somewhat relatable to both the affluent and the poorer families. Through my evaluation I have realized that I do try to conform to the norm in society and try to dress in the latest trends and the latest brand names. I also realize that sometimes I cannot afford the latest brands like Céline, where a simple purse is two thousand dollars. Individuals who are able to purchase the most expensive articles are often envied and looked up to (Naiman, 2012). This explains why sometimes seeing other individuals in downtown Toronto with expensive purses and clothing makes me feel as if they are more inferior. Predominantly, the wealthy can afford to style themselves with the latest trends which leads to the sensation of an emotional reward. Contrary to this, individuals who are not as well off tend to feel anxiety and distress (Rafferty, 2011). Sometimes individuals are unaware of what class they are in or what their class status is but consumerism has made this explicit because it has made the gap between the rich and the poor much wider (Naiman, 2012). According to Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of social class, the dominant, which are usually the affluent, are the ones who determine what is fashionable or not (Rafferty, 2011). Because of ideological hegemony, we would see this as a norm while dismissing alternative views and never questioning what is thought to be fashionable and who determines it (Naiman, 2012). If the dominant population has an influence on what is considered the latest trend, then it is predictable that individuals who are not wealthy would not be able to purchase the commodity. This is significant because social class has an influence on the emotions of consumers, and since most of the population is not wealthy, it leads to be social pariahs.
Another implication with fashion is related to Pierre Bourdieu theory that class is a...

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