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The Effect Of Consumer Culture On Education

2039 words - 8 pages

The Effect of Consumer Culture on Education Consumer culture has without a doubt affected my education. Education
involves many things we value, and much of what we value has been
bought. Whether it be the calculators we use in math class or the
texts we read in English, commodities are helping teach us to do
things. On another level however , consumer culture affects our
personal education in that we act and think differently than we might
if our culture was less about that which can be bought or sold. Much
of this is due to the coverage of events presented by the Mass Media.
We watch people on a screen and learn from what they are doing. Some
events are blown out of proportion and some are swept under the rug.
We are faced with the difficult job of deciding for ourselves what
knowledge is important for us to retain and what we should ignore.

We make an effort to present ourselves a certain way, because of the
values that our society puts on different appearances or attitudes.
Both these things are values which an individual can easily attain.
One can simply buy the latest trends, (or counter-trends) and look
"cool" or fashionable. That is half the battle. To attain the attitude
that fits in with popular society you must learn from that which is
valued in our culture. As Mark Edmunson believes, one can find this in
television, movies, and music- in short the mass media. We see
people's stage characters and we plan to be like them, seemingly
unaware to the fact that these people are just acting. The image that
is seen as "cool" for someone during their years of education is
relaxed, pretending not to care, yet confident in what they are not
expressing. You can't be too shy because that is not desirable. Nor
can you be too outspoken in class because then you are classified in
some way; after all if people hear what you have to say they can form
an opinion of you. So we search to find that happy medium displayed in
the world we watch on our television.

I agree with Edmundson to some degree. Yes, consumer culture
definitely affects the way most of us see ourselves and want to be
seen by others. After all, "Enthusiasm…quickly looks absurd. The form
of character that's most appealing on TV is calmly self-interested
though never greedy, attuned to the conventions, and ironic." This
definitely resembles the character that I personally find desirable,
and I imagine many other people feel the same way. But I believe there
is a point when people stop trying to conform to an image because it
is too much work, but Edmundson concludes that people are constantly .
I am noticing this more now that I am in college. In high school it
seemed like more people were stuck between being "cool"...

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