An analysis of the issue of materialism in the united states

The Scourge of Modern Society Residents of a prosperous country have to go no further than a supermarket to get all they need to live a sustainable life. This is undoubtedly a benefit of living in a capitalistic society; however, there is also a flip side to which many scientists and philosophers call attention. Consumerism is supported by manufacturers who do their best to sell their products by encouraging people to buy more and more.

An analysis of the issue of materialism in the united states

Unfortunately, the American dream is becoming more and more materialistic. When I look at America today, I see a nation obsessed with shopping and buying unnecessary products.

In the US, a person can start from nowhere and still manage to be successful. Opportunities are everywhere, and the message is clear: Work hard and you'll get where you want.

American society celebrates individualism: Freedom of speech, independence, and the worth of an individual are some of the things that I associate with America. This contrasts with the conformity and collectivism that I saw in Pakistan.

Behind the Veil of Money

Back home, rules and conventional roles were important, and people who deviated from tradition were frowned upon. In contrast, people in the US have the freedom to pursue their dreams, no matter how crazy or unconventional they are.

And while the economy might be crumbling and social mobility isn't exactly easy, a lot of people still manage to achieve what they want through hard work, luck and determination.

I guess it was always a bit materialistic, but when I look at America today, I see a nation obsessed with shopping and buying unnecessary products. Previously, people aspired to have a nice house in the suburbs with a couple of cars. Now, there is no end to the products that people want: The American dream revolves around luxury goods for most people.

As Ellen Goodman put it"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

The things that we own often end up owning us, and that's what I see around me.

Materialism And Consumer Culture | United States |alphabetnyc.com

People are obsessed with material goods. People are trying to "keep up with the Joneses" by defining their worth on the basis of what they possess. Now it's not only about being richer than your neighbor; with the availability of social media, rich people can compare their status to that of people all over the world.

There seems to be no limit to the ridiculous expenditure, especially when people are actually willing to spend money on solid gold bags, private jet planes, and diamond-studded vacuum cleaners. This conspicuous consumption has its drawbacks.

It wastes time, money and energy, and often racks up credit card debt.

The Plutocratic System

And even then it doesn't add any fulfillment to one's life. Like most people, I'm attracted to shopping malls and expensive labels as well. But I've come to realize that shopping at Banana Republic or Gap won't do anything to make me happier.

I already have everything that I need. I do not need to change my phone each time a new model comes out. I don't want my life to be an endless pursuit of buying things that I don't need. My American dream consists of becoming an author and using my newfound freedom to fight for feminism and gay rights in a way that I couldn't do in Pakistan.

It doesn't matter what brands I wear as I try to make this dream happen. There's this quote that states, "Dreams shouldn't be about what you can buy -- they should be about what mark you leave in the world.

A fulfilling career, family, giving back to the community -- these are things that really matter.In fact, American corporate capitalism—the highly competitive economic system embraced by the United States as well as England, Australia and Canada—encourages materialism more than other forms of capitalism, according to a study by Hebrew University of Jerusalem psychologist Shalom Schwartz, PhD.

An analysis of the issue of materialism in the united states

Materialism is a global phenomenon that has received significant attention from cross-cultural and business scholars due to its ability to help explain consumption behavior and well-being at both individual and societal levels.

1 As Belk 2 stated, materialism is the dominant concept of ‘consumer ideology and the most significant macro development in modern consumer behavior’ (p.

26).

linking the media with social problems emerged for the most part in the United States following the rise of broadcasting and mass media in the s and s (Czitrom, ), but now the debate and literature is international in scope (McQuail, ). The United States has fully lived up to John Kenneth Galbraith’s observation half a century ago that modern U.S. capitalism generates “private wealth” and “public squalor.”8 Massive amounts of labor and resources go toward lethal military purposes, while an increasing amount of human labor and productive capacity lies idle. Some scholars believe that the US is the most materialistic society in history. The Papacy under the current and previous pope has criticized the US for its devotion to material possessions and its general orientation toward wealth .

Some scholars believe that the US is the most materialistic society in history. The Papacy under the current and previous pope has criticized the US for its devotion to material possessions and its general orientation toward wealth . Dec 15,  · The materialistic values that consumer cultures support may be to blame.

Those who pursue wealth and material possessions tend to be less satisfied and experience fewer positive emotions each day. On the other hand, research has found that life satisfaction -- surprise, surprise -- is correlated with having less materialistic values. Feb 17,  · After living in a collectivist society (Pakistan) for more than 18 years, I moved to the US, a country that prides itself on its rugged individualism and its concept of the American dream.

In the US, a person can start from nowhere and . Some 70 to 80% of grain produced in the United States is fed to livestock. A lot of rainforest in the Amazon and elsewhere are cleared for raising cattle — not so much for local consumption, but for fast food restaurants elsewhere.

Consumption and Consumerism — Global Issues