Consumption of different products and services is very important for people today. The primary aim of many individuals is to buy a good car and regularly travel to some famous touristic spots. The growth of technologies had a specific impact on the choice of consumer goods. Thus, people buy modern gadgets, such as iPhone or MacBook to demonstrate their high social status or specific view on the political or social events. For example, Apple’s products are associated with the generation of millennials who are focused on self-development and use of technologies. However, some people state that the desire to buy products is excessive. It means that people buy the goods, which are not useful for them. It is rational to examine this idea and make some conclusions about the current consumption behavior of the Americans.
The U.S. citizens have been focused on consumerism since the foundation of the state. Linda Kulman highlights the big role of the industrial changes on the social change: “As America became the economic leader around the turn of the 20th century, it also took the lead in consumerism” (Kulman 1). The economic growth was impossible without the increase of consumption because the companies needed to sell their goods to the customers. Consequently, it was important for the managers and owners to ensure the existence of demand in the long term period. The first advertising companies were started to impart new values. The values of the consumerism society were popularized through media or with the help of literature. It becomes clear that consumerism is the foundation of the modern American economy.
Another potential reason for the formation of the consumerism society was based on the fact that the Americans use several products as the method to show individuality. It means that the process of purchase and use of the products becomes crucial for the interaction between people: “buying is an essential expression of freedom and individualism” (Kulman 2). The focus on consumption as the way of self-actualization is also based on the American Dream. Thus, individuals believe that the ability to buy some product or service shows the level of social success and life achievements. Such a belief was developed because the first American settlers used to work intensively in order to survive. Therefore, dedicated work is praised in the American society. The best workers are those who succeed to accumulate resources and increase capital. Consequently, a successful individual could buy everything necessary by spending earned money.
Finally, the obvious reason for consumption is the availability of products. It is possible to find hundreds of interesting goods today. Marketing efforts of the corporations aim to generate a desire to buy these things. Moreover, many of the products are really useful. Accordingly, people start buying goods just because there exists an opportunity to improve everyday life or get away from problems: “Much of our ferocious consumption arises simply from the sheer number of goods available” (Kulman 3). Thus, consumerism is an inevitable part of human’s life.
It should be concluded that not only the U.S. citizens but also the entire global community are partly dependent on consumerism. There are different reasons for such a social situation. For instance, consumerism is crucial for the functioning of the modern economy. It is fair to assume that there are both positive and negative outcomes of consumerism. It is necessary for people not to focus only on the consumption of products because there are also many important spiritual problems. Accordingly, consumerism could not be the primary value for the individuals.
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Kulman, Linda. “Our Consuming Interest”. Colum.Edu. 2004. Web. 23 April 2017.<http://work.colum.edu/~amiller/consuming.htm>