Consumerism - Research Article from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 10 pages of information about Consumerism.
This section contains 2,980 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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Consumerism is central to any study of the twentieth century. In its simplest form, it characterizes the process of purchasing goods such as food, clothing, shelter, electricity, gas, water, or anything else, and then consuming or using those goods. The meaning of consumerism, however, goes well beyond that definition, and has undergone a striking shift from the way it was first used in the 1930s to describe a new consumer movement founded in opposition to the increased prevalence of advertising. It is with much irony that by the end of the twentieth century, consumerism came to mean a cultural ethos marked by a dependence on commerce and incessant shopping and buying. This shift in meaning reflects the shift in how commercial values transformed American culture over the century.

In the early decades of the twentieth century, social life became increasingly commercialized. According to the famous Middletown studies, automobiles...

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This section contains 2,980 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Consumerism Encyclopedia Article
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Consumerism from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.