Assignment 2 Final - Danielle Golden WRIT 140 64525...

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-1 Danielle Golden WRIT 140: 64525 Janalynn Bliss Assignment 2 8 October 2007 Materialism in America: Has It Really Corrupted the Contemporary Professional? To deny that materialism exists in today’s society would be foolish, and to deny that Americans have knowingly taken part would be worse. America is a “consumer culture” and most citizens determine success according to materialistic wealth. Contemporary professionals have become very successful in modern society because of the ample compensation they receive for their services. Many argue, however, that the pay they receive must, in turn, have a negative effect on the ethical standards by which they are assumed to practice. Although the traditional professional sought to serve the public good without monetary reward, America’s materialistic society allows for most medical practitioners to be motivated by money without diminishing their ability to attain true professional status in service of the public good. Though it’s existence in contemporary American culture is undeniable, the mere mention of materialism is most often not very well received. Many find that the word itself has a negative connotation, yet as long as the obsession with material goods is not mentioned by name, Americans have no problem taking part in it. While almost 90% of Americans criticize society for being too materialistic, 84% of these same people wish they had more money, according to Robert Wuthnow, a sociologist at Princeton (Myers). These opinions seem very hypocritical yet are actually widely-held; it is possible that people simply feel the need to keep up in this consumer driven society. Honestly, is a little money spending such an awful thing? Despite their outward condemnation of materialism, in order to justify their consumption, most Americans would be forced to disagree.
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Money has become an essential aspect of contemporary life. Americans splurge on expensive meals out with friends; going to the movies or a concert is no huge event; the latest mp3 player or pair of designer jeans is often not just a dream for many children, but a reality. Shopping even tops lists of recreational activities particularly for the teenagers and young adults, whom of course represent the generation which has lived their entire lives in an environment driven by materialism. It makes sense that three-fourths of college students beginning their educations feel it is “very important” to make money (Myers). In fact, it is no wonder that these young people wish to aspire to achieve great success, and that their idea of success is equated very often by the amount of money their future career will make them. But is this such a horrible plan for a young person to have for their future? This generation should be encouraged to
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