essay #15 - Marko Urlic Business & Society 06 -12 -2010...

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Marko Urlic 06 -12 -2010 Essay #15 Consumerism has two meanings. In common usage it refers to a movement for promotion of the rights and powers of consumers in relation to sellers of products and services. It also denotes an exceptionally powerful ideology of pursuit of material goods that shapes social conduct. Consumerism as an ideology describes a society in which people define their identities by acquiring and displaying material goods beyond what they need for subsistence. Although small pockets of consumerism existed in the distant past, its spread through large populations is relatively recent, happening for the first time in western Europe only about 300 years ago, then advancing from there. Its success is explained by the rise of certain conditions. Small shops selling food sprung up in cities where more and more people started moving from the rural areas. Population grew over the years and new occupations emerged. Display of material goods was becoming important for the establishment of identity and standing in the social
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hierarchy. Consumerism emerged in America when the social and economic
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essay #15 - Marko Urlic Business & Society 06 -12 -2010...

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