Consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. The theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable also a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods. Consumerism describes the shift in American culture from a producer-oriented society in the nineteenth century to a "consumerist" society in the twentieth century. Changes in domestic demographics and advances in industrialization, manufacturing, transportation, and communication all contributed to the change. Consumerism also contributed greatly to the liberal thrust of the Progressive Era and spawned a long-running trend of consumer advocacy and consumer protection legislation. Consumerism can be defined as an economic and social ideology and order that encourages consumption or acquisition of goods/services in a never-ending cycle. Consumerism encourages purchasing and consumption of goods and services in excess of a person’s basic needs. Consumerism can be traced back to the onset of capitalism in the 16th century in Europe. Consumerism intensified in the eighteen century because of a growing middle class that embraced luxury consumption. The eighteen century also saw an increasing interest in fashion rather than necessity as a determinant for purchasing. The growth of consumerism can also be attributed to politics and economics. For countries to thrive politically and economically, capitalist competition for profits and markets had to be at the core of every country’s agenda. Colonialism has also been attributed as one of the major drivers of consumerism.



  • Ethical consumerism
  • Consumption
  • Mass Production
  • Consumer exploitation
  • Campaign

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