Consumption And Materialism In Germany

1579 Words 7 Pages
Although Germany’s gross domestic product remains high due to successful exports and a large population of producers and consumers, German spending trends reflect a transition away from materialism. This trend has historical roots, such as the Nazi era, when leaders promoted a similar mentality of abstaining from material luxuries in order to eliminate the concern of selfishness. Instead, Nazi leaders encouraged citizens to value their nation above all else. After enduring various forms of restrictive oppression throughout the greater portion of the 20th century, Germany’s reunification in 1990 established a tone of justice and greater individual freedom. At that time, Germans found themselves in a position to engage in extravagant purchases …show more content…
Russell Belk, a research professor focused on marketing and consumer trends, analyzed the relationship between these terms and explained that materialism is not strictly identified as “the act of consuming things, but the way that we regard such consumption.” Consumption, a vital element in sustaining a lively economy, allows for the exchange of specialized goods and skills, and therefore is an ineliminable element in the modern world. Materialism, however, goes beyond mere consumption and implies excessive consumer desire (Belk). While consumption functions on the basis of necessity, materialism emerges from lustful impulse. Additionally, Marieke de Mooij, a Ph.D. recipient in Communications focused on the influence of culture on consumer behavior, provides a more specific definition: materialism is achieving a sense of bliss from acquiring and possessing things due to “the importance a consumer attaches to worldly possessions” (118). Based upon this definition, the intensity of materialism may vary, and its duration within a person or society does not entail any level of permanence. While it is necessary and inevitable that consumption remain, materialism, in contrast, does not possess a comparable

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