The Materialistic Values Of Consumer Culture Essay

749 Words Aug 10th, 2016 3 Pages
“Western societies socialize people to be excessive consumers and have materialist values”. Humans have succeeded in separating themselves from other mammals due to their excessive materialistic values. Defined as a system of values driven by the concern that social status is defined by possessions (Bauer et al., 2012), human social environments have managed to encourage these tendencies towards consumerism (Kasser et al., 2004). This is especially true in Western society, with materialism and consumption an enormous part of everyday life, as daily exposure to advertisements are estimated to be at an average of 245 daily exposures (Bauer et al., 2012), through internet surfing, advertisements in public places such as shopping malls and billboards, and also on commercial television (Kasser et al., 2004). Excessive consumption reflects the shared beliefs and understandings of Western societies living in a culture of consumerism, with Westerner ‘consumers’ vulnerable to the pressures and expectations to conform to the materialist values of consumer culture (Kasser et al., 2004). Materialistic value orientation (MVO) develops through two main paths; the “threat” path, where individual’s psychological needs are not met developing feelings of insecurity, and the “modeling” path, where materialistic values are absorbed through the exposure of social model encouraging consumerism (Keeley, 2010). Through the threat path, excessive consumerism and materialistic values are shown to be…

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