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Consumer Society

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:15 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 39.4 
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\"People recognise themselves in their commodities; they find their soul

in their automobiles, hi-fi sets, split level homes………social control is

anchored in the new needs which the consumer society has produced.\"

(Marcuse,1968:24)

To what extent are we controlled by the consumer society we live in?







“People recognise themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their

automobiles, hi-fi sets, split level homes………social control is anchored in the new

needs which the consumer society has produced.\" (Marcuse,1968:24)

To what extent are we controlled by the consumer society we live in?





The rise of the consumer culture is a phenomenon characteristic for the twentieth century. The impact of this cultural movement is disputable.

The quote above was taken from Marcuse’s book “One dimensional man.”(1964) Marcuse believed that the products of consumer capitalism indoctrinate and manipulate society to promote a false consciousness of needs which become a way of life. He saw this as another form of totalitarianism which binds consumers to producers and uses the pleasures of consumer lifestyle as instruments of control and domination. Therefore the question arises whether the culture of consumerism poses a profound threat to the freedom and individuality of the consumer.

In response to this claim, the essay will argue that Marcuse has been right in arguing the advertising and consumerisms aims to manipulate the consumer’s consciousness. Furthermore by taking an existentialist approach it will argue that society ultimately chooses their own path and consents to their own destiny. It also takes into consideration that in the contemporary society consumerism is omnipresent; therefore the option of choice is diffused.

The essay, will be structured in the following way. It will first outline the concept of consumer culture and its development in...

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