Consumer society

The term consumer society referred to in the human sciences companies in which the satisfaction of as many needs is possible only through consumption appropriate payment.

This neutral definition is of an evaluative - flanked use - critical of consumerism. The term describes various aspects of modern lifestyles in industrialized countries, mostly in a critical or pejorative intent. Similarly, uses the terms affluent society, affluent society or throwaway society. What is meant is usually a society that is dominated by the industrial mass production of short-lived throwaway products and one directed at the image advertising.

Various philosophical and technical points of view represented critical of consumption points of view:

  • Socialist circles ( Tags: commodity fetishism and alienation, consumer capitalism )
  • Bearing the ecology movement ( Tags: waste of resources, pollution and lack of sustainability )
  • Diverse religious directions ( keyword eg " dance around the golden calf" )
  • Psychologists and sociologists report evidence that excessive consumption to psycho - social pathologies and may result. Among other things, the suicide rate, but also the dissemination of addictions - substance- bound (eg, alcoholism ) and unbound material (eg Shopaholic ) - are therefore indicators of the following consumer- critical perspective.
  • The indigenous American historian Jack Forbes compares consumption with cannibalism: the consumer would behave very similar to the cannibals by "things consumed " to their "power" to incorporate. However, in contrast to the modern consumer cannibalism same an addict whose greed, lust and materialism makes no difference what they are eating. He demach consuming not only things, but in the broadest sense also a fellow human being and the environment. Forbes ' interpretation of the consumer society has a marked influence on modern cultural criticism.

The media and communications theorist Norbert Bolz, however, takes the view that a global consumer society could pacify the world.

Characteristics of a consumer society

Consumer society in the arts

In art, the consumer society, inter alia reflected in the Pop Art, which focuses on the phenomena of the everyday world of consumption and maps or with found objects finished works (such as ready-mades ). She criticizes the phenomena of the colorful world of commodities not necessarily - in part is initially unclear whether it ironic that criticized or if any work of pop art even act affirmatively. Artists such as Andy Warhol did not criticize the consumer society, she said yes without restraint, partly grotesque:

"When I used to have a lot of money, I'm losgeschossen immediately and bought my first color TV. The advertising for the radiant gloss furniture ' in black and white made ​​me mad. I thought when I saw the advertisement in color, maybe everything would look like new and I would get back more desire to go shopping. "