American Consumer Culture

1045 words 5 pages
As a country, Americans love to shop. Whether in malls, grocery stores, on the Internet, or elsewhere, the culture of buying is deeply ingrained in American culture. Fueled largely by advertising and the current credit system, America’s consumer culture is depleting our planet’s finite natural resources and polluting our environment. Consumerism has instilled in Americans an artificial, ongoing, and insatiable desire for mass-produced and marketed products, and the money with which to buy them, with little regard to their actual usefulness or necessity. This constant desire to acquire more possessions is poisoning the planet, as it can never be sated and thus results in the never-ending exploitation of the Earth’s natural resources, and …show more content…

While his exact way of life is not for everybody, by living the way he does, Conway shows that grocery stores and shopping malls are not vital components of life. His advice is, “Reduce, reuse, and recycle are good ideas… but those three concepts should only be the last resort. What you really need to focus on are two other words that also begin with ‘R’- reconsider and refuse. Before you even acquire a disposable good, ask yourself if you need this consumer product. And then turn it down. Refuse it. You can” ( ).
In his AdBusters Magazine cover story, “Hipster: the Dead End of Western Civilization,” writer Douglas Haddow suggests that America’s consumer culture has created an entire generation defined by their consuming, called “hipsters.” These youth don’t create “cool,” they consume it. They crave authenticity in a vapid world and cling to anything that feels real. Haddow shines a light on a sinister side of consumerism, writing, “An artificial appropriation of different styles from different eras, the hipster represents the end of Western civilization – a culture lost in the superficiality of its past and unable to create any new meaning. Not only is it unsustainable, it is suicidal. While previous youth movements have challenged the dysfunction and decadence of their elders, today we have the "hipster" – a youth


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