Sam’s Club, Costco, Walmart; Do we really need a gallon jar of pickles?
We consume a variety of resources and products today, moving beyond basic needs to include luxury items and technological innovations. Such consumption beyond minimal and basic needs is not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself. However, increasingly, there are important issues around consumerism that need to be understood. For example: How are the products and resources we consume actually produced? What are the impacts of the processes of production on the environment, society and individuals? What are the impacts of consumption on the environment, society, and individuals? Which actors influence our choices of consumption? Which actors influence how and why things are produced or not? What is a necessity and what is a luxury? Businesses and advertising are major engines in promoting the consumption of products. How much of what we consume is influenced by their needs versus our needs?
Consumer culture is the ideological infrastructure that dictates and motivates peoples activities of consumption.