RUNNING HEAD Lifestyle TV’s Relationship to Discourses of Class and Consumerism

Consumerism refers to the belief that felicity and general well-being of an single entirely relies on the degree of personal ingestion, more specifically, the purchase of material goods. The rule does non merely intend that felicity depends on certain life criterions, but that ingestion and material ownerships form the nucleus of felicity and well-being. Similarly, aconsumerist societyrefers to a society in which people and the community as a whole dedicate a batch of attempt, clip, energy and resources to disbursement and accumulating every bit much stuff ownership as possible ( Wright & A ; Rogers 2012, p. 1 ) . This in bend gives rise to individuality since everyone cares merely for themselves and the things they own. Generally, the position towards life in a consumerist society is that: ingestion and disbursement is good and it is even better to pass more. This paper will seek to objectively discourse how consumerist discourses coupled with individuality have played a major function in the defining people’s individualities by manfully concentrating on the mass media communicating of lifestyle telecasting.


The media, specifically the telecasting, exerts immense sums of force per unit area that can be described as a ‘normative influence’ in the lives of adult females and work forces, striplings and kids. Television influences the norms and tendencies in dressing, speaking, behaving and thought on upon big groups of people. In general, since the 1990s, the media as a whole, that is ; telecasting, wireless, films, print and the cyberspace have made it easy for information to flux and people to link with another on a planetary degree. As a consequence, this powerful influence and outreach have managed to determine the ways in which user/viewers perceive their environment, the universe and their personal individualities within that universe ( Jevtic 2013, p. 2 ) .

Jointly, mass media constitutes of all media engineerings which are utilized for mass communicating and the houses behind the workings of these engineerings. In states have reached a certain threshold of industrialisation since the 1950s, the telecasting has played a critical function in political relations and the life styles of persons. Lifestyle telecasting plays a really of import function in act uponing people’s sentiments on a figure of issues that are of import on a national or international degree ( Lowry et al 2002, p. 416 ) . This is possible through the deepness of information dispensed through this medium every bit good as the knowing readings of the same information. Furthermore, Television dramas a really important function in determining up of people’s civilization by portraying certain a specific set of values, traditions and beliefs as world. In other words, by showcasing a specific reading of world, it shapes the existent world to be in line or travel manus in manus with the reading ( Jevtic 2013, p. 4 ) .

The United States of America serves as the best illustration of a hyper-consumerist society. This society is ever exposed to advertisement pressing people to pass on stuff things. For case, research shows that, on norm, every kid of age 2-11 old ages sees over 25,000 Television advertizements yearly. On the other manus, an mean grownup is bombarded with over 52,500 Television ads yearly ( Wright & A ; Rogers 2012, p. 4 ) . This literally translates to over one hebdomad of advertizement exposure to kids yearly and a whooping two hebdomads per twelvemonth for grownups. Furthermore, these advertizements non merely advance the gross revenues of specific consumer merchandises, but besides seek to portray an thought of ‘the good life’ that is brought about by devouring more and being individualistic as the lone manner t discovery felicity. Consequently, in the United States, shopping is considered as a popular recreational activity. This outlook drives people into more and more debt in an ageless pursuit to purchase unneeded goods such as: a larger house, a fancy auto, a immense telecasting and nomadic phone among others. All these illustrations are the guideposts of a community where ingestion forms the centre of life. Since a batch of advertisement stuff, films and lifestyle telecasting plans are based and produced in the United States, it serves as the best index of how telecasting in concurrence with other mass media engineerings influence the life style and even individualities of persons.

In order to exemplify the wideness of consumerism in the United States, allow us look at the mean growing in size of an mean American house since the 1980s. between 1960 and early 1980s, the average size of a house in the US was around 1500 square pess. However, between 1983 to 2007, this figure has grown to 2200 square pess. Furthermore, in the early 1980s, statistics show that approximately 25 % of all new houses were below 1200 square pess while 15 % were above 2500 sq. pess. Despite the growing in the size of houses, the mean household size has been worsening ; this means that there exists even a higher addition in the general sum of life infinite for every person ( Wright & A ; Rogers 2012, p. 8 ) . The aforesaid big houses will accordingly necessitate to be filled with goods such as secondary school equipment, bigger TVs, bigger autos for the large garage, broad kitchens and cupboards, which further showcases the degree of consumerism in society.

The statement above begs for the inquiry, “Why is this a job? ” or “why is the consequence of Television on people’s life styles and civilization such a pressing issue? ” It is both chesty and unjust to state person that they put excessively much attempt on ingestion of goods because people should do their ain picks depending on their personal desires, a rule that is extremely held by any free market economic system. One job that is caused by hyper-consumerism is environmental sustainability. Simply put, the planet has finite resources, which means it is incapable of prolonging or back uping this degree of hyper-consumerism and individuality on a planetary graduated table. This implies that either we stop the wont of purchasing excessively many unneeded playthings or devour non-renewable resources in a restorable mode that will guarantee adequate resources for future coevalss.

To switch this ‘spending for happiness’ civilization will of class need a major displacement in ingestion forms. If we dissect the affair closely, we see that goods cost money and on the other manus, money takes clip to be made. Therefore, consumers find themselves in a “work and spend” treadmill with no clip for other leisure activities. Lack of clip in bend increases the degrees of emphasis doing the consumers to pass even more in an effort to relieve the self-inflicted force per unit area ( Goodwin et al 2008, p. 4 ) . In the terminal, hyper-consumerism leads to a less happy, less healthy life style to a society as compared to a that spends merely on the most necessary and self-satisfying goods. The issue, hence, is non that there is anything incorrect with shopping and ingestion, as a affair of fact, the job lies with the signifier of market system that uses mass media engineerings, particularly telecasting, to determine people’s life styles, penchants and picks in an inordinate mode that favors disbursement as opposed to other values and activities such as friendly relationship and athleticss ( Wright & A ; Rogers 2012, p. 14 ) .

Since the 1990s, the society has been trusting more and more on Television and other mass media engineerings as a beginning of information and communicating. This information, in bend, helps people feel like they are traveling in the right way, maintaining up with the latest tendencies in amusement, manner, work, health care and engineering among others. As a consequence, people end up purchasing the things they see on Television, largely what their favourite famous person owns and what is by and large acceptable by society on the footing of what the same media has imposed on them through advertisement. In add-on, one of the most popular and profitable concern is functioning high Calorie and fatty nutrients through the Television, which is delightful and most people love, but can present serious wellness issues. Another impact that Television has had on people, particularly striplings, over the past decennary is anorexia and fleshiness ( Jevtic 2013, p. 8 ) . In the US, there are literally 1000000s of corpulent adolescents seeking to contend the status while still being invariably exposed to advertizements of debris nutrient, on the contrary, the same mass medium portrays the ideal successful individual as being sporty, thin and affluent. This causes people, particularly adult females to go haunted in the loss of their organic structure weight even when they do non endure from fleshiness. They want to look like their favourite famous persons and supermodels. As a consequence, they develop serious eating conditions such as anorexia.

As discussed above, advertisement serves as a powerful tool in advancing the hyper-consumerist life style. It focuses on making consumers in a message that talks to everyone in an single platform, promoting people to believe they are the lone thing that affairs. However, despite the high figure of advertizements, people must still be able to afford these marketed goods. One manner to accomplish this is by people purchasing goods and services by their net incomes and salvage the staying income until they have accumulated sufficient money to buy all the fantastic merchandises promoted in a consumerist life style ( Lowry et al 2002, p. 418 ) . This, nevertheless, is non the instance. The major challenge is: a consumerist society encourages the desire to devour things right at that place and so. The obvious option is hence to introduce an surrogate system where people can easy entree money on recognition in order to purchase things now and settle these debts over an drawn-out period of clip. This is precisely how consumer recognition plants, and no other thing has elevated the degree of consumer recognition more than recognition cards ( Wright & A ; Rogers 2012, p. 17 ) .

Up until the 1950s, recognition cards were used in really limited scenes, largely by merchandisers or a group of merchandisers. In 1958, the client bank card was introduced, foremost by the Bank of America, in America, this ulterior became the Visa card. In 1966, a group of Bankss came up with the Mastercard in a joint venture. Since this clip, the recognition card industry has grown dramatically enabling about all consumers to hold entree to recognition with the least screening possible. Consequently, the sum of the entire consumer debt in the US grew from $ 898 billion in 1980 to $ 2.6 trillion by the twelvemonth 2008 ( Wright & A ; Rogers 2012, p. 17 ) . Credit card companies have promoted the usage of these cards really sharply. They show how happy and good life would be if you had a recognition card to purchase what you desire immediately. Ironically, recognition card companies make most of their money through the involvement charged on the late payment of fees. In kernel, hence, the advertizements by recognition companies encourage people to purchase things that are more expensive than they can afford since these are precisely the sort of debts that are hardest to pay off. Recognition cards have caused consumers to pass their money on more places than they need, fancy autos that use more fuel and larger houses that people can non prolong in the long-term. On norm, in the twelvemonth 2007, approximately 50 % of all recognition card proprietors did non pay off their measures at the terminal of each month. In add-on to this tendency, a 2006 US authorities study showed that round 70 % of the grosss earned by recognition card companies come from the involvement charges on unpaid debts and another 10 % was made from punishment fees ( Wright & A ; Rogers, p. 18 ) .

In decision, Television has a great impact on people’s civilizations and life styles, with both bad and good effects, some of which depend on position. However, there are a figure of people who reject consumerism and embracing voluntary simpleness that puts less accent on stuff ingestion. With the current growth concerns on the sustainability of our planet’s environment, more people are taking a life of giving resources for more environmentally friendly signifiers of ingestion particularly when it comes to energy ingestion ( Thake 2008, p. 26 ) . There is sedate demand for policy-makers to invent a more sustainable, eco-friendly system that can replace consumerism. Some experts have proposed the acceptance of a new revenue enhancement system that is specifically designed to cut down the more destructive sorts of consumerist behaviour. For illustration, high revenue enhancements on crude oil goods would deter the ingestion of big, low-efficiency autos.


Goodwin, N, Nelson, J, Frank, A & A ; Thomas W 2008, ‘Consumption and the Consumer Society’ ,A GDAE Teaching Module on Social and Environmental Issues in Economics, pp. 1-26.

Jevtic, N 2013, The Influence of Media on Teenagers pp. 1-26.

Lowry, R, Wechsler, H, Galuska, D, Fulton, J & A ; Kann L, 2002, ‘Television Viewing and its Assciations with Overweight, Sedentary Lifestyle, and Insufficient Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables among US High School Students: Differences by Race, Ethnicity and Gender.Journal of School Health, vol 72, no. 10, pp. 413-421.

Thake, S. 2008, Individualism and Consumerism: Reframing the Argument. Joseph Rowntree Foundation, pp. 23-46.

Wright, EO & A ; Rogers, J, 2012, American Society: How it Actually Works, Aanilll Publishing, New York.