Consumerism and Planned Obsolescence

Sociology
Tutor: None Selected Time limit: 1 Day

  1. Describe consumerism. How is it applied in varied contexts?
  2. What is planned obsolescence?
  3. What are your personal beliefs and biases about consumption?
Oct 2nd, 2014

Consumerism can be defined as the belief that a person's happiness and well being depends to a great extent on the level of their consumption,particularly on the purchase of material goods.The idea of consumerism is not simply that well being relies upon a standard of living above some threshold but at the center of happiness is consumption and material possessions.Application of consumerism is varied.I politics the term consumerism is used to mean consumer activism,which seeks to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as product guarantees,improved safety standards and honest packaging and advertising.In economics consumerism refers to economic policies placing emphasis on consumption.It is the consideration that the free choice of consumers should strongly orient the choice of what is produced and how it is produced.

Planned obsolescence on the other hand means deliberate design of a product to have a specific lifespan,usually a shortened lifespan.The product design is in such a way that it is able to last long enough to develop consumer's lasting need and the product is also designed to to convince the customer that the product is a quality product,even though it eventually needs replacing.Planned obsolescence is sometimes designed into products to encourage customers to buy the next upgrade.Take mobile phones for example,they are often designed with current technology in mind,despite the manufacturers knowing of future technological developments.Planned obsolescence is is sometimes deliberately built into products for safety reasons.Sell by dates on foods are a guide to both the retailer and customer,highlighting when a food product is safe to eat and at its best.

My belief about consumption is that organized social groups normally promote consumerism from an economic perspective.When I personally look at the individual drinking patterns of close friends,by my own assessment my friends always drink more than I do. In addition,estimates of my own typical or average drinking within my own social living group was significantly higher.

Oct 2nd, 2014

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Oct 2nd, 2014
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Oct 2nd, 2014
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