Consumption,Consumer behavior, and hyperconsumption

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In this consumerist culture , symbols , values , and even status are to commodities and individuals are measured based on their ability to buy or consume products (Ritzer 210 ) In as much as consumerism and the culture that arises from it also sustains the life-blood of the capitalist mode of production , a marxist analysis of consumerism and the ensuing birth of hyperconsumerism , where individuals are driven into intense consumption patterns that are often unsustainable both for human health and the natural resources (Freund Martin 2 From a marxist point of view , it can be argued that hyperconsumption as a phenomenon is a manifestation of the increased alineation of the masses from their labor

Bocock (1993 ) notes for instance , how modern capitalism has increased the alienation of human beings from their own labor by making them believe that fulfillment lies from the consumption of commodities in turn shaping the entire life cycle of humanity Thus the dreams and aspirations of individuals – their concepts of success and failure , for instance – have shifted rapidly to the consumption of goods and experiences hawked by advertisers

and at last enter into commerce (Marx 36 At its worst , humanity ‘s alienation from labor also makes it vulnerable to the false consciousness ‘ wherein the working class are convinced that they are able to lay claim to their labor or to gain satisfaction from it based on their power to consume or to buy (Bocock 51 Necessarily , the prevailing ideology is necessarily the ideology of the ruling class since

Paper Topic: Consumption,Consumer behavior, and hyperconsumption Hyperconsumption , Alienation , and False Consciousness In no other time and society has consumerism been more dominant as an ideology as in today ‘s era of postmodern capitalism

Consumerism , or the active ideology that the meaning of life is to be found in buying things and prepackaged experiences (Bocock 50 ) defines the life of individuals and entire societies in many aspects to the extent that it has an entire culture based on consumption has been formed

Human labour is thus equal to a commodity that is bought and subsequently owned by those who own the capital and other forces of production It is therefore not surprising for the masses to be easily swayed by the media-mediated images of the good life ‘ Hence , majority are taught to believe in the fantasies that goods and commodities are advertised with

Instead they are coerced by the prevailing system to work as a means to satisfy needs that are external to [labor] (Marx 1844 as quoted in Woods Grant 202 ) which entails that under the capitalist system human labour functions for the sake of capital accumulation of the ruling class

This alienation stems from the inability of majority of the masses to engage in activities that realizes their full human potential

Marx himself had predicted that the time would come when even the things which humans thought to be beyond monetary value such as the concepts of love , honor opinion , science , and conscience will become objects of exchange , of traffic , and can be disposed of


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