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on 20 December 2013

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Transcript of Consumerism

Rethink- Sustainability
How can Consumers Impact the World?
Global Problems Associated with Consumerism
Impacts of Consumerism on Culture
Who is Affected?
Power to Create Change as a Consumer or a Voter
What is it?
Consumerism is the social and economic philosophy that describes buying things, sometimes in excessive amounts, as a way to gain personal happiness.
Creates unsustainable future because resources are used up at an alarming rate
Mindless/excessive consumption because a large variety of goods are at our disposal
Poor waste management
Creates competition, which encourages the exploitation of people in underdeveloped countries
How does it relate to globalization?
Encourages competition between companies
Can boycott products
Organize movements to bring an issue to the public's attention
Producers follow trends and fads to make products that customers want to buy
Solutions proposed for the problems?
Article 1
Consumption and Consumerism
Describes consumerism as a humanistic doctrine where happiness comes from owning processions
Fight everything
Belief that buying is good for the economy.
-Helps with human productivity
-Faster and cheaper manufacturing of goods
Condones excessive spending via holidays
Article 2
Discusses some of the negative effects of consumption and consumerism.
It is advertised everywhere, especially in social media
Blamed for slave labor, unsustainability, global warming etc
Creates debt
Discusses some of the negative effects of consumption and consumerism.
The world has very unbalanced consumption rates
2005, top 20% richest private consumers contributed 76.6 percent of the world’s private consumption, poorest 20% with only 1.5% of consumption.
Human development is very unbalanced.
Overall growth in consumption is a strain on the environment as we use more and more of the world's resources, and pollute.
The world priorities...
A Human Development Report, 1998, found that the world's annual expenditure on Basic Health and Nutrition was 13 Billion USD, and Basic Education was 6 Billion USD.
Cosmetics in the United States 8 Billion, Business entertainment in Japan 35 Billion, World military spending in the world 780 Billion.

Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness
Describes how sustainable future can be achieved by renewable resources and lowering consumption levels
In the past, exploitation made sense because there was plentiful of resources and fewer humans
But now, there is an overshoot of population, and we keep consuming resources that we take for granted, all for personal interests
American standard of living is adopted by many cultures around the world
With more interconnectedness within people and nation, it spreads various ideas and concepts to all parts of the world.

The USA has leverage over the world economy, so its philosophies and ideals are spread and adopted by many people.
Consumers have the ability to choose what they buy, therefore increasing or decreasing profits for businesses. Voters are able to choose who will lead them in their country.
TNC's are positively affected because they are given the most profits through consumers.

Difficult for small businesses to compete against the lower prices established by large TNCs

Developing countries are exploited for their resources so that it benefits the welfare of developed countries.

Massive multimedia corporations are aiding the assimilation of unique cultures into the dominant culture.

Consumerism leads to the homogenization of a group of people.

It replaces traditions and older values for an American way of life;
the American standard of living avidly promotes excessive consumerism, and with most of the world aspiring to be them, which makes sustainable prosperity harder to achieve.

Reduce carbon emissions due to transport of goods across large distances
Monitoring programs within businesses so that larger companies are less capable of taking advantage of the people in underdeveloped countries.
Discusses some of the negative effects of consumption and consumerism.
Anja Shniel (2005) Abandon All Hope. Retrieved on December 14, 2013 from http://books.google.ca/books?id=EpedL4oCZlcC&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&dq=consumerism+and+loss+of+identity&source=bl&ots=t_uVv2EjkS&sig=B3ME8L9BqL4SX3ijDVVi6_Uj9ZE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=h1atUsLSNZTioAS3w4KADQ&ved=0CDsQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=consumerism%20and%20loss%20of%20identity&f=false

Anup Shah (Aug 10, 2005) Effects of Consumerism. Retrieved December 11, 2013 from http://www.globalissues.org/article/238/effects-of-consumerism

Anup Shah (March 6, 2011)Consumption and Consumerism. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from

Barber, Benjamin R. (June 28) Consumerism, globalization and American emptiness. Retrieved December 13,
2013 from http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Library/Articles/Detail/?lng=en&id=88497

Brian Tata (August 13, 2012) What is consumerism and why is it so important to all of us? Retrieved December 14, 2013 from http://www.examiner.com/article/what-is-consumerism-and-why-is-it-so-important-to-all-of-us

Countriesquest (NA) Forces that Shaped American Culture, The Impact of Consumerism. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from http://www.countriesquest.com/north_america/usa/culture/forces_that_shaped_american_culture/the_impact_of_consumerism.htm
Investopedia (NA) Consumer Credit definition. Retrieved December 11, 2013 from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/consumercredit.asp

Issues for Canadians (NA) What role should consumerism play in our economy? Retrieved December 14, 2013 from http://mrpotosky.pbworks.com/f/Chapter+7.pdf

Merriam-Webster (NA) Consumerism. Retrieved December 12, 2013 http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consumerism

Our breathing planet (NA) Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness. Retrieved December 14, 2013 from

Sharon C. Cohen (NA) Consumerism and Global Cultures. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from http://apcentral.collegeboard.com/apc/public/courses/teachers_corner/30765.html

Simon Mainwaring (September 7, 2011) The New Power of Consumers to Influence Brands. Retrieved on December 14, 2013 from http://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmainwaring/2011/09/07/the-new-power-of-consumers-to-influence-brands/

Verdant (NA) Why Overcoming Consumerism?. Retrieved December 11, 2013 from

na (June 24, 2011) Consumerism and Identity. Retrieved December 14, 2013 from

Our breathing planet (NA) Consumerism and the Pursuit of Happiness. Retrieved December 14, 2013 from

Mail. (2012, March 16). More than 750 gadget fans queue outside Apple's flagship store in New York to get their hands on latest tablet as iPad fever spreads around the world. Mail Online. Retrieved December 15, 2013, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2115742/New-iPad-3-launch-US-750-gadget-fans-queue-outside-Apples-flagship-store-New-York-City.html

Anup Shah (March 6, 2011)Consumption and Consumerism. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from

1. ________ Social media discourages consumerism.

2. ________ Consumerism promotes diverse cultures and individualism.

3. ________ We equate possessions with personal happiness, so we tend to buy more.

4. ________ Over consumption creates a sustainable future.

5. ________ Consumerism encourages exploitation of people in underdeveloped countries.

6. ________ Consumerism increases employment.

7. ________ Consumption creates debt.

8. ________ Consumption levels are unbalanced; developing countries consume much more
than developed countries.

True or False questionnaire
Environmental problems due to the manufacturing of goods and the waste it produces
Because consumerism depends on the mass production and marketing of cheap goods, it tramples over the lesser known products.
As people buy more ‘popular’ brands, they focus their purchases on that one product, instead of buying from a variety of sellers.
It destroys our sense of individualism, as other people are also buying that one product.

It also makes it difficult for smaller companies to compete on the market.
In a recent article, it talks how Pope Francis publicly denouncing consumerism and the wastes it creates to the UN World Environment Day.
He said;
“Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and hungry.”

Protesting is also an effective way to raise awareness. In 2012, Greenpeace, an environmental awareness group, were able to shut down 74 Shell oil stations in London and Edinburgh. They protested against the company’s decision to drill oil in the Arctic, which attracted a lot of publicity within these communities.
There are different parties that voters can choose from, which dictate how the country will operate for the period allotted for the party
Consumers decide where to buy goods, and from who to buy it from. If they were protest against them, it effectively pressures them to change their conduct.
An individual can be both a consumer and a voter; their choices can change the global market and governments around the world
An older example of culture assimilation via consumerism was initiated by the North American fur trade.
Once first nations made contact with the europeans, they replaced their traditional hunting weapons for firearms.
Had to stop hunting, therefore had to seek out alternative options for food; such as agriculture and stock raising.
Advances in hunting made several of the faunas native in North America to go nearly extinct
A child in Uzbekistan would earn three cents for a kilogram of cotton picked from the fields; while on the global market, that one kilo could easily fetch up to $1
To make a shirt...
That cotton is then shipped to a country that manufactures textile - most likely also using child labor.
Finally sold in North America or in Europe for a much higher price than production cost.

Several UN documents and treaties that record and monitors the well-being of children and youth in developing countries, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UNICEF; provides aid for children and mothers in developing countries, and raises awareness on subjects of child trafficking and labor, and child soldiers.
The Kyoto Protocol; which aims to reduce pollutions by cut-backs set by governments, businesses, and individuals.
In more recent years, fast food chains are have dominating the world market.
People around the world are consuming relatively the same food, and they begin to neglect their cultural cuisines in favor of a widely popular food chain.

Youths are generally more involved with buying these globally popular goods.
That way, their engrossment with such goods are passed down to their kids.
Impact on culture; cont.
Nestle, a Swiss food mega-corporation, are able to operate in Ethiopia to buy and sell coffee commodities from ethiopian farmers to buyers in America and Europe
Shows the lengths companies would meet those demands by exploiting citizens of a less powerful, and undeveloped country.

Use of diplomatic trade relations to persuade developing countries into trade deals
Consumerism is a concept which is spreading quickly because of globalization; it is advertised by many transnationals. These corporations promote consumerism because this doctrine encourages people to buy stuff.
Full transcript