SWAGLER, R. (1994).
Evolution and Applications of the Term Consumerism: Theme and Variations. The Journal of
Consumer Affairs, 28(2), 347-600.
In Swagler’s writings,
consumerisms evolution has been a rather interesting road. The term consumerism
refers to the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically
desirable. Consumerisms main rules are: Debut,
Disappearance, and Return. It can be traced originally during the industrial
revolution however was an adopted term and “way of life” in the United States
around the 1930’s, the initial impact was pretty much nonexistent. The first
time it was truly a movement was in the 1960’s, most notably with the president
at the time John F. Kennedy whom introduced a “Bill of Consumer Rights”; within
it are basic rights such as the right to be informed, the right to be heard,
the right to safety and the right to choose. Although not seen in the beginning
by 1994 it was evident that consumerism leads to excess materialism, therefore
it can become destructive. Consumerism is a forever changing of experiences,
not all good. The evolution being that it is still an ongoing learning curve.
We have not yet perfected the consumer experience. New regulations are
continuously being put in place and large companies are always trying to be one
step ahead to by past the new rules in place.
Buskirk, R., and Rothe, J.
(1970). Consumerism. An Interpretation. Journal of Marketing, 34(4), 61-65.
Countries with high
consumerism has produced some of the highest products innovations. Germany for
instance produce some of the highest mechanical engineering such as cars and
airplanes. Countries such as the US and Great Britain thrive in military
weaponry. Just by these few examples prove that consumerism is important to an
economy GDP and the wellbeing of a capitalist free market space. The question
is: Is this good? For each example of good consumerism there is a little man
being put down by materialization and colonization. Time after time the world
is seeing the ill treatment of imported goods. Third world countries are
suffering greatly due to money hungry companies trying to take advantage,
monopolies are almost to big to fail. In the new age of consumerism there is a
shining light with regulations such as the 1962, four basic rights Bill of
Consumer Rights and FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission) continuing fight to block
mergers and maintain John F. Kennedys vision. Only time will tell whether we
are on the good or bad side of consumerism.
Day, G., and Aaker, D.
(1970). A Guide to Consumerism. Journal of Marketing, 34(3),
When explaining Consumerism,
a lot of times one tries to shed a positive life if in a role of authority
while others on the lower spectrum does not. In summary towards A Guide to
Consumerism it talks about the different aspects from it’s inception to its life
by 1970. A big topic is the function of consumerism on a state level. If
companies want to by past federal regulations such as the FTC it usually tried
to go around the state level for protection. This leads o a huge problem,
corruption. An example being illegal activities during the prohibition era and
its de regulation of it within different states. Monopolies are some of the
largest factor for abuse and inadequate information within employees.
Prohibition proved profitable to a different type of businessman: The Hustler
and the money was not going to the corporations that wanted it. Materialization
was a new thing shown of the American people and the large corporations took
notice. New goods were introduced at a rapid speed. Money was continually flowing
after the Great Depression. Consumerism and Materialization is an ongoing
machine and businesses will always try to stay ahead.
Global consumerism is a
fundamental aspect of the wonderful world of capitalism. Consumerism is a bond
between the producer, i.e. being the company, and the buyer who purchases the
goods from said company. These two go hand in hand to create a free market
economy. This helps create innovation much quicker than those that have
stricter laws when dealing with consumerism such as socialist and communist
countries. In countries such as North Korea, consumerism is very extremely low,
because of this GDP (Gross Domestic Product) since it is a state run economy.
In countries such as Venezuela consumerism which once thriving is dramatically
dying due to mismanaged which has led to inflation. The United States, China,
Germany etc., where consumerism is thriving GDP is up, and the overall country
is “happy”. What all three academic journals had in common was the question: Is
consumerism good? Or is it domed to fail due to corruption? One thing is for
certain, if nothing is changed and corruption continues we will see great
consequences. No one wants to be the next Venezuela.