Visual Encyclopedia

Consumerism

Consumerism is a social and economic order and ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. With the industrial revolution, but particularly in the 20th century, mass production led to an economic crisis: there was overproduction – the supply of goods would grow beyond consumer demand, and so manufacturers turned to planned obsolescence and advertising to increase consumer spending. Early criticism of consumerism was in the works of Thorstein Veblen in 1899, which examined the middle class emerging at the turn of the 20th century, which came to fruition by the end of the 20th century through the process of globalization.

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