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Advertisements, mass production, sacrificing quality for time and quantity, the desire for bigger and better, these are the problems of commercialism. Commercialism has been advancing nearly unnoticed by most consumers even since Babylonian times. But, what makes it harmful enough to be explained in a paper?
Everyday we sit in our homes desiring goods and services that we do not need or may not even want, and discussing issues that have little or no importance to our lives other than to make small talk. Everyday we work hard to buy stuff that is better or at least equal to what society considers normal. As our former president Herbert Hoover even stated prior to the Great Depression, what he would have liked to see in every American household is "Two cars in every garage" (The American President: Herbert Hoover, 2002). We are fashioning ourselves to be boringly equal cogs in one giant corporate machine, and in turn, are losing our culture to business and propaganda. When a new "hipper" culture appears, commercialists explode the culture across the United States like a plague. What average adult would not know what a skateboard is, what reggae music is, or what Middle East tension is. We have all been commercialized by the news, advertisements, and businesses, for which we are sacrificing our beliefs, traditions, and everyday things that classifies us as humans. What is stopping future generations from becoming overweight, non-constructive, violence-promoting couch potatoes, who only move to grab something to eat or to procreate? Our society is training us to become such objects, and something must be done.
If lack of culture is not enough, think economics, nearly all products are focused towards the average consumer, or "all individuals or households that want goods and services for personal consumption or use and have the resources to buy them" (Nickels, McHugh, J., & McHugh, S., 2002, p. 409). This means that no matter how poor or how rich a consumer is, as long as they have the money to buy a product, there is potential to market the product to them. Such means causes anyone who can afford a product to intimidate them to purchase the product, thus keeping the consumer within their social class by causing them to buy things that they do not need, and not investing or saving their money for something important. Such cases can be observed on the purchase of a television; for one more inch diagonal width the consumer may pay out an additional fifty dollars, whereas the consumer could rather invest this money for something that may be vital to the person in the future, such as a doctor visit.
If lack of culture, and economics is not satisfying enough, consider crime. Due to commercialization and the societal value of wealth many crimes are committed in the United States every year concerning money; albeit drug sales, theft, or embezzlement more than half of all crimes are related to money. Low wealth causes social and psychological dissatisfaction; consider that most violent street crime concerning money is committed by those in the low middle class to poverty level area of the social ladder (Crime Statistics, 2002). Advancements in commercialization has caused us to not only class ourselves according to wealth but has increased the amount of copycat crimes, violent crimes, money crimes, and drug crimes. If words are not enough just look how crime has increased ever since the development of the television, the mass media, and even crime related advertisements.
Commercialism, however, can also be beneficial and functional. Before going into detail on the problems, the benefits, or even ways to derive the benefits of commercialization, one must first understand the history of commercialization and why it has developed into such a huge problem today.
The beginnings of commercialism can be derived from early civilization. Most early civilizations focused on survival, this included hunting, and fighting for rights to eat first and to mate first, basically, "survival of the fittest." Violent acts and symbolism were even depicted in cave paintings in somewhere around 15,000 to 10,000 B.C. (Newton, 1996, p. 3). This is important because even then the best received the best products, the best part of the hunt, the best mate, etc. Soon after, trades started forming, where someone would trade pottery for food or clothing, etc (Newton, 1996, p. 6). Trade continued to advance all throughout time until finally money and precious metals started to be traded for goods and services, where mainly weapons such as swords were sold for metal. Normally there was little competition in the towns; generally, there was only one blacksmith, one tailor, one butcher, etc per town. In addition, by 2,500 B.C. there were early trading companies that bought goods of distant lands and sold them to other lands for a price or another good (Beard, 1962, p. 11). Continuing on, by 500 B.C. Rome had grown into a commercial and politica
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Newton, Hirsh, George Ritzer, Herbert Hoover, p., McHugh,
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United States, Middle East, America, the birthplace,
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our commercialized media, Gucci,
Keywords referenced in this report
commercialism, commercialization, Beard, our lives, goods and services, commercialized, TV commercials, trade, debt, average american, Roman Empire, United States, crimes, consumer, crime rates, street crimes, report, deviant behavior, television programs, George Ritzer, the roman empire, social, television industry, television shows, future generations, public television, mass production, pictures, mass media, Herbert Hoover, everyday life, violent crimes, American values, middle class, advertisements, bad news, supreme court, mass marketing, problems, president herbert hoover, this day, Bobo doll experiment, Crime Statistics, society, New York, former soviet union, American Broadcasting Corporation, copycat crimes, Oklahoma City Bombing, Mutual Film Corporation,