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Posts tagged ‘consumption’

Consumerism and Christmas


When we think about Christmas these days, what comes to mind are tons of gifts and over indulgence.   People are maxing out credit cards, and spending thousands of dollars getting presents, even though they can barely afford rent.  I feel that this mentality is engrained in us at an early age, by the time we are adults we have no hope.  In Cross’s article “Modern Children, Modern Toy,” he talks of how the people responsible for this is the parents.  Now it’s not just giving their children whatever they wanted, it has become a climb to the top for who has the most money.  Christmas is the perfect time to be able to over indulge your kid in whatever they want without looking irresponsible.  An amazing example of over indulgences with kids and their toys is when little babies like this have expensive things when there is really no need for it. The problem with this is that there is no reason for a two year old baby to have an Ipad.  The only reason a child would have something like this is so the parents can impress other people, by giving the impression to others they have enough money to blow on buying a completely useless (and expensive) “toy” for their child.  Consumerism has gotten way out of control in our country, and I believe it is time for a harsh wake up call.  With the economy how it is, it is time to start making smarter choices with our money.  The rest of the country needs to learn something from us “Austinites” and stop caring what other people think about us.  What’s important is over indulging your kids with love, not material possessions.

First Reading Journal Prompt: Christmas Buying

Photo by methyl_lives on flickr

If you pick the “Reading Journal” category for your first blog post, respond to this prompt:

In Gary Cross’ chapter “Modern Childhood, Modern Toys,” Cross argues that during the twentieth century Christmas gifts for children became a form of what Thorstein Veblen called “vicarious consumption”; through buying a ton of Christmas presents for their kids, parents could display their wealth to others without being seen as self-indulgent or spendthrifty. (See packet page 59 for the passage in which Cross develops this argument.) Apply this thesis to the contemporary American scene, using scenes from advertisements, movies, or television to argue whether or not Cross is correct.