300 words –
This powerful video scrutinizes what Juliet Schor calls “the new consumerism” — a national phenomenon of upscale spending shaped and reinforced by a media system driven by commercial interests. Illustrated with hundreds of media examples, The Overspent American draws attention to the costs (both financial and social) of the relentless search for happiness and identity through spending.
Answer the following question (Min 250 words and Maximum 500).
Include at least two outside academic references to support your argument.
Apply Marx’s theory on the organization of society (base and superstructure) to explain Schor’s “the new consumerism”.
For Marx, society’s constructions were predicated upon the idea of “base and superstructure.”
This term refers to the idea that a society’s economic character forms its base, upon which rests the culture and social institutions, the superstructure. For Marx, it is the base (economy) that determines what a society will be like.
Karl Marx asserted that all elements of a society’s structure depend on its economic structure.
Suggested additional outside references:
In this module, you are being tasked to consider does culture determine all of society? Maybe – but what “causes” culture?
The biggest takeaway about Marx is not the bourgeoisie and proletariat but how the economies of a people determine their culture. Much like a physical environment will determine dietary preferences.
Historical Materialism (Marx) is the methodology to understand some of the “causes” of culture.
Juliett Schor provides a cultural application of historical materialism and how upscale consumerism became our country’s predominant economy. Think of it – over 70% of our nation’s GDP is based on individuals buying something. Noam Chomsky is a great figure in this discourse – Requiem for an American Dream is a good film and more films on Schor and
Consumer capitalism. Yes, you can use films from Kanopy as references.
https://www.kanopy.com/en/product/41584?vp=austincc watch 33 mins of this video
Use references from the textbook and two additional academic references to support your