Materialism in American Society

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Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 09/07/2011 11:54 PM

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How US society is becoming Materialistic

The effect of materialism in society is a complex issue. It can be defined as a domineering sense of desire to seek wealth and tangible things which provide physical comforts in turn ignoring spiritual value importance (Mukherjee n.p). Materialism is characterized by greed for money and tendency to want to get wealthy quickly regardless of risks involved. Basically, it’s characterized by a life full of extravagance.

Whether or not the American dream is still what its proponents meant it to be, is a topic worth expounding on. Evidently though, Americans have redefined this dream from a materialistic point of view. Today, the dream is used to define stature in a society that has increasingly become materialistic. The society is increasingly captivated by the quest to be wealthy and redefine its appearance to meet the society’s social standards. In recalling, what has brought America these far, Atwan asks, “Since the past has vanished, how do we accurately recover it?” He reminds the society how life has changed from what it used to be (243).

According to MukherjeeAmerican consumers are out of control(n.p). The line between necessities and luxury is invisible. Things that were once considered important like healthcare and retirement savings have been pushed to the back at the expense of things that makes life extremely luxurious. Many items that Americans can live without now commandeer their shopping lists. For instance, McKibbenquestions why Americans have become so reliant on bottled water when they can do better with tap water(n.p). Like a plague, this culture has not spared the American poor who own items which do not have bare necessities including: refrigerators, air conditioning and motor vehicles. In a statement that well illustrates the materialistic lifestyle adopted by Americans, McKibben says, “the essential secret of American consumer life: we’ve officially run out not...