Browse Definitions :
Definition

consumerism

Consumerism is a cultural model that promotes the acquisition of goods, and especially the purchase of goods, as a vehicle for personal satisfaction and economic stimulation.

Consumerism is often confused with capitalism but the latter is an economic system, while the former is a pervasive cultural attitude. A model combining the two is sometimes referred to as consumer capitalism, a system in which consumer demand for goods is deliberately increased through manipulation as a means of increasing sales. The model relies on stimulating consumer desire for goods far in excess of satisfying needs. Mechanisms to do so include promotion of luxury items, new technologies and new models of existing technologies.

Built-in obsolesence is another method of increasing the sale of goods. Planned obsolescence (as it is also known) is an approach to the conception, design and production of a product, such as hardware or software, involving the intent that it should be useful, functional or popular for only a limited length of time. For many in a consumer culture, a functioning smartphone is not adequate: If a new iPhone model is released they feel compelled to purchase it.

Financial mechanisms have also encouraged consumerism. The advent of credit cards allowed people to spend money that they did not have; debit cards gave people quick access to more money than they were currently carrying and often the option of overdraft, as well.

Although consumer culture is still prevalent, critics believe that environmental issues render it unsustainable. Alternative models that have arisen, which include collaborative consumption and the Circular Economy, emphasize maximizing the efficient use of materials and having access to products and services over private ownership.

This was last updated in December 2015

Continue Reading About consumerism

Networking
  • network traffic

    Network traffic is the amount of data that moves across a network during any given time.

  • dynamic and static

    In general, dynamic means 'energetic, capable of action and/or change, or forceful,' while static means 'stationary or fixed.'

  • MAC address (media access control address)

    A MAC address (media access control address) is a 12-digit hexadecimal number assigned to each device connected to the network.

Security
  • Evil Corp

    Evil Corp is an international cybercrime network that uses malicious software to steal money from victims' bank accounts and to ...

  • Trojan horse

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program downloaded and installed on a computer that appears harmless, but is, in fact, ...

  • quantum key distribution (QKD)

    Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties.

CIO
  • green IT (green information technology)

    Green IT (green information technology) is the practice of creating and using environmentally sustainable computing.

  • benchmark

    A benchmark is a standard or point of reference people can use to measure something else.

  • spatial computing

    Spatial computing broadly characterizes the processes and tools used to capture, process and interact with 3D data.

HRSoftware
  • learning experience platform (LXP)

    A learning experience platform (LXP) is an AI-driven peer learning experience platform delivered using software as a service (...

  • talent acquisition

    Talent acquisition is the strategic process employers use to analyze their long-term talent needs in the context of business ...

  • employee retention

    Employee retention is the organizational goal of keeping productive and talented workers and reducing turnover by fostering a ...

Customer Experience
  • BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store)

    BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) is a business model that allows consumers to shop and place orders online and then pick up ...

  • real-time analytics

    Real-time analytics is the use of data and related resources for analysis as soon as it enters the system.

  • database marketing

    Database marketing is a systematic approach to the gathering, consolidation and processing of consumer data.

Close