Free to be Consumers

girl woman shopping dublin moore street Sociologist Richard Stivers makes an interesting observation about the choices given to consumers. He writes:

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“There is nothing voluntary about consumption in modern societies. Advertising provides the commands to consume under the guise of the freedom to achieve material well-being: Buy; Consume; Enjoy. There is freedom of choice about what to consume, but only within the larger demand that we approach life exclusively as consumers.” (1)

(1) Richard Stivers, The Culture of Cynicism: American Morality in Decline (Blackwell, Cambridge, Mass., 1994), p. 132.

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