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Message de marielh posté le 17-04-2014 à 18:30:49 (S | E | F)
I am going to talk about the idea of progress. First, I would like to give a definition of progress. The idea of progress basically consists in believing that the world could become better in terms of technology, liberty and quality of life and has shaped most of Western civilization’s vision of history. As the rhythm of progress seems to have accelerated these last few decades with an ever faster increase of major technological and scientific breakthroughs, the cult of novelty and progress is now being questioned. Indeed, a growing number of people voice their concern about the ethical, social and environmental consequences of such development and about the excesses of today’s consumer society. I have chosen to focus on this latter issue. How can people change their consumption habits ?
First, I will exhibit the way people nowadays consume and I will highlight the abuses of this way of consumption. Then I will show how people try to react to hyper-consumerism and are setting up new systems.
At the beginning of the 20th century Will Rogers highlighted how consumerism had changed to lead to a consumer society. He highlighted that people just want to fit in and not to be in the fringe of society. As well as an increasing number of local shops, large shopping malls have increased around the world. Over the past few years, the modes of consumption have greatly evolved, the development of the Internet has opened up new prospects with online shopping, which can be seen as the natural continuation of the “Consumer Society”. Nowadays people even shop from their living-room and they have access to a very extensive range of items. Online shopping is becoming more and more popular so that Amazon is the world’s largest marketplace. Consumption is lived as the way to access freedom.
However more liberty thanks to a broader consumption was bring, consumption and the cult of novelty, which have been developed, generate new concerns. People are became addicted to shopping and make compulsive spending. We studied in class an excerpt from an article where the author related the death of a man and the verbal violence due to the hysteria generated by the Black Friday sales. This incident is a symbol of a fanatical, hyper-consumerist ethos, which has come to define us as individuals and as a community. It shows how people are infantile and no longer think for themselves. Consumerism is turned to a new cult religion.
Reacting to hyper-consumerism, uniformity and wastage, some people are setting up new systems to build a sustainable society. They criticize materialism and the eternal dissatisfaction that Consumer Society brings. This new phenomenon may stem from either the need to spend less due to the economic recession, or a way of making a profit on discarded goods. We studied an article which exhibit several means such as exchanging goods, renting goods and bartering goods to take part in a collaborative consumption. In addition to this, we studied an article entitled “A Freegan world”. It raise people’s awareness of the false needs created by advertisers and exhibit alternatives to berserk shopping. It promotes the Freegan’ s way of live, based on eating other people’s waste and the Fair trade products that often offer a better quality and a more respectful approach to consumption.
To conclude, the development of large shopping malls, advertisements and the Internet contribute to create a consumer society, where people are became materialist, eternally dissatisfied and act like berserk fanatics. Thus the progress is not always a complete improvement. In this case, it make firstly people independent but finally create addiction and a modern enslavement. However, some resistances has emerged and promote a more respectful approach to consumption. The progress then leads the way towards sustainability.
Modifié par lucile83 le 17-04-2014 21:44
Réponse: Oral /Progress de marielh, postée le 23-04-2014 à 19:53:49 (S | E)
Quelqu'un peut-il me corriger, s'il vous plaît ?
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