Liberal Arts and Management Program | Prospectives on American Consumerism
L416 | 10751 | Metzler, Eric
It may be said that consumerism is one of the defining features of
contemporary American culture: discarding the old, acquiring the
new, going to the mall, shopping online, keeping up with the
Joneses, buying goods and services to fulfill desires, and so on
characterize common American experience.
In this course, we will explore various topics pertaining to
consumerism, including what it means to be a consumer, how
consumerism relates to our identities, advertising’s influence on
our decisions to buy and more broadly, its role in shaping societal
values. We will also consider some of the strategies American
businesses use to organize, streamline and promote consumption and
reflect on some of the benefits and costs of those strategies.
Finally, students will pursue their own interest as it relates to
the broader topic of consumerism, researching that interest, sharing
their findings with the class, and writing a ten-page paper on the
Course materials will include essays and articles from diverse
sources as well as visual and aural media, including documentaries,
news stories, and popular productions.