Consumer society is a concept used to refer to those societies of industrialized countries and with a capitalist mode of production. The fact that they are so named is due to the great consumption of goods and services by these companies.
The consumer society begins to be a term used in the economy from the Industrial Revolution and after the Second World War. Thus, a consumer society is one that bases its system on the massive consumption of goods and services.
With the arrival of the Industrial Revolution, excess production had to be aligned with greater consumption by societies. To do this, based on a capitalist model, the States promoted greater consumption, in order to release all that production that industrialization had brought.
In these developed societies, consumerism is a growing trend.
In turn, advertising and marketing play a fundamental role in this type of company.
Characteristics of a consumer society
Among the characteristics that define a consumer society, the following should be highlighted:
- They are societies based on a capitalist system.
- There is a wide variety of goods and services on the market.
- They are industrialized societies.
- In such societies, the accumulation of goods equals greater well-being.
- For the economy to improve in these societies, it is understood that consumption must grow.
- For this reason, if consumption is reduced, there is a tendency to believe that the economy is not doing well.
- Advertising and marketing play an essential role in these societies.
- Planned obsolescence is important in this type of society.
- So does inflation, which plays with consumer expectations.
- Credit, in this type of company, is quite fluid.
Advantages and disadvantages of consumer societies
Living in a consumer society, like everything else, has its advantages and disadvantages.
For this reason, the main advantages, as well as disadvantages, of this type of company are set out below.
Among the advantages presented by these companies are the following:
- Economic growth tends to be more dynamic, by stimulating consumption so much.
- There is greater access to goods and services by the population.
- Therefore, the general welfare of the population increases.
- The shortage is less than in other types of countries.
- Mass production enables society to take advantage of economies of scale, which is why it has greater purchasing power.
- As there is so much offer, the competition makes the user or consumer benefit from better prices and better quality.
On the other hand, among the disadvantages, the following should be highlighted:
- They are systems that do not take into account aspects such as the environment.
- Reuse and recycling is a threat to these societies.
- It generates irrational and mass production systems.
- Credit is dangerous, in certain scenarios.
- Scheduled obsolescence causes products to have a shorter shelf life.
Consumer society example
Among the examples of what would be consumer societies, all the main developed and industrialized economies on the planet stand out, as well as some emerging ones.
In this sense, the following should be noted: