institutions and mechanisms at thelevel of social life drive and reproduce patterns ofmass/excess consumption
Mass and excess consumption permeate social life
Born into mass consumption societies where excess isomnipresent, where we are surrounded by toys, can-dies, fast food, fast fashion, electronic devices, gamesand all sorts of entertainments
xperience social confirmationthrough our behaviour as consumers, we learn tolove consumption
Particular attention is paidto the meso-level of social life lying between the indi-vidual and macro-level institutions.
The umbrella concept of institution includes bothmaterial and non-material (cognitive) factors
Institutions structure and stabilizeaction. They constrain and facilitate it, and contributeto organizing it.
Both material and non-material institu-tions provide stability and predictability to social life
Institutions shape dominant ways of thinking,feeling and doing.
apitalism, which is an inherentlydynamic economic institution
Capitalism is oriented towards con-tinuous growth or capital accumulation. There is moreto this drive to accumulate capital than capitalists’desire for profit.
The institution of capital-ism is reinforced by other institutions including, criti-cally, the institution of private property and the legalprotection it provides.
distribution of produced goods isundertaken through market exchange
continuous industrial/technologicaldevelopment, backed by scientific progress, which hasled to enormous increases in productivity over time
produce more, new, increasingly differentiated pro-ducts and services which, in turn, results in the inces-sant creation of new‘needs’
economic geography, includinga constant process of urbanization, which facilitatesproduction, distribution and consumption for themasse
tandardizedmass consumption with systems of distribution andprovision through, for example, department stores,shopping centres, malls and systems of transportation
This institutional structure facilitates massaccessibility and availability
inter-net has created a new revolution in economic geogra-phy with many products only a couple of clicks away
expansive capitalism needs the support ofan ideology or culture that legitimizes it–a pro-growthdogma.
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