The American society today is very different to what it once was many years ago. However, power and happiness has always been a big part of everybody’s life, and a big part of the society. Can money get you all of this? Power through money and happiness through materialism. In this assignment I will focus on the rise of materialism in the American society. With the help of three different articles I will take a look at the effects materialism has on the society.
America is known for its concept of the American dream. The American dream can be fulfilled by hard work and determination. America also prides itself on its individualism. The individualism in America shows itself through freedom of speech, independence and the worth of an individual. In the article “Is the American Dream becoming too materialistic?” by 18-year-old Shanzeh Khurram, Khurram comments on how the American dream, but also the rising of materialistic values, affects people in America today.
Today society is filled with new gadgets and products every day, and luxury and expensive items. As this happens, owning the newest and best products are often linked to success and happiness, and therefore the American dream has become more materialistic, and it is becoming more and more materialistic with time. Khurram points out that the American dream always has been a bit materialistic, but in a different way than it is today. Back then people strived to have a nice house, and a couple cars. They strived for the essentials and a bit more. Today nothing is enough.
People always want something more, because there are always coming out new products . “The American dream revolves around luxury goods for most people” . Because of the immense number of products being released, and the hype of designer/luxury items, today you are being judged and your worth are being decided by how many of the new products you possess and how much money you have.
People often forget to stop and think “does this actually make me happy?”, or are they just wasting money and energy to keep up a nice façade. Khurram points out in her article that this doesn’t add any fulfillment to life.