how does the media communicate consumerism?
Via commercials and advertisements.
Also, generally, via articles, shows, and entertainment that stress immediate fulfillment through the acquirement of material goods as the means to true happiness.
To gain an idea the change in stresses on consumerism, one should watch old commercials from decades ago and compare them to the commercials of today – consider the words used, the reserve vs. lack thereof, and so forth. You will see the development of the process towards complete and unrestricted advocacy.
In sales in general there is the problem of the tendency of unrestricted desire to ‘sell’ a product through whatever means whatsoever. IE, that using entertainment or jocularity as an excuse, or some such thing, one can make absurd claims and so forth about the benefits of a product in a person’s life and be excused from the absurdity thereby. This tendency followed, it frees from all modesty and restriction, all sales and thereby promotes what was absurd once as everyday, to all, immersing people in an unreal expectation of fulfillment from material goods. While there is a certain reserve that of course, the fulfillment is unreal in a person because of the absurdity, the illusion of it is more general and easily caught up in.
One of the reasons why it’s difficult to be a saint and a salesman. One must, whenever one sells something, place oneself in the buyer’s shoes and say, ‘If I was this person, would I want to buy this product at this point, would it be good.’ On the contrary, a salesman of these times normally has no such reserve, and is trained in a variety of psychological techniques to manipulate a person into buying a product.
I am not in sales, so I can’t go into detail with all these techniques, but here is one of them. A car salesman and you come together, he describes the car as the perfect car for you – You haggle with the price, and then he goes out and comes back after ‘talking to the boss’, saying he has lowered the price for you with great effort. He now has a hold on you, he has ‘done you a favor’ so you should be expected to ‘buy the car’ because he has through his personal effort put himself in possible trouble with his boss to give you the best deal. There may be a guilt response if you do not help. After all, the salesman may be in trouble with the boss for wasting his time if you do not close the sale.
There is a technical term for this technique, but I forget the name.
These sorts of techniques are very common in sales, and very common… in politics.
I’d disagree on it being hard to be in sales and be a saint. I work grocery retail, and I swear, I’m working off my purgatory dealing with difficult and at-times abusive customers as I try to sell our products in order to make my living wage…
I think Shin’s point re: saints and salesmen is pretty accurate for sales of ‘big ticket’ items like cars, insurance, and appliances.
It’s not to say they are all bad people or lie as a matter of course, but you really need to research and verify everything they say.
As to media and consumerism, only part of it is advertising. The media really is the message, as often as not. The images of ‘every day life’ you see on television-- the houses, the cars; the perfect bodies covered in perfect skin-- leave veiwers with unrealistic expectations of what they should have, their lifestyles, how they should look.
That nagging dissatisfaction moves a lot of product…