Consumerism as an institutional form of greed devotes billions of dollars in creating, persuading, and seducing people into acquiring things based on clinging desire; it promises happiness in this world.

A passion is created between what we are and what we think we are which generates a state of unhappiness (conscious or unconscious) leaving us feeling that we are alienated, separated and bereft.

Countries are changing from their traditional ways of life at an enormous speed force in order to "catch up and modernise" with the Western and Industrialised countries. This systematic encouragement of greed is resulting in over consumerism. There is an obsession for purchasing, using resources in an amount which becomes wasteful. Over the past few decades, consumerism has moved from a localised trend in the industrialised "wealthier nations" to a global way of life around the world.

Some people are starting to recognise that consumerism is unsustainable. This way of living neglects the deeper needs in every sphere of humanity and the world at large.

Consumerism does not fit well with traditional cultural values. Many individuals, organisations and communities are actively resisting consumer values and are working to sustain and promote alternatives to consumerism. The paper researches briefly the history of wealth; examines consumerism in Western cultures; it describes alternate viewpoints from the Buddhist tradition; it focuses on living as exemplified in an alternative multicultural community.


Sociology of Culture