Consumerisms Impact on Religion and Spirituality in America

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Week 5-DB12 Final Essay Paper Tom Daley September 23, 2012 Instructor: Rudy Moore Course # REL 215-OL Course Name: Religion in America There is no doubt that we live in a consumerist society, and there may be no escaping this. Consumerism has had an incredible impact on religion and spirituality in America. It is our way of life and it is extremely powerful. There are many moving parts that play a role in our consumerist society, and understanding these parts will help eliminate some of the negative side effects that our society’s passion to consume creates. This paper will dissect the many parts of consumerism, examine the negative side effects it creates in our society, and discuss possible ways that religion can survive in this type of environment. In order better understand how consumerism impacts religion in America, it helps to dissect it to see how all its parts interact and drives its engine. America has changed significantly over the last few centuries. Before mass production became a reality people were producers. Furniture makers, clock makers, and tailors would all produce their products from start to finish. Mass production created a major shift in the labor market. Assembly line labor was the new order, and now workers only played a very small role in the finish product. The majority of people were no longer producers of products; they were now ready to become full time consumers. With mass production taking over the American work force, the standard of living was on the rise. People could now afford to buy products that were at one time considered luxury items (Mercer, 2006). The next major shift in our economy took the form of globalization. Outsourcing our labor to the cheapest country became the new business model. Business leaders wanted a flexible labor force to help drive down production costs and help boost profits.
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