Consumerism is neutral it's not good or bad, it is an attitude that values acquizition of material goods. The connotation of the term will depend on your perspective.

There are many defintions towards consumerism:

"a modern movement for the protection of the consumer against useless, inferior, or dangerous products, misleading advertising, unfair pricing, etc. " Is Dictionary.com definition of consumerism.
or
“Consumerism is the equating of personal happiness with the purchasing of material possessions and consumption.” Is Wikipedia’s definition of Consumerism.

What are the advantages of it
· It promotes trade
· Brings income for businesses
· It gives people variety of items they want

What are the disadvantages of it
· Increase in spending which forms shopaholics
· More pollution is created


Due to the increase of advertisements being constantly being showed to the consumer, the peer pressure, and need to fit in society has caused more people to buy. Now when people see something they need to have it. Some items that used to be a want are now a need. For an example cell phones back then were a luxuries item, and you could get along fine without one, but now they are a need to fit in society. This has resulted cell phone companies making millions of this.

Another example is having a luxuries car. People believe that it will give you better quality of life.
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The biggest problem in consumerism is teenagers buying clothing. When they go to a mall, they will buy items from big company names like Lacoste. That shirt may be double or even triple than a same shirt with no logo on it. Teenagers also might find themselves in competition with friends to see who is in the most style, so they will end up going to buy more clothes
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When people buy luxuries items here are some questions to ask about the product.
  • How do material values influence our relationships with other people?
  • What are the impacts of that process of production on the environment, society, on individuals?
  • What are the impacts of certain forms of consumption on the environment, on society, on individuals?
  • Which actors influence our choices of consumption?
  • And lots more

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumerism
http://iron.lcc.gatech.edu/~gtg016g/advertise.html
http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Consumption.asp
http://www.corrupt.org/articles/existential/consumerism.jpg
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/consumerism
Created by BFREEL