Are People Living in Cities Becoming More Materialistic?
In today’s constantly changing society, more and more people are becoming more materialistic. This is particularly so in the cities and more urbanized areas. Take America as an example. Compared with three or four decades ago, Americans today are very much more materialistic. Materialism is usually more apparent in cities because in the cities, people are constantly exposed to new inventions that make life easier. These new inventions often come with a hefty price tag attached to them, simply because they are new products.
Human beings being what they are will constantly try to attain the newest and best things in life for themselves. Moreover, city living is such that everyday, you will come into contact with many other people, as city dwellers live within close proximity of one another. As such, on seeing that their neighbours or friends have a certain new product, they too will want to have that, new product as it implies that they have the money to buy the new product. With the massive industrialization programme of the American government over the past two to three decades, America has come a long way.
We are now a modern city. Industrialization has improved the living standards of most Americans. as such, our buying power is greater and we are thus able to enjoy more of the luxuries in life. This however has caused many Americans to become materialistic. Nowadays, people tend to judge one another by their outward appearance than their character. If a person is well-dressed and drives an expensive car, he tends to get better service and more respect from the people around him. In the job market. , materialism is also evident..
In recent years, employers have complained about young graduates who job-hop. These young graduates have no loyalty whatsoever to the company they work for. As such, when another company offers them the same job but with a higher pay, they simply resign and take up the other offer. Some young graduates have even held four or more different ,jobs within two years. The reason for their job-hopping is simply because each job offers a better pay and nothing else. Materialism is also seen in the shopping habits of people nowadays. People feel that their status comes from what they wear.
As such, the budget corners of many department stores are often shunned by the younger more materialistic set. Instead, they flock to designer boutiques like `Ralph Lauren’ and `Emporio Armani’ to get their outfits. Materialism is not confined to the younger adults. Even teenagers are becoming more materialistic. Materialism in teenagers is due mainly to peer pressure. Many teenagers feel the need for expensive things because their friends have them too. Moreover, as the family size gets smaller and more mothers work. parents often try to make up for the time not spent with their children by giving them more money.
Materialism in teenagers can be clearly seen just by looking at the school shoes of most students. The traditional `Bata’ shoes have been abandoned for the more prestigious `Reebok’, `Nike’ or ‘L. A. Gear’. These teenagers experience the power of money at a very young age and therefore grow up having a very materialistic outlook of life. Materialism in America or in any other urbanized city cannot be blamed on anyone but society. It often arises out of peer pressure and also because of a better standard of living. Materialism, therefore, can be considered as a price people have to pay for industrialization.