Chapter

Media Consumerism and Cultural Transformation

Eric Masinde Aseka

in Media and Identity in Africa

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780748635221
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653010 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635221.003.0007
Media Consumerism and Cultural Transformation

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This chapter argues that society is today marked by a growing addiction to over-consumption of products and services ranging from car alarms to TV news programmes. Addictive consumerism, and an adherence to narrow beliefs about products, is bringing to birth a new social reality. African cultural values are losing out to consumerist values. Economic worth has displaced self-worth as the measure by which we value one another. As America settles into its nightly routine of television viewing, Africa follows suit in sheer mimicry, and corporate profiteers are quick to substitute the lure of material luxury and consumer gratification for the fading community spirit that is cultural. As the media continue to advertise products in the market in the name of selling an image of the postmodern personality – an empty shell because it has lost its moral essence – Africa will continue to be hollow and vulnerable to imperial manipulation.

Keywords: consumption; globalisation; consumer behaviour; cultural values; imperialism; African values; consumerist values

Chapter.  4183 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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