Reading Report on Consumption

Reading Report on Christopher Lasch „The Culture of Consumption“ and Michael Schudson „Delectable Materialism: Second Thoughts on Consumer Culture“
      Which are, according to Lasch, the indicators pointing to       the emergence of a consumer society? In which decade(s) does       he locate that emergence?     In the late 19th century the industry in the United States restricted its production to goods that were necessary for construction across the country. Then, by the middle of the 20th century “the shift from heavy industry to consumer goods […] was unmistakable” (Lasch, p. 1381). The “consumer debt […] increased”, “half of the families in the middle income range carried installment payments”, “the morality of thrift” lost its value (Lasch, p. 1381). When the motto “Buy now, pay later” turned up, it was no longer necessary to be modest. The longing for comfort is only human and now even the lower income class was permitted to accumulating earthly goods. Now one had to fear to be judged by his peers for his indebtedness, since it became a common practice. Buying things didn't demand the need, but the craving for comfort and the “appetite for better things, once these things were placed within the reach of the common people” (Lasch, 1382). An effect of theses new dimensions of buying showed in the improvement of social life: People owning goods feel superior and more valued. So dealing with life, work and family wasn't as hard anymore, especially for the working class (q.v. Lasch, p. 1382). At the same time the morality of hard work lost importance.
Already in the early 20's, consumer goods were produced in great runs and sold very well up to the point when the Great Depression started demanding it's first sacrifices (q.v. Lasch, p 1381). In the 40's and 50's economy started prospering again.
A culture of consumption was born. Advertisement gained influence on peoples buying behavior and the producers of costumer goods even went so far to encourage buying...