Archive for November, 2013

  1. My favourite reading throughout the course is Veblen’s “Conspicuous Consumption” because this piece made me reflect a lot about my own consumption practices. I found that it is also the most relatable to the materialistic society that we live in.
  2. I found that both the “Conspicuous Consumption and Shopping” and “Materialism and Need” topics very interesting, but if I had to pick out of the two, I would say “Conspicuous Consumption and Shopping”. Again it is also because I found it the most relatable to the materialistic society that we live in and I was able to really relate this topic to myself.
  3. As for topics that would have been great if we also covered, I’m not too sure if I would say there is, because I think this course was pretty thorough in terms of covering different topics.
  4. Overall I really like the format of the course, in terms of assignments and activities. It made it easier for myself to really get into the topics and readings.



For my final blog post, I thought I would sum up a lot of what we have learned this semester. We have referenced Coca Cola and Banksy on different occasions separately, now we see them together. This text sums up our term in three words: Advertisers Own You. 

Haley Allen- Black Friday Craze

Posted: November 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

Haley Allen- Black Friday Craze

I came across this picture earlier today and felt that is perfectly encompasses what we talk about in class and how consumerism has taken over how we function in today’s society. This weekend is Black Friday, a holiday made up by retailers that lies right after thanksgiving in which stores have excessive sales and bargains. Overall, Black Friday is the perfect example of how obsessed society has become with “things.” People go crazy for Black Friday deals, shopping not because they NEED things, but rather because there is a sale and these sales have become a part of our culture. As the meme depicts, its extremely ironic that this consumer holiday falls directly after a holiday centred around giving thanks for what you already have.

Lindsay Orr-Voluntary Simplicity

Posted: November 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

In the reading, Elgin refers to voluntary simplicity as living with basic needs and nothing more.  The first thing that came to mind when I read the article was the TV show Survivor, where each tribe is given nothing but their buffs that they wear, and they have to build a shelter, catch food, and get water.  They are living the most simplistic life.  Obviously, having to live the simplistic lifestyle is voluntary on their part, as they sign up for the show with the goal to win money at the end, but for their time on the island, they are living like how Elgin suggests people do, to only live with the basics.

Towards a New Politics of Consumption by Juliet Schor preaches too people that we have to break out of our ways of overconsumption and into a new mindset of buying only what we need. Society needs to become more educated in their decisions, thus a “Buy Nothing Day” was created to counteract consumerism. This day is held every year after the United States Thanksgiving holiday since this day is known as Black Friday and is one of the busiest days of the year for shopping. This idea was created to reach the masses and hopefully educate people on how much waste is created in the world on Black Friday. Even though this commercial shown above was not allowed to be broadcasted on any major television network, social media has propelled it to a point were it has helped combat a bit of consumerism, but not all. Hopefully through the efforts of people in the world, this day will start to catch on with more and more people and therefore could create a void in consumerism on Black Friday.

I came across this very interesting movement that embodies ‘voluntary simplicity’ that is discussed by Duane Elgin. Voluntary simplicity calls for us to cut ties with products or items that is not a human necessity, and to live a life more purposeful without clutter (397). In turn, a movement called ‘back-to-the-land movement’ garnered some global interest, and calls for occupants to grow their own food and live within the confines of the earth. This usually means that if you a participant of this movement, you have to create your own shelter and find your own food while doing this. I have attached a link of a photographer her captured photos of examples and people who are participating in this movement.


Hi All,

Your 5th and last quiz will take place here on the blog. I simply want you you write a few reflections on the class as a whole, including:

1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.

2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.

3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.

4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).

This kind of more specific feedback will help me if I teach this class again.

Please post your quiz answer as a comment to this post.

Due by the last class next week, late quizes will not be accepted.