Marissa Johnston- The Dependence Effect

Posted: January 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

The reading: The Dependence Effect has made me think critically about how production creates wants. It is interesting to look at it from Galbraith’s point of view. We as consumers are inclined to think that the production of new products is satisfying our needs, but in reality the production is not really satisfying anything because if it had not been created, it would not be satisfying any wants/needs. The consumer, without the influence of production and advertising, never had the urgency of the want that they are satisfying. It can also be seen as a domino effect as stated that one man’s consumption becomes his neighbor’s wish, meaning that the same process that satisfies one’s want, creates the same want on another person.This connects as well to how we are judged by the products we own and because of the continual production of newer and higher valued products we feel the need to buy more to maintain our reputation in society.

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Comments
  1. I agree with Marissa and would add that before reading Galbraith’s essay I had never really thought about where my wants and desires actually originated from. I thought what I wanted is just what I wanted….. and I know I want it because I simply want it? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you think about it and actually puts my wants and my needs into perspective. Which has allowed me to distinguish between the two quite easily.

    We have created a very greedy and driven society where we are never satisfied and constantly striving for something bigger and better. However, in most cases we do not know why we want it in the first place and can easily do without. The need to satisfy wants and urges we didn’t even know we had before they were placed in front of us actually makes us seem rather stupid. It reminds me of my dog and her desire to have whatever is in my hand at the time. I could have next to anything and she will want it as long as I have it. It is an extreme example of course but it captures the thoughtlessness that goes into some of our wants that we believe to be needs.

  2. Tomas Larouche says:

    I also agree with marissa that I had never really thought of where wants come from. And after doing the readings came to learn how this happens through the production process and often these wants become what is called “false needs”. I understand how false needs come to be, but i don’t think it always applies to a product. Something could begin initially as a false need but then becomes an actual need for someones work. An example with fashion sticks out the most in my mind, if a new style of suit or watch come out may seem like quite a false need at first compared to another suit, or even for most peoples work. But lets say the person is the CEO of a large company, or a high profile lawyer they need to represent there company and firm the best they can and this can be done by having the newest and nicest clothing.

    – Tomas Larouche

  3. I also agree about everyone in this discussion and I feel that advertising is so prevalent in our societies that we have become desensitized to it and products and brands become ingrained in our everyday lives.. It seems as if our society is just a factory that mass-produces inadequate cultural goods. Through things like film, television, music, and magazines, we are almost brainwashed by our consumption. The commodities that are produced help create false needs, which can only be fulfilled through the products and commodities themselves. Our fixation on these commodities changes human nature as well as falsifies our living conditions.

    – Pouya Moosavi

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