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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Green Believers must quicken these connections. Green consumerism is a hopeful token of more substantial change.
▪ The question is whether, having raised the issue, green consumerism then legitimises a half-baked response.
▪ It remains to be seen how quickly green consumerism, that most middle class of activities, can sort this out.
▪ Here, perhaps, green consumerism can try to get us to eat tuna that has been caught in a wildlife-friendly way!
▪ From this hollowness green consumerism springs.
▪ They have prayed for new ways to effect transformation and green consumerism has been revealed to them.
▪ And green consumerism is a step in the right direction.
▪ But the growth in consumer debt should not be simply seen and condemned as a complete descent into mindless consumerism.
▪ Fans of the novel claim that its stomach-turning violence is a brilliant metaphor for the 1980s culture of consumerism and self-gratification.
▪ Green consumerism is a hopeful token of more substantial change.
▪ Here protection was being offered to the husband, but also to the wife against her apparently uncontrollable consumerism.
▪ Here, we showcase our consumerism.
▪ The culture-ideology of consumerism in the Third World will be the subject of Chapter 5.
▪ The Eastern Bloc has been transformed into a gigantic Enterprise Zone for western capitalists eager to reap the benefits of suppressed consumerism.
▪ The extreme western edge of the square has the now compulsory big city billboards extolling the virtues of consumerism.
Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1944, "protection of the consumer's interest," from consumer + -ism. Also, "encouraging consumption as an economic policy" (1960). Related: Consumerist (1965, n.; 1969, adj.).


n. 1 A policy of protecting and informing consumers through honesty in advertising and packaging, improved safety standards etc 2 A materialistic attachment to possessions. 3 An economic theory that increased consumption is beneficial to a nation's economy in the long run.

  1. n. the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically beneficial

  2. a movement advocating greater protection of the interests of consumers


Consumerism as a social and economic order and ideology encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. Early criticisms of consumerism occur in 1899 in the works of Thorstein Veblen. Veblen's subject of examination, the newly emergent middle class arising at the turn of the 20th century, came to fruition by the end of the 20th century through the process of globalization.

In the domain of politics, the term "consumerism" has also been used to refer to something quite different called the consumerists' movement, consumer protection or consumer activism, which seeks to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards. In this sense it is a political movement or a set of policies aimed at regulating the products, services, methods, and standards of manufacturers, sellers, and advertisers in the interests of the consumer.

In the domain of economics, "consumerism" refers to economic policies placing emphasis on consumption. In an abstract sense, it is the consideration that the free choice of consumers should strongly orient the choice by manufacturers of what is produced and how, and therefore orient the economic organization of a society (compare producerism, especially in the British sense of the term). In this sense, consumerism expresses the idea not of "one man, one voice", but of "one dollar, one voice", which may or may not reflect the contribution of people to society.

Overall, since the end of the 20th century, the burgeoning of consumerism as a way of life across all domains has remade politics, economics and culture:

Usage examples of "consumerism".

In Teheran, Western consumerism assaults you everywhere with signs for Kenwood stereos, Toshiba computers, Swiss watches, and American soft drinks and computer software programs.

To say that consumerism does not deserve all of the blame is not to deny it was a contributing factor.

You need to have a rich computer infrastructure, a functioning telecommunications network, cheap access to the Internet, computer literacy, inability to postpone gratification, a philosophy of consumerism and, finally, a modicum of trust between the players in the economy.

But DalziePs huge frame was lead lined, and this imperviousness, plus his prodigious feats of consumerism, had brought these devout free-marketeers to a wondering respect.

This was what Christmas was all about: not the gluttonous consumerism of the telly ads but a brief interval in which all the filth and flaws of human existence were cloaked in a mantle of purest white.

A techno-escape forward into a future that looks more like the past than the future because materialism, consumerism, product-fetishism, all of these things will be eliminated and technology will become nanotechnology and disappear from our physical presence.

By the mid 1970s, the heady consumerism of the 1960s was on the wane, and the dollar bought less and less.

It was well known that consumerism was responsible for much greed and injustice.

That it was also a society that mindlessly embraced the concept of the empty symbol, whether it be in the form of rabid name-brand consumerism or idolization of an empty-headed pop-star's pretty face, lent added poignancy to the stylized dolour of its ultra-modern facade.