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Social status by consumerism, 1920s (Essay Sample)


Topic: Assignment: Consumer culture is the idea that your social status, values, and
hobbies are represented by the products and services you purchase. For this unit’s
writing project, you will write a paper that explains consumer culture and related
subtopics. First, do research on the topic (our class readings.) Then, look for
connections between readings and explain the issues of consumer society to your
audience, combining our class readings in a unique way. You will identify important
subtopics. You must use ideas from class readings, and you can also use your own
The Great Gatsby
Keeping up with the Jones’
The Cost of Fast Fashion Reading
Moore: Seas of Plastic
What will you write?
A synthesis (research) essay that will be organized by subtopic. You can choose what
subtopics to include. Examples of subtopics:
Social status by consumerism, 1920’s and/or today
Environmental problems
Human Cost - exploitative labor, time, dissatisfaction, competition
Scenes and themes from Gatsby: how he abandoned his family for dreams of being
rich, Daisy married for money, conflict between old and new money, Nick’s general
discomfort with materialism, big fancy parties, the Valley of Ashes , how perhaps
Gatsby’s desire to be rich makes him decide to Bootleg
The meaning and examples of “Keeping Up With the Jones’”
Differences + similarities between social mobility in USA and your culture
Differences + similarities between “Keeping … Jones” in USA and your culture


Student's Name
Social status by consumerism, 1920s
In the 1920's the economy of America was booming with the best production. The people of America were only producing and buying the basic products (Higgs, n.d.). By 1920 most of the products were not in demand as the supply had accumulated in the previous centuries. The consumers could only buy when persuaded. The state of the market made consumer economists come up with a new idea. Edward Cowdrick called the idea 'the new gospel of consumption.' (Higgs, n.d.). The new gospel of consumption involved introducing goods of high value for consumption by a class of people (Higgs, n.d.). The goods inflicted envy among consumers and resulted in high consumption and economic growth (Higgs, n.d.). The consumers' demand for new products in the market since then has never been satisfied.
Keeping up with the Jones
The phrase means doing something to show off your purchasing power to gain a certain social class. Consumers may sometimes buy a product not because they need it but to blow the trumpet; they have money like other people. As I grew up, I could buy the newest fashion clothes, phones, and video games. The reason for this was to show off to my peers. The trend made me live beyond my limit and even trick my peers into getting money to sustain my status.
Environmental problems
Consumers have demanded cheap fashion clothes in a significant volume. The fashion companies have been producing garments demanded every day, unlike in the 90s whe

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