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How Advertising as an Institution Helped Create Americas Consumer Culture It is impossible to escape It is everywhere and it is omnipresent It is so ubiquitous that the human mind tends to become immune to it sometimes The subject in which I am speaking of is advertising But how does it as an institution affect us as consumers More specifically how does it affect our consumer culture In the following essay a number of factors will be discussed in detail that reflect how each one contributes to how advertising as an institution affects consumer culture in the United States I think it is most important to first define each of the two key terms in which I am discussing The first which is institution is defined as a humanly designed method of handling certain problems of existence text pg 12 In particular advertising as an institution is primarily designed to provide information on economic goods and services but which now under the impact of modern conditions finds broader noneconomic applications text pg12 Socially this institution influences our behavior pertaining to roles and economically it influences where consumers disperse their wealth The second term that needs to be defined is consumer culture According to the class text culture is defined as the sharing of names - and this includes the sharing of names of material objects 52 Consumer in my own terms which pertain to this essay is defined as a person who buys material objects in order to fulfill either social physical or personal needs Combining these two terms plainly means that consumer culture is the result of people buying material objects for any reason because of sharing names with other people of the same culture A great example of this comes from the textbook If an American meets another American while traveling abroad they do not converse with each other about The Declaration of Independence Instead they compare Jif and Peter
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