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Terror Management Account of Conspicuous Consumption

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 929 words Published: 1st Sep 2017

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The motivation behind this part is to clarify the mental underpinnings of the obvious utilization from the viewpoint of dread administration hypothesis. Our fundamental proposal is that prominent utilization is an immediate consequence of the extraordinary human consciousness of mortality and the quest for self-esteem and passing amazing quality that this mindfulness causes. In spite of the fact that it is anything but difficult to study contemporary American cases of avarice and indulgence, given the long and broad mankind’s history of unwarranted utilization, we can’t credit it to the impact of present-day private enterprise or corporate culture; rather, it is a result of essential all inclusive needs. Without a doubt, we contend that if contemporary people are all the more extremely inefficient, it is fundamentally as a result of present day innovation instead of due to any new social or mental improvements. We exhibit authentic and observational confirmation in support of our dread administration clarification of consumerism. At last, we consider what may be done to encourage “life-maintaining utilization,” stripped of the harmful, psychopathological craving for endless measures of pointless stuff that undermines human bliss and debilitates the very presence of the human species by contaminating and exhausting the regular assets whereupon our survival, at last, depends on.


“Modern man is drinking and drugging himself out of awareness, or he spends his time shopping, which is the same thing”

• Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

Author’s main claim?

The Author’s main claim is that the human awareness of death and the potentially overwhelming existential anxiety, it engenders motivates people to imbue life with meaning and derive self-esteem from cultural beliefs about the nature of reality. That concern about mortality play a pervasive role in human affairs, and suggests that people construct cultural worldviews in order to manage the terror engendered by the human awareness of death.

What are the reasons the author gives for his/her main claim?

1. The virtues of materialistic consumption are deeply woven into the very fabric of human culture.

2. The human desire for money and materials indicates that rationality is not the sole factor that drives consumption behavior.

What evidence does the author give for each claim you identified above? Evidence might include examples, statistical data, interview responses, or theoretical application.

Evidence 1 :

Business communities worried, because of the magnitude and impact of the terror attack on sep 11, that the incident would initiate a recession in the United States.Americans bought homes and cars in record quantities. They also snapped up appliances, furniture, and electronic gadgets. From October through December, consumption soared at 6% annual rate.Although exercising one’s credit cards in the wake of these catastrophic reminders of vulnerability and mortality may in some ways seem surprising, such behavior follows predictably from the perspective of terror management theory.

Evidence 2 :

Spending eternity in a heavenly afterlife is a quaint and attractive prospect (e.g., Islamic Jihad’s Sheik Abdulla Shamni’s 1995 [reported by Abu-Nasr, 1995, p. 1A] descrip­tion of heaven as “a world of castles, flowing rivers, and lush fields” where the blessed “can eat the most delicious food, the most luscious fruits and the tenderest cuts of meat”), but ultimately intangible and empirically uncertain, whereas large piles of gold, enormous mounds of possessions, and lavish con­sumption is ineluctably real and symbolically indicative of immortal power. The notion that the urge to splurge is fundamentally a defensive death denial above and beyond the quite legitimate pursuit of material comfort and aes­thetic pleasure is supported by both the historical record and contemporary empirical research.

Evidence 3:

Roheim (1934) found that the primary motive for acquiring money and possessions in virtually all known tribal cultures is ulti¬mately symbolic and ceremonial, in the service of gaining and maintaining prestige, and has little to do with money as a rational medium of exchange of goods and services.

Do you agree with the author? Why or why not? Explain in 4-6 sentences.

Yes, I agree with the author because in this world human behavior is directly or indirectly related to consumption ,yet our consumption behavior is not based solely on our physical survival needs despite it takes lot of time and effort to make money to be extravagant and lavish and you hardly find any time to think of death and practice measures to deny it.


Solomon, S., Greenberg, J. & Pyszczynski, T.A. (2003). Lethal consumption: Death-denying materialism





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