Consumerism & the Limits to Imagination

Consumer capitalism dominates our economy, our politics, and our culture, even though a growing body of research suggests it may be well past its sell-by date. In this illustrated presentation based on his latest critically acclaimed book, media scholar Justin Lewis makes a compelling case that consumer capitalism can no longer deliver on its promise of enhancing quality of life, and argues that changing direction will require changing our media system and our cultural environment. After showing how consumer capitalism has become economically and environmentally unsustainable, Lewis explores how our cultural and information industries make it difficult to envision other forms of human progress by limiting critical thinking and keeping us locked in a cycle of consumption. And he argues that change will only be possible if we take culture seriously and transform the very way we organize our media and communications systems.

Sections: An Endless Proliferation of Goods | The Decline of Leisure | Economic Growth & Happiness | Consumer Capitalism & the Environment | The Perils of Planned Obsolescence | Advertising & the Limits to Imagination | Disposable News | The Need for Imaginative Space