Template talk:Consumerism

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About this template[edit]

"Consumerism" has these meanings:

  1. the philosophy of consumer protection and the practices in the consumer movement
  2. advocacy for the simple life, a concept which since about 1990 has been called "anti-consumerism"
  3. The practice of increasing consumption, which is what anti-consumerism opposes
  4. Various economic studies about market research.

Note especially that "consumerism" and "anti-consumerism" can be synonymous. This template is supposed to focus on meaning 1. The template called Template:Anti-consumerism has information relating to meanings 2 and 3. The template Template:Consumer behaviour has information relating to meaning 4.

Within the articles on all these templates there is confusion because the word "consumer" and all derivatives of that word are being used with different meanings. I think that the page on consumerism is likely the best choice for being the center of everything, even though right now the article is in poor shape. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:10, 23 October 2012 (UTC)


categorical confusion[edit]

Copied from User talk:Lquilter (2013/04/11):
== A cup of coffee for you! ==
A small cup of coffee.JPG Thanks for developing articles relating to the consumer movement. I saw that you just created Category:Works about consumer protection. Could you please comment somehow on differentiating that with Category:Works about consumerism? Also, if you want to collaborate on anything related to this then let me know. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:15, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for dropping me a line -- I always like to hash out the best ways to organize categories. (-: Just for context, my work came from cleaning up various legislative and organizational categories, including Category:Consumer rights organizations and Category:Consumer protection. It looks like you've been going at it from yet another related angle, and it seems like a great time to integrate it all.

    It looks from the contents of Category:Consumerism that it's related to anti-globalization/anti-corporate activity, although I think of consumerism more from the perspective of critiques of the effect of capitalism and mass marketing on consumers. Category:Works about consumer protection have to do specifically with the laws and movements around consumer legal rights: health-and-safety issues and financial regulation issues. Does that seem like a reasonable description? I was toying with how to categorize these various related concepts at Category talk:Consumer rights organizations -- Shall we move this discussion to there, or to some other place (is there a WikiProject?), in order to facilitate broadening the conversation? --Lquilter (talk) 18:57, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
There is no WikiProject. I was thinking of setting one up. One problem here is that there are a lot of terms that mean the same thing - consumer protection, consumerism, and anti-consumerism share a definition but have nuances to bring in other meanings. See Template talk:Consumerism. There is talk about this in lots of places, but no one place has a community around it. I propose talking on that template, because it should be on most of the articles describing concepts of the movement, and because it is an old name for the concept. I do not care what name gets applied to the books or other media, but I do think that probably there should be only one category for works on this topic. Thoughts? Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:53, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
  • I'll copy all this to the template. --Lquilter (talk) 19:57, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

fresh start[edit]

relevant categories[edit]

So the relevant categories include:

Any others? --Lquilter (talk) 20:05, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

No. It it my understanding that these categories cover every Wikipedia article I have seen on the subject. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:18, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

relevant concepts[edit]


Others? --Lquilter (talk) 20:07, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the economic concept of consumer choice and the field of study around consumer behavior. This is covered in the Consumer theory category above. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:20, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Something more - the article "consumerism" currently is slanted to the definition of "the infrastructure which determines the amount of resource consumption in which a society engages". The word has other definitions, but for that definition, the article currently presumes that in some cases some economies encourage people to consume more resources to stimulate the economy or just to self-indulge needlessly, and in other cases people oppose any philosophy which encourages greater consumption unless there is non-economic reason to do so. It is the development of infrastructure to increase consumption only for economic or personal indulgence reasons which anti-consumerism opposes; anti-consumerism is not opposed to consumer behavior economic studies or consumer protection. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:32, 11 April 2013 (UTC)
Right. I think "anti-consumerism" is a particular political take on questions of (over-)consumption. Could we usefully pull all these concepts together in one uber-category, like "consumer activism and protection"? And then keep these various sub-categories which do, after all, seem to capture useful distinctions? --Lquilter (talk) 00:59, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I sorted categories to make Category:Consumerism the top level category for all of these things. The article "Consumerism" is not very good and gives a narrow view on the term, but the term "consumerism" is perhaps the oldest term and has been used in lot of different ways. I think that everything discussed above could be a subset of the topic, "consumerism". I do not support your suggestion of "consumer activism and protection" because that does not include articles like the current state of "consumerism" which is about oppression, and not activism or protection. Thoughts? Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:39, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Well, we could name the category "consumer-oriented activism" or something like that. That might be one way to go. Another approach might be to simply say it makes more sense to have two category trees -- there are two different movements, with different aims, philosophies, and tactics. They are not hostile to one another per se, but they are really aiming at different things, even though they both relate to consumers. (a) Anti-consumerism: "Anti/Consumerism" is fundamentally a critique of consumer capitalism, emphasis on the capitalism. So consumerism, anti-consumerism, etc., in with antiglobalization and other critiques of capitalism. (b) Pro-consumer: All the other concepts are really about making consumers safe within capitalism, so put consumer product testing & evaluation; consumer criticism/complaint; consumer financial protection; consumer health & safety ... all together. (3) Link the two category trees with "see also" references. ... I'm not sure what to do with the economics stuff then. --Lquilter (talk) 00:42, 23 April 2013 (UTC)
I do not understand. I made "category:consumerism" the top level category for everything. I thought a lot more about the definitions and wrote this Consumerism#Term based on Encyclopedia of the Consumer Movement. That encyclopedia does give the two definitions you just did - consumer protection and economic materialism. It does not mention the economics stuff stemming from consumer choice. I am not sure if the items in category:consumerism can be futher divided. Here they are: category:Anti-capitalism‎, category:Anti-corporate activism‎, category:Consumer organizations, category:Consumer protection‎, category:Consumer rights activists‎, category:Consumer theory‎, category:Works about consumerism‎. The economic stuff is entirely contained in category:Consumer theory. The other ones all contain items which are "consumer-oriented activism" and items which are not this, so I do not understand how you propose to use this category. Thoughts? Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:35, 23 April 2013 (UTC)