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Hyperconsumerism, hyper-consumerism, hyperconsumption or hyper-consumption is the consumption of goods beyond ones necessities[1] and the associated significant pressure to consume those goods, exerted by social media and other outlets as those goods are perceived to shape one's identity.[2][3] Frenchy Lunning defines it curtly as "a consumerism for the sake of consuming."[4]


In a hyper-consumption society, "each social experience is mediated by market mechanisms", as market exchanges have spread to institutions in which they played lesser (if any) role previously, such as universities.[5][6]

Personal identity[edit]

Hyperconsumerism is fueled by brands, as people often form deep attachment to product brands, which affects people's identity, and which pressure people to buy and consume their goods.[2][7]

Product lifecycle[edit]

Another of the characteristics of hyperconsumerism is the constant pursuit of novelty, encouraging consumers to buy new and discard the old, seen particularly in fashion, where the product lifecycle can be very short, measured sometimes in weeks only.[6][8]

Conspicuous consumption[edit]

In hyperconsumerism, goods are often status symbols, as individuals buy them not so much to use them, as to display them to others, sending associated meanings (such as displaying wealth).[1] However, according to other theorists, the need to consume in hyper-consumption society is driven less by competition with others than by their own hedonistic pleasure.[9]

Religious characteristics[edit]

Hyperconsumerism has been also said to have religious characteristics,[10] and have been compared to a new religion which enshrines consumerism above all, with elements of religious life being replaced by consumerist life: (going to) churches replaced by (going to) shopping malls, saints replaced by celebrities, penance replaced by shopping sprees, desire for better life after death replaced by desire for better life in the present, and so on.[7] Mark Sayers notes that hyperconsumerism has commercialized many religious symbols, giving an example of religious symbols worn as jewelry by non-believers.[7]


Hyperconsumerism has been associated with cultural homogenization, globalization, Eurocentrism, Eurocentric modernizations, and consequently, the spread of Western culture.[11] It has been blamed for environmental problems owing to excessive use of limited resources.[12][13] It is seen as a symptom of overdevelopment.[14] The vaporwave music genre is known for indirectly offering a critique by mocking the methods used to sell products to consumers through establishing a certain mood or setting – drifting through the virtual plaza, numb and caught in a consumption loop – and is consistently critical of that mood or setting.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b M. Joseph Sirgy (30 November 2001). Handbook of Quality-of-Life Research: An Ethical Marketing Perspective. Springer. pp. 140–. ISBN 978-1-4020-0172-7. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b Raphael Städtler (19 April 2011). Celebrity Scandals and their Impact on Brand Image: A Study among Young Consumers: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation. GRIN Verlag. p. 16. ISBN 978-3-640-89715-5. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  3. ^ John Tierney (1 May 2009). Key Perspectives in Criminology. McGraw-Hill International. pp. 124–. ISBN 978-0-335-22914-7. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  4. ^ Frenchy Lunning (9 November 2010). Fanthropologies. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 140–. ISBN 978-0-8166-7387-2. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  5. ^ Yiannis Gabriel; Tim Lang (9 May 2006). The Unmanageable Consumer. SAGE. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-1-4129-1893-0. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b Ib Bondebjerg; Peter Golding (2004). European Culture And The Media. Intellect Books. pp. 74–. ISBN 978-1-84150-111-6. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  7. ^ a b c Mark Sayers (3 June 2008). The Trouble With Paris: Following Jesus in a World of Plastic Promises. Thomas Nelson Inc. pp. 30–34. ISBN 978-1-4185-7460-4. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  8. ^ Chris Arnold (27 October 2009). Ethical Marketing and The New Consumer. John Wiley & Sons. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-470-68546-4. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  9. ^ Chris Paris (2011). Affluence, Mobility and Second Home Ownership. Taylor & Francis. pp. 17–. ISBN 978-0-415-54891-5. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  10. ^ Roy Bhaskar (25 January 2010). Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change: Transforming Knowledge and Practice for Our Global Future. Taylor & Francis. pp. 240–. ISBN 978-0-415-57387-0. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  11. ^ George Ritzer (15 April 2008). The Blackwell Companion to Globalization. John Wiley & Sons. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-470-76642-2. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  12. ^ Interview by Sophie Morris (2008-06-19). "Think you love shopping? It's the marketing scam of the century - Green Living - Environment". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-02-18.
  13. ^ Jeff Ferrell (2004). Cultural Criminology Unleashed. Psychology Press. pp. 167–. ISBN 978-1-904385-37-0. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  14. ^ International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences. Wright, James D. (Second ed.). Amsterdam. 2015-02-17. ISBN 9780080970875. OCLC 904209795.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ Tanner, Grafton (2016). Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts. John Hunt Publishing. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-78279-760-9.