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An electronics store in a shopping mall in Jakarta (2004)

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Consumerism as a social and economic order and ideology encourages the acquisition of goods and services in ever-increasing amounts. Early criticisms of consumerism occur in 1899 in the works of Thorstein Veblen. Veblen's subject of examination, the newly emergent middle class arising at the turn of the twentieth century,<ref> Veblen, Thorstein (1899): The Theory of the Leisure Class: an economic study of institutions, Dover Publications, Mineola, N.Y., 1994, ISBN 0-486-28062-4. (also available: Project Gutenberg e-text)</ref>{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||$N=Request quotation |date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[need quotation to verify] }} came to fruition{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }} by the end of the twentieth century through the process of globalization.{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[citation needed] }}

In the domain of politics, the term "consumerism" has also been used to refer to something quite different called the consumerists' movement, consumer protection or consumer activism, which seeks to protect and inform consumers by requiring such practices as honest packaging and advertising, product guarantees, and improved safety standards. In this sense it is a political movement or a set of policies aimed at regulating the products, services, methods, and standards of manufacturers, sellers, and advertisers in the interests of the consumer.<ref>consumerism,</ref>

In the domain of economics, "consumerism" refers to economic policies placing emphasis on consumption. In an abstract sense, it is the consideration that the free choice of consumers should strongly orient the choice by manufacturers of what is produced and how, and therefore orient the economic organization of a society (compare producerism, especially in the British sense of the term).<ref>"Consumerism". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia Online. 2008.</ref> In this sense, consumerism expresses the idea not of "one man, one voice", but of "one dollar, one voice", which may or may not reflect the contribution of people to society.

Overall, since the end of the twentieth century, the burgeoning of consumerism as a way of life across all domains has remade politics, economics and culture:

Consumerism sections
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