Monday, March 15, 2010

New Unit: Stuff

The class has moved on to a new unit discussing stuff, and our obsession with it or Affluenza.

To start off I will give the definition for Affluenza: "A painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more." (Wiktionary, 2009)

The basic idea and emergence of Affluenza was spawned from the ideals that surround Western living as well as the footprint:
o Seek fulfilment in consumer goods
o Always want more, conformity required
o Deep dissatisfaction, emptiness, anxiety
o Work, rush, overtime
o Stress, disease, social effects
o Values individualism not relationships, family, community

There is evidence for Affluenza in the forms of the larger homes being built and bought, increasing material expectations of youth and declining rates of happiness. What contributes to this social disease? Well the giving and receiving of gifts for one (however I personally fell this is a reference to more expensive and outlandish gifts rather than a book or CD as items like that are simple and have a long time enjoyable guarantee) more and more time and focus being spent on careers rather than family and living in the moment without looking ahead or planning for the future.

We also watched a video from a series that explains Affluenza and how it affects the world in a humorous yet intellectual manner:

Now we come to the Blog Reflection:
- Consider the affects of Affluenza that you see around you
- Do you see it in yourself, your friends, family, North American Society
- Can you take action to combat Affluenza?

Do I see Affluenza in my family? Yes, over the years my family has given each other gifts and bought ourselves numerous items and trinkets. One section of our basement is a little cluttered as we have begun to sort through items and clothes etc that we feel or know we have no need for and donate the to Diabetes or Salvation Army. We've begun to cut back on our spending a bit and as a result of said clutter because we are taking said clutter and its effects more seriously. We want to free up space in our home and focus more on items we need as well, and for items we want we try to make sure we buy less of them and that we are sure we will put the item to use for a long time rather than5 minutes then throw it into a corner.

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