OCAD University Open Research Repository

Incomplete Order: The Pretext of Consumer Anxiety

Sun, Banghao (2024) Incomplete Order: The Pretext of Consumer Anxiety. Masters thesis, OCAD University.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Sun, Banghao

Consumerism, prevalent in modern discourse, prompts scrutiny for fostering overconsumption and spiritual disconnection. Despite persistent critiques, consumerism remains entrenched in daily life, prompting reflection on its profound influence and the commercialization of dissent. This study rejects the hegemony of 'rational' discourse, advocating for the integration of subjective feelings as a navigational tool in academic and creative inquiry. Drawing from the critical insights of Guy Debord and Jean Baudrillard, it seeks to challenge conventional understandings of consumer culture, inviting deeper exploration into individual desires and societal consequences. Through an investigation into the paradoxes of contemporary society, wherein anxiety about modern systems coexists with tacit acceptance, this research examines the extent to which consumerism has commodified opposition or if it is simply a misattributed facet of capitalism. By engaging with Song Dong's artwork "Waste Not" as a catalyst for contemplation and contrasting past eras of material scarcity with contemporary overabundance, this thesis delves into the symbolic significance of personal possessions in expressing consumption behavior, psychological needs, and cultural identity. The thesis ultimately challenges conventional perceptions of selfhood and identity, inviting viewers to decipher the underlying narratives encoded within consumer symbols and prompting a deeper exploration of individual autonomy within a consumerist society. Through an interdisciplinary approach integrating visual and written elements, questioning the critique of consumerism aims to foster critical engagement and prompt reflection on the complexities of contemporary consumption practices.

Date: 6 May 2024
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consumerism, Consumer Behavior, Consumer Psychology
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Interdisciplinary Art, Media and Design
Date Deposited: 06 May 2024 14:07
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 13:29
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/4415

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