Home > The Overspent American: Why we want what we don’t need (a new documentary)

The Overspent American: Why we want what we don’t need (a new documentary)

by Open-Publishing - Saturday 15 December 2007

Conso-Adv Cinema-Video

In this powerful new video, Juliet Schor scrutinizes what she calls "the new consumerism"—a national phenomenon of upscale spending that is shaped and reinforced by a commercially-driven media system. She argues that "keeping up with the Joneses" is no longer enough for middle and upper-middle class Americans, many of whom become burdened with debilitating debt as they seek to emulate materialistic TV lifestyles.

Drawing on her academic research, Schor explains the cultural forces that cause Americans to work longer hours and spend more than they can afford in order to participate in a consumption competition with others. The video illustrates with numerous examples how more and more products are being used as social communicators to demonstrate material success. The Overspent American challenges the inevitability of the consumer lifestyle by proposing alternatives to the work and spend cycle that has so many Americans feeling trapped and unfulfilled. The video draws attention to—and ultimately raises serious questions about—the costs (both financial and societal) of relentlessly searching for happiness and identity through consumption.

Watch The Video:


(from mediaed.org)

Forum posts

  • Americans live in cardboard houses which they paid hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The interior is plastic and Walmart crap and even if the use expensive fabrics it looks shitty.
    Moreover their food is disgusting like roasted turd or worse. If that is the American dream please spare us.

    • That’s just the ones who don’t live in a caravan, although I do hear they like to call them trailers, because they don’t like to admit they live in a caravan. It’s something to do with them being asleep, dreaming that American dream.

  • The people of the USA and the world to some extent have and continue to waist their heritage on the consumption of things. We are living in evil times. People have lost their sense of spituality and are desperately trying to replace it with earthly THINGS of all types and perversions. Christmas and the Holiday Season seem to be the epitome of the mania. My concern is that when this ends it will be devastating because it will more than likely end with a crash and there will be nothing to replace the things.

    • america is a brash bulling youth fat on transfats slow of mind and prematurly senile from a dulling of the sences.the corporate slaveowning mentality rules.having created this cash cow of a nation.it will not easily let go into the gentile night