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    Macalester College
  Feb 23, 2018
College Catalog 2013-2014 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PSYC 172 - Psychology in the Material World

Cross-Listed as ENVI 172 
This course is an in-depth psychological analysis of consumerism and the human reltaionship to “stuff.” Consumerism, materialistic aspirations, and “affluenza” (the disease of affluence) all exert profound and often undesirable effects on both people’s individual lives and on society as a whole. These phenomena, and the consumerist culture they are embedded in, affect our psyches, our families, our local communities, the peoples of the world, and the integrity of our ecological system. This course draws from a range of theoretical, clinical, and methodological approaches to explore several key questions: Where does the drive to consume originate? Do we control our consumer behavior, or does it control us? Is it possible to live in our culture and not be a consumer? What are the alternatives to the status quo? We will analyze and discuss both the scholarly ramifications of these ideas and also how to act upon them in our lives and society more broadly. (4 Credits)