Compulsive Buying Disorder - Identity Seeking

Identity Seeking

Social psychology sees the compulsive buying of consumer goods in terms of identity seeking - as an exaggerated form of a more normal search for validation through purchasing. Without a strong sense of identity, pressures from the spread of materialist values and consumer culture over the recent decades can drive the vulnerable into compulsive shopping.

In a global context where we are all encouraged to "shop till we drop" - to find solace in possessions - compulsive shopping inevitably poses the further question, "Minority pathology or Mass problem?". With advertisements offering not so much products as narratives (of success, glamour) to identify with, compulsive buying may seem only an extreme aspect of what consumer culture demands from us all.

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Famous quotes containing the words seeking and/or identity:

    Before we go seeking man we will have to have found the lantern.—Will it have to be the Cynic’s lantern?
    Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900)

    During the first formative centuries of its existence, Christianity was separated from and indeed antagonistic to the state, with which it only later became involved. From the lifetime of its founder, Islam was the state, and the identity of religion and government is indelibly stamped on the memories and awareness of the faithful from their own sacred writings, history, and experience.
    Bernard Lewis, U.S. Middle Eastern specialist. Islam and the West, ch. 8, Oxford University Press (1993)