Role of consumption in modern society

“Our consumption patterns offer a complex, yet telling picture of the kind of society we have become and of our relationship to material goods. The evidence on consumer behaviour suggests that consumer goods and services play a huge variety of roles in our lives. Among these roles we must include at least: the satisfaction of functional needs, the construction of identity, the pursuit of status and social distinction, the maintenance of social cohesion, social and/or sexual selection, negotiation of the boundary between the sacred and the profane, and the pursuit of personal and collective meaning.”
Tim Jackson (2006): The Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Consumption, p.8