Consumerism is a social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts. The term is often associated [ by whom? ] with criticisms of consumption starting with Thorstein Veblen . Veblen's subject of examination, the newly emergent middle class arising at the turn of the twentieth century, [ 1 ] comes to full [ citation needed ] fruition by the end of the twentieth century through the process of globalization .
con·sum·er·ism /kən ˈ su : mə ˌ r ɪ zəm, Brit kən ˈ sju : mə ˌ r ɪ zəm/ noun [ noncount ] often disapproving 1 : the belief that it is good for people to spend a lot of money on goods and services 2 : the actions of people who spend a lot of money on goods and services ▪ concerns about increasing consumerism among teenagers — con·sum·er·ist /kən ˈ su : mər ɪ st, Brit kən ˈ sju : mər ɪ st/ adjective ▪ a consumerist culture