This week we try to look at capitalism with an anti-capitalist lens, the term ‘affluenza’, and other notions around this topic.

Screenshot of Google search result of affluenza. (Google, 2017)

According to Google, a psychological malaise supposedly affecting young wealthy people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation. As showed on the chart, the term used dramatically increased over the last decade.

Affluenza comic (De Graaf, Wann, and Naylor, 2005, p. xiii)

The book “Affluenza: The all-consuming epidemic” describes Affluenza as a social disease, and argues that it infects everyone in different ways.

Critiques of consumerism including causing pollution, negative environmental impact, social disease and so on. However, I would argue that environmental impact and pollution will occur anyway in a certain stage of social and economic development. We should use policies to adjust this problem instead of blaming free trade.

We then look into how different brand types use social media for branding. We were divided into groups to analyse different social media accounts of chosen brand.

My group choice is UAL. I looked into UAL’s Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and found that the LinkedIn account has 89,414 followers (LinkedIn, 2017), and the Facebook only got 64,545 page follows (last checked on 13/03/2017).  This may due to UAL has a few different campuses and this UAL page does not provide links to those individual colleges pages, and the default address showed on the page is the Holborn office. (Facebook, 2017) LinkedIn, as a career networking platform, the function is more defined and provides more useful information to the targeted end users.

Overall, I think the university should make better use of the social media and decide the main function of different accounts.


References

De Graaf, J., Wann, D. and Naylor, T.H., (2005) Affluenza: The all-consuming epidemic. USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Facebook (2017) UAL: University of the Arts London. Available at: https://www.facebook.com/UniversityoftheArtsLondon/ (Accessed: 13/03/2017)

LinkedIn (2017) University of the Arts London. Available at: https://www.linkedin.com/school/14684 (Accessed: 13/03/2017)

Figures

Google (2017) Affluenza – Google Search. Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Affluenza&oq=Affluenza&rlz=1C5CHFA_enGB690GB690&ie=UTF-8&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i59l3j0l2.4517j0j4&sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&bav=on.2%2Cor.r_cp.&bvm=bv.149397726%2Cd.d24&biw=1170&bih=726&dpr=2&dtrnscllps=1&expnd=1&rct=j&brd=1489443272642000&expnd=1 (Accessed: 13/03/2017)

De Graaf, J., Wann, D. and Naylor, T.H., (2005) Affluenza: The all-consuming epidemic. USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, pp. xiii, fig.