The term consumerism was first used in 1915 to refer to “advocacy of the rights and interests of consumers”. By the 1960s consumerism evolved to an “emphasis on the preoccupation with and the acquisition of goods.” Fifty years later it has become unnecessary to define that term; for nowadays, ‘consumerism’ defines us.
The world is now divided, more than ever, by wealth; iPhones, IMAX theatres and Michelin star restaurants separate the haves from the have-nots. Kuwait is no exception to the global phenomenon of consumerism. Today, consumerism is the key factor shaping the modern Kuwaiti identity. Curiously, materialism by itself is not the problem; the problem lies in the socio-economic consequences of this prolonged occurrence. The steady growth of a consumer culture has a direct effect on the collective and individual identity.