Material and Non-Material Factors of Happiness

happinessAccording to famous French postmodernist philosopher Jean Baudrillard, the consumerist choice today is defined mostly not by the price of a certain product, but by its symbolically added value. This added value depends on the symbol that it signifies; the more attractive the symbol is, the higher the added value is, which can surpass production costs 10 times and more. Currently, the most common value complementing goods being sold is happiness. The modern lifestyle demands people to be ever-smiling, active, and communicative; more and more brands gently hint or directly say their products can make their customers happier. At the same time, we all know copy book maxims that claim happiness lies within ourselves, and that material goods can bring only temporary satisfaction. Considering that people tend to throw themselves from one extreme to another, significant discrepancies between these two types of welfare must be pointed out in order to understand what to give preferences to.

Material goods, often seen as the most available avenues to happiness, are relatively easy to obtain; the only obstacle that may prevent one from taking an item into possession is its price. Considering that mass-culture endows


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