Chapter 12: Case Study: Consumerism

Chapter 12 Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions:
  1. Why do faith communities care about consumerism? What are some of the reasons that religious leaders are concerned about consumerism?
  2. Thomas Hoyt questions “who” is most concerned about consumerism – the have’s or the have not’s, and why? Why do you think consumerism is an issue, and for whom?
  3. What does Annie Leonard say in The Story of Stuff about the role of advertisers in the 1940s and 1950s in America, and how they promoted consumerism?
  4. Discuss the main points that each of the following authors made about consumerism and their faith tradition.
    • Dr. Sondra Wheeler, a Protestant perspective
    • Msgr. Charles Murphy, a Catholic perspective
    • Rabbi Eliezer Diamond, a Jewish perspective
    • Tom Sine, an Evangelical perspective
    • Thomas Hoyt, jr., a Black church perspective
  5. Hoyt describes multiple classes of African Americans who are trapped by consumerism in different ways. How does consumerism affect a black street rapper differently than, say, a black lawyer, a black cashier, a black CEO, a black prisoner, or a black soldier?
  6. How big of an issue do you think consumerism is in America? To what extent should humans see themselves as consumers? Why does basing your identity on your material possessions–or not–matter? And how do these points relate to material from earlier in the book?


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Religion and Environmental Values in America Copyright © 2019 by Gregory E Hitzhusen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.