16th Week PhD: Individualism and Consumerism

Another week gone, and still there is much to do! Also, my mom is doing better after surgery and continues to recover. Thank you to all of you who are keeping her in your thoughts and prayers.

This week the focus for me was on the discussion post for the Advanced Worldview class regarding the prevalence of individualism versus consumerism in our world in general and in education. According to our textbook, written by Steve Wilkens and Mark L. Sanford in Hidden Worldviews (2009), individualism is “the belief that the individual is the primary reality and that our understanding of the universe and lifestyle should be centered in oneself” (p.  27). From the same textbook, consumerism “absolutizes consumption by believing that we can find fulfillment by accumulating wealth and everything that comes with it” (p. 45). In the case of the world in general, I believe individualism (selfishness) is more prevalent since individualism causes consumerism. Finding fulfillment usually means our own fulfillment, which is just a form of individualism. James 3:16 says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice” (NIV). Adam and Eve ate from the tree of life in order to be like God (Genesis 3:5-6). Individualism, the desire to be put “in the God-position” has caused “every evil practice” (Wilkens & Sanford, 2009, p. 42).

Consumerism is rampant in education, especially higher education. Students are now viewed as consumers or customers. Making a profit is the goal for most institutions. Building better buildings, better programs, attracting more students are all incorporated into vision and mission statements without actually being stated. Too often the intrinsic value of higher education is lost in the sea of consumerism. Investing in buildings that are already there, students that are already there, and faculty and staff that are already there would seem to be the most profitable by being good stewards of what God has already given. Luke 12:48b (NIV) says, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Blessings to you and yours.


About Melissa D Atkinson

Online Learning Library at ACU Brown Library. Librarian for 20+ years at ACU. Ph.D. in 2019 (Concentration - Distance Education/Ed Tech/Online Learning).

Posted on September 28, 2014, in Consumerism, Higher education, Individualism, PhD, Stewardship, Worldview and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on 16th Week PhD: Individualism and Consumerism.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: