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bread and circuses - commodity - consumerism - entertainment - false needs - food - lifestyle - love - sex - shelter


Needs refer to things that people "must" have. They are often contrasted with wants, which are more discretionary.

The most widely known academic model of needs was proposed by Abraham Maslow. In it, he proposed that people have a hierarchy of needs, which range from security to self actualization. However, while this model is intuitively appealing, it has not been supported by evidence. See: Clayton Alderfer.

The academic study of needs was at its zenith in the 1950's, but receives scant attention today. One exception is Richard Sennett's work on the importance of respect. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Need [Jun 2005]

A Theory of Human Motivation (1943) - Abraham Maslow

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended. His theory contends that as humans meet 'basic needs', they seek to satisfy successively 'higher needs' that occupy a set hierarchy. Maslow studied exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that "the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy" (Motivation and Personality, 1987). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs [Dec 2005]

See also: 1943

Free time

The product of this culture industry is one that is designed to fill the leisure time of the audience. Adorno lambasts the notion of "free time" which he sees as the opposite of leisure, and the idea of hobbies being an affront to genuine interests.

Human need for beauty

Upon reading about Venus in Exile (2001) and The Mechanical Bride (1951), it occured to me that beauty (simple beauty, as in a beautiful woman or man, or a beautiful landscape) had to go somewhere when, during the 1900s, it was banned from the visual arts. The human need for beauty wants to be satisfied and beauty needed a new place to reside. It also needed new patrons, or sponsors as they are called today. Beauty found its new home in consumer culture and cinema, and its new sponsors in Hollywood and the marketing and advertising divisions of consumer good manufacturers.

To summarize:

If - in the 20th century - beauty was exiled from the arts, it found refuge in advertising, fashion, cinema, product design and consumer culture.

see also: Venus - beauty - banned - 1900s

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