Chapter 3Consumption and the symbolic
At the end of the twentieth century, capitalism has become the dominant economic and
cultural social formation in many, but not all, parts of the globe. Even in those countries
which do not have large productive capitalist industries, many of the people living in
them are hooked into desiring to consume the goods of capitalism. Whether it is a desire
for blue jeans, pens and paper, television sets, radios, cars or to travel in an aeroplane,
these are things and experiences which people who are in contact with western media
come to wish they could purchase, as long as the basic necessities are available to them.