Shop to feel altruistic this holiday season

Even as some people react negatively to big retailers moving up their Black Friday hours, perhaps there is hope for conquering Christmas commercialism: you can shop and feel altruistic.

Sociologist Keith Brown of Saint Joseph’s University said the holidays bring many motivations to buy, buy, buy — but beyond the sale prices and must-have items is something greater for consumers to consider.

“The current recession coincided with an ‘ethical turn’ in the markets,” Brown said in a statement…

“An increasing number of consumers from all socioeconomic segments are looking to pay it forward, but especially those who have been only minimally impacted by the recession,” Brown said. “They’re looking for ‘Made in America,’ ‘Fair Trade,’ or ‘Eco-friendly.’ They want to add a socially responsible dimension to their gift-giving. Many consumers sincerely want to make a difference in the world through shopping. Consumers like to give gifts that have a story about where the product came from, who made it and how the producer benefited by selling the object.”

Conversely, Brown said that the recipients often feel good, too.

Extra Christmas shopping bonus: the more you spend, the more you are helping the US economy!

This does alert us to the values that get attached to buying products.

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