The development of consumer aspirations changes direction repeatedly in observable phases, generated by common experiences. Each phase exhausts its initial promise through encountering its own unwanted consequences, environmental constraints, and emerging perspectives which alter motives, thus giving rise to the succeeding phase. Four such phases are discerned from World War II to the present, in which signs indicate consumption is being reoriented away from goods and toward services. The pace of transformation presses the young into the role of teaching their parents.
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