Consumerism Vs. the Lakota Religion Comparison Essay

A comparison of the Oglala Lakota Indians of South Dakota's religion with consumerism as a secular religion.
# 117444 | 1,402 words | 10 sources | MLA | 2009 | US

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The paper describes how the Lakota Indians in South Dakota live simple lives and follow a religion that focuses on the connection to nature, while consumerism has evolved into a form of secular religion that equates personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions. The paper explains that the difference between the religions of consumerism and the Lakotas is that consumerism exploits the natural environment of the world and creates greed, whereas the Lakotas consciously care for and about the world and consider all of it's inhabitants. The paper explains how the Lakotas maintain and restore harmony and highlights how consumerism creates a false reality with no lasting satisfaction.

From the Paper:

"The Oglala Lakota is a federally recognized Native American tribe from the Great Plains area of the U.S. (Christafferson, 2001). The Lakota Indians live simple lives whose religion focuses on the connection to nature. Consumerism has evolved into a form of secular religion. Consumerism is the equation of personal happiness with consumption and the purchase of material possessions. (Wikipedia) And, as defined by Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: Consumerism is the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable; also: a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods. Essentially consumerism is the consumption and accumulation of what we need (and much of what we don't) based on a system which exploits both the human laborer and the natural order. By its very nature consumerism appears to be a socio-economic structure reliant on greed for its growth and very survival."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • de Botton, Alain. O, The Oprah Magazine. Hearst Communications Inc. November, 2009. 185. Print.
  • Christafferson, Dennis M. Handbook of North American Indians: Plains. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. 2001.
  • Klein, Naomi The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Canada: Knopf. 2007.
  • Walsh, Neale Donald Conversations with God Book 3. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing Inc. 1998.
  • Young, William A. The World's Religions. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. 2010.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Consumerism Vs. the Lakota Religion (2009, December 03) Retrieved April 07, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Consumerism Vs. the Lakota Religion" 03 December 2009. Web. 07 April. 2020. <>