"The real point of this paper, though, is that we can longer write off the “drive for distinctiveness” as merely a habit of insecure teenagers. Instead, it appears to be a pretty essential component of Westerners — that’s why it’s engaged in a deep psychological dialogue with rewards for food and sex. Of course, this won’t be news to retailers. They’ve long catered to our desire for uniqueness, selling us mass-produced commodities that promise to express our real, authentic selves. It’s not until we’re standing in line waiting for a cappuccino that we realize how badly we’ve been played."

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