I recently read an interesting article that examined the different ways that an economic crisis can fundamentally shape the way individuals react to and interact with different elements of their life– family life, in the workplace, in social settings, and so forth. In an extended crisis period, economic mindset can even start to mold an individual’s way of thinking about his or her own responsibilities and preferences in a primary role (parent, employee, spouse, etc.). In my mind, there is evidence to suggest that these people also begin to adapt and change within their secondary roles–namely the role of consumer.
Apparently, social theorist John Gerzema gets my drift. In a 2009 TED talk, Gerzema offered a detailed look at four major shifts that consumers experience in the aftermath of a major financial crisis. Each type of shift is complex and remarkable, so I plan to discuss each one in its own post; the category titles are Gerzema’s, but the accompanying analyses offers my own take on the concept.