This paper attempts to draw a line between consumer culture and COVID -19, while finding how it has been influenced by social media and targeted advertisements. Through exploring Foucault's understanding of neoliberalism and the homoeconomicus, articles and media news, this paper will have assessed the changes of consumer culture due to the “shelter in place” orders. Additionally, it will attempt to redefine Foucaults homoeconomicus to fit this new model as well as observe how electronic surveillance through social media platforms and their targeted ads will or have changed the landscape of neoliberalism. In summarizing the notable differences in the use of individuals' online presence versus the older model of focus groups we will see that society is providing immeasurable numbers of free labor hours. By analysing all of these different avenues, this paper will attempt to create predictions for what this “new” neoliberalism will look like not only for the current climate but what this will imply for the neoliberal climate of the future - that is the world we will be living in when things go back to “normal”.

Keywords: consumerism (a.k.a consumer culture), COVID-19, homoeconomicus, social media, shelter in place, electronic surveillance, targeted advertisements, neoliberalism, focus group


Fall 2020

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