Social Research Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-17, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/socialresearch/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 2 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2017.

 

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Materialistic


core definition

Materialistic refers to someone who adopts a materialistic perspective, most often in modern times someone whose focus is on material goods, as opposed to a proponent of materialism as a philosophy.


explanatory context

Materialistic is a term that, in modern usage, has developed a number of polemical meanings. These meanings have historical links to materialism, which is a philosophical position, but their current meanings owe nothing to contemporary philosophical debate. The confusion arises as the term materialist is used to refer both to someone who is a proponent of materialism and to someone who is materialistic.

 

Materialistic (as a non-philospohical referent) tends to mean selfish or greedy. This is usually compared to one meaning of idealistic, that of altruism or unselfishness.

 

A second meaning which generalises from the first is the notion of a materialistic person as having no moral or social scruples and as being totally self-seeking.

 

A third meaning of materialistic is that of a view point which regards the world in terms of material objects, rather than ideals, emotions or concepts. In effect this is a distortion and degredation of materialism as a philosophy.

 

A fourth meaning is the particularisation of the third, which applies this objectification to a view of life in which aquisition of material wealth becomes the primary goal. A materialist in this sense is someone who sets store by the ownership of material objects.


analytical review


associated issues

 


related areas

See also

materialism


Sources


copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2017


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