Discuss, using two carefully analysed examples, how the cultural obsession with the acquisition and consumption of ‘authenticity’ drives the New Economy in the Twenty- First Century.

This topic treats the core question of the module: what is of value in the ‘New Economy’?
What really underpins the endless cycles of mass-consumption today? This essay topic
focuses on one central aspect of value in the new economy: authenticity – which means the
pursuit of the “true me”. As shown by Peter York, both in The Hipster Handbook documentary
and in his Authenticity is a Con.
The value of any ‘thing’ thus becomes always negative: temporary, insufficient, short-lived,
and needing urgent “upgrading” according to ever shorter cycles of fashion. The ‘New Economy’ is bound up
with the emergence of a new and permanently dissatisfied, impatient,
and entitled consumer, one that has no obligations, only entitlements. Examples of this new
economy are everywhere: we live in it, we are it.
What is the central source of value then in contemporary consumption and production?

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