I Think it Temporarily Serves a Purpose


The interviewee is a 21 year old student at UMW and is majoring in Psychology. They grew up middle class and were raised primarily by their mother. Furthermore, being a psychology major they are concerned with ethics and that is reflected in the interview.

“How do you define capitalism?” 

“It’s the economic structure where individuals and businesses can make profit off manufacturing or services.” I warned the individual that I was going to be asking them questions about capitalism, and it was later revealed to me they googled this definition before the interview. 

“Where do you see capitalism in action?”

“Everywhere. . . where do you not see capitalism in action? Everything we purchase and use. These things are not just given to you. You need to purchase things from big companies.” I then asked if small businesses contribute to capitalism and the interviewee answered with a hesitant “I think so right?”

“How do you think your parents view capitalism in comparison to you?”

“In this generation there has been a trend towards sustainability. For me and my family I don’t see the bad impacts of capitalism, but people who live near industry do. So there should be more consideration for them. Social media plays a part in our “resistance” towards capitalism and social media has heighted our awareness towards the bad aspects of capitalism. Something our parents’ generation did not have.”

“What is your role in capitalism?” 

“I definitely help it continue by participating in the economy. Like buying things from Amazon, Target, Walmart and other big businesses, and it makes me feel guilty. However, I don’t feel as if I am participating towards the negative parts of capitalism when I buy from small businesses. Ones that are sustainable and equitable. However, I can’t do that as frequently because it’s expensive and I feel bad about that.”

“Do you find capitalism to be effective?”

“I think that it temporarily serves a purpose but also creates a lot of problems and it has negative impacts on people’s lives, but I don’t see them because I am not around that side of things. However, I do not believe it to be a sustainable system or an equitable one.”


The interviewee has very limited knowledge about what capitalism is. They even went as far as prepping for the interview by researching terms. However, once we moved away from the “what is capitalism” questions I started to notice the individual was very concerned with the environmental and sustainability aspects of capitalism. Although, the individual did also make it clear that they never have been “harmed” or personally experienced the negative aspects of capitalism, yet they were still bothered by its detrimental effects on people of lower socioeconomic status and people who have lost land/homes due to capitalism’s industrial aspects. Finally, I want to reiterate the interviewees point about social media. Social media has shined a light on the dark parts of not just capitalism, but society in general. Later after the interview the individual elaborated a little more on this point and explained that “social media has given anyone a voice, and it’s made it harder for corporations to hide their misdoings.” This is something that is particularly unique to our generation and it poses the question has social media played a part in the evolution of capitalism?

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