Exploring Medical Consumption Based on “False Needs” Theory

Yue Xie


With the development of social productive forces and the gradual improvement of people's material living standards, more and more "false needs" have appeared in the real world. The prevalence of consumerism is also driving the growth of "false needs". In the context of the marketization of medical services, medical services also have the general characteristics of consumer goods. In recent years, some scholars have revealed the phenomenon of "induced needs" in medical consumption, but this empirical analysis is not enough to grasp the root of the problem. Using Marcuse's "false needs" theory, we can find out the root cause of the phenomenon of "false needs" in medical consumption, and reveal that this phenomenon is the result of the integration of instrumental rationality of medical technology and the nature of capital increment, which is made and imposed by the external society. Based on Marcuse's "false needs" theory, this paper analyzes the phenomenon of "false needs" in the process of contemporary Chinese medical consumption, explores its root cause, and puts forward some suggestions to avoid "false needs".

Keywords: Marcuse, false needs, medical consumption

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