Global Economic Meltdown

Is the global economic meltdown affecting our dreams?

Your question about how the global meltdown is affecting our dreams is an interesting one.

Money is usually not directly visible in our dreams, what we do see however is consumer behaviour. In standard textbooks on consumer behaviour (Leon G. Shiffman and Leslie Lazar Kanuk Consumer Behavior, third edition) we can find such statements as "consumer behaviour is an integral part of the ebb and flow of all business in a consumer-oriented society such as ours." Advertizers seldom show the exchange of money instead like the Canadian 6/49 lotto commercials (see TV commercial)they dramatize a dream come true, suggesting to its' audience to "imagine the freedom". From a popular music perspective The Barenaked Ladies If I Had a Million Dollars (see music video) tell us about what they would do (buy) with the money.
As Marshall McLuhan Understanding Media tells us "'Money talks' because money is a metaphor, a transfer, and a bridge." "Like words and language, money is a storehouse of communally achieved work, skill and experience." Dreams provide a window into understanding the business dynamics of this metaphoric "ebb and flow" process. If as McLuhan suggests that money talks, then the rhetoric of money and consumer behaviour can be made visible. The dreams about consumer behaviour that I pointed out to you posted at the IIDR website include: 


What we are seeing right now are dramatic life style changes in consumer feelings, perceptions, motivations and behaviour. The business signals of these changes can be seen in our dreams. Again, while we do not usually see money directly in our dreams, we do now see more feelings of frustration, anxiety and loss due to the downturn in the economy. It would only be natural for Louis Breger The Effect of Stress on Dreams to find a correlation between stressful experiences and dreaming. People with postraumatic stress disorder usually suffer from posttraumatic nightmares.  

The American sociologist Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a book about The Fear of Falling: The Inner Life of the Middle Class. It becomes obvious that the middle class have fears of falling into the "Underclass". This fear can be observed in our dreams. A dream that I have posted at the IIDR website (General Hospital) dramatically points to all that I have written above. For the attending doctor "time is money", for the patient this business metaphor is the cause of her depersonalization. Where are the ethics of care? Where is the Hippocratic Oath? The economy can influence us in the extreme, the sociologist Emil Durkheim Suicide shows that suicide rates can be correlated with the state of the economy and society. Crime rates usually increase when economic times are hard. It seems only natural that when legal "opportunities" to earning a living and survive are barred then people will have a tendency to turn to illegal opportunities. The ideas of these illegal opportunities are often hatched in our dreams.  

All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.