Consumerism and Society - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Loading...

PPT – Consumerism and Society PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 5cccf-YTlhM



Loading


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation
Title:

Consumerism and Society

Description:

d) Free of all obligations or restrictions - except to keep on consuming constantly ... Japanese anime. From South to North. e.g. Latino music in US. Consumer ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:3328
Avg rating:5.0/5.0
Slides: 45
Provided by: soc58
Learn more at: http://www.abdn.ac.uk
Category:

less

Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Consumerism and Society


1
Consumerism and Society
2
  • Consumerism seems to us a wholly natural way of
    life
  • But it is not natural it is a relatively
    recent social invention
  • Why did it appear?
  • What does it involve?
  • How is it changing now and in the future?

3
Lecture Contents
  • What is consumerism consumption?
  • History of consumption
  • Effects on society negative?
  • Effects on society neutral?
  • Globalization of consumerism
  • Effects negative?
  • Effects complex?

4
What Is Consumerism?
  • The cultural dominance, in modern capitalist
    societies, of an orientation to the marketing and
    consumption of goods
  • and services
  • (Collins Dictionary
  • of Sociology)

5
What Is Consumerism?
  • A specific set of beliefs, values and ways of
    acting that are based on
  • 1) the idea that consuming goods is both natural
    and beneficial (for society and the individual)
  • 2) the idea that potentially EVERYTHING can
    be sold and can be bought with money

6
What Is Consumption?
  • Mike Featherstone (1990)
  • Consumption of consumer goods in contemporary
    society
  • A key stimulus for production in the capitalist
    economy
  • A key inducement for workers to work
  • A major source of social status
  • A major source of aspirations and pleasures

7
History of Consumption
  • Consumption is not totally new
  • Leisure classes
  • Thorstein Veblen 1899
  • Aristocracies
  • Vast wealth
  • Large amounts of leisure time
  • Consumption as a way of life
  • e.g. Roman empire
  • foreign foods and spices, exotic pets
  • Conspicuous consumption

8
  • Consumerism IS new
  • From about 1750
  • In the most advanced capitalist
  • countries e.g. UK, Holland
  • Product of the rise of the
  • capitalist economy
  • Not just leisure classes
  • middle classes, then working classes
  • ? EVERY individual is / can be a consumer

9
  • Early consumerism
  • Early Modernity
  • Middle classes in
  • Late 18th century
  • Holland Britain
  • Developing market in
  • Household furnishings
  • e.g. paintings, prints
  • Personal ornaments
  • e.g. gloves, umbrellas
  • Stimulants coffee, tea, tobacco, chocolate

10
  • A consumer society - MASS Consumption
  • High Modernity
  • Middle classes from about 1860s
  • Increasing wealth ? more money to
  • spend on consumer goods
  • Working classes
  • Increasing wealth
  • Higher aspirations
  • in USA from 1920s
  • in Western Europe from 1945

11
  • What did the development of MASS consumption
    involve?
  • 1) Further development of the capitalist economy
  • Development of production lines
  • Mass production of consumer goods
  • Mass-produced goods are cheap to make
  • Can be sold to a broad mass of people
  • Still make profits for the company

12
  • 2) Increasing social importance of commodities
  • Karl Marx (1860s)
  • Commodity an object sold for money in a
    capitalist market
  • Commodification (commercialization)
  • - Objects turning an object into a commodity
    i.e. turning it into a thing to be sold for money
  • Social spheres turning a social sphere into a
    realm where objects have a monetary value can
    be bought and sold
  • e.g. prostitution

13
  • Commercialization of social spheres
  • Christmas celebrations
  • - Traditional Christmas celebrations invented
    c. 1860s
  • Gift-giving becomes wholly bound
  • up with consumer economy
  • Some traditional Christmas
  • symbols are invented by advertisers
  • Christmas invaded by consumerism?
  • Christmas invented by consumerism

14
  • 3) Developing social importance of money
  • Georg Simmel (1900)
  • Money is not just a means of
  • buying things
  • It encourages a particular way of
  • seeing the world
  • EVERYTHING has a monetary value
  • EVERYTHING can be bought and sold

15
  • EVERYTHING can be consumed
  • Individual strongly encouraged to
  • see themselves as a consumer
  • see the world as one giant shop

16
  • The appearance of the sovereign consumer
  • A new kind of individual
  • With a new way of thinking
  • Someone who is wholly free to purchase what they
    please
  • They can potentially purchase ANYTHING (as long
    as they have enough money)
  • They gain their main pleasure
  • in life from consuming
  • d) Free of all obligations or restrictions
  • - except to keep on consuming constantly

17
  • 4) Development of consumer credit
  • Borrowing money to buy goods NOW
  • Paying back LATER
  • From 1920s (esp. in USA) financial institutions
    offer cheap loans and credit cards
  • Beginning of department store credit facilities

18
  • 5) Development of consumer places
  • Arcades
  • From about 1870s
  • Passageways with small, exclusive shops
  • Covered, lighted, heated, patrolled
  • The shopping mall
  • USA, 1950s onwards

19
  • The department store
  • - From about 1870s
  • Covered, lighted, heated, patrolled
  • Goods on display not hidden away
  • Spectacular window displays
  • Elaborate décor
  • Encourage fantasies aspirations
  • Particularly aimed at women
  • - Female is naturally a consumer

20
  • Late Modernity
  • Later 20th century
  • Move away from purely mass
  • production of goods
  • More sophisticated technology
  • Flexible production
  • Rapid design and manufacturing of new goods
  • Specialist goods for niche markets
  • ? Multiple types of consumer
  • ? Multiple lifestyles

21
Summary So Far
  • Consumption has a long history BUT
  • Consumerism is a modern phenomenon
  • Early modernity beginnings of consumerism
  • High Modernity mass consumption / consumerism
  • Late Modernity flexible production away from
    mass consumption multiple consumption-based
    lifestyles

22
Effects on Society Negative?
  • Criticisms of consumerism have existed since it
    began
  • Superficial / trivial
  • Manipulation

23
  • The Frankfurt School
  • Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse
  • Writing from 1930s to 1960s
  • Marxist analysis of
  • consumer capitalism

24
  • Capitalism requires constant consumption
  • FORCES individuals to be consumers
  • Manipulation through advertising
  • - false needs
  • false promises
  • constant feelings of insecurity
  • Constant consumption
  • Imprisonment

25
Effects on Society Negative?
  • Roland Barthes
  • (France - 1950s)
  • How advertising works
  • No object has an intrinsic or natural meaning
  • Society defines meaning

26
  • No consumer good has an intrinsic or natural
    meaning
  • Meanings attached by advertising agencies
  • e.g. champagne a celebration
  • e.g. cigarettes cool
  • e.g. car individual freedom

27
  • Advertising agencies
  • Attempting to fix meanings
  • Attempting to guide
  • consumers thinking
  • Mostly sub-conscious
  • Encouraged to keep consuming

28
Effects on Society Neutral?
  • Negative views assume
  • Individuals wholly open to manipulation
  • Individuals unthinking and uncritical
  • Advertising strategies
  • always work
  • Michael Schudson 40 to 60 of new products fail

29
  • Michel de Certeau
  • (France 1980s)
  • Individuals are never just consumers
  • Creative consumption

30
  • Advertising not necessarily effective
  • Advertisers TRY to fix goods with particular
    meanings
  • But
  • - not necessarily accepted
  • - meaning depends on what social group individual
    belongs to
  • Relevance

31
  • Critical and reflective consumers
  • Use consumption for their own purposes
  • Difficult to control

32
Globalization of Consumerism
  • Later 19th century
  • Consumer economy spreads from Europe to colonies
    e.g. Australia, New Zealand
  • After 1945
  • Consumer economy spreads throughout non-communist
    world

33
  • After 1989
  • Fall of the Berlin Wall
  • World-wide presence
  • Rising economies China, India
  • Appearance of new middle classes
  • But the spread is uneven
  • e.g. many parts of Africa

34
  • Since 1970s
  • The rise of global brands
  • Western-based
  • Trans-National Corporations (TNCs)

35
  • George Ritzer
  • Globalization of non-things
  • e.g. fast food, cars, watches, credit cards etc.
  • Bland relatively
  • free of content or meaning
  • - Not unique to, or embedded within, any
    particular culture
  • Easily understood everywhere
  • ? can be consumed anywhere

36
  • Marc Augé
  • Non-spaces
  • Airport lounges, shopping malls, supermarkets,
    etc.
  • Since 1960s, globalization of anonymous style of
    architecture
  • Same architecture everywhere
  • Global spatial homogenization
  • Global predictability

37
Globalization of consumerism negative effects?
  • Activities of trans-national corporations (TNCs)
    e.g. Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonalds, etc.
  • Western imperialism
  • Coca-colonization
  • (Ulf Hannerz)
  • From direct political control
  • to indirect economic control

38
  • Jeremy Seabrook
  • Destruction of local cultures and traditions
  • Replaced with Western / American values
  • Multi-million advertising industry inculcates
  • false needs and desires
  • ? Global cultural homogenization

39
Globalization of consumerism complex effects?
  • 1) Negotiating consumption
  • Does not necessarily mean accepting Western
    values
  • Consumer goods accommodated by local cultures
  • James Watson,
  • Golden Arches East
  • East Asia - Korea, Taiwan
  • McDonalds as leisure centre

40
  • 2) Creolization / Hybridization
  • - Mixing of global and local cultural elements
  • Rick Fantasia
  • French fast food
  • Global local inseparable
  • Uri Ram
  • - Israeli fast food
  • Homogenization institutions
  • Complexity ideas values

41
  • 3) Reverse cultural flows
  • From East to West
  • e.g. Bollywood films,
  • Japanese anime
  • From South to North
  • e.g. Latino music in US
  • ? Consumer culture complexification

42
  • 4) Local resistance to globalization
  • of consumerism
  • - Globalization of consumerism encourages
    resistance to itself
  • e.g. Slow Food movement Italy
  • Eating slowly
  • Defending local, regional national food styles
  • Globalization of consumerism
  • ? self-conscious cultural localization

43
  • 5) Globalization of anti-consumerism
  • Part of broader
  • anti-globalization
  • (anti-capitalist) movement
  • Direct protests and media publicity
  • Growing popular literature
  • e.g. Naomi Klein No Logo

44
Issues
  • Consumerism is totalitarian?
  • (OR Consumption is complex creative consumer)
  • Consumerism is unstoppable on a planet-wide
    basis?
  • (OR Consumption is complex mixtures of global
    and local)
  • Consumerism is self-limiting?
  • ? Produces resistance to itself
About PowerShow.com