306 week 2
Consumption, production and exchange
Global trends- USA dominance, nations of shoppers
China and India- workshops of the wold, manufacturers. Emerging middle class
Separation between where things are manufactured and where they are
consumed.return to international economy.
Dominance of brands and logos in recognizing consumer culture. Things
themselves have less significance
- changing over time and used differently in different cultures
- using something up,
- satisfaction of human needs through economic means.
- part of everyday life
- cultural universal - all cultures exchange. You cannot avoid consumption. How
us humans survive. Use material things to construct social life. Meaning of
consumption different across time and place.
- consumption can be habitual. It is part of everyday life. It is routine.
- it necessary throughout history- being social involves getting and using and
exchanging things. Having possession, giving gifts, and having rituals. Giving it
meaning, making it yours, using it symbolize identities. We are classified by
goods and our social relations are shaped by consumption and social meaning to
- consumption is tied to production- consuming is using things that have been
produced. Cooking is destruction and creation of new goods. You need to
consume to produce.
- from a supply perspective- process of production creates the things that make
- things only become what they are when they are used
- the use of things creates the need for new production. Creates demand
- production replaces things.
- production creates accessories for things we need
Production creates needs, desires, and wants
Cultures of consumption
- more availability of stuff and more range of consumer goods
- more specialization of goods. Specific items for specific needs
- more interaction through markets. Systems of exchange. Value of good is
through exchange, how much it is worth. New markets and new ways of
exchanging. Eg paying for education. New markets
- more places where we can engage in consumption. Leisure. Movies.
- legitimization of credit and debt. Don't need to have the money for what you
- explosion of advertising and packaging. Constant promotion , wallpaper of
consumer culture - unlimited choices, everywhere. Limitless. You can't not make choices.
Precise activities of consuming and using things
China and India
Changes in consumption of products. In china, more cars less bikes
In India, production of worlds cheapest car
Western ways of doing things. Shopping malls. Leisure.
Things being consumed creates images and identities
- a distinctive way of living
- emerging in Europe and north America spreading across the world. Doinant in
- conspicuous consumption (I shop therefore I am)
- the right way to live, defines you