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Exam Review.docx

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Communication Studies
COMN 3701
Natalie Coulter

Exam Review Last week:  Bourdieu: o Taste and habitus as a way of indicating distance from or closeness to a cultural group o An expression of cultural capital (being in the group) o The resources of being in the group  Taste is really an expression. Not just to say you like something but to distance yourself from something as well  Expression of cultural knowledge.  Consumption being an aspect of subjectivity or how you define yourself  This does not mean that you are FREE.  Consumption does not work that way  You are not free to represent who you want to be, even if you try  Class, race, age, gender, sexuality, geography, social location, etc.  As much as we talk about expression of cultural capital, none of it means you’re completely free who you want to be. Not a utopian space.  Is consumption and use of goods as a social process?  How you wear them, when you wear them, when you get rid of them, are part of the meaning of consumption.  Consumption is a social process. Theme of the Course  Consumer ethic central o Central to our social, political, cultural lives o Consumer ethic = the values, morals, ideologies, in the ways you choose to live your life and the purchases you make. o Buying is normal and natural, wanting and consuming, fantasizing, are seen as natural. o The value of consumption is that because you work so hard, you deserve it. o The promise of labor. o Pleasure of consumption is the reward for capitalism. o Fueling the economy is seen as a consumer ethic. o Political energy is placed on making sure consumption occurs constantly. o Another consumer ethic is how we use consumption to identify ourselves. Define groups. (gay or African American markets)  Consumer discourse privileged o Where the messages go o Everything becomes branded o Targets certain classes. o Tell different stories o Entire media-scape is a vehicle for advertising o Niche marketing o Underlying story of the American Dream – if you work hard, you will succeed and be successful and receive rewards society will allow you.  Douglas and Isherwood – consumer goods, modern societies central element in the establishment and circulation of meaning.  Something from the 80s being cool again.  Consumption and consumer goods become one of the primary ways of circulation of meaning in economy.  We have placed layers of meaning into consumer products Schor – privileging of consumption impact on quality of life  Work longer hours  Increased precarity (uncertainty) Emulation of the “rich”  Lead to “aspiration
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