306 consumer culture
Consumers are social actors
Consumer identity is defined morally and economically
Consumers did not arrive with markets, they are made.
Consumer identity is contested- by consumer groups, the state, through
advertising. There are many consumer identities. Consumer identity is situated
based on context. Eg environmentalists see consumers as a problem and
Consumer can have rational choice, or they can imitate others. They can be
slaves and can't escape
In17th century consumption starts attaining meaning
Luxury- was seen s beyond human needs and also a public good enabling
economic growth. Can have good luxury and bad luxury
Human nature- shift from finite desires to infinite desire
(david hume)Innocent luxury- things contribute to aesthetics,
Blame able luxury- things that didn't contribute to aesthetics, or improvement. Eg
Moral compromise- consumer is rational, but some goods are decent and some
are not. Eg consumption of coffee is associated with sobriety
Between need and luxury
18th century. Colonial commodities.. Sugar
Working lower middle class become consumers of colonial commodities
produced by slave labour. Rise of a market. Separation between the consumer
and goods, goods coming from foreign places.
Individualistic materialism- satisfaction of western desires, linked in the public
sphere (eg family)
The sovereign consumer
- the dominant model of consumer behaviour is economic
Consumer makes self directed choices regardless of social world, the decision is
based on individual responsibility.
Those consumers with others create demand. The producer responds. Demand
comes from self directed choices.
Consumer is seen as rational, maximizing the utility of the good. Can be symbolic
Has political consequences as a sovereign consumer. They have freedom of
choice, right to choose. They have uthority over their own needs and desires
The market satisfies free choice. the producers competes to satisfy the needs of
Thr west is seen as the home of freedom, progress,social advancement Conspicuous consumers
Consumption as signaling identity to others. (simmel1904). Express themselves
through consumption. Eg fashion
Cohesion or differentiation. Identity. The bourgouise want differentiation.
Trickle down effect. Consumer is an imitator of the upper classes.
Conspicuous consumption demonstrates and elevated social position. Leisure,
The social group influences consumption, notion of trying to be