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SOCB47H3 (2)
Chapter 10&13

Chapter 10&13.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Francisco Villegas

Chapter 10 • When economy was doing poorly, people were told to shop. • Consumer society; historically unprecedented volume of material consumption in such societies and to the expansive range of consumer goods, brands, advertisements and commercialized environments that have become an omnipresent feature of our everyday life. o Social integration, social reproduction and identity formation • Capitalist society praised for giving people freedom of what to buy o Conception of individual freedom as part of consumer sovereignty  Consumers are sovereign of themselves and their purchases  Have the power to rationally determine which goods and services are best for them o Market is seen as highly responsive mechanisms for communicating consumer demand to producers who exist to provide people with goods and services they desire • Consumption practices are always socially and institutionally embedded and are shaped, driven and constrained by a wide variety of social forces that the individual does not immediately control or even fully comprehend • Sociology of consumption; a field of critical inquiry whose primary concern is with the social dynamics that drive and constrain consumer behaviour and the complicated ways in which such behaviour interacts with prevailing structures and relations of power • Prevailing consumption patterns are socially produced • Communicative model; material goods can act as markers of status and help to symbolically map out the relative social positions of those who own and use them • Personal identity has been drawn into the vortex of consumer culture • Marketing and Advertisements have found their way into all aspects of our lives due to technology o Stealth marketing; incognito methods of marketing in which the audience does not know they are being targeted-works by making a celebrity use an item and making it a buzz o Cathedrals of consumption; provide magical and enchanting settings for people to experience the plentitide of their desires and participate in the rituals of acquisition  Theme parks, hotels, cruise ships, casinos  Hypercommercialized places  Structured to lead people into consumption o Infrastructural consumption; social, material, political and economic constraints and pressures that compel ordinary people into consumption-hardware  Poor diet related health disorders seen in socially disadvantaged people- could be a software issue but is actually a hardware issue; living in an urban area with no/unaffordable healthy food options • Poorest areas of the world bear the brunt of the environmental effects caused by the first world overconsumption o Supply the companies with cheap labour and cheap resources • Commodity fetishism; the commodities we interact with on a daily basis are fetishized to the extent that their economic value and everyday cultural meanings are largely detached from any critical awareness of the exploitative conditions in which they are produced Chapter 13 • Commodities in the store seem separate than the people who produced them thousands of miles away • Coffee is produced through the operations of an international social division of labour that has a long and painful history interwoven with the histories of slavery and colonialism • Coffee Production and Power o Coffee only emerged as a significant world trade commodity alongside the development of the world system which took root on the heels of the European colonial expansion o Intense exploitation of slave labour allowed the Dutch to sell the coffee beans at really cheap prices o Self-sufficient agricultural units were replaced with monoculture plantations dependent on the production of goods for sale on the international market o In Brazil, the growth of coffee production on giant plantations gave way to historically unprecedented increase in slave imports-Brazil then produced nearly half of the worlds coffee supply (slave population of 2 million people) o Forced labour encouraged by the spread of coffee economy in Latin America o Despite changing political landscape in coffee countries, coffee workers continue to be at the bottom of the unequal glocal class hierarchy o Local middlemen, higher on the social hierarchy-monopolize local transportation an
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