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5 Consuming Life.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
Sociology 2172A/B
Professor
Gale Cassidy
Semester
Fall

Description
Consuming Life From Abstract Labor to abstract desire - Many commodities are designed and marketed not to meet a particular concrete need or desire, but to meet a generalized, abstract desire: a desire for more things, the latest stuff, what’s hot and what’s cool. - Objects are desired and acquired not for their direct use value, but for their status value - Sex is an elemental desire o Intimate association and sexual relationship have an important impact on one’s status. o Desire for status and the desire for sex are often closely related o Sexual desire has tended to become more abstract, instead of being stimulated by interaction with concrete real person, sexual fantasies are often shaped by images of movie stars or supermodels o Abstract labor means nearly any worker will do; abstract desire mans that no one will do. From Abstract desire to patriotic consumption - When countries needs the demand of the population go up, it requires the people to purchase more, essentially people have a moral duty not only to be hard working producers but also fast spending consumers for the economy - Patriotic individuals spend money in order to stimulate the economy The Cultural Contradiction of Capitalism - Decline of social capital: people’s neglect of their roles as citizens in voluntary associations and non economic interpersonal networks that constitute civil society o Decline of marriage and family relationships - Cultural contradiction: Conflict between the discipline and asceticism needed for efficient production and the hedonism and self indulgence needed to maintain levels of consumption and market demand - Too much pleasure not enough work and attention paid to social roles Solutions: Preppies - High production and high consumption (work hard play hard) - Preps -> work hard and play hard, hide from parents and teacher ab
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