Ouline the Claims That Consumption Creates New Social Divisions Essay

1553 WordsJan 12, 20147 Pages
Plan: Introduction: Consumption – What is it? How consumption creates new social divisions. Status/Money – divides a consumer society. Main Body: Veblen – Changes from 19th/20th Century to now In-Crowd and Out-Crowd Bauman – Seduced and Repressed Oppositional Jackson – Retail Parks v High Street Winners and Losers Wrong – Zero-Sum and Positive-Sum Dodd – Anti and Pro Supermarket Lobby Conclusion: Bauman’s Seduced and Repressed Jacksons Study Wrongs Argument Question: Outline the claim that Consumption Creates New Social Divisions Social scientists talk about consumption when they refer to a broad range of social issues that influence and shape our way of life or culture. It is suggested we now live in a consumer society which implies a shift in emphasis away from what people did for a living as being the most important aspect, to one that is defined by what we purchase. Hetherington states “A Consumer society is a society which is defined as much by what people buy and use as by how they are employed” (Hetherington, 2009, p19). In simple terms status and money are among the key divides of a consumer society and in this essay we will discuss the claim that consumption creates new social divisions. Veblen was a sociologist writing in the late 19th, early 20th century. In his book ‘The Theory of the Leisure Class’ he talks about how in an industrial society people would demonstrate wealth by buying a big house, expensive jewellery or antiques just to demonstrate to others how well they were doing within society. “Those things became an extension of the people who owned them”. (Veblen, cited in Hetherington, 2009, p32) While Veblen was writing at a time when society was defined as an industrial society his points are relevant for today’s consumer society as in order for people to be consumers and buy

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