Outline Who Are the Winners and Losers in a Consumer Society?

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Outline who are the winners and losers in a consumer society? Contemporary UK is what many social scientists call a ‘consumer society’. This is where status is defined by purchases rather than other factors such as jobs or class. However, for most people, the ability to be able to consume effectively involves having a job. So, jobs are important just they generally aren’t considered as important. This essay will outline several subjects to find a winner and loser of the ‘consumer society we live in. The introduction of ‘consumer shopping, consumption and social sciences’ describe an ‘inner city high street’. This street was rundown and not many people used it. When it ‘started to revive in the early 1990’s and early 2000’s, due to new customer outlets’ (Kevin Hetherington, 2009); the street got cleaned up and because it looked nicer more people shopped there. This shows consumption as good because it re-uses old parts of cities that were rundown and forgotten. The street also shows a pattern of how consumption becomes so widespread: first of all there were people who decided to live there, and then some shops were attracted, because of the shops more people were attracted and because there were more people bigger businesses were attracted. These show; consuming can have benefits to rundown streets making the streets the winner in this context. In the late nineteenth century the first department stores opened which were seen as safe places for women. Thorstien Veblen studied the consuming habits of ‘new rich’ who wanted to impress their friends. He found that they often ‘brought things for a particular reason’ (Kevin Hetherington, 2009). To explain his findings he used the concept of ‘conspicuous consumption’. He meant this by people buying luxury items as a statement and visibly marks their status. Recently, Zygmunt Bauman (1988) saw people as winners and

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