Essay about Consumer Culture and Identity
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Fonseca (2008) defines Consumer culture as a process that “represents a condition in which consumption is seen as having the role of increasingly mediating certain aspects of social relations and consumption has the symbolic ability to represent affiliation to a certain group and its lifestyles, as well as to generate a sense of identity.” The mention of identity in Fonseca’s definition brings about an understanding of the impact consumer culture can have on social agents, and not just on the economic or capitalism that comes with consumption.
This essay will discuss the relationship between Consumer culture and Identity. The essay is divided into five parts; the first section is an introduction into what Consumer…show more content…
This definition by Taylor is used in marketing literatures and provides a definition that can be used in the context of this essay. Another good definition is that culture cannot be generic as it is; learnt through social interactions and encounters that are transmitted through generations and it is shared by members of a specific society (Hofstede, 1991). The birthplace according to McKendrick, Brewer and Plumb (1982) of consumer culture can be traced back to England, while McCracken (1998) argues that consumer culture is part of a larger transformation in the west that started since the sixteenth century.
Slater (1997: 8) defines Consumer Culture as “a social arrangement in which the relation between lived culture and social resource, between meaningful ways of life and symbolic and material resources on which they depend, is mediated through markets.” The market where consumption occurs has grown to have a big influence in the economy of the society. Baudrillard (1998) defines it as an economy that its value is no longer as relevant in material satisfaction, rather the sign value of goods take priority.
Consumer culture is not the only way of consumption and everyday reproduction but it is the dominant way as explained by Slater (1997: 8-9). Consumption of goods take place in daily routines, from the moment one wakes up till the moment we go back to sleep. For example; when we