Circuit of Culture

Topics: Culture, Cultural studies, American Old West Pages: 7 (2472 words) Published: August 28, 2012
It has been suggested that design has become more central to the production and consumption of commodities. Evaluate this argument using a ‘circuit of culture’ approach and an object of your choice.

It is a key strategy in toady’s competitive business markets to put design at the center of your production and consumption. Companies have become more innovative in their marketing and revenue strategies and are using the advantages that come from the culture industry. Those include Standardization and ideological distractions, which within day-to-day living patterns become unnoticeable. It is known as general common sense amongst western societies to be careful of the tactics that come with retail propaganda. However, by putting design at the center of production and consumption commodities, organizations are becoming progressively more fashion sensitive reproducing their products to the audience in its own image. Product design measures the success of an organization because it is a really important factor to consider as it sets the characteristics, features, and performance of the service that consumers demand. The aim of this is to not only create a good product that matches the needs of their target demographic but also an excellent way of insuring the product will sell because it appeals to consumers, manipulating them into thinking it is a part of a lifestyle.

Theorists suggest that when a product is being made, manufactures use an acclaimed procedure to guarantee its success, one that is good enough to produce profit by provoking thoughts, emotions and personal fulfillments by the study of culture. They imply that ‘in recent years, culture has come to occupy a much enhanced position in the social sciences’ (Paul Du Gay et al, 1996, pg.2) Here Du Gay et al is saying that to make commodities sell, producers have to embody culture in the things they design. He goes further to say ‘all social practices’ like production and consumption ‘are meaningful practices, they are all fundamentally cultural.‘ Du Gay et al is correct in saying all social practices are meaningful. It is a case of where people become a product of their environment from everyday living ethics. People are categorized as individuals that have different wants and needs depending on their cultural and environmental surroundings. For example a fashion forward person relies upon fashion trends and self-expression to showcase who they are as a person. Beyond the way they dress and style themselves their personal reason for why they wear what they wear is a part of the sociological explanation that subject’s social practices as a culture. For instance if this fashion forward person decided on buying a pair of skinny jeans which have an encoded meaning that carries the culture of indie and rock, another person could choose to buy them because of the decoded meaning and how it has been interpreted by mainstream fashion trends. This is an example of the factors an organization takes into consideration during the process of production. Therefore, cultural theorists such as Paul Du Gay et al have come to display a circuit of procedures that outline 5 factors that producers take into consideration known as ‘the circuit of culture’. Du Gay et al say’s here ‘The mode of production of a cultural artifact was assumed to be the prime determinant of the meaning which the product would or could come to posses.’ This suggests that he thinks the way in which a product is presented to the audience really determines how it is perceived whether it has a direct encoded meaning or an altered decoded meaning. The five factors, which he identifies as major determinants are: representation, identity, production, consumption and also regulation. In order to analyze this theory I will have to take a product and apply it to each factor and discuss the final outcome. Paul Du Gay et al says it is important to remember that this is a circuit and that as long as you do each one...
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