Concepts of the Seduced and the Repressed

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TMA 02 Introducing the Social Sciences

Concepts of the Seduced and the Repressed


Using the Book: Making Social lives ‘referencing’ reading chapter 1 and listing material and say what I need to use in my essay

Create an Introduction to include the question and basis for your main body. Explain meaning of concept.
Explain two points of arguments:
1/ Bauman’s argument that we are divided into seduced and the repressed. Looking at page 25 to 27 in Making Social Lives.
2/ Understanding consumption
2/ Concept of positive and zero sum power about supermarket power.


Paragraphs in main body.
1/ Explain Bauman’s argument and give evidence.
Explain Bauman’s concepts of the seduced and the repressed.
Evidence to support Bauman’s argument.

2/Who are the seduced and the repressed
3/Divisions in consumer society – ability and access to use.
Consumption and the ability to consume, relating to identity.
Belonging in society by ability to buy and spend
Looking at page 47 to 48 in Making Social Lives
4/ Exclusion from society by not being able to consume, creating a lack of belonging.

1/Supermarkets – Do they produce a divided society
2/ Use concepts of Zero sum power and positive sum power.
3/ Has consuming become about identity

In conclusion (main points)
No new material

TMA 02 Introducing the Social Sciences

In not more than 1250 words discuss the role of the concepts of the seduced and the repressed for understanding the place of consumption in contemporary consumer society.

In today’s society we can all feel like we have to keep up with the ‘neighbours’, we would all like having the ability to buy what and when we want, or wishing we had the ability and the power to make our own buying decisions. This essay defines Bauman’s ideas that consumers are either the seduced or the repressed, and explains the difference between the seduced and the repressed. Our feelings of belonging or being excluded from consumer society, arguing for and against Bauman’s concepts and describing various concepts used to describe situations such as market power or coercion and its effect on consumer society.

The social scientist Zygmunt Bauman (1988) theorises that western society can be broadly divided into two groups of consumers, labelled as the seduced and the repressed, he believes that inequality and freedom differ now than from industrial society. In industrial society only the very rich or those who had very well paid jobs could afford life’s luxuries. These people still exists, those with money and those that are high flyers earning high salaries, these people are labelled as the seduced, but they are now joined by those who can get cheap credit and people with a good steady income, people in a position to buy into the idea of a consumer society, those with the money to spare. He calls these sort of people the seduced, as they can participate in consumer society now too.

Bauman believes that consumption can shape our personalities and social membership, what we consume offers us status to compare with others in the same realm. Our identity can be established through what we purchase. Bauman argues that it is ‘principally consumption that is the dominant feature in shaping identities rather than production and work’. (Making Social Lives edited by Taylor. S. et al page 27).

However, some people can fall out of the suppressed simply by losing there job or another life change, like retiring or having an accident and being unable to work. This leads on to the repressed. Zygmunt Bauman theorises that people such as the unemployed or low paid and others not in a position to participate in a consumer society on a sound level, some people with disabilities and some older people with only state benefit income will be labelled as the repressed. Those people may not have transport and would not be able to visit the out of town supermarkets and shopping malls without being dependant on...
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