Consumption and Mass Media Worksheet

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Consumption and Mass Media Worksheet
XXX-XX-XXXX
SOC 105
June 18, 2012
Carol French

Consumption and Mass Media Worksheet

1. What is conspicuous consumption? How does conspicuous consumption influence purchasing decisions? Think about a high-priced item that have bought or would like to buy. To what extent does conspicuous consumption affect your decision?

Merriam-Webster defines conspicuous consumption as “lavish or wasteful spending thought to enhance social prestige” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2012). Conspicuous consumption is buying an item for the impression value and not necessarily for the need. Purchasing items based on this style tends to make people over-purchase based on status vice buying an item for the purpose or need. To impress a friend or coworker, a consumer may purchase a Mercedes vice a Kia, even though the consumer knows that he or she cannot afford the payment. Brand names play a major part in this type of purchasing. I recently bought a new fifth wheel travel trailer, but conspicuous consumption really did not have an influence on my purchase. I bought the recreation vehicle to fit the needs of myself and my wife. Because my wife and I are selling our house, we were looking for the proper size and needs.

2. What is conspicuous leisure? Examples of conspicuous leisure are abundant on television. In what ways are leisure activities informed by social and economic class? Provide an example of a popular leisure activity. What assumptions can you make about the participants of the activity?

Conspicuous leisure is displaying leisure for the status symbol. Examples of conspicuous leisure on television range from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to Dallas, which will be coming back to television. By emphasizing the shopping habits, the jewelry, and the lifestyles, conspicuous leisure is displayed. Major size yachts, appearances at major social functions in long limousines’, and flying in private jets are examples of leisure activity. These activities are usually performed to make sure the individual in noticed by society in a “look at me” sense of way.

3. Define the term globalization. What effect does globalization have on popular culture? Provide an example of how American popular culture has influenced other countries, or how the United States has imported popular culture from other countries.

Merriam-Webster defines globalization as “the act or process of globalizing; the state of being globalized, especially the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor markets” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2012). Because trade and consumer products are] readily available throughout the world, globalization impacts the purchase of items. Items such as Hello-Kitty, Coma-con and anima are both popular cultures that have made their way to the United States. Fast food franchise, especially McDonald’s, is a pop culture found throughout the world from the Virgin Island to France. Globalization will continue to impact popular culture in all aspect of all countries, as long as the consumer has choices.

3. Choose an advertisement. Analyze the ad for its media message. Answer the following questions based on that ad.
Diet Dr. Pepper 10

Who created the media message? Why?
The Snapple group created the product to capture the men who shy away from diet drinks that are not perceived as "manly" enough (Anderson, 2011).

Who is the intended audience? What do you know about the intended audience—age, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background, hobbies, profession?
Dr Pepper 10 is aimed at men...
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