Outline the Ways in Which Rubbish Can Be Said to Have Value in a Consumer Society

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  • Topic: Value, Aesthetics, Value theory
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  • Published : October 15, 2011
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PLAN: Outline the ways in which rubbish can be said to have value in a consumer society


Paragraph one – Consumer Society,Mass consumption and Recycling:

Explain a definition for consumer society and explain how Mass consumption has evolved. With the increase explain how it has led to a massive increase in the household and business waste

Paragraph two – Thompson’s Theory, Economic value and Aesthetic Value: Explain Thompson’s theory and illustrate it by using the stevengraphs and explaining how once they were modestly priced and as lots were produced they went out of fashion and therefore the price fell, however when few were left thay came back into fashion and the price went higher, explain the three different stages of Thompson’s theory. Give a explanation for economic value and the influence of supply and demand on prices. Use the housing slump in 2008 for this. Explain aesthetic and give an example using the photo of my bed by Tracey Enin.

Paragraph three – Intrinsic Value:
Explain what intrinsic value is and how something that seems like junk to someone may be priceless in someone else’s views because of sentimental value to them.

Conclusion: To conclude explain that when looked at deeper rubbish does have value in a consumer society but the levels at which we produce it is unsustainable.


Outline the ways in which rubbish can be said to have value in a consumer society

When one discusses rubbish we often come to the conclusion that it has no value, and therefore disvalued. This essay will explain how in fact rubbish does have value to lots of different people and business. There must have been certain factors for it to be considered ‘rubbish’ by the consumer. These can include it being seen as broken, old, not needed or simply not wanted anymore. Though there may be some truth behind certain items as being considered rubbish, such as broken and so on, that item can still have value to another. When talking about value it is important to note that it is a complex term with a variety of meanings, for example how useful something is or if its regarded as worthwhile, or to the point that value has been assigned to items by people that value them. In this essay we will be discussing a number of values rubbish can have, which can include aesthetic, intrinsic and economic value.

The UK is widely regarded as a consumer society this is where society people are defined by what they buy and use and can afford as opposed to how they are employed, mass consumption can partly be attributed to this as well as rising wages and social aspects. Mass consumption was first brought to Europe in the 1860’s through department stores; it was the ability of these department stores to bring luxury goods to people at affordable prices through mass production and cheap labour. In modern times, with supermarkets carrying a greater range of products than ever before, you could say that they have become the 21st century department store offering mass produced products at low prices often made in other parts of the world where labour is much cheaper. From 1971 to 2006 the household disposable income increased by nearly 150% (Making social lives, page 111, figure1). With such an increase there was also a dramatic increase in consumption, which has led to even-greater amounts of waste and rubbish from households and also to a far greater extent from the shops themselves. It is important to remember that what is waste and rubbish to one person may not be the same to another. One example of this is the recycling businesses that have played an ever-increasing part in what we do with our so-called waste. The process of recycling can in turn give new value to what was once deemed rubbish. This will involve collecting the recycled rubbish first off and transporting to another part of the world and then back in the form of a new product which will then be sold at a price that will at least cover the...
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