Outline Who Are the Winners and Losers in a Consumer Society.

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TMA02 - Assignment Plan

Assignment question: Outline who are the winners and losers in a consumer society.

‘Outline’ – my understanding of this is to summarise/define the winners and losers in a consumer society, focussing on identifying who they are and not why they are.


Describe what I am going to do – keep it short and refer to the question that is being asked, I could start by pointing out who are the winners and losers in general and then building on them in the following paragraphs in the body of the assignment.


Use the mind maps and the references below with notes taken manually to form the body of the assignment. Try to keep each example of a winner and loser to a separate paragraph and keep to the point, don’t go too much into detail about why. Building on my last assignment I need to include comments and references from some of the social scientists in the ‘Making Social Lives’ book, chapters 1 and 2 in particular from weeks 4 to 7 and the following audios may have some relevance; Evidence in the social sciences, Making connections: ‘economics and politics’ and Reflections on ‘Material Lives’. Also make references to positive-sum game and zero-sum game.


Draw from the body of the assignment and refer to the question to conclude what I have learned and why this is.

Remember no more than 1250 words – this does not include the plan.

Mind maps on who are the winners and losers in a consumer society;

Winners in more detail - Quantitative and qualitative information;

Large Chain Stores – Chapter 2, strand 3 page 73 – ‘’Tesco operates over 3700 stores in 13 countries – of which just over 2000 are in the UK. ASDA part of the US Wal-Mart chain operates over 6000 stores in 16 countries - of which 300 ASDA stores are in the UK. Sainsbury’s operates over 800 stores in the UK and Morrisons who acquired Safeway in 2004 to gain market share in the south of England operates over 800 stores in the UK.’’ – (Source Competition Commission, 2008;SN, 2008; Young, 2004,pp.1-33) - as reported by retail commentator Judi Bevan (2006) 30 million consumers chose to make purchases at supermarkets every week and it was recognised that Tesco alone took one pound for every three spent by consumers on food and groceries. Reference Judi Bevan (2006) – long ref Bevan,J. (2006) Trolley Wars: The Battle of the Supermarkets, London, Profile Books. Source John Allen. Retail Parks – Chapter 1, Strand 3 The other end of the street – ‘ This place is all about car mobility and shopping,…There is a bus service but the site caters mostly for people, especially families…’’ Source Kevin Hetherington. Retail parks are not easily accessible to those who do not have their own transport.

The Wealthy – Chapter 1, 2 - Mass consumption and the department store. 18th century consumption ‘was a prominent part of social life, if only for the rich’. Only the wealthy were able to consume effectively the ‘luxurious’ goods on offer to gain ‘status’ in society when the items that they purchased defined were they stood in society.

Those with access to cheap credit – able to obtain through steady, secure job.

Those who are able to consume effectively including, the able-bodied, those with own transport, the ‘in crowd’ – due to circumstance, not though supermarkets directly.

Losers in more detail;

Small businesses – who cannot compete with large chain stores moving into the area and taking business from them. John Allen’s audio discussion with Helena Rimmer and Richard Dodd in ‘Evidence in the social sciences’ depicts this. When John Allen asks Helena how this has impacted on the high street over the past thirty to forty years she replies that due to the consolidation and growth of a few ‘big players’ small businesses are suffering and as much as 50 small shops close per week due to the impact of supermarkets.

Those with casual or un-secure employment – are displaced within a consumer society as...
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