Rubbish Has No Value

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TMA02: “Rubbish has no value “

In this essay i want to discuss and analyse rubbish and it’s value. Rubbish has been described as something with no value, however value is a complex term and does not complete a clear picture of rubbish. To define rubbish clearly I want to discuss the relationship between rising affluence and consumer society and how they have produced more rubbish. Also what rubbish means to different people and who are the winners and losers in the mass generation of rubbish. I will also look at the sustainability of affluent societies, its effect of the environment and why negative externalities should be but are often not considered in the valuation of goods. Using Thompsons theory of rubbish(1979) and Baumans theory of consumption (1988) i hope to provide a detailed analysis of the pros and contra for the argument that “ Rubbish has no value “

To discuss rubbish and its value we need to discuss consumption and how and why consumption has grown in society. In contemporary society people are not longer solely defined by what they do but more so by what do they consume. Consumption has a huge part to play in socialisation in term of what things we consume say about us and how we are trying to portray ourselves also. A question that was often asked when someone met someone new was “ What do you do ? “ , more so now the question is “ What are you into ? “ . ( Hetherington , 2009, p.23 ) Generally people consume to define who they are but also some consumption is out of necessity for generally day to day living. E.g once a car was seen as a luxury but now for some it is a necessity for work. Bauman’s theory of consumption (Bauman, cited in Hetherington,2009, p. 25 ) talks about the seduced and the repressed in contemporary Western consumer society. People in a high affluent consumer society have more disposable income and can consume more to portray a social status of themselves and others. These people are known as the...
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