The way in which we consume is constantly changing and has been for some time. With more women workers now, than before, a household has the ability to bring in a greater income, with the opportunity of two people earning. This is leaving people with more disposable income to spend on luxuries as opposed to necessities.
One of the ways to simplify and examine the place of consumption in society today is to use Zygmunt Bauman’s concepts of the seduced and the repressed. Using these concepts we can begin to understand why consumption is as it is in contemporary consumer society.
‘Zgymunt Bauman has argued that consumption is creating new divisions that are defining a consumer society’ (Hetherington, 2009, p.46).
Bauman argues that everyone who consumes falls in to a category of ‘seduced’ or ‘repressed’ the seduced being those who can afford to consume effectively and the repressed who may have less money and are unable to consume as effectively. He contrasts this with how in previous years social class was defined by work and what leisure activities one partook in. Bauman uses his concepts to show how there has been a shift in consumption as with time and that now how we consume defines who we are and our place in society as individuals.
Bauman defines the seduced therefore, as being those with the income and means to consume effectively, but not to only shop for belongings as a necessity. In Bauman’s eyes they go further than this and purchase items to give them an identity. ‘we are what we consume is a common enough claim’ (Hincliffe,2009, p.4) . According to Bauman’s concept, people buy things which are above and beyond necessity to say something about who they are as a person and the type of lifestyle they live. They have an image of what they want to say about themselves and portray this through the use of... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2010, 10). Tma02. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Tma02-428518.html
"Tma02" StudyMode.com. 10 2010. 10 2010 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Tma02-428518.html>.
"Tma02." StudyMode.com. 10, 2010. Accessed 10, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Tma02-428518.html.