Write an Essay That Outlines the View That a Consumer Society Is a Divided Society

Topics: Sociology, Conspicuous consumption, Thorstein Veblen Pages: 3 (889 words) Published: May 27, 2013
Social scientist Zygmunt Bauman composed a theory identifying the divides within a consumer society using two named categories; ‘the ‘seduced’, who were described as those people able to fully participate within consumer society and included people who have a positive identity seen to be valued members of society and the remaining people were in the ‘repressed’ category, those that have become excluded from a consumer society, such as the unemployed, or those on low wages and unable to participate fully in a consumer society (Bauman, cited in Hetherington, 2009 p. 27). According to Bauman people are divided more so on their consumption habits rather than their social class and this would result in some people falling into the ‘repressed’ category simply due to their inability to consume effectively. A study carried out by Peter Jackson, exploring why retail parks are becoming more popular, shows that consuming is turning into a defining feature for many communities, and retail park popularity is largely due to the view people have on those areas compared to the standard high street shops. The views of retail parks included, ‘safe, convenient and modern places for families to shop’ (Jackson, 2009, p. 45) and with many retail parks becoming available, the divide becomes apparent when peoples access, or lack of access as the case may be is shown. Lack of mobility and transport is cause for some of the divide in consumer society when people are unable to reach retail parks therefore these in Bauman’s terms would be the ‘repressed’. This would take assumption that those in the seduced category are ones with the above views regarding retail parks and those with money to spend and transport to travel there. This type of exclusion in society is therefore unequal, and the seduced could be seen to have an exclusive membership to a consuming society simply because the repressed are unable to participate. This exclusivity however isn’t one that cannot be changed or...
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