Name some products or services that are widely used by your social group. State whether you agree or disagree with the notion that these products help to form group bonds, supporting your argument with examples from your list of products used by the group.
Discussion of this question is similar to that pertaining to the first question. In both cases, the focus is on whether consumption behavior has a wider meaning—that of group bonding or identification. The actual products used are not the most important aspect of this discussion. Instead, the focus should be on consumption behavior as more than the satisfying of primary (basic/physiological) needs. It is assumed that most students will agree that consumption has meaning beyond satisfying primary needs. Differences will be found, however, in 1) the situations in which consumption takes on this additional meaning, 2) the products that do so, and 3) the form of the broadened meaning. Encourage students to examine the products that bring forth meaning, as well as their consideration as to why this phenomenon occurs.
Many students will consider the use of subliminal persuasion to be unethical. Accordingly, a discussion could focus on why subliminal messages are undesirable. An interesting issue to raise may be how, or even if, subliminal persuasion differs from other advertising consumers are exposed to every day. Once these differences have been noted, the discussion could turn toward analyzing the reasons why individuals react negatively to subliminal persuasion. Students who believe the use of these techniques is ethical should be encouraged to develop their arguments so that those representing each side of the argument might see the opposing view. Regardless of the position adopted by the majority of students, be prepared to stimulate discussion by developing an argument in favor of the use of subliminal messages. This argument could center on the idea that subliminal persuasion might result in less...
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