Consumer Culture Is Central to Understanding Contemporary Identities

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Word count: 1605 Consumer culture is central to understanding contemporary identities. Discuss

As the title suggests, this essay is going to discuss, to what extent does consumer culture affect contemporary identities. In today’s society consumer culture is everywhere and we would probably not be able to survive without it. It became such an important part of our lives that some people even build their carrier around it. Most businesses in modern societies, all around the world work as successfully as they do, simply because people became consumers and they buy their products. This essay is first going to look at why this change of attitude occurred and how exactly it brought about consumer culture. This will lead us onto how exactly consumer culture works and how it affects consumers. To answer the question fully, we will also look at the two view points on this matter. First we are going to discuss arguments which support the view that consumer culture creates modern identities. Secondly, arguments supporting the view that consumer culture is far less important than in the development of one’s identity.
Before the question itself is addressed, some background needs to be drawn about this issue. To be objective about this matter, it should be pointed out straight away that consumer culture is not the key aspect affecting contemporary identities. There is one very simple explanation to why this is true. Humans have been around for a much longer period of time than consumer culture and were successfully developing their identities even before consumer culture came about. Therefore it is definitely true that in the past, there were other things creating our identities sufficiently enough. The definition of identity which Jodi Davis finds the most fitting is “My identity is determined by a complex mix of things“.
The question however concentrates on contemporary identities. So is it possible that consumer culture managed to take over the power of all the



Bibliography: * Bauman, Zygmunt. Work, Consumerism and the new poor. London: Open University press, 1998. * Davis, Jodi. The promise of potential. JD Coaching and Consulting, 2007. * Ewen, Stuart. Captains of conciousness. New York: McGraw-Hill , 1976. * Featherstone, Mike. Consumer Culture and Postmodernism. London: Sage publications, 1991. * Melissa Tyler Hancock, Philip, Bill Hughes, Elizabeth Jagger, Kevin Patterson, Rachel Russell and Emmanuelle Tulle-Winton. Body, Culture and Society: An Introduction. Buckingham: Open University Press, 2000. * Pasi Falk, Colin Campbell. The Shopping Experience. London: Sage Publications, 1997.

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