The Theories from the Movie of Confessions of a Shopaholic

Topics: Sociology, Pierre Bourdieu, Polity Pages: 5 (1604 words) Published: March 25, 2011
Instances with cultural dimension are everywhere. The very normal everyday affairs that relate to cultural field could intricately stand on behalf of, or are shaped by, wider social and cultural forces (Miller, McHoul, 1). For instance, in the movie of Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), fashion as a significant element, including the appearances of projection, consumption and aesthetics, as well as the status of upper class, determines self-identity and expresses one’s personality and discourses. This essay will first briefly introduce the movie, followed by defining and elaborating two theories. Subsequently, two of the movie clips deemed as culture examples, each exemplifying the key notions from two scholars will be analyzed. Ultimately the essay would draw the conclusion with cultural lead ideas.

According to the introduction of Metacritic (2009), the movie of Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) mainly describes a girl named Rebecca Bloomwood who is absolutely a shopaholic. In order to achieve the dream of working for her beloved fashion magazine, she snags a job of being an economic columnist for a financial magazine, which is published by the same company. Ironically, she guides people to effectively manage money on the one hand and has loads of debts to pay off on the other hand. She has to make up lies to evade creditor’s tracking. Eventually, the comedy ends with Rebecca turning over a new leaf and celebrating both career and love after harsh introspection and self-reflection. The movie of Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) is occupied by fashion, glamour and shopping. This refers a person with a compulsive desire to shop. This movie lightly involved gender bias and stereotypes with the terms. For instance, women who love buying are called "shopaholics". While, occasionally, men are called "collectors" which have the same situation as women. However, the movie principally illustrates people’s desire for consumption and self-expression through styling and taste, which will be detailed by theories as following.

In the movie, the view of simplified consumption is widely and reasonably acknowledged. Shopping, an approach of leisure and consuming time, offers people happiness and enjoyment. Due to the reports and evidences from Carlson (2008), it can be powerfully argued that people consume for the sake of consuming in real life. The Polish sociologist, Zygmunt Bauman (1925- ) illustrates the modern consuming in the theory of “consuming life”, based on his theory of consumerism and liquid modernity. With the heuristics understanding of consumers and “consuming life”, he discovered three ideal categories, namely consumerism, the society of consumers, and consumer culture, to demonstrate consumers as a part of the society as well as the possible relationships among them. (Patterson 4). Bauman chiefly addresses consumerism about the subjectivity of individual consumers and states the motivated role of the unfulfilled desires and unsatisfied needs. As for the second ideal type, Bauman argues the inevitable relationship between individuals and the world. In addition, ‘salability’ is coined to define the cause of social membership raised by individual’s consumption. The third ideal type, notably consumer culture, is claimed to “moves to a mes-olevel discussion of the social networks and interactions that exist within liquid modernity.”(ibid.)

In Bauman’s theory, people are believed live in the postmodern consumer society and consumption is increasing in volume. Consumer’s satisfaction is instant and delayed. As the report of Miller (33), at the moment of purchase, women are hardly satisfied in situations of purchase. The satisfaction brought by consumed goods is limited and short-term, the length of which normally should be reduced to bare minimum. However, Bauman (17) argues that the impatient, impetuous, and restive consumption would be more likely and much easier to fade off and lose interests as well, which...
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