Cleon Bandoo, Nottingham Trent University, 2017. Consumerism

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Cleon Bandoo, Nottingham Trent University, 2017

Consumerism is not just the acquisition of things it is the buying of self identity

In contemporary society it almost seems that we are profoundly connected and dependant upon consumption , surrounding ideologies that suggest that consumer has invaded to an extent that, when we consume we construct identity, has come to dominate as ‘the new religion of the late 20th century,’ (Miller,) these theories can be connected with “choice” which serves to tell us that self definition and collective definition can be communicated by our consumption practices. Identity construction is an increasingly important area in the study of consumption. However, it could be assumed that the concept of choice,
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In the culture of emulation, this tapping into people’s desires comes from the consumer to be able to emulate the celebrities traits, success, beauty, athleticism, talent etc (Sokolovska, 2016) which are all situated with the product these celebrities endorse.

However, in challenging the idea of identity as commodity, we could take a Marxist approach which would often suggest that in late modernity there is a fear with the preoccupation of spending, trying to fulfill other people’s lives and not live our own, the fear that ‘we are losing touch with more worthwhile values and ways of living’ (Schor,1999) can be assumed to be caused by the shift towards mass production. The idea that people have more freedom is to say that we have more choice, we can argue choice as an “illusion” that our choices are being dressed by producers, to support this argument, we could refer to Ted Talks who centers his notions on the paradox of choice, the idea that choice “produces paralysis as opposed to liberation, with so much to choose from people can not choose at all.” (Ted Talks) this notion driven by nature of the capitalist society in which we live, mass marketization to produce for mass consumption has surrounded us with a
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