Consumerism And The Conformity Of Consumer Culture

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The dominance of capitalist countries has facilitated the conformity of global civilization and cultural environments resulting in an increase of consumer cultures (Sarmela, 1977; Chaney, 2004). As capitalism experiences a natural and unavoidable expansion, consumers engage with consumer culture creating invisible products such as social status, identity, cultures, and ethical relationships (Sternberg, 2017). There are two sides to consumer culture that are the values held by society; those who conform and those who rebel (Turow & McAllister, 2014). All participants of society align with either submission or resistance to dominant ideas, values, and social structures. However, as a result of continued progressive diversity and fragmentation, the distinction between submissive and resistance are blurred. Nevertheless, those who resist and rebel are still participants of consumer culture. Instead they instead form sub cultures in society with alternative beliefs, values and ideas that challenge the mainstream (Chaney, 2004). In order to better understand the relationship between consumption practice and the resistance of consumer culture, theories of reflexive project of self, prosumers, lifestyle commodification, and incorporation will be analyzed in relation to the vegan movement.

Prominent media scholar, John Fiske (1989), theorized numerous ways in which the consumption of media and prevalent culture, even shopping itself, could be conceptualized as acts of resistance. Resistance can be defined as the ways in which a subcultural style and activity works to challenge the dominant social order (Southerton, 2011). Veganism is becoming an increasingly popular lifestyle choice for health and environmental-conscious individuals and is viewed as a form of resistance to mainstream consumption practices. The consumer develops their identity as someone who does not use animal derived food or products of any kind such as; dairy, eggs, fur, leather, feathers, or any goods involving animal testing (Lawrence, 1993). Veganism is an extended form of vegetarianism, and though the term was defined in 1944, the concept of a plant based diet can be traced back to ancient Indian and Eastern Mediterranean societies (Suddath,
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