Consumption and Identity

1704 WordsJun 21, 20187 Pages
Consumption involves individuals purchasing goods to achieve a meaning or value to the consumer, not simply for the material benefit it offers. Instead, ‘commodities are not just objects of economic exchange, they are goods to think with, goods to speak with’ (Fiske, 1989) (Cited in Bocock, 1993). This suggests that individuals use goods as symbolic props, as a way of creating and moulding their own identities. It is suggested that the individual has the ability to create their own narrative and can rely upon the novelties of consumer goods. However, the individual is still bound by the market and the mass commodities of Capitalism. For example: sports individuals purchase equipment, clothing etc, to encourage the identity they wish to…show more content…
That we consume beyond our desires, we consume for the present and worry about the consequences later. This suggests that consumer culture is dangerously pre- occupied with our own desires, that individuals fail to recognise the surrounding factors that are exploiting them on a daily basis. In addition, Simmel’s (1994), theory on ‘The Philosophy of Money’ discusses the nature of consumption in modern society and the impact it has had on individuals. Simmel believed that through consumption, individuals have the ability to understand and embody the meaning of objects in the world. He suggests that through interactions with objects, individuals are able to refine themselves, through confronting an integrating new views and perspectives into their daily lives. Therefore, Simmel sees culture as having a positive effect on the members of society, as it allows them to develop and acquire a variety of new meanings, which in turn allows an assured positive impact on the well- being of society. However, it is not always because the consumer decides to have the ability to create and invent themselves as a success within modern society. As Bourdieu (1984), suggests consumers require both the economic and cultural capital to be able to purchase and access the meanings of certain goods and cultural objects. Bourdieu (1984) maintains the idea of the operations of the habitus, which is an internalised set of dispositions that has derived from an
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