Influence Of Conspicuous Consumption On The Popular Tv Comedy Series ' Modern Family '

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This paper explores the encouragement of conspicuous consumption seen in the popular TV comedy series ‘Modern Family’ using sociological theories such as those of Thorstein Veblen and Zygmunt Bauman. By looking at consumption using Veblen’s theory as our main approach it becomes clear that “we partake in consumption that reflects our habits and taste, what we consume is an expression of our likes, dislikes and a broad range of interests and motivations,” (Reynolds, 2012). By analysing the Medias role in the encouragement of conspicuous consumption and the role it plays in Modern Family it becomes clear that this concept of consumption is a dominant part of our consumer society. Together these theorists look at this idea of consumption from their own unique point of views by looking at it from different perspectives and giving us an understanding of what consumption is and how over time, conspicuous consumption has become a dominant part of our daily lives.

Conspicuous consumption refers to the pattern of spending money on purchasing expensive products or services based on the assumption that they are better simply because they cost more. This kind of purchasing is aimed at ‘keeping up appearances’ and ensuring that a high status is maintained by showing off how much money one has. Veblen coined the term ‘conspicuous consumption’ in the 19th century in his book ‘The Theory of the Leisure Class’ (1899) where he discusses the role of consumption in maintaining social status.

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