Essay about Winners and Losers in Consumer Society

1820 Words Feb 11th, 2011 8 Pages
Essay Plan for Shannon Mack
TMA 02: Outline who the Winners and Losers are in Consumer Society

Material needing to be referenced and read:

* Learning Companion 2 * Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of ‘Making Social Lives’ * Assignment Booklet pages 18 to 20 * CD/DVD’s: * Preparing for Assignments – Developing Skills Audio CD * Evidence in the Social Sciences – Audio CD 1 * Rubbish Society – Audio CD 1 * Making connections: economics and politics – Making connections Audio CD * Reflections on Material Lives – Audio CD 1

Specific References:

* Allen, J. (2009) ‘One-stop shopping: the power of supermarkets’ in Taylor, S., Hinchcliffe, S., Clarke, J. and Bromley, S (eds) Making Social
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An example of a loser in Consumer Society would be a person who is unable to drive and is perhaps physically challenged. This person is unlikely to have a stable income and it could be generalized that he or she would not be able to visit the local, popular Retail Park for an afternoon of shopping. Retail Parks are aimed at car owners and they are situated out of the main shopping district so therefore not often in walking distance. This would be a hindrance for a disabled person and therefore, they will be viewed as a Loser in Consumer Society. The person mentioned would be more inclined to visit the smaller, more local shops and would often only purchase the basic amenities required for a comfortable and stable existence.

The above ‘repressed’ individual is in contrast to the concept of conspicuous consumers (Veblen, T., 1899). Veblen argues that consumption is taken one step further when people form an opinion of one another based purely on their possessions and their consumer habits. This is very common in today’s society and these individuals are seen as ‘seduced’ consumers or ‘winners’ in society. They purchase things to form a lifestyle which is envious, fits in with what is seen as popular and they believe that this lifestyle defines who they are. In the nineteenth century, Department Stores became very popular and shopping became more of a past time than a necessity. People were now able