Dd101 Tma02

Essay Plan


  * Briefly explain consumer society
  * Introduce Bauman
  * Explain the meaning of value

Main content

  * Affluence and its influence on rubbish
  * Bauman’s division of consumers
  * Reduced production costs
  * Disposable society
  * Thompson (Stevengraphs), touch on ebay and auctions
  * Advancing technology – a running theme


  * Reiterate the factors surrounding value
  * Summarise the content concluding that waste has a perceived value

Outline the argument that rubbish is not worthless

Society today is defined by what people consume, therefore it is described that we live in a consumer society. Within this consumer society, Bauman (OU 2009) has divided consumers into two categories, the seduced and the repressed.   Society has moved on from an industrial base, through rising affluence and consumption in a goods and services based industry.   Taking this into account, it is easy to understand that high consumption will eventually result in higher amounts of rubbish.   Rubbish is generally thought of as useless and a problem in terms of disposal. It is thought to have no value and thrown out, but there is another side to rubbish. A side that suggests some rubbish does in fact have value.   Value could be determined by the perceived worth of an object in terms of its usefulness or belonging to a person. Could there be truth in the saying ‘one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure’?

Affluence has been one of the main factors when looking at the increase of consumption in modern society, thus in return creating more rubbish. In more recent years, recycling has increased resulting in a slight fall in waste rubbish as shown in Table 2 pg 117 of Making Social Lives.   Figure 2 pg 112, Making Social Lives clearly shows the rise in earnings between 1990 and 2007 coinciding with the rise of rubbish and consumption.  

As technology has advanced, so has the production become more efficient...