Dd131 Discuss the Role of the Seduced and Repressed for Understanding the Place of Consumption in Contemporary Consumer Society.

It can very easily be argued that a defining feature of the UK High Street is consumption, and the ability of the individual to participate in it. According to Zygmunt Bauman, the capacity of the population to consume can be separated into two groups – the seduced and the repressed (Bauman, as cited in Taylor et al, 2009). The Seduced are those who are able to participate fully in society, those who have the means to express themselves, or the individuals who have enough money or talent to be fully-effective consumers. They are seen as valuable members of society with a positive identity. However, this does not account for the entire population: those not able to participate to the same degree are people Bauman calls Repressed. These would be people who have a low or limited income, the chronically ill, migrants who have just arrived, and the physically disabled. Simply, from Bauman’s point of view, maintaining and indeed establishing status within society today – defining an individual as ‘seduced’ - requires money and the ability to spend it.  
    However, this is not to imply that membership to either of these groups a permanent thing – a person’s circumstances can change: an unemployed person can find a job; a person with a lot of disposable income can find they have to take a pay-cut. The capacity of each individual to consume will change. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of consumption can be said to be ‘the amount of goods, services, materials, or energy purchased and used’. For someone who has just found a job, their ability to consume would increase and they would become a more valued member of society. The reverse would be true of the opposite individual – they would find themselves less able to participate in society as fully as they had been able to before. Ultimately, this individual would feel the decrease of their sense of belonging and acceptance within society.
    It is very easy to see from this that, as it was in...