Ou Tma 02

Essay Plan
Introduction (Approx. 100 words)
  * Describe consumption
  * Mention different theorists to be looked at such as Bauman, Veblen & Susman
  * ‘Big fours’

Paragraph one (Approx. 220 words each)
  * Look at Bauman’s theory of the ‘seduced and the repressed’. Describe his idea of equality in a consumer society and how divisions are made amongst different consumer groups.

Paragraph two
  * Look at Veblen’s theory of ‘conspicuous consumption’ and how describe his idea of consumption as a means to gain a certain status in society.

Paragraph three
  * Look at Warren Susman’s theory - consumption of a means of self- expression and the “performing-self”.

Paragraph four
  * The “big fours” i.e.: Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s and discuss how as consumers we may not have a choice in where we shop anymore. Discuss the concept of market power and how this shapes our modern lifestyle. Discuss the idea of choice and the consequences of when chain stores on local businesses when they open up stores in suburban areas. Mention IKEA in Ireland and how this has shaped our society.

Conclusion: (Approx. 50 words)
Draw together the argument that consumers lifestyles have changed due to changes in choices and as a result of market power from the big chain supermarkets. (How has this all changed our lifestyle and identity in society today?) Is choice a good thing?

Produce an essay plan and then write an essay that addresses the following:

Outline the claim that consumption reflects and shapes our lifestyle and identity.

Barbara Kruger’s artwork above speaks the truth about a consumer society. Contemporary social life reflects an individual’s identity as expressed by Kruger. In this assignment I will attempt to outline the theories and concepts of how consumerism has shaped our identity in society and led to the lifestyle which we all lead today. I will be looking at theories from Bauman, Veblen and Susman which describe how...