Outline the Claim That Consumption Reflects and Shapes Our Lifestyle and Identity

Essay Plan:

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

Introduction Paragraph one:

Briefly explain that we currently live in a consumer society, what consumption is and that social scientists say it is a large part of shaping our lifestyles and identity – also include social factors.

Paragraph two:

Outline Zygmunt Bauman’s concept.
Discuss if participating in consumer society is really a choice or not.

Paragraph three:

Compare to class system prior to the 1980’s.

Paragraph four:

Discuss the divide between people who consciously choose to not participate in consumer culture and everyone else.

Paragraph five:

Discuss the effects of consumerism.

Paragraph six:

Talk more about the people who try not to participate in consumerism, therefore creating a lifestyle and identity unique to them – almost a sub-culture of its’ own.

Paragraph seven:

Conclusion – summarise preceding essay

Today we live in a society significantly defined by the products that people purchase and use as well as by what they make or do; this is known as a consumer society. Consuming is described as the acquisition, use and disposal of goods and services (Making Social Lives, 2009, P.13). Consumption is said by the large majority of social scientists to reflect and shape our lifestyles and identity. We use the term lifestyle to depict a commonality in a group as a form of identification and recognition of a distinctive way of life.   Examples of these would be hippy, luxury, retired, and geek and traveller lifestyles.   Generally the decision to adopt any given lifestyle includes a variety of social factors which must be taken into consideration when attempting to understand what a consumer society is about – and to understand the consumers of each lifestyle themselves.   These include:

    • Income
    • Education
    • Family and peer group pressure
    • Societal expectations