Seduced & Repressed

In this assignment I plan to discuss the role of the concepts of the seduced and repressed for understanding the place of consumption in consumer society within the UK.  Living within a consumer society gives us the freedom of choice although how we use this depends on our social and financial status.  Consumption covers a range of social issues that shape our lives, makes us who we are, it has changed over the last century but as we will see it is still divided.  We will use Bauman’s concepts of the seduced and repressed to explore how they affect society.
In the early part of this century when we lived within a more industrial society, a person’s identity would have come from either permanent employment or citizenship or those with what was seen as a more important profession within the community (doctor/lawyer).  These roles were seen as shaping a persons identity therefore as giving status to the individual.   It was perceived that only the rich could afford to consume more than the essentials in life and lead a more luxurious lifestyle and they liked to display their wealth through possessions. These would have been bought from specialist shops where goods were under the counter or on shelves behind the counter; these goods would have been limited and costly, therefore discouraging those who couldn’t afford them from entering the stores and making a purchase.

Then the department store was born and for the first time people from any walk of life could actually see and touch goods.   The store owners employed great marketing techniques, lighting, special offers and due to mass production and lower costs the choice of items, goods and services grew and with it the aspirations of the individual did too.   Consumption would change, no longer were goods bought for necessity or to display your position within society, they were bought to create an identity, a lifestyle.   This introduces Bauman’s theory of the seduced and repressed.

Bauman’s theory claims that...