Tma 002 - a Consumer Society Is a Divided Society

TMA 02 A Consumer Society is a Divided Society

Its currently November 2012 and you only have to turn on the radio or tv, open a newpaper or walk past any retail outlet to kn ow that its Christmas. Its the time of year where we all feel a pressure to buy!
My 4 year old son is a marketers dream wanting every toy he hs seen advertised since August! We are constantly "fed"or as Bauman (1988) (cited in Heatherington,2009,p25.)describes us as seduced by the need to consume. The desire to buy not just what we need but what we may want or are meant to want. Luxuries and expenses that were once only available to a select few are now common place for the many. Nights out, luxury goods, technology, fine wines, art, cars and long haul travel are now available to us all. The shift from industrial society to our consumer society over the last 100 years provides endless possibilities. It brings new aspirations, hopes and dreams. However it also creates many inequalities and divides us in numerous ways. In this essay I plan to look at our consumer society and outline the ways its has also made us a divided society.

When we think about consumption we automatically think about what we buy and what and how we use it. Its not often we look closely at why we buy or use things. Its no longer always the case of buying something because we need it. Our motives can vary widely. We buy to fit in with our peers, to gain acceptance. We buy to portray a certain image of success or fashionability. We buy because we have our own perceptions of the products and services we use. For example Hetherington often uses very emmotive language in his text, he talks of "Consumer trapping" (Heatherington,2009,p.31)
Marketers use a very similar tactic when they promote products of services. Emotive language to make us feel we need these things. To make us feel some things are better than others. Brand power is a very good example. A popular traditional retailer like Marks and Spensers have their own...