Who are the winners and losers in Consumer Society

 

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Post industrial society, consumer society, society where consumption is more regarded important than occupation, society whose main trait and most visible is achievement. However, consumption has significantly changed the look of main streets-more eating-places, less local shops, and changed edges of the cities-new retail parks, many shopping centers are been built. This distinguishing mark has divided contemporary society. According to Zygmunt Bauman main concept of his theory about consumer society says, there are two major groups – ‘the seduced’ and ‘the repressed’. Bauman’s theory leads us to consider society in the context of winners and losers.

People shop all the time and shopping has become part of consumption; nonetheless, people can consume not just goods, they are also able to consume services and experiences too. In this regard, social scientists suggest we are living in a consumer society. They describe it as a label to refer a society when is defined as much by how people purchase and use by what they make or do (Hetherington, 2009, p13).

The current political environment where individuals are viewed as enterprising consumers responsible for their own welfare, those who possess the ‘right’ capital are disadvantaged, while those who do not are disadvantaged (Cooper, 2008).

The seduced according to Bauman are those who are able to partake in the consumer society by purchasing goods and services on offer or having the transport to go shopping or being in the crowd’. The seduced including wealthy people, people with good steadily income and secured job who have enough money, or disposable income…to allow them to buy things beyond the basic necessities of life’ (Hetherington, 2009, p12). They could gratify their desires, they have the privilege of living their lives by on their ways, and for this reason they could be identified as the winners

While the repressed on the other hand, are those left behind ‘consumer society’. This group of people include the unemployed, the low paid, older public, some with disabilities, the sick or those who are unskilled or don’t have any qualification at all. These groups of people for this reason could be identified as the losers.

David Bah

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Who are the winners and losers in Consumer Society

  1. Not only are the repressed left behind in consumer society but they are also forced to watch, and because we live in a consumer society where the acquisition of things is seen as the primary measure of progress this brings about issues of relative poverty.

    Paloma-Nicole Dias Dos Santos

  2. Whilst land is being used to build state of the earth shopping centres like Westfield, the Olympic stadium and to build commercial housing schemes, there are tens of thousands of poor people in social housing waiting lists. Some of these people have been on council waiting lists for over a decade. However, instead of building more social housing in order to provide affordable housing for the tens of thousands of disadvantaged people and their families, this government and previous governments have completely turned a blind eye on the massive housing problem the country has been facing over the year . Consequently, people predominantly the poor (who else???) who cannot afford privately rented accommodation, are being forced to live in appalling conditions, for example a family of four or even more living in a one bedroom flat, some are left homeless in the streets, some sleep rough, some forced to sleep on a friend or family’s sofa/floor. Who is losing out as a result of social housing neglect??? The poor of course!!!

    Fatou Jallow

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