10_02 the commodification of everyday life

10_02 the commodification of everyday life - c Enchanted...

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I. Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class (1902) a. Based on observations of the American upper class in the late 19 th century. b. Veblen thought that wealthy Americans deliberately advertised their wealth through “conspicuous consumption.” c. The more wasteful the spending the higher the social status. II. The Commodification of Everyday Life a. Private services i. Used to be done, now commodities b. Public services i. Rent-a-cop ii. Trash pickup iii. In Iraq, much of the war has been privatized c. News and information d. Public space/culture i. Public spaces are sponsored by corporations 1. Civic Center—Mass Mutual Center 2. Fleet Center e. Selves i. Turning the self into a commodity ii. Wearing clothes because of what tastes they show iii. Our tastes are very individual. III. George Ritzer article—The New Means of Consumption a. Social settings for “commercialization of fun” b. Encourage us to consume to excess
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Unformatted text preview: c. Enchanted character (cathedrals of consumption) i. Casinos ii. Large malls (Mall of America) iii. Disney World iv. Cruise ships d. Paradox-shopping for freedom, but malls make us conform e. Uniform and comformist i. McDonald’s ii. Chain stores iii. Malls iv. Costco v. Best Buy IV. Impact of Over-Consumption a. Americans comprise 4.5% of the world’s population. b. We use 24% of its resources and emit 23% of greenhouse gases dissolving the ozone layer. V. Reproduction of Inequality a. Top 1% of Americans own 40% of all wealth. b. Top 20% are responsible for 50% of consumer spending c. U.S. has 5% of worlds population i. Accounts for 22% fossil-feul consumption, 24% carbon-dioxide emissions, 33% of paper/plastic use. ii. A U.S. child will cause 13X damage over lifetime than Brazilian. iii....
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 107 taught by Professor Irvine during the Fall '07 term at UMass (Amherst).

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10_02 the commodification of everyday life - c Enchanted...

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