SOC 415 Week 4b Williams chpt5

SOC 415 Week 4b Williams chpt5 - Shopping Lessons, Shopping...

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Shopping Lessons, Shopping Leisure SOC 415 30 January 2008
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Three Key Points 1. Social ties (relationships/networks) influence the economic activities of children Parents/adults try to teach values to their children when shopping 2. Children are not passive receptacles of their parents’ (or of marketers’) efforts to shape those activities 3. Shopping interactions explain in part “how stratified social systems persist and reproduce themselves without powerful resistance and often without the conscious recognition of their members” (Williams 2006: 138-9)
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How culture works Cultural forms embody and bolster social inequality Economic capital (money) exchanged for products and services rendering the individual cultural capital (degrees from the “right school,” appreciation for high art, sensibilities in taste) Economic interests are disguised as cultural practices, detached from and disinterested in power or economic advantage
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Deference Power Who deserves respect? To whom should one defer? Who has the the cultural capital to claim authority about what is fashionable and what not? What starts out as a class division (based on economic capital) gets converted into a status division
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Making the wrong shopping “choice”-- status/respect differentials Are you immoral? Who would buy clothes “like that” for a little girl? They must be new money. Who would wear something so “loud”? Yeah, she drives around in a Mercedes, but you know she can’t afford it. Have you seen that house she lives in? “[Black urban youth] are often criticized for ‘spending money they haven’t earned on things they shouldn’t have’(Chin cited in Williams 2006: 141)
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Naturalized and Mystified Preferences Tastes are “manifested preferences” One manifests one’s preference for A by choosing A over B The individual feels a gut instinct or a seemingly “innate” desire for A Therefore, the individual
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course SOC 415 taught by Professor Wherry during the Winter '08 term at University of Michigan.

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SOC 415 Week 4b Williams chpt5 - Shopping Lessons, Shopping...

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