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Expos Essay 1 - 1 David Reiter Section AT Assignment 1...

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1 David Reiter Section AT Assignment 1 Rough Draft September 13, 2007 Status and Expression As a former Best Buy employee, I am personally responsible for a lot of the things that Virginia Postrel discusses in her essay. I have sold many Ipod’s based only on the fact that they were pink or blue. People came to me looking for the cheaper Ipod, but when they realized that they had to spend fifty more dollars to have it blue, they jumped on it. I have sold hundreds of cameras because they were sleeker than the less expensive, better camera. To some consumers, colorful Ipods and lustrous cameras can both serve as status symbols in today’s society. They feel as if they will not be accepted in today’s world without these ostentatious luxuries. On the other hand, some people use this form of consumption as a way to express themselves and their feelings. In any case, whether it is for status reasons, or merely as a form of expression, people in general are attracted to aesthetics. Color, as opposed to black and white naturally draws the attention of the eye. Many items on today’s market are sold much more successfully due to the simple addition of loud colors. This statement is made even stronger today with the emergence of Dell’s new colorful laptop, dubbed the Inspiron. There are many students here at Rutgers who purchased the Inspiron simply because they wanted a computer that is their favorite color. “Function, not form, creates legitimate value.” (Postrel 422). Sure, the computer is efficient and works well, but for one thousand dollars you can easily buy a much more capable computer without the fancy colors. Postrel also uses an example of a Motorola pager. One was green and the other was black, both were the exact same but the green pager cost more. Coincidently, Motorola profited
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2 more off of the green pager. Customers these days are very fickle and seem to be easily drawn in by aesthetics. “a beautiful case may be worth more than cutting-edge technology, not just for status (‘to impress people’) but for personal enjoyment.” (Postrel 430). I liked when Postrel used the words “personal enjoyment” in the above statement. To some people, getting something that looks nice and fancy is equally, if not more important than the point of the actual product itself.
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