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research paper - Craig Barclay 12/7/10 Soci 415 On my...

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Craig Barclay 12/7/10 Soci 415 On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this assignment The Connection between Consumption and Society Consumption has been a part of everyday culture for essentially as far back as history goes . The buying of tangible goods, whether it be food, clothing, electronics, etc. and consumption of non-tangible things such as the media, has always served as a means of expression with or within a group . Researchers have taken the time to look at this issue and generally speaking they feel that consumption has created a certain culture amongst individuals and groups alike In my paper I will attempt to look at why consumption is such an important component of our and other nation’s societies and in looking at noted scholars views on consumption in different areas of our society I will argue that consumption stands as a main way that individuals build an identity and reaffirm their memberships in status groups and classes, in particular the consumption of symbolic and cultural goods such as artwork and video games . In the observational paper I wrote earlier in the semester, I looked at consumption through the relatively small prism of the restaurant Panera . While in Panera I noticed that with a restaurant being an important medium for human interaction, people took into account everything about their appearance while in Panera, including the choice of the restaurant itself . I argued that consumption was a huge part of how individuals identified themselves in society and the fact that people would essentially overpay for a sandwich at Panera when they could have just as easily bought ingredients from the supermarket for much cheaper and made their own served to highlight my argument . I also looked at some readings that we had throughout the 1
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course of the semester up to that point to help provide a bit of scholarly insight into my argument but here I plan to have much more scholarly input into the topic of consumption as it relates to the individual, the collective, and society . For me to better understand the idea of consumption, I had to take a more theoretical perspective into the idea . For some historical context I looked at the writing of Max Weber. In his writings he talked a lot of about the differences and similarities between status and class and what their place in society is . Weber defined classes as groups of people with common life chances and economic conditions who have an impact on one another . (Weber 47) He then describes status groups as focused mostly on material wealth and that classes can actually develop out of status . (Weber 48) The most important thing he may have said in regards to status group and class is that they both yield power . The idea of power is something that individuals, no matter how much they will not admit it, always strive to have and have the most of . So naturally if individuals are able to be in a higher class and better status group they will have more
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2011 for the course SOCI 415 taught by Professor Margarita during the Spring '09 term at UNC.

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research paper - Craig Barclay 12/7/10 Soci 415 On my...

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