7) Markets shape social relations in certain waysThey detach production from consumptionQuestion: Do you know where your shirt was made?How about where the last thing you ate was grown?The detachment shifts attention away from wider social relations that are associated with objectsObjects become what social scientists call COMMODITIES 8) For most of human history an object’s value was tightly associated with the social relations, not just by how it would exchange in a market.9) A commoditized economy tends to generate consumer cultureUnder our current system: Where do all our gains in labor efficiency go? -the wealthy (materialist view)-“gadgetry”technology To produce more stuff! Why not reduce hours of work?10) Affluent SocietyParadox in our society, we consider ourselves affluent, but we live in scarcity. We always need more, more money! A culture of consumption creates scarcity by creating unlimited wants. 11) Our Affluent Society?
13) But some argue that consumerism has positive social effects.14) CQWe will be happier if we have more and closer social relations, NOT MORE STUFF. 16) Has all this added consumption made us happier? NO! 19) stumbling on happinessbookPeople will sacrifice social relations for things that won’t make them happy.Experiences tend to be share with other people and material objects do not.Monday October 10, 2017Sugar-industrial revolutionget people to work moreCaribbean- where sugar is sourced fromCentral fixture in our cuisine. CQ: lecture…most of human history production and consumption have been:A: Closely FusedCQ: Lecture…how can we define a consumer culture?A: Where commodities become the center of social life. 4) Ever increasing ‘needs’6) Consumer culture and solving environmental problems-Question: What are some of the most important suggestions you have to help achieve a more sustainable world. INDIVIUALIZATION OF RESPONSIBILITY -We’re missing collaboration!! Ex: road networks, cell phones, things built into the system. “Be green FOR YOU and you will help everyone” (Adam Smithinvisible hand) 10) Major symbols of the individualization of responsibilityThe message:By acting alone we can solve environmental problemsGreen consumption=social action
11) Problem with the individualization of responsibility:Makes problem seem bigger, harder to solveMay convene only “This is a huge problem”