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Camelia Elias. lifestyles and goods  goods as markers determine meanings  we use markers we construct a rational universe  we use goods to get a shared.

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Presentation on theme: "Camelia Elias. lifestyles and goods  goods as markers determine meanings  we use markers we construct a rational universe  we use goods to get a shared."— Presentation transcript:

1 Camelia Elias

2 lifestyles and goods  goods as markers determine meanings  we use markers we construct a rational universe  we use goods to get a shared information system  through shopping for goods our judgments are made visible and firm  consumption of goods is a ritual process

3 Allen Ginsberg  At age 15, writes a letter to New York Times about political issues such as WWII and the plight of the workers.  About those he saw as guilty parties he writes: "One can gather infinite consolation by speculation as to what will happen to those Congressmen when they go to Hell."  Prays to save the Working Class of America if he is admitted to Columbia University. He is, and attends, with the assistance of a stipend from the Y.M.H.A., intending to study pre-Law.

4 Douglas  “it is wrong to consider the consumer as an incoherent, fragmentary being, a person divided in her purposes and barely responsible for her decisions, dominated by reactions to prices, on the one hand, and fashionable swings, on the other. Does she have no integrated purpose of her own?” (Mary Douglas, 17)

5 consumption as protest  protest is the aspect of consumption which reveals the consumer as a coherent, rational being  consumption behavior is inspired by cultural hostility  protest is a cultural stance

6 form vs. neutrality  commodities are chosen because they are not neutral  commodities are chosen because they signal cultural affiliation  the form of shopping is reactive but not neutral and therefore positive  Shopping is assertive  Shopping announces allegiances

7  “To understand shopping practices we need to trace standardized hates, which are much more constant and more revealing than desires” (Mary Douglas)

8 4 cultural types  Individualist lifestyle  driving in the fast lane  competitive  wide-flung  open network  high tech  sporty, arty, risky  hierarchical lifestyle  formal  adheres to tradition  cherishes established institutions  maintains a defined network  family oriented  organized  egalitarian lifestyle  forms enclaves  against formality, pomp, and artifice  rejects authoritarian institutions  prefers simplicity and frankness  forms intimate friendships  values spirituality  eclectic lifestyle  withdrawn and isolated  unpredictable  escapes friendship  doesn’t waste time with ceremonies and rituals  is not competitive  free (alienated)

9 nature and human nature  nature is robust  entrepreneur  nature is unpredictable  eclectic  nature is robust, but only within limits  hierarchist  nature is fragile and pollution can be lethal  egalitarian  Individualists: lone operators, working for themselves  eclectics work where the institution gives little autonomy  hierarchists implement divisions of labour  egalitarians interested in making shared profits

10 needs and desires  consumerism is not the expression of individual wants  consumerism is agonistic, and expresses the struggle to define not what one IS, but what one is NOT

11 Shampoo Planet 1.How would you describe the narrator? 2.What would you say that Tyler’s obsession with looks is the result of? 3.What kind of a shopper is Tyler? 4.How does the narrator position himself vis-à-vis the other characters? 5.Comment on the mother/son relationship 6.How important is Tyler’s own space for him? What about his mother? 7.What stereotypes does the story construct, and how accurate are they? 8.Comment on the frequent use of the 2nd person pronoun.

12 Shampoo Planet fast-lane individualists vs. egalitarians Tyler: “what’s on top of your head says what’s inside your head” (7)


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