Blog Entry 7: 1st 2 Paragraphs of Paper 1

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Hi all:

To get the ball rolling, write what you think might be the first two paragraphs of your paper 1.

Approach this writing as a rough draft.  These paragraphs may or may not appear in your final paper.

Post these paragraphs to the blog and be sure to bring hard copy to class.

Thank you.


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In society, people consume big ticket items to obtain certain social statuses, things like cars, houses, designer clothing, we want it all. (Why do we buy these things. According to ZB, people attempt to create their identities through their purchases. He writes,( By buying things, we create our own identities by the way we present ourselves to the world. Zygmimt Bauman the author of The Art Of Life states that) “Identity has now turned into an attribute of the moment. Once designed, it is no longer ‘built to last forever’, but needs to be continuously assembled and disassembled.” (Explain the quotation a little before going on to example; it doesn't just say we buy for the sake of identity; it also says these identies are of the moment, not built to last forever, but must be continuously built and rebuilt):)
Like the seasons, people can change their image and identity whenever they choose by simply buying things to change their look. Fashion is ever changing and people especially women are constantly shopping in order to be updated on the latest fashion. My parents personally don’t believe in fashion and that all clothing is the same. I grew up with similar mentality until I got into middle school and noticed what I was wearing compared to the other children.

Product consumption became noteworthy during the 18th century. Consumerism's influence over the opinions and the minds of the American citizens has increased from then to now because of the products, advertisements, and product's meaning. Modern products both improved and hindered the standard of living, advertisements stimulated consumption in any way it could, and products symbolized value, personalities, and status.
Many products were created for convenience and luxury. For instance, the Ford Model T became an affordable and personal vehicle for the average American. It was so convenient and popular that "by 1929 there was one car for every five Americans" (12 Cross). Having a car soon became a necessity, just like all the other gadgets that were created during the time. Ordinary citizens could own appliances like the electric washing machine, cutting down the time it took to wash clothes, and the telephone, helping people converse from different locations. The products of the 18th century made tasks and life easier, raising the standard of living.

Consumer society has been around for a little over a century now. Its emergence came about most notably during the Industrial Revolution when many machines were invented to make labor easier; however at the same time this helped to boost the economy. During this time many people began moving from farms to urban cities where jobs were plentiful and where more leisure time was allowed for.
As the amount of leisure time that society had during those times rose, so did the amount of time that was wasted on consumption. During this emergence of consumerism, as Peter Sterns claims, society began to take interest in things that were “by no means necessary” (1). One thing that he was mostly referring to was to the use of sugar, he says, “Initial signs of consumerism include the growing market for sugar. Wealthy people in Europe had indulged a taste for sugar since the late middle ages” (1). This sign of people wanting things instead of actually needing them started the consumer society.

Consumerism has been around since the eighteenth century and it is interesting to know that some of the techniques and ways of consumerism are still around today. It is such a big part of today’s world and effect so many. People usually feel pressured to have the latest things and there are constantly new things coming out. I know for me, it is so hard to keep up with all of the new technologies, clothing, and all sorts of products entering the market. I feel bombarded at times with all of these products being thrown at me by seeing ads, people flaunting them on the streets, and friends discussing the numerous new things “in style.” There must be some way to make consumerism easier, less stressful, and not so overwhelming but the question is whether anyone would actually put in the effort to change the ways of consumerism, and sadly I don’t believe so.

Most of the things consumed today are usually not really essential items and things that we could definitely live without. It all started in the eighteenth century when needs soon became wants. People began to desire more things that were not necessary, for example; sugar, perfumes, and umbrellas(The Emergence of Consumerism, p. 24). The umbrella was never a problem prior to this and getting wet was no big deal, but once umbrellas came out and people had the choice of getting wet or not, they went straight for the more comfortable option. So many things became more of a comfort issue than an actual need. Once companies saw just how far they could get into societies' wallets, they began to use advertisements to make it even more known, which is something we are extremely used to today.

As Susan Linn puts it, children today are in a “marketing maelstrom”. The reason for this is clear. Children influence 600 billion dollars in spending per year. Advertisers therefore target children at a younger age to establish this cradle to grave brand loyalty, because the children of today are the consumers of tomorrow. But this advertising normality influences on how children feel about themselves and also about their physical well-being. Children today suffer from not being able to discover an identity they are pleased with and also suffer from mental disorders because of advertisements.
When watching television or listening to the radio, it is most often the case that, there is a young child accompanying you in this time of relaxation. When a child is there watching these advertisements, it is secretly affecting him or her, whether the child knows it or not. In her article, “The Marketing Maelstrom”, Susan Linn explains the reason why advertising is most directed towards children. She notes “because children are unable to employ such judgment, they are more vulnerable to marketing” (64). This means children find it difficult to understand the purpose of an advertisement (which is to sell) and the child believes the advertisement is talking directly to him or her. Because of this, the child begins to feel the need to buy the product or in many cases, the child feels the need to look like the model being shown.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Tingle published on March 24, 2011 12:16 PM.

Blog Entry 6: What is Wrong with Happiness was the previous entry in this blog.

Blog Entry 8: 2 Paragraphs on Advertising to Children is the next entry in this blog.

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