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Consumer Society Print
Former analysis of societies have often focused on production, distribution and social class. The point of looking at the late modern society as a consumer society is to underline that everyday life today is more and more oriented toward and formed by the logic of consuming.

The consumer logic influences all aspect of contemporary societies: People consume everyday life and are guided by advertisement in how to behave as consumers. In the health system e.g. clients are made ‘users’ or consumers of the different services. This also happens in many other social service fields. Also political parties present themselves to ‘users’ or consumers and use advertising to bran their politics. People have become not only consumers of products, but consumers of politics, social support etc. In consumer societies many traditional values which belonged to the industrial productive society have changed. The consumer society makes consume the governing principle. People see their world as a huge supermarket and they therefore have to develop new forms of values and competencies which make them able to select among the many different commodities.

Therefore the challenge of the consumer society is that individualisation processes should train consumer competencies.

Young people especially have become a target consumer group. Youth culture is both created by consume and is creating new consumer lifestyles. Many aspects of modern youth life is presented to young people as opportunities for individual selection and in this way the world looks like a great self-service marked. (SM)

References:
Bauman, Zygmunt (2005) Work, Consumerism and the New Poor.  London: Open University Press
Bauman, Zygmunt (2000) Liquid Modernity. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press.
Bech, Ulrich, Giddens, Anthony & Lash, Scott (1994) Reflexive Modernisation. Cambridge. New Polity Press.
Furlong, Andy & Catmel, Fred (1997) Young people and social change. Open University Press. Buckingham.

 

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Last Updated ( Monday, 22 May 2006 )
 

Project supported by funding under the European Union's Sixth Research Framework Programme - Coordinated by IRIS e.V.

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