By Zygmunt Bauman
With the appearance of liquid modernity, the society of manufacturers is reworked right into a society of shoppers. during this new buyer society, members turn into at the same time the promoters of commodities and the commodities they advertise. they're, at one and an analogous time, the item and the marketer, the products and the traveling salespeople. all of them inhabit an identical social area that's typically defined via the time period the marketplace.
The attempt they should go so one can collect the social prizes they covet calls for them to recast themselves as items in a position to drawing realization to themselves. This refined and pervasive transformation of shoppers into commodities is an important function of the society of customers. it's the hidden fact, the inner most and so much heavily guarded mystery, of the patron society during which we now live.
In this new ebook Zygmunt Bauman examines the effect of consumerist attitudes and styles of behavior on quite a few it appears unconnected features of social lifestyles politics and democracy, social divisions and stratification, groups and partnerships, identification development, the creation and use of information, and cost personal tastes.
The invasion and colonization of the internet of human family members by way of the worldviews and behavioural styles encouraged and formed through commodity markets, and the resources of resentment, dissent and coffee resistance to the occupying forces, are the vital issues of this remarkable new ebook via one of many worlds most unusual and insightful social thinkers.
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Extra info for Consuming Life
46 Consumerism versus Consumption The case made by rising consumption as it pleads for the status of the royal road to the greater happiness of the growing numbers has not been proved, let alone closed. This case stays wide open; and as the facts of the matter are deliberated, the evidence in favour of the plaintiff becomes more dubious and thinner on the ground. As the trial proceeds, contrary evidence accumulates, proving, or at least strongly suggesting, that in opposition to the plaintiff’s argument, a consumption-oriented economy actively promotes disaffection, saps confidence and deepens the sentiment of insecurity, becoming itself a source of the ambient fear it promises to cure or disperse – the fear that saturates liquid modern life and the principal cause of the liquid modern variety of unhappiness.
22 I would suggest that the idea of ‘melancholy’ stands in the last account for the generic affliction of the consumer (the homo eligens, by decree of the consumer society); a disturbance resulting from the fatal encounter between the obligation and compulsion to choose/the addiction to choosing, and the inability to choose. In Simmel’s vocabulary, it stands for the built-in transitoriness and the contrived insubstantiality of objects that drift over, sink in and re-emerge from the rising tide of stimulation.
Let’s note however that the sudden revelation (birth) of a sense which the string of past moments carried (while failing to reveal it to those inside, or keeping it secret from them) also occurred in a ‘situation’, at another ‘moment’ just like those other, past Consumerism versus Consumption 35 moments – though, as it appears, a moment more advanced in the (surreptitious) process of (unanticipated and unnoticed) ‘ripening’, and closer to the point of the explosive unravelling of the hidden meaning of things, than the moments by which it was preceded.