By Zygmunt Bauman
With the arrival of liquid modernity, the society of manufacturers is reworked right into a society of shoppers. during this new client society, contributors turn into concurrently the promoters of commodities and the commodities they advertise. they're, at one and a similar time, the item and the marketer, the products and the vacationing salespeople. all of them inhabit an identical social house that's commonly defined through the time period the industry.
The try out they should cross to be able to collect the social prizes they covet calls for them to recast themselves as items in a position to drawing awareness 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 shopper society within which we now live.
In this new ebook Zygmunt Bauman examines the impression of consumerist attitudes and styles of behavior on a variety of it seems that unconnected elements of social lifestyles politics and democracy, social divisions and stratification, groups and partnerships, identification construction, the creation and use of data, and cost personal tastes.
The invasion and colonization of the net of human relatives by way of the worldviews and behavioural styles encouraged and formed via commodity markets, and the assets of resentment, dissent and coffee resistance to the occupying forces, are the vital issues of this excellent new booklet by means of one of many worlds most unique and insightful social thinkers.
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Additional info for Consuming Life
The discarding of successive consumer offers which were expected (promised) to satisfy the desires already aroused and others still to be induced to be born leaves behind rising mountains of dashed expectations. The mortality rate of expectations is high; in a properly functioning consumer society it must steadily rise. The life expectation of hopes is minuscule, and only an intense boosting of their fertility and an extravagantly high birth rate can save them from thinning out and being extinguished.
In addition to being an economics of excess and waste, consumerism is for this reason also an economics of deception. Its 48 Consumerism versus Consumption wager is on the irrationality of consumers, not on their thoroughly informed and sober calculations; on arousing consumerist emotions, not on cultivating reason. Just as with excess and waste, deception does not signal a malfunction of the consumer economy. On the contrary, it is a symptom of its good health and staying firmly on the right track; a distinctive mark of the sole regime under which a society of consumers may be assured of its survival.
Let’s note as well that, now as before, there was no advance warning that this moment, unlike other moments before or after, could be the moment of truth, a moment of birth (revelation) of sense – there was no telling that it would arrive until it did. Nothing in the whole of Proust’s narrative thousands of pages long suggested that it would arrive . . In the pointillist paintings of Sisley, Signac or Seurat, and in some paintings by Pisarro or Utrillo, the colourful points have been arranged in meaningful figurations: once the painter completes his canvas, viewers can see the trees, the clouds, the lawns, sandy beaches, the bathers ready to immerse themselves in the river.