Consumer Society

“the production in demand is neither a staple nor a machine; it is a personality.”-Riesman

My initial response to Riesmans correlation to production, personalization, and consumption was mind-boggling. I yearned to recognize his point of view, but was immediately barraged by thoughts of contradictions. I thought that Riemans thoughts on the significance of “self” was daunting, but to connect the sense of self to production, left me very dissatisfied. Although we all have a grasp for individualism, we have yet to reach the point of variations of characters. The homogeneity of our society is too powerful for differentiation to occur. We subconsciously gravitate toward goods that are widely acceptable and acknowledge.

“make all the members of that group different from a particular other group.”

While reading this article, this particular statement grasped my attention. In our society today, the thought or the idea of separation is frown upon. However, if we deviate from society, and become something unique and acceptable, it is highly praised and gloried. I do not understand, nor can I explain this controversial contradiction. The definition of being “different” has changed. We constantly see fashion being recycled, and credited as being chic. But is this an alternative movement, or merely an alteration?

“There is a great difference between having self-worth of natural qualities and showing oneself off to best advantage by subscribing to a model and conforming to a ready made code.”

A trend is a dangerous, calculative, and powerful movement. We are constantly bombarded and compelled to conform to society. Many have confused conformity to individualism. For example, tattoos were once viewed as a taboo; categorized as a sign of rebellion and resistance. Today, tattoos are a common known practice, and acknowledged as an universal art form. Somehow we have lost the idea of identity. The ability to create our own unique mannerism has been camouflaged by trends, popular demands, and the need for acceptance.

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