- “Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption,” p. 65-75, SOL
- Shames, Laurence. “The More Factor,” p. 76-82, SOL
- Davis, Fred. “Blue Jeans,” p. 101-108, SOL
- View: Consumerism and You: A Modern Guide to Self-Destruction and George Carlin on Materialism and Consumerism
- Considering your readings and our class discussions up to this point, in what ways do you think the media and advertising play a role in perpetuating and justifying current power relationships through the selling of material goods? In what ways does the media perpetuate hegemony? Give at least one solid example and discuss it in these terms.
- Consider the saying ‘You are what you consume.’ What examples from your own life can you identify that help to further explain this concept? Think about the products, clothes, food, and services you buy; in what ways do these lend to your sense of identity? How does what you consume fall into a hegemonic ideology?
- Describe, explain, and give your own example that illuminates your understanding of the “More Factor.” Be sure to tie your example in with the readings (provide textual examples that help further explain or highlight your own cultural example).
- Consider Shames’ argument about America’s “frontier history” and its effects on consumer behavior. In what ways is this idea or concept about “frontier history” still influencing contemporary culture and our current levels of consumerism? Give an example and discuss.
- What contemporary example can you provide that is equivalent (or nearly equivalent) to the ideas and concepts Fred Davis discusses in regards to jeans? In other words, what is a current parallel material product that is as seemingly ubiquitous and pervasive as jeans? How does your example reflect the concepts we’ve read about and discussed: consumerism? ideology? hegemony?