Social Factors: What Is Conspicuous Consumption?

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What really is conspicuous consumption? And does everyone in the world do it? The article we read about Veblen and Bourdieu and their views of conspicuous consumption states, “Veblen argues that consumers from all social classes, even the ambitious middle class, are not necessarily consciously trying to conspicuously consume” (p. 108, paragraph 1). What is conspicuous consumption though? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines conspicuous consumption: “the act or practice of spending money on expensive things that are not necessary in order to impress other people.” So Veblen thinks that people don’t consciously do that, but how can that be when we are influenced by so many different factors in the world that push us towards buying a certain item …show more content…
The three main categories are cultural, social, personal, and psychological. Through these four categories lie different subcategories, but only a few will be talked about regarding the decision of conspicuous consumption and how it is a conscious action that we all do. The category of social factors will be the main focus. A subcategory is that of groups and social networks, which consists of different small groups. One of these groups is aspirational, so a group that someone wishes to belong to. Sneakerheads want to be like those people who wear the shoes, for instance, when LeBron James scored 25,000 points a month or so ago, there was a few of shoes that were released, that were his 25,000 point limited edition shoes, who he had designed and would wear. Within these groups the influence of word-of-mouth is one of the strongest, it always is going because of the constant release of new shoes, and this keeps the product inside of someone’s mind. Always making it so it is in your conscious when you are deciding to purchase and show off what you have. Another huge role in consciously keeping the idea of conspicuous consumption in your conscious mind, is that of family. Your family plays a huge role in many of the purchases you make, whether it is your parents, siblings, spouse or anyone else. Think of anything you buy, did you talk to your wife, your brother, or anyone else in your …show more content…
So when you are having the discussion with your friends or family about the latest sneaker, and they think you should buy it, you are going to make the purchase based off of the attitudes of them. The second factor is unexpected situational factors, these are factors based on your expectations of income, price, or benefits from this product. For the summarization of these three points, we see that each of us goes through a buying process, and it is more than just a subconscious decision. It is supported with the discussion with friends and family, it is based off of the need to find out more information so you are able to talk and fit into (for this instance sneakerheads) the

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