21st Century Consumer Culture Analysis

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In this way, consumer culture events such as the introduction of commercial products that mock the upper class consumer culture illustrates a resistance towards luxury goods in 21st century consumer society. The bag portrayed a strong message that it is just as cool to not be part of the elite that it is to belong to it. In turn, the fashion industry reflected this by introducing elements of ‘common people’ to reflect their new found power over trends. Imitation running shoes and how these lack function and practicality but serve an overarching function to mimic brand status and image. However, it is interesting to note how the activism itself requires a participation within mainstream consumer society. By participating in the consumption of …show more content…
Whether considering the vast expansion of online shopping abilities, the masses of consumers that assembled within online communities or simply the ability to share purchases with the online world, the actions within the web could be seen to be forms of activism against hegemonic ideals, particularly by women in terms of beauty and image. When Oxford Dictionaries announced the word ‘selfie’ as their 2013 Word of the Year, it became clear how cultural influential the phenomenon had been to this era (Oxford Dictionaries). The act of self-portraiture, or as its more common referred to a ‘selfie’, described an act primarily performed by adolescents of uploading self-taken pictures of themselves onto social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram. Whilst critics have argued that the trend was narcissistic and ‘only showed people as lonely’, others have reflected upon the phenomenon as a resistance to hegemonic beauty ideals and standards. From a Freudian perspective, the selfie is seen in a highly negative light. Noted as form of narcissism in which a subject “treats his own body in the same way in which the body of a sexual object is usually treated” (Freud qtd in Dara Murray, 511). However, this process of sharing self-taken photos to a public audience can be seen as an act of self-expression and validity of one’s own importance. For instance, Murray refers to selfies as a form of “creative …show more content…
By allowing the consumer to control their image and resist hegemonic ideals, consumer products in the 21st century can be seen to transcend their original purpose, instead they beyond symbols of cultural and social resistance. Whilst the ‘selfie’ and hashtag movements both utilize the power of social media, the parody products are a physical example of commercial products that are imbedded with anti-classism. By drawing upon ideas from media scholars such as Barnard and Murray it is clear that media scholars are highly interested in the consumption patterns of this generation. The examples and resulting analysis show a link between the revolutionary actions of this time period and a series of changes in commercial products becoming tools of

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