It is often argued that one’s sense of identity is inevitably shaped through our immersion in a consumer culture
Assignment Questions: Write a 2500-words essay (+/- 10%) in response to ONE of the following four questions: (Please offer definitions of any concepts used in your essay)
- It is often argued that one’s sense of identity is inevitably shaped through our immersion in a consumer culture. Put another way, we are now a part of a global consumer culture and it is one that gives rise to an expression of cultural identity. Use the theories and concepts covered in the lecture to elaborate on this point and show how this process occurs.
You should carefully consider how the marketplace provides resources for the construction and negotiation of identities. a. Note: Select ONE aspect of the identity project to frame your essay. See suggestions below: a. Gender Identity b. Tribal Identity/Subcultural Identity c. Race d. National identity
- Do you agree that the phenomena of globalisation has led to greater openness and tolerance for a divergent of cultural experiences? Choose a particular consumption context (or combinations thereof) that you believe serves as an example of how global forces influence (or not) the ‘order of human life’you’re your essay, you should highlight any global forces that you think are (or were) particularly active in shaping the consumption activity you will discuss.
For your essay, you should draw upon and consider the thesis of cultural homogenisation, cosmopolitanism and the global – local dialectics to discuss the socio-cultural consequences of globalisation. Suggested contexts include (but not limited to): • Sports • Media • Film • Fashion • Supermarket • Music • Tourism • Food MN3106 Consumer Culture and Globalisation 2015-16 2
- George Ritzer conceived of the notion of McDonaldization. Explain this concept and by elaborating on its primary components. Then, consider an industry sector or institution and show how it reflects signs of being ‘McDonaldized’.
Use the four dimensions and relevant examples to illustrate.
- Watch the movie, ‘The Gods Must be Crazy’ Provide a brief synopsis of the movie focusing primarily on Xi and the reason(s) that prompted his adventure (350 – 500 words). How can Appadurai’s ‘scapes’ and concepts such as ‘cosmopolitanism’ and globalisation help to explain some of the events taking place in the film.
Feel free to use scenes from the movie (as examples) to illustrate. Conclude by offering your thoughts on the extent to which this movie helps us to grasp tensions inherent in the global – local interaction.
Key Theories and Suggestions (please note the below are provisional suggestions) • Chris Shilling (1993): The Body as Project • Featherstone (1982): The Body in Consumer Culture • Michel Foucault: The Disciplined Body and The Technology of the Self • Judith Butler (1993): Gender Trouble • Judith Butler (1990): Bodies that Matters • Adrienne Rich (1980): Compulsory Heteronormativity • Susan Bordo (1993): The Unbearable Weight • The Birmingham School of Subculture • Maffesoli (1996): Tribal Identity • Sarah Thornton (1995): Subcultural Capital • Pierre Bourdieu (1984): The Body as Cultural Capital • Clive Seale (2000): The Commoditization of the Body • Merleau-Ponty (1945/2002): The Phenomenogical Body • Iris Marion Young (1990): The Lived Body of Femininity • Homi Bhaba: The Location of Culture • Edward Said (1978): Orientalism • Paul Gilroy: Diapora and Race • Donna Haraway: Posthumanism • Hannerz (1990, 2005): Cosmopolitanism • John Tomlinson (2003): Globalisation and Culture • George Ritzer (2006): The McDonalisation of Society • Adorno and Horkheimer (1944/2000): The Culture Industry • Arjun Appadurai (1990): Global ‘Scapes’ • Arjun Appadurai (1988): Indigenization • Daniel Miller (1995): Worlds apart: Modernity through the prism of the local • Ulrich Beck and Natan Sznaider (2006). Unpacking cosmopolitanism for the social