By Hesz, Alex; Neophytou, Bambos
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Additional resources for Guilt trip: from fear to guilt on the green bandwagon
It is not difficult to observe that “consumer behaviour” is not a specialized modern trait inextricably bound to the age of mechanical reproduction and modern modes of consumer culture. To do so, one need only make reference to how any cultural objects, whether physical artefacts (say, the cross) or rituals of behaviour (say, baptism), create vast intricacies of social groupings and subgroupings. ” Marketing Literature, on the other hand, continues to paint this picture of consumer behaviour as some special, distinct mode of action divorced from every other aspect of human life.
Much of our “consuming” is actually nothing more than buying things for others that we barely imagine will be consumed. An example is, of course, that enormous spike in spending and consuming that occurs during the huge festival of retail activity in the West that is known as “Xmas”. “Xmas” is 35 an acronym with an uncertain etymology. Some marketing and consumer groups would suggest that the word means eXtraordinary Mass Acquisition Season. Judging by the behaviour that occurs during this winter festival, a Bacchanalian and gluttonous orgy of product purchases that are explicitly not needed or consumed, then this seems a fairly credible reading of the word.
We have shown (in the opening chapter) how our desire to be the same and to be different is a basic strand of our make-up, and how brands participate in that process of belonging and not-belonging. Mass consumer civilization or capitalist culture did not make us this way. Neither did advertising or marketing. It’s just the way we are. There are those from within the advertising and marketing world who would gleefully pontificate about brands and the way people choose them to reflect their identity, as though it was a bold, new and powerful insight.