Consumer Culture Discussion – Discussion Group 1

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Discussion Board Requirements:

You will participate in small group discussions online (4-5 students) and will stay in this group for the remainder of the quarter.

While each discussion will offer specific questions on particular material, I ask that you think about the course material using one or more comparative schema that allow you to better understand the content of the reading. They are described as follows:

Text-to-text: How do the ideas in this reading remind you of something else you’ve read?
Text-to-self: How do the ideas in this reading relate to your own life and experiences?
Text-to-world: How do these ideas relate to the larger world (past, present, or future)?
In using one or more of these schema, be sure to be specific about the connections you’re making and offer good detail. Similarly, as you draw on the readings, make sure to use direct quotations and reference specific ideas.

Additionally, make sure you do the following in each post:

Answer each of the questions in full paragraph form
Engage with the course material per the discussion prompt
Comment on at least 2 other posts in your group. In doing so, don’t just agree with your peers, but demonstrate some grappling with the course material in response to their post (and I encourage you to use the schema above in your replies if that helps)
Feel free to bring up other points of reflections, thoughts or ideas as well!
Discussion Prompt:

1. As a consumer, you have likely experienced tensions with psychological consistency when you rationalize buying a product, endorsing a brand, etc. Using chapter 3 of Gass and Seiter, explain an example of such a tension and then share how you manage that psychological inconsistency.

2. Based on the lecture material and the Rami Gabriel reading Why I Buy, identify two interesting aspects of consumer society and/or advertising that provoked some thought for you and use one of the “text-to…” schemas above to help you answer.

3. What was interesting to you about the Duffy piece? Is “authenticity” always and only a tool for persuasion in consumer culture? Or can something be truly authentic in the world of consumption?

4. What is your reaction to the Safronova piece on the UK regulation of gender stereotypes in advertising? Do you feel like this is a productive way for regulation to help minimize some of the problems we’ve seen with consumer culture? Or do you think that advertisers should have no restrictions on the messages they create and distribute? Or are you somewhere in the middle? Explain your answer and offer some real or hypothetical examples to support your point.

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