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Responsible Consumption

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on 10 March 2014

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Transcript of Responsible Consumption

MASLOW’S TRIANGLE








Responsible Consumption
Consumerism, Media Culture and Consuming Desires
Consumerism
History of Consumerism
Media Culture
Highly developed
Intensified
Fruition
(globalization and media culture)
Media culture (cultural studies):
current western capitalist society
that emerged and developed from the 20th century, under the
influence
of
mass media
.
The term alludes to the overall
impact and intellectual guidance of the media
(primarily TV, but also the press, radio and cinema), not only on public opinion but also on tastes and values.
Mass Media, Mass Marketing
Marketing and advertising have played a main role in the
consolidation of consumerism
.
Marketing
is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers, for the
purpose of selling that product or service
.
Contemporary research demonstrates an increasing level of
concentration of media ownership
, with many media industries already highly concentrated and dominated by a very small number of firms.
Media culture, with mass marketing, has been
compared
to the role of
religions
in the past.
Advertising (business): form of marketing
communication
used to
encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience
(viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to take or continue to take some action.
Advertising
To convince customers that a company's services or products are the best.
Purposes of Advertising
To enhance the image of the company.
To point out and create a need for products or services.
To demonstrate new uses for established products.
To draw customers to the business, and to hold existing customers.
The ultimate purpose of all advertisements is to create consuming desires.
Six steps a consumer or buyer moves through when making a purchase (Clow and Baack):
Awareness
Knowledge
Liking
Preference
Conviction
Purchase
Means-End Theory suggests that an
advertisement
should contain a message or
means
that leads the consumer to a
desired end-state
.
Advertising attempts to give buyers a sense of
lack or wanting
.
Creating Consuming desires
Appealing to needs
Physiological
Esteem
Safety
Love/belonging
Self-actualization
Heard Behavior
1
2
3
5
Consumerism has
multiple consequences
for the different agents related to each and every product,
since it is conceived until it is disposed
.
"If current population and consumption trends continue, by the 2030's, we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us."

- UN
Effects of Consumerism
For the consumer
The consumption experience brings about some dialectics (cognitive dissonance):
The Material versus the Symbolic
All
meaning is socially constructed
, the relation between signifier and signified is arbitrary and motivated only by social convention (this is studied in semiotics).
Once
products don't only satisfy physical needs
, then we enter the realm of the symbolic and it is symbolic meaning that is used in the search for the
meaning of existence
.
Symbolic interpretation
is essentially
non-rational
improvisation that does not obey the codes of language but operates at the
unconscious level
.
The functions of
symbolic meanings
of products operate in two directions:
Outward
in constructing the social world – social-symbolism –
And
inward
towards constructing our self-identity: self-symbolism (Elliott, 1995).
Consumer goods
are not only used to
construct
our
self-identity
but are also used by others to
make inferences about us
.
The Social versus the Self
If you don't consume so much you will feel
socially excluded
.
(Richard Elliott)
Desire versus satisfaction
The
symbolic gratification
promised by advertising manages to recode a commodity as a
desirable psycho-ideological sign
.
Rationality versus irrationality
4
The mass media, and advertising in particular, are responsible for an
“expansion of inadequacy”
which is encouraged by a barrage of
new criteria for self-evaluation
.
Cushman (1990) argues that
we are in an era of the “empty self”
in which alienation and loss of community can be solved by the “lifestyle” solution in which the
consumer constructs a “self”
by purchasing and “ingesting” products featured in advertising, a behavior which can be construed as, at best, of limited rationality.
Creativity versus constraint
The
ability
of consumers to resist the influence of advertising and thereby
exercise freedom
has been
minimized
.
For Sustainability
What can we do?
Regarding the production, processing, and consumption of our goods and services, think about the consequences for:
Environment
Ethics and values
Personal relationships
Poverty
Labour
Health/Well-being
Safety and crime
Others?
More industrial production.
A higher growth rate economy.
More goods and services available.
More advertising since goods manufactured have to be sold.
Increased production will result in more employment opportunities.
A variety of goods and services to choose from.
More comforts for a better living style.
Give examples of specific brands or products which have negatively affected individuals, society or the environment.
Most commonly, the desired result is to
drive consumer behavior
with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common.
The
waves of enthusiasm and fervent exaltation for a given product
have been equipared to the "ecstasies of the convulsions and miracles of the old religious fetishism".
Late Seventeenth Century
Eighteenth Century
Turn of the 20Th Century
End of the Twentieth Century
Emerged
Boikot?
SVG and RVA
Appealing to needs
Herd behavior in marketing is used to explain the
dependencies of customers' mutual behavior
. The basic idea is that people will buy more of products that are seen to be popular.
(1) High levels of consumption.
(2) Social and economic order that encourages the purchase of goods and services in ever-greater amounts.
Cognitive dissonance
(psychology) is the excessive
mental stress and discomfort
experienced by an individual who holds two or more
contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values
at the same time or when an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory
action or reaction.
Full transcript