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The Connections Between Consumption, Identity, Taste And Style - Essay Example

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Consumption is the amount of a product that a consumer is willing and has the ability to purchase at a specific point in time. There is no guarantee that the product will be consumed at the specific point in time though. Products are classified according to their utility nature…
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The Connections Between Consumption, Identity, Taste And Style
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Download file to see previous pages Products are classified according to their utility nature. While some are consumable products, others are fixed products that cannot be consumed by the purchaser. Various reasons prompt people to acquire products. Some people purchase goods and services for basic use, others purchase as a means having fun while others simply purchase for show off. The various reasons why people buy what they buy are determined by different factors. Their level of income, the purpose in which the product will be put into, their social status and class as well as the economic conditions affecting them are all factors affecting people’s buying patterns. Evidently, there is a connection between consumption, identity, taste and style as portrayed by people’s purchasing patterns in the society. However, there are inherent factors in play that influence these phenomena in the society. These include consumers’ ability to buy as determined by their level of wealth, social status and economic status of the people as well as the prevailing status of the economy. This paper will look at the connection between people’s consumption habits in reference to the three habits. Additionally, the various factors influencing the people’s purchasing power will be discussed in the paper. The conclusion will prove that identity, taste and style come along with increased levels of consumption among the people. Economists point out that there is a connection between consumption, identity, taste and style among people, which determine reasons why people purchase different goods and services. Abraham Maslow designed the hierarchy of needs in which he proposed that people’s consumption behaviors are affected by the needs they want to satisfy. In his hierarchy, five stages determined the needs to be satisfied and the reasons for their satisfaction. According to him, the most important needs people satisfy are the basic needs. People need food, shelter and clothing in order to survive. However, as the needs keep being satisfied, consumers move up the stages to incorporate other needs in the hierarchy. The top most stage is self-actualization achieved after people successfully satisfy esteem needs that are geared at instilling confidence and earns respect from other people. Esteem needs and self-actualization needs influence the consumer behavior of people in the society. In this category of needs, people’s desire to have an identity among other people in the society, a change of taste for the type of products they purchase and shopping for style all influence the consumption behaviors of the people. Availability of disposable income to spend by people is the biggest determinant of the kind of commodities and services purchased. Additionally, the social status of people too determines their reasons for settling to purchase different goods. Extravagant lifestyles characterize identity as a consumption behavior among the people in the society. Logically, people purchasing for show off rarely need the goods purchased. With the main intention of showing their self-worth and level of their wealth, identity consumers generally make purchases for goods that they do not require in their lives (Bauman 2001, p. 25). People generally want to be identified with what they can afford as a measure of their financial ability. Therefore, wealthy people show their level of wealth through the types of goods they buy or the services that they can pay for (Zukin and Maguire 2004, p. 177). Subsequently, their shopping places and residential areas define their class. Socially respected people opt to show their class through their methods of consumption. Identity has created ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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