Paper on consumer culture and social status -relating to a few

Aug 6, 2023

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This is a copy of a now defunct website in which a consumer details the activities of his “redneck neighbor.” Read the descriptions of the neighbor and his activities and look at the pictures.

What is going on here? Why is the author upset? Is the author’s neighbor intentionally trying to provoke others with his behavior?  What else could explain the discrepancy in understandings of the appropriateness of the behavior (the behavior seems fine to one person yet so offends those nearby)?

Can anything from Veblen be brought to bear on this? For a little help in making this connection, consider the following two quotes, which we also discussed in class:

In order to avoid stultification he must also cultivate his tastes, for it now becomes incumbent on him to discriminate with some nicety between the noble and the ignoble [undistinguished] in consumer goods (p. 190).

Since the consumption of these more excellent goods is an evidence of wealth, it becomes honorific; and conversely, the failure to consume in due quantity and quality becomes a mark of inferiority and demerit (p3).

Do the sentiments in these quotes apply here? How? What else from what Veblen wrote could be used to explain what is happening on this website? Can you apply anything from Fussell or the video from class to this?

In one-thousand words or less, explain what is happening here. Interpret the events, using some of what Veblen and the other authors wrote to explain them. Answer the questions posed above, integrating them into a cohesive essay.

Word count: at the bottom of the paper, list the number of words in the document (use the word count feature in your word processor).


Veblen Reading:

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