Rebel Consumer and Rebel Sells

with 3 comments

Am researching about consumerism and anticonsumerism,  found a few articles that I find to be an interesting read:

1) The Rebel Sell article on This Magazine website, some excerpts:

..What we need to see is that consumption is not about conformity, it’s about distinction. People consume in order to set themselves apart from others. To show that they are cooler (Nike shoes), better connected (the latest nightclub), better informed (single-malt Scotch), morally superior (Guatemalan handcrafts), or just plain richer (bmws)..

..Once we acknowledge the role that distinction plays in structuring consumption, it’s easy to see why people care about brands so much. Brands don’t bring us together, they set us apart. Of course, most sophisticated people claim that they don’t care about brands—a transparent falsehood. Most people who consider themselves “anti-consumerist” are extremely brand-conscious. They are able to fool themselves into believing that they don’t care because their preferences are primarily negative. They would never be caught dead driving a Chrysler or listening to Celine Dion. It is precisely by not buying these uncool items that they establish their social superiority..

Read the article here.  Article later appeared on a book length, the book here.  And the two writers describing the book here.

2)  The Myth of The Rebel Consumer article on Pop Matters website, excerpt:

..But by making pseudo-political statements through the manufactured artifacts of our culture, through the exercise of our free choice, are we truly users, or are we simply being useful? Expressing our politics through what we buy is no politics at all; at best it is but a vote of assent for the existing economic arrangements..”

..Perhaps all these subversive acts should be celebrated, though it’s hard to imagine who would feel threatened by it. In truth, this view aligns with the pluralism that modern corporations themselves have come to endorse. One needs only think of the proliferation of cable channels or the user-driven commercialized infotainment available on the Internet. Subversive uses and appropriations are already incorporated into the structure of these systems — corporations don’t mind how you play as long as you play on their field..”

Read the article here.

3) Rebel Consumer: If I’m not my f’ing khakis, am I my f’ing leather pants? at Metaphilm, fucking hilarious, excerpt:

If you’re going to be Tyler Durden, you have to have the right look, the right style, the right kick-ass vibe. At Urban Outfitters, you can buy a wardrobe of dissent for less than $600. All the products there have that fuck you attitude, which is to say they all appear to be worn-out and retro-fied. Shopping at Urban Outfitters gives you instant “rebel” credibility.


Read the article here.

4) The Death of the Cultural Elite on Guardian Unlimited:

Who the hell is Rihanna anyway?

Lol.  Can’t help loving the snobbishness.

Read the article here.


Written by yuenkokleong

January 3, 2008 at 8:41 am

Posted in Interesting read

3 Responses

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  1. rihanna?? you should be here in kl last 5 jan dude. a band covered the umbrella song. punk version or what the fuct. seriously. its a turn off.


    January 6, 2008 at 3:56 pm

  2. happy new year Mr kok leong!!!weh aku terhilang no phone sarawak kau…tu la sapa suruh pakai dua nombot!!kan ilang…sms aku ya!!


    January 7, 2008 at 3:46 am

  3. Jasmine: Punk rock umbrella? Haha.. I am lucky I wasn’t there!

    Shimi: Happy New Year dude! I sms-ed you already.


    January 9, 2008 at 6:11 am

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