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Consumer Culture

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Accordingly, how can it be known or certified or judged that one individual’s tastes have become refined while, the tastes that are held by people such as the author’s neighbor need to be enhanced to fit the viewer’s perception of what is cultivated and refined. Intriguingly, the two possible answers to this question are applicable in the interpretation of the website’s content which document’s the author’s views and thoughts on his ‘redneck’ neighbor. As stated previously, in studies of consumer culture and the effect of social class in the shaping of consumer culture it is important to understand whether perceptions are definite or variable – can the author’s neighbor be termed as a ‘redneck’ indefinitely or is he in fact a supposedly ‘normal’ human being for some?

Yes, there is unambiguous discrepancy in the comprehension of whether the neighbor’s behavior can be deemed as appropriate or not. For Goffman, the possible reason for the existence of this observation is that since the rights of a particular social class in society are defined by a number of factors including public opinion, which the author demonstrates through his website, this general opinion of the masses allows the author to view his neighbor as someone whose tastes have not been cultivated or refined as yet (294).

Therefore, the author’s perception of his neighbor in this case can be defined as the product of what society believes is the conception of the leisure class and what it should and should not do. Since, JD8 meets the supposed requirements that are needed to be met to qualify as a member of the leisure class such as his very own business, a number of nice cars and the ownership of a house in what has been described as an affluent neighborhood in the city, the opinion of the author regarding members of JD8’s stature does not allow him to think that his actions are reasonable or appropriate for an individual of his status.

On the other hand, Fussell’s conception of the term class does not restrict it to a collection of terms, for he claims that “nobody knows for sure what the word class means”.

This belief presents a stark contrast to Goffman’s interpretation of status, role and class which the scholar believes to be terms that can be explained or defined through a number of factors. However, regardless of which observation is applied to the case of the author and JD8, the notion that can be established sheds light on the vast array of perceptions that ultimately comprise of consumer culture, such that it allows individuals to assess another’s social status or beliefs on the basis of what they consume.

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