chapter  11
17 Pages

Consumer culture at the millenium

WithPenny Sparke

In the early 1990s social psychologists began to address the issue of commodity culture and its relationship with the formation of personal identities. In addition to the large global brands which set out to appeal to large numbers of consumers, while simultaneously trying to personalise their offerings as much as possible, others aimed to extend the elite consumption of luxury goods to an expanding market. The landscapes of Disneyland and Las Vegas permeated the environments of shopping malls and city centres worldwide to the extent that it became impossible for consumers to know whether they were going shopping or out for a leisure trip. Buying at charity shops even became fashionable ensuring a higher level of consumer individualism than could be achieved by buying low-cost mass-produced contemporary clothing and products. Green packaging became widespread, suggesting to consumers that particular products were kinder to the planet than others.