1. Do you think the United States in a “Legitimization Crisis”? Why? Examples? Images, Videos? How does this affect fashion consumption habits?
I would say that yes the US is in a “legitimization Crisis”. Being Italian growing up we never had any super Italian traditions that my dad wanted to instill in us. Yeah, we may have had spaghetti way too often but that was about it when sticking to our roots. It bums me out that I don’t really know too much about that part of me or that side of the family. Day by day peoples traditions and cultures are slowly disappearing. It’s not like it’s just my family alone. Growing up I may have not cared about tradition/culture but today I do. I’m mainly seeing that culture is only being kept up with food in families today, which don’t get me wrong is important but it should be about more than that!
2. Has a novelty purchase provided you with a lasting sense of satisfaction? Yes or No, why? Why not? Reference reading, Professor Lung’s responses, provide images, which reference what you purchased.
There has never been a novelty purchase that has provided me with a lasting sense of satisfaction. As consumers, we are constantly wanting the “next big thing”.
There will always be something else that comes along that we think we need. On page 10, it is stated that “modern fashion lies at the very heart of modern modes of consuming, with the link between the two taking the form of autonomous or self-illusory hedonism, a phenomenon– commonly understood as daydreaming– that results in an apparently insatiable desire for novelty.” The definition of “Hedonism” is that it is basically the pursuit of pleasure, which can go hand-in-hand with, what Thomas Jefferson referred to as a human right, the “pursuit of happiness”. As consumers, we are always trying to find the new, the unfamiliar, the one thing that will finally satisfy us, but this book identifies these feelings as an affliction of unappeasable wanting. We will never be fully satisfied.
3. How do members of contemporary western society more closely derive their identities from consumption? Provide examples, and reference the reading.
Going back to the reading it’s stated that “We are what we buy” etc. I agree with that, buy being able to make the choice of what we are, we are then taking the opportunity to say something about ourselves or to make a statement. Depending on what we buy we are able to create identities based off of what we are wearing. It’s the idea of wanting something and it making you feel like you are better with it, or you are a different person with it. In the western society we are literally programmed to consume. Someone might be looking at a fashion advertisement and they then start to think – “I want to look like this girl” – “If I have this I’m going to be like this girl” or “It will make me look like this girl”. So then the girl gets the item she saw in the fashion advertisement, does it make her look like the girl? Well, no not really, they probably have completely different body types, but maybe the consumer feels better about herself when wearing that then she did before. The consumer is then creating a new identity based off of the item she purchased, now she may be feeling more confident than she was before.