All posts by ikranh21

The Making of the Consumer

Image result for consumers

The article Capitalism and The Making of the Consumer by Robbins talks about the creation of consumer. It says that consumer did not appear full blown in the united states of the early twentieth century. Even in the eighteenth century, merchants in great Britain, France, else where were concerned that more goods were being produced than could be sold. People purchased only “necessities”- basic foodstuffs, clothing, household utensils, and appliances- or shared basic items when they could. Luxuries had to be transformed into necessities. In America, this was accomplished largely in advertising and fashion.

The point of advertisement is to make us unhappy with what we have. “we each see more advertisements in one year than a people 50 years ago saw in a lifetime. Three thousand times a day, we are told that our hair is wrong, our skin is wrong, clothes are wrong, our furniture is wrong, our cars are wrong, we are wrong but that it can all be made right if we just go shopping (the story of staff by Annie Leonard).”

So what do we do after we are told every thing we have is wrong? We go shop and shop as much we can. Some of us work two or more jobs just to buy stuffs to make us happy and satisfy what we have. Now we have more stuff than ever before and we have less time for the things that really make us happy: our family, friends, and we do not even know who are neighbors are. I really do not blame any of us because it is hard to escape from this situation. You see your friends buying new stuff. Such as the new I phone that came out or the new Nike shoes that came out. You stuck with the old stuff and you say to your self “everyone is buying new stuff, why don’t I buy the new stuff? I do not want to be left behind.”

We all buy stuff whether it is computers, soda cans, and T-shirt to make our lives little bit easier, and to entertain ourselves. However, a lot of us do not ask ourselves what is the stuff we buy are made of ? And how does it effect the environment? These stuffs are made from our natural resources. We chop down trees and blow up mountains to get the metal inside. “eighty percent of the planet’s original forests are gone (the story of staff Leonard).”

How to Get Your Ideas to Spread

Do you want your business to last forever? The only way you are going to make this happen is to figure out a way to get your ideas to spread. However, many see the only way to get your ideas to spread is by spending millions of dollars interrupting people with TV commercials, magazine ads, spam, or coupons. Well, this is definitely a failure and trust me you will regret it. If I were you I will take an advice from Seth Godin and David Scott.

Godin says, in his TED talk “How to Get Your Ideas to Spread,” that consumers do not care about you at all; they just do not care. The reason is they have got way more choices than they used to, and way less time, the obvious things to do is just ignore stuff. The things that is going to decide what gets talked about, what gets done, what gets changed, what gets purchased, is: “is it remarkable?”

This reminds me of what Scott discussed in chapter 4: “Social Media and Your Targeted Audience.” Davis explains what drives people to buy the Adigo teas. The Adigo teas gives their customers the opportunity to create their own unique blends and sell to others on the site. Scott says this is brilliant strategy because people are eager to share their creation on networks like Facebook, Twitter, and tumblr. Those who create delicious blends build a following with Adigo customers, driving sales with their ratings and reviews. If you like a blend, you can see what other blends that creator has made. Repeat customers can create a profile to keep track of teas they enjoy most, and they can also add teas they want to try.

Both Godin and Scott show that you do not need to spend millions of dollars just to get your ideas to spread. All you need is just to figure out how to touch people in a way they were not expecting—a remarkable way. Provide your customers with value by putting the money towards a really interesting idea or making their experience better instead of just directing them toward your store.

References:

Scott, D. M. (2014). The new rules of marketing & PR: How to use social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases & viral marketing to reach buyers directly.

Travel Ban

Related imageOJanuary 27, 2017, President Donald trump issued executive order that suspended for 90 days the entry of certain aliens from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The president believes by issuing this policy, we will be able to detect foreign nationals who may commit, aid, or support acts of terrorism and prevent those individuals from entering the United States.  

Trump voters say, “Instead of blaming the president, blame those who flew planes into building and mowed families down on the streets. It’s not that I do not like you because you are Muslim, I do not like you because you are making me feel unsafe. So yes I am okay with the temporary stop of travel ban. 

What about those who are left in the airports—separated from their love ones? What about the immigrants who want to change their lives to pursue happiness? Is this policy fair to them? Their dreams will crash down because the victims of the terrorist group want justice. However, this is not how to get justice by blaming millions of people for the actions of a few. If they want justice, they need to find another way to detect the foreign nationals who may commit, aid, or support acts of terrorism. 

 

Source:

Zapotosky, M., Nakamura, D., & Hauslonher, A. (2017, March 6). Revised executive order bans travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from getting new visas. Washington Post [Washington DC].

 

Gender Advertisments

Woman holding perfume

The late sociologist Erving Goffman argues that the most negative thing that we can say about the gender displays in ads is that they do not look strange to us-that is, depictions of reality, they do not look peculiar or weird. They actually look kind of normal. It is only when we start to look at them carefully that we begin to see how strange and weird they actually are- and begin the process of thinking independently, for ourselves, about what the culture holds up as normal

In advertising, female hands are shown not as assertive or controlling of their environment but as letting the environment control them. For instance, when women are shown holding something, it often looks as though it is just resting there- not being held in a strong manner or they are represented as just using the ends of the fingers to hold objects, delicately and lightly, rather than using the whole hands. Furthermore, women are shown in a kind of breathless posture-though the world around them is too much for them to cope with or holding themselves protectively, as if the body is a delicate thing that needs support. Also women are constantly shown touching themselves and there really is no part of the body that is off-limits. In contrast, Men appear to be active, alert, dominant, strong, and balanced. These characteristics are shown through standing upright, displaying muscles, and having women hang on them. This stark difference between the female and male roles in advertisment shows exactly the patriarchal  roots in our society, women models are seen more as objects for display rather than indivuals.

Furthermore, Goffman says advertising takes something that already exists in the culture and concentrates it even more. It privileges it in the culture, and by giving it that priority and emphasis-while at the same time ignoring other things-it creates new meanings about gender. It often times reinforces the dominant culture of the society. Although much progress has been made throughout the years, the advertisment industry still has much work to do in order to humanize female models in advertisment.

Bibliography:

The Codes of Gender. Sut Jhally. Blip,2011. Documnetary.

Capitalism Monopoly

Image result for capitalismI remember in my sociology class when our instructor made us play a monopoly game that was based on the economic structure of the U.S. Before we started the game, each player picked randomly a bag of Monopoly cash and property. Some of the bags did not even have cash in them or property. We did not know which one of us would end up with the bag that had most of the cash and the property. Only one of us could be the rich player. This shows that we are all not born rich, while others have to be poor and fight for their living standards because the system does not favor them. This system creates a ladder of income for everyone, the top of the ladder is the rich player/the money bag, the middle of the ladder is the ship player and the bottom of the ladder is the wheel-barrow player.

This is the actual distribution of income in the U.S.  “The top 10 percent of Americans own 80 to 90 percent of all stocks, bounds, trust funds, and business equity, and more than 75 percent of non-home (commercial) real estate (We First Simon Mainwaring 12).”

Is this kind of class system fair for everyone? We should ask ourselves what is creating the gap between the rich and the poor that continues to exist in our society. I think the answer to that question is our current practice of capitalism. This system is horrible and unfair. It is creating a world where the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer. Furthermore, this current practice of capitalism encourages corporations and businesses to think only about short-term profit at the expense of the environment. The third world countries are suffering from environmental contamination because corporations are moving their businesses there to get cheaper labor. Most of the stuff we buy is made in third world factories, and it is made with synthetic chemicals. Of course, the people who are suffering from these toxic chemicals are the factory workers. These workers are mostly women- who are of reproductive age. You might be asking yourself why these women would risk their health by working jobs such as these. Well, these are the only jobs that are available in the third world countries. We buy stuff, but we really do not pay the real price. However, these women do pay the real price by losing their health and their environment.

What is the solution? We are the solution. It is us the consumers, who can transform corporations into a force for global renewal. This could help us move toward a realistic goal of improving life for as many individuals on the planet as possible.

by Ikram Hassan