SOC104 – Consumption, Prosumption, What’s Your Function?


What’s your favorite brand? Do you believe in retail therapy? What about how ‘a diamond is forever’? Consumer culture surrounds us in every aspect of our social lives, and is virtually impossible to ignore, especially with the development of the internet and new media technologies that bombard us with ads while providing us with the tools to be creative and powerful consumers. But are you, the consumer, being exploited by big name corporations? Join us to find out!


Consumer culture, consumption, prosumption, internet, brand loyalty, exploitation


  1. Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
  2. “How Retailers Trick You with Their Amazing Black Friday ‘Discounts'”
  3. Production, Consumption, Prosumption by George Ritzer and Nathan Jurgenson (2010)
  4. Justin Knapp, the super Wikipedia prosumer
  5. Thorstein Veblen on conspicuous consumption

    Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure. As wealth accumulates on his hands, his own unaided effort will not avail to sufficiently put his opulence in evidence by this method. The aid of friends and competitors is therefore brought in by resorting to the giving of valuable presents and expensive feasts and entertainments.

  6. Definition of Exploitation from the Blackwell Encyclopedia

    Exploitation occurs when someone or something (e.g., a material resource, an opportunity) is used or taken advantage of. Social scientists are chiefly concerned with the exploitation of people and classes, who are generally considered exploited if they are required, by force or by circumstances, to contribute more to some process than they receive in return.

  7. Lil Yachty’s diamond chain of his own face
  8. Adam Ruins Everything on the De Beers’ “A Diamond is Forever” marketing scam
  9. Blood Diamonds (Time Magazine editorial)
  10. “Escalating Sweatshops Protests Keep Nike Sweating”
  11. “Life and Death in Apple’s Forbidden City”, an article on Apple’s Foxcon factories
  12. “Yes, prisoners used to sew lingerie for Victoria’s Secret”
  13. Juliet Schor’s The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don’t Need (1999)
  14. The Tiny House Movement
  15. The Minimalists on Minimalism
  16. Keeping up with the Kardashian pregnancies article

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