Sociological Concepts Surrounding Consumption And Gender Have Shaped My Life

Sociological Concepts Surrounding Consumption And Gender Have Shaped My Life

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Sociological concepts can be applied to many parts of one’s life. The concepts that surround both consuming and gender are both exceedingly relevant in our society today, with our consumption being an integral part of our life and gender becoming more freely explored as our society becomes more comfortable with the idea that there are more than two categories of gender. In this socioautobiography I will analyse how sociological concepts surrounding consumption and gender have shaped my life. I will focus on commodity fetishism, how I learnt gender roles through socialisation, and ‘doing’ gender as I was growing up. Using a sociological imagination, I will interpret my life through a historical and structural lens in relation to consumption and gender.
Commodity fetishism, an idea that was created by Karl Marx, is when intrinsic qualities are ascribed to an object and the labour that went into producing the product disappears (Louie, 2013). According to Marx, when we consume a product, we relate to the object consumed on its own terms. We see the object as self-sustained and self-sustaining and ingrained with qualities and characteristics of its own (Cluley and Dunne, 2012). Through this process we fetishize the commodity. We obliterate any considerations of the fact that these objects have the qualities and characteristics they have due to the labour that was involved in creating the object. We identify with the objects as if there are no people who produced it and we lose sense of the hardships, sacrifices, and environmental damage that occurred in the process of making the objects. We see the value of the object coming from the commodity as opposed to the actual labour it took to produce it. We see the commodity reflecting the...


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...my life. The concepts of commodity fetishism, socialisation in terms of learning gender roles, and ‘doing’ gender have all had relevance to my life and have shaped me into the person I am today. Consumption has a large effect on our society and a lot of the time we lose sense of the labour and hardship that is involved in making the products we consume on a daily basis. We do not spend a large amount of time thinking about the exploitive conditions that the labourers were under, instead focusing more on the price of the product and what purchasing it means for us. Gender also has a huge impact on society, particularly learning about gender through socialisation. This is crucial to one’s development of their ideas about gender roles and how society expects them to behave. We all also do gender and this determines how other people understand and determine our gender.

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