Cultural Distinctions: Product Use and Personal Identity essay sample



The controversy between personal and social identity frequently makes people uncomfortable within their social environment. Individuals of unprivileged age, gender or race are especially prone to devaluation because their personal identity underlines belonging to one of the social groups which may be at odds with the remaining society. Young people try to fulfill expectations of the older generation without losing appreciation of their peers. Women strive to preserve their femininity while making progress in a professional life. Middle-class black citizens do not want to be associated with the destructive minority living the city slums. The social and personal identities of these people differ which makes a way to social misunderstanding or maltreatment. Consumer goods and lifestyles usually help unprivileged groups to integrate into social life.

Consumer choices are in many ways predetermined by individual preferences and tastes. Nevertheless, social pressure may become a powerful incentive to buy and use certain products. Women purchase business-like classic clothes to underline their sexuality alongside with the attempts to make way up to the top. On the other hand, unisex items of clothing are even more popular as females promote their self-confidence and independence. Teenagers, similarly, ask parents to buy them popular or advertised items of popular culture in order not to stand out among their peers.

In every culture of the world, it is not enough for people to see themselves in a positive way. They need others to see them from upside to socialize successfully. Exacerbation of identity problems frequently drags higher rates of consumption with it. Every social role is connected with possessing certain commodities, thus personal identity and consumption are inextricably connected.

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