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					Camelia Elias
          lifestyles and goods

 goods as markers determine meanings
 we use markers we construct a rational
 we use goods to get a shared information
 through shopping for goods our judgments
  are made visible and firm
 consumption of goods is a ritual process
Allen Ginsberg
          At age 15, writes a letter to New
           York Times about political issues
           such as WWII and the plight of the
          About those he saw as guilty
           parties he writes: "One can gather
           infinite consolation by speculation
           as to what will happen to those
           Congressmen when they go to

          Prays to save the Working Class
           of America if he is admitted to
           Columbia University. He is, and
           attends, with the assistance of a
           stipend from the Y.M.H.A.,
           intending to study pre-Law.

 “it is wrong to consider the consumer as
  an incoherent, fragmentary being, a
  person divided in her purposes and barely
  responsible for her decisions, dominated
  by reactions to prices, on the one hand,
  and fashionable swings, on the other.
  Does she have no integrated purpose of
  her own?” (Mary Douglas, 17)
         consumption as protest

 protest is the aspect of consumption which
  reveals the consumer as a coherent,
  rational being
 consumption behavior is inspired by
  cultural hostility
 protest is a cultural stance
           form vs. neutrality

 commodities are chosen because they are
  not neutral
 commodities are chosen because they
  signal cultural affiliation
 the form of shopping is reactive but not
  neutral and therefore positive
  Shopping is assertive
  Shopping announces allegiances
 “To understand shopping practices we
  need to trace standardized hates, which
  are much more constant and more
  revealing than desires” (Mary Douglas)
                      4 cultural types
   Individualist lifestyle       egalitarian lifestyle
     driving in the fast lane       forms enclaves
     competitive                    against formality, pomp,
                                      and artifice
     wide-flung                     rejects authoritarian
     open network                    institutions
     high tech                      prefers simplicity and
     sporty, arty, risky            forms intimate friendships
   hierarchical lifestyle           values spirituality
     formal                      eclectic lifestyle
     adheres to tradition           withdrawn and isolated
     cherishes established          unpredictable
       institutions                  escapes friendship
     maintains a defined            doesn’t waste time with
                                      ceremonies and rituals
       network                       is not competitive
     family oriented                free (alienated)
     organized
         nature and human nature
 nature is robust          Individualists: lone
  entrepreneur                operators, working for
 nature is                   themselves
  unpredictable             eclectics work where
  eclectic                    the institution gives
 nature is robust, but       little autonomy
  only within limits        hierarchists
  hierarchist                 implement divisions of
 nature is fragile and       labour
  pollution can be lethal    egalitarians interested
   egalitarian               in making shared
needs and desires

             consumerism is
              not the
              expression of
              individual wants
             consumerism is
              agonistic, and
              expresses the
              struggle to define
              not what one IS,
              but what one is
                 Shampoo Planet
1.   How would you describe the narrator?
2.   What would you say that Tyler’s obsession with looks
     is the result of?
3.   What kind of a shopper is Tyler?
4.   How does the narrator position himself vis-à-vis the
     other characters?
5.   Comment on the mother/son relationship
6.   How important is Tyler’s own space for him? What
     about his mother?
7.   What stereotypes does the story construct, and how
     accurate are they?
8.   Comment on the frequent use of the 2nd person
   Shampoo Planet

fast-lane individualists
    vs. egalitarians

Tyler: “what’s on top of
your head says what’s
 inside your head” (7)

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