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How might a consumer culture generate crime?

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Introduction

How might a consumer culture generate crime? Currently in society, there is probably no greater influence than the television. It has become apparent that through this unique mechanism society is unconsciously being moulded. Through television a world of both fantasy and reality is uncovered. Is society able to distinguish the difference between the two? Is it possible that through the media society in general is gradually being moulded to personas of fantasy characters? Do we want to become those in the adverts or television programmes, wanting what is achievable to some but not everyone? Do problems arise when we realise that we can not have that Mercedes, dream house or 'American Dream' that we all long for? Is it then that we turn to crime? Since the birth of television, crime has increased dramatically according to British Crime Surveys. The media has the ability to control the ideas of politics and rewrite history right under our noses without us being consciously aware. This is why vast amounts of money are invested into advertising, because it is inevitable that it works. We employ ecological issues which relate to our religious beliefs and we let television use its power which manipulates and affects our own values. The media softens the moral values and the ideas of society and has social and economic consequences on families. Noticeably, children are mostly affected by advertising. They watch a show on television, and they begin to want to wear clothing that a particular character wears or clothing that has the symbol of their favourite character. They begin to act like their favourite character. They even respond to their friends and parents as their favourite character would. This has led to children even acting out the violent scenes they have viewed on television in reality. Previous moral panics have blamed the media for promoting violence. From time to time, the media industry comes under political attack. ...read more.

Middle

The problem that the media is creating in society today is that there are distinct, yet illusional, social classes and the media's exercised power of creating and destroying these classes in our minds are becoming more and more evident. The media leads us to believe that these are individual classes within society, and that most of us belong to the middle class. The middle class society is one that has been predominately created by the media, and the media presents the middle class as the majority of people in society. In the way presented by the media, there are distinct differences between the working class, middle class and the upper class. Upon research it has become apparent that most of us are of the working class. The media makes us think we all belong to the middle class, whether we are working class or not. Class bias definitely exists in the media which is evident from television programmes and films. The main point is that the working class is disappearing from the minds from a majority in society, leaving everyone with the impression that if they are not poverty-stricken then they belong to the middle class. This is happening all too often and this is when relative deprivation occurs. Media sheds less light on the working class and when they are portrayed, it is often in stereotypical roles. This has been observed in the entertainment and news media. The less we know about the working class the more likely we are to forget the working class altogether and effectively forget that a majority are of the working class. When it comes to TV the working class is misrepresented and underrepresented in not only the news, but in the media altogether Car adverts appear to promote the working class person as speeding down wide empty roads with well dressed young men and women and in some cases the nuclear family, creating the 'car culture'. This effectively advertises a false impression of how society should be. ...read more.

Conclusion

burglary as an income supplement but in the development of a subculture in which alternative values develop precisely as a way of coping with the frustrations of exclusion from legitimate routes to success. In this sense the role of interpersonal expressive violence or ritualised forms of conspicuous consumption as ways of establishing status in the absence of conventional means and symbols can be understood. Also 'crimes of passion' such as homicide and interpersonal violence such as sexual assault and rape have a concentration among the poor and deprived and can be seen as arising from dynamics of relative deprivation. Box, describes the dynamics of rape by men from poor and deprived backgrounds, "When men from this latter group rape they rely primarily on physical violence because this is the resource they command. Being relatively unable to 'wine and dine' females or place them in a position of social debt, and being less able to induce in women a sense of physical and emotional over-comeness these 'socially' powerless men are left with a sense of resentment and bitterness which is fanned and inflamed by cultural sex-role stereotypes of 'successful' men being sexually potent." Once again is the above comment purely what these men have subconsciously viewed within the media. Is rape and murder an excuse for being socially deprived? The marketing society is not about the values it is about selling lifestyles, and as long as society can view those lifestyles they will yearn for it. It is evident that some will turn to crime for it? Worryingly, we do not know to what extent some are willing to go to in order to satisfy their deprivation. Christmas day and a mother of three had nothing to give her children, she says, "I had to steal because the children where being picked on by the other kids, I was flat broke". Many of us will argue with the above statement and that surely she could have found other means of money or got a job. ...read more.

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