The paper “ Consumption and Brand Perception in the Context of Self-Identities and Social-Identities " is an affecting example of coursework on marketing. “ Our position within a certain social group and a group’ s position in relation to another group is articulated through the consumption and display of certain key objects with symbolic value. Therefore a major way that both self-identity and social identity is established and maintained is through the consumption of particular goods and services” . This statement holds however to some level. It is through that in the current society people not only consumer goods and services to satisfy their needs but also to show their identity and the social group they belong to.
However, this statement may hold only to some extent given the new technology and modes of communication which have made almost every good and service to be available to a majority of the consumers. According to Douglas and Isherwood (1996), in the world of goods and services, material items are seen not only to have functional benefits to the users but they also have some symbolic meaning.
This is because different goods and services are purchased and consumed to reflect the personality and social status as well as culture. In this regard, therefore, the process of consuming different items is not done because of the values attached to them but also because they have the ability to build and maintain someone’ s identity. In any relational or institutional setting, different practices and varying identities are always evident. Further, these varying practices and identities are known to affect the way people consume different goods and services in order to build and maintain their identities (Akerlof and Rachel 2002). Consumption and identities: According to Aaker and Angela (2001), postmodernism has completely displaced modernism which is associated with production with the view of consumption.
In this case, consumption by the customer is not seen as a private plan to destruct the consumer but sees consumption as an era of production whereby different symbolic meanings, social codes and political ideologies, as well as relations, are produced now and again. In the current era of individualization which is characterized by the existence of different consumers from different institutions and classes and families as sources of identity, consumption is now seen as a key mechanism by which consumers can correctively choose and construct their respective identities.
In the postmodern era of consumption, symbols, values, and meanings of different items continue to shift thus leading to a situation where identities can no longer be stable. This is to mean that even though many people may continue to purchase and make use of certain goods to symbolize their identities in a group and their group with another, it may be very difficult to maintain the status unless they accept to dispose some of the identities and build others (Paterson 2006).
This demonstrates how in the current society identities have been affected and have become so fragile even though some extent meanings and symbols, as well as identities, are still restrained by some capitalist and masculine values. Thus the construction of the identity in the postmodern society allows for the creation of new possibilities and styles as well as models and not necessarily killing the identity.
In this case, the emphasis is that freedom of choice has to be problematized since the different sets in a social setting form a framework for every choice. According to Banister and Hogg (2004), identity can be seen as a multiple of frameworks that consist of culture, practices, and expectations which reflect the effect of identities in ever-shifting constellations of different relations and symbols, institutions and material practices. With this regard, therefore, it can be argued that people’ s actions are guided by existing social and cultural as well as public practices.