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The idea of progress : how can consumer behavior improve and why can it be a problem for the society ?

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Notion 4: the idea of progress

        I’m going to talk about the idea of progress. Let me give you a definition of progress. This is a development towards a better, more complete or more modern conditions.

How can consumer behavior improve and why can it be a problem for the society?

First, I am going to talk about the consumer society, the materialism people. Then I am going to develop the alternative people.

  1. Consummer society

        The consumerism is an ideology that encourages the acquisition of goods and services, people buy things they don’t need. Trend is the core of consumerism. With the progress, people don’t pay cash anymore, they prefer paying plastic or use the touch and go credit card. This ideology and the social network strengthen phenomenon.

        Nowadays, the real problem is when people are addicted. They want more and more goods. It's a shopaholic behavior. They are under controle, they are buying things and hiding them to hoping not to be judged. They spend money in things they don’t need and loose a lot of money. A woman in a document explains that during long time she denied her situation and she was sinking into a depression. Because of this compulsive behavior, people may get in debts and borrow money from the bank.

        On top of that, days are dedicated to shopping. The more popular are the Black Friday, the Mega Monday and the Cyber Thanksgiving. Black Friday falls the day after thanksgiving and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It’s a brick and montar shopping, people go crazy. Online shopping completes that. Mega Monday, before Christmas, and Cyber Thanksgiving, before the Black Friday, are the biggest online shopping when many customers spend hours to find goods in online sales.

TRANSITION: Nevertheless, there are alternative buying.

II. Alternative buying

        New forms of shopping are around such as Bartering and the second hand items.

Ebay, a e-commerce, avoids wasting, it can give a second life to second hand items. People can buy things you don’t like anymore by auction sales. Even if it is very useful, there are problems of forgery. More of that, people buy items using Black Friday and sell it on eBay who everybody want it. They need to be crafty to make ends meet.

Bartering is an other form. It’s when people swap goods and services, money is not involved. Different reasons explain its development: it is easy to do, it creates a social link between people and groups according to their interests with the social network. There are also ecological reasons, it avoids wasting.

        Movements are created against the consumer society. The freeganisme is against people who waste food. The members of the movement collect wasted food and consume it. A lot of hypermarkets or restaurant have to get rid of they unsold products. Freegans make people award of the aloud of food they throw. Freegans are no hippy, they are educated people who may have had tops jobs. Despite, they think all they had were superficial and they are selfish that why they decided to live in the margin of the society. They may have had a burn out or too much stress but for most of them, they may have been fed up being judged according to their productivity.

        The principal aim of the alternative buying is to make the population aware of the evolution of the society. People buy more and more foods, more and more clothes to be like everyone.

I want to conclude with a book that explains the story of a shopaholic woman. The confessions of a shopaholic writing by Sophie Kinsella is the story of a woman moving between London and NY. She spends a lot of money in clothes, shoes, bags but she tells nothing to her husband. This is the typical behavior we studied. I think people do this to find a solace because of a lake of something or someone.

Notion 3: places and form of power

        I’m going to talk about places and form of power. Let me give you a definition of racialism, the principal problem in South Africa. This is a belief that some races are superior to other and there are biological differences between races.

How apartheid influenced relationship between Blacks and Whites in South Africa?

Firstly i’m going to talk about the repression and the separation during apartheid. Then i’m going to highlight the idea of the rainbow nation developed by Nelson Mandela.

  1. Apartheid

        In South Africa, racialist government ran the country. There were four rules. Whites, Blacks, Colored and Indians were separated, Whites had the control of the state because there are civilized, the white’s interests were more important than the other races’ interest and the whites formed a nation whereas the other races were excluded from the nation. The Blacks, Colored and Indians had a passbook. It was a compulsory to go to the white city. The passbook informed about people’s whereabouts. It was very hard for the other races because they were treated like animals and were despised by the government.

        An another problem appeared, a form of legal repression against Black people. Blacks tried to denounce the apartheid regime with illegal organizations because there were no right to gather or to go on strike. When the police discovered those organizations, the repression was fierce and policeman related by shooting people. Sharpeville in 1960 and Soweto riots on the 16 th of June 1976 were the deadliest repression. Hector Peterson , a teenager, was killed by a policeman who shot over the crowd. Whites also criticized the system such as artist, journalists but they were jailed, exiled, tortured or censured.

II.        The rainbow Nation

        In South Africa, when Nelson Mandela began to run the country, the country was called Rainbow Nation. The new government wrote a new constitution, erase Apartheid and the power should be shared fairly. Thanks to all of that, blacks and whites are on an equal footing and they are reunited, no more gated cities and township. The whites must confess their crimes to be forgiven.  Nevertheless, there were still matters pending. The inequalities still remained and unemployment increased. Everybody does not have access to the bare necessities. A new problem begins, whites complain about affirmative action, blacks run the country because of their skin color.

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