Living in the United States, we are all part of a hegemonic consumer culture, whether we enjoy it or find it repellant. Looking around your home space, please choose one consumer object of significance to you. Literally anything is fair game, as long as it was purchased. This activity is most interesting if you select something that you’re attached to, rather than a random pencil or trash can; a piece of clothing that you wear when you want to impress others is a great place to start.
Begin by describing the object and explaining how you acquired it. Then, please answer the following questions in paragraph form:
What practical purpose does it serve?
What does it represent to you symbolically?
How does it help you communicate aspects of your identity to others? When you display it publicly, what do you want them to think about you? What do you not want them to think about you?
Why did you choose to purchase this object over another one that does more or less the same thing? (For example, if you were writing about your computer, why did you choose a PC over an Apple or vice versa?
The trick here is to get really deep into the weeds in thinking about what your object represents to you. We have so many choices as consumers; it is almost never the case that you had no alternatives in making your purchase. In light of those alternatives, why did you pick this particular thing?