Signs of Life in the U.S.A. - Study Guide Consuming Passions: The Culture of American Consumption Summary & Analysis

Sonia Maasik
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The chapter begins with the suggestion that the student make a list of his belongings which ones he/she purchased and why, and which ones were presents. The student is supposed to determine what these items say about himself/herself and what kind of statement is made by the ones selected as gifts. This is a good way to begin a semiotic analysis of consumerism. Every selection and choice represents a symbol or sign that gets its meaning from the system. The significance of each depends on its symbolism, not on its usefulness. The student must ask what statement he/she is trying to make since this is how the semiotic interpretation process begins.

The cell phone used to be a status symbol in America. In the 1980s when they first appeared, they...

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This section contains 1,795 words
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