1. Do you think the United States in a “Legitimization Crisis”? Why? Examples? Images, Videos? How does this affect fashion consumption habits?
I believe the United States is in a Legitimization Crisis. It’s a great thing that our country has become such a blend of cultures but because it’s blended, as generations pass the culture becomes more assimilated. People conform to the more prominent culture and as a result they lose their identity within their own culture.
My dad had told me about his family. All of his family was from Mexico and when his grandparents came to America their worked hard to have a future for his mom and her brothers. His mom and her family were migrant farm workers for about ten years, traveling throughout the Central Valley season to season. Once his grandfather decided he wanted his family to have a real home and careers, they settled in Los Angeles, went to real schools and took up meaningful jobs. My great grandparents didn’t allow their kids to speak Spanish, they wanted to make sure they were real Americans and in a higher class. And this was the same with his father’s family as well. His father’s prominent language was Latin, but once moving to Los Angeles it became English. As a result my grandparents were brought up to aim for a higher class from which they were born but because of this my generation has lost something. None of us speak Spanish, and most of my relatives do not know our family history, and they’re not interested in learning it.
I have seen the same sort of ideology now. As generations have been established here, it seems that many traditions lose their meanings. Cinco de Mayo has been an excuse to drink rather than a military victory over French forces. As well as Dia de Los Muertos is an extension of Halloween and a reason to paint a scull on your face instead of a commemoration of the family members and loved ones who have passed. The culture’s traditions lose their meaning and individuals lose their heritage and sense of pride and identity.
The loss of culture allows anyone to appropriate it. Because it has little meaning and relevance it becomes easy to make it a style or trend. Traditional Mexican dresses and other tchotchkes have become tourist items. The loss of culture is devastating but often capitalized and though I used my own culture, it is true for most.
2. Has a novelty purchase provided you with a lasting sense of satisfaction? Yes or No, why? Why not? Reference reading, Professor Lung’s responses, provide images, which reference what you purchased.
I rarely buy clothing but when I do I know it will last a relatively long amount of time and will be used till I can no longer use it. So when I buy something I have a feeling of accomplishment and excitement. I feel accomplished that I have purchased something that will be utilized and excitement in the idea of using it. My last purchase that I was proud of was my boots. I had an Urban Outfitters gift card for four years and never had gotten around to using. I finally found something I liked from Urban and after a good two weeks of mulling it over, I bought them.
They were priced at $130, but with my gift card I paid $55. I was sold but nervous that they wouldn’t fit or I wouldn’t like them after all. I finally got them in the mail and had that feeling of satisfaction and excitement. They were perfect. I began to think of all the outfits I could wear them with, the excitement was amazing. The first time I wore them out was on Thanksgiving. I had worn them for maybe five hours, just to my aunts house and by the time I left her house my feet were dead tired and in pain. Those feelings off satisfaction, accomplishment and excitement were out the window.
The idea of my purchase it offered “the possibility of realizing the ambition.” As the section explained, the idea or day dreaming of making a purchase and owning it, is far more exciting than what it actually is worth. It has been 10 months since first owning these boots and up until a month ago I rarely worn my shoes. After the painfully hot last days of summer, I began to wear them everyday. At my internship I spend the day trekking hills in Downtown. I was left blistered and discouraged. After about a week of endless bandaids and foot soaks, my shoes were truly broken in. It’s become second nature to grab these shoes before I leave the house. I looked forward to imagining the possibilities of wearing these boots, but once reality set in it was disappointing. After moving past the disappointment, I’m proud to have made that purchase.
3. How do members of contemporary western society more closely derive their identities from consumption? Provide examples, and reference the reading.
With consumption being an addiction people often replace their own identities with what they consume. Ideally what you buy and wear is a reflection of your personality and is an extension of who you are. Today it seems like people identify who they are with what they are capable of buying and status that goes along with it. With this entails addiction to consumption, once something goes out of style, the reading explains it becomes “passé” but it is also no longer seen as “attractive or beautiful.” People need the newest and latest trends to consider themselves anything of worth and have others validate that worth. People need to be seen as relevant and part of that is consuming what is in and relevant. This feeds into social media; people need others to know of their worth and ratify it as well as show their worth off. It is a sad reality but it’s true on many levels.