Month: November 2015

Shoppers: The seduced & repressed

The sociologist Zygmunt Bauman came up with the concept that there are two types of shoppers: The seduced and the repressed. These concepts were coined to give an indication as to the types of shoppers there are, so we get more of an idea as to what consumer society is like.

Who are the seduced?

The idea is that those who come under the label ‘Seduced’, spend a lot of money on a wide range of products, especially those that are deemed to be quite popular right now. The theory strikes up images of people going out and buying those must-have gadgets, clothes and more. We see people carrying large bags of shopping, and we know that it’s likely they have spent a lot of money on those products. It’s these products that they cannot live without, and it’s these products that supposedly make their life better.

Who are the repressed?

Bauman also suggested that the ‘Repressed’ shoppers are those who would like to be able to afford consumer goods, but they are unable as they have little cash. This could be due to unemployment, low wages, or homelessness. The idea is that the repressed want to be able to afford the latest phone, TV, and clothes, but their current income doesn’t allow them to to that.

Are these concepts correct?

The fact of the matter is that although these concepts seem very interesting, they certainly don’t reflect consumer society as a whole. This is because not everyone will fit into either one category or the other. There are many people who fit in both categories, and we’re going to explore this a little further:

Not everyone who can afford the must have things, buys them I know a few people who could afford to buy a lot more than they currently do. They’re simply more interested in buying things associated with what’s important in their lives. For example, someone with a big garden who loves to spend time out there, may be more interested in paying a
Southampton tree surgeon to fell their tree, than they are the latest brand of sun glasses.

Those who are repressed may use hire purchase or credit

Hire purchase is now more popular than ever, as is the credit that banks or other institutions offer us. This means that those people who would otherwise be deemed repressed, have access to the goods in question.

Lack of access to those must-have products

Those who are considered to be repressed may simply not have access to the products in question. In some small towns and villages, there may be a distinct lack of shops and access to areas that have shops that sell the products in question. This does not mean that they are repressed, this means that they simply cannot get hold of those products. This is unless they can buy them online, and it’s likely that they will be able to, unless the delivery driver refuses to deliver to the middle of nowhere.

As you can see, the concept of the seduced and repressed is a fascinating one, and it’s one that’s probably being argued about somewhere, right now

Christmas Shopping Tips

Christmas Shopping Tips There’s no doubt about it, Christmas is definitely heading our way. If you haven’t been outside, and you haven’t watched television, shopped online, or listened to the radio, then you may not be aware that shops are trying hard to get us to spend our money with them.

At this time of year, a lot of people start to wonder what they should buy their loved ones for Christmas. They also start to wonder how on earth they are going to be able to afford to buy all of the presents they have in mind.

Here are some tips that can help you to curb your Christmas spending, while also ensuring you buy the presents you’ve been thinking about.

Wait for the sales

Very soon shops will be lowering prices, so that you will feel more inclined to spend your money with them. This is only a good thing if you were thinking of shopping with them anyway. If you weren’t, then please just ignore the sales, and make sure you get the presents you want, from the retailer of your choice. (Unless you find that gift a lot cheaper elsewhere).

If you have to use a credit card

None of us particularly want to use our credit card, but sometimes we just have to. If you think you’ll have to, then please make sure you pay the money back as soon as you can. Add another¬£5 to the minimum payment if that’s all you can afford. Alternatively, use the money you currently have, and don’t overspend by a penny.

Don’t be fooled by promotional offers

Although there are undoubtedly some good offers around right now, don’t be fooled by them. Remember when those big boxes of chocolates were ¬£5 a few years ago? That’s because they contained 1 kilogram of chocolates, now they only contain 750 grams. You’re not getting your monies worth here, so look for a good deal elsewhere.

If you’re feeling seduced by a ‘Buy one get one free’ offer, take a look at the price that the items are selling for right now, and work out how much they cost when they weren’t on offer. Chances are you could be paying a little more than you should.

Take a look online to see if it’s cheaper

This is the best way for you to make the most of your money. See what’s on offer, take a look at the good job web designers have made of trying to attract you to a site, and save yourself some cash.

It really is possible for you to spend your money wisely, and get everyone the gifts you had in mind. Don’t go mad, be sensible and start your Christmas shopping as soon as you can, and reach for those bargains.

Can baking shows make you a better baker?

There are a lot of baking shows on television right now, and they all inspire us to make some tasty cakes, scones and other treats. But can baking shows make you a better baker? Or do they encourage us to cook up different recipes while being just as bad in the mean time?

The fact is that if you listen to what the baking shows tell you, you can realistically become a betterbaker. These shows are usually full of tips and advice that can help you get to grips with your baking. This ultimately means that if you listen to what is being said, and you follow the advice thatyou’re given, then you should become a better baker.

Things are not always that simple

Things are not always that simple though, as I recently found out when making a mincemeat tray bake. You are supposed to put flour, sugar and a few other ingredients [I forget what!] into a food processor. The aim is for you to wizz the ingredients in the food processor until they reach a bread crumb-like consistency. The trouble with this is that it’s quite hard not to over-do things. Needless to say that on a few occasions, ok, all of the occasions I have tried to make this tray bake, I have wizzed the food just a little too much.

It’s really hard to tell when the ingredients are bread crumb-like, as one minute they’re just a pile of ingredients, and the next they seem to be all mashed together. I guess after a few more practices, I will be able to get it right, but in the mean time I will have to eat the mincemeat tray bake that hasn’tturned out quite right. It still tastes good though, so it’s not too much of a travesty!

Keep practising!

I guess that these types of television shows can make you a better baker, but only if you keep practising. No-one is going to bake the perfect cake or whatever, straight away, or every single time. If you do follow the advice that these baking shows give you, then you’re bound to improve, but the secret is ultimately, to follow the instructions and keep practising.

A few words of advice

Make sure that before you start baking, you have all of the ingredients that you need. Don’t make the mistake of getting half way through the list of ingredients, only to find that you don’t have everything in stock.

Another thing that I feel the need to mention is that you don’t have to have top quality equipment to bake with. I know baking shows use expensive equipment, but you really don’t need to. Buy cheaper Jamie Oliver knives, a cheaper food processor, and don’t try to afford that massive oven that they bake in. What matters most is what you do when you’re baking, not what equipment you use. Technique is a lot more important than having a swanky new oven, and gleaming mixing bowls.

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