Forms of Capital, Marketing and Consumerism - Paper Example

Published: 2022-12-12
Forms of Capital, Marketing and Consumerism - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Advertising Marketing Capitalism Sociology Consumerism Karl Marx
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1285 words
11 min read

Question 1: Durkheim, Marx and Weber Contribution to Sociology.

Sociology is the study of society which involves an understanding of different cultural, social interaction and social relationships patterns that exist within the society. Durkheim, Marx, and Weber played a significant role in producing foundational sociology concepts which have shaped the development of sociological knowledge (Stolley, 2005). Max Weber iron cage is one of the defining concepts of sociology which dissects the role of technology and economy in a capitalist production which shapes the overall world view of the people in such a society (Stolley, 2005). Due to technology and economic advancements, the capitalist production features the division of labor and a hierarchical social structure that all members born in such as society have to adapt to them which hinders their overall society.

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Durkheim advanced on the theory of functionalism which argues that the society is made of different interrelated parts that work together and in case of a slight change in one part the rest of the society is affected (Stolley, 2005). For instance, the administration and family units are interrelated parts of society. The family brings up children and pays taxes which are used by the government to provide services to the people such as education. In this case, the family and the government are interlinked and dependent on each other. Lastly, Karl Marx advanced the conflict theory which defines the conflict between workers and the rulers which are a system that keeps the wealthy in power and the poor as the subjects which protect the upper class in the society (Stolley, 2005).

Question 2: Wright Mills and Peter Berger Understanding and Contribution to Sociology.

According to Mills, sociological imagination is an approach to think critically regarding social issues in terms of how they interact with each other (Stolley, 2005). Sociological imagination requires one to be able to separate oneself from a situation and establish alternative thinking points or point of view which is critical in developing sociological perspectives and analyzing social life patterns (Stolley, 2005). For instance, the act of holding parties from a sociological imagination can be viewed as an avenue to facilitate social interactions and bonding for people who are related instead of just the experience of the festivity. On the other hand, Peter Berger contribution to sociology can be identified through the idea "seeing through," a sociological perspective similar to Mill's sociological imagination (Stolley, 2005). Berger perspective seeks to elicit critical sociological thinking by being able to discern specific behavioral patterns to establish new understanding (Stolley, 2005). For instance, in relationships, one should be able to discern the sociological forces behind spouse choices apart from the love which are shaped by different sociological aspects such as class, age, race, and even race.

Question 3: Consumerism and Advertising Role in Perpetuating Consumerism.

Consumerism involves the consumption of goods and services in vast quantities which is the basis of the social and economic order in favor of economic growth. A consumerist society is based on the notion that the consumption of goods and services is good and people center happiness through consumption and possession of goods (Abela, 2006). Advertisements are vital to encouraging and furthering a consumerist culture by creating convincing information on goods and services which is aimed at appealing for consumers (Niazi, Siddiqui, Alishah, & Hunjra, 2012).

Advertising creates desires which direct product information to particular people through targeting making it easy to appeal to consumerism. Social media such as Facebook today are used as tools for promoting consumerism by creating a culture of followership and trends in terms of fashion, travel, and other products which people identify with when their idols in Facebook and other social media platforms are associated with them. Marketing has been found to propagate consumerism which shapes people preferences by presenting product information to consumers (Niazi et al., 2012).

Question 4: Social and Cultural Capital.

Social capital refers to the networking relationships within an individual's social network such as classmates and family social networks and the benefits associated with such links. This refers to the privileges associated with membership to a particular group based on the material or symbolic exchanges within such a group (Bourdieu, 2011). The volume of social capital is dependent on the size of one's social network and involves continuous exchanges between people in a conventional system such as family members. On the other hand, cultural capital refers to one's accumulated knowledge and cultural capital is related to education and intelligence which is an indication of one's cultural competence and social standing (Bourdieu, 2011). Cultural capital is used to amass respect and reinforce class differences because people from different classes have varying access to sources of knowledge depending on class, gender, sexuality, religion, and nationality.

The material objects can objectify cultural capital one can access that can translate to one's knowledge such as books, jobs, accessories, food and durable goods. People from privileged backgrounds have greater access to social and cultural capital which they use to navigate through life with ease compare to the poor (Bourdieu, 2011). For instance, people from privileged backgrounds can further the differences in social classes by being able to attend prestigious educational institutions and being nominated in high community positions which is an example of social and cultural capital which can beget them economic and political privileges compared to the peasants.

Question 5: Social Stratification Constitution and Reproduction According to Wright Mills and William Domhoff.

Social stratification refers to the social differentiation into distinct social groups based on position, income, social status and wealth. Stratification is constituted from an individual social position according to Wright Mills, and in the modern society, stratification has been constituted into three significant classes which include the upper class, middle class and the lower class (Kerbo, 2000). Further, Mills argues that stratification is produced by the social inequalities which result in the existence of a power elite who are a privileged class. On the other hand, William Domhoff holds that social stratification is created through economic power which has been facilitated by the capitalism system resulting in the rise of an elite group of wealthy individuals who can sway the decisions of others in the society (Domhoff, 2005).

Corporations are the significant sources of power through wealth which gives the upper class controlling them the ability to control and influence government policies. In Davis and Moore theory, social stratifications are viewed from a functional view with people with high talents and skills being able to wield important positions than others which creates a labor-based social stratification model based on skills and benefits attached to different positions such as respect, comfort, and sustenance (Kerbo, 2000). Further, Parsons functional theory of social stratification notes that honor and status are critical social stratification dimensions as opposed to power over corporations and economic inequalities by Mills and Domhoff (Kerbo, 2000).


Abela, A. V. (2006). Marketing and consumerism: A response to O'Shaughnessy and O'Shaughnessy. European Journal of Marketing, 40(1/2), 5-16. Retrieved from

Bourdieu, P. (2011). The forms of capital. (1986). Cultural Theory: An Anthology, 1, 81-93. Retrieved from

Domhoff, G. W. (2005). The class-domination theory of power. Who Rules America. Retrieved from

Kerbo, H. R. (2000). Social stratification and inequality: Class conflict in historical, comparative, and global perspective. Boston: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from

Niazi, G. S. K., Siddiqui, J., Alishah, B., & Hunjra, A. I. (2012). Effective advertising and its influence on consumer buying behavior. Information management and business review, 4(3), 114-119. Retrieved from

Stolley, K. S. (2005). The basics of sociology. Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved from

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