Nathan R – Final Quiz

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

Hi All,

Your 5th and last quiz will take place here on the blog. I simply want you you write a few reflections on the class as a whole, including:

1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.

2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.

3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.

4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).

This kind of more specific feedback will help me if I teach this class again.


Please post your quiz answer as a comment to this post.

Due by the last class next week for full marks.


  1. Michelle Bakelaar says:

    1. My favorite reading would have to be Fiske’s “Shopping for Pleasure: Malls, Power and Resistance” on pgs 306-328. I enjoyed this reading because it allowed me to look at malls from a whole different perspective. I had never really thought much about it until after reading this article and reflecting on my shopping practices. Now whenever I visit the mall I am reminded of this article, so it definitely had an impact on me.

    2. My favorite topic would have to be when we looked at gender and sex, and toys. I enjoyed this because I found it very easy to relate to, and I enjoyed reflecting on the past and how I was brought up. I liked learning about how gender and sex are depicted in our society.

    3. Other topics that I wished we covered would include more information on children as consumers and how they are advertised to. Another topic that would have been interesting in our society today would be military spending.

    4. I really liked the structure of this course. Having pop quizzes and short writings allowed me to focus on my readings. The readings for this class were always top priority on my readings list. I liked how this was more of a discussion type class, rather than jotting notes to be tested on. I felt as if I learned more because I was engaged and interested in what I was learning. Having attendance in the class was a good idea, and I made sure that I attended class.

    Overall I felt like this was a really good class and I am glad that I took it.

    Michelle Bakelaar

  2. Michelle Almeida says:

    1. My favourite reading was Janice Radway’s on reading romance novels, particularly because I enjoy reading and learning about feminist critiques. In addition I took Women and popular culture last semester and while we discussed Radway’s theories we never actually read her paper, I found it very interesting to read the paper while being aware of her unoptimistic background on popular culture. My least favourite reading was definately Marx, I had to read it a few times over and was still unsure of what he was trying to explain.

    2. My favourite topic was the section on children and toys. I find it very interesting how toys have changed in so many ways since we were young. I took children, toys and media as well last year, and always find it interesting when I read critiques on children’s toys as it usually brings up issues that I had never before thought of.

    3. It would have been interesting to cover some topics about consumerism related to our age bracket. I found we focused alot on the tween market, children and older adults but didn’t really talk about our consumption patterns.

    4. I loved the structure of this class. It gave me a break from all of the midterms I had and I enjoyed writing four mini papers rather than a couple big ones. The blog was a bit time consuming, I wish we had the option to only have to participate in the blog for 10 out of the 12 weeks or something like that, as some weeks were so busy for me. Besides that I love having no final and attendance and participation marks motivate us to come to class, do the readings, and participate.

  3. Faiza Minhas says:

    1. My favourite reading was the most recent one by Duane Elgin: “Voluntary Simplicity and The New Global Challenge”. Apart from being a simple, easy to understand read, it seemed to have brought many concepts together that we talked about earlier. I personally found Elgin’s article to be illustrating the reasons as to why we should think about consumerism and overconsumption, etc. My least favourite reading in this book was “The Fetishism of The Commodity..” by Karl Marx, simply because it was difficult to comprehend.

    2. I thoroughly enjoyed the topic of Shopping and malls, especially because we were given a chance to connect our course material to personal experiences and observations. Prior to this, I had never realized some important aspects of shopping, malls, consumer habits and selling strategies.

    3. I feel that it would have been interesting to analyze and compare various cultural differences in consumption habits, or to see whether consumerism is the same worldwide.

    4. The best part about this class was the level of interaction we were able to engage in. Whether it was class discussions, quizzes, assignments or blog posts, we were able to connect the assigned readings to our own examples/thoughts, discuss and share ideas to help us understand the material better as a class. A lot of the times I felt that because of class discussions, I was able to understand the required readings much better. Hence, the interactive class structure really helped me learn a lot more than a typical lecture style course would have. Taking attendance is a great way to encourage students to come to all the classes.

    I really enjoyed being a part of this class and having learned about very interesting, yet relevant and important topics.

    Thank you, Dr. Nathan R 🙂

  4. Kayla Kempkes says:

    1. My favourite reading was the Fiske reading because it was easy to read and while reading through it I was able to use examples from my own life to fully understand it. My least favourite reading was Marx as it was difficult to understand.

    2. My favourite topic was either children and toys or when we talked about culture jamming because both topics revealed new ideas that I hadn’t thought about before.

    3. Things that would be interesting to cover would be more about children’s advertising because the way children are advertised to is different.

    4. I really enjoyed the short writings as they forced me to keep up with the readings. Along with the readings I also enjoyed how it was a more discussion based class rather than all lectures. Attendance was a great way to ensure I came to class. The blog is a bit time consuming every week an idea could be to allow people to participate on the blog a small number of times like the short writings instead of every week.

  5. ct340blog says:


    1. My favourite reading was DuCille’s black barbie article. I liked this article because I could relate to the experiences from my own childhood, giving the topic a special relevance to me. Also, the idea of racism and stereotyping is so prominent in society today that I think the article is important in educating parents on the dangers of toys teaching these issues to children. Children play such an important role in society and the consumerism industry and it is important to recognize and deal with the impact of those things on the children as well.

    2. My favourite topic was culture jamming. I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea to use the advertising industry’s own ads against them in a ploy to sell anti-consumerism. I really enjoyed seeing all the ads picked by both Nathan and students in the class. Ads are so dominant in society and it is important to recognize that their purpose is to sell their products by whatever means necessary.

    3. One topic I would have liked to cover in relation to consumerism would be hoarding. I think hoarders are a prime example of how consumer society entices us to purchase things to constantly replace those that we already have and to buy things we don’t actually need. It is because of the society we live in and are raised in that we are a society of buyers and hoarders (even in the smallest ways). Watching one of the “hoarders” shows from TLC would have been an interesting aspect to include.

    4. One thing I definitely liked about the course is not having a final exam. The end of the terms is always so full with many exams that is is a nice break. A Midterm could have been included in the structure of the course, or left out, it didn’t really matter to me either way. The short writings were an easy way to get your marks instead of a test or exam. However, I know you were trying to give us choice in topics, but maybe next time select 4 (or 5 ) classes that we are required to produce a piece for. That way, you won’t get so many papers being handed in right at the end of the semester, leaving us to wait for our marks as you get through the papers. I don’t mind having attendance marks, and I felt you were really good about excusing us from class as well (for appointments, etc.). The one part of the course I did not like was the large portion of the mark left for participation and blogging. For me, being able to get my marks through EITHER the blog OR class discussion would have been preferred because i don’t particularly like speaking in class. Overall, you made the class interesting through clips, movies and pictures and because you didn’t do a final exam, it didn’t bother me to just have lecture and no power point. Well done 🙂

  6. Nikole Blume says:

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    My favorite reading was the Bordo article “ Hunger as Ideogoly” . This is because it was both easy and relatable to read. We see images like this in the media all the time, and this article i believe does a good job at breaking down its functions (how, what, where, why).
    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
    There were many topics that I found interesting, mostly however the toys and children topic. This is possibly because I plan on teaching or at least working with children in the future, but also because it shows just how far our consumer habits have gone – to impact our children and their development. I found the discussion really informative and the ideas were well built upon in the class because its something we could all relate to. I also really liked exploring the culture jamming and its imagery. I liked that we were all able to share examples so we could see a huge variety and better understand the concept.
    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    I know that we discussed cost vs. product, but I think it would have been cool to break down actual costs of products we know – piece by piece and perhaps comparing that to the cost if made by a Canadian or American citizen, I feel as though it would have given perspective on labour costs, product cost and social issues.
    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    I enjoyed the free structure of this course. Discussions and activities all seemed to relate and develop in a way that covered the topics but also allowed for growth and a newer depth to be brought up. Questions asked were open ended enough to fully express thoughts and the environment was a positive one which made contributing easier.

  7. ct340blog says:

    1. My favourite reading would have to be the one on “Cool Hunting.” I ejoyed this because it gave me a different perspective on what the trendspotting world is really like. I always amazes me how younger COOL children/teens are oblivous to what is happening when people such as Dee Dee, ask them about what is in.
    My least favourite reading would have to be the Marx one. I felt although I had an understanding of what Marxism was it kind of confused me on a few different aspects.

    2. My favourite topics were the ones based around fashion, trendspotting, etc. because of my background previously. This sort of stuff seems to always interest me.

    3. The topics that it would have been great if we also covered would have to be the different ways in which adults, children etc are advrtised to, whether its based on gender, matial status etc. It would have been nice after talking about the ways in which we consume items, to talk about the why a bit more.

    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    The best part about this class besides the no final exam would be the way in which you allowed our classes to be more like gatherings than lectures. It was insightful to hear everyone else’s ideas on the subject matter. As for the activities, I found the blog to be time consuming. I find myself, just ruching to finish them so I could get on with whatever else i needed to do. I was again nice to see what people talked about but I forgot about doing them until later in the week ontop of everything else I needed to do in my everyday life.
    I mean overall I enjoyed the class and would probably take another class with you given the chance and the subject interested me.

    Thank you for your efforts in the discussions and lectures.

    Amanda Pattison

  8. Stephanie McGill says:

    1. My most favorite reading this semester was “Does Cultural Capital Structure American Consumption?” by Douglas B. Holt. I enjoyed this reading because it made me really step-back and self-evaluate myself. Coming from an academic background in history, I am also always interested in the way people have been constructed through society, and how they classify themselves in terms of social standings. I enjoyed reading about the different definitions of social class, and how the conceptions of social class have changed over time.

    My least favourite reading would have to have been “The Act of Reading the Romance” by Radway. For some reason I just could not get into this reading, and truth be told I never finished it. I think it was because I found the topic quite boring, and did not see how it really correlated with the class. Maybe it is because I too find romance novels to be trashy, and not fine art.

    2. My favourite topic was that of social classes, and more specifically the children who are born into a wealthy family and thus are able to live a life of leisure. One of my favourite classes was when we watched the documentary “Born Rich.” I found it very interesting to see how some of these young adults differed in terms of work ethics. I also found the group discussion to be very beneficial afterward, and enjoyed hearing what my classmates had to say.

    3. I can’t think of any other topics to include, but there are some I would have liked to spend more time on. For example as a teacher candidate I would have liked to have spent more time talking about the last few readings and topics we covered such as DuCille’s reading “Black Barbie and the Deep Play of Difference,” and Gladwell’s “The Coolhunt.” I also found the topics of cultural appropriation and gender & sex to be highly fascinating. These readings and topics showcased the effects of consumerism on children, and the role children and their parents play in consumerism.

    4. Overall I highly enjoyed the class discussions. I find it to be a lot more beneficial to listen and learn from my peers, rather than solely listen to a professor lecture. It also created a very open atmosphere where I felt comfortable to ask questions I normally would not in other classes. I also like how technology was brought into the classroom through the blog. Although I personally have never used a blog other than this one, I found it to be very helpful, especially for my fellow classmates who may not feel comfortable participating in group discussions.

    – Stephanie McGill

  9. ct340blog says:

    Alexei Varakin Quiz # 5

    1. In simplicity alone I have to say Duane Elgin’s article on “Voluntary Simplicity was my favorite to read. It was not an overly complex article and it transitioned from section to section easily
    2. My favorite topic has to be culture jamming, it’s something I have always found interest in, and it’s cool to get some back ground info on the Situationists and other groups. I had fun with it.
    3. I would have liked to cover more topics about the globule effects of consumerism, we as a society have such a large affect on the world, it would be interesting to see trends, how we affect other countries and how they affect us.
    4. I do enjoy that we had a more discussion based class. It does help in engaging the material but I would have like it if we had a test or a final exam for this class. Around this time there are a lot of papers due, any step in reducing how many papers we have to write is a positive one to me.

  10. Kaitlyn Ammerman (091267720) says:

    1.Favourite reading and/or least favourite and why?
    • My favourite reading was “Cool Hunting”. I really liked reading this article because I had no idea that such a thing as cool hunters even existed. It was interesting to see why and how certain things become cool. It was also interesting to reflect on my perceptions of what I think is cool and how cool hunters may play a role in that.

    2.Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why?
    • My favourite topic in the term that I thoroughly enjoyed was on culture jamming. I’ve seen ads before that deconstruct traditional ads by creatively changing the their meanings but I never knew what the exact term was for it, the details of culture jamming or what it means to be a culture jammer. I had a lot of fun looking on the internet for different culture jamming and trying to figure out the different messages they were trying to convey.

    3.Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    • It would have been really interesting to dig deeper into the consumer habits of other countries that have different cultural habits from our own western culture. It would be interesting to compare and contrast those differences and similarities.

    4.Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    • I thoroughly enjoyed the structure of the class because it was very interactive and the topics were very interesting and easy to relate to. I liked that we had mini papers split up during the course rather than one huge assignment at the end. I did prefer the online blog quizzes rather than the pop quizzes, I felt I was able to better demonstrate what I learned when I didn’t have a time restriction. Also, I felt the blog posts were very time consuming and hard for me to do, but this could have been because of my larger course load this term. However, I was extremely pleased and grateful for you being flexible in allowing me to substitute my blog posts with another assignment. Thank you again.

  11. ct340blog says:

    Steven Greathead
    Final quiz
    Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite reading that we looked at in our consumer and identity class was “Culture Jamming” by K. Lasn. This article got me thinking of how we can recognize and change advertisements to go against these giant companies and a government structured world and let the community around us see some of the true things that are going on under these companies and/or government rules. Culture jamming allows one individual to take a stand against those at the top and let everyone in on their secrets that they know. I myself have even become more away of ads and not particularly that ad itself but what the ad is not telling the consumer and in what creative way could the ad be changed to reveal the whole truth of one product. The one article that did not grab my attention was “The Aesthetic sense as the sense of distinction” by P. Bourdieu. I found this very hard to understand based on the way it was writing and how the content was structured.

    Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.

    My favourite topic from this course had to be trends spotting. I found it very interest how we forget about the different things that we use to be into or wear and how through society one or two people are able to change the world’s styles and how people dress and look. It was also interesting viewing the clip about trends spotting, and the amount of work that trend spotters put in to help the markets find what will be the next hot item.

    Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).

    This class was very enjoyable and interesting. The structure of each class was laid out very nicely in the way that you provided time for us as a class to discussion the topic and what we thought about it, and then gave a short lecture that went into the topic a little more deeply. Also tying short films and clips into the class helped me understand the concept in greater detail thanks to the visual aid. The lay out for the class based on grading breaker was something I think every university student wants to see on the first class when they are handed the syllabus. First there was no midterm or final exam which gives each student a sense of relief from the first class. Also the number of assignments was very fair and allowed each individual to write on topics that they felt they were comfortable with and could relate to. If we would have had to write on a topic every week it would have felt more of a task just to write a paper to hand in and we probably would not have taken the time to relate and reflect on the readings as much. The creative idea to use a blog for participation was great, this allowed the students who were not comfortable talking in class to get involved in conversion about the article and develop a greater understand of the material as well as reflect personal connections they had found in the articles. As for the book I felt it was over a very easy reader with short articles that helped understand each week’s topic in great detail.

  12. Darcee Carnes, 090814820 says:

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite reading was on the coolhunt. I thought it was very interesting that advertisers and marketers spend so much of their efforts to find “cool”. It’s fascinating that they try to instil trends to sell their products and take their ideas from the streets. They do not create their own trends, they steal their idea’s from the occurrences already out there and figure out how to brand these ideas in a way that brings them fame and popularity. It was interesting to me because I have found that where I am in life now, and as I grow more into adulthood, what other people wear matters less and less to me, so I feel like this kind of cool hunt and targeting is more for a younger audience. I would love to see what trends cool hunters have discovered more recently and made popular to a wider audience.
    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
    I really enjoyed learning about culture jamming and the reasons behind it. I loved learning about how people have started to actively take part in the media and culture they are bombarded with everyday to change it into something they find acceptable. As a citizen we have no choice but to view ads and I think it’s really interesting when people manipulate these ads to make them more realistic and provide a better picture of what these products are actually doing. I think that some of the more witty changes are awesome because they have real thought put into them and change the world around us to be seen through a more wide lens to help generate more critical analysis of our capitalist and corporate driven world.
    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    Though we covered most topics that I was interested in, I feel like it might have been interesting to look at consumption patterns in relation to holidays or seasons to see how external unchangeable factors are used to marketers advantages to create more spending and purchasing. I think it would be interesting to see if certain products get bought a lot more during changes in weather or the seasons as well.
    3. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    I really enjoyed the class because it allowed opportunity to participate and interact to gain knowledge. I find that when we are actively thinking and evaluating ideas we are learning better and understanding the material with ease as we are able to relate it to our everyday lives and the real world around us that we see all the time.

  13. ct340blog says:

    Colin Drake – Quiz Post

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.

    Favourite reading – is a fifty-fifty between two articles: Bordo’s Hunger as Ideology and Elgin’s Voluntary Simplicity & the New Global Challenge. I choose these two articles because they literally changed the way I look at the world now.

    In Bordo’s article, showing how all these images we consume on a day to day basis is nothing more than a construction of someone else’s ‘ideal’ and how that ‘ideal’ can change the way we see and think about things was very interesting. The lecture that was tied into the Bordo reading that week made reference to Jacques Lacan’s concept of the ideal ‘I’. That was pretty ‘eye’ opening (pardon the pun), and made a huge impression. I no longer compare myself to media representations…I see them for what they really are now…

    Elgin’s article made me stop and think about my life and ask myself – If we have all that we need, why do we seem to always want more? The article also reminded me to think about ‘what really matters’.

    Least favourite reading – Elizabeth Wilson’s Feminism and Fashion.
    Reason – It didn’t have the same impact on me like the other articles did. But still a good read nonetheless.

    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.

    Favorite Topic – Even though they were very esoteric, I really enjoyed reading some of the ‘classic concepts’ articles like Marx’s ‘Fetishism of the Commodity and its Secret, Veblen’s Conspicuous Consumption, Bourdieu, Horkheimer and Adorno etc. You hear about these theorists in text books and articles, and it was really cool to actually read some of this groundbreaking stuff. To then have a great lecture and discussion on it after was enjoyable, and also really helped to solidify these concepts.

    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.

    I wouldn’t change or add anything.

    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).

    I really enjoyed the course. It was nice to have our thoughts and opinions heard in discussions around the readings. Lectures were very interesting, engaging and you were very accessible. If I were to change something in the course, I would place less emphasis on the blog. But other than that, this course was great. Thanks Dr. Nathan 🙂

  14. Katrina K-P says:

    Final Quiz:
    1. My favourite reading would have to be Veblen on consumerism. This article really made me think about my spending habits and how much I am actually wasting. As a student with very little money, this was definitely a good article for the class to read. It was very enlightening.
    2. My favourite topic would have to be Radway on romance novels. I must admit, I love to read romance novels so when I saw this article on the syllabus I was excited. Before I just read romance novels because I liked the bantering between the characters and the happy ending. After reading this article, I now know a little bit more about why I like and read books from the romance genre. It is a form of escape for me…when I am bored or upset, I will go and loose myself in a book for an hour or two.
    3. Though we had covered many topics of interest that relate to consumption, perhaps we could have gotten a bit more into popular culture in relation to movies and music. Looking at why people buy or download cd’s and movies, as well as, why people like certain genres, would have been an interesting class.
    4. Overall, the class was very well put together. The topics kept my interest and there was a pleasant atmosphere which made it easy for me to feel comfortable enough to participate. I also loved that there was no exams:) The blog was a great idea to get people more involved in the class. However, instead of twice a week for full participation marks, maybe do something like once a week or 20 posts overall. I know myself and others would get busy with other school work and sometimes forget to post that week. Good job! Thanks Nathan:)

  15. ct340blog says:

    Alysha C-

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite reading was definitely the Reading on Eating the Other. I am very involved with the Diversity Office here at Laurier, and this was a new way of looking at our practices when it comes to new people in our lives. I loved the writing and I just found it a very interesting read. My least favourite reading would probably be the readings on Shopping. I just felt that there wasn’t too much new here and I didn’t feel that it lead to very interesting and deep dialogue in class. I think it was just a lot of what we have already heard.

    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite topic was Culture Jamming! I think its such a neat practice and takes a lot of intelligence to do well, and we looked at some interesting examples of Jams in class. This can be really drawn out and looked at more in depth because there are so many things we can look at (graffiti, poster modifications, ad modifications, etc.)

    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    More coverage of children in the consumerist culture that we have created. What could be the outcome of the ever more materialistic generation that is being raised in our capitalist society?

    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    I really loved the format of the class. Very free and open to work on what you found interesting, rather than being forced to write about set topics. The discussions were also very open which allowed for ease of speaking up. Your questioning was excellent to get people talking and offering opinions and ideas. I really enjoyed this class! Thanks Nathan!

  16. ct340blog says:

    Reading Quiz #5: Madison Hawkins
    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite reading was Janice A. Radway’s “ The Act of Reading the Romance: Escape and Instruction”. I enjoyed reading Radway’s article as it gave me a new perceptive on romance and insight into the world of why women feel distant from their kids and husbands. This idea that women need to escape from their reality is disturbing. Women are looking for escapes from the people they love and the way they are escaping is through these romance novels. These romance novels are seeping into the real lives of women, making them unsatisfied. Making their husbands and partners not able to live up to the characters in the book. It was interesting to read how little twists on reality are changing the happiness level of so many women. I know that I too find myself watching movies and wishing that my boyfriend would live up to what the character in the movie looks like and does. Women, have this strange addiction to false worlds where everything is perfect. I have always thought of this, but never really had any articles or people to back me up. I really enjoyed reading Radway.
    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
    My least favourite topic was the “coolhunt”. I found it hard to believe that people are being paid top dollar to discover what is cool in the world of teens. Everyday, there are new trends and brands that people buy into. But it doesn’t mean that they are “cool”. By defining something cool, you are taking away from its coolness. Most teens have their own style, of what they feel comfortable in. Yes they may have one or two items that are trendy, but they are not considered cool. I don’t really know why I had such a problem with the coolhunt section. It could be because people are always trying to pry into the world of teens and young adults and make money off them. When in reality, if you tell us one thing we will go the other way.
    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    One topic that I wish we covered was the strong, strange influence of celebrities. I know that we touched upon it briefly in some class discussions, but a more in-depth look would have been interesting. They have this power over society like no other thing I have ever seen. We are so fascinated with their lifestyles and their personal life. It’s scary how these people who are somewhat talented get thrown up on these pedestals. They are no long just simply actors, or singers they are a mass marketed product.
    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).

    I really enjoyed this class. This was by far the best, educational class that I have had so far throughout my three years. You are a great professor that keeps the class interested, and involved. The way you set up your assignments and mark scheme was realistic. This is a class that we can apply to our everyday life. We can understand it, and relate to it. It will be material that will be helpful in everyday real life.

  17. ct340blog says:

    Lindsay Fekete’s Reading Quiz #5
    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite reading was Duane Elgin’s Voluntary Simplicity. His article was perhaps the most insightful article examined in this class. The concept of voluntary simplicity is one that everyone should consider. The magnitude and importance of people living more responsibly and with a sense of purpose could perhaps be the answer to alot of our problems; environmentally, socially, physically, etc. This article made me rethink my way of living and the changes I can bring to the world as one person.
    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite topic was shopping for pleasure. Our out of class assignment was interesting and made an impact on the way I view certain things when I am now out shopping at a mall. There is a lot more than meets the eye.
    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    I think it would have been intereseting to learn more about different cultures all over the world than mainly our own Western culture. I think learning about others helps you learn a lot about your own self and the world we live in.
    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    The layout of the class was a nice change from other classes that we have to listen only to the prof speak for an hour and 20 minutes. Although I am not a person who likes to speak out in class, it was definitely interesting to hear what fellow classmates had to say on the different subjects. Some of the discussion was repetitive, but with such a topic this was to be expected, not sure how that could be changed. All in all, a fun and educational class. Thanks!

  18. Jason Purdy says:

    Jason Purdy – Quiz 5

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.

    Answer: Hands down my favorite reading was “Exploitation”. This allowed me to be able to open my eyes and finally see what the reality behind some of these products are and how they vastly differ from my preconceived notions of how/what I thought was the truth around these objects and the ways we buy-into things. It was quite fascinating and made me want to further read into more in-depth looks of these concepts and ideas found inside the article.

    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.

    Answer: My favorite topic would quite easily be the topic discussed about Toys. This is quite simply the notion that it made us feel like a kid again when we were in class and asked to draw upon our once sought out favorite toy that we played with. It helped us see what kind of toys were out there, as well as show us some toys that helped ‘jog our memory’. Furthermore, this was a great aspect of how to perceive these notions of toys and how they were actually used/marketed to our generation and what companies sought out to achieve.

    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.

    Answer: I think a VERY unique aspect/toipic that would have added VERY MUCH SO to the course would have been the notion of advertising and how it VASTLY differed from each generation/and target audience. Though we spent a little time on it, I feel that having a unique “Gender Distinction in Advertising” course concept/topic would have allowed us to see the very reality that other genders have to face when it comes to ads and how they ultimately make them feel. Also, it could have shown us different perceptions on how we feel about them in relation to our lives, and furthermore, our own unique gender ‘roles’.

    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).

    Answer: I feel that by allowing you the “in-class participation OR course blog” is a great compromise. It allows the people who love to talk and be involved in discussion the ability to do so, with your guidance, and for those who don’t you can use the blog as a means to reach out there and grasp the class via the online database provided. It was a great compromise that I thought really got the job done well. ALSO, to add to the very compromisability (i know its not a word) of you, as the instructor has been. It has given us the ability to hand in our discussion questions whichever week works best for us, and allowing us to have our own freedom to ‘make or break’ us. You are a great prof and I truly appreciate you, and the course you taught us over the term, thanks alot!

    —-> Jason Purdy

  19. ct340blog says:

    Colleen H
    1. My favourite reading from this year would be Susan Bordo’s “Hunger as Ideology.”
    I enjoyed this article because it was an easy read, well organized and had a lot of visuals to refer to while reading. I found it enjoyable because it explained a lot about various things we see in media especially the different ways women and men are portrayed in media.
    2. My favorite topic for this year would be advertising and the culture industry. I thought it was really interesting watching the different advertisements and discussing how we associate with brands and how it affects our culture.
    3. We did cover this in class, but I would have enjoyed it if we discussed more about child consumers. Being in concurrent education, I think it’s so important to understand what sort of pressures children experience when it comes to consuming.
    4. I really enjoyed how this class was set up and it was really helpful that we were able to choose what we wanted to write about. The quizzes we had to complete were easy, straightforward and fun (in regards to the shopping quiz). There was a lot of freedom to discuss many concepts in this class and I enjoyed listening and taking part in classroom discussion.
    It’s been a good semester! Thanks Nathan!

  20. ct340blog says:

    Jessica Laskey
    1. My favourite reading from the course would be Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Coolhunt.” I enjoyed this reading because I always wondered what made things “cool,” and this writing attempted to help me reach an answer. It was interesting to read about how companies interviewed and obtained information from people who they thought were “cool.” Deciphering who started “cool” and how things can become “cool” and then suddenly not be anymore is a concept I am intrigued by.
    2. My favourite topic from the course would be our in class discussion about toys. I felt very involved in the conversation because I knew the toys being addressed and I had experience playing with these toys myself when I was a kid. I found this topic interesting because it seems as though no matter where a person comes from we all have memories of our favourite toys we played with as a child. These memories of toys are easily recollected and interesting to compare with others experiences.
    3. I would have liked to address how different countries view these concepts and if they react differently to consumer culture. Other than this, the course covered everything I would have hoped for.
    4. I really liked the structure of this course because it gave me the opportunity to express my thoughts and opinions on the topics without having to write under a time constraint in a classroom. I appreciated that there was no midterm or final exam because the majority of Laurier courses do have these. I enjoyed writing the four short papers because they were a good length and I was able to choose any topic that interested me. Overall, this was a great course!

  21. 1. My favourite reading from this course was bell hooks, “Eating the Other: Desire and Resistance”. This article was an interesting approach to exploring how ethnicity and culture has become just another commodity. I particularly enjoyed how ethnicity was described as a “spice” to add colour and excitement to mainstream “white” culture. This article got me to think about how culture can be used as a way for companies to make huge profits, considering exotic vacation destinations, “taste” festivals, and other commodities.

    2. My favourite topic over this course was Culture Jamming. This was a fairly new concept to me, and I found it particularly interesting to discuss and read about. As we were reading and talking about different elements of consumerism like conspicuous consumption, materialism, and waste the course was getting a little bit depressing (as it seems like something all encompassing and unavoidable). However, in bringing the topic of Culture Jamming to the table, I was able to see how ordinary people can react and resist the clutches of consumerist society. This topic was light and refreshing, and was definitely very interesting to learn about.

    3. Topics that can be added: We touched on things like antiques, boutiques and the underground in connection to other topics, but I think that these could be things that can be topics on their own in relation to consumerism.

    4. Any other thoughts: Overall, I found this course to be a nice change of pace from the other Contemporary Studies courses I have taken so far. I enjoyed the different ways that our marks came from (not just tests, but from reflections to get us to actually consider what we have learned). I think that by incorporating an interactive blog, and having an open discussion style of class you were successful in engaging students in the course. Thank you for a wonderful term!

  22. Taylor Crozier says:

    Taylor Crozier—Final Quiz Response:

    1. My favourite reading from this course was “The Act of Reading the Romance: Escape and Instruction.” by Janice Radway. For me, this reading was very easy for me to connect and relate too, seeing that I am a female who does enjoy reading romance novels. This reading allowed me to explore why many women indulge in romance novels, and what meanings can come from this hobby.
    2. My favourite topic in this course would have to be on advertising and body image. I was well aware, before being in this course, the negative aspects and messages many advertisers show us through their advertising, but this course allowed me to gain more knowledge on topic and foremost expand my interest in it. The documentary video on young girls we watched in class, not only shocked me, but makes me want to do raise awareness for one’s own individual beauty and how major advertising companies are affecting young girls and boys today.
    3. I think it would have been interesting if we looked into the consumption of various toys, other than Barbie, such as G.I Joe perhaps, and why we are drawn in to consume such toys and what meanings and messages are shown through them.
    4. The structure of the course was great to ensure that students were taking part in the readings throughout the semester by having the 4 reading reflections and the mini quizzes. Although, personally, when it came time to write a final paper for the class, I was slightly disinterested as I felt like I have written lots already for the course. As both the assignments and final paper have different purposes, I understand why they were assigned for the course. In regards to the blog, I feel it was a great tool for us students to share our ideas, opinions and findings that relate to the class. Although, I wish the expectation for participation on this blog was not twice a week (blog post and comment), every week. I feel it would have been better if we got to participate on the blog for like any 6-8 out of the 12 weeks, as it was very time consuming to complete on-top of our many other classes major tasks. The discussions in the classes were very beneficial and engaging, and allowed us to broaden our knowledge on the topics and readings within the course. Overall, the course was great and very interesting!

  23. 1. I would say that my favourite reading was Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception”. I’m not looking for a feel-good, everything will be alright kind of reading when I go into a class expecting to discuss Capitalism, political economy, Democracy, media, and more social-economic studies-related stuff. I want something that will shake me up, make me think about new things, or make me think about old things in new ways. Adorno and Horkheimer manage to do all that, both directly and indirectly. They intend to shake up the system, challenge the way people are thinking. They intend to provide a critique that doesn’t fit with the popular opinion. But in criticizing their critiques, I am able to expose even more issues that exist not only within the subject matter, but in an entirely new subject: that being, elitism. I found it entertaining both to read and to criticize.

    2. My least favourite topic has to be Feminism. Not because I dislike it in theory, but because I dislike it in class. It manages to come up in every class, bar none, and without fail, every time, the class erupts into a fury over women’s rights and misogyny, and no one listens to reason. I’m happy to say that is not what happened in this class (which might be because it’s a third-year course, and so most of the students have had quite enough of that by now). We managed to discuss Feminism in a calm, respectable fashion, and for that, I’m grateful. I spent a lot of time in my years before University, and during, studying Feminism, and I have a pretty strong opinion in its favour, but I’m against the extreme lengths to which people take it these days.

    3. I can’t think of any topics that would be necessary for this course. It covers quite a satisfactory variety as it is, and any more would just be excessive.

    4. I was happy with the layout of the course, and thought that the division of labour was more than fair.

  24. Jenn says:

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    Most of the readings were really interesting and thought-provoking, but if I had to choose one, I would choose Elgin’s Voluntary Simplicity. It was a very clear and thorough read, presenting both sides of the topic and addressing misconceptions many people hold about the “simple life”. I feel like this reading was one of the most applicable to our everyday lives, and it very much put the typical North American lifestyle into perspective. It almost provided a how-to in regards to a life of voluntary simplicity, and I think this can have a very positive effect on students as we are in a very transitional phase of our lives – not only did this reading provide a great theoretical concept, but also presented ideas applicable to real life.

    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
    All of the “Modern Concepts” topics like trendspotting, culture jamming, voluntary simplicity, and green consumerism were my favourite, because although all of the topics we discussed are relevant in one way or another to our lives, I felt the Modern Concepts addressed issues that are the most pressing in our society. It’s good to study the background and theoretical concepts of course, but having the added element of “applied” knowledge makes the course even more valuable in the grand scheme of things.
    My least favourite topic would probably be gleaning – I feel that it was valuable to discuss, but maybe on a smaller scale, like within another topic instead of as a topic of its own.

    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    I think this course has a wide enough scope of material that adding any more topics would be too much – certain topics we covered could be a course in and of themselves, so I wouldn’t add anything more.

    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    I think this course was very well-structured. The short writings and class discussions (both in-class and on the blog) provided a very interactive way of learning about the course topics and made it much more engaging than if we had just been required to read and regurgitate. As a professor, you made the course material challenging yet very interesting and relevant, and made the classroom environment very open and encouraging, which is good for those of us who are on the shy side! Very happy with how this course was taught, and I feel it has been a very valuable addition to my learning for sure! Thank you, Nathan!

  25. Jenn says:

    ^ sorry, that last comment was by Jenn Tomlinson – it didn’t post my last name for some reason!

  26. 1. Lasns article on culture jamming was a great read, it opened my narrow view of the practice and made me develop a deeper understanding of it. It expanded my 2D notion of culture jamming and presented some good insights and practices that can contribute to building a more aware population. Many of the examples Lasn gives in the article seem fairly easy to accomplish.

    2. Advertising was by far my favourite topic, how companies go about advertising to different people and the schemes they come up with to gain more awareness of the subject. Advertising at least in my perspective has always been an unethical prospect. The second a advertiser targets children is in my opinion a unethical business practice. We had seen many instances of that during the coverage of the topic in the course.

    3. Personally there really does not need to be anything else added to the course, there are some topics I would have like to have spent more time on (Advertising and Exploitation) but as the course stands its all good.

    4. There was enough things in this class that made it feel full and yet not to overbearing. The readings had been the right length and the reflections was a good way of implementing marks into a course. Out of all the courses I have taken over the years this one has been one of the best and contributed towards my learning that others could not.

  27. Chantal Matteson says:

    1. My favourite reading is “Shopping for Pleasure: Malls, Power and Resistance” by Fiske. By working in retail it has allowed me to make many connections to the type of shoppers that enter my store. I can pick up on cues that allow me to enhance the experience of the customers and to also leave alone because they are just playing dress up.
    2. My favourite topic was talking about the privileges that young children have now. They are granted many luxuries in life that are not necessary, such as 10 year old having laptops or surround sound, etc… This type of luxury grants freedom in children too young of age and makes them grow up too quickly. I enjoyed this topic because I have noticed this happening in children at an ever-growing rate.
    3. I wish we would have covered the idea of hoarding and purchasing for no reason. Bringing a psychological component would have been nice and to talk about why people cannot let go of unnecessary items or why they buy things because they are on sale.
    4. I believe it would have been nice to include a group lecture or project as a final component of the course. A debate would have also been nice to encourage learning on topics, as we have has many discussions in the class. Otherwise, it was nice not having any midterms or tests to allow for a collaborative learning experience rather than pure memorization.

  28. ct340blog says:

    It is difficult for me to choose a favourite reading because I feel like most of them were pretty outdated. I understand that new research on the topic of consumerism is not always available in abundance, but maybe a series of online readings would be more current. However, the video presentations were very effective, and the reading about the “New Rag Trade” was an eye opener.

    It is difficult for me to pick a favourtie topic, because most of the material was very interesting. I did particularly enjoy discussing our favourite childhood toys, because it made us realize how frivolous those things really are. Granted they afford us cherished childhood memories, but I don’t know a university student alive who wouldn’t trade all their legos for tuition.

    The course already covered pretty much all the bases. The only topic that I would have liked to talk more about would be the origins and effects of capitalism. Simply because I feel like capitalism is one of the major factors behind consumerism. However, capitalism is already covered extensively in a few other courses at laurier, so perhaps it does not need so much attention in CT340.

    Overall the course was great. The discussions were always good and the classroom is much more effective when the students are engaged in the conversation. It is also very refreshing to have an instructor that shows a genuine interest in the conversation and the subject matter. The only change I would make is the blog, because the format is so tedious. Only minutes ago I accidentally cancelled this exact post, my fault ofcourse, but I’m still bitter.

    Kyle Lavoie

  29. ct340blog says:

    My favourite reading was Fiske’s “Shopping for Pleasure”. Having previous experience as a security guard for a mall, I was able to relate a lot of aspects from this reading to my observations as a non-consumer such as seeing the mall walkers and window shoppers who are not necessarily making any purchases. Since I was able to relate this reading to my own previous experience, both as an observer and a participant in the consumer culture as a female shopper, I was able to understand and enjoy this reading more so than the rest.

    My favourite topic that we have discussed was on culture jamming. I have never heard of the term ‘culture jamming’ until reading Lasn’s article on the topic, but I have definitely seen these creative types of awareness ads before. Discussing these ads was not only informative, but also fun to learn about in class, especially when we looked at deconstructed the different images members of the class have posted. The culture jamming quiz was also enjoyable such that it was fun looking at and interpreting the different messages conveyed through the ads we had to post on the blog.

    Something that we could have spent some time on is the idea of children as consumers. It would have been interesting to discuss how children are advertised to as well as how advertisers make their money off of children, other than using Barbie as an example in DuCille’s Toy Theory reading.

    I thought the course was great overall! Something that could have been done differently was the requirement for two blog posts a week. I found it hard to keep up with these blog posts especially since there are a lot of other papers, assignments and other things going on at the same time. Other than that, I think that this class was great! The discussions were engaging and interesting, the readings were not too long and the reflections were just the right length. Thanks for a fun and engaging class!

    Amelia Laparan

  30. ct340blog says:

    1. My favourite reading was one our first readings, “The Act of Reading the Romance: Escape and Instruction” by Janice Radway. I felt this article was a very easy read and introduced me to a concept I was completely unaware about. Although the idea of escaping into a romance novel is very easy to understand, the fact that Radway expanded on this saying that it also acts as an escape from reality, in particular from their husbands, was something I had never thought much about. The idea that many husbands shared the same feeling of being threatened by their wives reading romance novels was also something I had never thought about before.

    2. My least favourite topic was the last discussion of gleaning. Although it is a concept that makes sense and should be practiced, it was not very entertaining to me, as agricultural and farming is not something I am particularly interested in.

    3. I very much enjoyed our topic of advertising and wish we went more in depth with the tactics they use. I had thought advertisment would be a core issue in this consumerism class and would have enjoyed a greater focus on this topic.

    4. Overall, it was a very interesting and intriguing class! I really liked how we were able to do our short reflection papers any time throughout the year, allowing us to chose which week worked best for us. The only thing I would change is the blog. Although the idea is interesting and allows us to move away from the typical essay writing format, I would have rather have seen a substitute in the course outline. If we had to make an advertisement for something incorporating the tools discussed in readings, or some other type of hands on project, it could have potentially been more interesting.
    -Kelly Thomson

  31. Graeme Gordon says:

    1. I had many favourite reads, but if I was to have to choose on it would be “Voluntary Simplicity and the New Global Challenge” by Duane Elgin. I found the article enlightening on guiding me in realizing that it is still possible to live a more meaningful life than simply the end goal of acquiring things, even though we live in a world that this is the primary objective expressed in society. The clearing of the misconceptions that the simple life is synonymous with being anti-capitalist and anti-progressive was empowering because it showed me that it is actually a more progressive lifestyle.
    There was not any reading that I found irrelevant, the only problem I had is that the articles are all over a decade old. It would be nice to get some more recent content to help with contextualizing present day issues, although the issues in the articles are still very relevant today.

    2. I found the gleaning topic was overdone. The practice of individuals picking and gleaning their own food has been obsolete for the majority of the worlds population for at least a century. I did not see the great importance of it as a modern day issue, other than the fact that we are divorced from the process of the production of our food. A more interesting study on food in modern day society would be the documentary Food INC, which would give students a broader knowledge on the mass-production of food under conglomerates that was missed in the gleaning lesson.

    3. I think that more coverage on how the third-world has been negatively affected by first world, capitalist imperialism would be beneficial. I feel like the course focused too much on the lives of the North American consumer and not enough on the global side-effects of our actions. Although many of the articles did briefly touch on externalities, I think an entire lecture could be devoted to the issue because it is such a major problem with modern-day capitalism, where the true cost of a product is not factored in the actual price and that this results in heavy environmental burden for all of us.

    4. I liked the lecture structure for the most part. I would have liked the discussions to have stayed more focused on actual writings though. Too many times I felt like we were getting way off track, completely forgetting what the authors were telling us about a certain issue. Although in a course of this nature it is easy to get easily derailed, I think that questions posed to the classroom could have been more refined to ensure more acute answers.

    Although my track record for the blog has been horrendous, I think that it was a great way to get students interacting with one another. In a classroom it is difficult for this dialogue to occur, but when someone is able to write in the comfort of their own home and are also able to think and reflect before posting and responding to posts I find that the conversation is much more rich. I think that more classes should incorporate blogs and online discussions in the future.

    Overall I was pleased with this class and I feel that I have become a more conscious and conscientious consumer because of it.

  32. ct340blog says:

    1. For me I would have to say that Fiske’s reading was my favourite, though it shed some light on my heavy consumer practices and also that I probably spend way to much time in shopping malls. My least favourite reading would have to have been Marx but that is only because I found it to be quite dense material and hard to understand at times.

    2. My favourite topic would have had to been Gleaning. That was a new concept for me and I think it is a wonderful practice. Having people give away goods that they worked hard to produce for free to those less fortunate is a great cause.

    3. I am not really sure of other topics that could be covered in this class because I didn’t really understand the pattern of topics very well. I came to class and read what needed to be read so I’m not sure what else to cover.

    4. I feel that the structure of the course as a whole is good, the assignments worked well with one another – as long as you kept up with them. Maybe having powerpoint slides of the key points or writing them on the board (legibly) would be good as I felt lost sometimes during your lecturing scrambling to write down everything you said. Might have just been difficult for me because I didn’t comprehend must of the discussion. Overall though the way you taught the class was intriguing.

    Tiara Price

  33. Lewis Wood says:

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    Throughout this course we have read many articles discussing consumer capitalism and its flaws. The readings have been diverse, covering topics ranging from Commodity Fetishism to the Coolhunter. The latter was my favourite reading. Gladwell examines the profession of the Coolhunter, which I find fascinating. The very existence of this as a career highlights the very non existence of cool in the first place, furthermore I find it amusing that corporations are so out of touch with people that they have to hire people to discover a subjective notion. Coolhunters were in the cool crowd through highschool and mistaking this for a qualification, they think themselves pioneers, with a responsibility to educate the uncool masses on its meaning.
    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why
    I enjoyed discussing the fake aspects of our society, as cynical as this sounds. Things like Lady Gaga and manipulation of information. These topics share the truth behind our culture, consumerism seeks to take advantage and cheapen not improve life. Therefore I enjoyed discussing these topics; they showed us the truth instead of just what the corporation wants us to see.
    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    Continuing on from the last question, topics that show what is really going on behind the scenes, the parts corporations would disguise with clever word play are the important ones. The mainstream media and the garbage it throws at us, music, art, movies that they would be considered good because there is nothing better on show, just cheaply made mass manufactured garbage. Topics that entice cynicism in relation to consumerism and mass media are beneficial to us because they teach us to look beyond what we are told and to perhaps demand a higher quality of product.
    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    On the whole the course was interesting, I enjoyed coming to class and listening to others opinions on consumerist values. Seeing the divide between those who are willing to believe the advertisements and corporations in comparison to those like myself who question whatever they say.

  34. ct340blog says:

    1. My favourite reading was “Towards a New Politics of Consumption” by Juliet B. Schor. This was my favourite reading because I think it truly showed what our societies consumer practices are doing to our ability to provide an adequate lifestyle. People purchase thing they do not need because they want to live a life of luxury even though they do not need it and these practices put them even further in debt.
    2. One of the topics I really enjoyed was culture jamming. I really found how the advertisements were changed very interesting. Seeing the changed catch phrases or how the pictures were changed to go against the product was very entertaining yet informative. I think it is a very good way to build awareness about products and companies so people do not blindly follow what companies want them to believe.
    3. I think it would have been good if we covered more about the third world and how our capitalist society affects them as well. More content on sweatshops instead of a focus on our society and how it affects us.
    4. I didn’t really like the blog aspect, it is a good idea for those who do not like participating in class but I felt I always forgot about it with my other courses, assignments and mandatory readings. I did however like the different articles that we read, they were very informative and excellent for the course.

    Amanda Clark

  35. ct340blog says:

    Jennifer St. John (Final Quiz) Reflection

    1. My favourite reading from the course was “Voluntary Simplicity and the New Global Challenge” because it’s about living purposefully and consciously, and the importance of recognizing what really matters in life. I am a strong advocate for making ethical choices that aren’t going to harm others or the world.
    2.My favourite topic that was discussed throughout the course was “Conspicuous Consumption”. It really caused me to reflect on our society in general, and how people are so obsessed with acquiring material goods as a way to acheive fulfillment or to reflect a certain social status.
    3.A topic that would have been great would have been the environmental damages( particularily in 3rd world countries where most of Northa American production occurs) that our consumer driven global society has caused.
    4.I really liked the option of the Blog, as I don’t normally enjoy voicing opinions in class. I enjoyed listening to other classmate’s ideas and opinions in class, however sometimes it felt like things tended to go off topic. Oddly enough, I would have enjoyed a little more lecturing. The short reflections were a great way to get us to really engage in the course material.

  36. ct340blog says:

    Graeme Arbuthnot – Final Quiz

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite reading was The Coolhunt by Malcolm Gladwell, simply because his writing style is so easy to enjoy. His narratives are rather informal while still coming off as professional and well-thought-out. It was one of the few readings that was not bogged down by thick terminology and run-on sentences that had to be unpacked at every period.

    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite topic was culture jamming. This is something I’ve been interested in since I first saw Banksy’s street art and I was very glad that we got to talk about it in class and the writings.

    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    I think the course could have benefited from touching more on the relationships of the global market. The WTO and NAFTA are interesting subjects to cover when thinking about consumerism and world trade.

    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    I enjoyed the writing assignments, they were a good way to stay connected to the course material throughout the semester. I also really enjoyed the lecture and discussion style of the classes. Some of the best ideas were brought up in open discussion in the lecture hall.

  37. ct340blog says:

    Favorite reading/topic: gleaning topic. It was interesting to see that it still existed, and the video in France was interesting as well (other than that odd lady)
    I agreed with the girl in class as well, hoarding would have been a great topic to cover! As well as more on hauling.

    Natalie dicecca

  38. ct340blog says:

    Chris Fournier- Final Reading Quiz

    1.My favorite reading is hard to choose from seeing as the readings have been diverse, covering topics ranging from Commodity Fetishism to the Coolhunter, which had to have been my favourite. Gladwell examines the profession of the Coolhunter, which I find fascinating. The very existence of this as a career highlights the very non existence of cool in the first place, furthermore I find it amusing that corporations are so out of touch with people that they have to hire people to discover a subjective notion. Coolhunters were in the cool crowd through highschool and mistaking this for a qualification, they think themselves pioneers, with a responsibility to educate the uncool masses on its meaning.
    2.My favourite topic that was discussed throughout the course was “Conspicuous Consumption”. It really caused me to reflect on our society in general, and how people are so obsessed with acquiring material goods as a way to acheive fulfillment or to reflect a certain social status.
    3. I am not really sure of other topics that could be covered in this class besides possibly including more information on how the various new technologies help our fast paced society continue to be mass consumers and how they not only positively effect society, but negatively as well. other than this I believe this class covered everything I expected it to.

    4. I feel that the structure of the course as a whole is very good, and the assignments worked well with the overall pattern of the course. I would suggest maybe having powerpoint slides of the key points or writing them on the board as I felt confused sometimes during your lecturing hurrying to write everything down. i really enjoyed the fact that even if i did happen to miss notes, we were able to come back onto the blog and check for further information. Overall, I believe this class greatly contributed to my learning, and I loved the structure

  39. ct340blog says:

    Shawn Reinhart- Final Reading Quiz

    1. When considering my favourite reading, i would have to say it was John Fiske’s piece on shopping malls. It was really interesting to go into depth about the phenomenon that is shopping malls, and how they work. My least favourite reading had to be the Marx article, as many others have previously stated. The nature of the writing made it difficult to understand, and therefore hard to develop an opinion on.

    2. My favourite topic discussed in class was culture jamming. It was extremely interesting to learn about something that i had seen before, yet didn’t fully understand it.

    3. In terms of covering other topics, i would have enjoyed focusing on the human aspect of consumerism more. That being said, i still thoroughly enjoyed the breakdown of material.

    4. I enjoyed the structure of the course, and thought it complimented my learning well. The final reflection paper was an extremely enjoyable wrap up of the course.

    Shawn Reinhart

  40. ct340blog says:

    Catherine Polak – Final Quiz
    My favourite reading was Shopping For Pleasure: Malls, Power, and Resistance by John Fiske. I liked how this article presented us with two contradicting views; how consumption is able to empower women, but at the same time disempower them. My favourite topic was feminist writing on consumerism and the fact that there are many ways to make consumerism better. McRobbie mentioned exposing exploitation. A topic that would have been good to cover would be the enviornmental costs due to consumerism. This course was different from most of my classes. You did a good job keeping the class engaged through open class discussions. I enjoyed doing the critical analysis, however, i would have preferred one critical analysis to be due every few weeks. Lastly, I would recommend atleast one test worth 15%. Overall I enjoyed this class and have acquired an interest in the ramifications of consumerism.

  41. 1. I had a lot of favourite readings for this class. My three favourites would have to be Hunger as an Ideology, The Sexual Sell and Eating the Other. I find myself very passionate about certain feminist issues and portrayals of women in advertisements, so I was able to identify especially with these. The sexualization of almost every object we buy it absolutely outrageous and i think it always deserves to be talked about. Hunger as an Ideology really touched me because it is definitely taught that little girls will go nowhere in life, not find their princes and not have any friends if they are not skinny little princesses. Though their weight will not effect this, the mental state will definitely cause this to be true. Finally, I enjoyed Eating the Other because I find that we often do not realize how offensive our actions or imitations can be. I see no harm in the practice of yoga, but dressing as “A Mexican” for Hallowe’en or ‘dancing like Harlem’ can definitely encourage stereotypes and hurt a lot of people.

    2. Again, my favourite topic is definitely Sexism and Racism in Advertising. I find that most people are aware of the bias in the advertising industry, but they rarely realize the extent. For example, the ‘passive’ female objects can sometimes be seen in positions that imply violence or rape.

    3. Culture Jamming is a topic that we covered, but only briefly with examples. I would have enjoyed more class discussion on Culture Jamming and maybe an activity in which we would create our own examples.

    4. Overall, I thought it was a great class. The discussions made it easy for me to participate and I really liked that our marks were made up of many small grades (reading assignments, blog, participation and quizzes) instead of 2 large exams, for example. I loved that participation was encouraged because it made me feel more comfortable in the classroom and more excited to share my opinions.

    Thank you!

  42. Jessica Mitra says:

    My favorite reading was Bordo’s “Hunger as Ideology”. I read this piece over a couple times and actually made reference to it for a paper in another class. I found the visual examples interesting and enjoyed studying consumption in mainstream advertising as well as the emotional meanings invested when eating food.

    My favourite topic that we covered was culture jamming. I think it is an important concept to study as comm majors. It has also made me a more aware and conscious consumer.

    I think the topics we covered were great and would not change anything. I would have liked to have a creative project for this class, like designing our advertisements.

    I thought the layout for this course was overall very organized. I think having a course blog was a great way to encourage participation and allowed the class to share their ideas in an organized way – we could make comments and see other people’s ideas. I enjoyed the lecture style and the required short writings, which made you do your readings. I like how reading and writing were encouraged in this class and it allowed me to be able to contribute more in lecture.

  43. cs341blog says:

    1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
    My favourite readings were on Warner and Bourdieu because they were talking about interesting things happening in our lives to this day.The ideology behind whether or not cultural capital structures our North American way of consumption. What one consumes, how one consumes or the reasons why one chooses to consume A over B also differentiates a person from being a part of a particular social class. Older arguments went along the lines of, how much one consumed being the determinant factor of a person belonging to a particular social class. Both Warner and Bourdieu believe that the ways in which a person consumes differentiates them from being in the low cultural capital (LCC) vs the high cultural capital (HCC) category. I learned Warner’s point of view on consumption: that a person is accepted into a social class on different criteria such as wealth, but also morals, culture and daily activities, because he argues the same ‘kinds’ of people like doing the same kinds of things. Which I found interesting. I basically learned a lot from these readings.

    2. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why
    Favourite topic was the week we talked about the pleasures behind shopping, it made me question how much I’ve become a consumer and how I go to the mall more than a regular person should. And I didn’t have a least favourite topic, they were all really interesting. I really also enjoyed the readings on the coolhunt because it was interesting to see how companies like Converse hire a team and how marketing hires people to get data in order to please their likes and sell them products.

    3. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
    -Maybe look at companies today, analyze why they’ve become so successful and the reasons behind their decision making. Look at how some companies have had to make come backs like Tylenol and oil spill companies…
    4. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
    Maybe to have a project of coming up with a product and having to create an ad/marketing campaign for it. To really see the process that goes into advertising and implement the strategies and the critical perspectives we’ve learned through readings.

  44. cs341blog says:

    1. My favourite reading from this course has been Thornstein Veblen’s “Conspicuous Consumption” on pages 187-204. This reading is particularly relevant to our digital culture with the advent of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where people notoriously display images and status updates about their designer purchases. There is an obvious shift in priorities demonstrated on these sites whereby, the accumulation of expensive products and services is more important than actual needs. These social media sites provide a platform in which people can flaunt these purchases. Therefore, I felt that this reading was easy to apply to my generation of social media users.

    2. The topic I enjoyed talking about in class the most is ‘mall culture’. This topic was interesting as it shed some light on a different kind of shopper that is becoming more prevalent in recent years, that being the “window shopper” or the mall roamer. I must admit I relate to this category of shoppers, as I often find myself going to a shopping with with no real intention to purchase anything, but either to catch up with friends or look at the new trends being advertised in the store windows. This was definitely my favourite topic and I feel that many people can relate to this particular discussion.

    3. While I do believe we covered a wide variety of topics thoughout this course, I feel as though we could have elaborated on the effects of advertising on young children especially during the formative years. Children are some of the most vulnerable consumers and certainly garner more discussion.

    4. Overall, I do like the layout of the course, however, I do believe that a group project could have been beneficial to incorporate a more practical component for the course. Whether it be creating an advertisement that applies to one of the course readings, or reviewing a variety of ads/anti-ads in relation to some of the course material. Other than that I appreciated this course and the information I learned!

    Thank you Dr. Nathan Rambukkana

    Emily Kaye

  45. cs341blog says:

    Mike Stoikos:

    1. My favourite reading in the course was Voluntary Simplicity and New Global Challenge by Duane Elgin. Although this reading did not provide much insight into the actual aspects of advertising, it did how address larger life issues that many people should be taught and aware of. I like how it tied into advertising in a sense that we do not need everything we are being advertised and could easily get by on a day-to-day basis as long as we live comfortably mentally.

    2. My favourite topic we covered was The Aesthetic Sense as the Sense of Distinction and how it drives our wants rather than people being satisfied with what they already have. It was interesting to see for myself how my wants are created by the new production and advertisements of new goods. Companies use various tactics to draw people in and consume and this topic helped me realize that.

    3. It would have been interesting to touch more upon advertising via Internet and how that is becoming an increasing phenomenon. Various companies use our personal information to cater new products to us without us even knowing. This could draw on issues such as personal privacy and others.

    4. Overall this was a very interesting and informing course to take. We explored many different levels of advertising, how companies get through to the public and how to be aware of this, and how to be comfortable with our lifestyles with what we have. Personally, I wouldn’t really change anything.

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