Posts Tagged ‘mass consumption’

Thoughts on Cost

Walking home from Friday’s lecture, we got to talking about the differences in cultures and consumption, and eventually led to a discussion about the cost of certain goods that we encountered in our travels. Both of us have traveled to developing countries (namely Cuba and Guatemala) in recent years and discussed the low cost of goods like craft works, Rebecca carrying a backpack she purchased from a Guatemalan vendor, and Nicole wearing a ring made of a Cuban peso of similar origin in nature..we reflected on how inexpensive our treasured souvenirs had cost, and came to a realization that we had both been into stores where these products had been sold, in Canada, from the same areas of the world at triple or more the cost they had likely been purchased for. We discussed the oddity that this practice of buying cheap goods and reselling them abroad as a product of that place, not as a marked up souviner like you might find in places like Toronto or Niagara Falls, but as a token of that culture without even the physical venture. Stores like Green Earth and other small specialty stores are selling these crafts as their own..we began to wonder about the ethics of such exchanges and even the legality of selling these goods in Canada. We agreed that it would be an interesting thing to look at the practices of buying into cultures even at such a distance and the effect that has on society, both in the country of origin and the country of mass consumption.