Shopping For Identity?Consuming in later years of life<br />Juliana Mansvelt<br />Geography Programme<br />School of Peopl...
Consumption, ageing and identity<br />Research methodology<br />Themes from shopping and commodity stories<br />Why shoppi...
08/09/2009<br />3<br />Consumerism and Ageing: shopping for identity?<br />“All activities from leisure to healthcare, inc...
Consumers of health and medical services<br />Active retirees – autonomous individuals engaged in conspicuous consumption<...
De-politicisation and individualisation of the consumer<br />Constructing notion of the consumer as self interested indivi...
To explore how commodity purchase decisions and shopping practices are manifest and experienced for a group of 55-69 year ...
Participants: volunteered for interview from the second iteration of the NZ Health, Work, and Retirement Survey (Alpass, F...
Interviews (3), receipts and photographs (spaces, commodities), participant observation? <br />Focus on specific commoditi...
Twelve participants in the Manawatu, Horowhenua and Kapiti regions of NZ, aged 55-69 (gender mix, range family situations,...
“Who would pay?, <br />	I wouldn’t pay $90 for a pair of shoes!”<br />Low ESLI: Narratives control, creativity and coping<...
Ivy (low ELSI, pilot): <br />I don’t have any budgets. But when I am shopping, I ask myself do I need it? do I really need...
You know, so they all worry about them (beneficiaries) being down there and living in the bloody ghetto and they’re all de...
I don’t get some people eh?, you go to their house and there’s a basket in the lounge, in the bathroom, shampoos, bits of ...
We used to go to Chaineys all the time and they were good to us. But then after my husband died and I said we got a $800 b...
“If I see it,<br />	I love it, <br />	I buy it”<br /> <br />08/09/2009<br />15<br />High ESLI ?<br />
…Are you, a shopper that enjoys browsing and comparison shopping or..<br /> <br />Not really, if I see it, I love it, I bu...
Yeah.  So as I say I mean that sort of way, you know I mean I always looking out for a, for the best prices.  Also I’ll do...
I’m not extravagant, but by the same token I’ve been saying I am. Because I get so cold for instance, last year, being sma...
Not very often (don’t go out shopping) but in the last two weeks we’ve been and purchased three house lots of whiteware an...
Though shopping and purchasing might be considered a banal activity, for many older people it provides a medium through wh...
08/09/2009<br />21<br />THANK YOU…<br />http://flickr.com/photos/zappowbang/1445330332/<br />Any comments and ideas are mo...
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Ageing, consumption and identity

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Though shopping and purchasing might be considered a banal activity, for many elders it provides a medium through which identities are both constructed and expressed. This paper reports on research currently being conducted to with 12 elders dwelling in the Manawatu and Kapiti regions to explore shopping and purchasing experiences. Participants were chosen according to highest and lowest scores on a standardised living index. Methods included audio recorded in-depth qualitative interviews and participants’ photographs of shopping spaces and purchases. Regardless of the extent to which elders in engage in shopping and purchasing or their standard of living, consumption provides an important arena through which age-related changes (such as adjusting to retirement, or altered health) and shifting identities are negotiated.

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  • Consumption understood by Bauman (1999) led from a shfit away from public participation and civic engagement into more privatised consumer led lives – consumerism depoliticising effect. So while consumerism has become the epitome of modern living – consumption itself probelmatic realm of contemporary governece – environmental degradidation, global poverty, sustainaviltiy, waste, affluence – policy programs aims at curbing consumers actions Governmentality approach of Dean(1999) consumer is an effect of transformation in the political reationalities governing relationships between states , citizens and marketds. Citizen transformed one subject with entititlement rights to a responsibilisedcitzenmodellled on the consumer who activates personal preferences in the market place . It is an active achievement brought about by many actors “marked by the profliferation of new apparatusses devices and mechanisms for the government of conduct and forms of life (Rose, 199) – consumer is mobilised in different ways by intermediatry actors who make it possible for people to act as consumers (or choosing subjects) So mobilising the ageing consumer – is about organisation making practical and narrative resources available to people to enable them to act as responsible not only in relation to their own utility, but in relation to other social/spatial responsibilities…..Consumer as Gabriel and Lang do – unmanageable- is mobilised by different interests at different points. Chooser, vicgim, citizen, identity seeker, activist . WeaLTHY – MORALISATION OF CONSUMPTION –DOESN’T SIMPLY DISMISS IT AS INDIVIDUALISTIC, SELF INTERESTED – REFRAMES IT IN TERMS OF COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITIESBeing moral understood in different ways – diminishing harm of ones decisionsm – actions are not seen in terms of a neoliberal markets, exhange and choice.notion of the consumer as self interested individual involved in individualistic action expressing choice and preferences in marketsConsumption understood by Bauman (1999) led from a shfit away from public participation and civic engagement into more privatised consumer led lives – consumerism depoliticising effect. Yet narratives of consumption as consumerism- ignore the variability of consumer subjectivities and the extent to which this variability is dependent on the active facilitation of consumer subjectivities (positions made available by a variety of agents/actants)
  • Low ELSI: Resourcefulness and Resilience through Making Do,Here thinking about------- people as subjects whose pratices produce discourses, but who are also subject to them. Here want to reflect primarily around notions of the controlled consumer
  • PracticesSharingEconomisingReciprocal exchangesCreativity of useTrade-offs Deferment
  • Lydia (some hardship ESLI, - describes as comfortable in interview)
  • Ageing, consumption and identity

    1. 1. Shopping For Identity?Consuming in later years of life<br />Juliana Mansvelt<br />Geography Programme<br />School of People, Environment and Planning<br />Massey University<br />08/09/2009<br />1<br />
    2. 2. Consumption, ageing and identity<br />Research methodology<br />Themes from shopping and commodity stories<br />Why shopping matters?<br />08/09/2009<br />2<br />Outline<br />
    3. 3. 08/09/2009<br />3<br />Consumerism and Ageing: shopping for identity?<br />“All activities from leisure to healthcare, including ironically, death and dying have become personal, consumerist, and “lifelong” experiences”<br />(Katz and Marshall, 2003: 5)<br />Patrick Doheny http://flickr.com/photos/14132971@N05/1449122304<br />http://flickr.com/photos/dogfrog/436522953/<br />
    4. 4. Consumers of health and medical services<br />Active retirees – autonomous individuals engaged in conspicuous consumption<br />08/09/2009<br />4<br />Productive ConsumptionMoving beyond representations <br />http://flickr.com/photos/63946540@N00/183300819/<br />http://flickr.com/photos/teaeff/146454490/<br />Image by � Mark Peterson/CORBIS<br />http://www.flickr.com/photos/mozzy/68257756/ <br />http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=elderly&w=78124746%40N00<br />
    5. 5. De-politicisation and individualisation of the consumer<br />Constructing notion of the consumer as self interested individual involved in individualistic action expressing choice and preferences in markets<br />08/09/2009<br />5<br />Discourses of consumer soverienty<br />
    6. 6. To explore how commodity purchase decisions and shopping practices are manifest and experienced for a group of 55-69 year olds<br />space:spatiality of shopping in relation to experiences of home, locality, community<br />subjectivity: embodiment, identity<br />sociality: social networks, networks as assemblages people, things, knowledges, technologies<br />08/09/2009<br />6<br />Aim of the Research<br />
    7. 7. Participants: volunteered for interview from the second iteration of the NZ Health, Work, and Retirement Survey (Alpass, F. et al. http://hwr.massey.ac.nz)<br />Measurements of mental and physical health, activity, household constitution, leisure activity, social networks, care responsibilities, income, assets, debt, material well-being.<br />Also consumption and social activity: gift giving, haircuts, holidays, nights out, having friends and family over.<br />08/09/2009<br />7<br />Methodology<br />
    8. 8. Interviews (3), receipts and photographs (spaces, commodities), participant observation? <br />Focus on specific commodities chosen for differing necessity, durability, positional status, and shopping practice <br />Groceries <br />Clothing<br />Consumer durables<br />Narrative and thematic analysis<br />08/09/2009<br />8<br />Techniques<br />DerrickT<br />http://flickr.com/photos/derricksphotos/311156557<br />
    9. 9. Twelve participants in the Manawatu, Horowhenua and Kapiti regions of NZ, aged 55-69 (gender mix, range family situations, half lowest ELSI categories half higher ELSI)<br />Lower end ELSI (1 divorced, 2 widowed females, 1 male + spouse) only the male was in employment.<br />Higher end ELSI (2 married females of which one in part-time employment, 2 married males of which one in FT employment and the other semi-retired).<br />08/09/2009<br />9<br />Participants<br />
    10. 10. “Who would pay?, <br /> I wouldn’t pay $90 for a pair of shoes!”<br />Low ESLI: Narratives control, creativity and coping<br />
    11. 11. Ivy (low ELSI, pilot): <br />I don’t have any budgets. But when I am shopping, I ask myself do I need it? do I really need it?, and if I don’t then I say “no, Ivy you don’t need to buy that today”, it’s not necessary you know! I just say “no”. My friend laughs and says isn’t it wonderful God gives you guidance like that (she laughs), but it’s not - I just tell myself “no” I don’t need it!! (laughs again). <br />08/09/2009<br />11<br />Low ELSI: discerning needs from wants<br />
    12. 12. You know, so they all worry about them (beneficiaries) being down there and living in the bloody ghetto and they’re all depressed. Get off your arse and do something or go! I know I used it to my advantage (getting the uniform) but again it was like being resourceful” (Dana, Low ELSI)<br />08/09/2009<br />12<br />Constructing the autonomous self…<br />
    13. 13. I don’t get some people eh?, you go to their house and there’s a basket in the lounge, in the bathroom, shampoos, bits of this, bits of that, like who can use that many???!..... so we will periodically, we will come back with probably about once every three weeks, a plastic shopping bag from either her house (Beth’s house or Shelley’s) and then I just turn them all upside down and we fill up an empty shampoo container and then I put it all, I put it all in, whether it’s conditioner or what because it’s then, it can be you know used ................... and it hasn’t killed any of us. You know...<br /> (Dana, low ELSI)<br />08/09/2009<br />13<br />Creative practices and coping strategies<br />
    14. 14. We used to go to Chaineys all the time and they were good to us. But then after my husband died and I said we got a $800 bill and I said well “how the hell am I going to get that down??” and that is when my son came to the fore, my biggest one he has no children….so they were good and they made me cry even more after I went through all his stuff, I found this $800 bill……..and then he (the son) came down to WINZ (Work and Income support) it was embarrassing when you had never had to do that before…..(story continues)<br />Peta<br />08/09/2009<br />14<br />Shaping Family: Good children<br />
    15. 15. “If I see it,<br /> I love it, <br /> I buy it”<br /> <br />08/09/2009<br />15<br />High ESLI ?<br />
    16. 16. …Are you, a shopper that enjoys browsing and comparison shopping or..<br /> <br />Not really, if I see it, I love it, I buy it.<br /> <br />Right, yeah.<br /> <br />I, I’m always, I’m not a fashion thing but I love getting bargains and I, and I, I like getting something and, and putting it with something else, you know putting things together. <br />08/09/2009<br />16<br />High ESLI: Narratives of control, saving and waste<br />
    17. 17. Yeah. So as I say I mean that sort of way, you know I mean I always looking out for a, for the best prices. Also I’ll do a bit of negotiating if I’m buying something. You know that’s why I always go and help the kids when they’re doing things like roofing their houses, when they’re going to buy whiteware or whatever it is. I went down the other day and bought a third candlestick to fit, to match those two, I found another one exactly the same down in the shop down here, and you know just negotiated a little bit of a better price, 10% discount, it all makes a difference. Daniel <br />08/09/2009<br />17<br />High ESLI: Productivity and control through careful choice<br />
    18. 18. I’m not extravagant, but by the same token I’ve been saying I am. Because I get so cold for instance, last year, being small and I’ve no bum, I went off to Farmers and bought little boys track pants you know, and I must have had them a couple of years, they lasted a couple of years…and this year I thought “No bother it!” I’ve got to replace them, but I went down to Swazi, and they are expensive…<br /> They are, yes….<br /> But….{pause}<br />Good quality?<br /> But I was so much warmer! (Lorna, High ELSI) <br />08/09/2009<br />18<br />High ESLI: Avoiding waste and excess – utilitarian expense<br />
    19. 19. Not very often (don’t go out shopping) but in the last two weeks we’ve been and purchased three house lots of whiteware and furniture for the three new houses. Noel Leeming (appliance store) in the last two months have sold us three washing machines, two dryers, two fridge freezers, a microwave, two vacuums, one, no two kingsize beds …! so that’s…! (we laugh about their profits for the month) so as I say that is in the last month, as I say my wife and I don’t go shopping that often for ourselves, but we do assist the children. (Daniel)<br />08/09/2009<br />19<br />Constructing family: good parents<br />
    20. 20. Though shopping and purchasing might be considered a banal activity, for many older people it provides a medium through which identities are both constructed and expressed.<br />While both low and high end ELSI participants would appear to accede to aspects of neo-liberal discourses of sovereign, knowledgeable consumers they do in differing ways. <br />Regardless of the extent to which older people engage in shopping and purchasing or their standard of living, consumption provides an important arena through which life changes which may be age-related (such as retirement, death of a spouse, declining mobility) are negotiated. <br />Consumption is a meaning ‘full’ experience in later life which both takes and makes place and shapes and reflects family, social networks, moralities, notions of legacy, identity, belonging. <br />08/09/2009<br />20<br />Conclusions – Shopping for identity?<br />
    21. 21. 08/09/2009<br />21<br />THANK YOU…<br />http://flickr.com/photos/zappowbang/1445330332/<br />Any comments and ideas are most gratefully received!<br />

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