Globalization and Consumer

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Globalization and Consumer

  1. 1. Globalization and Consumer: Globalization can be defined differently from various perspectives. Definition 1: The intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities in such a way that local happenings are shaped events occurring many miles away and vice versa. (Source: Anthony Giddens, 2000) Definition 2: All forces which are turning the world into a global village, compressing distance, homogenizing culture, accelerating mobility and reducing the relevance of political borders. (Source: Mozrui, 2000) Globalization is very often used to refer to economic globalization, which is integration of national economies into the international economy through trade, foreign direct investment, capital flows, migration, and spread of technology. However, economic only one of the aspect of globalization,and it will detail discuss the aspect of consumer culture in the globalization after this. The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir advises, ―The challenge for Asia is not how to manage the present concept of globalisation but to make it work and to benefit from it. The challenge for Asia is to influence the thinking on globalisation, to reshape it, to reduce the chances of it going awry and in the process destroying economies and countries.‖ (Mohamad 2002, 16) Globalization and Westernization: Westernization is a process whereby non-western societies come under the influence of Western culture in such matters as industry, technology, law, politics, economics, lifestyle, diet, language, alphabet, religion or values. Since the western countries always is the dominant country in the world, so, the western countries always influent the non-western societies. Westernization has been a pervasive and accelerating influence across the world in the last few centuries. It is usually a two sided process which western influences and interests themselves are joined by a wish of at least parts of the affected society to change to towards a more westernized society. 1
  2. 2. Westernization can also be related to the process of acculturation. Acculturation refers to the changes that occur within a society or culture when two different groups come into direct continuous contact. After the contact, changes in cultural patterns within either or both cultures are obvious. The Impact of Global Media The rise of "market state" and the computing and information technology revolution have been the driving forces of globalization. The rise of ―market state‖ has great implications to the ways people, firms and governments go about their business. The computing and information technology revolution have facilitated both the different character and dramatic volumes of private capital flows by providing the speed and technology to effect the staggering volume of daily transfers of financial transactions across national boundaries. The food, printed images, movies, books, and ideas will affected by our growing. These things have gone across the globe through satellite television and the internet as well as with travellers and businesspeople. In the process, exposure to news ways of life and ways of thinking have brought about a degree of convergence of norms and attitudes on everything from fashion to human rights. But it has also provoked challenge from traditional cultures and often led to fusion of many influences. The use of news and information as subversive and expansionist tools by developed countries against countries of the South has raised the issue of censorship and freedom of news and information. The type of journalism by foreign media organisations that insist on peddling mass disinformation and sensationalism instead of reporting accurately and in impartial manner on Malaysia are recent illustrations in the case of communication and information technology being presented by developed countries as a force for greater political democracy around the world and the move of more countries to market economies. The key challenge to national security now is how to monitor and implement the laws and regulations governing it when the advancement of IT such as the Internet and E-Mail will make it increasingly difficult to suppress or control news and information access and use. The Impacts of Globalization to the Consumer Culture ― Consumer culture is a culture in which the attainment of ownership and possession of goods and services is presented as the primary aim of individual endeavours and the key source of social status and prestige.‖ (Shop 'til You Drop: Consumer Behavior and American Culture: Arthur Asa ,2007) 2
  3. 3. 'consumer culture' - a culture where what we consume, and the way in which we consume goods and services provided in economic markets has come to represent our identities, mediate our interactions with others and even shape our politics. (Daniel Doherty 2007) Globalization's effects on the way people live, play, and learn is difficult to measure but readily apparent in almost all societies across the globe. Looking at Kuala Lumpur today, it is easy to conclude that the forces of a globalize consumer culture have all but won. The homogenisation of consumer culture in place of diversity is another of the major impacts of the globalization process. This is going to become more universal because of the development of Information Technology (IT). There are some of the examples of how the globalization change and effect local consumer culture:  Spreading of multiculturalism, and better individual access to cultural diversity (e.g. through the export of Hollywood and Bollywood movies). However, the imported culture can easily supplant the local culture, causing reduction in diversity through hybridization or even assimilation. The most prominent form of this is Westernization, but Sinicization of cultures has taken place over most of Asia for many centuries  Greater international travel and tourism  Greater immigration, including illegal immigration.  Spread of local consumer products (e.g. food) to other countries (often adapted to their culture)  World-wide fads and pop culture such as Pokemon, Sudoku, Numa Numa , Origami, Idol series, YouTube, Orkut, Facebook and Myspace.  World wide sporting events such as FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. Formation or development of a set of universal values. Consumer Culture and Popular Culture: Similarities : I. Acquisitions: Purchasing goods and materials in excess of their needs and wants to fulfill their satisfactions on purchasing. II. Consumption: Dissatisfaction occurs if the product does not meet expectation. III. Dispositions: The degradation of natural resources of environmental. 3
  4. 4. Differences: Consumer Culture Popular Culture Acquisitions: Goods are necessary for Luxuries and brand names living. are necessary. Consumption: Long terms use Short terms use - Individuals and groups - Involves commercial have consciously sought brand names and obvious an alternatives lifestyle status-enhancing through simply living. appeal.(e.g. an expensive automobile) Dispositions: Environmental problems Environmental problems occur due to disposal after caused by Disposal of long term use. goods after short term use. Very wasteful. Global Consumer Culture to Islamic Country – Malaysia In discussions of Islam and identity formation in the modern world, there is a tendency to focus exclusively on either religious or consumption conceptions and practices. In Islamic societies, consumer culture is often portrayed as harmful to religion in terms of hedonism, pleasure and expressive lifestyle. To counter the influences of the market and‗deislamisation‘, Islamic fundamentalists and revivalists have posited Islam as a vaccinate pill against decadent western values. Analyses of this kind dominate most understandings of Islam and modernity but they do not add very much to our knowledge of contemporary modernist Islamic societies undergoing rapid social and economic transformation, particularly via their work and in their households and families. Because there is so little research available which enables analysts to transcend this simple binary dichotomy of good Islam versus bad western consumption, this paper is an attempt to mark out and investigate the relationship and the inherent tensions between these two conflicting worldviews. It does so by looking at the case of a moderately economically successful Islamic state, Malaysia. In examining the case of Malaysia, I hope to be able to shed some light on how the various interpretations of Islam impacts on modern Malaysian Muslims. I will argue that these varying Islamic discourses provide different understandings of identity formation and as individuals and families actively participate in social lives, tensions invariably arise. The distinction between the sacred and the profane are 4
  5. 5. increasingly blurred .Via the television, mass media and cyberspace, Malaysian Muslims find the allure of modern consumption practices seductive and yet, aspects of Islam stigmatises such practices as spiritual pollution and ‗westoxication‘. Prompted by a national vision of high-modernist development, growing affluence and a new middle class, there is invariably an intensification of consumption practices. This in turn affects the processes of Islamisation, the ‗forming‘ of Muslim identities and calls forth new interpretations which take into account how Islamic practices and consumption can be seen as supportive of and challenging for existing power structures and discourses. More specifically, the paper seeks to shed light on how various interpretations in Islam enable different understandings of consumption and its implications in contemporary modernist Islamic societies. In the case of Malaysia, they filter down to form the basis of different identity strategies in micro-social processes, impacting particularly on the Malay middle class families in the urban environment. Classes, identities, entrepreneurship, the nature of capitalism, civil society and dissent are consequently all affected. In the Malaysian economic trajectory, the New Economic Policy was critical in creating a Malay middle class. Via capitalist expansion of the market and judicious use of state levers, the economic and social situation of Malays improved considerably. Via quotas and other measures, a Malay middle class was sponsored and maintained. This middle class is significant in two respects: they form the basis of the Islamisation drive and represent the vanguard in the rapid transformation of consumer culture. Consumption is traditionally associated with an intensification of the money economy, urban-based, harmful to religion in terms of hedonism, pleasure and expressive lifestyle.In a way, most descriptions of Islam conform to this analysis: Islam provides believers with resisting spiritual values. Undoubtedly, this is true for many Muslims and other religious fundamentalists but the analysis proffered is largely macro and mainly discussed an urban, visible and public phenomenon. They fail to go beyond the sphere of the public into close sites of cultural reproduction such as the household and the family, which perhaps could provide a more substantive knowledge of how consumer culture is being appropriated. Similarly, it enables one to open up and critically interrogate the shifting web of signs, images and symbols embedded in consumer culture (Miller, 1998; Featherstone, 1998), particularly, the tension between individualism and collectivism and how this manifests itself among urban Malay middle classes. Food, dress, economic activities, credit use all become critical sites of conflicts as ethnicity and class now arouses hostility towards other peoples‘ ways of consuming and/or the acquisition of positional goods. As such, consumption rather than just the vehicle for the transmission of hedonism and a destroyer of morality and values can also be desirable and provides cultural capital for social struggle (ala Bourdieu, 1984). Material goods, its is argued, provide the marker for economic development, modernity and status (Jackson, 1979, Talib, 2001). Islam, thus unwittingly, resembles the carriage of a new ‗protestant ethic‘ for urban Malay middle classes in Malaysia as they stake out their claims within the social and political economy of the nation. This is most evident in discussions surrounding economic development and the 5
  6. 6. family, particularly those impacting on women and the aged (Ong, 1995). The household inevitably becomes a site of tension as economic wealth and consumption increases. It remains to be seen how these tensions will be worked out in the future but one-dimensional accounts of Islamisation as purely inimical to increased globalisation and economic development is clearly not sufficient. The linkages between the public and visible manifestations of Islamisation and consumption practices and how these manifestations with micro-social processes need to be further developed, and may possibly offer richer and greater analytical specificity in respect to the process of consumption within the Malay middle classes and the various identity strategies forged. Comparison of Consumer Culture in Malaysia and U.S.A Malaysian American Don‘t like to eat in public Never bother to eat in the public. Traditional is important. Traditional is seen as something outdated. Superficial perception. Purchases Satisfaction is prior. As long as the goods imported goods especially from western that bought can give the self-satisfaction country always better. and suitable for them. Start taking foreign vacations and It has been practiced long time ago. exposure to customer goods in other countries. Start enjoying leisure time. Group, family and state are more Individualist seen more important than important than the individual the family or society. Time-procrastinators. Well-known with Time is a commodity. American hate to b unpunctuality. ―Slowly and steady‖. kept waiting. Emphasis on time denotes a culture that maintains a very fast paced lifestyle. 6
  7. 7. Consumer Culture in Malaysia : 1. Finance: 1.1 Expansion of Consumer Credit and Debt The rising middle class continues to perpetuate a seemingly robust economy and burgeoning consumerism. A rapidly expanding middle-income consumers in Malaysia with a voracious appetite for goods and services is stretching credit limits. People in this economic sector have grown accustomed to regular salary increases due to the economic growth. They are taken in by credit card ownership as a culture rather than a necessity. More people are easily owning three or more cards each, which contributes to their financial difficulties later on when they settle down to have a family According to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), In 2006, the number of credit cards in circulation grew by 12.8 percent to RM 8.8 million. The total transactions and payments using credit cards rose by 15.5 per- cent to RM 47.5 billion. Out of this amount, 6.1 percent were transactions involving cash advances. The statistics choose to note that while the value of purchases and payments have been rising in the recent years, 60 percent of these transactions are consistently being paid in full by the cardholders in the past three years. ( Statistik,October 2006) AKPK (credit counselling and Debt Management Agency)believes this is a clear indication that a substantial proportion of credit card holders are using their credit cards as a means of payment, rather than as a source of credit. The promotion of ‗free and easy credit‘ has encouraged some misinformed or uninformed consumers to get into debt beyond their ability to repay.when things go wrong,then and only then comes the sad realization that credit did nothing but put them into hopeless debt,which can have a terrible affect on their lives for many years. Those card owners who failed to refund within the time given would have to face to the court or potentially listed under bankruptcy. About 30% cases of bankruptcy involve the white collar servants with the age range 30 and below.According to the project director of Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia Noor Nirwandy Mat Noordin ,there are few reports of couples who divorced because they have lost control of their credit card expenditure. While the statistics show that debt in Malaysia is certainly at a very manageable level, it is apparent that more needs to be done in terms of nipping this slowly growing trend in the bud. Perhaps it is time to inculcate in our young the necessity of saving and good financial practices, to save them from mental, emotional and sometimes even physical harm that comes from drowning in a pool of unmanageable debt. 7
  8. 8. But, it is also up to our leaders to truly identify the cause of this problem, and to see if debt among Malaysian consumers is simply due to living outside their means, or if it is something more debilitating, that could affect us in a greater, drastic way, in years to come. How Could This Happen? Malaysians nowadays have not planned out a financial map.In the past ,most families didn‘t have much money and things were hard to come by.The only way to get anything was to save,so those values stayed with us.Now,in a new affluent society,the younger generation has grown up without lacking in much,so their expectations are very rosy when they work and they realise it‘s not that easy and proceed to disregard proper financial management. What's more, Malaysians do not do enough research when they get a card.An offer comes in the mail,or they are approached on the street,they immediately sign up! Interest rates are competitive,hence it‘s very important to do some homework before get committed to a card. Many people when they hear about debt,they automatically think horrible things.One must understand that debt can be good,when it‘s manageable.You should only enter it when you can comfortably repay it.Living within one‘s means is utmost important.For an instance,if you can afford a Proton,buy a Proton and not a BMW. Suggested Action and Education:  The bank should look at the welfare of the card holder and whether debtors are able to successfully pay back,so bad debt can be reduced,creating a good relationship between the customer and the bank-where both sides are rewarded.  Counselling and financial education is provided to National Service trainees,university students ,some private companies as well as government-linked companies and government corporations.  Propose that students take up 1 credit hour of mandatory financial education classes,stretch across all disciplines in the university.  The Government should impose tighter regulatory controls on banks and financial institutions to limit the accessibility of credit cards. 8
  9. 9. 2. Food : 2.1 The 'Mamak Stall' Culture : ―A mamak stall, also referred to as mapley, is a type of food establishment which serves mamak food. In Malaysia, the term ‗mamak‘ refers to Indian Muslims, who generally own and operate them.‖ (Wikipedia,2008) The word 'Mamak' is from the Tamil term for maternal uncle, or 'maa-ma'. In the context of Malaysia, children of all ethnic groups are taught to refer to adult neighbours, shopkeepers and even strangers as 'uncle' and 'auntie', as a form of respect for and deference towards elders. This term is used even though the adult may not be a member of the child's family, clan or even ethnic group/'race'. The origin of the term 'mamak stall' is likely from the practice of children addressing the shopkeeper as 'uncle', or 'mamak', in his native Tamil language, as a form of respect when interacting with him, and patronising his shop. Although traditionally operated from roadside stalls, some modern mamak stall operators have expanded their businesses into restaurant or cafe-type establishments. Food like murtabak, roti canai and also other forms of roti, mee goreng, and nasi kandar are some of the mouth-watering "mamak" meals indulged by many Malaysians on a daily basis. Then, there is also the famous teh tarik! The list also goes on to cover mee rebus, mee goreng and other variations that the Malaysians have grown to love. Some stalls are opened 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. Some are only opened at night; any time from 7 pm to the wee hours of the morning. You can find these stalls in a tiny corner by the road or under makeshift tents. In fact, any spare space not filled in by a developer will be wittily taken over by a mamak. At the stalls, you will find foldable tables and chairs placed along the street; some even take over parking space along the stretch. The bigger mamak stalls are able to fill up the whole street with hundreds of people at any one time. It is extremely popular among young adults and teenagers who look at these stalls as a good and affordable place to gather with friends to while the night away. However, the best part about these mamak stalls is the ambience. Food is cheap and delicious while the ambience is light and casual. You don't even need to dress up for it. Just walk in with your tees, shorts and sandals, and prepare for a night of great food, good conversation and lots of teh tarik. Given their ubiquity, it is hard to imagine life without the mamak stalls. Over the years, it has grown from a mere food joint to a common meeting ground for friends 9
  10. 10. Advantages :  Cheap Reasonably priced food is available.Undeniably, the food and beverages at mamak stall is rather cheaper than other restaurant outside.  Casual As it‘s a casual place and perhaps an ideal place for friends gathering,ones can just put on simply attire.It‘s totally different from western restaurant or another air-conditioned restaurants that mushroomed in de town.  Healthier Place for youngsters The general Malaysians has an option to pay the stalls a visit in the evenings instead of hanging out at a pubs or clubs. Disadvantages:  Obesity Too much of night food will cause obesities and other dangerous diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes. It‘s worse if ones go to bed straightly or within 3 hours after having their meals in mamak. According to the research that carried out by Ministry of health, there were 27% or 3.8 millions of Malaysians facing problem of over-weight while 12% or 1.7 millions of the Malaysians were facing obesity.  Sacrifrices of One‘s Time to Rest Usually,Mamak stalls are croweded with people during late night.Visit Mamak as if encourage peoples to sleep late.  Diseases Attack As we all concern,most of the food in mamak are oily and sweet.Consuming too much of this kind of food without following the food hierrachy will cause uninviting diseases namely Diabetes,high blood pressure and heart attack. 10
  11. 11. 2.2 Fast Food : Fast food is the term given to many items that can be prepared and served quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, such as TV dinners. Typically the term refers to food that sold in a restaurant or store which is rapidly prepare and served to the customer in a packaged form for take out/take away. (Wikipedia,2008) Food such as hamburgers, chips, etc that can be cooked easily, and is sold by restaurants to be eaten quickly or taken away. (OXFORD-4th Edition Dictionary) Why Do We Eat Fast Food? I. The Time Factor: The main concept of modern world is "time is money" . Fast food is quick and easy, we don't need to wait at our table for food. We save ourselves a lot of hassles and time when we are in a hurry eating pizzas and burgers as they are served at our door step hot and ready to eat. II. The Taste Factor: Great taste extent influences customer to choose for fast food. But fast foods get their taste owing to lavish usage of oils, salts and/or sugar. Once caught in junk food addiction, it‘s hard to think about the loss of nutrition fast food pushes us into. III. Fast Food Advertisements: The secret of their success is a marketing strategy of ‗ think global, act local'. McDonald's learnt that if they adapted their ‗Mac' meals to different cultures, it was more successful than having a standardised set of products that taste the same everywhere. So now, around 80% of McDonald's restaurants are franchised to local people who serve food with a ‗local' flavour. The introduction of fast food has been particularly influential on children, especially since so many advertisements are designed to appeal to them. As they sit absorbed in front of television sets, children are bombarded with advertisements for fast food. They learn to crave trips to fast food restaurants, and to insists on celebrating their birthdays there. Advantages: 11
  12. 12.  Save Time The modern life style created a situation in which people eat at least one meal out side while most of them are looking for fast food, that its advantages are his price and the fact that people don't have to wait a long time for the meal to be served. The main concept of modern world is "time is money" that's why they prefer to work more on account of their brake time. There are some people that do have time but still prefer eating "junk food" and the reasons for that are the effort and time to go the supermarket and choosing groceries. While their other consideration that nowadays we have deliveries that enable us to save time and effort and still enjoy a good meal. That‘s why fast food is their available food in daily life.  Convenient and easy to bring. They are in the suburbs, the central cities, the malls, our schools and military bases, our hospitals and airports, even our airplanes and ballparks. They dominate our highway interchanges-every exit looks the same. Disadvantages:  Bad for Health If ingredients make junk foods appealing, it is the same reason that makes them health hazardous too. The fat contents, barring a few manufacturers, have high cholesterol levels. Secondly, the sugar and sodium salts have their effects on health. High calorie content with sugar can lead to obesity. Cholesterol and salt are known to setoff blood pressure, stroke and heart diseases in a chain. Excessive salts can affect functioning of kidneys too. Another problem is people that eat too fast, what can also cause digestion problems. It‘s worried that the cases of obesity will keep rising due to the children‘s meal habits nowadays more to high calories and high cholesterol food.  Provide Less Energy Fast foods do not contain any nutrients that are beneficial to the human body. In most cases, these foods are filled with harmful carbohydrates, fats and cholesterol that do not provide any useful energy. As a result, somebody consuming fast food has reduced level of essential nutrients thereby causing weakness in the body.  Poor Concentration 12
  13. 13. One disadvantage of consuming fast food is that it contains high amount of oil and fat. As a result, human body finds this food difficult to digest and needs to spend high amount of blood and enzymes. When a person consumes junk food in excess, a major portion of blood in the body is diverted to the intestine. As a result, the person feels drowsy and suffers with reduced concentration.  Discourage of Home cooking More and more people no longer cook fresh food at home. Cooking skills of young woman are lost. Traditional dishes become unknown. The ritual of cooking, eating together, and sharing is fading from the family. 2.3 Kopitiam : Recently new breeds of ―modern‖ kopitiams have sprung up. The popularity of the old fashioned outlets along with society's obsession with nostalgia and increasing affluence has led to the revival of these pseudo-kopitiams. The new kopitiams are fast-food outlets which are reminiscent of the old kopitiams in terms of decor, but are usually built in a more modern, hygienic setting such as a shopping mall rather than in the traditional shop house, catering mainly for young adults. ― A kopitiam is a traditional breakfast and coffee shop found in Malaysia and Singapore in Southeast Asia. The word is a portmanteau of the Malay word for coffee (as borrowed and altered from the Portuguese) and the Hokkien dialect word for shop. Menus typically feature simple offerings, a variety of food based on egg, toast, and kaya, plus coffee, tea, and milo.‖ ( Wikipedia,2008) This has come after the creation of so-called "coffee culture" by western coffee chains such as Starbucks and The Coffee Bean . The kopitiams offer a possible alternative where in the coffee culture could be experienced with local flavor and for a more affordable price. Besides, the kopitiam provide a good atmosphere of ―coffee shop talk‖ for customers. It‘s a good place for gathering with friends. "Coffee shop talk" is a phrase used to describe gossip because it is often a familiar sight at kopitiams where a group of workers or senior citizens would linger over cups of coffee and exchange news and comments on various topics including national politics, office politics, TV dramas, and food. An effectively of advertisements and promotion such as ―set lunch‖, ―tea set‖, and ―set dinner‖ attract customer. 13
  14. 14. Advantages:  A good choice of place to chat with friends which is provides a good atmosphere of ―coffee shop talk‖. Disadvantages:  Higher Price With the emergence and increasing popularity of branded coffee houses, some of the shops are revamped with fashionable modern looks and also franchised. Consumers are expecting to pay more than average for a dining experience at one of these outlets. 3. Grooming / Beauty Lines : 3.1 Metrosexual: ―It is a word describing men who have a strong concern for their aesthetic appearance, and spend a substantial amount of time and money on their images and lifestyles.‖ (Wikipedia, 2007) In general, a metrosexual : Single young man with a high disposable income; Living in or within easy reach of a city; Particular professions, such as modeling, politics,media, pop music and some sports; Grooms and buffs his head and body, which he drapes in fashionable clothing both at work or before hitting an evening hotspot; Confuses some guys when it comes to his sexuality; He may work on his physique at a fitness club (not a gym) and his appearance probably gets him lots of attention -- and he's delighted by every stare; Willing to push traditional gender boundaries that define what's male and what's female; Less interested in business competition; His bathroom counter is most likely filled with male-targeted grooming products, including moisturizers (and perhaps even a little makeup) The Straits Times newspaper, based in Malaysia reported on an informal survey of metrosexuals and found that on average they spend up to RM250 a month on apparel, accessories, and personal care 14
  15. 15. products. One of those interviewed noted that he had "at least 10 men's fragrances on the shelf and (used) at least four hair products." Today's younger male consumers is far more interested in grooming than previous generations and is expected to maintain these habits into adulthood, ensuring future growth potential for the category. The proliferation of products such as Biotherm Homme, Clinique for Men and Nivea for Men all hoping to capture this new market. Some are targeting more subtly, going along a unisex path rather than overtly seeking men. In Malaysia, trend of metrosexual can be proved by seeing the style of clothing among the youngster nowadays too. The scenes can obviously being seen when one shopping in shopping malls or shopping complex such as Sungei Wang and Mid-Valley. Money and prices to them is not the main concern .Yet, what they care is the confirmation to get the high- quality of goods and services. Dainty and delightful food and beverage are equally highlighted too. The Reasons Metrosexual Exists:  The growth of the proportion of white-collar workers, that the need men to look good and pleasant. To compete in today's work environment, it is necessary to dress well, have our hair cut neatly and take care of our body.  The effect of Men‘s magazines from foreign country as well as local ones. It is now common to see a generous selection of pages devoted to buff male models sporting the latest fashions. Popular male magazines such as FHM and Men‘s Health, are giving men the media image of perfection that was stereotypically only shown in women's magazines.  Women‘s rights are belatedly recognised- men have changed the way they act. It‘s believed that women demand their partners take greater effort with their appearance. The success of that push has primarily changed the way men and women interact within the workplace. Appearance and grooming are really important.  Changes in perception and attitudes toward masculinity amongst the societies.Traditional norms of masuculine,such as avoidance of femininity, restricted emotions and strength and aggression not longer suitable for this era as men . Banes:  Materialistic 15
  16. 16. People will become more materialistic due to the wrong perception of grooming.To certain people,only branded goods are only with good quality.To look good,branded goods is a must.They have forgotten the actual purpose of grooming to a signal of their status.  Narrow Down Thinking It will cause people to become superficial in thinking that beauty and appearance is everything to a person.  Encourage Expenses Encourage people to buy facial or grooming products which usually cost a lot.The side effect of some facial products can even come with terribly side effects. Boons:  Gain Confidences Metrosexual show better confidence than typical men .With the well look, they can just shift their focus to other thing, which we could see from the artists and athletes. Such as David Beckam and Arnold Schwarzenegger, they ever role models for people no matter youngster or seniors and males or females.  Contributes to Malaysia economics Due to their high income, they are afford just buy anything that over the basic need. They stimulate the market by purchasing their personal care products. This has happened to open a new industry for men‘s products such as skin care products, shampoo and clothes. 4.Lifestyle : 4.1 The Digital Life: Digital technologies have reached mass acceptance, with digital products representing approximately 60% of consumers‘ home electronics spending. In the past few years, the popularity of digitally formatted content, wider availability of broadband, the development of wireless network technology, and the increasing sophistication of personal digital devices have acted as catalysts to usher in an age of digital media in the home. 16
  17. 17. As digital products approach ubiquity, the next technology wave will have a common thread – mobility. A true mobile lifestyle, in which people are able to communicate, work, or play anytime and anywhere, is slowly coming into reach. At the same time users are demanding more from their devices in terms of functionality, speed, and affordability, they also are demanding greater portability. Progressive miniaturization of mobile phones, video screens, MP3 players, and other electronic devices is required to meet the needs of on-the-go consumers. Today‘s young consumers have never known life without the Internet. It shapes the way they communicate, play, learn, date, shop, and, now, work. For these consumers, technology is a must have, not a luxury, and their expectations for how it can enhance their lives will only escalate. Older consumers as well are becoming more reliant on technology to keep their lives running smoothly. Today, childhood is spent mostly indoors, with kids watching television, playing video games, and surfing the Internet. It is very unhealthy. In these modern days, to have three times excersice each week no longer relevant. Due to our modern lifestyle, we need to do more exercise ,it‘s advisable to do some sports daily to burn out the fats that we accumulated from our daily meal. 4.2 Mobile Phone Culture Mobile phone culture which is a branch of internet culture derived from the information age. The appearance and development of mobile phone culture are related to the context of the whole society and age. It is the representation of technical high-speed development, as well as the embodiment of people‘s high demand. As a global culture, mobile phone culture takes mobile telecommunication technology as support, and can synchronously express sound, character, and image, then influences people‘s life and work. Because of the mobility and portability mobile phone possesses, and the integration of internet culture, mobile phone culture displays the characters of vogue, fast diffuseness, instant response, and so on. The generation of mobile phone temporally and spatially shortens the distance communication. Meanwhile mobile phone culture is influencing the individual social interaction, security and business behaviours, 17
  18. 18. impacting political systems and economic activities. In SMS culture springs up, mobile phone and wireless internet are material symbols of the mobile phone culture. Young people are certainly the most enthusiastic users of mobile phones. Nowadays, mobile phone users seem to be getting younger and younger every day. In Japan, the proportion of Japanese girls owning mobile phones under the age 18 has reached almost 100 per cent. Indeed, mobile phones have now become determinant of whether a young person is in the ―in‖ crowd or not. In many industrialized countries and developing ones like Malaysia, the mobile phone has become the principal tool of socializing for teenagers. Young people use the mobile phone primarily to sustain and enhance their social networks. Moreover, the ownership of a mobile phone is an important step in a child‘s process of becoming independent from its parents and teachers. Advantages:  It shortens the distance of communication from both time and space.  Social Interaction The Mobile phone plays an important role in making friends and dating. Disadvantages:  Impact on Normal Socializing Young persons no longer recognize the difference between speaking on their mobile phone and talking face to face.  Languages Pollutions Abbreviations encourage user to use wrong grammar for languages as long as it save time and save space.  Threat to Privacy Security The private information stored on the handsets can be subjected to theft, loss and misuse. The widespread use of camera phones has become a threat to personal privacy and intellectual property of enterprise. 18
  19. 19. Conclusion: Consumption patterns play an increasing role in the definition of contemporary societies and individuals. The "rise of consumer culture" is a central theme in the study of this century. The phrase has been employed to describe developments inside national frameworks as well as a larger process of global integration. Undeniabiable, globalization has become one of the most important features of world economic activities. It has not only produced a far reaching impact on the political and social aspects of the world, but as economics too. There is no doubt that, it has created and influenced the consumer in the globe to have some similarities in consuming. Bombarded with the incredible global media, consumer get the source to optimum they consumption to the maximum. The culture of consumer has been instilled and rooted in ones mind and change their perception of requirement and demand in daily life without anybody knowing. However,through observation,it‘s not difficult to get few consumer culture rooted and practicing by Malaysian.Generally,it can be catagorized them into food,lifestyle,finance and beauty lines although some of the them are global-consumer culture too due to the globalization and westernisation such as fast food culture and mobile phone culture. Consumer culture as the crucial intend of individual deeds and the key source of social status and prestige perhaps also a better life, notwithstanding the impacts that come along are worth to be discussed. One must smart to take adaptively and get ready to face all the impacts especially the nuisances. 19
  20. 20. References: Amir Muhammad, Kam Raslan, and Sheryll Stothard.(1998) Generation: A Collection of Contemporary Malaysian Ideas. Chapman, Stephen. (1997) ―Is Democracy Foreign to ‗Asian Values‘?‖ Chicago Tribune. Cheah Boon Keng. (February 18, 2001) ―Democracy—the Debate Rages On.‖ New Straits Times (Malaysia) Crawford, Anne-Marie. (2000). "View from London" Ad Age Global, http://www.adageglobal.com/cgi- bin/article.pl?article_id=57#top Crouch, Harold.(1996) Government and Society in Malaysia. Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Globalization: What it means to small nations, Text of speech Delivered at the Inaugural Lecture of the Prime Ministers of Malaysia Fellowship Exchange Programme held in Kuala Lumpur on 24 July 1996. Feathersone, M. (1998) Consumer Culture and Postmodernism, Sage. Federation of Malaysian Consumer Association. http://www.fomca.org.my/english/ Goldman R & Stephen Papson.(1994) "Advertising in the Age of Hyper signification", Theory, Culture & Society. Hassan, H.M. (1999) To the Defence of the Islamic Movement and the Pioneers of HEEJO KEUM, NARAYAN DEVANATHAN,SAMEER DESHPANDE,MICHELLE R. NELSON, and DHAVAN V. SHAH, Media Effects on Consumer and Civic Culture http://www.journalism.wisc.edu/cccp/Keum.pdf Islamic Renaissance, http://www.iol.ie~afifi/BICNews/Hamdan/hamdan22.htm Islamic Resurgence Phenomenon‘ in C. Keyes et. al. (Eds) Asian Visions of Authority. John C. Mowen,Michael Minor.(1998) Consumer Behaviour 5th Edition.Prentice Hall Publication. 20
  21. 21. Laman Web Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri dan Hal-ehwal Pengguna http://www.kpdnhep.gov.my/ Mahathir, M. (1999) A New Deal for Asia, Pelanduk Publications. Mc Cracken, Grant. (1986) "Culture and consumption: A Theoretical Account of the structure and Movement of the Cultural Meaning of Consumer Goods", Journal of Consumer Research Michael R. Solomon.(1994) Consumer Behaviour 2nd Edition.Allyn and Bacon. Miller, D. (1998) A Theory of Shopping, Polity Press. Noreene Janus.Cloning the Consumer Culture. http://www.medialit.org/reading_room/article219.html Shamsul. A.B. (1994) ‗Religion and Ethnic Politics in Malaysia – The Significance of the Zhen Bingxi, Economic Globalization and New International Economic Order, Foreign Affairs Journal, No. 54 December 1999. 21

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