1. Yes, I think that the United States is in a “legitimization crisis.” People do not really know who they truly are, since culture is not always passed down from generation to generation. The trends are always changing and most people just want to fit in, not knowing who they really are. “This, of course, is the inevitable consequence of the decline of traditional forms of belief, whether religious or secular in nature, and hence the “legitimization crisis” that is inevitable corollary” (pg. 20). The United States population is adopting different aspects of different cultures to try and find themselves. This affects fashion consumer habits because they are just buying items that they think are on trend without knowing the cultural backgrounds. For example someone who is American might want to appear more Mexican, African American, or whatever may be on trend in the setting. They will consume articles of clothing that will help them appear more like the culture that they are trying to portray without knowing much about it. With all of the different trends and cultures it is difficult to find who you really are.
2. I have had some novelty purchases that have brought me some sort of lasting satisfaction. But, I would have to admit that no object or novelty purchase can bring a complete sense of life long lasting satisfaction. “The emphasis upon novelty becomes comprehensible, as modern consumers reproduce the cycle of desire-acquisition-use-disillusionment-renewed desire in their continuing attempts to close the gap between an imperfect present and a perfectly imagined future” (pg. 11). In the world we live in today we always want more. I am personally pleased with my purchases for a while, then after some time, a newer edition of the product will come out. Even though my product is still perfectly fine and in good condition, I will want the newer version. Since there are always new products on the market, no one will ever stay satisfied with what they have. Everyone will always want more. There are several novelty purchases that I truly appreciate, such as my L.A.M.B. purses. But I will keep wanting more even though I am satisfied with the purses I have now.
I have this one:
But i want more!
3. Members of contemporary western society derive their identities from the way they consume. “An individual’s mode of consumption, and especially his manner of dress, is an indication of his social identity” (pg. 15). In modern western society we buy depending on our style, which embodies our identity. Someone can be seen as rich and trendy because they always wear the latest trends, or carry the latest designer bags. But in reality they may not be rich at all, they might only have one designer bag or they might even be renting it. The way modern western society dresses may be misleading, but I think that it still says a lot about their identity. Even if they are not actually rich, they want to appear rich; which shows society that they mainly want to fit in. Someone who has less money but still wants to keep up with the latest trends will shop at lower end stores that make affordable fashionable clothes, such as Forever 21. That also says a lot about their identity, they are less wealthy but still stylish.
These clothing styles say something about each girl.