Ow can consumption be creative, and what constraints affect consumer creativity? Discuss using examples.
TMA is double weighted and offers you the opportunity to carry out some brief research of your own. The focus of the TMA is on the ways in which your research and examples from the cours material can be used to explore, illustrate, and evaluate the theories and themes put forward in both Production of Cultures/Cultures of Production and Consumption of Everyday Life.
Although you are encouraged to carryout your own research, this is optional and not a requirement.
Themes of creativity and constraint run through Consumption and link to some of the material in the Production book as well. The question invites you to examine these themes using your own research and topics in the course material. Topics around TV, ICT,s music and kitchens all reflect discussions within the course material and could be readily adapted for your own research. A well focused, in depth of two or three linked examples from the course and your own research is more likely to respond to the demands of the question.
Chapter authors in Consumption disagree about the extent of constraint and creativity in the consumption process, and you will need to evaluate a range of views on this in order to frame your discussion of examples. To show how consumption can be creative, you will need to consider the theme of appropriation raised by Miller in chapter 1 which may link to pleasures of consumption theories. Readin B is helpful here. Chapter 3 by Ruth Finnegan explores the role of creative consumption in music creation, and you may find ways of linking this material to your own research.
In chapters 5 and 6 , Shan Moores and Hugh McKay explore the balance between creativity and constraint and the social relations of media technology consumtion. Constraints of age, gender and class as well a physical technology are considered, and these could well be reflected in your own observations. You will note that phisical technology has moved on considerably since the course was written, and you may wish to consider the social effects of some of the changes in your own small-scale research.
Consumption and Everyday Life
ed Hugh McKay Open University Sage Publications
Doing Cultural Studies The story of the Sony Walkman Paul du Guay, Stuart Hall, Linda Janes, Hugh McKay and Keith Negus, Open University, Sage Publications
Production of Culture/Cultures of Production ed Paul Du Gay, Open University, Sage Publications