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Trapped in Consumption - a Qualitative Content Analysis of How Lyxfällan Portrays the Consumer Society

Nilsson, Marika LU and Engström, Michaela LU (2013) MKVK04 20122
Media and Communication Studies
Abstract
Today’s society is a consumer society where consumption is dominated by the consumption of commodities. Consumption is a common theme seen on television, which is one of today’s major media channels. Reality TV is a growing genre in television production. This essay discusses how consumer society is portrayed in reality TV. This is done through the analysis of the Swedish reality TV show Lyxfällan; a show about helping people with overconsumption and their personal financial crises. The analysis will include how norms of the consumer society, such as identification through commodities, daydreaming and insatiable needs are portrayed in Lyxfällan. Through the analysis it was found that commodities carry a high value to consumers. Commodities... (More)
Today’s society is a consumer society where consumption is dominated by the consumption of commodities. Consumption is a common theme seen on television, which is one of today’s major media channels. Reality TV is a growing genre in television production. This essay discusses how consumer society is portrayed in reality TV. This is done through the analysis of the Swedish reality TV show Lyxfällan; a show about helping people with overconsumption and their personal financial crises. The analysis will include how norms of the consumer society, such as identification through commodities, daydreaming and insatiable needs are portrayed in Lyxfällan. Through the analysis it was found that commodities carry a high value to consumers. Commodities play an important role in people’s identity making and often represent the pursuit of a dream. The commodities however, seldom live up to the consumers’ dreams. This together with the constant search for an identity leads to people continuing to consume. Lyxfällan’s participants are portrayed as being fools; they can’t control their consumption and instead rely on experts. The experts in Lyxfällan are portrayed through the hosts; they offer superior knowledge and solve every participant’s financial crisis. Lyxfällan, as a reality TV show, may over or under exaggerate these roles and norms. As a whole however, the portrayal of these themes reflects the consumer society. Lyxfällan criticizes overconsumption on an individual level, however it does not criticize consumerism as an ideology in society. The show helps the participants towards better personal finances, but doesn’t challenge the global risks of overconsumption. Lyxfällan is a part of, and dependent on the consumer society and will therefore not criticize it. (Less)
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author
Nilsson, Marika LU and Engström, Michaela LU
supervisor
organization
course
MKVK04 20122
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
consumers, fools, experts, identification, Lyxfällan, risks, reality TV, consumption, Consumer society, consumerism, insatiable needs, overconsumption, konsumtion, överkonsumtion, köpvanor
language
English
id
3358403
date added to LUP
2013-01-22 16:10:54
date last changed
2014-09-04 08:35:59
@misc{3358403,
  abstract     = {Today’s society is a consumer society where consumption is dominated by the consumption of commodities. Consumption is a common theme seen on television, which is one of today’s major media channels. Reality TV is a growing genre in television production. This essay discusses how consumer society is portrayed in reality TV. This is done through the analysis of the Swedish reality TV show Lyxfällan; a show about helping people with overconsumption and their personal financial crises. The analysis will include how norms of the consumer society, such as identification through commodities, daydreaming and insatiable needs are portrayed in Lyxfällan. Through the analysis it was found that commodities carry a high value to consumers. Commodities play an important role in people’s identity making and often represent the pursuit of a dream. The commodities however, seldom live up to the consumers’ dreams. This together with the constant search for an identity leads to people continuing to consume. Lyxfällan’s participants are portrayed as being fools; they can’t control their consumption and instead rely on experts. The experts in Lyxfällan are portrayed through the hosts; they offer superior knowledge and solve every participant’s financial crisis. Lyxfällan, as a reality TV show, may over or under exaggerate these roles and norms. As a whole however, the portrayal of these themes reflects the consumer society. Lyxfällan criticizes overconsumption on an individual level, however it does not criticize consumerism as an ideology in society. The show helps the participants towards better personal finances, but doesn’t challenge the global risks of overconsumption. Lyxfällan is a part of, and dependent on the consumer society and will therefore not criticize it.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Marika and Engström, Michaela},
  keyword      = {consumers,fools,experts,identification,Lyxfällan,risks,reality TV,consumption,Consumer society,consumerism,insatiable needs,overconsumption,konsumtion,överkonsumtion,köpvanor},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Trapped in Consumption - a Qualitative Content Analysis of How Lyxfällan Portrays the Consumer Society},
  year         = {2013},
}