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Mistake meetingpeople and conspicuous consumption
Woo Moo-kuen reporter  |  gkdgkd2ekd@hanmail.net
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승인 2007.06.20  02:07:47
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

   

Once upon a time, there was a merchant in a country. The merchant's shop usually sold diamond. However, this shop did not sell the diamond for a while, because the merchant thought the shop needed reconstruction and went outdoors. During that time, the employee put wrong price tag by mistake. The mistaken price was twice expensive than usual one. As owner came back to the shop, he found the diamond was sold out. This story is origin of Veblen effect.
 Veblen effect is form of consumption which is shown by high social class consumers. Regard to this theory, while price of products increases, demand does not decrease. In the contrast, the demand increases.
 Yes. Rich people are abundant in capital. However, when people who are not rich enough also want to be luxurious, it comes to be a problem. We call them Momos; the people who are luxurious without enough money.
 The word ‘Momos’ is made by Korean people. Momos is contrasted with Bobos which means new high social class people in U.S. Bobos are high class people who live with economic wealth of bourgeois and mental abundance of bohemian together. However, Momos is transformed humorously from Bobos. The word consists with ‘all is debt’ and ‘all is fake’.
If so, why do Momos wants luxury goods? Momos asserts ‘if I do not have luxury goods, I feel myself to look forward not to have material. However, for as that all?  No. Momos fall into a trap in conspicuous consumption.
First, what is conspicuous consumption? When people consume conspicuous consumption for to be recognized by another person, people want to be authorized. In other word, Momos does not satisfy utility value of luxury good, but satisfies reaction of another person toward conspicuous wealth.

   


What are factors that Momos till consumes conspicuous consumption? These factors are various. First is ego concept. Ego is to thinking and feeling, for example, attitude, feeling, and recognition about one’s self. In the other word, ego is that one recognize one’s self in standard of the social decision. Because of these reason, person tends to protect and enforce person’s ego. Therefore person incline to consume symbolical goods for enforcing ego. Therefore, consumer determines to choose goods or brand in accordance with desire relate with ego and motivation. If conspicuous consumption expresses ego, we can say it is positive case. However, if person behave conspicuous consumption for  compensating ego, it is a problem. Conspicuous consumption  to compensate ego is as fill water  in a jar that has hole.
Second, conspicuous consumption came from materialism. Normally, materialism means ‘strong desire about goods.’ In the other words, material value has higher value than mental one. Because materialism regards  important source whether you satisfy with possession of material in life - the more materialism increases its power, the more possession of material is being important in individual life. Therefore, materialist defines one’s self through possession of material and tends to define the success with quality and quantity of possession of material. Therefore, modern people in materialism make a display of one’s self through consuming products. As a result, materialism causes conspicuous consumption. People in materialism believe  happiness comes from consumption. However, in this case, the happiness does not stay long enough with them. Consequently, individuals in materialism consume more than big and more than they can afford  to maintain regular happiness level.
Third, reference groups affect choices of consumers. Reference group is any groups that affect individuals at their attitude, opinion, and one’s value and others. Thus, reference group affects choice of consumers in aspect of information influence; model influence, standard influence and others. Individuals tend to compare them with person or group that is in similar level. Therefore, the individuals receive comrade group about quality of goods, the latest style and others. In the other word, individuals anticipate that reference group will purchases goods or brand.  Individual wants to sense unity through individual purchase of the goods or brand. Especially, because teenagers are afraid to be neglected, they receive more information of goods or brand from reference groups.
 Fourth phenomenon is inciting conspicuous consumption. This phenomenon occurred in various areas. First, mass media incites conspicuous consumption. Mass media is important factor in modern society because it affects people deeply. In the other words, individuals are exposed to possibilities of conspicuous consumption. For example, do you remember the catch phrases such as ‘show me your ability’, ‘father said enjoy your life’, ‘your house says who you are’ or others. Lately, likewise, television shows also take part in the inciting. Almost every Television shows have rich characters. Theses advertisement and television drama affect people’s conspicuous consumption. When you do not purchase these goods, you may think your value decreases’ and person who sees the advertisement or television show will feels relative sense of deprivation and sense of vanity. Thus, people do not think one’s financial condition deeply and purchases those goods.
Fifth phenomenon is VIP marketing. After the economic crisis in 1997, population rate of middle class decreased and population rate of the low and high classes increased. Therefore, company’s consumer managements have been changed to other form. One person, who is rich and consumes expensive goods, has equal or higher value than four or five people who are low class. Therefore, companies changed their target from public to the high class. VIP marketing spreads not only in business companies, but also in medical companies, theaters, and others. Because of this VIP marketing, normal people feel deprivation and want to be included in the high class.
 Sixth, because of fake goods market, Momos does not decrease. Lately, The Industrial Property Office, police and public procurators intermit fake goods markets together. In intermittence, average every year ten thousand to twenty thousand.  The Industrial Property Office analyzed a reason of sustain number of explosion every year. The reason was  consumption behavior changed and many people bought them. Almost every famous brands are imitated by fake goods seller. This analysis means a lot of fake goods exist in Korea. This situation makes not to decrease a lot of Momos unavoidably.

   

 Old proverb said “do not attempt to fly as an eagle with wings of a wren.” The life which does not have enough economic circumstance floats in to the high class. Thus Momos imitates high class to lend money. The life’s end is misery. Debt is increasing and only longing sigh. Remember what Socrates said: “Know yourself”

 

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