Answer to Question #144065 in Sociology for Elena Warner

Question #144065

Compare conspicuous consumption and Wright's idea of inconspicuous consumption to Erving Goffman's impression management.

Expert's answer

Conspicuous consumption is the practice of buying possessions to display affluence openly rather than satisfying basic needs. The motive is to avoid the stigma that comes with being thought poor, thus outdoing other persons they compare themselves to. Wright studied the habits of a privileged group distinguished by their extravagant spending and exemption from labor. A person has a social significance; thus, the material goods they buy and behavior reveal one's status.

According to Erving Goffman, impression management theory describes a significant aspect of how persons create, secure, uphold, and improve their social identities. It explains the drive behind complex human relations. Impression management aims to influence people’s perceptions about a group or person by providing self-evaluated, valuable information in social interactions. The motive is to gain a valuable first impression assuming that the target audience's impression of the person becomes the target audience's reality.  

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