After reading “Why do poor people waste money on luxury goods”, Goffman’s labeling theory states “how public labeling, or branding, as deviant, has adverse consequences for further social participation and self-image.” What caught my attention is “why do poor people make stupid, illogical decisions to buy status symbols? For the same reason all but only the most wealthy buy status symbols, I suppose. We want to belong.” This is true, and is disturbing because American poverty rate is at 15 percent. As roughly 46.5 million people are stuck living at or below the poverty line. This unnecessary spending to buy “social status” is unjust, and after all this, wants to receive government aid. Wasting money to purchase luxury goods that aren’t beneficial, is giving the individual a virtual identity which refers to the anticipated category.
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- Nicole Hala