Blog #4 Goffman “Why Do Poor People ‘Waste’ Money on Luxury Goods?”

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.


4 responses to “Blog #4 Goffman “Why Do Poor People ‘Waste’ Money on Luxury Goods?”

  1. They just want to feel as if they belong in stead of feeling like those above them are stomping on their head with their wealth. So they buy nice things to feel apart of the nicer upper class humans. Its hard to blame them when it wasnt a fair share from the start.

  2. I agree with you 100%. Poor people waste money on luxury goods to feel like they belong and to be accepted. I know people who rather spend money on something designer than to pay their bills. The only reason behind that is to be socially accepted. Without those things, those people would be viewed as poor or someone who’s not popular. Unfortunately, whether we want to believe or not, money rules the world. Money dictates our social status, nowadays and there’s honestly nothing we can do about it.

  3. Yes is very disconcerting that the ‘poor’ are spending their money trying to seem as part of a better class. Usually the people that have money tend to be more lay back and simple (not always but in some cases). This is one of the reasons that the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich.

  4. I can agree to this blog simply because when i was younger i felt i needed every sneaker or leather jacket that came out in high school because my school was all about fashion. the money being spent could have went to a used car or something more important while I was under my parents house.

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