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Marxist literature has forever emphasized the role that production and consumption have had on the making of social and cultural identity Consumption could be viewed as the production of identities and by using this concept it could be understood how economics and culture affect one another An economic act is simultaneously a cultural act and vice versa Consumption is a universal process that makes life possible while production is related to survival with preconceptions of consumption in mind In some parts of the world consumption exceeds production because while every man woman and child is a consumer only some men and women are producers Mazrui 1990 68 Children and the elderly are considered to be consumers because both groups are either too young or too old to contribute anything meaningful to their community In some Third World countries pure consumers outnumber producers with chronic or expanding unemployment and a majority of the population below 15 years of age Mazrui 1990 68 Although consumption in some parts of the world is higher than the norm the basic consumer needs in other parts is not being met As a result a gap began to form between the rich and the poor The rich who lived beyond the simple necessities of life such as food shelter and clothing and the poor who were unable to even meet food shelter and educational needs Marx defined culture as a stratification of classes and castes where the privileged were at the top and the poor at the bottom Culture is related to ones prestige and importance in society Using this concept consumption could be defined as the use of goods to make social statements about ones status and deference An individual displayed his wealth in order to maintain his status in society For example a member of the bourgeoisie in the 1920s would construct her economic identity by showing off her tea sets her servants and her antique
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