Mass Production and The Consumer Society
- Mass consumerism developed in the 1930's out of popular culture, lifestyle and fashion
- Steam Engine, James Watt 1765. Begining of the industrial revolution.
- Industrialisation and specialisation led to changes in production, workforce, transportation and infrastructure.
- More people needed more products and mass production responded to this need.
- Expensive and time-consuming work was now replaced by machine work.
- International commerce and transportation systems developed such as ships, aeroplanes, hotels, theatres and department stores designed in the ART DECO style.
- By the mid-1950's design evolved rapidly to meet needs of the teenage market- high fashion and consumer goods: Radios, motorbikes and scooters.
Targeting Children As New Consumers
- A disturbing feature of modern mass consumerism is the targeting of young children by marketing companies in order to stimulate interest in products at an early age.
- E.g. Blockbuster Movie- Merchandise such as toys and lunchboxes, that they are going to want.
- In the past, marketing to children was restricted to toys and sweets- relatively low-budget.
- Children can now be targeted not only through TV adverts but the Internet and E-mail.
'Gotta catch 'em all' - which plays on a child's natural urge to collect things, such as Pokemon trading cards.
- This is a method of stimulating consumer demand by designing products that wear out or become outmoded after limited use.
- By the 1950's built-in obsolescence had been routinelt adopted by a range of industries, most notably in the American motor and domestic appliance sectors.
- Nowadays products such as laptop computers are obsolete as soon as they are purchased.
Mass Production and Its Effect Upon Employment
- Mass production processes of the industrial revolution, meant that the craftsperson was replaced by low-skilled workers in highly merchanised factories.
- Low skills = Low wages.
- Although working conditions have generally improved, modern mass production still has some very negative social consequences.
- The use of highly automated production and assembly lines has reduced the workforce required in many factories.
- High-skilled technical roles and Low-skilled manual roles.
The 'NEW' Industrial Age Of High-Technology Produc
- In the 20th Century, materials, manufacturing technologies, together with changes in lifestyle, revolutionised product design.
- New materials such as metal alloys, polymers and composites enabled new ways of designing and manufacturing.
- 1940's the development of digital computers and the silicon chip in the 1960's enabled relatively inexpensive portable computer technology, which transformed modern industrial society.