The example of toys like Barbie or toy cars is very helpful for me to understand connection among consumption, identity and citizenship. I have thought about relation between shopping(consumption) and identity because what we buy and use sometimes exposed to others so that they can identify us based on what we have. Identity others give us sometimes affect how we identify ourselves. In the sense we see ourselves through others. Yet I have never connected consumption and citizenship. When I went to outlet for shopping, I found that some American brands such as Tommy Hilfiger use red, blue and white on their products a lot. I’m not sure whether they meant to raise people’s mind as American but it can affect American customers’ feeling. I was impressed with how companies or brands use those colors or ideas naturally so that customers don’t realize the influence of the hidden ideas but at the same time I’m a bit scared of the mind controlling by companies.
American way of implicating citizenship is three colors in the Stars and Stripe, beautiful skinny ladies or cars made in America. I will think about cases in Japan, what kind of strategy exist to raise Japanese people’s citizenship. Some typical ways to represent Japanese culture on products is pictures of kimono, kabuki, Mt Fuji. While Japanese culture emphasize these Japanese culture, it also adopts culture or trend so often. For example, music in shops is often American or British music, some brands use American models for advertisement of apparel.
Sometimes, especially for young people, adopting culture or ideas from other countries have positive effect on companies’ sales because young people think American or British is cool. Considering the fact Japan seem to have less connection between consumption and citizenships. Japanese culture is willing to accept or adopt other culture, it can be one of Japanese identities. We can see that situation in adoption of Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter. Those things became famous partly because of some companies’ marketing strategy. Especially the spread of Valentine’s Day was totally intended by Japanese sweets companies because they wanted to sell their chocolates. I want to know whether America also adopts culture from other countries to sell their products.
One thing I’ve been looking forward to during this program is going to a church because it was my first time. My first time of church visit was something different from what I have expected because Unitarian accepts diversity which leads to its casual mood. People there are very nice and welcoming to us. Next time when I have chance to visit another type of church, I’d like to go there too.