Maybe inelastic pricing on “particular issues” reveal or divulge to us norms and values we idealise. Holidays in any respect prices are how we fulfil our want for a work-life stability, even when such balances don’t exist. An costly marriage ceremony is our manner of marking the occasion as significant, as a result of expenditure alerts funding.
In a society the place virtually something might be purchased or offered, our values and beliefs might be commodified too.
THE VALUE OF VALUES
But at what level can we are saying that the quantity we spend equates to like, filial piety and familial loyalty? In different phrases, to what extent can we put a financial worth on one thing intangible?
The temptation to rely is all the time there, as a consequence of dwelling in a capitalist, technocratic society. We now have been socialised to assume that extra and new is all the time higher – a lot in order that even sure variations of the afterlife are locations to brand-signal as properly, with outlets promoting joss paper replicas of the newest MacBook Execs and iPhones.
On the identical time, I don’t assume the reply is to utterly detach ourselves from rituals, whether or not spiritual or in any other case. Rituals and ceremony are a core a part of what makes us human. Our collective partaking in rituals create types of solidarity inside and between teams.
What we have now to watch out about, and what we have now to ask ourselves, is whether or not spending really symbolises our beliefs, or whether or not it’s our manner of one-upping one another.
Terence Heng is a senior lecturer in Sociology on the College of Liverpool, UK, the place he’s additionally an affiliate on the Centre for Structure and the Visible Arts.