Inequality to products and services because of varied needed

Inequality in its basic
definition refers to unfairness, which is caused by uneven distribution of
material and financial resources as well as unfair categorization or
discrimination based on certain attributes. On the other hand, consumer society
refers to a context where people sell and buy products and services to satisfy
their needs. The socioeconomic inequalities witnessed within the society create
significant constraints among consumers. It is the aspiration of all humans to
acquire as much as they need. However, that aspiration faces constraints
because of economic and social inequalities in the society, leading to
classification of people based on their social and economic attributes. 

 According to
Baudrillard (2016), the term inequality is a social and economic situation in
which the distribution of resources is uneven and often unfair. Inequality is
facilitated through an allocation norm that results into specific patterns that
define categories of people in terms of their economic and social status. It
differentiates the preferences in terms of access to products and services
based factors such as income, social class, gender, race and ethnicity among
others specific to a society (Storper 2000). Unequal distribution of wealth
among within a society results in the varied effects on privileges and access
to products and services because of varied needed stemming from inequality. A
society whose people have different access to social and economic resources
have different living standards because the mains of acquiring the basic and
secondary goods and defined by their income, which vary (Baudrillard 2016).

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On the other hand, the
consumer society refers to a social context where the most important
socioeconomic activity is the buying and selling of products and services. In
this society, it is not just about buying and selling, but people acquire
products and services they need (Hetherington & Harvard 2014). The most
important thing in the consumer society is an individual’s ability to own many
products and services.  Consumption is often think of as something that
would benefit individuals. For instance, when an individual eats an orange,
another person cannot benefit from that orange. On the other hand, not
everybody in the society has can buy or is in need of the orange. The different
preferences, capacity and willingness of people to buy various products and
services within a given context is what makes a consumer society (Storper
2000).

Inequality constraints
the consumer society in various ways. For instance, economic inequality creates
a buying and selling pattern in every consumer society. In every society,
individuals and families have specific needs that they are compelled to meet
(Baudrillard 2016). These needs vary from one individual, family or a specific
group to another. On the other hand, there is the need, willingness and ability
of an individual to fulfill such needs. Buying of products and services in the
society take place when a person identifies a need, shows interest to fulfil
that need and has the money to buy (Allen 2014). However, due to economic
inequality some people are able to buy products they need because they have the
means while others are unable because of low income. The poor in the society
will struggle to meet their basic needs, the middle class will have the means
to buy basic needs and a considerable comfort while the wealthy have the
financial power to acquire (Hamilton 2009). 

The constraints created
by inequality can be better understood by the fact that a consumer society
involves selling and buying of products and services to satisfy the perceived
needs of people. Inequality restricts the power of people to satisfy those
perceived needs (Storper 2000). This could be understood by the fact that
consumer society is defined by individualism and freedom of choice, which also
vary due to unequal access to social and economic resources. It is
characterized by social divisions, exclusions and inequalities. Since
individuals have the freedom of choice in the market, that very choice they
seem to enjoy is constraint by social class, exclusion and inequalities
(Hetherington & Harvard 2014). The suppliers of consumers understand the
concept of inequality and they seem to perpetrate constraints through means
such as market segmentation, quality and pricing among other things.

Supermarket is an example
of a selling entity that has perfected inequality constraints in a given
consumer society. Supermarket offer variety of products and services, ranging
from basic needs, those that offer comfort and luxurious products, all under
one roof. Even though all products are within the consumer’s reach, not
everyone can buy them (Baudrillard 2016). While other go to the supermarket to
buy basic needs, others have the financial capability of buying basic needs
together with the secondary and luxurious products because they have means.
However, the concept of inequality can also be viewed in the lens needs.
Poverty narrows the thinking scope of people and this translates to their needs
and ability to buy products (Allen 2014). Consequently, their buying trend in
the same selling context will differ with those of the rich. This constraint is
created by diverse thinking scope between the two groups.

Social exclusion is
another aspect of inequality that causes constraints in the consumer society.
The less socially accepted people in the society people have the advantage of
the discriminated groups (Baudrillard 2016). For instance, until the post-war
periods, the consumer society of the United States was extremely based on
ethnic and racial inequality. The blacks could not shop or consume certain
products because they were considered inferior in that society. This
constraint, even though not popular in the contemporary consumer society,
creates significant restrictions to access and buying of products and services
(Hamilton 2009). The repressed groups such as the unemployed, disabled people,
elderly, migrants and the poor are generally deemed to be socially and
economically unacceptable and thus are unable to consume effectively within the
same society. Since they have limited resources and income, they are socially
and economically isolated and hence are less valued within any consumer society
(Hetherington & Harvard 2014).

In many debates with the
contemporary societies regarding the consumption of products and services, it
is largely construed that possessed objects and experiences have a significant
value (Baudrillard 2016). This implies that the categories of experiences and
objects that are rendered valueless are generally invisible. Therefore, it can
be argued that anything visible has a value. However, the value attached to
such things vary depending on its importance, which is also attached to the
discriminative society (Allen 2014). While a group of people might render
something to have value, the same thing can be deemed valueless by another
group in the same consumer society. For instance, a group of young women in a
consumer society will buy bras because of its value to them. However, the same
product is valueless to men, unless they buy it for their women members of the
family due to gender categorization (Storper 2000).

Consumer society is
formed by individuals and groups whose main objective is to buy products and
services in order to satisfy their needs. In an ideal situation, it is expected
that individuals have the same level of needs and ability to buy products and
services to meet those needs. However, inequality is a reality that shapes the
society in various aspects including their buying patterns. Inequality creates
patterns in the society where we categorize people into the poor and the rich,
the employed and unemployed, male and female, children and adults, inferior and
superior among others. All these categories results from inequality, which in
turn forms a pattern of selling and buying in a consumer society.