Ritzer’s View on Consumption and Children’s Role as Economic Producers
Ritzer’s views on consumption are linked to the role of children in production, consumption, and distribution in several ways. As producers, children focus on rationality by adopting the most efficient ways of participating in economic activities. For instance, children often differentiate between helping their parents and formal employment. They often negotiate for high pay when assigned a demanding task because they consider it a form of employment rather than assisting their parents.
In consumption, children focus on calculability to ensure that they purchase adequate goods and services with their limited income. For instance, they prefer to purchase snacks from restaurants that offer large quantities. They also buy toys from stores that provide huge discounts. In this case, children are enchanted because discounts allow them to obtain more for less. Moreover, increased availability of stores that have a variety of goods allows children to purchase merchandise that satisfies their tastes and preferences. Nonetheless, increased consumption of cheap goods and services leads to the irrationality of rationality.
For instance, most children in the US are obese or diabetic because of excessive consumption of cheap snacks. Irrational consumption is motivated by advertisements and the design of shopping malls that create the zombie effect among shoppers. Specifically, shopping malls have attractive displays that motivate children to consume goods that they do not need. Predictability is an integral element of consumption among children. Generally, children expect a specific quality whenever they purchase various goods and services. When the desired quality is not delivered, children feel disappointed. Thus, kids experience disenchantment because they cannot fulfill their dreams or fantasies.
Children also engage in the distribution of value through the exchange of gifts and trading in a limited range of merchandise such as fruits and snacks. Retailers have realized that they can improve their earnings if they control the decisions made by children during distribution. Thus, they focus on substituting humans with nonhuman technology to ensure predictability. For instance, automated inventory management systems ensure that stores have adequate merchandise that children need to avoid disappointments. The resulting increase in sales improves profits.