Barker also explains the disorganized capitalism to be caused by both a deconcentration of the capital and a deindustrialization of the economy. The western competition in the extractive and manufacturing paved the way for the transition towards the service sector. This shift in the occupational structure has led to a decrease in the size of the working class and the emergence of the new service class. It also led to a reestablishment of new urban concentrations because workers will normally pursue the new work opportunities. Moreover, the changes in economic practices manifested in the alteration of the political thinking portrayed in the independence of corporations from the state hence a total change in the state role.
Those structures of work we have covered earlier have resulted in the creation of new social classes and those social classes are involved in new consumption patterns. Workers’ identification switched from of production to that of consumption. This new form of identification caused a certain fragmentation between the service class, working class and the underclass; each class is identified through its income and its consumption capabilities. For example, a worker who is paid 7000 usd a month , can enjoy more consumer items and services than some worker who gets 2600 dollars, hence the income is translated into a consuming capabilities that define one’s identity . This tendency of identification created a gap and social phenomena in the consumer society where objects are no longer purchased for their use value. Rather, what is sought after is commodity signs.
The cultural meaning of goods is more significant than labor value or object utilization. These commodities confer prestige and signify social value. Thus, codes of similarity and difference in consumer goods are used to signify social affiliation. For instance, if I can afford to buy the last Ferrari, wear Louis Vouiton and Prada, have the last iphone8 and live in a class neighborhood, I can identify myself with a superior social class and these commodities help me define my identity as belonging to that particular social class. This represents a consumer culture in which the creation of life styles is through the consumption of aesthetic signs.
We are moving towards a society without fixed status groups. The adoption of styles of life fixed to specific social groups and divisions is becoming irrelevant. Instead, lifestyles are emerging in which ‘the new heroes of consumer culture make a lifestyle a life project and display their individuality and sense of style in the particularity of the assemblage of goods, clothes, practices, experiences, appearance and bodily dispositions they design together into a lifestyle To conclude, the arguments presented by Barker highlight the changes in our contemporary world. The author explains the changes in culture as a result of changes and transformations in economy. The social class identification that influenced the consumption of commodities, the creation of new identities and lifestyles refer to this change from the economical to the social and eventually to culture which takes over in the end.