Also, according to the Marxist perspective, the increase in disposable incomes of citizens has shifted the emphasis away from “need-based” consumption to “symbolic” consumption, wherein people purchase products for obscure reasons such as status and image (Taylor et. al, 2009, chapter 2). While it is true that the UK has become more affluent over the last fifty years, the distribution of this wealth has not been uniform. For example, the real incomes for the top ten percent of the population have increased at a faster rate than that of the bottom ninety percent. Considering this, for a significant section of the UK demography there has not been a marked change in their real income levels, although the absolute income has increased. Seen on a per capita basis, the average consumer in the UK today is contributing more to polluting the environment than ever before. But the consumer in the lower socio-economic group ends up paying a greater price for this collective social failure, while the rich consumer pays proportionately less price for his/her consumption. Such imbalances make the task of finding suitable solutions more complex. Similarly, while affluent families can look after themselves and get access to all basic necessities of life, the same cannot be said of the poorer families, making the situation ripe for family disharmony, dysfunctional parenting and emotional and physical abuse of family members (Dreman, 1997).
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