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According to Karl Max, commodity fetishism refer to the perplexity of human relations said to occur because of the growth of trade market, when there are expressions of social relationships between people, mediated by and transformed into, objectified relationships between things like commodities and money. This theory of commodity fetishism plays a central part in Marx’s concept of capitalism, since it connects the subjective facets of economic value to its objective characteristics, through the alteration of a symbolization of worth into a reification, which achieves the force of an objective social power. It occupies an integral role in Marx’s rationalization of why interactions in capitalism and economic relationships often seem to a certain extent different from what they in actuality are.
Karl Marx’s theory of alienation, which in the literal sense means estrangement, as articulated in his earlier writings, refers to the put antagonism between things that are properly in harmony or separation of things that in the natural sense belong in the same place. In the models most significant use, he used it to mean the social alienation of a human being from features of their human nature. He held that alienation is a methodical outcome of capitalism.
Marx came up with this concept of alienation to expose the human action that exists behind the apparently impersonal forces governing society. He illustrated how, although facets of the society we live in seem natural and independent of us, they are the outcome of past human actions. Marx explained that not only did human activity in the ancient times create the modern world, but also that human deeds could form a future world liberated from the inconsistencies of capitalism. He came up with a materialist hypothesis of how human beings were fashioned by the community they lived in, and in addition how they could take action to transform that society, how humans are both world resolved and world producing. In Marxs view, alienation was not ingrained in the mind or in faith, as was the case with his predecessors Hegel and Feuerbach. Rather, Marx took alienation as something embedded in the material world. Alienation meant the loss of power, particularly the loss of control over labor.
Reification which literary means objectification, refers to the consideration of an object, relation or abstraction as if they had human that is pathetic fallacy, or living that is reification fallacy, life and capability, when in truth they do not. It also suggests the thingification of societal relations to the level that it expresses the character of social relationships by the relationships connecting traded objects.
Normally, it entails unraveling something from the original structure in which it exists, and transferring it into another context, in which it does not have some or even all of its original links yet appears to posses powers or traits which in reality it does not have. Therefore, reification involves alteration of perception, varying from the quite innocent, to the bizarre. Reification in notion happens when an abstract idea explaining a relationship or context is taken as a solid object, or if something is handled as if it were an independent object when this is improper since it is not a product or rather it does not actually exist as a separate entity.
Marx makes the claim that reification is an intrinsic and essential characteristic of economic worth such as it displays itself in the trade market. The inversion in the notion, between means and ends or between object and subject, echoes a real practice where elements such as properties, characteristics, features and powers exist only by virtue of a social relationship between people. This theory treats features as if they are the innate, normal characteristics of things, and or vice versa, it treats attributes of nonliving things as if they are characteristics of human subjects. This suggests the transformation of objects into subjects and subjects turn into objects, with the result that renders subjects passive or determined, while it renders objects as the active, determining factor.
Karl Max concepts are use in the understanding of contemporary. In todays world, technological accomplishments inconceivable in previous centuries are within our reach. This is the era of the internet, genetic engineering and space travel. Yet at the same time, we feel so powerless in the visage of the forces we ourselves have formed. The fruits of our toil threaten our very existence because this is also the era of global warming, arms race and nuclear disasters. For the first time in we now have the capability to produce sufficient to meet the needs of every living being on the globe. Yet poverty and disease continue to destroy millions of lives. In spite of our ability to tame the natural world, insecurity dominates our world, as military conflict and economic recession devastate many people with the obvious overwhelming force of natural disasters. The more our cities become densely populated, the more feelings of isolation and loneliness affect our lives. To Karl Marx, these ironies were obvious even when the system was still in its early stages.
He noted that, on one hand, there have started into scientific forces and industrial life, which no period of the previous human history had ever supposed. On the other hand, there exist signs of decay, far exceeding the awfulness of the Roman Empire. The present, everything appears pregnant with its opposite. Machines able to superbly, shorten and fructify human labor, we see starvation and overwork it. The fresh sources of prosperity, by some strange uncanny enchantment, turn into sources of want. It appears that the loss of character has brought about the victories of the arts.
Nineteenth-century Department Stores
Department stores obviously did not emerge suddenly and historians have had some level of difficulty in identifying the period in which they appeared, although most of them are in agreement that this took place from the 1850s to 1870s. Some argue that one can identify department stores can by their diversity of merchandise, methods of selling, styles of management, structure and level of capitalization.
The appearance of department stores in the nineteenth century separated residents and retailers similarly. Some became concerned about its distraction of traditional gender roles and tranquil areas, while others welcomed it as a medium of female development. Both the identity of the shopper and the nature of consumption and were redefined. The stare of the flâneuse, emerged in a number of magazines, broadened emotional dimension of consumption and the spatial beyond the materiality of goods. Middle-class women, businessmen, organizations, playwrights as well as journalists all attempted to capture the shopper, and in the course transformed preexisting social identities, particularly of female.
Musical comedies of the nineteenth century department stores, hosted publicly acceptable yet erotic stories about the blending of sexes, classes, and money that shaped modern personalities. Other varieties distinguished between the educated, whos window-shopping extended a form of humanity, and the unreasonable shopper, whose addictively persued fashion ended up in a loss of individuality. Shopping became an emancipator action by means of which middle-class ladies created a fresh sense of bourgeois feminine personality, stamped out new public spaces, and became empowered as political players.
As time passed, the department stores devoted more and more time developing magnificent display to draw greater numbers of women |ers. Female shopping power was essential to success and department stores worked hard to maintain their loyalty and secure their |. There have been suggestions that behind these developments lurked the threat of patriarchal influence. By the 1880s, department store had turned into a controlled dream world, an attempt to sidetrack women from the reality of their inhibited freedom in the then society. Other historians have also inquired whether the department store was a type of gilded cage.
Whether or not it was a gilded cage, the department store definitely gave women grounds to enter the West End and additional uptown shopping districts, creating, a contested terrain involving genders in the city throughout the 1870s and 1880s. Their ideas of patriarchal dominance disconcerted, men often viewed women heading into the city to acquire fast morals. Suburban womans migrations struck observers because when she entered into the city streets, she endangered her own repute and her familys social position.
However, today the shopping practice is essential to more and more consumer research. It has been shown that there is an intricate display of feelings concerned with the variety of shopping practices available for current consumers, varying from theatrical spectacle of the mall to laborious and task-like activities, and from status anxiety to the satisfaction of spending. Shopping deeds holds at least many dimensions for consumption activities such as integration, classification, experience and play.
Nearly all researches on shopping experience and of malls in present consumer theory tend to stress its hyper-real and theatrical character, with connections to postmodernism. Malls are not merely places of shopping but extremely planned social centers for interaction, entertainment, and other forms of consumer stimulation. The postmodern shopper theorists commonly adopt a typically speculative approach and are theoretically inspired. This has resulted to a lack of practical focus. Theorists, for whom the mall is the very personification of the postmodern state, tend to leave out empirical data based on the perspectives of the consumers themselves. One is forced to think how it works in solid social situations that inflect, its workings Band one is in turn required to learn from that place, make innovations, modify the drift of ones study, instead of using it as a spot for theoretical self-rationalization. Thus, there is a need to relate the theoretically derivative ideas to the conditions of the field.
Pierre Bourdieus concept of cultural capital
Beginning with the role of economic assets for social positioning, Bourdieu spearheaded analytical frameworks and developed social, cultural, habitus, symbolic capital, field or location, and symbolic violence concepts to expose the dynamics of power associations in social life. His work stressed the function of practice and incarnation or types in social dynamics and worldview production, often in discussion and resistance to universalized Western idealistic traditions.
Working with various colleagues, Pierre Bourdieu came up with the model of cultural capital in the early 1960s for addressing a specific empirical problem, that is, the fact that economic barriers were not adequate to clarify disparities in the educational achievement of children from diverse social backgrounds. As Bourdieus theory of cultural capital goes, capital capacity that is economic plus cultural capital, and capital composition or the relative weight of the two, are the key proportions of social demarcation, which makeup the space of social positions as well as the space of everyday life.
He claimed that, over and past economic factors, cultural dispositions and habits passed on from generation to another are fundamentally significant to school success. By doing so, he broke piercingly with common sociological conceptions of |s, which were inclined to view it chiefly as a source of common values and norms, or as a medium of collective expression. He instead, held that | shares several properties that are typical of economic capital. Specifically, he affirmed that cultural dispositions and habits embrace a resource able to generate profits, and they are possible subject to monopolization by groups and individuals. Under suitable circumstances, are transmittable from one generation to the next.
In displaying and expressing taste through diverse daily actions, humans reveal lot information about their place in social hierarchies. Inclination toward certain appearances, consumer goods, manners and such like things, may indicate status since it is considered as part of the daily life of high-status people. Nevertheless, it is not just that class structure determines patterns of taste. In addition, people may tactically employ divisions of taste as resources in redefining and maintaining their social status.
By investigating relationships between allocation of economic and cultural capital and the consumption patterns, Bourdieu recognized unique class tastes within the 1960s French society. Subtle and refined distinctions characterized Upper-class taste, and it places inherent value on aesthetic experience. French society appreciated this particular type of taste as the rightful basis for good taste in, acknowledged by the other classes as well. As a result, members of the middle classes seemed to observe cultural goodwill in imitating the high-class lifestyles and manners. The taste of the middle masses is not characterized as much by genuine admiration for aesthetics as by a desire to contend in social status. In opposition, the admired taste of the working masses is characterized by an imperative for selecting needs. Not much weight is placed on aesthetics. This may be due real material deprivation including only the necessary but also, as a result of a tradition, that is formed by combined class experiences.
The relationship between social class, taste and habitus
His model of social relations and society has its origins in Marxist concepts of conflict and class. Bourdieu distinguishes social relations in the framework of what he refers to the field, identified as an aggressive organization of social relations performing according to its own precise rules or logic. The field is the location of struggle for power between the subordinate classes and dominant. In his consideration of habitus and field, Bourdieu castoffs the sociological model of functionalism, claiming that social figures are not normally determined by necessities for integration or survival. The field and the habitus can and do differ considerably over time and geographic margins.
While the practices of class struggle and symbolic activity may remain steady, the appearances that these actions take varies not footed on functional determinants, but on apparently arbitrary social creations. While the field and habitus explain, respectively, the surroundings and regulations within which class struggles take place, the theory of symbolic capital describes the tools used by persons and organizations within a field to gain supremacy and thus to reproduce themselves with time. Bourdieu explains two main types of symbolic capital: cultural and economic. Both illustrate endowments that persons take with them into the field and try to dispute. Economic capital is corresponding to the capital well known to students of Marxist concepts including both monetary and property belongings. However, cultural capital is a concept unique to Bourdieu’s theoretical model.
Bourdieu demonstrates to a great extent and detail how the comprehension and use of cultural artifacts and the body, and the taste which individuals develop for |. This is everything from foodstuff, garments and the way of life to preference in music and painting. These constitute several sublimated alterations of a single relation of principal to dominated class, regulating the numerous of struggles between class fractions and classes in modern industrialist society. Training people to shape their expectations and their own perception of themselves to their position in a hierarchy of political authority and their share in the social creation, at the same time availing vehicles to contest the place a class division has in that hierarchy and for a person to assert a place in a given class portion. His modes also helps in understanding how other deep-rooted dealings of subordination, particularly gender and age, merge with cultural and economic affairs of subordination in sublimated varieties, shedding light on how numerous types of subordination communicates with one another.
Loebs argument that nineteenth century advertising reflected the anxieties of the age New technologies developed in the nineteenth century led to the invention of brand new methods of manufacturing and subsequently an increase in levels of production. Workshops of many factories were brimful. This thus necessitated the creation of practical advertisements, which would fill all the huge spaces, and utilize a great range of mass media sources. Volney Palmer was the fast advertizing agent to create such a network in 1841 and opened offices in Philadelphia and Boston. The publishers received about 20 percent of the commission for media brokers. Most advertisements were placed in newspapers or published in leaflets. The Southern Messenger was the first magazine to publish advertisements. In spite of the popularity of varieties of newspapers, the greater part of information in the advertisements was untrustworthy and apocryphal. Furthermore, advertisements were at times immoral and ridiculous.
Loebs argument that 19th century advertisements reflected the anxieties of that era may be correct. Manufacturers believed that consumers were mainly interested in the quality of a product. For instance, instead of just ordering a pound of banking powder, advertisements now encouraged housewife to insist on a known quality of the product. Advertising was a reflection of what was on the minds of peoples. These advertisements revealed values, goals, fears, humor, myths, likes and dislikes, trends and fads of the then society. Whereas earlier magazine and newspaper ads had been restricted to small, column-sized ads, they now extended to include illustrations, to fully, capture the attraction of consumers.
For instance, a Coca cola advert from that century shows a portrait of a lively beautiful woman holding a bottle of coke in a desirable manner. However, not all welcomed the advertising age. In England and Europe for instance, there was fear that with the increasing effects of the Industrial Revolution in generation of wealth and materialism, values of beauty and spirituality were being lost. In todays world, advertisements have become less and less concerned with providing detailed information with regard to a product. They instead focus on drawing on the consumers social values and attitudes.
Yet this does not necessarily mean that advertisements are full of deceit. Most advertisers base their advertisements on reality and provide sufficient details about their products, only that they get a touch of fantastical look. Normally, advertisements are made up of vivid imagery, alluring colors and snappy catchphrases each of which add to the fantastic quality. These advertisements are a representation of a type of reality, one that is distinct from the viewer or readers day-to-day life. They offer consumers with situations and characters they can be able to identify with. In every social setting, humans desire recognition from others, need friendship and perhaps more significantly, they wish to belong. Todays advertisements can fulfill such needs if we are fully aware of their power and we really comprehend them. Advertisers identify psychological needs of their clients and offer them a possible solution. For instance, Horlicks adverts usually illustrate a woman with a hectic life, going through one of those days when everything appears to go wrong. At the point when life can get no worse, someone offers her a mug of horlicks to relax and calm her down.
Contemporary advertisements do not pervert the truth but instead present an image with which consumers can identify themselves. They offer situations and characters with which consumers identify with and thus produce feelings of well being when all in the advert goes well. In addition, advertisements can act as a way of escapism and can therefore be pleasurable. Nevertheless, one can argue that advertisements appeal to the negative facets of our lives such as our anxieties and fears. For instance, the BMS advert appears to be appealing to he audiences fears. It highlights common mistakes the learner driver makes thus conveying the idea that failing is inescapable, and thus leads to hopelessness and in the part of the consumer. Some however counter this reasoning, suggesting that one can read these adverts on a positive level, as they encourage the viewers or readers to confront their own fears and anxieties. The base of advertisements is a subconscious desire for a better tomorrow.
Michael Schudson argument that advertising operates as a kind of capitalist realism
Capital realism was a movement of art in the early 1960s in German. Michael in the mid 1980s used the term capitalist realism to explain mainstream practices in the world of advertising. He compares the appeals and messages of advertising to those of Social Realism a concept of the Soviet Union. In his narration, the realism of advertisements encouraged a way of life rooted on private consumption instead of the public, social achievement. As with Social realist concept, advertisements, no matter how real they are, do not require to be taken literally but instead set up symbolic structures, which abstract and typify situations and people. Most of the stock techniques Capitalist Realism employ in advertising were written by the code of 1976. Primary, the notion that advertisements are intended to entice or directly persuade the viewer was challenged.
Even more extremely, the idea that a product had to play a particular role in a consumer drama was successfully undermined, to the extent that explicit representation of the product began to disappear in the early 1980s. This resulted in advertisements appearing more like art than promotional exercises. The relationship between advertisements and sales, so direct in classified advertisements, or the connection between advertisements and consumer contacts, is very distant in the national consumer-good adverts. It is indirect in both time and space. For instance, the commercial for Coca-cola does not explain how the consumer can purchase the advertised product; it normally does not announce a place to shop or a phone number to call. It undermines a |ers shopping skills while it presumes successful distribution of their product to retail stores. It does not assume a speedy response of consumers to its efforts. What the advert pictures or says then is compelled to be relatively timeless and place less. National advertising of consumer goods is self-contained and highly abstracted.
Michael Schundsons account of capitalist realism is a reasonable account of contemporary advertising. People featured in television commercials or magazine adverts are abstract people. However, this does not necessarily mean they are fictive characters. In a television series or play, characters normally portray certain people, with specific names who, in the fictive world they occupy, exist in a series of relationships with other fictional actors and have diverse meanings within that world. In contrast, advertisements do not construct a fully fictive world. The character or model does not play a specific person but rather a demographic category or a social type. Nonetheless, there are obvious exceptions to this rule of abstractness.
Television celebrities, who do commercials seemingly in their own names, |arily use their television character, not their own personalities. For example, Robert Young did not really play himself in the Sanka coffee adverts where he introduced himself as Robert Young. He acted a much-generalized character of Robert Young that was based in his role as Jim Anderson in the television sequel Father Knows Best and his role tile in Marcus Webly M.D., essentially cheerful, full of good sense, mature and moderate. Even in many clear-cut testimonial adverts, the individual played is not the athlete or actor as a human being, but the athlete or actor is shaped into a celebrity.
The role of television stars in commercials is to appear, pulling back into and suggesting accomplished characters. The intended viewers will do the rest. This level, abstract advertisement world, is part of a deliberate attempt to associate particular products in peoples imaginations, with certain occasions, needs or demographic groupings. Therefore, abstraction is vital to the intention and aesthetic of contemporary advertising of national consumer goods. It does not fully built a fictive world nor does it picture reality. Instead, it exists on its on level of reality or what is referred to as capital realism. Contemporary adverts employ capital realism as a standard for transformation.
However, capital realism differs at least in two ways from the way people carry themselves in actual life. In real life, human action is extremely ritualized. People live and act in social principles, conveying to the world a stereotyped picture of themselves. This is even truer in the advertisement world since advertising is hyper-ritualized. Secondly, in advertisements, the footage is thoroughly edited to reflect perfectly their products to potential |ers. However, in real life, it is impossible for people to edit their behavior or actions to reflect a purely ritualized social moral.
Robert Goldman argument that new commodity feminism depoliticizes feminist politics and further alienates women in contemporary Western culture. Commodity feminism refers to the manner in which feminist concepts and icons are applied for commercial purposes, stripped off their political importance and offered back to the society inform of a commodity, normally through advertising. The theory of commodity feminism is widely associated with Robert Goldman who examined it in detail in his 1992 book Reading ads socially.
Advertising is one of the highest growing industries worldwide. As consumers needs change constantly, the emergency of different goods and services becomes urgent. Conventional types of media tools are now fused with technology inventions such as the internet to get to a great range of potential |ers. Furthermore, the expanding commercial advertising has been attributed with the growing global economy. The purchasing power of female consumers is increasing, hence contributing largely to the modern advertising market. The market is now dominated with female relate products with 80 percent of magazine adverts and television commercials targeted to women. While advertising is a product of global capitalism and social relations, it is a mirror of gender relations as well as society. In short, advertisements assume the evolution of society. For instance, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, advertisements present women as homemakers and mothers. In the twenty first century, however they represent them as new women.
The development of the female social status has smoothed the way for the transformation from feminism age to post-feminism. In the 1970s, a third of adverts demonstrated the dependency of women to men. The image of advertisements stereotyped women as homemakers who are subjugated by their husbands. The post feminism era though, has witnessed the transformation of females into individualized women, who despite their careers do compromise their roles as homemakers and mothers. As Goldman points out, woman has smartly tied together her responsibility as a career woman and a mother. Women portrayal in todays advertisements is in line with the notion of new women. For example, the advertisement of Pantenes use the saying do not hate me because am beautiful. The message implies that women are secure and confident about themselves.
According to Goldman, female power can also be viewed as women transformed from male gaze to female gaze and from object to subject. The merchandise they uphold is intended to please and satisfy themselves rather than please or attract men. Adverts moreover encourage a sense of being true to oneself. Moreover, a new wave of advertising changed the focus to desiring sex objects. In the contemporary media representation, women have become increasingly active and desiring sexual objects. Commodity feminism is vital for examining current representation of gender in the media.
Adam Arvidsson argument that in order to generate profit, companies exploit viewers interpretive labor of advertisements and brands
The culture industry and the mass media, specifically the development in advertisements has instilled the idea of consumerism by connecting emotion to consumption and drawing on emotional appeals. While earlier types of advertisements simply provided people with the information of the availability of goods and services, todays advertisements are forged on a different principle. This is the assumption that consumers have various means of meeting their needs and that they can derive satisfaction and pleasures which have little to do with their needs. Contemporary advertising aims to stimulate desire instead of proposing ways in which to satisfy needs. Therefore, companies rely on advertisements to stir certain emotions in their targeted consumers that will draw them to buy their products and services, thus increasing the profit of the company
Advertisements systematically and deliberately evoke, shape and manage consumer emotions by packaging consumer goods and services with emotional appeals, even though there might be little connection between those goods and the manipulated emotion. While it might be outrageous to attribute demonic powers of deception to advertisements, there cumulative effect on culture should not be overlooked. Regardless of their audience and success, the substance of advertisements is that fulfillment and happiness is attainable through commodities. They suggest that endless amassing of material possessions is leads to a productive and happy life.
Companies consider consumption as a form of labor, a practice that produces value, thus in order for them to capture that value or in other words in order for them to benefit or rip profits, they employ advertising as a means to influence and compel consumers. Modern marketing is centered on an attempt to control the productivity of consumers. There has been a notable shift of emphasis in advertisements. Initially, brands referred to producers. Generally, they served as a trademark that guaranteed quality or gave an identity to a mass produced product by linking it to an identifiable producer or a certain physical place. Now, instead the brand refers to the significance that commodities occupy in the minds of consumers.
Advertisers in an effort to boost their profits, manipulate catchy phrases to compel or motivate consumers to buy their products. For example in his advertisement, Guinness uses the slogan there is a drop of greatness in every man. This implies that when consumers buy their product, they consumers feel good about themselves. Another example is the Coca-cola recent adverts that use the phrase, open happiness implying that the use of Coca-cola product Coke, which is a soft drink, leads to happiness. This is indeed not necessarily true, thus we can say the company is exploiting the viewer interpretive labor to boost its sales. Therefore, Adam Arvidsons analysis is a convincing argument that companies exploit interpretive labor of consumers, in order to generate profits.
Advertising has become one of the great vehicles of social communication (Leiss, Kline and Jhally 1990: 1)
Advertising presents an advantaged type of discourse about such concerns in contemporary society; this simply means that people accord advertisements a place of prominence in their lives. A century ago, the forms of cherished discourses that moved people was church sermons, precepts and words of family elders, and political speeches. Such influences are still with us, but their prominence in the affairs of twenty first century daily life and the moral authority they contain have sharply diminished. The vacuum created by these diminishing influences has mainly been filled by the discourse about objects. This conveys the thought that communications among people, in which persons indicate to others about their expectations, sense of