Consumer Culture Reborn: The Cultural Politics of by Martyn J. Lee

By Martyn J. Lee

Lee brings jointly the discourses of political economic system and cultural reports with a view to make clear our social events. Lee sees the commodity because the important touchstone in the back of either research of the financial system and tradition.

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Extra resources for Consumer Culture Reborn: The Cultural Politics of Consumption

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Baudrillard 1988a:44) For Baudrillard the logic of sign-value represents the final triumph of capitalism in its attempt to impose a cultural order compatible with the demands of large-scale commodity production. Individuals have here been reduced to the status of mere consumers, and consumers have become nothing but the vehicles for the transmission of controlled and predetermined differences between consumer objects which function to classify the social world according to the demands of advertising and the mass media.

This logic of the ‘form-sign’ may be likened to a set of traffic lights, for just as traffic lights are able to effect changes in the behaviour of drivers by changing their colour, then so too, in changing their sign-values, are consumer objects able to effect changes in consumer needs and behaviours. The manipulation of needs and behaviours in this manner has made the consumer little other than a hollow shell into which the system of commodity production may deposit whichever needs are required for a given moment: Objects are categories of objects which quite tyrannically induce categories of persons.

The emergence of the new and affluent middle classes of today’s consumer society has only succeeded in making the essential social relations of exploitation that are hidden beneath the illusions Capital, labour and the commodity-form 31 of this new social democracy and the ‘classless society’ increasingly difficult to decipher: If the worker and his boss enjoy the same television program and visit the same resort places, if the typist is as attractively made up as the daughter of her employer, if the negro owns a cadillac, if they all read the same newspaper, then this assimilation indicates not the disappearance of classes, but the extent to which the needs and satisfactions that serve the preservation of the establishment are shared by the underlying population.

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