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By Martyn J. Lee

Lee brings jointly the discourses of political financial system and cultural reports for you to make clear our social occasions. Lee sees the commodity because the very important touchstone in the back of either research of the economic system and tradition.

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

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This was once achieved by extensive deprivation. Today in the developed countries it is being achieved by imposing a false standard of what is and what is not desirable. (Berger 1972:154) Raymond Williams (1962) would seem to agree with this view. Williams provides us with an ironic twist to the common cliché that modern society is too materialistic. Advertising, he suggests, has tended to dissolve culture’s basis in material utility: If we were sensibly materialist, in that part of our living in which we use things, we should find most advertising to be of insane irrelevance.

Therefore, one of the primary functions of advertising is, as Judith Williamson (1978:12) has suggested, to create ‘structures of meaning’. It is this function of defining the meanings of commodities that Sut Jhally has referred to as the ‘theft and reappropriation of meaning’: in non-market societies there is a unity between people and goods, but in capitalism there is a separation between object and producer. The world of goods in industrial society offers no meaning, its meaning having been ‘emptied’ out of them.

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.

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