2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
Baudrillard's The System of Things, like his literary heritage as a whole, is characterized by crystal clarity of narration, brilliant wit and pleasant literary style. The author presents the most important problems of sociology, philosophy, psychology, art history in a simple, understandable and fascinating context, accessible to the average person. This book has not lost its relevance for many years, it helps to honestly assess human impulses and emotions, to determine the possible prospects for the development of society.
What is consumption
According to the author, which Jean Baudrillard sets out in The System of Things, consumption is a phenomenon of a modern civilized society, characteristic of economically prosperous countries. In the affluent society, as he calls people, the purpose of things is not limited to their functionality, as was the case in the past. Today things are also a hallmark, a show of we alth, a visual expression of prestige.
In Baudrillard's System of Things, consumption is depicted as an ongoing process of choice and a constant need to renew things. Every member of the human community is unconsciously drawn into this process. Buying more and more new things, a person strives to achieve a certain ideal, which inevitably eludes him. Fashionable clothes, the latest gadgets make it more successful and competitive, and buying on credit allows you to get ahead of time and your own income. Popular is not only the newest, but, conversely, the oldest and rarest: vintage art, antique furniture, collectibles.
Essence of consumption
Summary of "The System of Things" by J. Baudrillard boils down to the fact that a person seeks to overcome his fears and anxieties with the help of the most modern and advanced technical toys, complex machines for everyday needs and robotic household items.
To stimulate the desire to buy, manufacturers use advertising. The goal of advertising campaigns is not to try to sell more of this or that product, but to put into the mind of a person a whole image of a successful member of society. In this context, the consumer always remains dissatisfied, his passion knows no saturation, because he interacts not with things, but with cultural signs. Such an exchange lasts indefinitely, and the speed increases every day. These cultural marks increasingly embody intangible goods such as prestige and lessfilled with functional meaning. Baudrillard in The System of Things calls such signs dehumanized, implying that the person in this culture is relegated to the background.
"The System of Things" was written and published in 1968. Then in 1970 "Consumer Society" appeared. The books of Jean Baudrillard partially repeated the ideas of Marxism, but in his subsequent works the author actively criticized them. In The Mirror of Production, published in 1973, the writer attacks Marxism rather rudely, calling its point of view exclusively bourgeois.
In 1976 the work "Symbolic exchange and death" appeared. Over the next 10 years, the author traveled extensively in Europe, South America and the United States. Subsequently, he wrote the book "America", which became the most popular creation.
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