Monday
September 15, 2014

Homework Help: English

Posted by G.L. on Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 7:58am.

How to paraphrase these two meanings?
Subject: A term, used in philosophy and psychoanalytic and cultural theory, that refers to the available ways of being for humans in a given time period or context. Historicallym the subkect is a concept that has shifted away from the notion of the unitary, automous self of liberal philosophy and the thinking, rational self that sits at the center of Cartesian philosophy. Rather, today we understand the subjects to be more fragmented, less self-knowing, and understand the constituted through process of splitting. To speack of individuals as subjects is to indicate that they are split between the conscious and unconscious, that they are produced as subjects not by being born alone and independent but through the structures of language and society, and that they are both active forces (subjects of history) but also dependent on others and acted on by (subjected to) all the social forces of their moment in time.

Commodity fetishism: The process through which commonities are emptied of the meaning of their production (the labor that produced them and the context in which they were produced) and filled instead with abstract meaning (usually through advertising). In Marxism, commodity fetishism is the process of mystification that exists in capitalism between what things are and how they appear. Commodity fetishism also describes the process by which special life powers are attributed to commodities rather than to other elements in social life. For example, to suppose that a brand of car confers self-worth is to engage in commodity fetishism. In commodity fetishism, exchange value has so superseded use value that things are valued not for what they do but for what they cost, how they look,and what connotations can be attched to them. For instance, a commodity (such as bottled purified water) is emptied of the meaning of its production (where it was bottle, who worked to bottle it, how it was shipped)and filled with new meaning (mountain springs,purity) through advertising campaigns.

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