Commodity fetishism lecture


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Commodity fetishism lecture

  1. 2. Marx and Labor <ul><li>More Labor </li></ul><ul><li>Less pay for the labor </li></ul><ul><li>Accumulation of capital in the hands of the few </li></ul>
  2. 3. Alienation & The Bicycle Thief <ul><li>The worker is alienated from the product of his labor which he does not own. </li></ul><ul><li> (7:33) </li></ul><ul><li>The worker cannot use the things he produces to keep him or herself alive. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Under capitalism recession means that workers 'consume less because they produce too much. </li></ul><ul><li>The worker is dependent on the capitalists who own the means of production. </li></ul>
  3. 4. The Bicycle Thief and Religion <ul><li>Marx: “ The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. “ </li></ul><ul><li>The church scene </li></ul><ul><li>The soothsayer: </li></ul><ul><li> (5:40) </li></ul><ul><li>Marx: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” </li></ul>
  4. 5. The Bicycle Thief and Revolution <ul><li>From Hegel to Marx </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>(5:35) </li></ul><ul><li>The organized black market </li></ul>
  5. 6. Beijing Bicycle <ul><li>Director: Wang Xiaoshuai </li></ul><ul><li>He is part of the urban generation of directors who grew up during China’s economic reforms </li></ul><ul><li>These directors focus on the present and future Chinese society </li></ul><ul><li>Their films tend to be shot on location </li></ul><ul><li>They tend to use non professional actors </li></ul><ul><li>They use a documentary approach </li></ul>
  6. 7. Themes in Beijing Bicycle <ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Migration and dislocation (from rural areas to urban ones) </li></ul><ul><li>The widening gaps in society </li></ul><ul><li>Shift from planned economy to free-market capitalist economy & critic of capitalism </li></ul><ul><li>The decline in the state's ability to provide essential services </li></ul><ul><li>Social alienation </li></ul><ul><li>Sympathetic portrayal of rural immigrants as individuals (e.g. protagonist/ Guei) </li></ul><ul><li>The maid/ rich woman scene </li></ul><ul><li>Being forced to pay for shower services in leisure house </li></ul><ul><li>Being possibly swindled over the payment of his bicycle at work </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty experienced by migrants </li></ul><ul><li>The alienating power of the city, rural immigrants as outsiders (Wang’s own similar experience) </li></ul>
  7. 8. Commodity Fetishism and Beijing Bicycle <ul><li>What is commodity Fetishism? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the Bicycle work as a commodity? </li></ul><ul><li>Li Shuang, the bicycle freestylist. </li></ul><ul><li>The relationship between Guei & Li Bin </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalism vs Socialism </li></ul>
  8. 9. From Beijing Bicycle to the immediate world: Applying commodity Fetishism
  9. 10. Commodity Fetishism In Society <ul><li>Brands replacing local merchants with mass industrialization. </li></ul><ul><li>Comforting brand figures as replacements. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Quaker Oats, Green Giant </li></ul><ul><li>People organize themselves according to brand tribes. </li></ul><ul><li>Being an Abercrombie type of person or a Nike type of person </li></ul>
  10. 11. Commodity Fetishism & Brands in the 21 st Century <ul><li>Selling brands as ideas and lifestyles </li></ul><ul><li>Coca-Cola selling the youth lifestyle </li></ul><ul><li>Nike selling athletic ability </li></ul><ul><li>Benetton selling diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Virgin selling individuality and rebellion </li></ul><ul><li>Apple using MLK and Ghandee (doing things differently) </li></ul><ul><li>IKEA selling democracy (you can put together your furniture on your own) </li></ul><ul><li>IKEA: Control your own destiny i.e. democracy </li></ul>
  11. 12. Brand Ideas living independently <ul><li>Tommy Hilfiger—selling the spirit of rock and roll. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Sponsoring concerts. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Making musicians wear your cloths. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Getting musicians in ads </li></ul><ul><li>4. The brand ends up having a cultural role, it becomes a star in its own merit. </li></ul><ul><li>Brand product placement in film and television </li></ul>
  12. 13. Commodity Fetishism and Globalization <ul><li>Labor , sweatshops and commodity fetishism. </li></ul>