In one section of chapter two of Consumer Culture, Celia Lury outlines the “understandings of commodification, and of production and exchange for the market” (37) through Karl Marx’s writings.  Just as Garcia Canclini describes and expands on the act of appropriation of products, Marx highlights the importance of this “mode of appropriation” (37) and how it maintains and contributes to a capitalist society.  Marx goes forth to explain material culture as an “objectification of social life” (37).  By this, I feel as though Marx foresees an increasingly capitalistic society losing sight of the raw and natural value of a product. As Lury says, our society today has an obsession with the exchange of goods and services so much so that people think that they can essentially buy and sell anything and everything desired (38).  With that note, I can’t help but quote Oscar Wilde who writes; “nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.”  I think this is very much true even from a personal standpoint. 

    I get the notion that Marx believes the value of things get lost through this phenomenon called “commodity fetishism” which describes a “mask of commodities—a phantom of objectivity—in which the appearance of goods hides the story of those who made them and how they were made” (38).  And to help hide the story behind these products, I understood from the reading that advertisement and marketing play a major role.  Advertising “exploits this freedom to attach images of romance, exotica, fulfillment or the good life to mundane consumer products” (39).   I completely agree with Marx’s belief that this kind of ‘godlike manipulation’ (39) can distort the communication of value between goods when the object goes from producer to consumer/capitalist.  However, I do feel that people are aware of the manipulations behind advertising, yet they still could care less because at the end of the day, they are going to consume whatever they feel satisfies them.  I feel this all relates back to Certeau’s claim that we simultaneously consume and produce; we are drowning in a consumer culture because that is how we create and produce our own identities, values and lifestyles.  The value in each object is never fixed but rather ever changing as it jumps from individual to individual.  Many may complain about our profit-hungry society, however I think that we all feed on and feed off of this capitalistic way of life.  Thus, we maintain the cycle of capitalism just to survive, whether we like it or not.  I wasn’t too sure If Marx was saying this whole concept of dismissing “the reality of social inequality” (39) necessarily was a hindrance to a good livelihood.  However, I feel as though we are risking a lot just to maintain our unhealthy obsession with consuming.  

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