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This is the first English-language translation of Jean Baudrillard's contemporary classic on the sociology of consumption. Originally published in 1970, the book was one of the first to focus on the processes and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. At a time when others were fixated with the production process, Baudrillard could be found making the case that co This is the first English-language translation of Jean Baudrillard's contemporary classic on the sociology of consumption. Originally published in 1970, the book was one of the first to focus on the processes and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. At a time when others were fixated with the production process, Baudrillard could be found making the case that consumption is now the axis of culture. He demonstrates how consumption is related to the goal of economic growth and he maps out a social theory of consumption. Many of the themes that would later make Baudrillard famous are sketched out here for the first time. In particular, concepts of simulation and the simulacrum receive their earliest systematic treatment. Written at a time when Baudrillard was moving away from both Marxism and institutional sociology, the book is more systematic than his later works. He is still pursuing the task of locating consumption in culture and society. So the reader will find here his most organized discussion of mass media culture, the meaning of leisure and anomie in affluent society. There is also a fascinating chapter on the body which shows yet again Baudrillard's extraordinary prescience in flagging the importance of vital subjects in contemporary culture long before his colleagues. Baudrillard is widely acclaimed as a key thinker in sociology, communication and cultural studies. This book makes available to English-speaking readers one of his most important works. It will be devoured by the steadily expanding circle of Baudrillard scholars, and it will also be required reading for students of the sociology of culture, communication and cultural studies. This edition is published with a long, specially prepared introductory essay written by the noted cultural commentator and social theorist, George Ritzer, author of The McDonaldization of Society.


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This is the first English-language translation of Jean Baudrillard's contemporary classic on the sociology of consumption. Originally published in 1970, the book was one of the first to focus on the processes and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. At a time when others were fixated with the production process, Baudrillard could be found making the case that co This is the first English-language translation of Jean Baudrillard's contemporary classic on the sociology of consumption. Originally published in 1970, the book was one of the first to focus on the processes and meaning of consumption in contemporary culture. At a time when others were fixated with the production process, Baudrillard could be found making the case that consumption is now the axis of culture. He demonstrates how consumption is related to the goal of economic growth and he maps out a social theory of consumption. Many of the themes that would later make Baudrillard famous are sketched out here for the first time. In particular, concepts of simulation and the simulacrum receive their earliest systematic treatment. Written at a time when Baudrillard was moving away from both Marxism and institutional sociology, the book is more systematic than his later works. He is still pursuing the task of locating consumption in culture and society. So the reader will find here his most organized discussion of mass media culture, the meaning of leisure and anomie in affluent society. There is also a fascinating chapter on the body which shows yet again Baudrillard's extraordinary prescience in flagging the importance of vital subjects in contemporary culture long before his colleagues. Baudrillard is widely acclaimed as a key thinker in sociology, communication and cultural studies. This book makes available to English-speaking readers one of his most important works. It will be devoured by the steadily expanding circle of Baudrillard scholars, and it will also be required reading for students of the sociology of culture, communication and cultural studies. This edition is published with a long, specially prepared introductory essay written by the noted cultural commentator and social theorist, George Ritzer, author of The McDonaldization of Society.

30 review for The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures

  1. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

    This guy is perhaps best known for having said that the Gulf War never happened or having one of his books read by Neo in the first Matrix film. I’ve finished the bit of that book I wanted to read too – and will probably review it soon as well. But this one was a bit of a surprise to me. I was expecting it to be, well, you know, a bit nutty. And it is anything but. This is a slamming together – or perhaps a ‘talking back to’ a range of sociologists, economists and philosophers. Firstly, Marx, but This guy is perhaps best known for having said that the Gulf War never happened or having one of his books read by Neo in the first Matrix film. I’ve finished the bit of that book I wanted to read too – and will probably review it soon as well. But this one was a bit of a surprise to me. I was expecting it to be, well, you know, a bit nutty. And it is anything but. This is a slamming together – or perhaps a ‘talking back to’ a range of sociologists, economists and philosophers. Firstly, Marx, but also Galbraith, Riesman, Saussure and Freud. This book covers a lot of ground – but its main message is relatively simple. Let’s start with Marx. To Marx commodities have two attributes that he wants to distinguish immediately – their use-value and their exchange-value. In the life and death stakes of existence bread has more use-value than gold in virtually all circumstances. Some people can go their whole life without ever having touched gold, whereas doing without bread is much less likely. That said, there are very few occasions when bread has a higher exchange-value than gold. Marx’s explanation for this discrepancy is related to his theory of value – not that gold is ‘rarer’ than bread, which would just mean the problem is one of demand and supply, but rather that more human labour needs to go into retrieving a certain quantity of gold compared to a certain quantity of bread, and it is the quantity of labour contained within the commodity that determines its value. This distinction between use-value and exchange-value is focused on throughout this book. This is the main criticism that is levelled against Galbraith, particularly Galbraith’s Affluent Society. Baudrillard wants to argue that there is no such thing as an affluent society – that such a thing is impossible when a society is based on commodity production. And this is mostly because commodities are not ‘use-values’ but rather symbols that enter into exchanges and gain their ‘value’ by their relative rarity – that is, precisely the opposite of what Marx claimed. Nevertheless, what is interesting here is that both Marx and Baurdrillard are focused on ‘exchange-value’ and not use-value. Galbraith sought to define capitalism as an affluent society by focusing on use-values. If Capitalism could meet all of the ‘needs’ of humans – and in terms of absolute poverty, capitalist society has certainly done this in spades – then if people would simply moderate their desires, as a society, capitalism can provide abundance. But Baudrillard attacks this argument at exactly this point. Capitalism doesn’t remove needs, it creates them. Capitalism can only exist on the basis of accelerating growth – but growth is only possible if capitalism generates desires and wants. In doing so it does not create abundance or affluence, but rather penury, and this, ironically enough, in the midst of abundance. It is impossible that capitalism could ever provide a truly affluent society, its only means of continued existence, and this is definitional, is to endlessly provide discontentment. There can be no point when people say, under capitalism, ‘enough’. Growth is the defining motive force of capitalism and ‘enough’ would kill growth. And this is where Saussure comes in. For Saussure there can be no true synonyms in a language. Language is a system of differences. Words get their meanings from their not being other words. It is because cat is different to dog that we need both words and both words only have meaning because they slice off part of the world from that which is sliced off by the other word. If this were not the case we would have no need for both words, but to understand any words we need to understand how all words relate to one another – even the ones that have not been used in a particular sentence, as why we choose one word over another is equally important. What has that got to do with commodities and the consumer society? Well, for Baudrillard commodities are also in a very similar relationship as words are to each other in that large system of meaning we call language. Commodities are not defined by their use-value, but rather their exchange-value – and that exchange is a kind of symbolic exchange. He doesn’t quite want to say that we are defined by the commodities we choose – he actually wants to say much, much more than this – it wants to say that this is actually a very dialectical process, one in which we are both defined by the commodities that we choose, but also that we are almost forced by these commodities to choose them. We are not the entirely free agents that capitalism presents us as – but rather, we are also what Galbraith says of us, encouraged endlessly to buy the latest thing so as to become what we truly are. This idea from advertising that we need to buy things to become what we have always already been is played with throughout this book and is such a constant in advertising that it is a wonder how we seem to constantly fall for this particular three-card trick. To be ourselves we need to change and the means to the change that makes us finally truly ourselves is the commodity which seeks to sell our true selves to ourselves. There are endless paradoxes and contradictions involved in all this. Not least is the lovely French term that is used here, ‘recycling’ – that is, what has become known as ‘life-long-learning’. Not only do we need to constantly be on the lookout for the latest iPhone or jacket and shoes that will alert everyone to who we really are, but to truly be ourselves we can only achieve that by constantly upgrading ourselves in all senses – learn new skills, have a sexier body, buy a faster car, even if the speed limits never allow you to drive at anywhere near the car’s capabilities. The point isn’t need, isn’t use-value, it is status, it is exchange-value, it is symbolic representation and conspicuous display in a society defined by competition. There is a wonderful part of this where he discusses Riesman’s idea of ‘other-direction’ from The Lonely Crowd – but again we are immersed in paradoxes. We are now in a world of ‘services’ – where even the most mundane product has been carefully designed with YOU in mind. You are the centre and reason for everything. So much effort has gone into finding out what your real needs are and how the product can strive to meet those needs. Except that you are other directed – not just in keeping up with the Jones’s, but also in not standing out from the crowd too much. In the grand competition that is finding distinction within society, even that distinction needs to be contained within constraints. It is the top of society who decide fashions, and they do this on the basis of the most exclusive commodities, but once they have set these fashions the rest of us imitate them for some of their distinction to rub off on us. There is a story told here (who knows if it is true) of an employee being sacked because he bought the same model car as his boss. Symbols matter, we are told, and usurping your betters in the symbolic race that is car purchases disturbs that natural order. There are statistics that are used early in this to show that lower class and upper class people don’t really spend all that much more than each other on say food. But that this isn’t true of other ‘luxuries’, such as housing or vacations. We are less interested in ‘meeting our needs’ than in ‘displaying our distinction’ and we do this in so many ways. He points out that even our holidays – when we think we are most free and mostly ‘doing nothing’ is actually a form of conspicuous consumption of time. Free time is anything but, and how it is spent is yet another means of asserting distinction. The thing that really surprised me about this book is that it was first published in 1970. So many of the themes and ideas – about life-long learning or obesity – seem so much more recent issues. This book feels much more ‘recent’ than it actually is. Some quotes: Strictly speaking, the humans of the age of affluence are surrounded not so much by other human beings, as they are in all previous ages, but by objects. Page 25 We live by object time: by this I mean that we live at the pace of objects, live to the rhythm of their ceaseless succession. Page 25 ‘Affluence’ is, in effect, merely the accumulation of the signs of happiness. Page 31 So we live, sheltered by signs, in the denial of the real. Page 34 Now, it seems that this ‘redistribution’ has little effect on social discrimination at all levels. Page 37 Does the flourishing mineral water industry permit us to speak of a real increase in ‘affluence’ since, to a large extent, it is merely a response to the deficient quality of urban water? Page 39 Tell me what you throw away and I’ll tell you who you are! Page 42 It is generally the same people who maintain the myth of the inevitable coming of affluence who deplore waste Page 43 This is why destruction remains the fundamental alternative to production: consumption is merely an intermediate term between the two. Page 47 Happiness has to be measureable. Page 49 All men are equal before need and before the principle of satisfaction, since all mean are equal before the use-value of objects and goods (whereas they are unequal and divided before exchange-value). Page 50 Equilibrium is the ideal fantasy of economists which is contradicted, if not by the very logic of society as a condition, then at least by all known forms of social organisation. Every society produces differentiation, social discrimination, and that structural organisation is based on the use and distribution of wealth (among other things). Page 53 The view that the system survives on disequilibrium and structural penury, that its logic is totally ambivalent, and that it is so not mere conjuncturally but structurally. The system only sustains itself by producing wealth and poverty, by producing as many dissatisfactions as satisfactions, as much nuisance as ‘progress’. Page 55 Knowledge and power are, or are going to become, the two great scarce commodities of our affluent societies. Page 57 Objects are less important today that space and the social marking of space. Page 57 The difference in expenditure between workers and senior managers on essential goods is 100:135, but it is 100:245 on household equipment, 100:305 on transport and 100:390 on leisure. Page 58 The ‘right to clean air’ signifies the loss of clean air as a natural good, its transition to commodity status and its inegalitarian social redistribution. Page 58 It is their constellation, their configuration, the relation to these objects and their overall social ‘perspective’ which alone have a meaning. And that meaning is always a distinctive one. Page 59 The consumer experiences his distinctive behaviours as freedom, as aspiration, as choice. His experiences is not one of being forced to be different, of obeying a code. Page 61 It is within the upper echelons of society, as a reaction against the loss of earlier distinctive markers, that innovation takes place, in order to restore social distance. Page 63 One of the contradictions of growth is that it produces goods and needs at the same time. Page 63 The industrial system itself, which presupposes the growth of needs, also presupposes a perpetual excess of needs over the supply of goods. Page64 The strategic value of advertising – and also its trick – is precisely this: that it targets everyone in their relation to others, in their hankerings after reified social prestige. Page 64 All this defines the growth society as the opposite of an affluent society. Page 65 It is our social logic which condemns us to luxurious and spectacular penury. Page 68 Or, to put it sociologically, a particular individual is a member of a particular group because he consumes particular goods, and he consumes particular goods because he is a member of a particular group. Page 70 Man only became an object of science for man when automobiles became harder to sell than to manufacture. Page 72 The consumer is sovereign in a jungle of ugliness where freedom of choice has been forced upon him. Page 72 The circulation, purchase, sale, appropriation and differentiated good and signs/objects today constitute our language, our code, the code by which the entire society communicates and converses. Pages 79-80 Consumerist man (I’homme-consommateur) regards enjoyment as an obligation. Page 80 It is important to grasp that this personalization, this pursuit of status and social standing, are all based on signs. Page 90 Kitsch is the equivalent of the ‘cliché’ in speech. Page110 The machine was the emblem of industrial society. The gadget is the emblem of post-industrial society. Page 111 Advertising is based on a different kind of verification, that of the self-fulfilling prophecy. Page 127 The body is a cultural fact. Page 129 The female body as privileged vehicle of Beauty, Sexuality and managed Narcissism. Page 136 (half of the money spent on medicines is on non-prescription items, and this goes even for those covered by the welfare system). What prompts such behaviour other than the deep-seated belief that it has to cost you something (and it is enough that it costs you something) for health to be yours in exchange? This is ritual, sacrificial consumption rather than medication. Page 140 Much more than in hygiene, it is in the ascetic practice of ‘dieting’ that the aggressive drive against the body is to be seen, a drive ‘liberated’ at the same time as the body itself. Page 142 An American study has shown that 300 adolescent girls out of 446 are on a diet. Page 142 It is estimated that 30 million Americans either are, or believe themselves to be, obese. Page 143 Everything offered for consumption has a sexual coefficient. Page 144 Thus, the whole of advertising and modern erotics are made up of signs, not of meaning. Page 148 Leisure is a collective vocation. Page 156 Objects no long serve a purpose; first and foremost they serve you. Page159 This huge system of solicitude is based on a total contradiction. Not only can it not mask the iron law of market society, the objective truth of social relations, which is competition. Page 162 The tired pupil is the one who passively goes along with what the teacher says. The tired worker or bureaucrat is the one who has had all responsibility taken from him in his work. Political ‘indifference’, that catatonia of the modern citizen, is the indifference of the individual deprived of any decision-making powers and left only with the sop of universal suffrage. Page 183 Fatigue is an activity, a latent, endemic revolt, unconscious of itself. Page 183

  2. 5 out of 5

    Asher Deep

    First, let me confess that this is the first philosophy book I've finished, and that this is my first Baudrillard. Yes, the prose is at times quite dense and Baudrillard will come across as cynical at times--well, because he somewhat is. He does take quite a few jabs at economists and advertising. The book attempts at diagnosing the problems with the consumer culture, and does not provide many solutions--if a book like this should. But beyond all the jabs and dense prose and cynicism, when you r First, let me confess that this is the first philosophy book I've finished, and that this is my first Baudrillard. Yes, the prose is at times quite dense and Baudrillard will come across as cynical at times--well, because he somewhat is. He does take quite a few jabs at economists and advertising. The book attempts at diagnosing the problems with the consumer culture, and does not provide many solutions--if a book like this should. But beyond all the jabs and dense prose and cynicism, when you read stuff like: "Happiness has to be measurable; it has to be a 'well-being' in terms of objects and signs. Happiness as (on the ideology and myth of happiness) total or inner enjoyment --that happiness independent of the signs which could manifest it to others and to those around us, the happiness which has no need of evidence--is therefore excluded from the outset of the customer ideal in which happiness must always signify with 'regard' to visible criteria" "You never consume the object in itself (in its use-value); you are always manipulating object (in the broadest sense) as signs which distinguish you either by affiliating you to your own group taken as an ideal reference or by marking you off from your group by reference to a group of higher status." Or things like: "The consumerist man sees to it that all his potentialities , all his customer capacities are mobilized. And if he forgets to do so, he will be gently and persistently reminded that he has no right not to be happy. It is not, then, that he is passive. He is engaged in--has to engage in--continual activity. If not, he would run the risk of being content with what he has and becoming asocial." "You have to try 'everything,' for the consumerist man is haunted by the fear of 'missing' something, some form of enjoyment or other. You never know whether a particular encounter, a particular experience will not elicit some 'sensation.' It is no longer desire or even 'taste,' or a specific inclination that are at stake, but a generalized curiosity, driven by a vague sense of unease--that it is the 'fun morality' or the imperative to enjoy oneself, to exploit to the full one's potential for thrills, pleasure or gratification." Baudrillard's book is precise and mind-bogglingly relevant 45 years later. Being a millennial and belonging to a generation that's annoyingly hubristic about its ostensible affluence and smugness, its hegemony over previous generations, and its notions of happiness . . . I can't help but relate to Baudrillard and love him, if he's a little cynical. The Consumer Society also perfectly nails part of why I read books; why--regardless of all the distractions and "cool" things around--I think books are gems can't be paralleled.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Aung Sett Kyaw Min

    For Baudrillard, "consumption" does not merely designate the aggregate consumption of material goods, but also society's self-represention of consumption, namely, the myth of consumption and affluence. The field of the social logic of consumption is such that objects in it are wholly and infinitely exchangeable in terms of sign value, and thus in spite of the differences in function and utility (i.e. use value). Moreover, Baudrillard sees this logic as insatiable and the whole of regime of "needs For Baudrillard, "consumption" does not merely designate the aggregate consumption of material goods, but also society's self-represention of consumption, namely, the myth of consumption and affluence. The field of the social logic of consumption is such that objects in it are wholly and infinitely exchangeable in terms of sign value, and thus in spite of the differences in function and utility (i.e. use value). Moreover, Baudrillard sees this logic as insatiable and the whole of regime of "needs" itself as proactively organized and produced "There are only needs of growth (65)" Baudrillard is at his most analytically rigorous in part 1 and 2. At times it reads as though he's channeling his inner BT Heidegger. While Part 3 feels a bit out of place, the section on "leisure time" could very serve as an extended sociological footnote to Marx's own analysis of abstract labor and time. I don't claim to have read a lot of Baudrillard, but this is definitely one of his more analytical pieces where he doesn't take as much sumptous liberty with the language.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Klelia

    Sokal puts it quite nicely: des impostures intellectuelles. Though, I wouldn't like to be conceded; there is much in there that makes good sense and that is worth remembering. Sokal puts it quite nicely: des impostures intellectuelles. Though, I wouldn't like to be conceded; there is much in there that makes good sense and that is worth remembering.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Edmond

    Despite its considerably lower popularity among Baudrillard's works, Consumer Society is incredibly insightful in revealing the inner mechanisms of the current cultures and societies we live in. After its publishing in 1970, the ideas outlined by Baudrillard are surprisingly (or unsurprisingly?) not common knowledge despite its prescience about the way the world advances. Of course, Baudrillard continues to flesh out these ideas, culminating in his later works that focus more on the impacts of t Despite its considerably lower popularity among Baudrillard's works, Consumer Society is incredibly insightful in revealing the inner mechanisms of the current cultures and societies we live in. After its publishing in 1970, the ideas outlined by Baudrillard are surprisingly (or unsurprisingly?) not common knowledge despite its prescience about the way the world advances. Of course, Baudrillard continues to flesh out these ideas, culminating in his later works that focus more on the impacts of the pervasive impact of the consumer society on media and culture, while this book talks more about the material. However, seeing the evolution of his ideas as they come to fruition gives you insight into his thought processes. Split into three parts, I feel that the first two parts, The Formal Liturgy of the Object, and The Theory of Consumption outshine the third, expressing more cogent ideas that are more than just baseless conjectures. In Part III, a few chapters are worth highlighting, The Drama of Leisure or the Impossibility of Wasting One's Time, The Mystique of Solicitude, and Anomie in the Affluent Society. Being a book written in 1970 Paris, Baudrillard references things such as the Parisian drugstore that is very hard to be envisioned when you're not in the context. A cursory search on the web yields nought either. Yet, despite such obstacles, this book is worth trudging through. The Consumer Society has an advantage over his later works, being much more accessible to the public. The book flows much more smoothly, with the way the ideas being lined out being very logical and smooth. A general picture of this book can be easily formed by a reader who is perhaps less attuned to reading works regarding sociology. Its modernist structure (as opposed to post-modernist) allows one to grasp the ideas without having to re-read the book over again, especially if the person is not used to reading post-modern works. This is a book that is simply worth a read if you are interested in the idea of consumption and sociology.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    Succinctly, a remarkable & necessary theory to know how the very substructure of idealized obsessions & frenzied possessions of the object, through consumerism, operate today. The content ‘I’ found most profound is written hither. Introduction: Firstly as a preface, the following gives a brief overview to how the prevailing power-structure come-orthodoxy of our times produces, maintains, declares and believes its great-myth [‘’Civilization of the Object’’]: one that has readily permeated into all Succinctly, a remarkable & necessary theory to know how the very substructure of idealized obsessions & frenzied possessions of the object, through consumerism, operate today. The content ‘I’ found most profound is written hither. Introduction: Firstly as a preface, the following gives a brief overview to how the prevailing power-structure come-orthodoxy of our times produces, maintains, declares and believes its great-myth [‘’Civilization of the Object’’]: one that has readily permeated into all aspects of individual and grouped life; implicit faith and explicit opinion, language syntax, what can be uttered and accepted as truth separate from what is censored, condemned verbally or exposed to violence; a sphere of invisible separation (‘secure’, unfathomable resistance) from those who speak a language that cannot be understood – it has become the global ‘religion’ par excellence, replacing the image of the Godhead with that of the repetitively wished, unfulfilled, detached image whose ambivalence is essential to its continuation, & ‘unconsciously’ acted upon. Now, if you as reader would indulge some necessary clarifications before the vital formulations are demonstrated: that rather than the traditional definition of consumption as regarding material goods, products and services; it is the reflexive, discursive consumption of an image of consumption itself; a self-fulfilling discourse, perpetuated through a sign system of production/creation mediated through desires, ‘a mirror that takes delight in itself’; [an individual absorption of signs & absorption by signs] - it signifies an ideological restructuring of values, a great myth inherited from that of the archaic ‘good’ and ‘beautiful’; the earthly accepted meme: ‘‘the body you dream of is your own. A kind of immense collective narcissism... inducing society to merge itself into – and absolve itself in – the image it presents of itself, to be convinced of itself in the way that advertising ends up convincing people of their bodies and the prestige values of those bodies. In short, it is becoming [become!] its own ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’’(194). An explanatory hint to the ‘flavour’ of consumption is as follows: ‘‘Consumption is an order of significations in the ‘panoply’ of objects, a system, or code; of signs, ‘an order of the manipulation of signs’; the manipulation of objects as signs; a communication system (a language); a system of exchange (primitive kinship); a morality, that is a system of ideological values; a social function; a structural organization; a collective phenomenon; the production of differences; a ‘generalization of the combinatorial processes of fashion’; isolating and individualizing; an unconscious constraint on people, both from the sign system and from the socio-economico-political system; and a social logic’’ (Introduction, 15) One can theorize ergo that the terms of defense & resistance against the structural ‘spider’ of consumption are already defined through its own mechanisms (terrorist, authoritarian, dictator; Marxist, libertarian, anarchist), enacted in an inhibitory & sumptuous set of a closed logic-system; such to be tamed within the consumptive language. It becomes difficult to symbolize any communication outside this power framework for those embedded, and one’s language is largely already corrupted by its great myth; its pervasive arrangements are (almost?) impossible to subvert from decisively as they deny/suppress externality. Growth here is dependent upon an inequality which cannot be remediated within the societal power-structure as its perpetual deficit is an explicit symptom of said structure. There is no economic equilibrium, ideological domination of a minority is foundational, poverty/death/unachievable unfulfilled desire are its preconditions & enables preponderance. Moving spending from one condition to another with a social goal (e.g. military to education/health) doesn’t create system alterity; contra augments its duration. The Social Logic/Theory Of Consumption: Instruments of created shortage: time, space, greenery, water, silence, non-polluted areas. Possession of objects are comprised/relate through series of signs constituting structural hierarchy & individual classification/distinction within, simulating status; a seeking of salvation through consumption supplanting that of an impossible grace. Individual distinction only functions as an acceptance & maintenance of existing order, allowing oneself to obtain a position therein, while the structure itself as orders of difference remains. The indefinite circulation of signs implies permanent dissatisfaction. Consumption, as social labour, a structured social field via a pathway of needs whereby distinct objects are introduced to restore social distance between classes. ‘‘The language of cities is competition itself. Motives, desires, encounters, stimuli, the endless judgments of others, continual eroticization, information, the appeals of advertising: all these things make up a kind of abstract destiny of collective participation, set against a real background of generalized competition’’(65) Poverty defined as not the reduced quantity/quality of goods available, nor the ability to achieve ends through means – it is the relation between human beings (transparency & reciprocity of social relations, no enforced scarcity or accumulation). Hence, wealth is valued in individual exchange, not the goods themselves; a real structural change will require revolution of social organization & its relations. Manufacturers guide market behaviour, modelling social attitudes and needs, their quantity & price, and what will be desired; a ‘‘dictatorship of the order of production’’(72) through research, advertising, marketing, packaging – maintained within the power structures ideology of multiplicand signifiers/signified. It appropriates its own objectives as social goals (e.g. non-segregation, rights of women, welfare state, economic regulation, tariffs, health – all produced further profits & social control of desires seemingly independent/liberatory yet that of another). Needs are subsequently induced by the system of production, as the ‘‘most advanced form of the rational systematization of the productive forces at the individual level’’(75) – however Baudrillard rejects that a ‘‘free, conscious subject’’ free from the system of needs (that is, the desire for a social meaning, of real difference, resultant from a subject rather than the object) is possible. To ‘me’ this doesn’t mean that from recognition of its structures the system of needs cannot be revealed/disrupted/improved through replacement more ethically -an adherence to a modified humanistic corpus. To do so would require acknowledgement of the evolving societal pressures: ‘‘The generalized integration of the individual ‘private’ levels (needs, feelings, aspirations, drives) as productive forces cannot but be accompanied by a generalized extension at this level of the patterns of repression, sublimation, concentration, systematization, rationalization – and, of course, alienation! - which for centuries, but particularly since the nineteenth century, have governed the construction of the industrial system’’(76). ‘‘One enters, rather, into a generalized system of exchange and production of coded values where, in spite of themselves, all consumers are involved with all others’’(78) ‘‘The People are the workers, provided they are unorganized. The Public and Public Opinion are the consumers, provided they content themselves with consuming’’(86) Personalization or the Smallest Marginal Difference: Baudrillard reminds us that the supreme product on demand is of achieving the self-ideal/image of personality (social media has such tools for you to ‘define yourself’, and clearly evident on goodreads); a person that does not exist - ‘‘the organizing myth of the subject’’ (88), a ‘‘synthetic individuality’’; an absent self, reconstituted abstractly through semiotics – an ‘‘industrial production of [non]differences’’. Conspicuous underconsumption is regarded as applied restrictions by high-class individuals against their imitative middle-class competitors (according to the social code of values, ‘‘an unconscious field of social logic’’); a desire for lost simplicity. This exchange of opposing differences strengthens group integration as identified signs, via the trained language by which they are sent, received, and reinvented – to relieve their tension. Ergo, the narcissism of the consumer individual is a refraction of collective features, in fact, mistaking a reflection as oneself when it is the ideal of societies unconscious code, the illusion of a singular. ‘‘Woman is sold to women… while doing what she believes is preening herself, scenting herself, clothing herself, in a word ‘creating herself’, she is, in fact, consuming herself’’[Évelyne Sullerot reference]. Baudrillard separates natural, functional, non-consumptive, ‘genuine qualities’ of beauty, charm and taste as ‘‘spontaneous and natural relation’’ (95); against artificial, performative, self-consuming relations mediated by signs as constituted – this distinction isn't applied with any validity, as the abstract universals are polluted already to an (immeasurable?) extent by the uniform unconscious code system. [utility vs social function is non-persuasive as self is always fashioned]. Such contradiction he ascribes to beauty and culture as evidence of superfluity, an ‘alienated’ social function performed by proxy. Male model ideal: a correct choice, ascetic, noble behaviour, knowing how to choose, belonging to the elect, aim of distinction. Female model ideal: self-a non-autonomous proxy, derived (from men, this likely would be countered by charges of misogyny/androcentrism, yet this male-centredness is the framework of Baudrillard’s hypothesis so consequently evident; a challenge to the theory itself would be warranted), vicarious pleasure/indulgence. Their heterogeneity is unchanged by identified hybridity. Proliferation of lowest common culture (LCC) through a technical medium, obsessed with immediacy, imposed ‘fashion’ according to conventions, detesting analytical, rational, deliberative thinking; the concerning with ‘correct’ answers to questions so as to ‘‘engage[s] the individual in the collective ritual of consumption’’(105), not of utility but fantasy play. Culture becomes its own object of consumption, subject to replacement, homogeneous with other objects. A tautological continual reference of a total chain of signifiers/signified which is unconsciously decoded by the viewer - the image/sign/advertisement; its message produced by the medium itself, not context – a neo-reality, that of the pseudo-artifact; which replaces the previous reality. The act of purchasing ratifies a truth that is beyond empirical validation, or truth/falsity; their imperatives become a self-fulfilling prophecy – (view spoiler)[ speech has become subject to commodification, produced to operate within the chain of tautologous, repetitively self-referencing signs. (hide spoiler)] The Finest Consumer Object – The Body: The conversion of reverence for a sacred soul/spirit to a sacred body is commented upon, its conflictions attempted to be remedied by medicine, ‘self-care’; rejection of this through repression/harm against the body within system of signs. ‘I’ wish Baudrillard could clarify the following more clearly by given examples to the sexual signifiers that are censored - ‘‘The real conditioning we are subjected to by the machinery of erotic advertising is not some ‘deep-level’ persuasion of unconscious suggestion, but rather that censorship of the deep meaning, the symbolic function, the fantasmic expression in an articulated syntax – in short, the censorship of the living emanation of sexual signifiers. All this is blotted out, censored, abolished in a codified play of sexual signs, in the opaque obviousness of the sexual that is deployed on all sides, in which the subtle destructuring of syntax leaves place only for a closed, tautological manipulation. It is in this systematic terrorism, which operates at the level of signification itself, that all sexuality empties itself of its substance and becomes material for consumption’’(148-149) Example – sex doll: Deposed from symbolic function (the denial of sexuality beyond functional division, its capacity for subversion; why no evidence!) by transposing it with individualized Eros, assigning a sex to the individual & individual to the sex, a technical & social division of labour – sex becomes a fragmented ‘private property’. Its lost, disembodied sexuality collapses to use-value, and commodity sign/exchange-value. Ergo the emphasis of assigning a sex to children is to castrate them through exhibition of signs & not unindividuated Eros. The advertising operation therefore converts individual character, autonomy & an inherent value of the self into a signified code where one is a ‘personality’, dependent for values/desires to be told and affirmed, imperfections ignored (or offering how to ‘remove’ them if you just buy X), affirmation through flattery, the declaration ‘no man is an island’ so as to enforce faux sociality & obedience to a perpetual pursuit of a mysterious, unknowable dream of another’s creation – only intuitively perceived as an ‘ambience’ [the diffuse network of relations, consumed & produced within a group], a mild frustration consequent of a latent, persistent anxiety. 'Cult of sincerity’ (a consumption of dialectical distinction of genuine/artificial with no real qualities, only signs) as reminder to insufficient trust in oneself/others; & a mistrust/fear of being deceived/rejection by social structure/culture. Tolerance connotes the moral generalized relativity of mediated functions/objects/beings/relations/ideas with signs. Anomie in the Affluent Society: ‘‘Now, perhaps it quite simply means that something [absolute/unknown/universal/ being/eros/thanatos/will (to power?)/’unconscious’? - would argue thanatos as this is what bodies/cosmos itself are ‘programmed’ to proliferate] far exceeds the conscious objectives of satisfaction and well-being by which this society justifies itself (in its own eyes) or, rather, by which it reinstates itself within the norms of conscious rationality. In this sense, this unexplained violence must cause us to reassess all our thinking on affluence: affluence and violence go together; they have to be analysed together’’(175). ‘‘A gigantic process of primitive accumulation of anxiety, guilt and rejection runs parallel to the process of expansion and satisfaction and it is this source of discontent which fuels the violent, impulsive subversion of – and murderous ‘acting out’ against – the very order of happiness...Guilt, ‘malaise’ and profound incompatibilities are at the heart of the current system itself, and are produced by it in the course of its logical development’’(176) [thanatos, human urge for destruction effected in societal structure]. Society attempts to diminish the force of general ‘life anxiety’ by (1) offering malaise as a metaconsumptive object, which perpetuates the dialectic; or (2) ‘soothing processes’, therapy, roles/functions of a ‘meaningful life’, ideologies, individual & group cathexis (‘hippies’/zen/psychedelics as a luxury, pacifying product of consumption)– to acculturate one in the endless, repetitive, absurd, aimless [it literally has no objective] horizon of ‘becoming’. One could argue philosophy as the formulation of the most pervasive, immutable control structure (in accordance with tensions’ dialectic, largely ‘unconscious’, unacknowledged, surreptitious). ‘‘In the generalized process of consumption, there is no longer any soul, no shadow, no double, and no image in the specular sense. There is no longer any contradiction within being, or any problematic of being and appearance. There is no longer anything but the transmission and reception of signs, and the individual being vanishes in this combinatory and calculus of signs. Consumer man never comes face to face with his own needs, any more than with the specific product of his labour; nor is he ever confronted with his own image: he is immanent in the signs he arranges. There is no transcendence any more, no finality, no objective: what characterizes this society is the absence of ‘reflection’, of a perspective on itself. There is, therefore, no maleficent agency, like that of the Devil, with whom one could enter into a Faustian pact to gain wealth and glory, since one is given these things by a beneficent, maternal ambience – the affluent society itself… There is only the shop-window – the site of consumption, in which the individual no longer produces his own reflection, but is absorbed in the contemplation of multiple signs/objects, is absorbed into the order of signifiers of social status, etc. He is not reflected in that order, but absorbed and abolished. The subject of consumption is the order of signs...For there is no longer, properly speaking, any ‘selfsame’, any ‘subject itself’, or, therefore, any ‘alterity of the selfsame’, and therefore no alienation in the strict sense...The ludic dimension of consumption has gradually supplanted the tragic dimension of identity’’(191-192). One can associate then the formless idea of ‘America’ (its ‘dream’ a complete fabricated belief & believed fabrication) - as the preeminent abstract force of consumption: ‘‘a whole society speaks itself in the mode of prophecy, but a prophecy which does not have future ideals or transcendent heroes for its substance, but solely the reflection of itself and of its immanence’’(194) Which follows is that through the obvious allusion to the celebrity; everything has become imitation, performance [Baudrillard astutely reminds us that the French definition of personne means no-one]: ‘‘By imitating a tautology, we ourselves become a tautology standing for what we stand for...We look for models, and we see our own image’’[Daniel Boorstin, The Image, p.83] But to take position of a negatory countering to the ‘positive’ aspects of the consumption myth is to accept the opposing role which strengthens the illusion [there is nothing behind its machinations]; a moralizing anti-discourse [example of the May 1968 protests] – as through denouncement the value of consumed objects is ennobled. 68’ was still fascinated by the object. It is the element of death drive, thanatos; a violence which the referential semiotic circularity requires. Baudrillard completes the ouroboros back on himself by closing sentiments - ‘‘Just as medieval society was balanced on God and the Devil, so ours is balanced on consumption and its denunciation...a society with no history and no dizzying heights, a society with no other myth than itself...But here we are once again speaking in morose, prophetic terms, caught in the trap of the Object and its apparent plenitude. Now, we know that the Object is nothing and that behind it stands the tangled void of human relations, the negative imprint of the immense mobilization of productive and social forces which have become reified in it. We shall await the violent irruptions and sudden disintegrations which will come, just as unforeseeably as-certainly as May 1968, to wreck this white Mass’’(196).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara Rahimi

    the general premise of the book is clear: we're surrounded by objects and our relation to them, rather than being surrounded by other humans. the book then uses this premise to look at the world and basically deconstruct the hidden meaning of our day to day lives. i skipped some parts, because baudrillard tends to repeat himself. i also am using videos to explain this book, because i didn't follow everything very carefully. mainly because he has given his general idea in the first chapter, causi the general premise of the book is clear: we're surrounded by objects and our relation to them, rather than being surrounded by other humans. the book then uses this premise to look at the world and basically deconstruct the hidden meaning of our day to day lives. i skipped some parts, because baudrillard tends to repeat himself. i also am using videos to explain this book, because i didn't follow everything very carefully. mainly because he has given his general idea in the first chapter, causing the rest of the book to be an elaboration of this idea. that being said, his first chapter is superb. the imagery he uses is gorgeous and very convincing. since i'm not a sociology student nor a student of economics, i can't say how much of what he says (and the evidence he brings) are true. but it does make me raise my eyebrows at ads, consuming, media and news. good job at casting a different light on these phenomena.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tina Haibodi

    As usual Baudrillard never fails to disappoint. His chapter about systems of objects and the philosophies that dictate our social interactions was impeccable.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Satan~

    The ideas and theories talked about in this book are very interesting, too bad I was braindead half the time and struggled to understand most of them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tvrtko Balić

    I've seen this mention as some people's least favourite book by Baudrillard with the explanation that it is not very original. If that is the only thing wrong with it, it is very deserving of a five star rating. This is only Baudrillard's second book so the complaint doesn't really hold anyway, the book is a good continuation of his first book (The System of Objects) from which he elaborates more specific phenomena and when it comes to taking ideas from other people, he mentions an overwhelming I've seen this mention as some people's least favourite book by Baudrillard with the explanation that it is not very original. If that is the only thing wrong with it, it is very deserving of a five star rating. This is only Baudrillard's second book so the complaint doesn't really hold anyway, the book is a good continuation of his first book (The System of Objects) from which he elaborates more specific phenomena and when it comes to taking ideas from other people, he mentions an overwhelming number of other authors and theorists, it is certainly not plagiarization, but rather interpretation of those authors. If anything that is a positive because it is interesting seeing the influences that shaped early Baudrillard. Even if he is not 100% original, Baudrillard's interpretations are still valuable and not just because they come with rants about commercials, media, culture etc. that one is to expect from him. The book is dense however, if you don't take time to read it properly a lot of it will go over your head. Or even if you do take the time to read it. I can recognise the value in it, but I am sorry that I did not soak it in. This and maybe a couple of small complaints are not enough to detract for it, but it is also certainly not the best book for one to get into Baudrillard, both because of its difficulty and its content, so I wouldn't recommend it to people interested in general Baudrillardian thought, there are better book for that and this is a book for people who are already considering reading it for one reason or another.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sophie Nixon

    This is not a read for those who are either not pursuing an academic degree concerning consumer societies or those who have enough of a passion for learning that they can commit to reading through some complex ideas and a very intricate text. The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures produces some excellent ideas surrounding everything from sex, the body, violence and gender to the production of signs, key in discussing this topic on an academic level. It manages to avoid the trap of having its This is not a read for those who are either not pursuing an academic degree concerning consumer societies or those who have enough of a passion for learning that they can commit to reading through some complex ideas and a very intricate text. The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures produces some excellent ideas surrounding everything from sex, the body, violence and gender to the production of signs, key in discussing this topic on an academic level. It manages to avoid the trap of having its ideas stuck in time, despite being written long ago this book and its ideas are still relevant and therefore it is a fantastic read if you need inspiration for an essay. That being said parts of the book do verge on being archaic, in this case they act as a means of reference to which you would need to apply your own examples. This is not a simple book to read, I highly recommend reading the introductory chapter in order to grasp the concepts before delving into the actual book. That being said I have come out of reading this book with a much broader knowledge of the consumer society than that I had before, therefore the book was well worth the read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jose

    Tricky, over-poetical and pretty obscure, still it has some undeniable moments of bright irony and lucid consciusness. It is a primary reference though.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Prerna Munshi

    Baudrillard’s second book, coincidentally my second book of his as well. Although Baudrillardean scholars do not consider it as original and as radical as his other works, however it offers some important thoughts. He begins by radically stating that the present man, as against the man of the primitive society, is surrounded by objects instead of human beings. The man follows the rhythm of the objects and like them, has become functional. The current man is a consumer and according to Baudrillar Baudrillard’s second book, coincidentally my second book of his as well. Although Baudrillardean scholars do not consider it as original and as radical as his other works, however it offers some important thoughts. He begins by radically stating that the present man, as against the man of the primitive society, is surrounded by objects instead of human beings. The man follows the rhythm of the objects and like them, has become functional. The current man is a consumer and according to Baudrillard, consumption is an institution, a morality that governs the sociological structures by operating by the law of exchange value. Here he presents a post Marxist world through a semiological interpretation of it. He argues that commodities are no longer determined by their ‘use value’ but by their exchange value i.e commodities have become signs , signifying the labour put to retrieve it signifying their rarity and the person who consumes it, signifies the social order. The ‘shopping center’ (which he terms as drugstores) like the ‘pantheon’ of gods, where distinct commodities are juxtaposed forming an amalgamation of signs where one object leads the consumer into the other, no matter how different they may be. This is when the consumer gets caught up in the calculus of objects. A shopping center is thus universalised , culturalised and dehistoricised. It is why , in a shopping center, we see no difference between a fine gourmet shop and a gallery of antiques. He goes on to say how consumption appropriates and simplifies everything into an abstract idea of happiness. B.critiques the economic theory which centres around Homo Economicus, the free man with his heightened rationality and a heightened awareness of his needs, navigating the free market. He counters this by saying that needs and objects are interrelated and that needs are not autonomous, they are not individualistic, rather they are generated by this massive system of production. Consumption , needs and production go hand in hand, one engendering the other. He critiques Galbraith’s Affluent Society. He says there is no such thing as affluence in the system of consumption, the individuals are never allowed to place a limit on their objectives. There is a burgeoning poverty amidst what appears as an affluence and the individual is constantly alienated from the natural realms of satisfaction and pleasure. It is in this kind of social order when freedom is imposed on the individual be it through electoral booths or a shopping center. B radically says how consumption shall always function behind the veneer of ‘growth’ and growth actually conveys inequity, an inegalitarian society. He extends this argument of consumption being a code of signs into other social arrangements like Marriage /Kinship wherein the exchange of values/ woman etc assures a certain kind of communication (B.invited a lot of feminist wrath, unfortunately.) He talks of credit, a disciplinary tool which keeps consumption thriving, of altruistic ideology which in itself is bureaucratised. Consumption aims to transfer the human being into a universal being , as the final human specimen in the course of evolution but this man , this consumer is a socio-political being that revives the historical problems of ownership. Consumption thus leads the consumer man to kill his own reflection. At times, this book seemed to have certain romanticised jargons and it is even quite complex. B had written this book in the 70s and some of the topics that he talks about some 50 odd years back, hold more relevance now. The book, on certain occasions, appears amazingly prophetic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Dense with just enough pockets of light to enable you to navigate. I seem to have understood most of it, but in an unsatisfactory way. It's relevance, is a testament to the fact that we still inhabit the exact same territory now as when it was written, all that has changed are the objects, the signs and their functions remain the same. He doesn't offer any solutions as such, just a deep analyses of the mechanisms at play, and the consequences of the game. It's quite illuminating to see, that wh Dense with just enough pockets of light to enable you to navigate. I seem to have understood most of it, but in an unsatisfactory way. It's relevance, is a testament to the fact that we still inhabit the exact same territory now as when it was written, all that has changed are the objects, the signs and their functions remain the same. He doesn't offer any solutions as such, just a deep analyses of the mechanisms at play, and the consequences of the game. It's quite illuminating to see, that what we take as modern symptoms of consumerism, such as narcissism, fatigue, depression, anxiety, violence etc, have been prominent from the start, there really is nothing new, the system is an advanced cargo cult, manifesting signs of things that never have any meaning beyond the signs themselves, it consumes it's own myth.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Noah Coates

    As a continuation of Baudrillard's "System of Objects" this work offers an insightful exploration into consumer society - more specifically being it's tautological role in hoisting "abstractions" in place of concrete relations. Baudrillard - like ever - deviates from the intellectual normal and proposes ideas that are outside the box. However the work at times seems confused - more specifically - he critcises the Situationists for holding onto the conception of the "human essence" proclaiming th As a continuation of Baudrillard's "System of Objects" this work offers an insightful exploration into consumer society - more specifically being it's tautological role in hoisting "abstractions" in place of concrete relations. Baudrillard - like ever - deviates from the intellectual normal and proposes ideas that are outside the box. However the work at times seems confused - more specifically - he critcises the Situationists for holding onto the conception of the "human essence" proclaiming that this is no longer in our society -but offers no clear explanation as to why. He notes that the human is no longer a purely productive substance that is alienated from his work but is now an entire abstraction engulfed in consumerist differentiations but it is hard to see how this would rule out a rebellion of human creativity against the mundanity of consumer society.

  16. 5 out of 5

    arkan

    My, what a boring book. Although it is perhaps somewhat fortunate that it is now felt as trite and boring, just because we have had so much more better, and more in-depth books, on consumer society. Even if it is prescient, this book could benefit from a better perspective on psychology. Perhaps a revised edition is in order. There are some parts of this book worth remembering, since it is quite poetic. Some parts are also good because they are illustrative. But for those of you interested in the My, what a boring book. Although it is perhaps somewhat fortunate that it is now felt as trite and boring, just because we have had so much more better, and more in-depth books, on consumer society. Even if it is prescient, this book could benefit from a better perspective on psychology. Perhaps a revised edition is in order. There are some parts of this book worth remembering, since it is quite poetic. Some parts are also good because they are illustrative. But for those of you interested in the consumer society, I'd suggest you read Spent by Geoffrey Miller instead.

  17. 4 out of 5

    The Glassed And The Furious

    Philosophy, for me, is always problematic, mainly because I feel as if many ideas and concepts are nothing I can connect to. It often feels like a lot of pretentious babbling with no real applicational use in real life. Though this book did not change my view on philosophical babbling, it has some really interesting concepts that are worth analyzing in more detail.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dave Jonathan

    In consumer capitalism everything has been functionalized, which means that instead of use, or even exchange value, everything is really standing in for their lack. All we have left is a circle jerk of classed signifiers.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Milka

    Good stuff. Partly read, partly browsed through — potential reference to my phd thesis.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Akın

    The most boring book I've read so far The most boring book I've read so far

  21. 4 out of 5

    Syzygic Tulpa

    30-year-old consoomer trapped in the system who has to preserve the consuming mechanism.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alfay

    消费主义haunts us The part of us sold and forgotten is still us, or rather it is a caricature of us, the ghost, the spectre which follows us; it is our continuation and takes it revenge.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rust Lee

    French people's book is so hard to read. French people's book is so hard to read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    John

    Baudrillard is always a chore to read, where is work emerges in popular culture can be misleading. Nevertheless, a useful book for picking out quotes for academic use, and it's easy to understand why it's essential on many course reading lists. Introduction is well written too and orientated me into a better approach to reading the main text. Baudrillard is always a chore to read, where is work emerges in popular culture can be misleading. Nevertheless, a useful book for picking out quotes for academic use, and it's easy to understand why it's essential on many course reading lists. Introduction is well written too and orientated me into a better approach to reading the main text.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    As one may infer from the title, this book is about consumer society/consumption. He bounds his ideas in then-current theory, his tendency to turn theory upon itself is not yet a major element of his style. This one doesn't have an ugly cover; many of his early books do. As one may infer from the title, this book is about consumer society/consumption. He bounds his ideas in then-current theory, his tendency to turn theory upon itself is not yet a major element of his style. This one doesn't have an ugly cover; many of his early books do.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Colesberry

    Baudrillard is not my favorite French philosopher. He's dense and referential and it doesn't seem like he's going anywhere most of the time. But I did get some things out of this one. I'd stick with Derrida. Baudrillard is not my favorite French philosopher. He's dense and referential and it doesn't seem like he's going anywhere most of the time. But I did get some things out of this one. I'd stick with Derrida.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Damar

    I used this book for my college paper....cool...inspiring....I owe a lot from this book...can you imagine..late Baudrillard spoke of credit card in his work published in 1970...wow...when you read Baudrillard's pieces you have to take sides..go with him or stand against him...nothing in between!! I used this book for my college paper....cool...inspiring....I owe a lot from this book...can you imagine..late Baudrillard spoke of credit card in his work published in 1970...wow...when you read Baudrillard's pieces you have to take sides..go with him or stand against him...nothing in between!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    mellyana

    don't worry, I didn't read the original version, the French version. God forbid. :) It was not an easy book to read at all. don't worry, I didn't read the original version, the French version. God forbid. :) It was not an easy book to read at all.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Iza

    Amazing book. Transforms our worldview.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gozde

    It was difficult to follow. There are circular statements- overlapping ideas maybe because of the translation

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