Commodity Fetishism as Semblance

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tad Skotnicki, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: With the aid of Hannah Arendt’s distinction between authentic and inauthentic semblances, this article reconstructs Karl Marx’s notion of commodity fetishism as a phenomenological concept. It reveals two distinct interpretive moments in the fetish: the interpretation of goods as anonymous in exchange and the interpretation of commodity-exchange as natural. As authentic semblances, interpretations in commodity-exchange cannot be “seen through” or corrected with a shift in perspective; in contrast, as inauthentic semblances, interpretations of commodity-exchange can be corrected with such a shift. This reconsideration of commodity fetishism suggests phenomenology and interpretive analysis should contribute to an analysis of region and globe-defining social systems.

Additional Information

Sociological Theory, Vol. 38, No. 4: 362-377
Language: English
Date: 2020
phenomenology, Marx, Arendt, interpretation, capitalism

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