Materialism, the possession of objects has a distinctive and important role mow days for several reasons. Through the meaning and the creation of value objects playing a major communicative role for humans. They function as codes for expressing aspects such as self-identity and social status. We know that the objects were functioning as symbols especially for the upper class from the ancient years, jewellers, plates and pots were objects that help the upper class distant itself from the people and also the most valuable objects were those of religious nature. But how these evolution on the significance in terms of meaning happened? How nowadays objects are the most important signifiers of a person's identity and social position?
Grant McCracken (1981) is setting up three milestone for exploring the history of how the objects progressively developed to function as status symbols over the last few centuries. The first era that is that of queen Elisabet I. During that period of time those who belong to the aristocracy evolved in frenetic race for status and acceptance from the Queen. They started to purchase new homes in London and decorate in an extravagant fashion in order to obtain the appreciation and attention of the queen. The second period that is simnifically most important because it set up the fundamental of the consumerism as we experience today is the Consumption in the eighteenth-century in England. The transition to new manufacturing processes in that period has given a rise to the consumerism. The ability to produce a great amount of products in a shorter amount made the objects affordable. This democratisation of consumption gave access to the race for status through consumption to the masses. The initial idea for imitating the monarchy by the aristocracy now developed and know the desire for a social calls upgrade through consumption was accessible to almost everyone. It was the begging for the object to start perceived and valued as a status token. During that period the idea of fashion circle also appears and that created the need for people to be aware and being informed about the trends. The third period is the Consumption in the Nineteen-Century. That was the period where new methods for goods distribution and promotion developed. Marketing started to associate the objects with more subtle meanings that goes beyond the simple upper class emulation. This new institution helped change the nature of the aesthetics by which goods were marketed , introducing powerfully persuasive techniques in film and decor that are still being refined. The department store also changed the very nature of the place in which people consumed, what they consumed, the information they needed to consume and the styles of life to which this new consumption was devoted. (McCracken, 1988: 29)
People over this period of time start to became more and more conscious about the notion of taste and the communicative function of the objects. The contemporary humans are inside a game of symbolism consume products and occupy spaces in an elaborately fashion. Apart from the distinction tried to be achieved through the consumption they are developed into a kind of trophies for the achievements of the individual and the primary tools for constructing our self identity.
It was that period that objects started to function as signs and denote something other than themselves. They started to be proxies caring a wide variety of social meanings. Thus reading cultural meanings in material is a something that we have been taught. But reading only can be problematic cause we just read the signs and the established notion of the objects without any kind of critical approach to that. We just accept them in the superficial nature without being able to deconstruct their meaning and see what is beyond. We just consume and reproduce this language without understanding its how arbitrary the notions are. One too the first attempt to move beyond the superficial and was by Barthes on his book Mythologies and his experiment on the Fashion System. A useful example for is a performative experiment a youtube channel made outside a metro station in Paris. In that specific example the same person lying on the parent two times. On the first day we see him lying down dress up in a formal suit. On the second day he is lying down dress in rugs. On the first instance we see a good amount of people that are willing to help him while on the second there is almost no response. Obviously the problem here lies on the what the clothes are signifying.
I will start with the Semiological importance of objects With theories of Sassure Barthes and Levi Strauss And then I will introduce the ideas of the construction of gender though ads. Barthes analyse and critical approach to Citroen. Then refer to the different categories of stereotypes of man Goffamn suggests. Then refer to the New Audi advertising and the unique approach that happened today, Support the idea through the argument of the new technologies that shape the consumers culture ginning numerous possibilities thous the ads are really ok to have some opens on the communication. Also highlight the discard of the first and most significant value of the car
Taste and meaning (Bauman 1988) How objects are functioning as symbols The complexity of the myths th that have been created over the last centuries are really complex. The mediums and something else that are in contact with the previous eras that have been much more simple. Nowadays it goes beyond this simple urge for climb u the social ladder. It take the form of a more complex cultural classification of the object. Refer and contrast that with the junk culture
Distinction and categorisation.
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