Making Magic: Fetishes in Contemporary Consumption
AbstractFetishes—magical objects of extraordinary empowerment and influence—are often sought by consumers for their value as usable objects. Our interpretive research extends the current static perspective of fetishes by proposing a dynamic cyclical model of fetishization appropriate to an age of mass production. Consumers use contagious and imitative magic to imbue replica instruments with power. Semiotically signified magical thinking causes replicas to radiate aura and thus transforms them into fetishes. We suggest that although all replicas with aura become fetishes, the cyclical fetishization process is only perpetuated when empowerment is public, sustained, and authentic.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.
Volume (Year): 38 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 278 - 299
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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/
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