Advertisement

The ImCon as a Semiotic Imaginary: Consumption Dreams and the Subject as Consumer

  • Marlon Xavier
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter discusses the semiotic imaginary of consumerism (ImCon), its logic and characteristics, in comparison with symbolic imaginaries; it is defined as a regime of signification composed of signs as social signifiers and based on imagery and the irrational. The social logics of consumption (consumption of social signification through commodity-signs) and commodification (production of sign-values), and a theory on the commodity-sign (as elemental form of consumerism), are presented. Consumerism and the ImCon are analyzed through the idea of dream, focusing on consumption dreams: the social representations that, being mass-produced following the logic of advertising, determine and colonize desires and irrational factors, and signify the social subject as a consumer. Finally, the chapter discusses how the ImCon and its dreams colonize subjectivity, and its effects.

References

  1. Allen, L. (2008). The Fear [CD single]. London: Regal Recordings.Google Scholar
  2. Ars Industrialis. (2010). Manifesto 2010. Retrieved from http://arsindustrialis.org/manifesto-2010
  3. Augé, M. (1999). The war of dreams: exercises in ethno-fiction (L. Heron, Trans.). London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  4. Baudrillard, J. (1975). The mirror of production. St. Louis, MO: Telos Press.Google Scholar
  5. Baudrillard, J. (1981). For a critique of the political economy of the sign. St. Louis, MO: Telos Press. (Original work published 1973).Google Scholar
  6. Baudrillard, J. (1996). The system of objects (J. Benedict, Trans.). London: Verso. (Original work published 1968).Google Scholar
  7. Baudrillard, J. (1998). The consumer society: Myths and structures. London: Sage. (Original work published 1970).Google Scholar
  8. Baudrillard, J. (2001). Selected writings (M. Poster, Ed., 2nd ed.). Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  9. Baudrillard, J. (2007). Forget Foucault. New York: Semiotext(e). (Original work published 1977).Google Scholar
  10. Bauman, Z. (2005). Liquid life. Cambridge, UK: Polity.Google Scholar
  11. Bauman, Z. (2007). Consuming life. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  12. Belk, R. W., Ger, G., & Askegaard, S. (2003). The fire of desire: A multisited inquiry into consumer passion. Journal of Consumer Research, 30, 326–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bell, D. (1976). The cultural contradictions of capitalism. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  14. Biocca, F. (Ed.). (1991). Television and political advertising (Vol. 2): Signs, codes, and images. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  15. Buck-Morss, S. (1989). The dialectics of seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project. Cambridge, MA: MIT.Google Scholar
  16. Caro, A. (2002). La publicidad de la significación: Marco, concepto y taxonomía. Madrid: E-prints UCM. (Original work published 1993).Google Scholar
  17. Caro, A. (2007). Jean Baudrillard y la publicidad. Pensar la Publicidad: Revista Internacional de Investigaciones Publicitarias, I(2), 131–146.Google Scholar
  18. Curtis, A. (Director). (2002). The century of the self [Motion picture]. London: BBC Series.Google Scholar
  19. Davis, J. E. (2003). The commodification of self. Hedgehog Review, 5(2), 41–49.Google Scholar
  20. De Zengotita, T. (2005). Mediated: How the media shapes your world and the way you live in it. New York: Bloomsbury.Google Scholar
  21. Debord, G. (1967). La sociètè du spectacle. Paris: Champ Libre.Google Scholar
  22. Ewen, S. (1976). Captains of consciousness: Advertising and the social roots of the consumer culture. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  23. Ewen, S. (1988). All consuming images. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  24. Ewen, S. (1990). Marketing dreams: The political elements of style. In A. Tomlinson (Ed.), Consumption, identity and style: Marketing, meanings, and the packaging of pleasure (pp. 29–39). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Ewen, S., & Ewen, E. (1982). Channels of desire. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  26. Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and power. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  27. Featherstone, M. (2007). Consumer culture and postmodernism (2nd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  28. Fine, B. (2002). The world of consumption: The material and cultural revisited (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Forty, A. (1986). Objects of desire. London: Thames and Hudson.Google Scholar
  30. Fournier, S., & Guiry, M. (1993). An emerald green Jaguar, a house on Nantucket, and an African safari: Wish lists and consumption dreams in materialist society. Advances in Consumer Research, 20, 352–358.Google Scholar
  31. Fromm, E. (1955). The sane society. New York: Rinehart & Company.Google Scholar
  32. Gergen, K. J. (1991). The saturated self. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  33. Goldman, R. (1992). Reading ads socially. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  34. Goldman, R., & Papson, S. (1996). Sign wars: The cluttered landscape of advertising. New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  35. Goodman, D. (2004). Consumption as a social problem. In G. Ritzer (Ed.), Handbook of social problems. London: Sage. Retrieved from http://www.sage-ereference.com/hdbk_socproblems/Article_n14.html
  36. Gottdiener, M. (1996). The theming of America: Dreams, visions, and commercial spaces. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  37. Haug, W. F. (1987). Commodity aesthetics, ideology and culture. New York: International General.Google Scholar
  38. Hearn, A. (2008). ‘Meat, Mask, Burden’: Probing the contours of the branded ‘self’. Journal of Consumer Culture, 8, 197–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Hirschman, E. C., & Stern, B. B. (1999). The roles of emotion in consumer research. Advances in Consumer Research, 26(1), 4–11.Google Scholar
  40. Illouz, E. (2009). Emotions, imagination and consumption: A new research agenda. Journal of Consumer Culture, 9(3), 377–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Jameson, F. (1991). Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of late capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Knights, D., & Wilmot, H. (2006). Introducing organizational behaviour & management. London: Thomson Learning.Google Scholar
  43. Lair, D. J., Sullivan, K., & Cheney, G. (2005). Marketization and the recasting of the professional self: The rhetoric and ethics of personal branding. Management Communication Quarterly, 18(3), 307–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lasch, C. (1979). The culture of narcissism. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  45. Lasch, C. (1984). The minimal self: Psychic survival in troubled times. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  46. Lears, T. (1983). From salvation to self-realization: Advertising and the therapeutic roots of the consumer culture, 1880–1930. In R. Fox & T. Lears (Eds.), The culture of consumption: Critical essays in American history, 1880–1980 (pp. 1–38). New York: Pantheon Books.Google Scholar
  47. Lyon, D. (2001). Jesus in Disneyland: Religion in postmodern times. Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  48. Maffesoli, M. (Ed.). (1988). The sociology of everyday life. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  49. Maffesoli, M. (1989). Jeux de masques: Postmodern tribalism. Design Issues, IV(1–2), 141–151.Google Scholar
  50. Marcuse, H. (1966). Eros and civilization. Boston: Beacon. (Original work published 1955).Google Scholar
  51. Markus, H., & Nurius, P. (1986). Possible selves. American Psychologist, 41, 954–969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Martín-Barbero, J. (1987). De los medios a las mediaciones: comunicación, cultura y hegemonía. Barcelona: Ediciones Gili.Google Scholar
  53. McLuhan, M. (1994). Understanding media: The extensions of man. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Original work published 1964).Google Scholar
  54. Mitchell, W. J. T. (1986). Iconology: Image, text, ideology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  55. Nordström, J., & Riddestråle, K. (2000). Funky business: Talent makes capital dance. Harlow, UK: Pearson.Google Scholar
  56. Nordström, J., & Riddestråle, K. (2005). Karaoke capitalism: Daring to be different in a copycat world. Westport: Praeger.Google Scholar
  57. Packard, V. (1961). The status seekers: An exploration of class behaviour in America. Middlesex: Penguin.Google Scholar
  58. Pawlett, W. (2008). Against banality: The object system, the sign system and the consumption system. International Journal of Baudrillard Studies, 5(1). Retrieved from http://www.ubishops.ca/baudrillardstudies/vol5_1/v5-1-article13-Pawlett.html
  59. Poster, M. (2001). Introduction. In M. Poster (Ed.), Jean Baudrillard: Selected writings (2nd ed., pp. 1–9). Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  60. Riesman, D. (1969). The lonely crowd: A study of the changing American character. New Haven: Yale University Press. (Original work published 1950).Google Scholar
  61. Slater, D. (1997). Consumer culture and modernity. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  62. Taylor, M., & Saarinen, E. (1994). Imagologies: Media philosophy. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  63. Tester, K. (1993). The life and times of post-modernity. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Thomson, I. T. (2000). In conflict no longer: Self and society in contemporary America. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  65. Wee, L. (2010). Personal branding and the commodification of reflexivity. Cultural Sociology, 4(1), 45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Williamson, J. (1978). Decoding advertisements. London: Boyars.Google Scholar
  67. Williamson, J. (1986). Consuming passions. London: Boyars.Google Scholar
  68. Zayas, E. C. (2001). Publicidad y hegemonía: matrices discursivas. Buenos Aires: Norma.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marlon Xavier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Caxias do SulCaxias do SulBrazil

Personalised recommendations