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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2009

David J. Leonard

Although the commodification of black bodies amid state violence and widespread racism is nothing new, considering the histories of Hollywood, jazz, minstrelsy, or even…

Abstract

Although the commodification of black bodies amid state violence and widespread racism is nothing new, considering the histories of Hollywood, jazz, minstrelsy, or even athletes enslaved on plantations (Rhoden, 2006), the hyper commodification of the contemporary black athlete, alongside expansive processes of globalization, growth in the profitability of black bodies, and their importance within colorblind discourse, demonstrates the importance of commodification within our new racist moment. Likewise, the shrinking opportunities afforded to African American youth, alongside clear messages about the path to desired black masculinity (Neal, 2005; Watkins, 1998; West, 1994), push black youth into a sports world where the possibility of striking it rich leads to a “win at all costs” attitude. Robin Kelley argues that African American youth participate in sports or engage in other cultural practices as an attempt to resist or negotiate the inherent contradictions of post-industrial American capitalism (Kelley, 1998). Patricia Hill Collins describes this process in the following terms: “Recognizing that black culture was a marketable commodity, they put it up for sale, selling an essentialized black culture that white youth could emulate yet never own. These message was clear – ‘the world may be against us, but we are here and we intend to get paid’” (Collins, 2006, p. 298). Celia Lury concurs, noting that heightened levels of commodification embody a shift from a racial logic defined by scientific racism to one centering on cultural difference. She argues that commodity racism “has contributed to shifts in how racism operates, specifically to the shift from a racism tied to biological understandings of ‘race’ in which identity is fixed or naturalized to a racism in which ‘race’ is a cultural category in which racial identity is represented as a matter of style, and is the subject of choice” (Lury, 1996, p. 169; as quoted in Spencer, 2004, p. 123). In the context of new racism, as manifested in heightened levels of commodification of Othered bodies, racial identity is simply a choice, but a cultural marker that can be celebrated and sold, policed, or demonized with little questions about racial implications (Spencer, 2004, pp. 123–125). Blackness, thus, becomes little more than a culture style, something that can be sold on Ebay and tried on at the ball or some something that needs to be policed or driven out-of-existence. Race is conceptualized “as a matter of style, something that can be put on or taken off at will” (Willis as quoted in Spencer, 2004, p. 123). Collins notes further that the process of commodification is not simply about selling “an essentialized black culture,” but rather a particular construction of blackness that has proven beneficial to white owners. “Athletes and criminals alike are profitable, not for the vast majority of African American men, but for people who own the teams, control the media, provide food, clothing and telephone services, and who consume seemingly endless images of pimps, hustlers, rapists, and felons” (2006, p. 311). bell hooks, who describes this process as “eating the other,” sees profit and ideology as crucial to understanding the commodification of black bodies. “When race and ethnicity become commodified as resources for pleasure, the culture of specific groups, as well as the bodies of individuals, can be seen as constituting an alternative playground where members of dominating races…affirm their power-over in intimate relations with the other” (Hooks, 1992, p. 23). She, along with Collins, emphasizes the importance of sex and sexuality, within this processes of commodification, arguing that commodification of black male (and female) bodies emanates from and reproduces longstanding mythologies regarding black sexual power.

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-785-7

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Book part
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Noah Askin and Joeri Mol

Since the arrival of mass production, commodification has been plaguing markets – none more so than that for music. By separating production and consumption in space and…

Abstract

Since the arrival of mass production, commodification has been plaguing markets – none more so than that for music. By separating production and consumption in space and time, commodification challenges the very conditions underlying economic exchange. This chapter explores authenticity as the institutional response to the commodification of music, rekindling the relationship between isolated market participants in the increasingly digitized world of music. Building upon the “Production of Culture” perspective, we unpack the commodification of music across five different institutional realms – (1) production, (2) consumption, (3) selection, (4) appropriation, and (5) classification – and provide a thoroughly relational account of authenticity as an institutional practice.

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Frontiers of Creative Industries: Exploring Structural and Categorical Dynamics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-773-9

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Book part
Publication date: 28 December 2016

Medet Yolal

The purpose of the chapter is to discuss the tourist experiences by tracing various perspectives and dimensions of authenticity, commodification, and McDonaldization.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the chapter is to discuss the tourist experiences by tracing various perspectives and dimensions of authenticity, commodification, and McDonaldization.

Methodology/approach

The main debates on the authenticity of the tourism experiences and the commodification of the tourism product is examined. Further a relevant literature on the McDonaldization thesis is provided focusing on experiential dimensions of the tourism consumption.

Findings

Destinations rely not only on the object authenticity of their attractiveness but also strive to attract tourists by tailoring experiences that will meet high-order needs of the tourists. However, these destinations are under threat by commodification and McDonaldization due to excessive use of the resources as a result of mass tourism.

Practical implications

Destination managers and planners should focus on the experiences without compromising on authenticity, uniqueness, and genuineness of their destinations while refraining over-commercialization and McDonaldization of their offerings.

Originality/value

This chapter discusses the authenticity, commodification, and McDonaldization issues on the basis of a case study of a well-established destination.

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The Handbook of Managing and Marketing Tourism Experiences
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-289-7

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2009

Hugo Letiche

The purpose of this paper is to pursue the themes of feminine identity, doubling and (in)visibility; first in terms of “signifyin(g)” as a cultural and literary strategy…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to pursue the themes of feminine identity, doubling and (in)visibility; first in terms of “signifyin(g)” as a cultural and literary strategy, and second, in terms of quilting seen from the fiction of Alice Walker to the quilting of Gee's Bend. In the background, there plays the relationship between art and commodification.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines “commodification” and “doubling” in the case of the Gee's Bend quilt makers. The quilts foreshadow the modernist aesthetic and are of the highest aesthetic quality. They were made in a traditional rural society by very poor uneducated black women. The quilts were not made to be sold, but were dedicated to familial remembrance and to immediate aesthetic pleasure.

Findings

Commodification doubles self and work, life and object, uniqueness and standardization, art and management. For the artist, the unicity, beauty, inspiration and creativity of art is doubled in the sale, marketing, display, distribution and mass production of “art works.” Making art is intimate, personal and individual; selling art requires public display, pleasing the all‐important customer(s) and dealing with many sorts of in‐betweens. What “commodification” is on the artist/art work level, is “doubling” on the I/me, self/persona, private/public, and in‐group/out‐group level.

Originality/value

The author proposes, from the example of quilt‐making, a wide‐ranging interrogation: “Is escape from commodification possible?”

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Hugo Letiche

Commodification doubles self and work, life and object, uniqueness and standardization and art and management. For the artist, the unicity, beauty, inspiration and…

Abstract

Purpose

Commodification doubles self and work, life and object, uniqueness and standardization and art and management. For the artist, the unicity, beauty, inspiration and creativity of art is doubled in the sale, marketing, display, distribution and mass production of “art works”. Making art is intimate, personal and individual; selling art requires public display, pleasing the all important customer(s) and dealing with many sorts of in-betweens. What commodification is on the artist/art work level is doubling on the I/me, self/persona, private/public and in-group/out-group level. This paper aims to examine the commodification and doubling in the case of the Gee’s Bend quilt makers. The quilts foreshadowed the modernist aesthetic and are of the highest aesthetic quality. But, they were made in a traditional rural society by very poor, uneducated black women. The quilts were not made to be sold but were dedicated to familial remembrance and to immediate aesthetic pleasure. But now that they are on display: is escape from commodification possible?

Design/methodology/approach

Reprint for special issue.

Findings

Doubling, in the original article below, was tendentious but artistically and politically to be overcome; doubling currently seems much more ominous, omnipresent and out of control. Signifyin(g) has become bomb throwing. Present day doubling apparently produces terror and not just commodification.

Originality/value

Invited for publication.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Indra Abeysekera

The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature and implications of the actual techniques used in the measuring and reporting of intellectual capital.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature and implications of the actual techniques used in the measuring and reporting of intellectual capital.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a literature review.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that the commodification of intellectual capital, rather than solving the contradictions accompanying market value maximisation, simply shifts these contradictions to a new location.

Practical implications

The wide range of intellectual capital definitions, frameworks, and indices allow firms to choose intellectual capital reporting which will justify maximising their market value, resulting in the construction of data in intellectual capital reporting that hides the reality of the commodification of labour.

Originality/value

Commodification of labour through intellectual capital practices is useful to regulators in policy making and accounting standard setting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Colin C. Williams

A widely held supposition is that goods and services are increasingly produced and delivered for monetised exchange by capitalist firms in pursuit of profit. The result of…

Abstract

A widely held supposition is that goods and services are increasingly produced and delivered for monetised exchange by capitalist firms in pursuit of profit. The result of this view of an ongoing encroachment of the market is that there is only one perceived future for work and it is one characterised by an ever more commodified world. The aim of this paper is to evaluate critically this discourse. Analysing the balance between commodified and non‐commodified work in the advanced economies, a large non‐commodified sphere is identified that, if anything, is found to be expanding relative to the commodified realm. Rather than reading the future of work as a natural and unstoppable progression towards a victorious, all‐powerful and hegemonic commodity economy, this paper thus opens up the feasibility of alternative futures beyond a commodified world.

Details

Foresight, vol. 6 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Petrina M. Davidson, Elizabeth Bruce and Lisa Damaschke-Deitrick

Increasingly, groups external to educational systems are offering time, expertise and products, creating an intricate web of educational governance where entities outside…

Abstract

Increasingly, groups external to educational systems are offering time, expertise and products, creating an intricate web of educational governance where entities outside of formal education contribute to state-funded education systems. While this involvement and its motivations have been considered in the literature, it has been less common to explore these interactions between school systems and outside organizations as they relate to the transition from the knowledge economy to the intelligent economy. Such research is important to understand the numerous inputs to education, which can then inform future decision-making. This study traces scripts around the commodification of knowledge, which connects education to individual employability or the economy and cyborg dialectic, or the mutual relationship between humans and technology. These scripts intersect to contribute to the perpetuation of data creation and usage as part of the educational intelligent economy. The scripts traced here originate from Battelle, a primarily a Ohio-based research and development organization, also focused on classroom teaching and learning, specifically in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Mapping scripts related to the commodification of knowledge and the cyborg dialectic indicates promotion of the intelligent economy broadly and individually for Battelle itself across Ohio and beyond, through investments in educators, students and policy-makers but also Battelle’s potential employees and collaborators. This data-focus creates an educational intelligence not only in students, teachers and policy-makers but also in Battelle itself, legitimating it as an actor in education.

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The Educational Intelligent Economy: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things in Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-853-4

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Tamar Diana Wilson

The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fur trade in the United States and Canada that sent hundreds of thousands of furs to Europe and China relied on “Cheap Labor” and…

Abstract

The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century fur trade in the United States and Canada that sent hundreds of thousands of furs to Europe and China relied on “Cheap Labor” and the abundance of “Cheap Raw Materials,” that is to say, living beings such as sea otter, land otter, beaver, and seals. Native American labor, procured by and paid through trade goods in a kind of “putting out” piece-rate system, was cheap partially because their lives were maintained/reproduced through traditional agricultural or hunting and gathering economies. The commodification of fur-bearing animals led to their sharp decline and in some cases near extinction. Cheap labor and cheap living beings interacted dynamically in unison to enable capital accumulation under mercantile capitalism. At the very end of the nineteenth century, fur farming as a petty capitalist enterprise became common in Canada and the United States, and more recently has expanded greatly in China.

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The Capitalist Commodification of Animals
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-681-8

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Book part
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Cecilia Rikap

In this chapter, I analyze universities’ present context of commodification by suggesting a typology of market universities based on Levín’s three types of capital…

Abstract

In this chapter, I analyze universities’ present context of commodification by suggesting a typology of market universities based on Levín’s three types of capital enterprises: the simple purpose, technological, and enhanced universities. The simple purpose university mainly commodifies teaching. On the contrary, the technological and enhanced universities, even if they may also commodify teaching, are focused on the commodification of research. The main difference between the technological and the enhanced universities is the capacity of the latter to enjoy the profits of its commodified research activity, while the former exchanges research results and sells its research capacity in a subordinated way, losing (at least part of) those benefits. These three proposed types also differ regarding financial autonomy and academic freedom.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-222-2

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