According to my ideas of commodification and what I gleaned from Clark's "Commodity Lesbianism," capitalists can commodify an identity by realizing the existence of a certain "group" and finding marketing strategies that will make their product seem more appealing to members of that group. Essentially a company identifies a group that seems to collectively share similar values/lifestyles and, seeing lucrative opportunities, decides to advertise in ways intentionally geared toward that group. In doing this, however, the capitalist defines and categorizes the group. The company can only advertise to the group in ways that the company perceives the group to be or think. The company also assumes that all members of the group operate in the same way, and thus are one marketing subject. Commodifying an identity can occur from both sides, that is, the members of the identity can be both marketed to and the objects of marketing. The group is now part of a non-self described/identified entity, which can only be detrimental to how the group is distinguished by the mainstream or dominant view. It can only offer a limited, dehumanizing view of members of an identity. Diversifying representations in the mainstream shapes the way in which the mainstream views the subjects being represented. The problem with this is that the identity as perceived by the mainstream still does not belong to the subjects of the identity. The groups will be diversified as per dominant categories. Ultimately, commodifying an identity is yet another disgusting part of capitalism. Everything in our lives has become a source/form of capital. Commodifying an identity becomes a form of oppression by those upholding the dominant view, which probably stems from a fear of the "other" not conforming to the accepted "traditional" lifestyle. Unfortunately, it seems that no non-white male identity is safe from this commodification that degrades any identity that can be deemed as "other."
Blog Post 3
TrackBack URL: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/140877