The Ideology of consumption or, What does it mean to live in a tasteless world?

Brian Benjamin Hansen

Abstract


This article opts for a return to a critique of the ideology of consumption. Following Slavoj Žižek it argues that what must be addressed in present-day consumer-capitalism is the level of the superego. Superego is not about living up to certain norms/standards; rather, superego fits consumerism quite well, in that it is the injunction, even obligation, to go beyond any norms or standards and enhance enjoyment. The article attempts, through a diagnosis of postmodern ways of eating and consuming, a new metaphorization of consumer-capital- ism as »tasteless«: We live, basically, in a tasteless world where desires and tastes must be reinvented continuously, and we are trapped in the tastelessness of this same world, caught in the matrix of consumption, whatever we do.

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