Jessica Chen – Louis Vuitton (Baudrillard)

Posted: December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

Jean Baudrillard‘s, “The Ideological Genesis of Needs”, is another reading that I was able to relate to as it has a similar theme to Marx’s where he reflects on humans’ irrational obsession with commodities.  As Baudrillard asserts, “use value no longer appears anywhere in the system” (Baudrillard 77). In other words, moments of actual enjoyment and fulfillment have little to do with the system of consumption. According to Baudrillard, the “scale of status” (Baudrillard 61) dictates what people consume based on their social position in society. What someone purchases dictates his or her taste and ultimately, one’s taste will reflect on his or her class or status. Women may not need or really want the designer handbag, but because they want to ‘fit in’ with the materialistic society they live in, they will purchase the designer handbag anyways. Wherever I go, I would most definitely see at least 9 out of 10 women with a designer handbag, whether that is their only one or its one of their large collection of handbags. I believe women simply just desire designer handbags so they can “fit in” with the rest in our materialistic society. Finally, Baudrillard explores the contrast between want and need. Primary needs are for survival – you need food and water before seeing these objects because they are essential to survival. 

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