CASTRO, J. C. L.
Instances of reification in contemporary society: work, consumption, cyberculture, and body.
The International Society for the Social Studies Annual Conference Proceedings,
Orlando, FL (Estados Unidos),
Resumo: The term “reification” comes from “res” – thing, in Latin (as in “republic”, literally “res publica”, public thing) – and indicates a situation in which subjects are treated as objects. The concept of reification can be traced back to the Marxist concept of commodity fetishism, attitude which characterizes members of a capitalist society who attribute the value of a commodity to the commodity itself, leaving aside the true source of value, human work. In other words, Marx shows us that what is ultimately a relationship between men assumes the form of a relationship between things. It is this specific aspect of commodity fetishism, the association of men to things, which is singled out as reification by Lukacs, the one who introduces the concept. Recently, Honneth, a thinker belonging to the third generation of the Frankfurt School, revisits this concept and proposes a view of it which is broader than Lukacs’. He takes as reference his recognition theory, which draws heavily on Hegel’s earliest writings. For Honneth, reification amounts to a failure of recognition, or, more precisely, to a forgetting of a basic level of recognition. Here I consider the insights from both Lukacs and Honneth, and propose a reading of some spheres where they may be employed: work, consumption, cyberculture, and body.
Palavras-chave: reification, Lukács, work, consumption, cyberculture, body.