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Chapter 5-1

CMNS 221 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5-1: Emerging Markets, Scientific Management

Course Code
CMNS 221
Martin Laba

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The Dream of Wholeness
Defining Personhood
The function of clothes as a badge of social ranks is enormously expanding over all
classes in America for both sexes, but particularly for women
Anxieties about self-image, and the hunger for self-expression, contributed to
people’s use of style within their daily lives
Style was seen as a device for blending in, conforming to the expectations of the
society at large
The correct use of style was seen as a way of avoiding “adverse criticism” of being
acceptable to others
Style was also understood as a tool for constructing personhood
The emerging market in stylized goods provided consumers with a vast palette of
symbolic meanings, to be selected and juxtaposed in the assembling of a public self
The fashionable person is a quantitative assemblage of objective elements, all of
which combine to present the semblance of an integrated subject
The utility of style in this regard is to find for oneself, and for others, the evidence of
meaning in one’s life
The assembling of a commodity self, this “dream of wholeness”, implies a sense of
partialness and fragmentation that resides just beneath the surface
Over the past century, an ongoing lament has been that of aloneness, isolation,
invisibility, and insignificance; a desperate thirst for recognition, often expressed as a
desire for fame
The repeated pledge of progress is greater freedom for the individual, yet actual
choice over the conditions of existence, the domain of freedom has been reduced
Conceptual and decision-making powers have been systematically removed from
people not only in production, but in the “white collar” industries of distribution,
promotion, service and bureaucracy
1. Dissociation of the labor process from the skills of the workers
2.Separation of conception from execution
3. Use of this monopoly of knowledge to control each step of the labour
process and its mode of execution
There was an intimate connection between aspects of personal charm and the
processes of selling
As the engines of production were overflowing with a previously unimaginable mass
of goods, corporate enterprises increasingly moved to systematize and routinize the
processes of selling
Centralized planning was applied to tasks formerly in the hands of independent
The notion of self as other, as something to be molded and manipulated, was
becoming a job qualification
Personal traits were now being mass produced as instruments of persuasion, masks
to cover those aspects of character that might get in the way of sales
As inner feeling undercut outer projection, inner feeling was dispensable
Human emotions themselves were becoming objectified into discrete elements, raw
materials within the standardized production of salesmanship
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