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Capitalism, consumption and transformation of experience: historical and theoretical foundations

Grant number: 16/01870-7
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): July 04, 2016
Effective date (End): January 03, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Social Psychology
Principal researcher:Isleide Arruda Fontenelle
Grantee:Isleide Arruda Fontenelle
Host: Eli Zaretsky
Home Institution: Escola de Administração de Empresas (EAESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: New School for Social Research, United States  

Abstract

Recent publications in the marketing field show an inflation of discourse around the "consumer experience", indicating that it is the most advanced stage of consumer culture, as it integrates technological changes taking place substantially alter time and space experience human; as well as by placing new challenges on the value of the realization process for capitalism. However, a brief historical reconstruction about this phenomenon indicates that the "consumer experience" is constitutive of consumer culture since its formation in the final decades of the nineteenth century. It is therefore necessary to examine what is continuity and rupture in this marketing discourse in order to understand what is radically new in the contemporary consumer culture that impacts both the field of subjective experience as the capital of the playback mode. My hypothesis is that we live the passage of the "consumption experience" to the "consumption of the experience", and this became the main commodity of contemporary capitalism. But understanding this movement can only occur if it is analyzed from the dialectical interdependence of the two constituent fields of consumer culture from its beginnings - the economic and the cultural, which requires a dialogue between two central theoretical axes: Marxism, to understanding a theory of capitalism; and psychoanalysis, to understand a theory of mentalities/passions. As a starting point, this project aims to understand the historical and theoretical foundations of the "consumption experience" from two fronts: 1) historical literature analysis on the construction of consumer culture; 2) theoretical analysis of the relationship between capitalism, psychoanalysis and consumption from the Marxist theory and psychoanalysis. (AU)