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The System of Objects (Latin American & Iberian studies series) Hardcover – 12 Jun 1996


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books (12 Jun 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1859849431
  • ISBN-13: 978-1859849439
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 21 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,556,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A sharp-shooting Lone Ranger of the post-Marxist left."--"New York Times""The most notorious intellectual celebrity to emerge from Paris since Roland Barthes and the most influential prophet of the media since Marshall McLuhan."--"i-D magazine"

About the Author

Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) began teaching sociology at the Universite de Paris-X in 1966. He retired from academia in 1987 to write books and travel until his death in 2007. His many works include "Simulations and Simulacra," "America," "The Perfect Crime," "The System of Objects," "Passwords," "The Transparency of Evil," "The Spirit of Terrorism," and "Fragments," among others.

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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Mike Cormack on 29 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
Baudrillard (pronouced "Bodra-jar") was one of the most important thinkers of the 20th Century, a landmark giant of the (post)structuralist movement (a term I'm sure all involved would refuse), which includes such figures as Derrida, Foucault, Lyotard and Lacan amongst others. Baudrillard began from a more orthodox Marxist position (whereas Derrida took his starting place from Heidigger and Foucault from Nietzsche, an under-appreciated fact), but inspired by the structuralist anaylsis or Roland Barthes in "Mythologies", he worked through Marxism to produce his own original work.

By "working through" I mean that where Marx saw commodites as containing surplus value which was "expropriated" (or stolen) by the capitalist, Baudrillard sees them as semiotic signs. Which means that all consumer objects are symbols, have values with which people can communicate. This works on four levels - the functional value (the use of the object); the exchange value (the market price); the symbolic value (such as wedding rings); and the sign value (which occurs within a system so that all objects have a relation to each other - one pair of jeans will be more urban, more niche, than another; one car will be be more powerful, more upper-class, more independence-giving, than another). Thus consumption rather than production is the key determinant in society, the most important signifier of "class".

In this early (1968) work Baudrillard looks at the relations of objects and the manner in which they are consumed, and how this determines the consumer.
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By Emma on 12 Dec 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Used for my dissertation.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L L Jordan on 7 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Classic postmodern thinking in relation to objects . A real critique of everyday stuff that surrounds us with ever increasing dependency . This is a useful book for all artists a s performers
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By alex on 1 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Everyday objects are scrutinised by a name that has deeply looked into how they are incorporated into our everyday lives. From mere objects to technological and our ways of consuming them.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Felix Gunzler on 30 Dec 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the most intelligent books I have read. I used it as a reference for an essay I wrote on collecting. I think I got a good grade merely because I had this book as a reference when writing.
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