Making magic: Fetishes in contemporary consumption

Karen V. Fernandez, John L. Lastovicka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fetishes-magical objects of extraordinary empowerment and influence-are often sought by consumers for their value as usable objects. Our interpretive research extends the current static perspective of fetishes by proposing a dynamic cyclical model of fetishization appropriate to an age of mass production. Consumers use contagious and imitative magic to imbue replica instruments with power. Semiotically signified magical thinking causes replicas to radiate aura and thus transforms them into fetishes. We suggest that although all replicas with aura become fetishes, the cyclical fetishization process is only perpetuated when empowerment is public, sustained, and authentic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-299
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

Fingerprint

empowerment
mass production
cause
Values
Fetish
Magic
Empowerment
Aura
Mass production
Interpretive research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

Cite this

Making magic : Fetishes in contemporary consumption. / Fernandez, Karen V.; Lastovicka, John L.

In: Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 38, No. 2, 08.2011, p. 278-299.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fernandez, KV & Lastovicka, JL 2011, 'Making magic: Fetishes in contemporary consumption', Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 278-299. https://doi.org/10.1086/659079
Fernandez, Karen V. ; Lastovicka, John L. / Making magic : Fetishes in contemporary consumption. In: Journal of Consumer Research. 2011 ; Vol. 38, No. 2. pp. 278-299.
@article{154baa98eec74ec396835ae78ff46c63,
title = "Making magic: Fetishes in contemporary consumption",
abstract = "Fetishes-magical objects of extraordinary empowerment and influence-are often sought by consumers for their value as usable objects. Our interpretive research extends the current static perspective of fetishes by proposing a dynamic cyclical model of fetishization appropriate to an age of mass production. Consumers use contagious and imitative magic to imbue replica instruments with power. Semiotically signified magical thinking causes replicas to radiate aura and thus transforms them into fetishes. We suggest that although all replicas with aura become fetishes, the cyclical fetishization process is only perpetuated when empowerment is public, sustained, and authentic.",
author = "Fernandez, {Karen V.} and Lastovicka, {John L.}",
year = "2011",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1086/659079",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "38",
pages = "278--299",
journal = "Journal of Consumer Research",
issn = "0093-5301",
publisher = "University of Chicago",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Making magic

T2 - Fetishes in contemporary consumption

AU - Fernandez, Karen V.

AU - Lastovicka, John L.

PY - 2011/8

Y1 - 2011/8

N2 - Fetishes-magical objects of extraordinary empowerment and influence-are often sought by consumers for their value as usable objects. Our interpretive research extends the current static perspective of fetishes by proposing a dynamic cyclical model of fetishization appropriate to an age of mass production. Consumers use contagious and imitative magic to imbue replica instruments with power. Semiotically signified magical thinking causes replicas to radiate aura and thus transforms them into fetishes. We suggest that although all replicas with aura become fetishes, the cyclical fetishization process is only perpetuated when empowerment is public, sustained, and authentic.

AB - Fetishes-magical objects of extraordinary empowerment and influence-are often sought by consumers for their value as usable objects. Our interpretive research extends the current static perspective of fetishes by proposing a dynamic cyclical model of fetishization appropriate to an age of mass production. Consumers use contagious and imitative magic to imbue replica instruments with power. Semiotically signified magical thinking causes replicas to radiate aura and thus transforms them into fetishes. We suggest that although all replicas with aura become fetishes, the cyclical fetishization process is only perpetuated when empowerment is public, sustained, and authentic.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79960385299&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=79960385299&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1086/659079

DO - 10.1086/659079

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:79960385299

VL - 38

SP - 278

EP - 299

JO - Journal of Consumer Research

JF - Journal of Consumer Research

SN - 0093-5301

IS - 2

ER -