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Acerca del libro
The Performativity of Value: On the Citability of Cultural Commodities addresses the increased commodification of language in the U.S. cultural economy. The marketing of cultural commodities in formats such as websites, videos, movies, books, online games, or television episodes—as distributed across a wide range of technological devices—means that language is moving across situational contexts to an unprecedented degree. Just as authors quote or paraphrase sources in the construction of a text, subjects “cite” the commodified words, images, and works of others as they construct their social identities. Steve Sherlock discusses how consumer citational practices generate demand for those cultural commodities which align the self with particular subcultural groups. By “re-citing” the exchange value frame within which language itself has acquired an economic worth, consumer citational practices have become performative of the U.S. cultural economy. In order to describe this process, the book extends the work of Judith Butler on the performativity of gender to the performativity of exchange value, as well as to the performativity of subcultural values. The book also develops a critique of the increasing commodification of language in the contemporary economy. Sherlock follows Butler in developing a model of performativity based on Jacques Derrida’s work, particularly regarding the citability of language into new situational contexts. Derrida’s critique of the metaphysics of presence in Western philosophy and culture is extended toward a critique of the assumed presence of exchange value in the cultural marketplace. The book also incorporates the work of the Bakhtin Circle into this framework—especially their insight into how everyday utterances, which “report on” the words of others, become a site for the re-negotiation of values between self and others. The re-citational process used in contemporary identity construction can thus either re-cite the current cultural economy, or resist it. The Performativity of Value contributes to themes examined in social theory, social psychology, literary theory, continental philosophy, and cultural studies, and thus will be of interest to students and scholars working in those areas.
Acerca de Steve Sherlock
Steve Sherlock is a professor of sociology as Saginaw Valley State University.
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