By Susan Willis
What occurs whilst a Marxist feminist is going to the grocery store? Why is Michael Jackson the fundamental expression of commodity tradition? In A Primer for way of life, Susan Willis places lifestyle and its artifacts on the heart of her research of capitalist tradition. Interrogating the which means of such daily goods as kid's toys, plastic packaging, banana sticky label emblems, and aerobics periods, Willis investigates the phenomena of recent tradition and commodity fetishism. Grounded in Marxism and guided by means of feminism, A Primer for lifestyle goals to develop the sector of cultural feedback to include varieties and practices no longer addressed through the media or media feedback. Willis demonstrates that the trivial is necessary for an realizing of capitalist tradition and encourages the improvement of a severe viewpoint on way of life.
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Additional info for A Primer For Daily Life
This is the moment when desire is enacted in consumption. ” In advanced consumer society, the act of consumption need not involve economic exchange. We consume with our eyes, taking in commodities every time we push a grocery cart up and down the aisles in a supermarket, or watch TV, or drive down a logostudded highway. The visual consumption of the commodity form is so much a part of our daily landscape that we do not consciously remark how meanings are inscribed in such acts of consumption. Banana-sticker logos offer a case in point (see chapter 3).
Under capitalism our group social practice is commodity consumption. If we subscribe to the notion of gendering as process, and I think this is the only fruitful way to see it, then we must confront the fact that gender, like all our attributes and expressions, is bound up with the commodity form. The problem posed is how to define gender— and every other quality that marks the individual’s intersection with society—in truly human terms. As I see it, there are two possible responses. The first, the separatist solution, holds forth limited success.
Either case precludes the possibility of producing the disruptive juxtaposition between past and present. Our dilemma is how to reverse the blind rush of progress and turn ourselves around, like Benjamin’s description of the “Angelus Novus,” moving backwards into the future with eyes “fixedly contemplating” the past. Our problem is how to recognize moments of rupture in a cultural fabric that appears all too continuous. The following essay/montage represents an attempt to read culture by looking backwards into history.
A Primer For Daily Life by Susan Willis