Material culture as illusion

by Sofia

Weird to think how status can be acquired many times purely through buying shit. It’s as if we all buy into the idea that deciding to use our money for one thing or another is a valid definition of who we are. I understand material culture (all the physical objects that are part of our way of life) is a necessary part of the larger non-material culture (all our ideas, our worldview and the ideological and philosophical foundations of our way of life) as a reflection of it (e.g., books are a manifestation of our valuing of information and publishing it), but I question a way of thinking that accepts—confuses—the validity of the easily acquired status symbols for the status itself.

Jung said that the unconscious can’t differentiate between symbols and their significance (thus explaining how rituals can be so powerful and important for human beings); perhaps this is why people believe the hype, play along with it, partake in it.

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