Reification, Fetishism and Intellectual Work Cover Image

Urzeczowienie, fetyszyzm i praca intelektualna
Reification, Fetishism and Intellectual Work

Author(s): Krzysztof Świrek
Subject(s): Social Sciences, Sociology, Marxism, History and theory of sociology, Social Theory, Sociology of Culture
Published by: Wydział Socjologii Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: reification; fetishism; intellectual work; total intellectual

Summary/Abstract: This paper proposes a return to notions of reification and fetishism as classic but still valid tools of critical social theory. In the broad frame of analysis of modernity, these notions pointed to processes of inversion in which means were substituted for aims, and objectivistic measures were reduced to disproportionate qualities. In this text, several concepts are juxtaposed: both those that can be understood as sources for theories of fetishism and reification, and their classic and more contemporary expositions in the works of Marx, Lukács, and Debord. The author applies the notions of reification and fetishism to intellectual work, which plays a simultaneously central and subordinate role in contemporary capitalism. In the final part of the text he proposes the notion of a total intellectual: the term is meant to describe someone who objects to the reification of intellectual work and its reduction to technical and economic activity.

  • Issue Year: 2019
  • Issue No: 16
  • Page Range: 27-68
  • Page Count: 42
  • Language: Polish