Full Text


Jonathan E. Schroeder

Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Culture » Popular Culture

Key-Topics sexualities

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Fetishization refers to a process of imbuing an object or idea with power. A fetish object is often associated with sexual gratification, desire, and worship. Fetishization marks a cultural, psychological, and social technique of fetishizing things by making them appear larger than life, animate, or sexually desirable (→  Sexualization in the Media ). It is argued that this process has profoundly influenced contemporary consumer culture ( Fernbach 2002 ; Jhally 1987 ; Schroeder 2002 ). Fetishization is a useful concept for analyzing communication processes – it illuminates important aspects of consumer's relationships with media, as well as how popular communication creates objects of desire. In an economy based on attention, →  Images , and →  Information , fetishization – as displacement, as dysfunction, and as deviance – contributes to a larger project of linking products with psychological fulfillment, emotional satisfaction (→  emotion ), and sexual gratification. The word fetish has come to be associated with subaltern sexuality, or a fetish lifestyle organized around wearing fetish clothing and engaging in fetishized practices and rituals. Fetishization within popular communication draws upon these cultural associations to create associative connections for products, brands, and organizations. Fetishization, as used here, encompasses these concepts, but also refers to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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