Studying the works of various scientific figures helps to gain an understanding of society and in which direction it is developing. In particular, it contributes to the formation of opinions about the role of science and technology in social transformations and people’s opinions about specific issues. Therefore, within the framework of this scientific paper, several readings will be analyzed that consider such concepts as commodities, gentrification, and society’s attitude to sustainability and car culture. Even though they may seem different, they all provide valuable information that relates to one another.
One of the sources that were studied as part of the course is an article by Dwight Hines titled “In pursuit of experience: The postindustrial gentrification of the rural American West.” In this scientific paper, the author examines the phenomenon of gentrification. It lies in the phenomenon when graduates of colleges and other educational institutions make the decision to move to poor working-class communities. These transitions caused particular bewilderment because often in those areas, in addition to a low standard of living, there were also many communities of color.
This topic in the author’s article is conveyed in a rather exciting and unique manner, which distinguishes it from the rest of the readings in this course. The author notes that the process studied in his work is wholly opposed to all the efforts that have been made to develop urbanization in the country. Thus, young professionals, on the contrary, make decisions to leave cities to work in a small area. The author also highlights that the term under research becomes a consequence of continuity and change. These processes, in turn, are directly related to ideas and practices of modernity postindustrialization. (Dwight Hines, 2010). Moreover, the author conducted an examination that showed the main reasons why people made the decision to leave the urban environment was influenced by the middle class, in general, qualities of modern subjectivity (Dwight Hines, 2010). Moreover, the author of the article says that despite the economic position of the middle class, it can be considered the primary driver of motivation to change the world.
Regarding the topic of gentrification of the population in the rural area, the question of the relationship between individuals and commodities in real life can be raised. Hence, a proper reading in the framework of this question is Davis’s “The Commodification of Self.” In this paper, the author raises the question of the transformation of people’s worldview regarding functioning in market relations. Therefore, the author defines the phenomenon under study as self-understanding, which resulted from the emergence of a society that is based on the consumption of goods and images and the reorganization of human lives and connections within market relations (Davis, 2003). These concepts were manifested in self-realization and representation of people feeling like a product. At the same time, many resorts to the practice of personal branding to achieve economic well-being. A significant part of the self-commodity phenomenon is the fact that it treats people as individuals from welfare. Moreover, it is noted that self-commodity may be a consequence of the loss of self-definitions from specific social roles and rules.
Further, the paper notes the importance of self-acquisition as a way to achieve the most excellent satisfaction. It is noted that the sixties and seventies contributed to the growth of a new emphasis on the exploration and realization of personal desires and immediate experience. In addition, it focused on distancing oneself from external common norms and goals (Davis, 2003). This approach contributed to the formation of more conscious personalities who value inner voice and intimate feelings.
In addition, the work considers such an important component that is relevant in modern society is social identity. Thus, it is formed on the basis of becoming their consumers. Moreover, in this case, consumers are dependent on patterns of consumption. Identity in the modern world is determined by what they watch and consume. The author of this article mentions the words of Marx, who consider that an object that has “exchange value” in a market is a positive trend (Davis, 2003). Thus, the formation of a commodity may be of interest to study.
Karl Marx was the next scientist who considered the topic of the formation of individuals in the commodity. In his work “Capital Volume 1”, the author defined it as easily understood at the first acquaintance with it. However, over time, people come to realize that this is a reasonably complex phenomenon. Thus, like Davis, Marx investigated its value with respect to practical application and the possibility of satisfying human wants by the products of their labor. Commodity, for the author, represents a mystical concept because of the social nature of the forces produced. In this case, Marx also notes that value converts every product into a social hieroglyphic. In addition, the author also touches on the topic of religion and its place in the society of commodities. Therefore, Marx says that Christianity, with its fundamental postulates and creeds, is the most suitable religion for a society in which the product of human labor has a high value. The author also points out that the process of functioning of society is based on the process of material production. Moreover, it does not reveal its mystical veil until it is treated like one by men and women (Marx, 2019). At the same time, a particular material basis is required from this society, which is reflected in the product formed in the process of development.
The last reading worth mentioning in the framework of this scientific paper is the article Graves-Brown “From the highway to superhighway: The sustainability, symbolism and situated practices of car culture.” This source, like the previous ones, explores the society that honors products as a result of their activities. Hence, this focus becomes the culture of cars and the desire to spread the concept of sustainability to preserve the environment. The emergence of this culture largely depends on the state of the social and cultural condition of society.
Like Marx, the author of this scientific work says there is a narrowing division in society. Furthermore, the binary terms data show that there is the government and the governed, producers and consumers. Both sides support the idea of increasing the role and importance of sustainability in the field of automobiles, although this industry is not in itself sustainable. Thus, in order to change the situation, mandatory empowering of people is necessary to achieve the goal of preserving the environment. Of particular importance in this process is the creation of labor-intensive communities, which rely heavily on science and technology to form the maintenance economy
In conclusion, this work considered several articles that made up readings within the framework of the course. Henceforth, all of them had valuable information that provided data on the impact of technology and science on how people see the world and function in it. Among the main concepts, the gentrification of the younger generation, self-commodities and increasing the value of the product of human labor, and increasing the role of sustainability in a society that honors these commodities were highlighted. All the sources studied provided valuable information and data on various problems and phenomena of public life, which is their advantage and makes it necessary to continue research to deepen knowledge.
Marx, Karl. 2019. Capital Volume 1. New York: Courier Dover Publications.
Graves-Brown, Paul. 2018. “From highway to superhighway: The sustainability, symbolism and situated practices of car culture.” Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice 41 (1): 64-75.
Dwight Hines, J. 2010. “In pursuit of experience: The postindustrial gentrification of the rural American West.” Ethnography 11 (2): 285-308.
Davis, Joseph E. 2003. “The Commodification of self.” The Hedgehog Review.