Culture and commodification

Culture and commodification

Summary
This commentary is a response to Bestor’s article on Wholesale Sushi, which touched on the topic of the commodification of food for consumption. The article shows how food can be a means to reinforce social identity through the meanings attached to the food, which in this case, the article refers to seafood sold in Tsukiji Market. And as the development of this ( Sashimi for example ) food becomes one that is associated with status and social identity, there becomes a form of consumption more for the status which the meaning of the food is attached to, then for the mere appreciation of the food itself. The result of this commodification cause prevailing meaning ascribe to food, be reinforced, propagated and therefore repeated.

Commentary
In this commentary, I want to talk about food having more than its intrinsic value when cultural heritage, historical veneration contributes to its commodification. In the article we see seafood, particularly Japanese delicacy is enjoyed all over the world due to globalization and advertisement. Advertisement and spreading of Japanese delicacy to be associated with one’s social identity, status propels people, even non-Japanese to consume the food. And as demands for this delicacy increase, the act of eating the delicacy reinforces and strengthens the notion meaning attached to the food. We see that see this form of commodification being repeated not only in food but also in fashion or clothing that people buy. In order to present oneself in a certain manner, clothes are used as an external presentation of how and what we want others to see us, it gives us a sense of control and identity that we can construct by wearing certain clothes. We see here that identity is constructed when people ascribe to clothes that have certain associations to it. For example gothic style connotes one who’s state is emotional, and dull. This can be seen through the prevalent color; black in this particular style. In conclusion, commodification has been used to the advantages of sellers of the product, they earned much more than the value of the good.

More pages