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Od društvene forme do neljudskoga koda : Georg Simmel i Jean Baudrillard o modi


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Guberina, Leila. (2012). Od društvene forme do neljudskoga koda : Georg Simmel i Jean Baudrillard o modi. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Sociology. [mentor Čaldarović, Ognjen and Hromadžić, Hajrudin].

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From social form to inhuman code: Georg Simmel and Jean Baudrillard on fashion This paper is an attempt of reading and comparison of two essays, one being Georg Simmel’s “Fashion” (Die Mode) and the other Jean Baudrillard’s “Fashion, or the Enchanting Spectacle of the Code” (La mode ou la féerie du code). This comparison is based on the fact that both authors believe that certain formal properties of fashion lie at the core of fundamental social forms or social processes. By understanding the form of fashion as a dynamic unity of person’s integration and differentiation tendencies, Simmel recognizes in it the dualistic essence of every social institution. The principle of how fashion functions is defined by Baudrillard in linguistic and semiotic terms. This principle is a code which operates the autoreferential play of signifiers or third-order simulacra. In Baudrillard’s view the postmodern social world as a whole is dominated by the same principle or the process of simulation. The reading of Simmel’s essay is oriented towards detecting different contexts or uses of the form of fashion. Three essential contexts are detected. The first involves the inter-class relationships, where the form of fashion performs a double function – it integrates the members of the same class and at the same time it separates them from the members of the lower one. In the second context the form of fashion, implying rapid changes of its contents, is seen as complementary to a specific experience of time in everyday urban life. Finally, in a context of intra-group relationships the form of fashion reflects two contradictory human tendencies. The first one is the tendency of social imitation and the second is the one of individual differentiation. The analysis of Baudrillard’s essay demonstrated that fashion functions not only as an epitome of the code but also as a simulation of certain symbolic practices which represent the “life-saving” opposite to the dominance of the code. The crucial difference between the two authors’ conceptualisations of fashion is in the fact that Simmel (even though in The Philosophy of Money he mentions that the fashion sphere gained a certain autonomy, what is in line with his conception of objective culture that appears to function independently of its human creators) primarily sees it as a form of social relationship, whilst Baudrillard considers it exclusively in terms of inhuman code (what can be related to his notion of “the triumph of objects”).

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: fashion, Georg Simmel, social form, Jean Baudrillard, code
Subjects: Sociology
Departments: Department of Sociology
Supervisor: Čaldarović, Ognjen and Hromadžić, Hajrudin
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2013 15:52
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 14:05

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