Do Marketers Create Artificial Needs? Essay

781 words - 4 pages

I would like to discuss the claim according to which marketing creates (artificial) needs for the sole purpose of profit making.

The distinction between real and artificial human needs relies on the distinction between a good’s use value and symbolic value:

Real needs are satisfied by a good’s use-value.
Artificial needs are satisfied by a good’s symbolic value.
But what does it mean for goods to have a use-value only?

Lets take clothes, a basic-needs good, as an example. If clothes are to serve the sole purpose of protecting the human body from several environmental conditions, then we really only need one type of t-shirt, two types of trousers (one short, one long), no skirts ...view middle of the document...

With their newly won power however, they have managed to

escape their possession by men, be that husbands or fathers, and
objectify men in their turn
It is at this point that the balance of the equilibrium of sexual power changed and men started to look at their own butts in the mirror when buying a pair of jeans, which is to say that men are now looking at their own body through the eyes of some abstract female subject who is their object of desire, and who they want to satisfy by offering her what they think she wants.

It was not a capitalist marketer that started bodily objectification however. It has existed across cultures since time immemorial. Greek marble statues are a case in point.
Most importantly, it was not a capitalist marketer that brought about the emancipation of women for the purpose of bringing about the objectification of the male body in order to sell skin care products and fashion items to men. By means of acquiring certain rights for themselves – political (the right of women’s suffrage), economic (equal contract and property rights), reproductive (the right to control one’s reproductive functions), personhood (right to own their...

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