literary criticism on marxism entries

Commodificaion – “the attitude of valuing things not for their utility but for their power to impress others or for their resale possibilities” (92).

Conspicuous consumption – “the obvious acquisition of things only for their sign value and/or exchange value” (92).

Dialectical materialism – “the theory that history develops neither in a random fashion nor in a linear one but instead as struggle between contradictions that ultimately find resolution in a synthesis of the two sides. For example, class conflicts lead to new social systems” (92).

Material circumstances – “the economic conditions underlying the society. To understand social events, one must have a grasp of the material circumstances and the historical situation in which they occur” (92).

Reflectionism – associated with Vulgar Marxism – “a theory that the superstructure of a society mirrors its economic base and, by extension, that a text reflects the society that produced it” (92).

Superstructure – “The social, political, and ideological systems and institutions–for example, the values, art, and legal processes of a society–that are generated by the base” (92)

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