The Ability of Consumerism to Absorb Anticonsumer Ideological Content

Ilyin A.N.,

Cand. Sci. (Philos.), Associate Professor, Department of Practical Psychology, Omsk State Pedagogical University,

elibrary_id: 706688 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.03.06
For citation:

Ilyin A.N. The Ability of Consumerism to Absorb Anticonsumer Ideological Content. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 3. P. 92-104. (In Russ.).



The culture of consumption involves positioning a subject in front of other people by means of things. Things have symbolic significance and act as a form of underlining the social status of its owner. Fashion, advertising and branding point to a symbolic status. Consumer culture is fundamentally apolitical. Its wide operation depoliticised mass consciousness that can be beneficial to political elites. Consumers are particularly interested personal problems. They tend not to mobilize against the political course, they are not characterized by the pursuit of any political projects. In a capitalist society infrastructure of consumerism manifests the ability to absorb anticonsumer discourse so that it serves purposes of capitalism. Fashion is usually not very anticonsumer culture, and its entourage. In the process of absorption anticonsumer ideological content in it neutralizes substantive depth and radical, and what remains is the shell, which is not opposed to capital, and used them for the sake of maximizing profits. Revolutionary characters turn into fashion items and lose their revolutionary potential. The author cites a number of examples of this trend from the sphere of advertising, cinema and politics. Capitalism, by absorbing anticapitalist ideological content, finds new areas to maximize profits. It reinforces consumer culture and the depoliticization of the mass consciousness, the tendency to reduce of interest of the people of the world to the fashionable gadgets, and branded goods. 

advertisement; consumer society; brand; anticonsumer ideological content; consumerism.


Gaman-Golutvina O.V. Metaphysical Dimensions of Elite Transformations in Russia. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No. 4. P. 23-40. (In Russ.) URL: (accessed 27.03.2017).

Ilyin A.N. De-Consolidation and De-Politicization as Characteristics of Consumer Society. – Sociological Journal. 2014. No. 3. P. 101-115. (In Russ.)

Ilyin A.N. Social Atomization and the Slackening of Political Activity under Conditions of Consumerism. – Knowledge. Understanding. Skill. 2015. No. 5. P. 58-82. (In Russ.)

Kagarlitskii B.Yu. Marksizm: ne rekomendovano dlya obucheniya [Marxism: Not Recommended for Learning]. Moscow: Algorithm, Exmo Publ. 2005. 480 p. (In Russ.)

Kirchanov M.V. Adult Culture in the Consumer Society Context: Trends and Prospects. – Society: Philosophy, History, Culture. 2013. No. 4. P. 37-43. (In Russ.)

Pavlov A.V., Sidorkin S.A. “The Simpsons” as Phenomenon of Ideology and Policy. – Polis. Political Studies. 2007. No. 5. P. 81-91. (In Russ.). DOI:

Schiller G. Manipulators of Consciousness. (Russ. ed.: Schiller G. Manipulyatory soznaniem. Moscow: Mysl’. 1980. 326 p.)

Votintseva N.N., Ilyin A.N. Kul’tura potreblenija i reklama [Consumer Culture and Advertising]. Perm: PIAF Publ. 2014. 132 p. (In Russ.)

Zizek S. The Sublime Object of Ideology. (Russ. ed.: Vozvyshennyj ob’ekt ideologii. Moscow: Khudozhestvennyi zhurnal. 1999. 236 p.)

Zulyar J.A. Ideology and Advertising. – Izvestia of Irkutsk state University. Series: Political Science, Religious Studies. 2007. No. 1. P. 150-164. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 3, 2017

See also:

Solovey V.D.,
The «Russia» Brand. – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No4

Mishanova Ye.V.,
Problem of operationalization of the ideological field in content-analytical studies. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No3

Tretyakov V.T.,
Future virtual communism and hypnovision: on mass television and mass politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No4

Pshizova S.N.,
From «Civil Society» to «Consumers’» Community: Political Consumerism in Comparative Perspective. Part II. – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No2

Rzheshevsky G.A.,
Democracy: Myth, Reality, or Boosted Brand?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2008. No5



   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991