chapter  2
16 Pages

Objectification and anthropomorphism of the self: Self as brand, self as avatar

ByRussell Belk

Two opposite ways of regarding the self in a digital world are as a branded object and as an anthropomorphized subject.When Marx condemned tendencies toward the objectification of people and the personification of objects, he was certainly not envisioning either the self-objectification that takes place when we treat ourselves as a brand or the reanimation of self that takes place when we breathe life into computer animations representing us. Rather than being pawns of capitalism, we see ourselves as becoming agents empowered through both of these processes. But just as Marx cautioned, there is still a dark side to objectifying people and personifying objects.