Symbolic culture

Symbolic culture

There is the old pickpocket scam: One of a team of two or more, distracts the punter, while another removes wallet; or other valuables from his pocket.
Only when the victim recovers from the confusion of the distraction, does he realize he or she has been robbed.
Like history; If you do not learn from such experiences; you can be fooled and robbed again and again. Symbols can serve the same purpose as the “distracter” mentioned above.


Flags and labels

Think of America without the Stars and stripes; think of the KKK without the hoods; Rangers and Celtic without the colour’s; the Scottish parliament without the building; wars without monuments. Every day we are bombarded with symbols; that represent things, ideas and conventions, which we take for granted. Most of the time very little thought is given to what idea lies behind the symbol; whether it be flag or, designer label.

The fashion of exclusion
A simple illustration of where the symbol; poses as lifestyle and hides other “irrelevant”, market values. Such as; how the product was produced; its social cost, (both to the buyer and the maker); and its material value
Someone pays £5 for a plain T shirt and another (rich or poor) will pay ten times more for the exactly the same quality T shirt; with a brand name printed on the front. Why; Because the name represents something to aspire to? – Shoddy goods; produced through cheap, poverty stricken, third world labour; by companies making millions; is something to aspire to?
No.What the logo represents in merchandising goods is exclusion. Language plays a part; and takes on the same exclusion novelty; as Susannah Ross, explains.

“Groups in society use words to draw Boundaries Between themselves and others. They recognize certain words as defining the class or group a person belongs to. If you use these words you are in, if you use those words, you’re out. As soon as the in words are taken up by outsiders, the code is changed, for the purpose of the in-language is not to communicate with outsiders; but to exclude them.”

Sounds familiarly like fashion logo´s?. What people are buying into, is the belief that exclusion; (I can afford it you can’t), is a root to happiness; rather than for most; an endless cycle of consumption and exploitation; designed by public relations; for companies, who will deal in anything that achieves the right ends; which is – profit.
This condition pays homage to the failure of the education system; the success of the propaganda system; the ideas of an older generation in particular; to impressed in so many of the younger generation the idea that; it is worthy (cool) to adorn themselves in the uniforms and symbols that represents exploitative markets.

While the young play and are diverted, by what they see as exciting and new – The old exploitive system trundles on unaltered.



No Logo Naomi Klein