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date: 28 May 2024

commodity fetishism 

A Dictionary of Sports Studies

Alan Tomlinson

The attribution of special meanings to the commodity product. In Karl Marx's first volume of Capital, where the use-value of an object is distinguished from its exchange-value (its worth in the market, or price), the idea of the commodity fetishism is also introduced. The notion of fetishism refers to how the commodity—a sporting event for instance, or a particular item of sporting clothing—has meanings attached to it that are not seen as related to the actual labour that created it. So objects and products appear to have special values; an almost ‘phantasmagorical’ dimension is attributed to them. At sporting events, the brand name of a corporate sponsor is associated with the profile, history, or tradition of the event, and the sporting occasion and the marketplace for the particular product become one.... ...

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