Acasă Articole RTR Dincolo de tejgheaua lui Matache Măcelaruʼ: Tradițio-brandurile alimentare ca artefacte realist-capitaliste

Dincolo de tejgheaua lui Matache Măcelaruʼ: Tradițio-brandurile alimentare ca artefacte realist-capitaliste


Beyond Matache Măcelaru’s Counter:

Food Tradition-brands as Capitalist Realist Artefacts


Abstract: Tradition-brands are cultural constructs launched in Romania around the year 2000, which bring into play a repertoire of conventions and “myths” shared nationwide and proposed to the market, increasingly and more intensely in the late years, by large-scale industrial operators, who in this manner simulate and menace small-scale producers (those actually in the right to claim this tradition as their own). Previous work in the anthropology of consumption has theorized that commercial communication associated with tradition-brands represents a space of negotiation between the Big Industry and traditionalist consumers. The present paper resumes, after more than a decade, the previous thesis, with Mark Fisher’s conflict theory tools. In this perspective, traditional brands are forms of Big Industry colonization and naturalization of artisan culture. The case analysis of the Matache Măcelaruʼ charcuterie brand reveals multiple levels of realist-capitalist processing of the commercial message. The key understanding of Fisher’s theory of consumerism as a sensitive interface between the capitalist system and the public leads to sharp conclusions about the alienation and disintegration of social actors (consumers, small artisans and merchants) and about the removal of small businesses from the current economic landscape. The possibility of a breach in capitalist totalitarianism lies, hypothetically, in the Romanian public’s inertia towards globalization. A conscious reaction is also needed, which arises from civic initiatives regarding the realization of a short producer-consumer chain.

Key words: Mark Fisher, Realist Capitalism, Romania, post-socialism, tradition, branding, marketing, consumption, anthropology, Marxist, Maussian.


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