reification


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.

reification

the interpretation of an abstract general concept (e.g. the STATE) as ‘real’, especially when this is considered to be done illegitimately or misleadingly Thus METHODOLOGICAL INDIVIDUALISTS may take the view that others, e.g. functionalists, reify general concepts such as 'society’ or 'structure. Use of the term originated within MARXISM to refer to the tendency of many non-Marxists, as well as some Marxists, to attribute a rigid ‘thinglike’ status to what should more properly be seen as a complex and changing set of social relationships (see CAPITAL, COMMODITY FETISHISM). However, one sociologist's unacceptable reification may be perfectly acceptable to another. If all general concepts are considered abstract but with a potentially ‘real’ reference, any hard and fast distinction between legitimate and illegitimate reification collapses. Thus there is no standard line in sociology on what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable forms of reification.

Reification

 

a philosophical and sociological concept introduced by K. Marx, referring to a historically transitional form of social relations in which relations between people assume the appearance of relations between things.

References in periodicals archive ?
While the reification process has perverted time in order to constrict space and dominate the worker, Dean uses time to serve his own ends.
The reification of Salim's material culture is in this sense prior to his own development as alienated or modernist monad, or even the homeless Hegelian-Lukacsian hero of the novel of realism, and it is also prior to his feelings of cultural inferiority as colonialist or manichean subject.
Once we recognize this, it becomes easier to imagine how the medieval subject could misrecognize as essence social status, which is nothing more than a reification of a certain aspect of intersubjective relations.
4) Joselit, working in our interconnected present, has posed the radically different principle of "transitivity"--the invention of painterly forms and structures that can serve to demonstrate art objects' circulation within dynamic, never stable networks--as the primary means of escaping the reification trap's seemingly unbreakable hold today.
But Hamlet's body actually undergoes a kind of reification when we hear, "whilst this machine is to him" (2.
the duties of that persona - duties of exorcism and reification and mirroring - are on demand and on display throughout much of the literature of the country and helped to form the distinguishing characteristics of a proto-American literature.
This ahistorical reification of gender and patriarchy is surely related to another characteristic of his model - its inattention to the causal or interactive relationships between the ideological and prescriptive frameworks of gender in any period and the economic, political, or social structures of the society in which they operate.
Kaneuji has embarked on a similar pursuit of the indeterminate, and this may truly be the collective task of Japanese artists today, signifying the endless and ongoing effort to free the imagination from reification.
If "All reification is forgetting," as critical theorists Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer wrote in the Dialectic of Enlightenment, then the task of critical theory, according to Ludovisi (John Cabot U.
Hugh Grady's Shakespeare's Universal Wolf: Studies in Early Modern Reification is historically smart, but surprisingly so, given the virtual absence of the archival documentation we have grown accustomed to require after the new historicism.
It seems to me that Willis uses reification to mean a commodity object, an ambient aspect of American consumer values.
They also question existing interpretations of butch-fem culture as a replication of male and female working-class roles and relationships, and they explicitly contest feminist and lesbian feminist ideological critiques that denounce the culture as a reification of gender hierarchy as it exists in heterosexual patriarchal society.