Commodified Self as a new type of personal identity

Keywords: self, commodification, self-presentation, individualism, hyperconsumption, post-postmodernism


The article studies the main features of commodified self in the contemporary hyperconsumer and post-postmodernist society. Nowadays consumerist attitudes have transformed the personal identity (self-conception) into commodity. To be a commodity for consumption, the contemporary social actors try to advertise themselves, using such self-presentation strategies, as ingratiation and self-promotion. In the hyperconsumer society, self-presentation is changing because individuals present themselves as high-quality products that give benefit and immediate hedonistic pleasure to consumers. As a result, a private self (inner, authentic self) is emptied out and becomes elusive whereas a public self (one’s social images) is emphasized. The commodification of human self is coupled with contradictory individualism, for a person independently constructs his self as commodity but depends on the recognition of his commodified self. Moreover, social media on the Internet and compact digital devices also contribute to the commodification of self. The commodified postpostmodern self is not the same as postmodern “death of the subject”. The commodified self is always a self-reflexive self with certain depth, because it finally operates with relatively stable self-definitions. Since human self is inseparable from the body and relationships, the commodification of self creates unity with the implicit commodification of human body and commodification of human relationships.

Author Biography

Petro Denysko, Poltava National Technical Yurii Kondratiuk University

candidate of sciences in philosophy, associate professor at the Department of Phi lo sophy, Social and Political Studies


Appadurai, A. (1986). Introduction: commodities and the politics of value. In: A. Appadurai (Ed.), The Social Life of Things. Commodities in Cultural Perspective (pp. 3–63). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [= Appadurai 1986]

Bauman, Z. (2003). Liquid Love: On the Frailty of Human Bonds. Cambridge: Polity Press. [= Bauman 2003]

Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press. [= Bauman 2000]

Bellah, R. N. (1987). The quest for the self: individualism, morality, politics. In: P. Rabinow & W. M. Sullivan (Eds.), Interpretive Social Science. A Second Look (pp. 365–383). Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press. [= Bellah 1987]

Davis, J. E. (2003). The commodification of self. The Hedgehog Review, 5(2), 41–49. [= Davis 2003]

Giddens, A. (1992). The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. [= Giddens 1992]

Goffman, E. (1956). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh. [= Goffman 1956]

Howard, C. (2007). Introducing individualization. In: C. Howard (Ed.), Contested Indi vidualization. Debates about Contemporary Personhood (pp. 1—23). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [= Howard 2007]

Iqani, M., Schroeder, J. E. (2016). Selfie: digital self-portraits as commodity form and consumption practice. Consumption Markets & Culture, 19(5), 405–415. [= Iqani, Schroeder 2016]

Jameson, F. (1991). Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. [= Jameson 1991]

Jones, E. E., Pittman, T. S. (1982). Toward a general theory of strategic self-presentation. In: J. Suls (Ed.), Psychological Perspectives on the Self. Vol. 1 (pp. 231–262). Hillsdale, NJ:

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. [= Jones, Pittman 1982]

Kirby, A. (2009). Digimodernism. How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture. New York: Continuum. [= Kirby 2009]

Lash, S., Urry, J. (1994). Economies of Signs and Space. London: SAGE. [= Lash, Urry 1994]

Lipovetsky, G. (2015). Time against time, or The hypermodern society. In: D. Rudrum & N. Stavris (Eds.), Supplanting the Postmodern: An Anthology of Writings on the Arts and Cul ture of the Early 21st Century (pp. 156–171). London: Bloomsbury Publishing. [= Li po vetsky 2015]

Løvlie, L. (1992). Postmodernism and subjectivity. In: S. Kvale (Ed.), Psychology and Post modernism (pp. 119–134). London: SAGE. [= Løvlie 1992]

Martynov, K. (2014). The selfie: between democratization of media and self-commodification. [In Russian]. Logos, 4, 73–86. [= Мартынов 2014]

McAdams, D. P. (1997). The case for unity in the (post)modern self. In: R. D. Ashmore & L. Jussim (Eds.), Self and Identity. Fundamental Issues (pp. 46–78). New York: Oxford Uni versity Press. [= McAdams 1997]

McQuire, S. (2008). The Media City. Media, Architecture and Urban Space. London: SAGE. [= McQuire 2008]

Melucci, A. (1996). The Playing Self. Person and Meaning in the Planetary Society. New York: Cam bridge University Press. [= Melucci 1996]

Metts, S., Grohskopf, E. (2003). Impression management: goals, strategies, and skills. In: J. O. Greene & B. R. Burleson (Eds.), Handbook of Communication and Social Interaction Skills (pp. 357–399). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. [= Metts, Grohskopf 2003]

Mitchell, W. J. (2003). Me++: The Cyborg Self and the Networked City. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [= Mitchell 2003]

Pazini, G. (2016). «Cristiano Ronaldo spent the whole match looking at himself» — Bruno Henrique remembers Madrid clash., May 28. Retrieved from [= Pazini 2016]

Ritzer, G. (2005). Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. [= Ritzer 2005]

Ritzer, G. (2001). Explorations in the Sociology of Consumption: Fast Food, Credit Cards and Casinos. London: Sage. [= Ritzer 2001]

Stearns, P. N. (2001). Consumerism in World History: The Global Transformation of Desire. London: Routledge. [= Stearns 2001]

Steinschaden, J. (2011). Social Network. The Facebook Phenomenon. [In Russian]. Saint Petersburg: Piter. [= Штайншаден 2011]

Turkle, S. (2008). Always-on/always-on-you: the tethered self. In: J. E. Katz (Ed.), Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies (pp. 121–137). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. [= Turkle 2008]

Vermeulen, T., Akker, R. van den (2010). Notes on metamodernism. Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, 2, 1–14. [= Vermeulen, van den Akker 2010]

Wood, A. F., Smith, M. J. (2005). Online Communication: Linking Technology, Identity, and Culture (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. [= Wood, Smith 2005]

How to Cite
Denysko, P. (2018). Commodified Self as a new type of personal identity. Filosofska Dumka, (4), 81-97. Retrieved from