Coolhunting : the commodification of creative expression and the alienation of youth Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/02870z03j

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  • In this thesis, I argue that the cooptation and commodification of young peoples’ creative expressions of individuality through the practice of “coolhunting” causes alienation within said young people and is, therefore, unethical. I support this claim by using Marxist theory of the Frankfort Institute, viz., Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno’s critique of enlightenment, to show how society has become sterilized by the “sameness” formula of “the culture industry.” Thereafter, I explain how a small number of young people known as “trendsetters” penetrate the sameness boundary by originating genuinely creative expressions of individuality, and I show how coolhunters extract, co-opt, and commodify those expressions. I then discuss the ramifications of this process for both individuals and broader society, and I propose a course of action that counteracts these effects by reinvigorating the human creative imagination.
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