Reflections on the Culture of the New and the Second Hand in Italy

Francesca Setiffi


The purpose of this essay is to interpret changes in consumer society through the socio-anthropological concept of material culture. Consumption, which is an act of social communication, is expressed through the acquisition and circulation of goods. To consider material culture as an area of symbolic mediation means assuming that it is a means of interpreting social reality, where the notion of what we consider as ‘new’ or ‘used’ acquires a value transcending the substance of the goods, emphasizing, on the contrary, their symbolic meaning.


material culture; consumption; second-hand culture

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