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  • Jayson Beaster-Jones


The term “commodification” refers to the process of transforming an object, idea, activity, or service into a commodity by capitalist economies. In the context of music and the arts, scholars usually define commodity in the terms of the economic historian Karl Marx. Marx argues that a commodity is something that has been produced for the purpose of creating exchange value in capitalist economies, a value that is distinct from the value that emerges from its use or utility. It is important to note that Marx’s definition is very different from the definition of the term commodity in business contexts. In the latter sense, commodity refers to goods such as wheat, iron, or oil that are fungible (any one can be substituted for any other) and are often the raw materials used in the production of other goods....

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