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A Sociedade do Espetáculo

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,098 Ratings  ·  235 Reviews
Filósofo, agitador social, diretor de cinema, Guy Debord se definia como 'doutor em nada' e pensador radical. Ligou-se nos anos 50 à geração herdeira do dadaísmo e do surrealismo. A primeira edição brasileira de 'A sociedade do espetáculo' - um livro lúcido e demolidor, precursor de toda análise crítica da moderna sociedade de consumo - sai neste volume acompanhada de dois ...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published 1997 by Contraponto (first published 1967)
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Jan 10, 2012 Szplug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never went to university—nor did the majority of my friends—and so never received any manner of guidance or instruction, or even bar table theoretical bullshitting, at the academic level to go along with my burgeoning interest in philosophy, politics, and culture. For better and for worse (and mostly the latter) I have carved my own path through the tangled thickets of critical genius and doctrinal snares, a haphazard sampling of great minds from across the ages, non-systematic and initially s ...more
Short aphoristic tract about materialism, advertising, and how many aspects of public life are not reflections of real attitudes, but are instead artificial, and how consumerism sometimes embody aspects of a religious dogma.

Debord may even be more right than he knew. Even rebellion, not only that of the 1960s but also the present day, has been made into a commodity.

Ryn Shane-Armstrong
I read Society of the Spectacle way back in college -- when one is young and naive, and you're supposed to care about heady, outdated French philosophy that is utterly disconnected from the real. But now that I'm older and I have a world of experience to draw from, I'm fairly certain it wouldn't resonate as it once did. To wit, the so-called "radical" situationist ethic is now a totally mainstream, mass media commodity in and of itself. Beijing hosts pillow fight flash mobs in Tian'anmen square, ...more
Jan 02, 2009 kelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very difficult to read for several reasons:

• It is a very direct translation from the original French text.
• The Situations had developed their own vocabulary to describe what were then new and unidentified sociological phenomena (we now have a different lexicon to describe this more widely acknowledged phenomena today.)
• Debord, in this book, practices what he preached with the Situationists in his use of detournment (the reuse of elements of well-known media to create a new work w
Jan 25, 2008 Tosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who think this election will make the big difference
It only took 154 pages to change our world. Guy Debord's manifesto/book length essay that is truly a masterpiece of political writing that borders on the poetic. It is also a crystal clear view how culture is formed in the 20th (and of course the 21st) century.

The theater is built in front us and we are lead to believe that we actually participate in its adventure. As Johnny Rotten said at the last Sex Pistols concert in the late 70's "Have you ever felt the feeling that you have been had?" Wel
ماهرعبد الرحمن
كان هذا منذ وقت بعيد،لماذا أنا أفكر أو أكتب وفقا لما تنتظره أنت؟ ولماذا أتصرف مع صديقتى وفقا لما أظنه نموذجيا فى عقلها؟ولماذا أدخل فى مراتبيتكم الأخلاقية فأحترم الكبير بالضرورة؟ بالقطع إننى أقوم بتمثيل(لنستخدم منذ الآن كلمة:إستعراض)دور ما فى مجتمعكم،أتوق للنموذج المتفق عليه عندكم.. مع مرور الوقت قد أتلاشى تماما ولا يبقى منى سوى ما تريدون أنتم، بل وأكثر من هذا فسوف أنتظر منكم بدورى ماأتوقعه منكم.والمجتمع الرأسمالى الحديث نضج إلى الحد الذى أصبحت النماذج فيه مستقرة(نموذجية)الثورى/ الفاشل عاطفيا/الح ...more
Feb 14, 2008 jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
9. in a world that really has been turned on its head, truth is a moment of falsehood.

20. ...the absolute denial of life, in the shape of a fallacious paradise, is no longer projected onto the heavens, but finds its place instead within material life itself. the spectacle is hence a technological version of the exiling of human powers in a "world beyond" - and the perfection of separation within human beings.

67. ...a use of the commodity arises that is sufficient unto itself; what this means for
Nov 09, 2007 Patrick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Do not follow my example
We're all duped by the illusions produced by contemporary consumer society. But fear not: simply utilize your free time creatively and grant autonomous political and economic powers to self-governed workers' councils within every vestige of society and all will be well. Best quote: "Plagiarism is necessary. Progress demands it." (p. 145)
In theory I love this book, in it's actual form with words and a seeming intentional difficulty (ya know to avoid being co-opted by the spectacle of the totality of consumerist society) I'm only lukewarm about it. Give me Adorno any day over this.
Apr 04, 2014 Clif rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this Guy a chance.

In any expository writing, particularly when persuasion is the goal, the writing should be as clear as possible to reach the widest audience.

This essay is laid out in numbered statements. Some are only a sentence long, others may run a page or two, but all are written in a style that tells me the author is more concerned with his style than the content. Perhaps this is the thing to do in intellectual circles, where stylish profundity that requires effort to decode is val
Emma Sea
Eerily prescient, and still a brilliant read about the alienation of labor, the advertisement of time, and the banalization of space.
THE book about how the technological spectacle consumes us and gives us A.D.D. Excellent to accompany Manufacturing Consent and its analysis of information control.

Most are well-aware of Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman and the Propaganda Model presented in Manufacturing Consent, of how the media is pure propaganda. But the idea of 'spectacle' being something part of our daily lives, not just in the media, of our consumer society as one of consuming spectacles virtually everywhere, is under-studie
Feb 04, 2013 Elisabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bright sunny styles starting at $8 are spectacle. Tanning beds and stairmasters are spectacle. Sonny and Cher are spectacle. Sonny as mayor is spectacle. Any mayor “cleaning up” Times Square and polishing it with corporate spit is spectacle. Little New York in Las Vegas is spectacle. Little New York in Vegas in Dubai is spectacle. Little New York in Vegas in Dubai inside Tokyo Disney in a feature-film starring a topless Nicolas Cage saving the natives with guns in a Gatorade jihad is spectacle. ...more
Sep 03, 2008 Jimmy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leftist-studies
Even for a theoretical text written by an extreme leftist, in the late sixties, in Paris, this is a convoluted read. The chapters seem to demarcate different aspects of the idea that is the spectacle. There is a lot of debate over whether or not this book had much political influence over the events of May 1968 in Paris. If nothing else those same student activists had to have had some faith in the ideas put forth here. The structure seems haphazard. There is a very aphoristic, almost Nietzschea ...more
Feb 26, 2008 Mira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. Read this for research purposes while writing thesis "Perception and the spaces between art". I don't want to ruin this by reviewing it in a highly analytical manner, so I'll just say that it applies as much now as when it was written. A great text about the repackaging of culture and the coersion of visual freedom.
Aug 27, 2013 Simon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just as Fight Club can be described as Twilight for boys, Society of the Spectacle can be described as Fight Club for young adults who have renounced their membership of Anonymous in order to focus on their careers as Social Justice Warriors.

Interesting for the historical context, but nothing more really. A redundant midway point between Marx and Baudrillard, in which the former's ideas are obfuscated for the purposes of pretension. Though I imagine translation is partly to blame for that. Its
Carey Lamprecht
Jul 26, 2008 Carey Lamprecht rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Critics of modern culture
Guy DeBord was a front-runner for the Situationalists in Paris. They lead/inspired the Paris Commune uprising of 1968. This book serves as Guy DeBord's manifesto. He nailed post-modern, technologically-valuing globalized capitalism years before it became the monster we see before us. And it is still painfully relevant today. The style he uses is very challenging, although abbreviated and clear. It can seem to go on and on, but each point he states has been carefully selected and weighed. It is d ...more

This book describes the problem : defined as The Spectacle. But how many of us dare to challenge the hegemony of the image obsessed society we have created? Debord wrote this tract in the sixties before the consumer society really took off. It was a prophetic warning.
Ask yourself this : aren't we all guilty of creating this monster? And how are we going to stop it?
The truth is in this book. Read it and weep.
Nate D
Feb 25, 2008 Nate D rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: situationists, subversives
Probably the definitive summation of Situationist theory. Debord can get kind of caught up in his own terminology systems (probably the translation doesn't help here) and I definitely don't know enough Marx/Hegel/Russian History to follow everything, but definitely a pretty worthwhile and interesting take on 20th century culture and politics, even so.
May 21, 2014 Pedro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este é um daqueles livros que todos deveriam ler, pois pode altera o modo como vemos o mundo que nos rodeia. Guy Debord escreveu um livro sem copyright e sem direitos reservados, no qual pôs uma mensagem forte. Ele defende que a sociedade em que vivemos é um espectáculo e todas as nossas interacções não são mais que teatro. Será realmente assim? É algo que cada um terá de decidir ao ler.

Escrito num tom erudito, com inúmeras referências a trabalhos conhecidos e exemplos, é uma tese sólida sobre a
Jul 27, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anarchists, radicals, punks
Recommended to Michael by: The Anarchist Switchboard
Shelves: politics, anarchism
It’s funny, because this book has been more-or-less “in my orbit” for the past 25 years or so, but I only got around to actually reading through it for the first time just now. That makes it a bit difficult to review, because in some ways I knew what I was getting in to when I first opened it, but in other ways it was a surprise. Maybe that helps explain the fact that it struck me as being at times very cutting-edge, and at others quite out-of-date.

This book was originally a manifesto of sorts,
Babak Fakhamzadeh
Debord was one of the main players behind the Situationist International and the very guy who coined the term psychogeography, referring to the experience of one's immediate environment as it is directly presented. A way, incidentally, to counter the society of the spectacle.

The society of the spectacle is a manifest, if nothing else, primarily an agitation against consumerist society. The central tenet being that modern production systems have allowed society to accept representations of socie
Justin Mitchell
Oct 01, 2013 Justin Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't necessarily agree with or subscribe to Debord. He has this seriously irritating habit of saying really cheesy formulaic things like "this didn't lead to the misery of philosophy, but merely philosophized misery." Seriously annoying not to mention ultimately vacuous. It reminds me of Wes Studi's character in the movie Mystery Men, who said things like "In order to go right, you must go left." And he does this like ten times in this book. I think he had a little less to say than he wanted ...more
Jan 16, 2012 Jacob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
While I wouldn’t exactly describe this book as having the force of a “Das Kapital of the 20th century” [like the cover notes indicate], Society of the Spectacle is surely an important work in the field of modern cultural critique. Originally written in France in 1967 by Guy Debord, an influential member of the Situationists movement, the book’s concepts are still as relevant as ever, as it is with many books that relate to topics of modern capitalism and consumerist “programming.” It starts with ...more
Apr 29, 2014 Bookworm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Society of the Spectacle is a commentary about the power that governments and mass media hold over people in their day-to-day lives. For Debord, this hold is managed through the relation between mass production and consumption, an issue also addressed by Marcuse in One Dimensional Man, and Adorno and Horkheimer in the Dialectic of Enlightenment.

Debord argues that society is full of spectators drugged by the spectacle created within hegemonic practices. His aim is to awaken the sleeper throu
"The lie which is no longer challenged becomes lunacy." Read for free in the library at nothingness dot org!!

This was a very difficult read, even with a degree in philosophy. I had the most difficulty understanding the discussion of "History" and its implications, though I thought the analysis of the history of the bourgeois and proletariat as bureaucrat-in-power was very good. The exploration and definition of "The Spectacle" was clear and quite good, though a background in understanding marxi
May 29, 2011 Daniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this due to an interest in learning more about the history of the May 1968 demonstrations in France, the history of art, and the Situationalists. The problem is that this is a primary source for those events, it is the philosophy and theory of Situationalism (though Debord didn't care for that term). I find the ideas fascinating, but like many works of philosophy it is written densely, and at times incomprehensibly as little to nothing is defined or adequately explained. Critics have stat ...more
Mustafa Al-Laylah
Jun 19, 2015 Mustafa Al-Laylah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ars, philosophia
I've purchased and given this book away more times than I can possibly remember. One of the great works of Situationism in general and Debord in particular. I find this work to become more and more relevant as time goes on. It seemed every time I pick it up again after a lapse of a year or two there's some further incursion of the Spectacle, some additional screen, some extra inch of mediation, to contend with.
Dan Yates
I feel underwhelmed by the argumentative style in this book. I prefer a more robust, analytical style of argument rather than the somewhat vague "thesis-upon-thesis" style of this book. That being said, this still is a good read for those studying Marxism and/or the Situationist movement. I really enjoyed the forward by Jenkins, it provides much needed context, especially for those who may be unfamiliar with Marxism or the Situationists.

I will probably read this again in the future.
Nov 01, 2008 Nate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marxists who want to read something new and original
This book is one of the best depictions of capitalist alienation ever written. It is a very one-of-a-kind philosophical and thought-provoking read, written in such a way that each paragraph is a thesis. It is not copyrighted, and can be found for free online:

Debord also turned it into a film, which can be found here:

In spite of the merits of the rest of the book, Chapter 4 , The Proletariat as Subject and as Representat
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  • Revolution of Everyday Life
  • Situationist International Anthology
  • The Production of Space
  • Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
  • The Culture Industry
  • The Practice of Everyday Life
  • History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics
  • Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
  • Empire
  • The Coming Insurrection
  • One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society
  • The Emancipated Spectator
  • Illuminations: Essays and Reflections
  • Simulacra and Simulation
  • The Conquest of Bread
  • Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life
  • Specters of Marx
  • The Accursed Share 1: Consumption
Guy Ernest Debord was a French Marxist theorist, writer, filmmaker, hypergraphist and founding member of the groups Lettrist International and Situationist International. In broad terms, Debord's theories attempted to account for the spiritually debilitating modernization of the private and public spheres of everyday life by economic forces during the post-WWII modernization of Europe. Alienation, ...more
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“Quotations are useful in periods of ignorance or obscurantist beliefs.” 59 likes
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