Erfaringens ambivalens i oplevelsesøkonomien

Kristian Bondo Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is a critical study of perception in experience economy. The starting point is the paradoxical claim that the human subject suffers a loss of the ability to experience within the experience economy. This claim is based on the assumption that the subject within the experience economy is highly exposed to all sorts of exiting and self-actualizing perceptions, but only very few of these require actual reflective processing (in German Erfahrung). In modern capitalism experiences has become an important source of value. Thus, businesses try to quantify experiences into measurable material in order to convert this material into staged events, within which the subject can experience some sort of economic offering. Within the theoretical framework of Walter Benjamin’s ideas of the impoverishment of experience in modern society and culture, the thesis analyses how the rationalization and quantification of the concept of experience in experience economy influences the subject’s ability to embed genuine experiences into memory. The experience economy generates a reduction of the value of traditional experience by making it a means to an economic end. By doing so it forecloses important non-economical but socially valuable elements from the staged experiences. The thesis criticizes in a concurrent line of thought the use of the concept of authenticity as a benchmark for an economic valorisation of experiences. Authenticity has replaced quality as the primary value criterion in experience economy. With examples from modern literature the thesis aims at approaching the crisis of perception in experience economy from a different point of view. By using art, which has no external purpose and therefore is generally disinterested in results or output, the thesis tries to unveil the unseen and un-thought elements of the experience economy. The goal is to establish a more adequate and nuanced language of human experience, which acknowledges the importance of both the profitable and non-profitable elements that constitutes a genuine experience. This is not an attempt to undermine or replace the economic rationality of the experience economy, but rather an attempt to secure some basic human values that seems to be gradually fading away in the slipstream of the fast paced experience economy.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages94