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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In sociology or economics, sign value is the value accorded to an object because of how it impacts the social status of the possessor, as opposed to the value derived from use for its primary purpose. For instance, a potential purchaser may value a Rolls-Royce limousine partially because it represents a means of transportation and partially because it signifies his wealth to other members of society. The former is the primary function of the limousine (giving rise to "use value"); the latter, the sign function.

The theory of sign value was first advanced by French sociologist Jean Baudrillard, as a counterpart to the dichotomy of exchange vs. use value recognized by Marx.[1]

In popular culture

In The Sims, pieces of furniture and interior decorations are labeled with a "room-enhancing value" which may be treated as a form of sign value.[2]


  1. ^ "Jean Baudrillard". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008-12-24.  
  2. ^ "Gamestudies - Signifying Play: The Sims and the Sociology of Interior Design". 2008-12-24.  


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