The concept of reification is closely associated with the thinking of Karl Marx (especially his idea of “fetishism of commodities”) and Marxian theory, especially the work of György Lukács. However, it has long since come to be accepted and used by a wide range of social theorists because of its utility in thinking about the modern social world.

Reification is based on the idea that people create their social worlds, especially larger social structures and institutions. However, over time, people come to lose sight of this fact, or are led to lose sight of it by those who control the larger structures and institutions. Instead, these structures and institutions come to be seen by people as “things” (hence, “thingification” is often used as synonymous with reification) ...

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