The terms of fetishism and the fetish have been widely used in cultural studies related researches. Their versatility far exceeds accuracy in recognizing a key theoretical element of them. It will be worthwhile to examine the three fields, anthropology, Karl Marx's critique of political economy, and Freud's psychoanalysis, which are responsible for creating and establishing the concept of fetishism, and to juxtapose this examination with Stuart Hall's discussion of fetishism. This comparison will underline that fetishism is the practice of replacing a signifier with an object, not an object with another object.
The replacement of a signifier by an object can guarantee the simultaneous half-success and half-failure of the replacement. This half -success and half-failure of the replacement makes the replacement recur while either a complete success or a complete failure will only stop its repetition. This half-success and half-failure is a key element of fetishism since this duality guarantees fetishism taking effect continuously. The never-ending and incessant functioning of the fetish may guarantee fetishism its value.