Sign-Exchange Value: a dog can be purchased to signify that one has established a second, semi-permanent residence that is more stylish and expensive than one's permanent residence; a dog can be purchased to signify that one can control, by arbitrary consumer demands, the wealth of a richer, more powerful male; and a dog can be purchased to signify that one can buy anything, especially when one is trying to impress someone whom one is also buying.
"I want to get one of those dogs," she said earnestly. "I want to get one for the apartment. They're nice to have--a dog."
[ . . . ] "I think it's cute," said Mrs. Wilson enthusiastically. "How much is it?"
"That dog?" He looked at it admiringly. "That dog will cost you ten dollars."
[ . . . ] "Is it a boy or a girl?," she asked delicately.
"That dog? That dog's a boy."
"It's a bitch," said Tom decisively. "Here's your money. Go and buy ten more dogs with it." (27-8)
To see an image of two nearly identical consumer products which commodify the sign-exchange value of an American flag, click here.