The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture (Routledge Classics)

The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture
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Mass media. Mass society. Popular culture. Popular culture-- History-- 20th century. Social aspects. Bernstein, J.

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Related item. Electronic books. Internet Resources. Summary The creation of the Frankfurt School of critical theory in the s saw the birth of some of the most exciting and challenging writings of the twentieth century. It is out of this background that the great critic Theodor Adorno emerged. His finest essays are collected here, offering the reader unparalleled insights into Adorno's thoughts on culture. He argued that the culture industry commodified and standardized all art.

The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture (Routledge Classics)

The culture industry argument is often assumed to be fundamentally pessimistic in nature because its purveyors seem to condemn "mass media" and their consumers. However, for Adorno, the term "culture industry" does not refer to "mass culture", or the culture of the masses of people in terms of something being produced by the masses and conveying the representations of the masses. On the contrary, such involvement of the masses is only apparent, or a type of seeming democratic participation.

Adorno contends that what is actually occurring is a type of "defrauding of the masses". Horkheimer and Adorno deliberately chose the term "culture industry" instead of "mass culture" or "mass media". Works of art have become commodified: Beethoven , Mozart and Wagner are only used in fragmentary forms when included in advertisement. According to Critical Theory, "selling out" is not the decisive factor involved, but rather it's the manner in which art is commodified and how art and culture are changed that is the crucial issue.

Rolf Wiggershaus says that the products of mass culture would not be popular if people did not enjoy them, and that culture is self-determining in its administration. This would deny Adorno contemporary political significance, arguing that politics in a prosperous society is more concerned with action than with thought.

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He also notes that the young generation of critical theorists largely ignore Adorno's work which, in part, stems from Adorno's inability to draw practical conclusions from his theories. For instance, Wiggershaus states: "The other side of Adorno's apparently paradoxical definition was ignored: that rational objectivity was still possible for the modern work of art, in any significant sense, only as a product of subjectivity" [15].

Adorno is also accused of a lack of consistency in his claims to be implementing Marxism. Whereas he accepted the classical Marxist analysis of society showing how one class exercises domination over another, he deviated from Marx in his failure to use dialectic as a method to propose ways to change. Marx's theory depended on the willingness of the working class to overthrow the ruling class, but Adorno and Horkheimer postulated that the culture industry has undermined the revolutionary movement.

Adorno's idea that the mass of the people are only objects of the culture industry is linked to his feeling that the time when the working class could be the tool of overthrowing capitalism is over. Other critics note that "High culture" too is not exempt from a role in the justification of capitalism.

The establishment and reinforcement of elitism is seen by these critics as a key element in the role of such genres as opera and ballet. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Expression suggesting that popular culture is used to manipulate mass society into passivity. The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere. This section possibly contains original research.

Relevant discussion may be found on Talk:Culture industry. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations.

Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture

Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. This section needs additional citations for verification.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Dialectic of enlightenment philosophical fragments PDF [Nachdr. Stanford, Calif. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press.

Media and communication. Kritische Theorie. Adorno, T. Negative Dialectics. New York: The Seabury Press. Dialectic of Enlightenment. Stanford University Press Cook, D. The Culture Industry Revisited. The Cultural Industries. Eros and Civilization. Culture Industry.

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Cambridge: Polity Wiggershaus, R. MIT Press. Adorno on Popular Culture. The Cultural Economy of Cities.

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