- 1 Culture industry – Wikipedia
- 2 The Frankfurt School
- 3 The theory
- 4 Influences
- 5 Elements
- 6 Mass culture
- 7 Observations
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
- 11 Culture Industry explained simply (Adorno and Horkheimer)
- 12 What is Cultural Industry? (with pictures)
- 13 You might also Like
- 14 Culture Industry
- 15 What is Cultural Industry
- 16 Learn More About Cultural Industry in These Related Titles
- 17 Culture Industry
- 18 References:
- 19 Adorno and the Culture Industry
- 20 “Theodor Adorno and the Culture Industry” (1984)
Culture industry – Wikipedia
In 1947, the critical theorists Theodor Adorno (1903–1969) and Max Horkheimer (1895–1973) coined the term “culture industry,” which was first used in the chapter “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” of the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), in which they proposed that popular culture is analogous to a factory producing standardized cultural goods—films, radio programs, magazines, and so on—that are used to manipulate mass People become docile and satisfied as a result of their consumption of the simple pleasures of popular culture, which are made available to them through mass communication media, no matter how tough their economic circumstances are.
According to Adorno and Horkheimer, the inherent danger of the culture industry is the cultivation of false psychological needs that can only be met and satisfied by the products of capitalism; as a result, mass-produced culture was seen as particularly dangerous to the more technically and intellectually difficult high arts by Adorno and Horkheimer.
The Frankfurt School
Members of the Frankfurt Schoolwere greatly affected by Karl Marx’s dialectical materialism and historical materialism, as well as the re-emergence of Hegel’s dialectical idealism; these events are examined not in isolation, but as part of a larger process of transformation. They were responsible for the formation of critical theory in their capacity as a group that subsequently included Jürgen Habermas. Adorno and Horkheimer theorized that the phenomenon of mass culturehas a political implication, namely that all of the various forms of popular culture are components of a single culture industry whose purpose is to ensure the continued obedience of themasses to market interests in works such as Dialectic of Enlightenment andNegative Dialectics.
Specifically, the development of cultural material in capitalist countries is the subject of this article. It calls out the exorbitant nature of cultural economics as well as the items that appear to be of lesser quality produced by the system. As argued by Horkheimer and Adorno, mass-produced entertainment seeks to appeal to a large number of people and hence provides both the intellectual stimulation provided by high art and the fundamental liberation provided by low art by its very nature.
Horkheimer and Adorno draw persistent parallels between fascist Germany and the American cinema industry in their writings and lectures.
Dominance in post-Enlightenment contemporary society, whether by monopoly capitalism or the nation state, is illustrated by this logic of dominance.
It is possible that Adorno and Horkheimer’s work was affected by both the larger socio-political setting in which it was created and by other significant thinkers at the time of its composition. The Culture Industry is a novel written in California in the early 1940s during a time when they were perceived as two ethnically Jewish, German émigrés. It is influenced by European politics and the war that devoured the continent at the time of its writing. A parallel development was the emergence of studio monopolization in the American film industry, which was described as “Hollywood at its most classical, American mass culture at its most Fordist.” Horkheimer and Adorno were profoundly inspired by important developers of social, political, and economic theory, including, but not limited to:
- Theories of alienation and commodity fetishism developed by Karl Marx
- The concepts of instrumental reason developed by Max Weber, as well as Georg Lukacs’ idea of the reification of consciousness
Anything a person creates is a manifestation of their efforts as well as a statement of their aspirations. In addition, there will be a use value: the benefit to the consumer will be derived from the usefulness of the product. The value of the currency will be determined by its utility and the conditions of the market, such as the prices paid by the television broadcaster or the rates charged at the box office. Modern soap operas, on the other hand, with their interchangeable stories and formulaic storytelling tropes, are a reflection of standardized production processes, as well as the diminishing worth of a mass-produced cultural commodity.
- Scott as the titular American general, was released at a period when there was strong anti-war feeling in the United States of America.
- Dialectics was used to create a situation where the viewer might connect with the patriotism either seriously (the thesis) or cynically (the antithesis), and this helped to establish the tone for the rest of the film’s interpretation.
- Due to the fact that the subtext was instrumental rather than “value-free,” ethical and philosophical questions must be considered.
- As Adorno points out, a picture like Patton is popular art that seeks to stir up controversy in a world of social order and unity that, in Adorno’s opinion, is devolving into cultural blandness.
- But what happens if the established order is disturbed?
- Karl Marx’s theory of Historical Materialism was teleological, which means that society progresses via a dialectic of unfolding phases, from ancient modes of production to feudalism, capitalism, and finally to a future communist society.
Adorno, on the other hand, believed that the culture industry would never allow a significant core of challenging content to emerge into the market in order to disrupt the existing quo and promote the eventual establishment of a communist state.
The idea of “the Enlightenment as Mass Deception” is a focal point of the Dialectic of Enlightenment, and it is one of its central themes. The phrase “culture industry” is meant to refer to the commercial marketing of culture, the part of industry that is explicitly concerned with the creation of culture, as opposed to “genuine culture,” and the branch of industry that deals with the commercial marketing of culture. In their view, industrially created culture robs individuals of their creativity and takes over their thinking for them, as Horkheimer and Adorno argue.
- Everything becomes homogenized as a result of mass manufacturing, and the little variety that exists is made up of minor inconsequential details.
- Sublimation is no longer conceivable since psychological urges have been fueled to the point of no return.
- They are formed in such a way that they as nearly as possible represent the truths of reality.
- No matter how out of the ordinary the filmmakers attempt to be, the endings of their films are typically predictable due to the existence of previous films that followed the same schemas.
- All undertakings become increasingly focused on achieving financial success.
- Culture that is authentic nurtures the ability of human imagination by giving suggestions and possibilities; yet, authentic culture does so in a different way than culture that is manufactured, in that it allows for individual thought.
- Authentic culture is one-of-a-kind and cannot be crammed into any pre-existing frameworks.
This, on the other hand, cannot be described as culture or as what culture is meant to be.
When it comes to the culture sector, the argument is sometimes thought to be essentially gloomy in character since its advocates appear to decry “mass media” and their audiences.
On the contrary, such mass engagement is just a semblance of democracy, or a sort of democratic participation that appears to be genuine.
“The cultural business continually defrauds its users of the things that it perpetually promises,” says the author.
Behold, the works of art have become commodified: Beethoven, Mozart, and Wagner are only utilized in fragmented form when they are used in advertising.
“Today’s culture is infecting everything with a sense of sameness.” Subversion, according to Adorno and Horkheimer, has ceased to be a possibility.
It is said by Professor Wiggershaus that “the other side of Adorno’s seemingly paradoxical description was ignored: that logical objectivity could still be achieved for the modern work of art, in any major sense, only as a result of subjectivity.” Adorno’s political relevance would be diminished in this context, according to the argument that politics in an affluent society is more concerned with action than with ideas.
- He also observes that Adorno’s work is generally ignored by the younger generation of critical theorists, which he attributes in part to Adorno’s incapacity to derive practical inferences from his theoretical framework.
- He agreed with Marx’s basic Marxist theory of society, which demonstrated how one class exerts dominance over another, but differed with Marx in his failure to employ dialectics as a tool of proposing alternatives for social transformation.
- Adorno’s belief that the majority of the population is nothing more than a collection of objects for the entertainment business is connected to his belief that the moment when the working class might be used as an instrument for toppling capitalism has passed.
- Music critic Alex Ross stated in The New Yorker in 2014 that Adorno’s theory had a newfound significance in the digital era, arguing that “The pop hegemony is nearly complete, with its celebrities controlling the media and wielding the economic clout of tycoons to their advantage.
- Scholar Taking inspiration from Adorno, Jack Zipes took aim at the mass consumerism and corporate hegemony that underpin the Harry Potter series.
- Zipes noted the following in his examination of Harry Potter’s worldwide brand: “It must adhere to the norms of exception established by the mass media and pushed by the cultural business as a whole to be considered acceptable.
- A sector of the economy devoted to relaxation and tourism, the leisure industry is defined as A cultural critic is a professional who evaluates the norms and behaviors of a society in a reasonable manner.
- H. Horkheimer and Adorno (p.107)
- Marcuse, Herbert (p.107) (1966). Eros and civilization: a philosophical investigation of the work of Sigmund Freud (4. pr. ed.). Durham (2003) p.66
- Durham (2003) p.68
- Durham (2003) p.70
- Durham (2003) p.71
- Scannel (2007), p.45
- Scannel (2007), p.47
- Scannel, Paddy (2007, p.45). Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press. p.136.ISBN 978-0807015544
- AbDurham (2003) p.66
- Durham (2003) p.68 (2007). Media and communication are important. SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, California, p. 37. ISBN 9781412902687
- Hansen (1992), p. 46
- Scannell (2007), pp. 37–44
- Adorno, Theordor, and Max Horkheimer, Adorno, Theordor, and Max Horkheimer, Adorno, Theordor, and Max Horkheimer, Adorno, Theordor, and Max Horkheim (2002). In Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments, there is a section titled “Enlightenment as Mass Decption.” A. Adorno and Max Horkheimer (eds.) Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, p. 94. ISBN 0-8047-3633-2. (2002). In Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments, there is a section titled “Enlightenment as Mass Decption.” Page 106. ISBN 0-8047-3633-2 (Stanford University Press). Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. See for an examination of the interplay between the economics and the goals of culture in the framework of dialectics. See Lincoln, Charles for further information. The Dialectical Path of Law in 2021, to be precise. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
- AbBehrens, Roger (2002). Theoretical critique. abHorkheimerAdorno, page 145
- AbHorkheimerAdorno, page 129
- AbHorkheimerAdorno, page 145
- AbHor Rolf Wiggershaus was the author, while Michael Robertson was the translator (1995). The Frankfurt School’s history, philosophies, and political relevance are all explored in this article (1st MIT Press pbk. ed.). 513 ISBN 978-0262731133 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press)
- Alex Ross and Ross, Alex (8 September 2014) “The Naysayers: Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and the Critique of Pop Culture” is a collection of essays by Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and others. The New Yorker, to name a few publications. In Zipes (2002), page 175 it is stated that Sticks and Stones: The Troubled Success of Children’s Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter
- Sticks and Stones: The Troubled Success of Children’s Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter
- John Durham Peters is a writer and poet (2003). A Study in Subtlety by Horkheimer and Adorno The Polity Press, Cambridge, ISBN 978-0-7456-2934-6
- Hansen, M. Cambridge: Polity Press, ISBN 978-0-7456-2934-6
- (1992). In this paper, Adorno, Derrida, and Kracauer discuss mass culture as hieroglyphic writing. New German Critique.56(56)
- Horkheimer, Max, and Adorno, Theodor W. New German Critique.56(56)
- Horkheimer, Max, and Adorno, Theodor W. (2002). Noerr, Gunzelin Schmid, and Gunzelin Schmid (ed.). Philosophical fragments from the Dialectic of Enlightenment (PDF). Edmund Jephcott was in charge of the translation. San Francisco, California: The Stanford University Press (ISBN 978-0804736336), 2004. On June 14, 2017, a PDF version of this document was made available for download. Scannell, Paddy (August 2016)
- Retrieved 4 August 2016. (2007). Media and communication are important aspects of everyday life. SAGE Publications, ISBN 978-1-4129-0269-4
- London, UK: SAGE Publications.
Continuation of Reading
- T. W. Adorno’s Negative Dialectics is a seminal work in the history of philosophy. Adorno, T.W.A Sample of Adorno’s ideas on the culture industry and popular music (Archive)
- Adorno, T.W.A Sample of Adorno’s ideas on the culture industry and popular music (Archive)
- Adorno, T.W.A Sample of Adorno’s ideas on the culture industry Stanford University Press is a publishing house based in Stanford, California. Cook, D. The Culture Industry Revisited (2002
- Cook, D. The Culture Industry Revisited). Hesmondhalgh, D. The Cultural Industries (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1996)
- Rowman & Littlefield (1996). Sage Publications, 2002
- Scott, Allen J., The Cultural Economy of Cities, 2002. Sage Publications (2001)
- Steinert, H.Culture Industry (2001). Wiggershaus, R. The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and Political Significance (Cambridge: Polity, 2003)
- Wiggershaus, R. The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and Political Significance Adorno on Popular Culture, by R.W. Witkin, published by the MIT Press in 1994. (2003, 2003)
- Routledge, 2003
- ” The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception ” (Archive), pp. 94–136. Adorno, Theodor W. ” The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception ” (Archive), pp. 94–136. (Another version can be found at Marxists.org.)
Culture Industry explained simply (Adorno and Horkheimer)
Simply put, the term “culture industry” was used by social philosophers Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer to describe how popular culture in capitalist society operates like an industry, generating standardized goods that in turn generate standardized individuals. A more refined definition of culture industry focuses on the seeming contradiction that exists between human culture and mechanical industry to explain its existence. This is precisely the point made by Adorno and Horkheimer in their book ” Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception “.
As a result, they believe, the culture industry is connected with late capitalism, in which all kinds of culture (ranging from literature to cinema and even elevator music) become integrated into the capitalist system of production, which has profound cultural dynamics in addition to economic ones.
The TV lifestyle is a simplistic example that may be used to describe the cultural business.
According to Adorno and Horkheimer, this is not a coincidence since not only is it enjoyable to see attractive people living attractive lives, but these shows also carry a consumerist message about how excellent lives should appear, urging people to adopt a certain version of the American Dream.
“Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” was published some years after “Culture Industry” was published.
“Culture Industry Reconsidered” (see link for a summary), in which Adorno elaborated on the concepts and terminology presented in his first essay with Horkheimer, was published in the journal Der Spiegel.
What is Cultural Industry? (with pictures)
Tricia Christensen is an American actress and singer. Date: January 26, 2022 (Saturday). A store that sells music and portable audio gadgets is considered to be part of the cultural industry, according to Wikipedia. It is the numerous enterprises that manufacture, distribute, advertise, and sell things that are clearly associated with the creative arts that are referred to as the cultural industry. Such things might include apparel as well as home décor items and books, as well as films, television shows, and musical performances.
- It is the cultural business that includes places like record stores that sell CDs, which used to be known as record shops.
- It may also hire individuals to help with the creation and distribution of advertising.
- Retailers of musical instruments are considered to be a component of the cultural industry.
- To record music, one requires the services of musicians.
- In order to produce CDs, a firm must be established, and as a result, this becomes a component of the industry.
- The many manufacturers of websites and stores that sell or make creative content are a developing area in the cultural business.
- Rather than purchasing CDs from a shop, a customer might utilize a service like Apple’siTunes to download songs or entire albums to their MP3 device.
- They may choose to purchase online at locations such as Amazon rather than visiting their local bookshop.
- The word cultural industry is frequently used interchangeably with the term cultural industry industry (CI).
- In this theory, the organization of popular culture is similar to that of a factory, and via this culture, standardized items are made to keep the public at ease.
- Businesses in the cultural industry frequently serve as socialization facilitators.
Business enterprises engaged in the production, sale, distribution, and creation of works of creativity are simply referred to as “creative industries.” While some firms may judge that some products require mass manufacturing, other elements of this sector are far more selective in their product selection.
Tricia holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Sonoma State University and has been a regular contributor to InfoBloom for many years.
She is particularly enthusiastic about reading and writing, while she has a wide range of interests that include medicine, art, movies, history, politics, ethics, and religion, among others. Tricia presently resides in Northern California, where she is hard at work on her debut novel.
Tricia Christensen is an American actress and singer. Tricia holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Sonoma State University and has been a regular contributor to InfoBloom for many years. She is particularly enthusiastic about reading and writing, while she has a wide range of interests that include medicine, art, movies, history, politics, ethics, and religion, among others. Tricia presently resides in Northern California, where she is hard at work on her debut novel.
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According to the Frankfurt School theories When Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer published The Dialectic of Enlightenment, they provided an incisive critique of modern culture. In this work, they coined the term “Culture industry” to describe mass cultural forms that, in the wake of capitalism, transform the individual from a thinking and discerning subject into an unthinking and passive consumer. An uncompromising indictment of the banalities of manipulative mass culture is offered in the essayThe Culture industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception, which is also a critique of Enlightenment Rationalism, which is regarded as complicit with authoritarianism and capitalism.
Forms and effects of mass culture, according to Adorno’s article, are considered to serve the aims of commodification and to reproduce the social relations of capitalism in the arena of ideology.
When applied to cultural forms such as paintings, operas, and films, the term “culture industry” easily captures the Marxist assumption that these forms are no different from other consumer products such as automobiles or television sets, thus affirming the Marxist belief that culture is not some abstract thing produced by an individual genius but rather a product of social and economic conditions in society.
Consequently, art is not a “pure” aesthetic sphere, but rather one that is created and marketed in the same manner as any other consumer commodity.
Culture industries are the results of transnational and globalized communication networks that operate outside of the jurisdiction of national governments, according to the United Nations.
Literary Criticism, Literary Theory, Marxism, and Postmodernism are some of the categories. Max Horkheimer, The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception by Theodor Adorno, Theodor Adorno, Theodor Adorno’s Frankfurt School
What is Cultural Industry
Frankfurt Schooltheorists are discussed in detail. When Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer published The Dialectic of Enlightenment, they provided an incisive critique of modern culture. In this work, they coined the term “Culture industry” to describe mass cultural forms that, in the aftermath of capitalism, transform the individual from a thinking and discerning subject into an unthinking, passive consumer. An unrelenting denunciation of the banalities of manipulative mass culture is offered in the essayThe Culture industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception, which is also a critique of Enlightenment Rationalism, which is seen as complicit with totalitarianism and capitalist exploitation It is defined as commercial and state-owned organizations in the arts and media that are engaged in the direct creation of cultural products and services as well as the sponsorship of such goods and services, as well as the presentation and distribution of such goods and services (such as exhibitions, sports events, books, newspapers and films).
Forms and effects of mass culture, according to Adorno’s essay, are seen to serve the goals of commodification and to replicate the social relations of capitalism in the realm of ideology.
When applied to cultural forms such as paintings, operas, and films, the term “culture industry” easily captures the Marxist assumption that these forms are no different from other consumer products such as automobiles or television sets.
Arts and crafts, as opposed to pure aesthetics, are produced and marketed in the same way that other consumer goods are.
Overall, all forms of cultural production serve to remind people of the “victory of invested capital” and to guarantee that the power of industrial society is firmly entrenched in “men’s brains.” In their writings, Adorno and Horkheimer discuss themes that are relevant to both conventional media and information corporations, as well as the functioning of emerging technologies such as the Internet.
Globalized communication networks that operate beyond the bounds of national governments produce the products that make up the culture industries we see today.
Max Horkheimer, The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception by Theodor Adorno, Theodor Adorno, Theodor Adorno, Frankfurt School
Learn More About Cultural Industry in These Related Titles
According to the Frankfurt Schooltheorists When Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer published The Dialectic of Enlightenment, they provided an incisive critique of modern culture. In this work, they coined the term “Culture industry” to describe mass cultural forms that, in the wake of capitalism, transform the individual from a thinking and discerning subject into an unthinking, passive consumer. An uncompromising indictment of the banalities of manipulative mass culture is offered in the essayThe Culture industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception, which also includes a critique of Enlightenment Rationalism, which is regarded as complicit with authoritarianism and capitalism.
Forms and effects of mass culture, according to Adorno’s article, are viewed to serve the aims of commodification and to replicate the social relations of capitalism in the arena of ideology.
When applied to cultural forms such as paintings, operas, and films, the term “culture industry” easily captures the Marxist assumption that these forms are no different from other consumer products such as automobiles or television sets, thus affirming the Marxist belief that culture is not some abstract thing produced by an individual genius, but rather a product of social and economic conditions in society.
So art is not a “pure” aesthetic domain, but rather one that is created and marketed in the same way that any other consumer commodity is.
Overall, all forms of cultural production serve to remind people of the “victory of invested capital” and to ensure that the power of industrial society is permanently imbedded in “men’s thoughts.” In their writings, Adorno and Horkheimer discuss themes that are relevant to both conventional media and information corporations, as well as the functioning of new technologies like as the Internet.
Literature Criticism, Literature Theory, Marxism, and Postmodernism are some of the categories. Max Horkheimer, The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception by Theodor Adorno, Theodor Adorno, Theodor Adorno, Theodor Adorno
The word “cultureindustry” is used to describe as well as conceptualize a particular field of endeavor. It also has a rich historical background. Several changes have occurred since the word was created by Horkheimer and Adorno in their 1947 article “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,” both in terms of what it represents and its theoretical implications. According to its original Frankfurt School usage, the phrase was intended to be a polemical entry into the argument over the relationship between mass society and mass culture, as well as a development of Marxist theory of ideology.
Its association with the term industry (in the singular) was intended to be polemical, implying that the economic dynamics of the base are destroying the relative autonomy of the superstructure as well as the emancipatory potential of artistic expression.
In the view of Horkheimer and Adorno, the ideological domination of capitalism and, as a result, the suppression of revolutionary possibilities, was effected not by the overt con tent of cultural production, but rather by the deep structure of cultural forms as well as the alienated relations between both the producer (artist) and his or her cultural work as well as between the producer and the public that the system of capitalist industrial cultural production produced.
- During this time period, this approach stood in stark contrast to the widespread sociopolitical concern with propaganda as a critical ingredient in the establishment and support of authoritarian governments of the time (fascism and Stalinism).
- It also alluded to a process of organizational rationalization (invoking Weber), in which cultural production and consumption became increasingly planned, hence stifling cultural and political alternatives.
- This rationalization occurred not just during the industrial process, but also throughout the development of the cultural form.
- As time passed, the term culture industry and its associated theoretical approach were largely abandoned in favor of a pluralist interpretation of the mass media and their dominance, particularly throughout the 1950s and 1960s (or lack of it).
- The word resurfaced in the late 1960s, this time in the guise of cultural industries, to coincide with the resurgence of theoretical Marxism and the New Left movements.
Rather than a focus on mass media, which is defined as the print publishing and broadcasting industries, and an overwhelming emphasis on direct political consequences of those media, a shift toward popular entertainment, which is particularly linked to a growing sociological interest in youth culture and a concern with the music and film industries, was signaled by the use of the term.
- As a matter of fact, the term “elitist” might now be employed constructively in order to criticize the elitist implications of existing public policies for the support of the arts and media (Garnham 1990).
- However, by using the word, it was also indicating an unwillingness to adopt the “cultural shift” in rejecting economic determination.
- In order to better understand the cultural industries, it was necessary to examine the unique characteristics of their goods and markets.
- The importance of the specific nature of symbolic or immaterial products and services, as well as the problems in commodifying them, was now being emphasized.
- There was a “hit-and-flop” economy, in which a few extremely successful, but intrinsically unpredictable, hits made up for a disproportionately high proportion of losses.
- The structure and dynamics of the cultural sector were interpreted as the response of management to these issues of realization in the context of intercapitalist rivalry, which was the case at the time.
- The first of these subsectors was editorial (of which book publishing and recordings were classic examples), where having ownership over a library of products – and hence the ability to disperse investment risk – was strategically critical.
Flow was the focus of the second subsector, which encompassed broadcasting in all of its forms, where customer loyalty to a constantly replenished service and series of channels necessitated tight control over distribution and centralized planning of content production – and, consequently, the employment of content producers as wage workers in large industrial organizations.
- The cultural industries strategy has now grown in three independent but not necessarily incompatible directions, and in the process has lost much of its initial connection to Marxism.
- The major disagreement in this case was over the extent to which changes in the communication and cultural sectors were influenced by technical innovations, as well as whether technological development was or was not widely emancipatory (de Sola Pool 1984).
- A growing number of people are calling into question the distinction between cultural industries and other economic sectors in this context.
- To round things out, the word cultural industries has been replaced by a variety of other titles such as the entertainment industry, information sector, knowledge industries, and, most notably, creative industries.
- The development of “knowledge workers” (also known as “creative workers”) has become a major source of discussion in recent years.
In part, it is founded on the premise that cultural industries are a key growth sector globally, and that as a response to deindustrialization, countries must develop their own “creative industries” in order to gain a share of this market, as well as of the profits and export revenues that flow from it.
The public sphere and intellectuals are two other important topics that are addressed in the context of the cultural industries, as well as their analysis and debate.
The development of the cultural industries is responsible for the destruction of the public sphere as a forum for open discussion and deliberation, which is the foundation of democracy.
The traditional concern with the socioeconomic position and role of cultural workers, as well as the extent to which they can continue to play an autonomous and critical role in the development of knowledge and culture, has been at the heart of the culture industries tradition.
The change in emphasis to the creative industries and the information society puts this concern with the relationships between cultural creation and the information society front and center.
- T. Adorno and M. Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment was published in 1997. Verso, London
- Benjamin, W. (1970) The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction). In the book Illuminations. Fontana, London, and Castells, M. (1999) The Rise of Network Society. London: Fontana Publishing. The Society of the Spectacle, Blackwell, Oxford, 1995
- DeBord, G. (1995) The Society of the Spectacle. Zone Books, New York
- De Sola Pool, I. (1984), Technologies of Freedom. Zone Books, New York
- De Sola Pool, I. (1984), Technologies of Freedom. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
- Flichy, P. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA
- Flichy, P. (1991). These are the “Imagination Industries.” 1990, PUG (Grenoble, France) and Garnham (New York, USA). Capitalism and Communication. Sage Publishing, London
- Lash, S. J. Urry’s Economies of Signs and Space was published in 1994. One Dimensional Man, published by Sage in London in 1991 by H. Marcuse.
- Miege, B. (1989) The Capitalization of Cultural Production (Boston: Beacon Press)
- Beacon Press New York is the headquarters of the International General.
Return to the top of the page to return to the Sociology of Culture.
Adorno and the Culture Industry
Culture, Adorno, and the Business of Culture Large studios and record corporations are responsible for the production and distribution of most of the popular culture that we consume today. Should we be concerned about this? Are we bound to a life of poor music, television, and cinema? Or, even worse, are we bound to a life of music, television shows, and movies that act as covert propaganda for a hegemonic propaganda machine? That appears to be what Theodor Adorno believed at the time. The “cultural industry” was the subject of a chapter written by him and Max Horkheimer in the 1940s that was fairly, shall we say, feisty in tone.
), their thesis seems to be that every single product of mass culture is meant to maintain the status quo, so keeping the wicked capitalist system in place.
Most films, according to Adorno, attempt to persuade us that capitalism is a wonderful thing by depicting people who are in difficulty receiving assistance.
It’s important to note that I’m being nice here and straightening up the argument; Adorno and Horkheimer prefer to just contradict themselves without explanation.) Rather it being an accident, movie companies purposefully make “junk” like this in order to generate revenue.
Therefore, every single one of these can be predicted to an extreme degree: In other words, “as soon as the movie starts, you can tell how it’s going to finish and who is going to be rewarded, punished, or forgotten.” Movies are only a means for studios to generate money and for governments to disseminate propaganda; they are not works of art, but rather a means of making a profit.
- However, the only difficulty is that it isn’t true in this particular instance.
- That was already true throughout Adorno’s time period, which coincided with the peak of cinema noir (I dare anybody to foresee the ending of, example, The Big Sleep) and the release of masterpieces such as The Rules of the Game and The Grand Illusion.
- Adorno was also writing during the height of jazz’s popularity, which was at the time one of the most original and unexpected art forms of all time.
- They spoke of jazz as if it were a “machine,” claimed that its inventions were nothing more than “pseudo-individuality,” and spoke disparagingly of “standardized jazz improvisation,” as though it were something that actually existed.
- Moreover, it is not the case that their only goal is to gain money.
- At the end of the day, popular culture does not necessarily aim to maintain the status quo.
- Adorno has developed an innovative way for discarding examples such as these, which he refers to as sophistry.
- Of course, none of this implies that every film, every television show, or every song is a magnificent achievement: there are plenty of works of art, whether popular or otherwise, that are uninspired and uninteresting.
- Some are motivated or skewed by the commercial motive, as seen by all the sequels and product placement that have taken place in recent years: However, this is by no means the end of the narrative, and it is also not really fresh information.
- In some of his writings, Adorno portrays the pre-capitalist era as a utopian state in which artists had no patrons, never performed for food, never pandered to the “groundlings,” and never worked for the Church.
- Although we live in an era dominated by the huge studio, there are still true artists working in the world, creating genuinely amazing artworks for purposes other than financial gain.
In some cases, these great works of art end up reaching a larger percentage of the population than was ever possible in previous eras, whether through reading, viewing, or listening. Are we really dealing with a catastrophe?
“Theodor Adorno and the Culture Industry” (1984)
In his paper “Theodor Adorno and the Culture Industry,” Gordon Welty of Wright State University delivered a presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Popular Culture Association in Toronto on March 30, 1984. Dayton, Ohio 45435, United States Theodor Adorno was a philosopher associated with the Institute for Social Research, sometimes known as the “Frankfurt School,” which flourished in Weimar Germany during the Weimar Republic. Besides being a friend and former student of the Viennese composer Alban Berg, Adorno was also a musicologist.
- The authoritarian personality, which was published in 1950, was a continuation of his critique of bourgeois culture.
- Negative Dialektik, his final significant piece of literature, was released in 1966.
- This paper will examine Adorno’s theory of the “culture industry,” which may be found in three of his books.
- This article served as both a summary of Adorno’s study of popular music and a foreshadowing of the formation of the idea of the culture industry shortly thereafter.
- This text remained unpublished until 1947, when it was published by Querido in Amsterdam under the imprint of the same name.
- The second thing of relevance to us is a chapter in the book titled “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,” which is headed “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception.” “Culture Industry Reconsidered” is the title of the third chapter.
- This has been published in New German Critique, No.
I.All human objects are materializations of labor; they include labor and carry out the goals of the laborers who created them.
On the one hand, a materialization of labor, a product of labor, has a monetary worth that may be put to use.
The exchange value of a commodity is determined by the usability of the product as well as by the institutional circumstances that exist in the market.
Thus, an item communicates with individual or communal theoretical reasoning or aesthetic sense.
The former is shown by a piece of firewood, while the latter by a book of poetry.
And, of course, a page of poetry may be used to start a fire, with the emphasis being on its practicality rather than its lyrical importance.
In particular, we are concerned with the cultural items that, in Adorno’s perspective, comprised popular culture, such as movies, horoscopes, jazz, magazines, radio, soap operas, television serials, and so on.
Because the value of a cultural item is based on the monopolistic rent or, to a lesser extent, on the object’s utility, the value of a cultural object should drop as a result of the decline in the monopolistic rent.
As Horkheimer and Adorno phrased it, “what may be termed use value in the reception of cultural goods is substituted by exchange value,” which is the worth of money.
The question is, how did exchange value come to have such independence in the sphere of culture production?
The consumer is not paying for the goods itself, but rather for the package.
This is the pinnacle of the commodity fetishism phenomenon.
/3/ Adorno demonstrates this by drawing a distinction between “popular” and “serious” music.
“According to this argument, the 1941 essay “On Popular Music,” produced with the aid of George Simpson, reiterates the notion: “The entire structure of popular music is standardized, even when attempts are made to evade standardization.” Standardization encompasses everything from the most broad characteristics to the most detailed characteristics.” /4/ The interchangeability and substitutability of parts are implied by standardization.
- For Adorno, on the other hand, “serious music” is a “concrete totality,” in which “every detail takes its musical sense from the concrete whole of the composition,” according to the philosopher.
- There is no interchangeability in serious music; if a detail is left out, “the whole thing is blown away.” There are several other examples that might be presented, such as soap operas with their interchangeable episodes, horror films with their formulae, and so on.
- When it comes to late capitalism, the only way to get away from what happens at work, in the factory, or in the office is to approximate it in one’s leisure time.
- “The culture industry has helped to make man’s status as a member of a species a fact of life.
- Horkheimer and Adorno begin by debating and denying the premise that the uniformity of mass culture, as well as the identity of mass culture, can be explained in terms of technical advancement.
- Nineteenth-century monopolies in the arts and entertainment industry are controlled by the most powerful industries: banks, chemicals, electricity, petroleum, and steel.
As Stuart Ewen has pointed out, there are two components to modern society: mass production and mass consumption, which are intertwined.
He claims to be an expert “The term “industry” should not be taken in its strictest sense.
/12/ While the advertising and distribution of popular music are considered “industrial,” the process of creating a song-hit is still considered to be “handicraft,” according to the authors.
13/ Instead, uniformity is a prerequisite for large production and consumer consumption.
The first category is for stimuli that draw the listener’s attention.
Standardization encompasses a number of different aspects, one of which is the stylization of an ever-identical framework.” On the premise of standardization itself, pseudo-individualization is a necessary corollary of musical standardization, as it confers the halo of freedom of choice or open market on cultural mass production that would otherwise be unable to compete.” As for pseudo-individualization, it works by tricking the listener into forgetting that the music is standardized, so preventing him from fighting the standardization that is lowering him to an animalistic level of consciousness.
- It is also important to note that this two-fold aspect of popular music is very vital in terms of marketing it.
- It would have been impossible to promote the music successfully without the use of pseudo-individualization, sometimes known as “product differentiation” in the marketing business.
- “Modern communications technologies have an isolating effect,” as Horkheimer and Adorno have pointed out, and this is an issue to consider.
- People are discouraged from gregarious engagement by the present administration of capitalist society, which is equipped with effective communication tools.
- /20/ Let us consider how popular music contributes to the creation of this uniformity.
- It is a double-edged sword.
In capitalism, “distraction” is a corollary; this mode of production, which “engenders fears and anxiety about unemployment, loss of income, war, has its ‘non-productive’ correlate in entertainment; that is, relaxation that does not require the exertion of concentration at all,” has its “non-productive” counterpart in entertainment.
The music itself is also a result of this phenomenon; “the melodies induce complacency in the listener.” When it comes to the second of these, Adorno says that popular music has an ideological role for those who like listening to it.
In popular music, there are two major types of mass response: those who are “rhythmically obedient” and those who are “emotional.” The former is the more common of the two.
/24/Listeners who are more emotional in their listening “It is necessary to listen to music in order to be permitted to weep.
/25/*** Finally, Adorno has supplied a theory of the nature of cultural products and their appraisal at a level of discourse that is adequate for the time being.
The pseudo-individualization of the culture product, as well as the members of the audience, is the inverse of stylization: it is the antithesis of stylization.
Distraction is one of the consequences for the audience in late capitalism, while on the other hand, it is a means of ensuring the audience’s “adjustment” to dependency – whether fascistic or sorrowful – is achieved.
On the one hand, the study of “mass culture,” “mass society,” and other terms of this nature has shown to be less than fruitful.
On the other hand, the cultural industry’s ability to manipulate the public is growing stronger by the day.
Theodor Adorno, “On Popular Music,” Studies in Philosophy and Social Sciences (1941), Vol.
Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, “Dialectic of Enlightenment,” New York: Herder and Herder (1972), page 156.3.
6, p. 14.13. Theodor Adorno, “Culture Industry Reconsidered,”New German Critique, No. 6, p. 14.14. Theodor Adorno, “Culture Industry Reconsidered,”New German Critique, No. 6, p. 14.15. Theodor Adorno, “Culture Industry Reconsidered,”New German Cri