Sunday, March 27, 2011

Adorno - Culture Industry Reconsidered

Adorno, Theodor W. "Culture Industry Reconsidered." From Alexander, Jeffrey C., and Steven Seidman. Culture and Society: Contemporary Debates. Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

Originally Published 1975

Key Term
"Culture Industry" - A replacement of "mass culture" designed to exclude an interpretation agreeable to its advocates (that it arises spontaneously from the masses themselves, the contemporary form of popular art. The culture industry is bad, and its rise has been a disaster for both high art of elites and pure folk art created by the lower class.


Cultural commodities are created as value, not for content and meaning. The culture industry stuffs consumers with its ideology, fostering sameness. The effect of the culture industry is anti-enlightenment.

Placement within my reading
Most of my media studies list refutes Adorno's position. The dispute is best summed up by John Storey's Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture.

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