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

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

Theodor W. Adorno

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0415253802

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The creation of the Frankfurt School of critical theory in the 1920s 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. In turn this suffocated individuality and destroyed critical thinking. At the time, Adorno was accused of everything from overreaction to deranged hysteria by his many detractors. In today's world, where even the least cynical of consumers is aware of the influence of the media, Adorno's work takes on a more immediate significance. The Culture Industry is an unrivalled indictment of the banality of mass culture.

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devotes himself to them is as malicious as the Greek thinkers once were toward oriental sensuality. The seductive power of the charm survives only where the forces of denial are strongest: in the dissonance which rejects belief in the illusion of the existing harmony. The concept of the ascetic is itself dialectical in music. If asceticism once struck down the claims of the aesthetic in a reactionary way, it has today become the sign of an advanced art: not, to be sure, by an archaicizing

the world of information: they become unbearable on the other hand when they attempt to restore information as what is obscured by its overillumination, through aesthetic form-giving in the work. Information counts upon curiosity as the attitude with which the viewer approaches the product. The indiscretion formerly the prerogative of the most wretched of journalists has become part of the very essence of official culture. The information communicated by mass culture constantly winks at us. In

productive forces of the epoch permit. 4 - CULTURE AND ADMINISTRATION Whoever speaks of culture speaks of administration as well, whether this is his intention or not. The combination of so many things lacking a common denominator - such as philosophy and religion, science and art, forms of conduct and mores - and finally the inclusion of the objective spirit of an age in the single word ‘culture’ betrays from the outset the administrative view, the task of which, looking down from on

those regions isolated or distant from the most powerful social tendencies, although they hardly benefit from their isolation. In official culture, on the other hand, the accounts balance all the more perfectly. UNESCO poets actually come into being who are, for example, capable of enthusiasm because the humane blossoms in the midst of inhuman situations; in the wake of a humanitarianism which steers clear of any controversial issue they inscribe the international slogans of high administration

The stereotype of the nice girl is so strong that not even the proof of her delinquency can destroy it; and, by hook or by crook, she must be what she appears to be. It goes without saying that such psychological models tend to confirm exploitative, demanding, and aggressive attitudes on the part of young girls - a character structure which has come to be known in psychoanalysis under the name of oral aggressiveness. Sometimes such stereotypes are disguised as national American traits, a part of

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