Adorno on Popular Culture (International Library of by Robert W. Witkin

By Robert W. Witkin

Within the a long time considering the fact that his dying, Adorno’s pondering has misplaced none of its potential to unsettle the settled, and has proved highly influential in social and cultural suggestion. To most folk, the leisure supplied through tv, radio, movie, newspapers, astrology charts and CD avid gamers turns out risk free sufficient. For Adorno, in spite of the fact that, the tradition that produces them is finally poisonous in its influence at the social strategy. He argues that sleek mass leisure is synthetic lower than stipulations that mirror the pursuits of manufacturers and the marketplace, either one of which call for the domination and manipulation of mass consciousness.

Here Robert W. Witkin unpacks Adorno’s notoriously tricky critique of pop culture in a fascinating and obtainable sort. taking a look first at its grounding in a much wider concept of the totalitarian developments of past due capitalist society, he then is going directly to learn, in a few element, Adorno’s writing on particular facets of pop culture corresponding to astrology, radio, movie, tv, well known tune and jazz. He concludes along with his personal severe reflections on Adorno’s cultural theory.

This booklet should be crucial studying for college kids of the sociology of tradition, of cultural reviews, and of serious concept extra ordinarily.

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Extra resources for Adorno on Popular Culture (International Library of Sociology)

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Those who see modern culture as somehow degrading the Culture of the past may attribute the failure to education and imagine that the solution to the problem of this growing Philistinism can be addressed through educational reforms. Adorno explicitly rejects such an argument. Education is merely one of society’s institutions and like the others it is not immune to the transformations in culture that are taking place. The symptoms of the decline of culture, which are recognizable everywhere, even among the highly educated, cannot be explained 24 T H E T H E O RY O F P S E U D O - C U LT U R E entirely by the inadequacies of educational systems and teaching methods, which have been blamed for generations.

He, too, will receive benefits from the increased productivity in the form of higher wages that he can spend on the commodities produced by the culture industries. The culture industry It is to the area of consumption that all are encouraged to look for the spiritual freedoms that they have been deprived of at work. The sphere of leisure is deemed to be the domain of self-expression. The arts and culture are relegated to that sphere. Moreover, the contrast between work and leisure is maximized in public perception.

Culture ‘proper’ is a version of the organic structuration model that guides all Adorno’s thinking; it suggests a coherent system of reflection, a body of interrelated ideas and values that mediates the individual’s response to empirical reality. What is presupposed here is that the possession of Culture in this larger sense secures for the individual some degree of autonomy and integrity at the level of agency; it ensures that the individual remains his or her own person (an inner-directed individual) and is not absorbed or subsumed by society and its dominating institutions.

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