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Culture industryaccording to Adordo and Horkheimer - Essay Example

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Culture industryaccording to Adordo and Horkheimer

I, in this paper, discuss the authors’ perspective of the problems facing the ‘culture industry’ and incorporate critiques to the authors’ position. Dynamism identifies the general problem in the culture industry with changes in fundamental constructs and modes of presentation. In an example by Wolfenstein, patterns of gender presentation in the mass culture has been reversed and while the media previously communicated men’s “erotically aggressive” nature and a passive and defensive nature for women, the contemporary culture industry has reversed the communicated nature and offers a potential social conflict. This is because the society, especially the young generation is likely to be divided between the ancient ways and the contemporary creation of arts. Others may be torn between the social presentations and lose social identities in the media’s disorientation. Transition from the ancient culture to the current culture industry has also established art standardization and gained the power over societal psychology. These transition factors identifies consequences that limit the traditional concept of culture, that was to enrich the society through creativity, to a system of standardized products whose caption effect is based on peer-oriented influence instead of value in creativity. Audience power is also weak, in the contemporary industry, under the standardization effects (Adorno 2001, p. 160). Another problem that the authors identify with the culture industry is its expanding power derives support from “sociological structures” (Adorno 2001, p. 161). Diversity between the old generations that embraced the mass culture the contemporary set of intellectuals promotes the change. People who interacted with the mass culture have also succumbed to influence into the contemporary culture to promote the dynamism. Demand driven needs for perfect and presumed accurate information is another factor that has influenced culture into the current state of standardization and consumer passivity. The transition has also established a gap between cultural ideologies and dynamism within the society as observed among consumers. Artistic ideologies of the ancient society still dominate the mass culture while consumers have evolved to new cultural ideologies and this explains the notion of lack of absolute creativity and consumers’ lack of choice because of standardization effect. Appreciation of culture is therefore not based on the level of utility that consumers can derive from the culture but because of the level of rigidity, which allows consumers little choices for utility. Audience manipulation is another characteristic problem that the transition has established. Mass culture integrated the society through such ideals as “conformity and conventionalism” but the contemporary culture has established discrete positions in art and even though conflicts may be presented, there is no significant reality in them (Adorno 2001, p. 163). Unlike in traditional arts that resolved conflict based on need, contemporary art relies on predetermined positions that often fail to resolve conflicts (Adorno 2001, p. 161- 163). Adorno and Horkheimer, in their exile, identify commercialization of communication and culture as a key problem to what they termed the ‘culture industry’. The society had been reduced to consumer of mass media and cultural products in the business proliferated field. Self-interest was instrumental to the commercialization problem as the then president, Roosevelt, ...Show more
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Adordo and Horkheimer coined the term the culture industry in their critical approach to the scope that cultural artists had adopted.The authors perceived a different aspect from what culture traditionally entailed to a contemporary state associated with many problems…
Culture industryaccording to Adordo and Horkheimer
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