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

By Robert W. Witkin

Within the a long time because his demise, Adorno’s pondering has misplaced none of its potential to unsettle the settled, and has proved highly influential in social and cultural notion. To most folk, the leisure supplied by means of tv, radio, movie, newspapers, astrology charts and CD avid gamers turns out innocuous adequate. For Adorno, besides the fact that, the tradition that produces them is eventually poisonous in its impression at the social strategy. He argues that glossy mass leisure is synthetic below stipulations that replicate the pursuits of manufacturers and the industry, either one of which call for the domination and manipulation of mass consciousness.

Here Robert W. Witkin unpacks Adorno’s notoriously tough critique of pop culture in an attractive and available type. taking a look first at its grounding in a much broader conception of the totalitarian developments of overdue capitalist society, he then is going directly to research, in a few aspect, Adorno’s writing on particular elements of pop culture corresponding to astrology, radio, movie, tv, well known song and jazz. He concludes along with his personal severe reflections on Adorno’s cultural theory.

This e-book should be crucial studying for college students of the sociology of tradition, of cultural stories, and of serious concept extra mostly.

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This too is an instance of ‘authoritarian submission’ in the face of the unassimilable. The very response of audiences, which is designed into the production and dissemination of cultural goods, is one of dependency and fetishization. 30 T H E T H E O RY O F P S E U D O - C U LT U R E The idea of Culture proper does not, however, lose its hold on those in the grip of pseudo-culture. On the contrary, the latter celebrate its prestige even though, as Culture proper, they can no longer genuinely experience it.

Notwithstanding the poetic flights of Wagner’s writings of a century earlier, it is not difficult to perceive a precursor of the type of analysis that culminated in the critique of the culture industry. In section 5 of the essay, entitled ‘The Art-antagonistic shape of Present life, under the sway of abstract thought and fashion’, Wagner identifies fashion with the cultivation of ‘unnatural need’, with perversity and tyranny: Fashion is the artificial stimulus that rouses an unnatural need where the natural is not to hand; but whatever does not originate in a real need is arbitrary, uncalled for and tyrannical.

Adorno 1993: 18) Class and pseudo-culture Adorno points out that the situation of the rising bourgeoisie that developed Culture, at the time of the Enlightenement, contrasted greatly with the cultural situation of the proletariat that it brought into existence. Even in a society that was formally governed by relations of equality, the dominant social classes retained a monopoly over culture. Marx had developed the model of the superstructure to account for the cultural ascendancy of the ideas developed by the economically dominant class in society.

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