By Theodor W. Adorno
The essays amassed the following supply an research of the irrational dimensions of contemporary tradition that's either well timed and stressful within the 1990s.Adorno’s rules are appropriate to the knowledge of phenomena as it seems that various as astrology and “New Age” cults, the facility of neo-fascist propaganda and the re-emergence of anti-Semitism, and the mental foundation of renowned culture.
The longest essay, “The Stars all the way down to Earth” bargains a content material research of the astrology column in a Fifties l. a. newspaper.Adorno argues that the column promotes mental dependency and social conformism in a lot an analogous means as fascist propaganda. He keeps that an analogous ideas function within the mainstream items of “the tradition industry.” the 3 shorter papers remove darkness from various points of Adorno’s argument: the relation of occultism to orthodox glossy idea, the pervasiveness of anti-Semitism, and the “psycho-technic” rhetoric of fascist propaganda.
Stephen Crook’s advent significantly experiences Adorno’s argument and provides an overview of its modern relevance.
Taken jointly, those essays supply an astringent antidote to any facile optimism in regards to the democratic and pluralist personality of postmodern renowned culture.Adorno identifies an irrationalist dynamic which implicates the main enlightened and emancipated parts of latest tradition. His unsettling arguments call for the eye of a person drawn to pop culture, serious concept, racism and authoritarian politics.
From Library Journal
These 4 essays, initially written among the overdue Thirties and mid-1950s, study major cases of what Adorno calls "irrational" structures of idea in modern tradition. He analyzes such phenomena as occultism, anti-Semitism, and the connection among anti-Semitism and fascist considering. His research illustrates universal parts in all of the structures tested. The lead article, "The Stars right down to Earth," is a content material research of the astrology column of the l. a. occasions in the course of a trip Adorno made to the USA in 1953; it units the tone for the opposite essays. what's really transparent from Adorno's exam is the delicate and manipulative nature of such ideals. The resurgence of maximum non secular and political organisations, and the trouble with which sure styles of suggestion appear to die, illustrates the level to which these rules have penetrated our tradition and the hazards they nonetheless carry. Editor Crook's lead-ins to the essays are worthwhile. steered for all collections of the heritage and sociology of latest tradition and mass movements.
Terry Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec
'There is not any query of the modern value and relevance of those essays. T. W. Adorno is without doubt one of the nice critics of the position of irrational authoritarianism in modern society.' Douglas Kellner
'This assortment demonstrates the ongoing relevance of Adorno's paintings to the research and realizing of contemporary instances. an excellent contribution to the sociology of racism, anti-Semitism and well known culture.' - Bryan S. Turner, co-editor, The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology
'Theodor Adorno returns from the grave to convey this well timed caution concerning the risks of superstition.' Review
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Extra resources for Adorno: The Stars Down to Earth and Other Essays on the Irrational in Culture
6, 13. McGuigan, Cultural Populism, p. 48. Of course, the populists who make the most fuss about popular pleasures are the last people to take them at face value: pleasures are heavily glossed as “really” about resistance, liberation etc. McGuigan gives a useful and succinct critique of Fiske’s particularly florid populism in Cultural Populism, pp. 70–5. Adorno, The Culture Industry, p. 20. ) Consumption, Identity and Style. London: Routledge, 1990, p. 6. Jameson, Late Marxism: Adorno or the Persistence of the Dialectic.
Altogether, however, the American cultural climate seems to demand at least a veneer of common sense and realism. This leads to the truly unexpected features of the magazines which happen to be just the opposite of the eccentricities just referred to. There seems to be more implied than merely American common sense and realism. In the magazines, one finds entirely different zones, carefully kept apart from each other. On the one hand, there are general astrological speculations involving conjunctions, oppositions, houses, etc.
Adorno, The Culture Industry, p. 20. ) Consumption, Identity and Style. London: Routledge, 1990, p. 6. Jameson, Late Marxism: Adorno or the Persistence of the Dialectic. London:Verso, 1990, p. 252. Adorno, The Culture Industry, pp. 20–1. , p. 71. Hassan, “The Culture of Postmodernism,” Theory, Culture and Society 2, 1985, pp. 119–32. Jay, The Dialectical Imagination, p. 247. Baudrillard, “Simulacra and Simulations,” in his Selected Writings. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1988, p. 182. 33 1 THE STARS DOWN TO EARTH: THE LOS ANGELES TIMES ASTROLOGY COLUMN INTRODUCTION The group of studies to which the content analysis of the Los Angeles Times astrology column belongs, sets as its aim the investigation of the nature and motivations of some large-scale social phenomena involving irrational elements in a peculiar way—fused with what may be dubbed pseudo-rationality.