Culture Industry--The Theory of Adorno & Horkheimer
The Production of Culture
Culture industry, Standardization, Pseudo Individuality, Criticism
the concentration of culture production within an industry that is dominated by a few corporate producers [Disney+ABC+MacDonald's] who manufacture, own the rights to and distribute a vast number of the mass-mediated cultural products that are found in the world. The consequences of such concentration are viewed as leading to a process of standardization of form and homogeneity of content. The impact is perceived as, at best giving the consumer little real choice, at worst promoting cultural forms that are dulling our ability to think critically about the world in which we live and reducing the diversity of values, beliefs and customs across the world.
…TThis chapter will trace a broad theorectical shift from approaching the production of culture through a macro perspective which stresses social and organizational structures and economic relationships, towards a more micro approach which focuses on everyday human agency and the making of cultural meanings. The first approach foregrounds the issue of control over production and constraint on creative practices; the second emphasizes human autonomy and the active ability to engage in creative activities despite such constraints.
Adorno and Horkeimer
Summary of the Three major arguments: production-creation-consumption
From a political-economy analysis which draws on Marx, they argue that the concentration of culture production in a capitalist industry results in a standardized commercial commodity.
Examples: Artist and mass production: Springsteen and music video such as "Dancing in the Dark" "Born in the U.S.A."; the textbook's example: jazz improvization, psalm, traditional song, 'easy listening' -regressive listening
consequences: passive, obedient and easily manipulated consumption--e.g. listen to the refrains and hooks of a hit song;
pseudo individuality--trade marks of car, music
and stars' images