Culture in Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s Book Dialectic of Enlightenment

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“Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” is a chapter in Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s book “Dialectic of Enlightenment” it goes onto discus the conflicts presented by the “culture industry.” Adorno states that the culture industry is a main phenomenon of late capitalism, encompassing all products from Hollywood films, to advertisements, and even extending to musical compositions. Adorno is very deliberate in noting the term “culture industry” over “mass culture” this was done to specifically distinguish, that it is not to be understood as something which spontaneously stems from the masses themselves. Products of the culture economy take on the appearance of artwork but are in fact dependant on industry and economy,…show more content…
The author goes on to explain that the public refrains from criticizing the media because they are dependent upon it. They need the culture industry in order to achieve pleasure and satisfaction and cannot imaging their lives without it. The industry preserves its power by presenting an ideal of “the good life” as reality and through false conflicts that trade him for his real ones. The industry spreads false values and establishes the individual’s willingness to be a part of society and to coordinate his interests with it. Adorno also states that the culture industry takes advantage of the weaker classes by making its content shallow and widely appealing and thus demoting the value of culture “Everyone knows that they are helpless within the system, and ideology must take account for this” The main argument behind the article is that the commodification of culture is the commodification of human awareness. The culture industry provides easy entertainment which is able to distract the masses from the wrongs of a capitalist ruling order. It goes onto argue that the culture industry has over taken reality and the way that it is experienced, where it completely shapes and conditions the experiences we have creating an alternate reality of consumerism. Popular culture gives the allusion of a distraction from our everyday lives, but in fact it causes those consuming to further dwell into

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