How the ‘Culture Industry’ had Profound Social Impacts in Society

2017 WordsJul 13, 20189 Pages
Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer were two renowned Jewish representatives of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory; they were particularly dominant during the early 20th century, approximately around the time of the 1920’s to 1960s. They took refuge in America after Adolf Hitler’s rise in Germany. These to philosophers developed the ‘Culture Industry Theory’ in the 1940s, in light of the disturbed society they had seen during this time. They witnessed how Nazi Fascism used mass media such as films, radio and newspapers to brainwash millions into partaking in this ideology. Similarly they saw the rise of Capitalism in America, which also used mass media such as Hollywood films and advertising to disseminate the masses into the…show more content…
Adorno (1977) saw these elements as interchangeable without damaging the song. When applied to the music industry in contemporary society artists such as Katy Perry, Ke$ha, and Miley Cyrus sound exactly the same, they use the same chords as each other. The use of standardisation in the culture industry is to foster the false consciousness, passivity in order to easily manipulate society into consuming these products and in the music industries case promote regressive listening and lead to standardised reactions (Stratini, 2004). The ruling class maintain their power and control over society through these practices. They create the false needs of society and produce products to satisfy these needs, which leaves societies in a false satiated state (Stratini, 2004). Pseudo-Individualism is the second process that produces reification (Adorno, 1977). For the process of standardisation to be successful in manipulating society into consumerism and a false consciousness, pseudo-individualism is crucial. Pseudo-individualism maintains the appearance that a product is different and unique (Satrini, 2004). Adorno believes that the principal of originality and individuality has always been contradictory. The individual is a notion that masses are misleadingly made to believe (Adorno, 1977). It gives the impression of free choice in an open market when it is actually deceiving people into consuming standardised products of the culture industry. This process
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