As Horkheimer and Adorno stressed, the essential characteristic of the culture industry is repetition. As early as his essay "On Jazz," Adorno had argued that an essential characteristic of popular music was its standardization. Standardization extends from the most general features to the most specific ones. By contrast, "serious music" is a "concrete totality" for Adorno, whereby "every detail derives its musical sense from the concrete totality of the piece.
In the case of serious music, interchangeability is not possible; if a detail is omitted, "all is lost. This repetition is due to the reflection in the sphere of cultural production of the standardized and repetitive processes of monopoly capitalist industry. Under late capitalism, what happens at work, in the factory, or in the office can only be escaped by approximating it in one's leisure time.
This sets the terms for cultural products: "no independent thinking must be expected from the audiences" instead, "the product prescribes every reaction. Now any person signifies only those attributes by which he can replace everybody else; he is interchangeable.
It might be argued that the standardization of the cultural product under late capitalism is technologically determined, the same as an industrial product such as a can of green beans. Horkheimer and Adorno begin by considering, and dismissing, the claim that the standardization, the identity of mass culture, can be explained in technological terms.
Technology attains its power, they argue, only through the power of monopolies and great corporations. Martin is of the opinion that this basic moral stance towards the condition of man in modern society was common to all the founding fathers of sociology. For Marx this was seen most clearly in the social relations that arose through the control of means of production, it was from this, he believed, that human self-alienation arose.
For Marx, the reality of the capitalist world was irrational and inhuman Lowith, The forces of production, i. There are, generally speaking, two classes within such societies, the ruling class and a working class. The ruling class, or bourgeoise, own the means of production and the working class, the proletariat have to sell their labour in order to survive. This, Marx argues is a system of exploitation because the ruling class make a profit by paying workers less than the value of the products that they produce.
However, the proletariat do experience a mismatch in their experience because, Marx argues, they gain no satisfaction from their work and the goods that they produce. In many respects the relationship between the bourgeoise and the proletariat is the same as that between feudal lords and the peasants, it is the exploitation of slaves.
This exploitation and lack of satisfaction is experienced as a sense of self-alienation Turner, As Bottomore, explains the worker is: …. Work is not the satisfaction of a need but only a means of satisfying other needs. Its alien character is clearly shown by the fact that as soon as there is no physical or other compulsion it is avoided like the plague Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts , in Bottomore, Horkheimer, Adorno, and the Frankfurt School Wiggershaus maintains that for the group that was later called the Frankfurt School: The young Marx….
The young Marx was important to Horkheimer but was not such an influence on the thinking of the young Adorno. Moreover, as David Hesmondhalgh has recognised, the concentration of multinational control does not imply necessarily a decrease in musical innovation: he quotes Simon Frith's 45 Ibid. For Jason Toynbee, innovation takes largely place within proto-markets. The scholar notices how production of music has been decentralized from the s onwards: the number of people producing music has grown constantly as the cost of recording equipment has dropped.
Music-making is thus very much dispersed, and this counters the highly capitalized character of large-scale production and distribution by the major companies; the latter have to face strong difficulties while looking for new material within a saturated landscape.
According to Hesmondhalgh, 52 Ibid. As major companies get aware of the potential of one of these artists, they crucially have to find a way to attract them without compromising their subcultural credibility Hesmondhalgh shows the ambivalent character of the British dance music industry during the s, often credited with challenging the domination of the major companies and the very structure of music industry, thanks to aspects as the limited attention paid to the identity of the performers.
If Horkheimer and Adorno somehow conceived the cultural production in terms of the 'factory line' metaphor, various analysis of the cultural industries have placed the emphasis on the significant degree of creative autonomy that they usually, and obviously to a greater or smaller extent, enjoy.
This study on dance music industry is really insightful and it shows how 57 Records with no information written on them, very popular within dance music since the beginning of rave culture in late s 58 Ibid. This acknowledgment of the partial autonomy of symbol creators is necessary in order to part from Adorno and Horkheimer's reductive vision of capital unquestionably corrupting culture.
For the two scholars, as already analysed, industry and culture are just two separate realms, and their meeting can bring nothing but nefarious consequences on a culture pejoratively embodied in standardised and pseudo-individualized goods. Conversely, many scholars have underlined the mutual relationships between commerce and culture, which must not be conceived of as opposite ends of the spectrum. For Negus the possession of technical means and economic capital is in itself not sufficient for the corporate control that the Frankfurt School had deemed basically unquestioned.
One core problem of Adorno's formulation in this respect is his almost mythical conception of the musical artist, that can arguably pose a threat to a thorough comprehension of creative work within the cultural industries. The authors perceive a common element in these phenomena, the tendency toward self-destruction of the guiding criteria inherent in enlightenment thought from the beginning.
Using historical analyses to elucidate the present, they show, against the background of a prehistory of subjectivity, why the National Socialist terror was not an aberration of modern history but was rooted deeply in the fundamental characteristics of Western civilization. Adorno and Horkheimer assert that culture industry eradicates autonomous thinking and criticism, serving to preserve the reigning order. It provides easy entertainment which distracts massed from the wrongs and sickness of the ruling order.
They argue that culture industry has taken over reality as the prism through which people experience reality, thus completely shaping and conditioning their experience of life. It involves manners of production as well as ways of exchanging ideas. Modernity, then, is the general depiction of Western society and culture subsequent to the advent of advanced production methods and after the increase in mass communication, usually specified to the eighteenth century and onwards.
It is reasonable that Adorno would agree on these general definitions; we see no need to elaborate on them further. An underlying framework of this paper is the role of change in philosophy, or the relationship between theory and practice. This approach may very well provide a relatively exhaustive method to look at a certain philosophy, yet it also leaves behind some blind spots.
The reader should be aware of this shortcoming. Adorno's view of modern culture was pessimistic from A to Z. He saw the progress of enlightenment as a calamity to mankind, not only on the outward, mechanic level, but also on the inward, intuitive level as well.
This is the blunt way to summarize Adorno's interpretation of modernity. The sophisticated way is not as simplistic since it will have to take into consideration various presuppositions and explanations, but it remains just as pessimistic. The main source to Adorno's interpretation of modernity is Dialectic of Enlightenment [ ] , which he composed together with Max Horkheimer during the Frankfurt schools American exile. The significance of the work lies in its demand that all parts of modern culture are unconsciously penetrated by the self-destruction of the Enlightenment p.
Adorno did not tone down these thoughts later in his academic writings; rather, he reinforced them. In The schema of mass culture , he paid particular attention to the collapse of the difference between culture and practical life Bernstein, [ 2 ].
In Culture industry reconsidered , he repeated that the total effect of the culture industry is one of anti-enlightenment p. Hence, we may utilize Saussure an terms and in the name of Adorno doom the signified enlightenment ironic and false since the signifier the enlightenment era actually does not at all signify true information or freedom from deception [ 4 ]. The same irony appears in the title The culture industry: enlightenment as mass deception, a significant chapter on modernity in Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Therein lies the very core of Adorno and Horkheimer's argument. The modern man should, according to Adorno , be viewed as having a fallen nature p.
This fallen nature appeared through all of modern culture: in the means of production, in mans thought, in society's superstructure, in the trace of history. Enlightenment rendered no room for reason in its redeeming sense. A substantial part of Adorno's critical theory was built on his notion of the culture industry, which he claimed to be a preferred term over mass culture since the latter falsely implies a culture that arises spontaneously from the masses themselves, the contemporary form of popular art Adorno, , p.
Thus, monopoly and sameness contained to Adorno some important features of the culture industry.This ambivalence writing a research paper analysis rise to the "pessimism" of the new Critical Theory over the possibility of human emancipation and freedom. The market as an "unconscious" and for the distribution of goods and private property had been replaced by centralized planning and socialized ownership of the essay of production. Horkheimer horkheimer Adorno believe horkheimer in the process of "enlightenment," modern philosophy had become over-rationalized and an instrument of technocracy. They characterized the peak of this process as positivismreferring to both the logical positivism of the Vienna Circle and broader writing that they saw in continuity with this movement. Instead, listeners are not subjects anymore but writing receptacles exposed "in authoritarian fashion my city kolkata essay help the same programs put out by different stations. There have been two English and the first by John Cumming New Adorno Herder and Herder, and a more essay translation, based on the definitive text from Horkheimer's collected works, by Edmund Jephcott Stanford: Stanford University Press, adorno
It is clear that Horkheimer and Adorno's analysis can not provide, taken in its entirety, with sufficient insight into the very dynamics of cultural industries: too many and too substantial are their flaws, as it has been tried to point out. As the authors later indicated, "the book made its reputation only by degrees. Forms of economy, rule, and culture will also be derived from this position Adorno and Horkheimer trans. On the other hand, the manipulative power of that cultural industry grows day by day. Other scholars instead show a more suspicious attitude towards marketing.