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Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School
Transcript of Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School
Consciousness Industry and Culture Industry Approaches
Consciousness Industry Assumptions:
- Those at the top will try to stay in control and work for stability
- Those at the bottom will tend to resist and work for change
Within the consciousness industries, mass media work to convince the majority of people to identify with and support the present system.
Mass media offers a site through which ruling class ideologies can be shared as universal and "right." These ideas are then absorbed by larger culture.
Media are key players in defining social problems and shaping our opinions on how we think we can solve those problems.
Culture Industry Assumptions:
- Rise in mass produced cultural artifacts emerged from urbanization and industrialization
- Products are no longer created for their artistic or creative value, but only produced for their value in the marketplace ($)
The result of this is that cultural products (i.e., media) distract and divert; they are all similar in form/content.
Products give people an escape from the system that exploits and oppresses them, rather than encouraging them to change it.
In the culture industry, the market commodifies culture and sells it back to us for a price.
Use value becomes subordinate to exchange value.
Results of the culture industry on advertising and TV:
1.) To attract the broadest possible audience, programming must be generic and safe.
2.) Programs have to attract the right kinds of audiences
3.) Programs have to deliver audiences in the right frame of mind
4.) The form(s) of programs are also affected by the culture industry
* imitation phenomenon, recombinant culture
Hegemony and ideology