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The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture [Copertina flessibile]

Theodor W. Adorno , J. M. Bernstein

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Amazon.com: 4.2 su 5 stelle  4 recensioni
33 di 36 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle The Critique of Mass-Culture Par Excellence 25 agosto 2007
Di Harumi O. Moruzzi - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato
In our banal age when sanctimonious platitude is often mistaken for wisdom or even ethical character, Adorno's mercilessly uncompromising analyses of the controlling nature of mass culture may initially strike some of us as exaggerated or hysterical initially. After all most of us now bear the consequence of lengthy habituation to our socio-economic situation: a chronic semi-conscious, autopilot behavioral and perceptive mode that can comprehend only the pre-digested, repetitive ideas or ways of thinking. However, once we start reading Adorno more attentively and thoughtfully we realize how prescient and perspicacious Adorno was as a critic of our modern society and culture. Many of his thoughts articulated in this volume anticipate the thoughts and writings of our leading contemporary thinkers, such as Jean Baudrillard, Frederic Jameson, and even Noam Chomsky (although he probably disagrees with Adorno's attitude toward culture, which may be construed as elitist).

I highly recommend this book to anybody who wants to escape the mass-culture induced stupor to become a more conscious human and citizen.
10 di 10 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
3.0 su 5 stelle A Variety of Frankfurt School Criticism 6 marzo 2012
Di A Certain Bibliophile - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina rigida
More a collection of related essays and less a book with a coherent, unified message, this is a set of nine essays on a variety of topics. I'll list them here just to give the reader some idea of the vast area these essays cover. They are "On the Fetish Character in Music and the Regression of Listening," "The Schema of Mass Culture," "Culture Industry Reconsidered," "Culture and Administration," "Freudian Theory and the Pattern of Fascist Propaganda," "How to Look at Television," "Transparencies on Film," "Free Time," and "Resignation."

Like much of the writing that comes out of the Frankfurt School, this is heavily influenced by Marxism, especially their idea (Horkheimer collaborated with Adorno in writing some of the more important essays in this collection) that mass consumer culture has become commodified, reified, and fetishized. The "culture industry" refers to the processes of standardization, marketing, and distribution which become a part of objects themselves, and therefore indistinguishable from them. Everything has been subsumed under the logic of the mass market, which creates what Adorno and Horkheimer term "false needs" - those needs that capitalism invents, and that capitalism can uniquely satisfy.

What I found of particular interest with the idea of the culture industry was the resonance that it has with so many other critical thinkers like Baudrillard, Debord, Lyotard, and Marcuse, yet being written several years before the most important work of these thinkers (Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulation" didn't come out until 1981, Debord's "The Society of the Spectacle" until 1967, and Lyotard's "The Postmodern Condition" until 1979). Some of the essays in the second half of the book - "How to Look at Television" and "Transparencies on Film," especially - reminded me explicitly of the best writing on media of Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, and Raymond Williams.

While I credit Adorno for being an innovative, insightful social critic, the orthodox Marxism can become a little laborious and grating after a few essays. The best of his thought isn't a result of his Marxism at all, but rather his sociological and psychological observations, as is the case with most of the media criticism here. Whether it is the translation or the original writing, the style is at its worst overly turgid and obfuscating, which makes it only digestible in small doses, but Adorno seems like he is always worth the effort. I will probably come back to this again and again in an attempt to inform my readings of later Frankfurt School members, especially Fromm, Lowenthal, and Habermas.
10 di 17 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Challenging 3 novembre 2007
Di Lenard Denes - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile
This collection of essays is very interesting. They all cover a critique of mass culture with quite original and interesting points made.

Sometimes it is bit difficult to read, this might be due to the translation; for this reason it gets only 4 stars. However, if you think you are ok with a moderately complicated text, the book is really great. I am glad I have read it.
0 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Why I hate Lady Gaga 31 gennaio 2013
Di Mark Sarich - Pubblicato su Amazon.com
Formato:Copertina flessibile|Acquisto verificato
Profoundly lucid, sometimes ascorbic and always thorough. I suggest anyone who is wondering whether the music industry is killing music must read Callahan's "The Trouble With Music" and "The Culture Industry"!

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