culture industry

Related Overviews

Frankfurt School

Max Horkheimer (1895—1973) German philosopher and sociologist

critical theory

Theodor Adorno (1903—1969) German philosopher, sociologist, and musicologist

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'culture industry' can also refer to...

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Jeffrey A. Drobney. Lumbermen and Log Sawyers: Life, Labor, and Culture in the North Florida Timber Industry, 1830–1930. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press. 1997. Pp. x, 241. $39.95

Nicola White. Reconstructing Italian Fashion: America and the Development of the Italian Fashion Industry. (Dress, Body, Culture.) New York: Berg. 2000. Pp. xvii, 181. Cloth $65.00, paper $19.50

Eric J. Vettel. Biotech: The Countercultural Origins of an Industry. (Politics and Culture in Modern America.) Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 2006. Pp. xv, 273. $39.95

Paul Rosen. Framing Production: Technology, Culture, and Change in the British Bicycle Industry. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002. xi + 224 pp. ISBN 0‐262‐18225‐4, $29.95


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1. For Adorno and the critical theorists of the Frankfurt school, the mass-media entertainment industry and commercialized popular culture, which they saw as primarily concerned with producing not only symbolic goods but also needs and consumers, serving the ideological function of diversion (see also diversion function), and thus depoliticizing the working class. Note the provocative collocation of these traditionally antithetical terms, as in art vs commerce, aesthetics vs entertainment, or even rock vs pop. See also commodification; commodity fetishism; consciousness industries; mass culture; compare consumer society; cultural industries.

2. For British and American cultural theorists, the press and broadcasting media framed as regulators of information flow in relation to political issues of media ownership and control. See also cross-media ownership; market model; media controls; political economy; public service broadcasting.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies — Media Studies.

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