Culture industry

the term culture industry marks the industrialized production of culture, thus from “cultural properties”. It is a core range of the work of the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno. Its term of the culture industry arises for the first time in the publication “dialectic of the clearing-up “(Adorno/Horkheimer 1948):Culture industry is the “willentliche integration of their customers from above”. With this the early period of the “critical theory “is terminated.

With culture industry Adorno means later the social implication of cultural events and products. Adorno expected, from the theses to the culture industry an answer to thoseTo find question, why the antagonistic, capitalistic society contradictory from culture-Marxist view in itself is stable. This social cement, how Erich pious called it, should be the culture industry, which acts as means of rule and integration. This integration by the culture industry is based also upthe statement that production adjusts always also the consumption. He sees this in the mental one as in the material one, particularly since the culture industry actually points already strong material tendencies out.

Table of contents

a goods character of culture products

Adorno essentially refers with the analysis of culture products to two fundamental methods of the view of goods:

  1. On the other hand places to the goods character definition after Marx, with the distinction between value in use
  2. and exchange valueit culture commodity authentic works of art in relation to

to the first point is described the following: In the usefulness of an article, the value in use is certain a human need to quiet according to Marx: “The usefulness of a thing makes it the value in use”. The value in use is thus the article immanent, during the exchange valueonly by the exchange of the product among the persons develops: In this moment the product became the commodity. Marx says also, the exchange - and so the exchange value - is konstitutiv for the fact that an article is a “commodity”. Capitalism, after Marx, putsit essentially produced on “exchange value production” on, will its products nevertheless from the beginning to be exchanged. The “authentic work of art”, which was designated in the second point, is considered to the culture commodity as contrast. With these two methods Adorno submits the culture industry of a critical analysis. Adorno divides thoseAnalysis into two sections, in order to represent the difference of the culture forwards and during the using culture industry. Adorno did this as follows:

  • civil liberal age
  • late capitalism
    • art and culture stands for emancipation
    • of art and culture went a critical impulse out of
      • art and culture was against constantin its attitudes opposite powerful opponents
    • art and culture were relatively autonomously
    • art and culture were able it in such a way beyond the social reality to develop and change ideas develop
  • by the culture industry have themselves the content of culture change
    • the autonomous character of the culturehas itself mostly dissolved
  • the culture world divides into 2 parts:
    • Large range of culture kulturindustrieller goods
    • small range of authentic, remaining civil art
  • culture kulturindustrielle works therefore these step as now “true” art in the civil liberal ages had according to Adorno art as

inheriting the civil culture to the placewhen a always elitäre are regarded - in the dialectic of the clearing-up Adorno speaks of the civil art, which was bought by beginning with the exclusion of the subclass. It however always oriented itself at the collective public interest, and was beneficial for this. Their impulses were it,the one development for the society made possible. Starting from the age of late capitalism this task changed as engine of the society. Of an art, those according to Adorno their value particularly in itself - a value in use in the regard that the need after social justice fulfillsbecomes - a product of the market, whose value results from how frequently it is exchanged. This art lost its autonomous character, by being able to be stamped as means for the purpose (the generation of capital). For reaching evenly this purposethe culture industry, to which the autonomy of the art was lost, created a meanwhile global network. This consists in its essential structure of the culture production, which produces culture goods: evenly the culture goods, which are distributed everywhere on the world. Secondly it creates the culture market, that as binding memberbetween the goods and the consumers acts, which finally represent the fourth link of this structure network:

With the arising of the industrialization, the extending of the communication possibilities and the occurrence of first supraregional newspapers the situation of the culture enterprise was a new. Without this situation would be a culture industrynot possible been. Each culture product, under it the mass media in the special, turned around according to Adorno of the culture industry delivered - and. Industry and product are always in a such measure linked with one another, so that it as one to be seen to be able. Media, like all culture products, are also a productthe culture industry. Culture products of the culture industry depend thus, so Adorno, not after the own content and on stimmiger organization, but rather after the utilization. The entire practice of the culture industry transfers the motive for profit brightly to the mental thing. [...] Mental things culture kulturindustriellen of style are, like that Adornosummarizing, not longer also goods, but they are thoroughly it.

the public

from the goods existence described in preceded the chapter results it that the commodity culture must find their consumers also as such. Goods find their consumers if thesein them a use sees - or believes to see in them a use. Striving from the situation of the artist or the apparatus, who surrounds it, out, to reach a customer leads to an adjustment to this customer. Thus again the culture loses thoseFunction of the critical moment of the society and becomes a Integrativen. The public acted however during this exchange process not demanding, but can be served as it were by the culture. Culture, so Adorno, falls into the area of life of the spare time. Spare time however is only the regenerativ phase,those the operating phase subject is. As regenerativ phase it is to take up thus if possible to little energy. But the culture tries to train itself.

reciprocal effect: Subject <-> Mass consumption goods

a manipulation, was certain for Adorno, proceeds from the culture industry.This however is not by any means an intended, still another controlled and into a direction striving; rather this manipulation creeps quietly in front. Nothing the defiance scoops out this dripping water on the stone of the society this with security. Adorno states this manipulativen effect on two moments:

  1. The individual becomesin addition, from the culture industry on the consumer role
  2. reduces the culture industry feeds the consumers with trivial, superficial

futilenesses thereby becomes clear: It concerns at the culture industry around a culture coinage led by elite and not what the predecessor term mass culture can state, itconcerns a culture of the masses, not around a people culture. Adorno writes this also in “culture criticism and society”:

“We (it refers to itself and Horkheimer, NSM) replace the expression (mass culture, NSM) through “to culture industry”, in order to switch the interpretation off from the beginning, those thatLawyers of the thing genehm is: that it concerns something like spontaneously out of the masses themselves ascending culture, around the present shape of people art ".

The “elite” in the sense Adorno is however no participants of a conspiracy. They are not gesinnt going by, the culture, their criticalInfluence because of to control and float they into the Trivialität, but them are “tried participants of capitalism, by the structure its” to make everything the commodity.

With the fact that to the commodity one degenerated to culture, must that, which in its spare time the culture inRequirement to take wants to count, thus consumer. Der Konsument wiederum muss von der Industrie mit dem bedient werden, was er will, was er versteht, was ihn nicht verwirrt, mit eingängigen Melodien, einfach gestrickten Krimis und Filmen, bei denen man von Anfang an weiß, wer am Endewill laugh. Exactly this is now the reciprocal effect between the subject and the culture industry. This cycle, above already frequently and again and again described, is the vicious circle, from which the way out was not found, and from that a way out does not exist possibly at all.

Influence of the ideology, which affirmiert culture industry, on the society

the consequences of the culture industry on the mental attitude of the society are not only the mental stagnation, it are various others. One can divide these into:

  1. Influence on the subject: Culture industry works here as a mediator betweenIndustry and public. In this mediator position it has also an influence on the consciousness-shaping of humans, because which is not spread by culture objects, those was stated, like already, sharings at the nature of the culture industry, happens nowadays not.
  2. The effect in the subject: Culture industry prevents the trainingthe ability to critical thinking. Thus it is also prevented that humans of this culture industry with contradiction advance toward.

Culture industry is thus also rule-stabilizing. This rule stabilization is not a Mitläufer of the effects of culture industry, but nature of the culture industry. She suggests her thoughts to the public. Culture industry reaches alsothis Suggestivkraft that she defines humans the yardsticks, after which the culture industry it is to measure these. Adorno brings to it in the minima Moralia an appropriate example:

“The realization of suffering, which produces it to forbid belongs and straight lines to the mechanism of the rule,Away does not lead from the gospel of the joy of life to the establishment of people slaughter houses so right at the back in Poland that everyone can talk itself the own people comrades, it hears the shouts of pain any longer. “

This is the glare connection, which Adorno states again and again, and which in the highest sense is undemocratic.Who would permit that the which a law breaks the law creates itself, which is to be consulted for the calculation of its debt? Apart from the rule-stabilizing moment the culture industry also some more different one is immanent: The diverson of humans of the substantial one (the culture object) to the secondary one. Adornostated that “in place of the benefit a participating and an answer knowledge” step. Thomas Gebur gives in addition the following example:

“The opera attendance comes to the social event; the exchange value of a premiere consists to be seen in seeing and. [...] It (the work, the opera) is only cause of a Events. “

Notbesides thus contents of the opera count, that, should it a classical, not culture-industrial product be, hardly someone understand, but the operational readiness level and the twaddle. No more is not thought that the artist with the opera wanted to show; one thinks, like this piece on the publicworks, as the knowledge affects the subjective social position around this piece; is thought, what the occurrence, which could use participation in this Event one; is thought, what the other one thinks. Also this is an indication for the fact that autonomy was lost. Adorno intensifies this,by writing, once one was not allowed to dare to think freely; now this would be possible, but one could not no more, because one wants to only think, what one want was, and evenly that was felt as liberty.

see also


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