Teodor Adorno 's Critique on Mass Culture
“ When I was, later, confronted to the problematic of measuring culture, I understood that culture
had to be precisely this condition that exclude any mindset able to measure it” - Teodor Adorno -
Before the development of education and mass communication techniques, the production and
diffusion of culture followed a simple logic: only a cast of privileged – aristocrats and bourgeois -
had access to a “high culture” (Curran, 1997). Only since the XXth century and the change of the
political landscape as well as the evolution of technology and the liberalisation of the economy has
this trend started to change. Indeed, the rise of large scale press, the invention of cinema, the
success of radio and television, the commercialisation of pocket books and more recently the
uprising of internet and multimedia allowed the majority - which had been excluded because of a
lack of economic wealth - to access information, discover the artistic patrimony and listen to music.
Therefore, the media played an undeniable role in the democratization of culture. Nevertheless,
the question needs to be asked: did this large scale production and diffusion of information erased
all types of cultural inequalities?
This is one of the questions that many academics such as Adorno (2001) tried to understand by
questioning the effects of the industrialisation of culture and media on individuals' culture.
The development of “mass media” has been influencing cultural work and it is thus crucial to
analyse its effects on the audience's independence of thinking. We will also try to understand if
mass communication techniques create a globali...
... middle of paper ...
...ndardisation of culture doesn't necessary imply
a homogenization of consumption.
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