Adorno & Horkheimer

I really enjoyed reading this piece because it gave me a lot of insight to how today’s society, culture and industries operates and what the future could look like. I think that the idea that Adorno and Horkeimer have that culture is an industry in itself and runs society is undoubtedly and sadly true. I believe that popular culture today such as certain movies and music is an industry. Today most of the time, movies, art and music are not about the artistic values, morals, and meaning, it is about money. What is popular makes money, which is why today’s culture is an industry striving for dollars. Like Adorno stated, “Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish they deliberately produce.” (72). 


It really scares me that if you are not a producer of media you have to accept what you are given, it’s like you are an individual in society without a voice and has to take what you are thrown. In the reading Adorno discusses Kant and how his formalism allowed for individuals to discuss back, but today’s culture industry doesn’t allow this concept .” The sound film, far surpassing the theatre of illusion, leaves no room for imagination or reflection on the part of the audience, who is unable to respond within the structure of the film.” (75)


The whole definition of what is personality today is ironic because people like things that we are given. No one is really unique in this world because we really are controlled by this “cultural industry”. If I say I like watching The Hills, is that what I really like? Or do I just like it because I was shown it and like it. There is a difference because if The Hills wasn’t introduced to society then I wouldn’t know what it was and like it. Did it’s popularity get me interested in watching it? Thus lead to a bigger audience, more seasons and money for these creators…CAPITALISM

In essence we as individuals in society are products because we are what listens to music, we are who wears brands such as Pacific Sunwear, so we are walking products of manufactures.

I think that Chomsky and Herman’s Progaganda Model is similar in thinking of as Adorno and Horkheimer because Chomsky and Herman believe that what we are given by corporations are bias and filtered, so what we as individuals in society are given is just what we are given, it’s our culture industry and the news that “our” culture has to follow. (we are controlled by industry)


2 Responses to “Adorno & Horkheimer”

  1. I completely agree with you on Adorno statement, “Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish they deliberately produce.” (72). Indeed today television, music, and all forms of art have lost their importance and have just become a source of money making game. I believe that today’s generations has lost its meaning of culture and hold no value against it. We are being lead by a culture that is industry driven running for money. I think we as viewers/consumers should try our best to stop this and bring back out very own culture.

  2. One of the questions that I kept going back to over and over was this. Is the culture industry trying to control what we see, feel, etc. through the entertainment media? Or are they giving us what they think we want? What they think we can handle?
    The culture industry is based on the bottom line. Every day there are meetings on Hollywood lots, where people look at a new, innovative, original idea and decide not to produce it because the “people” aren’t ready for it.

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