Analysis Of Adorno And Horkheimer

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Adorno and Horkheimer on Culture Industry as the Anti-Culture Industry:
Enlightenment as Mass Deception

With a strongly detesting attitude toward the rise of the modern industry of popular culture, the article written by Adorno and Horkheimer on the culture industry gives the audience a sense that: instead of being called culture industry, it is rather a manifesto about anti-culture industry. It is indicated that “the culture industry administers a non-spontaneous, reified, phony culture rather than the real thing” (Jay 1973). By criticizing and protesting against the mass deception caused by the culture industry disguised in its enlightenment form, the authors defend the sacred place of the traditional art and the high culture, for the sake
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And in the authors’ view, these results are corrupting people’s souls. The consequences of mechanical reproducibility make culture lovers regard the pre-capitalist time as the ideal era, when the high art had not been converted into the mass culture as in the modern time (Adorno and Horkheimer 1944). Being transformed into the mass product, high art has to undergo the procedure of altering its essential components in order to fit into the schema of the mass culture - the components indispensable in distinguishing the high art from the popular culture (Adorno and Horkheimer 1944). The Croatian pianist Maksim Mrvica is a musician who is enthusiastic about translating the classical masterpieces of music score into modern versions. By adding elements such as strong beats and rock music equipments, he has written and played numbers of popular pieces, with the edited modern version of Handel’s Sarabande being one of …show more content…
Light art, in the form of entertainment, “accompanied autonomous art as its shadow” (Adorno and Horkheimer 1944). Yet, the resulting antithesis of both spheres, can be reconciled by “absorbing light art into serious or vice versa” (Adorno and Horkheimer 1944), which is fundamentally the attempts of the culture industry. Thus, the essence of it can be understood as blending the high art and the low art together, which is the fusion of culture and entertainment. Under the manipulation of the ruling class, the mass production from the producers leads to the mass deception among the consumers in the cultural market. The culture industry is viewed as an “entertainment business” (Adorno and Horkheimer 1944), where the rulers control their consumers through the means of

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