The Culture Industry

2067 Words 9 Pages
In today’s western capitalist societies individuals are consciously and subconsciously immersed into the constantly growing world of technology, with the internet, social media and global connectivity. This emergence of new media and technology has profound effects on society and individuals. Thus, bringing forth the theory of ‘the Culture Industry’ and its relevance today. The culture industry argument was developed by Adorno and Horkheimer and focuses on the effects of capitalist mass media and cultural commodities on society, and whether its effects are still relevant. Today ownership of cultural production continuously grows, increasing the standardisation of commodities being mass produced and consumed (Cook, 1996). The internet and social …show more content…
The internet, as expressed by Dahlberg (2005) is a medium that provides a global space for communication and information, through media networking users are able to engage globally with issues, enabling them to express their thoughts and have some control. This differs from Adorno and Horkheimers notion of consumers lacking freedom. The internet is two-way and offers a space for expression and “for domination discourses and power relations to be contested” (Dahlberg, 2005, p.93). While today humans can use the internet to access information and have the choice between different media sources, the majority stick to what is known. For example, popular news media dominates and focuses on western, commercialised news, thus increasing consumption of less diverse news (Dahlberg, 2005). Through the internet users have more control as they can express opinions on discussion boards and networking sites and are able to choose their media source. However, the freedom of online communication is threatened due to the domination of corporate ownership and the entirety of control over the medium (Dahlberg, 2005). Still, the internet has changed the relevance of the culture industry by increasing freedom of choice and expression, which conflicts with the culture industry argument. Social media is significant in the arguments relevance. Today, narcissism has highly intensified through use of networking …show more content…
However, freedom is still limited, and we are in a world that is immersed in advertising which constantly projects media messages, sublimating society. The culture industry argument is less relevant in the sense that consumers have a wider range of freedom of choice, however, overall it is more relevant today. Firstly, today mass media dominates society and is inescapable. There are many forms and its consumption is increasing. Cultural products are continuously standardised into commodities that offer false needs and satisfaction through pseudo-individualisation. Entertainment has expanded yet still lacks depth, and exchange value dominates. Individuals seek escape in what the culture industry offers, and succumb to the socio-psychological effects of escapism, one-dimensional self, and continue to react rather than reflect. The culture industry argument continues to be a relevant theory, despite the various changes brought on from development of

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