Culture Industry Analysis

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 standardisation of the culture industry impacts the market, profit driven global world of today. Adorno states that culture has become uniform, each product is an imitation. However, when new works are established, they must appear to have some form of novelty and originality, this occurs through the process pseudo-individualisation, which creates the illusion of free choice (Held, 1980). Strinati (1995) states that by attributing individuality to a product, it manipulates the consciousness of the consumer; the more a product is standardised, the more individualised it appears, which increases consumption. He adds that this enforces the acceptance of the culture industry as standardisation is masked by pseudo-individualisation, “this ideology is corrupting and manipulative, and underpins the dominance of the market and commodity fetishism” (p.56), mass society becomes easy to manipulate and control (Held, 1980). A relevant example of then and now, is the standardisation of popular music, the production of easy listening music. The culture industry uses standardisation to remove originality, challenge or intellectual stimulation (Strinati, 1995). It is ‘light’ entertainment that encourages consumers to withdraw themselves from anything meaningful. Popular music lacks depth and the possibility for consumers to critically think. Today, the music industry is filled with similar artists and popular genres, which share similar qualities yet have their individual distinctions. Popular music disguises its standardisation through stylistic variations to make songs seem distinct and different (Strinatti, 1995). Consumers are able to identify with a song or an artist and feel as if it is special to them, making them want to purchase more. For example, boy bands; each band is comprised of attractive young men who

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