The Cultural And Social Characteristics Of Industrialization And Capitalism

1632 Words 7 Pages
INTRODUCTION When considering how culture perpetuates capitalism, one must reflect on key features of capitalist ideology and how it can easily influence groups and individuals once integrated into a societies collective consciousness. The vast literature on capitalist culture describes how it creates a deeply embedded, socially manipulative structure that places emphasis on the cultural and social importance of goods and commodities (Dunn 2008:47), and how individuals’ thoughts and behaviour are influenced by ideas through entertainment and media to produce consent for a capitalist system (Adorno and Horkheimer 1947:35). These inquiries into materialism and capitalism took prominence during the rise of industrialization and technological …show more content…
In other words, cultural goods are not bought or sold for their quality (they are identical and mass produced), it is the culture industries goal to construct a need for their products by arousing consumers to spend (Dunn 2008:22). Some theorists believe that in reality, society is becoming increasingly ‘one dimensional’ in what is produced and consumed and that product differentiation is redundant as its sole purpose is to increase demand (Ibid:33). Any differentiation between products is trivial and only serves to preserve the illusion that people have a range of choice and competition when in reality, the culture industry is unified because manufacturers and corporations cooperate for domination and the accumulation of capital (Which will be discussed further in the third section) (Adorno and Horkheimer …show more content…
As previously discussed, the large-scale production and marketing of commodities combined with the capitalist “way of life” place false needs on the consumer (Ibid:35). The issue herein is on the other side of consumption: the elites whom control the means of production. As consumption becomes a large, more consolidated and unified practice among individual in a society, the corporate elites who produce goods also become unified (Adorno and Horkheimer 1947:32). This can be seen in modern day society with large conglomerates acquiring smaller companies in order to condense the market so that they may sell their standardized products with less competition or alternative options for their consumers, thus centralizing power (Ibid). In short, individuals are the subjects of society who supposedly act freely and rationally while elites whom control production, and consequently the culture industry, cooperate by setting the parameters on what is produced, how much it is worth, and who will consume it

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