Can speak Chinese, Cantonese and French. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Stanley Kubrick is a virtuoso filmmaker; Stephen Spielberg is neo-colonialist ideologue. It is fabricated by technicians hired by businessmen; its audiences are passive consumers, their participation limited to the choice between buying and not buying. Only the art of the avant-garde can do this. Frankfurt School. It may be said that the Frankfurt theorists were more elitist than they realized. I hope you will like them too. These are the three most forceful criticisms of popular culture proposed by the Frankfurt critical theorists: popular culture is an instrument for maintaining class privilege, its heavy use of kitsch panders to people's infantile wishes for how the world ought to be, and it does not present to its audience a vision of the world that is different, and morally better, than the one in which we live. The Frankfurt School are (on the whole) highly dismissive of popular culture because they see the ‘culture industry’ and the products that it churns out as being little more than propaganda for capitalism. Another point that The Frankfurt School has highlighted to us in order to contribute to our understanding of popular culture is that a lot of culture is very homogeneous. For the Frankfurt School it was popular culture, or to use their phrase, the "Culture Industry", seeing culture inextricably linked with the economy, that played a highly manipulative role in society. It is built into a society's myths and philosophy, and when the proletariat adopts it as their own view of the world, they have been co-opted by a false consciousness that hides from them the desperate condition of their lives under the capitalist system. This is achieved in the way that art erects a world above the familiar world, and true works of art thus "harbor principles through which the world that bore them appears alien and false." The patrician and the dissenter can thus link hands over the heads of the petty bourgeoisie."46. 1st Jan 1970 Cultural Studies Reference this Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a university student. Marx had predicted that capitalism was an unstable system, on the verge of crisis and a revolution from below. This roving high art/low art norm is what was expressed in the boos from the crowd when Bob Dylan fired up his amplifier at the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival. It has been transformed from an aesthetic elitism that absolutely dismissed all manifestations of popular culture into an elitism that is internal to popular culture. "Whenever one hears admiring talk of the savage, one can be sure that one is in the presence of sophisticates. But there are still plenty of theorists in the Frankfurt camp, although the central critique that popular culture is an opiate of the masses is now blamed more on impersonal forces that have taken on a life of their own than on powerful individuals. A fourth criticism of popular culture that can be found in the Frankfurt School, but which was further developed by a similarly-minded group of New York intellectuals who were associated with the journal Partisan Review, is found in the distinction they draw between "folk art" and "mass culture. While this does not necessarily make chain stores the agents of subduing the masses, it does have a homogenizing effect on the popular culture materials that manage to attain broad circulation.48 Another unsettling statistic: according to sociologist Michael Dawson, Big business in the United States now spends well over a trillion dollars a year on marketing. In today’s social life, though the process of production of media content is highly structured, and we as “the audience” have been used to consuming our daily media products, that does not mean we have lost our ability to critique the media content we take in. (2020, October 6). Macdonald reaches the absolute conclusion that "Mass Culture is not and can never be any good. These industries are overseen by the powerful heads of economic, political, and military establishments who hire specialists to reiterate through various media the ideology of capitalism. Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Leo Lowenthal, and Erich Fromm It served to control the masses thus removing any threat to the dominant capitalist class. A second important feature of their dismissal of popular culture is its affinity for kitsch. In inciting this judgment, true art - avant-garde art - enables one, then, to imagine a world different from that in which we live.41. I believe that mass culture hasn’t significantly altered people’s ability to analyse new information critically. Their distinction between genuine art and manufactured kitsch - art as an authentic expression of some unsettling truth, which can be fully appreciated only by the initiated, and kitsch as a form of commerce that panders to our illusions about ourselves and that prettifies reality - continues to serve as a norm familiar to most of us. Beside, in this blog page, I will try my best to give out some interesting ideas. It is easy to dismiss the Frankfurt and Mass Culture critiques of popular culture as being shrill and elitist. View all posts by Louis Huang. For example, when we watch the entertainment news on television, we instantly take in most of the information, and have our first impression on the new. Michael Bolton is a mawkish crooner, a singing commodity ( Frankfurt School ’ s attempt to destabilize culture... 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