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Lecture 4

Week 4 Lecture Guide.doc

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SOC 202
Margaret Buckby

Week 4 Perspectives on the Production of Culture The Frankfurt School Philosophy  1940s Germany  Autonomous  Conscience of society  Criticized the establishment  Questioned dominant ideology Frankfurt School: Questioning Dominant Ideology  Ruling class  Most accepted ideas  How ruling parties maintain their power Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer 1  Frankfurt School scholars  Ultimate goal to inform the masses of mass deception  One of their most important works – The Mass Society Theory Mass Society Theory 1) Media are a negative force 2) Mass media are all powerful 3) Individuals are vulnerable 4) Consolidation of power 5) Decline of cultural standards “The culture industry: Enlightenment as mass deception” (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1947, 1972) 2  Criticism of mass culture  Movies and film  Standardization (‘dumbing down’) What is the Culture Industry?  profit-making  lowest common denominator  Instrumental Rationality Examples: Privatization of services Multiple choice tests 3 Creation of Consumers  Example: 2012 Super Bowl commercial cost Style  Popular styles are false and
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