Part One: A number of scholars have feared the negative impact
that mass culture will have upon people’s critical capacities.
Briefly outline what those concerns are. (200-300)
- how mainstream media and culture is bad,
- from the perspective that it dilutes individualism with consumerism,
ultimately leading to a "culture industry" that is simplistic.
- This is bad for the individual and the society.
- Mass culture creates passive internalization of banal mass culture, seduces
into accepting banal entertainment
- Hoggart: questions tolerance to cultural debasement - a “clever man's
paradise” failing to recognizing the assault of mass culture on human
- Nietzsche: Modern man "has got lost”; "this modernity was our sickness: lazy
peace, cowardly compromise, the whole virtuous uncleanliness of the modern
Yes and No"
- The herd instinct -- abandoned desire for freedom and action; succumbing to
- Goethe - strong, highly educated, skilful, self-controlled, reverent towards
himself, tolerant, from weakness but from strength, whom nothing is
forbidden -- except weakness
- F.R. Leavis and Denys Thompson: with growth of urbanization culture has
been cut off from its organic roots within the community; genuine culture
being overshadowed by mass culture
- lost the organize community in which living culture is embodied – mass
culture is a substitute
- "the machine has brought us many advantages, but it has destroyed the old
ways of life, the old forms, and by reason of the continual rapid change it
involves, prevented the growth of new. Moreover, the advantage it brings us in
mass-production has turned out to involved standardization and leveling-down
outside the realm of mere material goods”
- Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse: The entertainment industry is the
vehicle of mass deception, production of mass culture is focused on
perfecting the techniques that will entertain and amuse rather than challenge
people. Marcuse – one dimensional man.
- Postman: focused on television, there is never the time or depth of coverage
that would stimulate real reflection and critical thinking on issues. Age of
- Gabler: Argues entertainment has become the universe within which all
media exerts their influence. Entertainment as cosmology.
- Huxleyan: state controls through pleasure and entertainment. Postman
would argue we now live in a world in which life is replicating art.
- Orwell: Culture becomes a prison. Ministry of Truth controls culture through
“prolefeed”, sensational novelettes, overly sexed films and sentimental songs
- "the negative impact that mass culture will have upon people’s critical
capacities" as "Mass culture is making people dumber and more s