Politics Literature And The Arts Term Paper


¶ … public sphere and the culture industry: has the former been fundamentally corrupted through the latter? Are there new possibilities that the culture industry has to offer politics? The public sphere of artistic discourse is one in which, according to Theodor Adorno, the culture industry sells its commodity goods that masquerade as truth and art. Where the media and world of art should speak to a kind of anti-structured and individualistic discourse, according to Adorno, allowing the words of the artist to rally against the common and stereotyped patterns that are tempting for citizens to fall into, instead the culture industry merely reaffirms and panders to these preexisting tropes, and makes viewers feel comfortable with what they consider to be the truth, although these truths are often of a nature that 'America is good,' or 'America is beautiful.' Adorno's student Habermas, although less skeptical of the Enlightenment than his founding teacher, would suggest that cultural warriors and thinkers as well as artists should rally to the truth rather than to empty cliches.

Both Adorno and Habermas would agree that the culture industry...


In other words, by stuffing the ears, eyes, and minds of the public discourse with sentiment, the public's energies are directed away from real works of art and the real truths of science and politics. In a place where time and money are finite, commodity goods become attractive to consumers' time, and are bought in shows of superficial cultural display, or as manufactured displays of wealth, bought for show or exhibiting one's wealth's sake alone ('Look how much I spent on a movie ticket! But the film won an Academy Award! The critics loved it!) People consume culture with an interest in the commodity, rather than what the artistic products actually say in and of themselves, or what the products reveal about society in a critical fashion.
Thus in his essay upon "The Culture Industry Reconsidered" Theodor Adorno puts forth the thesis that the culture industry and modern life remains a relatively corrupt institution, in terms of its ability to impinge upon…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Adorno, Theodore. "The Culture Industry Reconsidered" In Critical Theory and Society. Edited by Bronner and Kellner.

Habermas, P. "The Public Sphere." In Critical Theory and Society. Edited by Bronner and Kellner.

"Hearts and Minds." Directed by Peter Davis. 1974

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