Cultural Studies: Adorno And Stuart Hall

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Cultural studies is an academic space of empirically, theoretically and politically engaged cultural analysis coined by British academics during the time period of 1950-1970. The concept has been further analysed and examined by theorists from different areas of expertise around the world. Based on the theorisations of Marxism came about The Birmingham and The Frankfurt school of cultural studies. In the essay I will consider the differences between these two schools in relation to their approaches to culture and audience. In particular I will compare and contrast the works of key theorists such as Adorno and Stuart Hall in relation to their theories of mass culture and audience. I will also take due consideration as to how the historical and…show more content…
Whilst in exile in the USA key theorists Max Horkheimer and T.W. Adorno developed an account of the “culture industry” calling attention to how industrialized and commercialized culture had become under capitalist relations of production. This observation was most evident through the overwhelmingly low level of state support for film and television industries. Mass culture was highly commercialised which was a key facture in determining a capitalist society. This became a focus of critical cultural…show more content…
In The views of The Birmingham School, media culture induces individuals to conform to the established organization of society but it also lends resources that can empower individual against that society. (Kellner, D (1995))

In conclusion, calling attention to mass media, cultural studies relates to how the audience can decode the messages put forward by the media. More specifically in relation to their individual socio and economic background. This in turn can lead to the rejection of the dominant ideology. Whilst the Birmingham school, in particular Stuart hall would be in favour of the audience’s capability to decode the messages of the media The Frankfurt School has less belief that the audience form their own understanding but rather base their opinions solely on what the media encodes. Both the Frankfurt school and The Birmingham School base their theorisations on the workings of Karl Marx their conclusions about cultural and audience
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