Analysis Of Theodor Adorno's Dialectic Of Enlightenment

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It is clear Theodor Adorno gives a better understanding of a contemporary society through his theories along with Marxists Ideologies. He believes all of society’s problems originate from capitalism and its ruling class. Theodor Adorno was a German philosopher who was a part of the Frankfurt School. Their aim was to develop a psychological understanding of problems in which were produced in capitalist’s societies (Held, p. 533). An example of the factors they criticise is mass culture and its results on the public. The Frankfurt school’s critical theory gives Adorno his understanding of contemporary society along with the theories that stem from Karl Marx. Marx influenced Adorno’s view on society with his ideas of alienation and commodity fetishism.…show more content…
The culture industry and market commercials are dominant institutions because of the power of the media. This power of the media comes from the Capitalists as they are the driving force to the consumption of goods. In Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment, his theory of mass culture consists of our imaginations being taken by false realities. The consumer no longer can think for themselves and instead are planted with ideas of prescribed happiness. According to Adorno, propaganda was not only used under Fascism but see’s it being used to manipulate. Modern forms of advertisement sets audiences to believe that if we the consumer is unhappy it can be changed through money. Television shows, films, magazines portray a false world. For example, shows on television give audience a hope for change. Shows which include body fixers, operation transformation and snog, marry or avoid makes us want to be healthier, prettier, skinner because then we will be ‘happy’. The power of mass culture is thinking for the individual in which creativity and freedom to think for oneself is taken away. Adorno’s perception of the culture industry is compared to an “open prison” taking the uniqueness of a person (Martin, p.154). Contemporary societies are oppressed with the commercial markets and the need for change to alter one’s individual happiness. Who says happiness can’t be bought? It is clear the markets create advertising to show its consumer market that they’re missing something and that they ‘really’ need it. As well as Adorno, Gramsci focuses towards the domination of the media, mass culture but focuses his theory under cultural hegemony. The theorist’s definition for the public and private sphere in the world i.e. macro institutions such as parties, trade unions of the state. These were using idea’s that would control the ordinary people. Likewise, with Adorno and Marx, macro

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