Walter Benjamin's Theory Of Mass Culture And Social Theory

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The Frankfurt School of thought is associated with German-American theorists who critically analyzed the changes in Western capitalist societies, prevailing since the theory of Marx developed during the period ranging from 1920s to early 1930s. Theorists known as Leo Lowenthal, Herbert Marcuse, T.W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Erich Fromm developed some of the initial accounts within critical social theory. This indicated the importance of mass culture and communication in social reproduction and domination. It also produced one of the first models of critical cultural studies. These studies analyzed the processes of cultural production and political economy, politics of cultural texts, audience reception and application of cultural artifacts.…show more content…
He was a distinctive theorist, remotely associated with the Institute. Benjamin’s writing in 1930s, distinguished the features in new technologies of cultural production; such as photography, film industry, and radio channels. In "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" (1969), Benjamin explained how new mass media were supplanting older forms of culture. Thereby, the mass reproduction of photography, film, recordings, and publications replaced the emphasis on the originality and "aura" of the work of art in an earlier era. Benjamin questioned that progressive ethnic designers should re-assess the apparatus of cultural production. Thus, turning theater and film into a forum of political enlightenment and discussion rather than a medium of audience pleasure .He recognized that film could create a new kind of ideological magic through the cult of celebrity and techniques like the close-up that promoted certain stars via the technology of the cinema screen. Benjamin was one of the first fundamental cultural critics to look prudently at the form and technology of media culture. He evaluated its multifaceted nature and…show more content…
The culture industry thesis defined both the production of cultural products and homogenized subjectivities. Mass culture for the Frankfurt School shaped faiths, dreams, needs, doubts, and fears. It also describes an unending need for consumer products. The culture industry produced cultural consumers who would consume its products and conform to the dictates and the behaviors of the existing society. Nevertheless, as Walter Benjamin pointed out; the culture industry also produces rational and critical consumers able to dissect and discriminate among cultural texts and performances. Such as the sports fans learn to analyze and criticize sports

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