Idealism, Realism, and Critical Theory

Authored by: Fred Rush

The Routledge Companion to the Frankfurt School

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138333246
eBook ISBN: 9780429443374
Adobe ISBN:


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One of the central components of Adorno’s thought, as well as that of the first generation of critical theorists more generally, is a critique of the “culture industry.” The term is coined in Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment, one chapter of which is devoted to the topic. This chapter is a critical investigation of the main claims in that chapter, with attention primarily paid to the treatment of film. There is also discussion of the background provided by Adorno’s earlier work on musical reproduction and radio. The chapter concludes by connecting “The Culture Industry” with later essays of Adorno in which he revisits and revises his views.

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