references, and bibliography
Theory and the Emergence of the Culture Industry
Frankfurt School (1923, Institute
for Social Research)
industry: increasing domination of society (local
- Marx and
economics as infrastructural base
- 1930s, 1940s,
and post WWII: Culture
as the product of society, and those in control of its production, came
to be seen as relatively independent from traditional capitalists
- Mass culture
(radio, magazines, newspapers, movies--now TV and internet)
- New "opiates"
for the masses
- Deflect critical
- More important
than work (40 hours versus 24/7)
- More insidious--creeps
- At work, domination
tends to be clear. Impact of technology (assembly line) is obvious. Cultural
control is "invisible."
- People tend
to desire more mass culture--we seek out our own domination.
common denominator (B movies, reality TV, soap operas)
- Time factor,
all work and play (with a bit of sleep); no time for critical thought
wants to be a millionaire?" (we desire to be like those who oppress
(and mass consumption)
Ford: adequate wage and shorter hours--time and money to spend
drives consumption--more and more time spent shopping.
harder and longer--more money to use for consumption. Mounting debt--more
- Less time
- Today: dominated
as shopping experiences
advertising tailored to consumer interests ("Minority Report")
malls more important than factories: temples of mass culture
- The Hollywood
Blockbuster (after blockbuster, after blockbuster).
- Loss of dialectic
between people and social structure.
- Loss of capacity
to think critically.
- We become
wrapped up in consumption rather than "becoming."
(at work and at play) comes to control us.
thinking: efficiency, ends--means (rationalization).
work (no ability to think about what we do or the consequences of our
production--and actually come to think of the machine as doing the production;
we become appendages).
- Loss of reason:
ability to assess choices based on human values. Capitalism as rational,
but not reasonable
as control rather than human expression
Industry (2, p. 110)
- Overall pessimism,
though Marcuse had a vision of people taking control of the technology that
serves to control and creating a more human society.
- Yet, "people
have come to love their cages and are eager to fill them with more of the
goodies being churned out by the capitalist system." (2,
- Like the culture
- Focused on own
interests--expanding influence over society
- Create the technology
and expand technocratic thinking
- Controlled by
- Dominated by
business, professional schools, and technique, rather than liberal arts
- Rather than
encouraging liberating thought, universities become "student factories:
"Processing as many students as possible in the most efficient way. Universities
come to turn out students in much the same way that factories turn out automobiles
or sausages." (2, p. 110)
1.0 to Web 2.0: More or
less control? More or less intrusion?
Spatial Analysis: The reproduction of class
Lefebvre on Space (1974/1984. The
Production of Space . Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith. 1991. Blackwell
Publishing. 2004.) (see this analysis:
from "Not Bored."
Number 30, February 1999).
practice: actions that produce and reproduce space.
of space: space as conceived of by elites ("urban removal").
spaces: ideas and representation that stem from lived experiences.
spaces: natural spaces (green belt, confluence park).
space: space produced through theories and ideas of elite (devoid of nature and oppressive).
space: space that represents interests of all: freedom and nature.
Harvey on Space:
Political Economy of Space. (2005) in Low, S. and Smith, N. (eds), The
Politics of Public Space, Routledge, New York). (local
"Recent Neo-Marxist Urban Analysis." Annual Review of Sociology.
Vol. 9, (1983), pp. 499-525. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2946076.
Fordism to Post-Fordism
- "Communist Manifesto" and capitalist expansion; outsourcing, urban rural divide.
of hope" and utopian struggle.
- Fordism: assembly-line
and mass production
- This model
was adopted by many other industries
- By 1970s--need
- Fordism characterized
(past few decades):
- Mass production
of homogeneous products ("Any color you want as long as it is black")
technologies (problems: adapting to change, new models)
productivity: more goods at lower costs
- Uniform, mass
workers --bureaucratized unions: Big labor versus Big Corporations
high wages, but no reward for good work
in production meant homogeneity in consumption--little differentiation
Not clear exactly
when all this came about, or how far the change has gone.
of wide range of specialized items: high in style and quality
systems--flexible. Short runs and quick changes.
- High levels
of production (still a must), yet trained and skilled workers a necessity--more
demanding work, and better pay.
decline in unions
of production--heterogeneity of consumption: Sneakerization
Modern World-System (another
assembly line is still assembly line
- Jobs outside
of factories have come to be more like factories: McDonaldism (or McDonaldization)
- So, "fordism"
system is a key concept for a third neo-Marxian theory. Immanuel Wallerstein
coined the term to describe a largely self-contained social system with a
set of boundaries and a definable life span. Wallerstein argues that we live
in a capitalist world-economy that is based on global economic division of labor
and global inequality. Core regions are dominant and exploit the rest of the
world. The periphery is exploited for its raw materials. The semiperiphery is
a residual category encompassing regions between core and periphery."(1)
Much of this page comes from the "Instructor's Manual" to accompany Contemporary
Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics, Second Edition,
George Ritzer, Mcgraw-Hill, 2007 (and 3rd edition, 2010). The Instructor's Manual
was prepared by James Murphy, University of Maryland, College Park and Todd
Stillman, Fayetteville State University. These excerpts are from chapter 5.
2. Ritzer, George. 2007/2010/2013. Contemporary Sociological Theory and Its Classical Roots: The Basics. 2nd/3rd/4th editions. St. Louis: McGraw-Hill
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