By Shane Gunster
Building at the paintings of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, Capitalizing on tradition offers an cutting edge, available, and well timed exploration of serious conception in a cultural panorama ruled via capital. regardless of the expanding incidence of commodification as a dominant consider the creation, merchandising, and intake of so much different types of mass tradition, many within the cultural reports box have did not interact systematically both with tradition as commodity or with serious idea. Shane Gunster corrects that oversight, offering attentive readings of Adorno and Benjamin's paintings with a purpose to generate a fancy, non-reductive thought of human adventure that attends to the possibilities and hazards bobbing up from the confluence of tradition and economics.
Gunster juxtaposes Benjamin's techniques on reminiscence, event, and capitalism with Adorno's critique of mass tradition and glossy aesthetics to light up the foremost place that the commodity shape performs in every one thinker's paintings and to invigorate the dialectical complexity their writings gather while thought of jointly. This mixing of views is for that reason used to floor a theoretical interrogation of the comparative failure of cultural reports to interact substantively with the impact of commodification upon cultural practices. consequently, Capitalizing on tradition bargains a clean exam of serious idea that might be important to students learning the intersection of tradition and capitalism.
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Additional info for Capitalizing on Culture: Critical Theory for Cultural Studies (Cultural Spaces)
Similarly, Adorno notes that performers, orchestras, and instruments have been f etishized to the point where the worship of them entirely displaces listening to and thinking about the music itself. Designed to produce an immediate effect, the individual details of mass culture lose their specificity and thereby become interchangeable. , rage, excitement, sadness) can be easily replaced by any other that has a similar effect. Analysed in structural terms, pop music songs exhibit a similarly lim- Mass Culture and the Commodity Form 29 ited range of musical techniques, which are endlessly rearranged.
Echoes Adorno's diagnosis almost exactly. In pitching an idea, he notes, 'you'd always say it is unique. ' Of the network executives who ultimately control which programs are financed and aired, he observes: 'The only thing they know that works is something that has worked. '6 Kendall reiterates Horkheimer and Adorno almost exactly: the culture industry 'rejects anything untried as a risk. '7 The description 'pseudo-individuation' has often been attacked as signifying an elitist disposition because it seemingly requires the superior judgment of a critic to distinguish between 'true' and 'false' difference.
Hardened against the innumerable shocks of everyday life, we are moved to tears by a sentimental melody that reassures us that we still have our humanity. Divested of any relationship with the whole or other elements, the individual detail effectively exaggerates its facticity, its concreteness: it appears as something that simply is - something that should be enjoyed, felt, experienced as is and one is discouraged from giving any thought to its origin, history, or potential. When we are engaged with these details, it often seems as if we directly experience them in a way that touches something deep within us, arousing, for example, 'pure' emotions of love, fear, desire, happiness and so on.
Capitalizing on Culture: Critical Theory for Cultural Studies (Cultural Spaces) by Shane Gunster