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Theodor Adorno

Critical Theory

Critical Theory is, by and large, concerned with the critique of MODERNITY, MODERNIZATION, and the modern state. The first generation of critical theorists – Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, Erich Fromm – came together in the early… Read More ›

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Mass Culture

Mass culture is a pejorative term developed by both conservative literary critics and Marxist theorists from the 1930s onwards to suggest the inferiority of commodity-based capitalist culture as being inauthentic, manipulative and unsatisfying. This inauthentic mass culture is contrasted to… Read More ›

Key Theories of Theodor Adorno

German philosopher, sociologist and musicologist who was a leading member (and eventually director) of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research (the institutional basis of the Frankfurt School of German critical theory),  Theodor Adorno’s (1903-1969) work may be understood as an… Read More ›

Culture Industry

The Frankfurt School theorists Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer produced an incisive critique of modern culture through their work The Dialectic of Enlightenment, in which they introduced the term “Culture industry,” to describe mass cultural forms which, in the wake… Read More ›

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