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The Culture Industry is an unrivaled indictment of the banality of mass culture."--Jacket.
As the culture wars continue to dominate newspaper headlines and conference panels, much of the debate revolves around the value of and values in popular culture. Many opponents of popular culture have cited Theodor W. Adorno, one of the leading figures of the Frankfurt School of critical theorists. Adorno is understood to have viewed mass culture as completely commodified that is, produced only to be sold on the market and without aesthetic value. In this compelling book, Deborah Cook critically examines this view and argues persuasively that even Adorno's "pessimistic" theory leaves room for resistance to the culture industry. Beginning with an exploration of the theoretical background for Adorno's work, Cook then examines Adorno's conception and criticism of mass culture and its consumption, and his views about art and its relation to mass culture. The first book-length treatment in English of Adorno's work on popular culture, The Culture Industry Revisited provides new readers of Adorno with an understanding of his theory and an overview of his more important critics. Those more familiar with Adorno will find important discussion of some of the more controversial ideas in his work. The book will be of interest to scholars and upper-level students of philosophy, sociology, literature, communications, and cultural studies."
"A book of landmark importance. It is unprecedented in its design: a brilliantly selected group of essays on music coupled with lucid, deeply incisive, and in every way masterly analysis of Adorno's thinking about music. No one who studies Adorno and music will be able to dispense with it; and if they can afford only one book on Adorno and music, this will be the one. For in miniature, it contains everything one needs: a collection of exceptionally important writings on all the principal aspects of music and musical life with which Adorno deaDeconstructive Variations: Music and Reason in Western Society "An invaluable contribution to Adorno scholarship, with well chosen essays on composers, works, the culture industry, popular music, kitsch, and technology. Leppert's introduction and commentaries are consistently useful; his attention to secondary literature remarkable; his interpretation responsible. The new translations by Susan Gillespie (and others) are outstanding not only for their care and readability, but also for their sensitivity to Adorno's forms and styles."Lydia Goehr, author of The Quest for Voice: Music, Politics and the Limits of Philosophy "With its careful, full edition of Adorno's important musical texts and its exhaustive yet eminently readable commentaries, Richard Leppert's magisterial book represents a brilliant solution to the age-old dilemma of bringing together primary text and interpretation in one volume."James Deaville, Director, School of the Arts, McMaster University "The developing variations of Adorno's life-long involvement with musical themes are fully audible in this remarkable collection. What might be called his 'literature on notes' brilliantly complements the 'notes to literature' he devoted to the written word. Richard Leppert's superb commentaries constitute a book-length contribution in their own right, which will enlighten and challenge even the most learned of Adorno scholars."Martin Jay, author of The Dialectical Imagination: A History of The Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research "There is afoot in Anglo-American musicology today the first wholesale reconsideration of Adorno's thought since the pioneering work of Rose Rosengard Subotnik around 1980. Essays on Music will play a central role in this effort. It will do so because Richard Leppert has culled Adorno's writings so as to make clear to musicologists the place of music in the broad critique of modernity that was Adorno's overarching project; and it will do so because Leppert has explained these writings, in commentaries that amount to a book-length study, so as to reveal to non-musicologists the essentially musical foundation of this project. No one interested in Adorno from any perspectiveor, for that matter, in modernity and music all toldcan afford to ignore Essays on Music."Gary Tomlinson, author of Metaphysical Song: An Essay on Opera "This book is both a major achievement by its author-editor and a remarkable act of scholarly generosity for the rest of us. Until now, English translations of Adorno's major essays on music have been scattered and often unreliable. Until now, there has been no comprehensive scholarly treatment of Adorno's musical thinking. This volume remedies both problems at a single stroke. It will be read equallyand eagerlyfor Adorno's texts and for Richard Leppert's commentary on them, both of which will continue to be essential resources as musical scholarship seeks increasingly to come to grips with the social contexts and effects of music. No one knows Adorno better than Leppert, and no one is better equipped to clarify the complex interweaving of sociology, philosophy, and musical aesthetics that is central to Adorno's work. From now on, everyone who reads Adorno on music, whether a beginner or an expert, is in Richard Leppert's debt for devoting his exceptional gifts of learning and lucidity to this project."Lawrence Kramer, author of Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History"
What has become known as the Frankfurt School is often reduced to a small number of theorists in media communication and cultural studies. Challenging this limitation, Revisiting The Frankfurt School introduces a wider theoretical perspective by introducing critical assessments on a number of writers associated with the school that have been mostly marginalized from debate. This book therefore expands our understanding by addressing the writings of intellectuals who were either members of the school, or were closely associated with it, but often neglected. It thus brings together the latest research of an international team of experts to examine the work of figures such as the social psychologist Erich Fromm, the philosophy of Siegfried Kracauer, the writer on media and communication Leo Lowenthal, introducing Hans Magnus Enzenberger to the debate, whilst also shedding new light on the work of Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin and Jürgen Habermas. A critical reassessment of the contributions of the Frankfurt School and its associates to cultural, media and communication studies, as well as to our modern understanding of new media technology and debate within the public sphere, this book will appeal to those with interests in sociology, philosophy, social psychology, social theory, media and communication, and cultural studies.
This gripping book considers the history, techniques, and goals of child-targeted consumer campaigns and examines children's changing perceptions of what commodities they "need" to be valued and value themselves. • Features content from across disciplines including sociology, psychology, cultural anthropology, and social work • Introduces the idea that corporations exert a powerful—and largely negative—influence over children and childhood • Offers a theoretical explanation of the current state of consumer capitalism • Presents findings based on original research conducted by the author
This book analyses sociological discussions on crowds and masses since the late nineteenth century, covering France, Germany and the USA.
The Dynasty Years documents and analyses in detail 'the Dynasty phenomenon', the hotly debated success of the Hollywood-made 'Rolls Royce of a primetime soap' which heralded a profound transformation of European television. From the operatic camp of Krystle and Alexis' fight in the lilypond or the Moldavian wedding massacre to the unprecedented gay sub-plot, Dynasty represented, in the words of co-producer Esther Shapiro, "the ultimate dollhouse fantasy for middle-aged women". Using evidence from audience survey results, newspaper and magazine clippings and letters to broadcasters and drawing on semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminism and critical social theories, Jostein Gripsrud examines every aspect of Dynasty's production, reception and context. The result is a groundbreaking critical study. Jostein Gripsrud offers a theoretical but empirically grounded critique of many central positions in media studies, including notions of 'audience resistance' and the 'sovereign' audience and its freedom in meaning-making, arguing against what he perceives as the uncritical celebrations of the soap-opera genre in much contemporary media criticism.

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