Contemp Culture, MP520

MP520 – Thursday Class Reflection, Week 2

Once upon a time, culture was only produced by individual artisans.  It was local, it was indie, and it was organic.  Then, some crazy things happened in our world (like the Industrial Revolution and the advent of mass media).  Culture was then produced on mass scales and marketed to the masses.  Many didn’t like this, and decided that culture should only be produced by individuals.  Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer coined the term “Culture Industry”, which they believed should be an oxymoron.  Anything produced by an industry should not be lucky enough to be called culture

But alas, here we are in the early 21st century.  Culture is mass produced.  And not only is culture mass produced, but indie, local, and organic culture is mass produced (think fair trade coffee, local organic produce, garage bands…all found at your “local” nationwide supermarket/mall/chain store)!  And, since everything produced in large quantities seems to be a cheapened version of a designer product, culture is mass produced based on the ideas of individual artisans (how many dorm rooms have a copy of Starry Night?).

We live in a cyclical world.    Around and around we go…


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