Impact on real life:
He was born in in Frankfurt in Germany, and grew up with music, both as a listener and a practitioner: Adorno chose a career as a professional philosopher taking a position at the University of Frankfurt inbut music and culture remained the focus of his interests.
Adorno insisted on high standards — culture was not merely a matter of technical progress in composing more beautiful, more complicated music, for example but also if indirectly a matter of morality.
Music, like all culture, could either develop or obstruct social progress towards greater freedom. And that progress was under threat.
Even in pre-war Vienna, Adorno saw warning signs of a collapse in European culture. These trends towards regression and domination were borne out with the rise of Nazism. The philosopher who had savaged Stravinsky was now brought face to face with Mickey Mouse.
In Minima MoraliaAdorno wrote, despairingly: This disorientation became a principled distrust. He claimed that capitalist popular culture — jazz, cinema, pop songs, and so on — manipulates us into living lives empty of true freedom, and serves only to distort our desires.
Popular culture is not the spontaneous expression of the people, but a profit-driven industry — it robs us of our freedom and bends us to conform to its needs for profit. This distrust of US culture was reciprocal.
Both Adorno and his philosophical collaborator Max Horkheimer were broadly Marxist, and were promptly placed under surveillance by the FBI. Now, people distrust him as a transplant from a privileged background into a progressive one. His dislike of mass culture becomes simply a dislike of the masses that he looked down upon.
He seems patronising, seeing people as easily fooled and mislead, and popular culture as shallow and manipulative. But this easy response is misguided. Adorno did not simply condemn popular culture; nor did he simply yearn for the rule of high culture.
Popular culture is not only bad art though it is that, he claims but harmful art — it stands in the way of true freedom.
To get at this moral position, we might consider a familiar example: We are now, on average, working longer, with less security, for less money. The world is riddled with social and political problems that we have no immediately clear way of engaging with or ameliorating.
Our limited free time seems better spent instead on relaxing the demands we place on ourselves, and escaping the pressures of the everyday world. While guilty pleasures are imperfect, they afford us a pleasure too often lacking in our busy lives. They supposedly give us more immediate enjoyment than high art, while certainly demanding less time, attention and expense.
Adorno is no opponent of pleasure. What sort of a world binds guilt and pleasure together? What sort of a pleasure comes together with an awareness, no matter how dim, that things should be better?
It is a world, Adorno claims, that gives us only a faint copy of pleasure disguised as the real thing; repetition disguised as escape; a brief respite from labour disguised as a luxury. Popular Culture “Popular culture is the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture, especially western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the late 20th and early 21st century.”(“.
Jim Taylor, PhD, author of “Pop Culture and Your Kids” explains the dangers of pop culture to young people. He feels that reality television and advertising reflect who we are as a society. He says that “popular culture has changed in the last 30 years.
At its most basic level, popular culture is a collection of ideas, values, actions, goods and services that can be bought and sold to the mainstream masses. High-level industry professionals and celebrities generally deem these goods as valuable in magazines and on TV, which increases sales and worth.
A critical under- standing of the impact of social structure on popular culture would add another dimension to the study of zombie culture, continuing traditions on culture that demonstrate how cultural objects have much to tell about social life, values, and ideologies.
sociologists believe the effect of exporting American pop culture abroad is harmless or neutral.
Others, however, express concern that the global dominance of American pop culture amounts to cultural imperialism and has the potential to dilute local cultures. McAdams, Claire. “Definition of American Pop Culture.” eHow. Demand Media, The new Jack Ryan reboot that premiered on Amazon at the end of August marked the return of Tom Clancy’s eponymous Marine vet turned CIA super-spook to the forefront of American pop culture.