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The Frankfurt School loosely refers to a group of German Marxist intellectuals who developed a model of deeply insightful analysis on capitalist society and culture, which proved vastly influential from the 20th century to today in many spheres, including surveillance and privacy. This entry examines some of the works of several founding theorists of the Frankfurt School, such as Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer, especially regarding the culture industry, and then looks at the work of modern Frankfurt School theorist Jurgen Habermas.

Beginning in the 1920s and early 1930s, theorists such as Adorno, Horkheimer, Otto Kirchheimer, Leo Lowenthal, Herbert Marcuse, Erich Fromm, and, peripherally, Walter Benjamin produced some of the very first works of critical theory dealing with the importance of mass culture, the importance ...

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