- Subject index
The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory expounds the development of critical theory from its founding thinkers to its contemporary formulations in an interdisciplinary setting. It maps the terrain of a critical social theory, expounding its distinctive character vis-a-vis alternative theoretical perspectives, exploring its theoretical foundations and developments, conceptualising its subject matters both past and present, and signalling its possible future in a time of great uncertainty. Taking a distinctively theoretical, interdisciplinary, international and contemporary perspective on the topic, this wide-ranging collection of chapters is arranged thematically over three volumes: Volume I: Key Texts and Contributions to a Critical Theory of Society Volume II: Themes Volume III: Contexts This Handbook is essential reading for scholars and students in the field, showcasing the scholarly rigor, intellectual acuteness and negative force of critical social theory, past and present.
Chapter 64: Cinema – Spectacle – Modernity
Cinema – Spectacle – Modernity
The Culture Industry
‘Every visit to the cinema leaves me, against all my vigilance, stupider and worse’. This sentence, which occurs halfway through the fifth aphorism of Theodor W. Adorno’s Minima Moralia (2005: 25), would appear to sum up a received notion about critical theory’s engagement with cinema, mass media, and spectacle. According to this line of thinking, spelled out most explicitly in the chapter on the ‘Culture Industry’ in Dialectic of Enlightenment, cinema degrades even the most critical subject. More radically and perniciously, the culture industry produces and reproduces the modern subject in the first place. Fusing a non-determinist Marxism with Freudian categories, critical theory lends significant weight ...