Adorno, Theodor (1903–1969)

Theodor Adorno was a German philosopher, musicologist, aesthetic theorist, and sociologist. He was a proponent of critical theory and a leading member of the Frankfurt school. His thinking was shaped by Hegelian philosophy, Karl Marx's social thought, psychoanalysis, and the works of Max Horkheimer and Walter Benjamin. Of Jewish descent, Adorno was forced into English and American exile during the reign of National Socialism in the 1930s and 1940s. On his return, he became one of Germany's most influential intellectuals.

Adorno's examinations of consumption are situated within his sociological analysis of twentieth-century capitalism. He scrutinizes the ramifications of capitalist social relations for consumer culture as well as the consequences of consumption for the individual and society. Capitalism, Adorno holds, is governed by commodity exchange relations. Humans ...

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