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Media Spectacle

The term media spectacle refers to the “society of the spectacle” described by Guy Debord in the 1960s, in which the economy, politics, social life, and culture were increasingly dominated by forms of spectacle. Debord and a group of associates formed the Situationist International, which combined a theoretical critique of consumer and media society with a radical artistic and social politics. They identified consumer capitalism as a new mode of social control, as a “society of the spectacle,” that pacifies its citizens by creating a world of mesmerizing images and stupefying forms of entertainment. In contrast to passive spectators, they called for the creation of active subjects who would carry out a total subversion and revolution of the established society.

The society of the spectacle ...

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