The “culture industry” (German: Kulturindustrie) is a term coined by the philosophers and social theorists Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer. It refers to the emergence after World War II of the massive, factory-like, and highly profitable media and entertainment industries such as film, television, newspapers, magazines, and radio that we now call the media. The term originally had two incarnations, the culture industry and culture industry without the definite article the. The former referred to the specific mass media industries, while the later referred to the profit-oriented mass production process and the general commodification of all forms of culture. Today the two terms and concepts are used interchangeably.

Central to the idea is the inversion of the role of culture from its crucial historical ...

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