Consumption, Society and Culture Cultural Essay

Pages: 12 (4177 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Anthropology

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] When you observe the behaviour of a social club of consumers, you will find them obsessed with searching appeasement and joys in materialistic things that are attractive. Their irritation and alienation from social circle further pushes them to consumption (Foucault, 1984).

If you look at the TV commercials and advertisement, you will find the hidden message that if you want that particular happiness, you can get it with this product or service. In the best possible soft words, commercials are a handy tool for capitalist mindset to capture a non-political and less active mind even in its pastime (Foucault, 1984).

In his book "Culture Industry Reconsidered," Adorno describes the phenomenon as 'people can't be held responsible for measuring the culture, the philosophy of the culture is the base for measurement, though it also hardly finds any match-up with the masses." 5 Furthermore, he says; "the earning and profiteering opportunities are transferred into many cultural domains."6 In simple words, the industry converts everything in the culture as essential commodity that people badly need to experience the happiness, as per the fundamentals of capitalism. Despite its sluggish orientation, public role in flourishing the industry is beyond any doubt. On one hand, people are the target audience, while on another place they work as the primary tool for the commercialism (see Adorno, 1998).

They don't play any political or administrative role in the system, yet their role is highly important because they are one of the most dominant parts of the system, they bring more people and attract others to the products and services as per the real capitalist market characteristics. The people's culture and mindset is based on where the wind blows, while fetishism can be declared as the engine of this wind that ultimately leads them to become submissive item to the commodities in the commercials. However, this doesn't mean that mass media's role is only to befool people; instead, it creates needs and attraction towards the objects (Deleuze et al., 1987).

Majority of the enterprises have the sole philosophy that is the baseline for capitalism and you can see that majority of the basic principles of capitalism have not changed since Marx's demise. One of those principles is the accumulation of wealth and power in the system that ultimately increases the profitability of the enterprise and increases the value for the shareholders. In other words, for any non-profit seeking organization, the fundamental objective in the open market system is to earn profit. For this, industry fuels the needs, wants and desires of the people and persuades them to follow the process that others of the same generation are following (Deleuze et al., 1987).

Every cultural industry overruled by the domination of some influential personalities; whatever extent it may have. We cannot undermine or overturn the role of domination in any formation of culture. Theodor W. Adorno, a great German sociologist, said that the customer is not the king, as said by culture industry in being objective rather than subjective. The domination in any culture is nurtured side by side with the formation of its culture. It is useless to control it because the process of its formation can never be controlled. But it is not right to say that domination is only associated with the politician or the leaders of that society (Adorno, 1998).

It is very logical and rational to find and create a relationship between the cultural formation in a society and the state of mind of the people inhabit in it. Moreover, it is not about a producer and the users or an influential person and the emerging personality. But there is a two side of a rope in which one side is pulled by a dominate person and other side is hold by popular people of a system of a culture. Adorno considers that it's concern for masses is misused by the culture industry so that their mentality, which is unchangeable and given can be strengthened, reinforced, and duplicated (Adorno, 1950; 2001).

At the matter of fact, the culture is a mixture of the people and the influential and dominant people. Foucault said that the domination is a matter of social and historical background of a place and it should not be misunderstood within the context of some influential and political personalities. So, the domination cannot be taken into the consideration without knowing the historical and sociological background. When we start considering the people as a whole, the whole theory would be changed and at that moment the analysis would be totally based on the real facts (Adorno, 1950; 2001).

The daily works and overall working setup of a society creates a stand of mind and that mental setup is the real depiction of the society. Recurrence of an activity gradually becomes the part of the basic nature of any human mind. Adorno in "On Popular Music" said that the standardization is primarily the best property of the music, on the other side when we take non-standardization; it is more or less about the stern state of music. The popular music holds the similarity and repetition of the beats and lyrics. People from that context love to be in that state of mind (see Adorno, 2001).

Mass mentality of a group of people is addicted to foolishness which leads the incapability of absorbing the depth of art. Art wants seriousness in the participant intellectual state on mind and it is noticeable in the output of the art works. Art works within the limit of human pleasure and it works easily with the people's mind setup (Frascina, 1992).

Adorno believes that product's pre-digested quality lasts, consistently justifies and establishes itself due to those who are not willing to digest already pre-digested. Nonetheless, it is similar to baby-food, possessing similar inclination towards repetition of needs that it creates initially.30 A strange and different production should not be considered an artwork for everyone. A best suitable art is very close to the mental level of its recipient. But the fact is that popular music dismisses the thoughts of the people, on the other side, the serious music affects the people in a positive way (Adorno, 2007).

Adorno think that there is a distinction between popular and higher art. Popular culture is not the only product of masses but mental level of mass is not idle enough to digest cultural values higher that the popular cultural values. There is relation in human consciousness and art and that is a concern of Adorno. According to Adorno, in this era with advancement in capitalism nothing is stopping expansion in the human freedom, neither popular nor higher culture. The idea of "autonomous art" is supported by him after the world war two (Adorno, 2007).

Static Case of Control is not represented by the modern culture industry, instead it is now a very dynamic and creative process and dialectically functional hegemony. If continued in this way with mentality of so called mainstream as a culture then cultural business would get hurt badly in long run. In this environment cultural industry is unable to market its products. Only thing that can save culture is the social strength by consciously rejecting this modern fashioned cultural and evolve a new fashion of original culture. Culture industry provides people what they want. It does not negate ideas of people rather that it embeds them in the society culture and gives a value of domestic element. People invest with anger, boredom, and rebelliousness. Mentality of people is the important thing that makes culture industry grows. It is not feasible to deny and stand against what is considered mainstream in the present culture but the actual cultural in the advertisement is represented as outdated and common. It would be beneficial for the culture. When some groups would be attracted to the "outside-ness" and steadily converting that to a fashion. It would make the cultural raw material utilization and some set of people would always be attracted to the "outside-ness" culture because of boredom built into it. In this modern social life, cultural industry does not have much weight age of art in the industry but it has profit as a criteria. Most popular supplies in the culture industry are the groups that rebel from the common cultural standards. These groups prefer to get popular attention of people and provide an attractive fashion for popular mentality groups. To save cultural industry from decline by overriding these groups because they really provide a perpetual and scalable fashion for the popular groups. One more thing that is hurting pure and conventional cultural industry is not considered as fashionable instead it is taken as middle-class (Frascina, 1992).

Cultural industry is part of actual industrial world and not a standalone type of industry. It has the potential of adopting any idea that can be popular and make industry profitable. It is the popular mentality that impacts the industrial decisions. Popular philosophy is not considered important and value able by serious… [END OF PREVIEW]

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