Capitalizing on Culture: Critical Theory for Cultural by Shane Gunster

By Shane Gunster

Building at the paintings of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, Capitalizing on tradition provides an cutting edge, available, and well timed exploration of serious conception in a cultural panorama ruled through capital. regardless of the expanding occurrence of commodification as a dominant consider the creation, merchandising, and intake of such a lot sorts of mass tradition, many within the cultural experiences box have didn't have interaction systematically both with tradition as commodity or with serious idea. Shane Gunster corrects that oversight, offering attentive readings of Adorno and Benjamin's paintings in an effort to generate a posh, non-reductive concept of human event that attends to the possibilities and risks bobbing up from the confluence of tradition and economics.

Gunster juxtaposes Benjamin's innovations on reminiscence, adventure, and capitalism with Adorno's critique of mass tradition and smooth aesthetics to light up the foremost place that the commodity shape performs in every one thinker's paintings and to invigorate the dialectical complexity their writings gather while thought of jointly. This mixing of views is to that end used to floor a theoretical interrogation of the comparative failure of cultural reports to have interaction substantively with the impression of commodification upon cultural practices. hence, Capitalizing on tradition bargains a clean exam of severe idea that may be useful to students learning the intersection of tradition and capitalism.

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Extra resources for Capitalizing on Culture: Critical Theory for Cultural Studies (Cultural Spaces)

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Inspired by Hegel's dialectical critique of Kant's synchronic philosophical system, Georg Lukacs famously argues that these transcendental categories of cognition are, in fact, historically specific and dependent on socioeconomic structures. In late capitalism, for example, categories of perception and understanding are broadly constructed according to the functions of equivalence (exchange) and calculability (rationalization). Building on Lukacs's critique, Adorno is sharply critical of Kant's hypostatization of the historical conditions of the emerging bourgeoisie 44 Capitalizing on Culture as timeless and existential for the human species.

By considering these questions, we should be able to avoid a premature dismissal of Adorno's conclusions in favour of first investigating how and why he reaches them. Below, I foreground the theme of commodification, which should clear a path into Adorno's work that has become overgrown with cliche, invective, and polemic. '4 Popular songs all share a common underlying musical structure; each is written according to the same formulaic pattern to ensure that it fits smoothly into pre-existing listening habits.

Mythic forms already embodied the human desire to dominate nature and foreshadowed the identitarian logic of the Enlightenment vis-a-vis substitution through sacrifice; the illusion of modern thinking - whether in its positivist or idealist varieties - that it has entirely purified itself of the contaminants of natural history delivers enlightenment back into the world of myth. '40 Anything that can be classified and/or quantified can be theoretically subjected to human knowledge and control; anything that cannot serves only to dramatize the limits of knowledge and experience, summoning memories of a time when humans lived in terror of an uncontrollable environment.

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