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Frankfurt School and Walter Benjamin Views in Mass Media, Essay Example

Pages: 5

Words: 1404

Essay

The implication of the Frankfurt School is a group of theorists from German-American background who were responsible for the development of a sturdy analysis in the changes that took place among the societies of the western capitalists during 1920s to 1930s Marx classical theories at Frankfurt Sozialforschung institute in Germany (Behrens, 68). They were responsible for the production of the primary accounts in the context of the crucial social theory that outlined the significance of mass communication and culture for the purpose of domination as well as social reproduction.

The Frankfurt School was enthralled by the European fascism together with a capitalist economy based at United Stat and therefore, the principle focus behind the Frankfurt School was a critical analysis of the cultural text that was media-mediated with regard to their economical as well as political distribution along with production. The seminal work that was performed by Adorno in the company of Horkheime, the study that was conducted by Habermas concerning mass media in the context of public sphere as well as the one-dimensional man work of Marcuse all pointed at the contribution of media along with culture in the liberal capitalism to social conflict and eliminating the traditional role. According to the arguments that were postulated by the said authors, commercial imperatives which were the driving force to cultural production were responsible for validating the values that were attributed to the market societies while simultaneously integrating the social as well as political life in to the framework of the capitalists.

The Frankfurt School was also responsible for the generation of the primary model in the studies of critical culture that appraise the processes that are allied to to political economy together with the cultural production in the politics that are associated with cultural texts, the application of cultural artifacts as well as audience reception (Wiggerhaus, 513).

In the U.S., the Frankfurt School had a firsthand experience of the media culture that entailed television, types of mass culture, film, radio as well as popular music. The Frankfurt School was in a situation of exile in the U.S. where they made use of mass media for the purpose of commercial entertainment under the guidance of large business corporations. Horkheimer and Adorno made great strides in the development of the culture industry accounts that promoted commercialization as well as industrialization of culture for the purpose of the capitalists relations in as far as production was concerned. The significance of such a situation was based on the limitation in supporting the television and film industries in the U.S. thus leading to a high echelon of proliferation of commercial mass culture that ended up by a idiosyncratic characteristic in the capitalist societies with particular focus on the critical cultural studies.

Frankfurt School also perceives social media as an important tool in dominating the crucial aspects of media on societal social behavior. Social media play a crucial role in the unconscious formulation of the human vision of the world as a capitalist society. According to Frankfurt School, social media results to illusions that are associated with freedom and happiness in the course of advertisement. A feeling of a better life is usually guaranteed by availability of certain commodities.

The theorists in the Frankfurt School take the elementary roles that are associated with the social media to shape the pattern of behavior as well as thought in human beings. This subsequently translates to creating significant influence in politics as well as management of consumer demands during the 20th century (Durham, 101). The Frankfurt School also associates social media with an important power instrument together with some social influence in the cultural industry. The proliferation of mass culture together with the consumer society in as far as the working class is concerned have resulted to an uprising in a revolution in the scenario of classical Marxism. The role of culture industries as well as the consumer society in stabilization of contemporary capitalism was also at the center of interests in the Frankfurt School perception of social media. The Frankfurt School therefore became the forerunners in experiencing the expanding roles that social media play in politics, socialization, communication as well as the social life of many people.

Benjamin however maintains a loose affiliation with the Frankfurt School being an idiosyncratic theorist. His discern was focused on new forms of technology that were attributed to cultural production such as radio, radio as well as photography. According to Benjamin, the contribution of mass media was to displace the archaic culture in which case, mass production in recordings, publication, photography as well as film supplanted the emphasis given to the aura of art work in the ancient art era. The conviction of Benjamin concerning media culture was generation of critical people with independent judgment capacities as well as powers for analyzing their culture in a similar way that the fans in sport are empowered in appraising the activities of the athletes. The intentions of Benjamin were utilization of social media as critical organs to facilitate social progress. The arguments of Benjamin with regard to the progressive cultural creators was refunctioning of apparatus in cultural production tha can potentially transform film and theater in to a suitable forum that will enlighten political issues as well as discussions instead of using it to achieve pleasure among culinary audience. The perception of mass media according to Benjamin is that it must serve as important tool in progressive social change. The internet must be used to transform broadcasting from the conventional one sided transmission to a highly interactive form that involve multiplicity of communication transmission ranging from the CB radio and computer communications that are electronically mediated.

Additional intentions of Benjamin in mass entailed the promotion of media politics coupled with radical culture that could address the issues of conception of optional oppositional cultures. Benjamin however acknowledged the potent of media in the creation of conservative effects especially the film (Scannell, 97).

Mass media had a high degree of massification and was also homogeneous in the context of the Frankfurt school to the extent of concluding that the Frankfurt school model was inconsistent all along from its inception. Therefore, the Benjamin model could be considered as preferable as compared to the Frankfurt school model. However, the Frankfurt school model played a significant role in articulating the relevance of social media in the capitalist regime and continues to be applicable in the commercial as well as technological cultures that are relatively advanced. Therefore, the Frankfurt school model is capable of addressing the requirements of the corporate interests that continue to dominate in advocating for ideological reproduction as well as enculturing people in to the overriding systems associated with thoughts, behaviors as well as needs.

The mass culture that is associated with the Frankfurt school model is a noble cause of hopes, longings, desires, fears as well as dreams and unrelenting aspirations for the consumer products. The culture industry play a crucial role in the production of cultural consumers with the agility of consuming the products to the extent of conforming with behaviors as well as dictates that the current society can offer. However, according to Benjamin model, the culture industry has all needed agility for the production of critical as well as rational consumers with the needed potentials of dissecting as well as discriminating among the texts and the performances of culture in a similar way as the fans in sport are capable of criticizing as well as analyzing important events in sport.

The Frankfurt school model is also influential in offering constructive historical perspective that details the transition from the traditional culture coupled with arts modernism to the mass produced social media that is influential to the contemporary consumer society (Horkheimer & Adorno, 129). The Frankfurt school model focus on a historical shift of huge magnitude leading to the epoch associated with mass consumption and it was therefore indispensable in the production of a consumer society on the basis of the homogeneous requirements coupled with the necessity for en-mass production of goods to satisfy the mass society on the basis of homogeneity as well as social organization.

Works cited

Behrens, Roger: Kritische Theorie. Hamburg: Europäische Verlagsanstalt 2002, page 68.

Durham, Peters, John. The Subtlety of Horkheimer and Adorno. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Horkheimer, Max & Adorno, Theodor W. Dialektik der Aufklärung. Philosophische Fragmente. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Verlag 16th edition 2006, page 129.

Scannell, Paddy Media and Communication. London: SAGE, 2007.

Wiggerhaus The Frankfurt School: Its History, Theories, and Political Significance. MIT Press. p. 513, 1995.

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