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Adorno And Mass Culture: Autonomous Art Against The Culture Industry

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Chapter Summary

The concept of culture simultaneously denaturalises humans as beings of culture and significantly contributes to their naturalisation, since it no more locates their distinction from animals in some supernatural capacity which pertains to them &t;by their nature&t;. There are two opposed and recurring ways in which this paradox can be dissolved: by disclosing nature in culture. The first is exemplified by attempts -from Tylor to sociobiology to assimilate cultural development to the laws of organic evolution, and equally by theories which locate the basic preconditions of all cultural behaviour in some natural givenness. Lastly, in terms of projects and strategies of action, the levelling idea of a general modernisation is set against the programs of socio-cultural separatism. It is not only the opposed evaluations of this dichotomy that structurally pertain to cultural modernity; equally persistent are the attempts to overcome this divide, and again from opposite directions.

Keywords: culture; dichotomy; projects; Tylor



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