Communication And Culture At Frankfurt School

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Communication and culture at Frankfurt School


During the development of this work, we will talk mainly about Frankfurt School, emerged in 1923. In addition, we will show in depth the thought of the Frankfurt school with respect to art and technique, explaining the opinion of the most important authors, we will give our opinion about it and also comment on the cultural industry.

The Frankfurt School arises in 1923, the Social Research Institute being its center. Made up of a group of researchers who followed Hegel, Marx and Freud’s thinking and investigated about new theories for the twentieth century. Among all intellectuals linked to Frankfurt school we can show more than 15. Although, not everyone worked together during the same time.


It is here, where critical theory arises, a negative doctrine that just criticizes traditional theory by denying the affirmative character of culture. The members of the school were inclined to idealism and even also, existentialism for the development of their postulates. Leaving aside thoughts such as positivism or materialism.

Researchers define their initial project as heterodox Marxism which performs congruent solutions to society’s problems, one of those problems was the differences between social and philosophical classes. In this project the authors sought to combine their research with that of Marx, repairing the unconscious in the deepest motivations, so it seeks to transform the world rather than try to interpret it.

For ornament, a critical theory of what is positively. Whereby this was based on the issue of the work was the ‘denial’. His philosophy is a critical theory that goes around denial, is anti systemic. Horkheimer and orna. These two authors understood that the illustration had the main objective of freeing the individual from his fears and building it to understand nature.

Both investigated that individuals live with a certain amount of rules and regulations in their daily lives, which according to them leads to a disenchantment of the world. Different factors could be observed, which assume an important role in the behavior of each individual in the masses, the increase in economic productivity has in itself paradoxical consequences which showed a more fair world for the productivity created by the social groups of social groups That atmosphere.

The individual is matched, he gives his place for himself so that in the long term it is the same as all. According to Horkheimer, this theory does not work at the service of an existing reality, it only expresses its secret. Horkheimer and Adorn. These say that the place where the being and the opinion survives, or the visible and the ineffable is art.

Characteristics of aurratic art.

  • His scope stands out clearly from reality.
  • The resignation of external action, bone where art separates from magical sympathy, retains the inheritance of magic.
  • Place the pure image in contrast to physical reality.
  • Appearance completely in detail (aesthetic appearance).
  • Unfolding by which the thing appears as something spiritual.
  • Unique.
  • Unrepeatable.

Walter Benjamin.

He was a philosopher, literary critic, German translator and essayist born in Germany, in 1892. He died in Spain in 1940. Associated with Frankfurt School, his thinking is hard related to Marxism. This philosopher, he intervenes with two jobs. On the one hand, little history of photography, where Benjamin maintains: you can’t think of photography without the rise of the bourgeoisie. In this way, it facilitates the democratization of the portrait.

The second work is the work of art at the time of its technical reproducibility, where he problematizes a new type of art, and the question of what happens to technical reproductivity in the field of art arises? And his response is clear according to him, the works are not the same after technical reproducibility because it destroys the aura. This concept, according to Benjamin, is the unrepeatable manifestation of a distance (however close the work can be), a unique, instant and unrepeatable phenomenon that we have in front of a work, allowing to know a dimension of the mysterious human.

Walter Benjamin. We can establish great differences from this, with the authentic work (cultural value) and the repeated work (exhibitive value). In the first, as stated above, it is unique and unrepeatable. It generates an unparalleled and beautified experience of contemplating. While in the second, there are copies, it is basically a repetition. Therefore, there is no aura.

Also, we can name that in the authentic work there is a forguration, it is for this reason that we find it in museums while the repeated work is something fleeting. Finally, but not least, in the first mention there is an inappropriateness, that is, the concept of remoteness or non -everyday appears, unlike the second work, where there is a daily life.

The cultural industry.

The system affirms, it reaffirms the existing. Manipulates, alienates and reasons individuals through equalization, repetition and imitation. Technological devices are instruments of domination and the economic apparatus both convert social values ​​into goods, which influence people’s behavior. The individual is determined as "thing". But how do this manipulation achieve? Through beauty techniques and novelty of different stereotypes, for example, hero-antiheroe films that provide characters, personalities, lights, audios, scenarios, music, etc. In addition, another very important aspect is language, which reifies.

That production of culture in advanced capitalism. The authors question the idea of ​​an alleged cultural dispersion, product of the resolution of the pre -capitalist order. They claim that ‘culture marks today a feature of similarity, cinema, radio and magazines constitute a system. Each sector is harmonized in itself and all among them ’. The existence of a cultural industry that covers a whole.

The cultural industry is reproduced based on obtaining economic benefits. Cultural goods go to, be just merchandise. Therefore, the idea of ​​what art was, which took other significant aspects, so there is a noticeable difference between artistic-cultural creations. In addition, tools as means of cultural manipulation make them lose their artistic purpose. Bone, given their character of mass production, they lose authenticity.

The cultural goods that will provide false pleasure, are those that are part of the cultural industry. These are momentary, they save a need at the time, such as going to the cinema to watch a movie. But when it ends, pleasure goes again. Everything is controlled by capitalism. Unlike this, the goods that will bring us closer to "true" happiness are part of utopia, those that are part of the ideal world.

For these reasons, the authors introduce the concept of cultural industry to delineate the specificity of cultural production in advanced societies, seeking to create and accentuate the way in which these masses respond to the corresponding economic guidelines. Together with these reworking and questioning the notion of mass culture. What is questioned is the idea that the development of mass media has democratized culture. The individual after observing what the market offers him acquires, consumes and permanently digest cultural goods.

Authentic art and technical reproduction

To our opinion, authentic art is not possible in the time of technical reproduction. Here, art and masses have an approach produced by a displacement of cultural value to the exhibition value. Why do we affirm this? Basically, because with reproduction the works lose their uniqueness since they are repeated. We can say that after this, the aura is destroyed becoming something fleeting and everyday. The reproductive technique disconnects what is reproduced from the scope of tradition. By multiplying the reproductions, it puts its massive presence in the place of an unrepeatable presence, and confers currently reproduced by allowing it, from its respective situation, to the meeting of each recipient. 

Current cultural industry.

According to Adorno, Horkheimer and Benjamin’s vision, the cultural industry generalizes all masses, demonstrates this theory that there is no difference, so it manages to submit society to see them and believe ideas that tries to share the cultural industry. We can see this theory very reflected in current culture, today society is submitted by cultural industries. Each action taken by an individual, however short it can be a reflection effect of the industry, since it manages to dominate them.

An element explained by these two authors demonstrates how the lack of progress and identity of the industries is declining due to the lack of their originality. Which today is completely the opposite for reasons that industries seek to improve and move forward with new inventions to evolve in society. His theory explains very well that everything that passes through the hands of the industry will be vulgarized, sold and mocked; This situation happens today where art and fun is left by side to market or exploit it to society.


The cultural industry has been transforming in recent years in a very fast way, at first there was only the Internet to be able to send relevant information to society only if the individual sought that information in a timely manner. With Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks, it was seen as fun, culture and art passed to the secondary side and trade began to emerge within these pages, which was increasingly viral and increased its popularity. 

All this for the way in which the public is manipulated to follow these ‘rules’ which today have become completely normal to the human beings of the human being. The masses today with these pages have been guided. This was the rejection of the industry that arose from the authors and for which they thought there would be no development for society.

What would be today being industries handle the way of thinking, acting, dressing, speaking and interacting with the human being. Consequently, man depends and is the servant of the industry, thinking that by obtaining what is indicated by these pages he will be happy, while what he achieves is the lack of training, independence and decision. We consider that the social subject is increasingly determined by mass culture.  

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