By Shane Gunster

Building at the paintings of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, Capitalizing on tradition offers an cutting edge, available, and well timed exploration of serious thought in a cultural panorama ruled through capital. regardless of the expanding incidence of commodification as a dominant consider the creation, promoting, and intake of such a lot kinds of mass tradition, many within the cultural experiences box have did not interact systematically both with tradition as commodity or with serious conception. Shane Gunster corrects that oversight, delivering attentive readings of Adorno and Benjamin's paintings so as to generate a posh, non-reductive thought of human adventure that attends to the possibilities and risks coming up from the confluence of tradition and economics.

Gunster juxtaposes Benjamin's ideas on reminiscence, event, and capitalism with Adorno's critique of mass tradition and glossy 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 whilst thought of jointly. This mixing of views is for this reason used to floor a theoretical interrogation of the comparative failure of cultural reports to interact substantively with the impression of commodification upon cultural practices. for that reason, Capitalizing on tradition bargains a clean exam of severe idea that would be necessary 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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It follows that pop music is especially insidious because it successfully hides its repetitive base beneath a seemingly free style. Adorno's favourite examples for demonstrating 'pseudoindividuation' are the techniques of syncopation and vibrato in jazz. '19 Syncopation refers to a temporary displacement in the metric accents of a musical passage and is typically secured by stressing the weak beat while vibrato indicates slight, rapid variations in pitch that can add warmth and 'expressiveness' to an instrument or voice.

In other words, this approach reveals that Adorno's primary concern is not a centralized form of bureaucratic cultural production, but rather the effect of commodification per se on culture. This lays the foundations for exploring the homologies between cultural objects and the forms of experience they produce: the relation between detail and whole in mass culture both generates and reflects an equivalent relation between specific events and episodes as they are integrated into the broader experiential and mnemic patterns of an individual's life history.

Instead, curiosity about these aspects of culture is pervasively channelled into an obsessive fascination with gossip about the lives, habits, and scandals of cultural celebrities. Put another way, one of the priorities of cultural technology is to excise the memory of human activity in mass culture. For example, special effects in film are deemed praiseworthy insofar as they merge effortlessly with the realist narrative, and they are disparaged if they break up this continuity and remind us of the artifice of culture.

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