Please login first
Culture Industry in the Digital Era
1  Gazi University, Faculty of Communication, Turkey


In this study, one of the most important concept of the Frankfurt School, culture industry will be analysed by considering the innovations of the digital era. Does new media create a new environment for emancipation and freedom of speech, or does it create even more dependent individuals, who are deceived by their pro-consumer (both producer and consumer) status? It seems like people are unaware that they are still consumers and they are easily adopting to the dominant culture.

Prominent Social Media tools such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many other tools restrict users with their own rules and own culture, which limits the freedom. To set an example, Youtube created a culture which totally serves for the consumption culture. V-logs, shopping hauls and make-up suggestion videos are shaping lifestyles and desires of the youth, while abnormalizing the ones who are staying out of it. Video sharing platforms or blogs give voice to ordinary citizens but indeed they serve more for the entertainment, which is an extension of labor under capitalism. Other platforms are not much different than the Youtube, they are all serving for the ruling class. When we have 140 characters to type, we think we have a voice but actually we do not have a chance to decide, we are the actors of an old game who are playing it by the book. Users feel like there is diversity, but indeed all those new media platforms are all variations of the same thing.

Producers still hold the power. People do not spend much money, but they waist a lot of time and they derive a profit for media industry. It is obvious that new media environment hinders people to think and decide, while re-creating the status-quo. Advertisement is also an important aspect of the culture industry, which is prominent in new media. While we are sharing an image of our miss-written name on our coffee cup, we are gaining profit to a company. So is this users creativity or a hidden advertisement? These appreciations will be utilized by considering the works of Thedor W. Adorno’s, Max Horkheimer’s and Frankfurt School’s new generation theorists works.

Keywords: Frankfurt School, Culture industry, Critical Theory, new media
Comments on this paper
Charles Aguirre
new technology
Modern schools should use new technology. I think the poverty of the states depends on school investment. I recently read an article about freedom of choice. Students can choose ways of education. For example, the US authorities do not prohibit the use of free essays or resources that help to find information. This is a good step towards meeting new technologies. Students have the right to free choice.