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Adorno on Popular Culture (International Library of Sociology) Hardcover – December 27, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0415268240 ISBN-10: 0415268249

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'a highly misanthropic but very funny and true analysis of the power and effect of the mass media' Alain de Botton, Telegraph

About the Author

Robert Witkin is Professor of Sociology at the University of Exeter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: International Library of Sociology
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415268249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415268240
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,420,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Edward G. Nilges on March 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
A layer of scholarship is antibody to liberation. The bonafide purpose of an introduction to a first rate thinker is to give the student a precis of the first rate.
But the obvious question, one raised by Adorno in his lectures on Kant, is why the student needs a mentor to explain the guru.
Adorno's answer was that Kantianism exists in partial independence from Kant and even from Kant's thought, in the sense that Kant raised concerns that Kant did not have the time to think through.
There is nothing mystical about this. It may result in part from the fact that Kant himself, in Keyne's image, heard "voices in the air" in the form of thoughts that arose out of material struggles during Kant's epoch.
Unfortunately, Witkin seems unaware of this possibility and provides instead a precis of "Adorno on Popular Culture" which reduces Adorno's thought to a biographical series of complaints about the way in which popular culture moronizes its consumer.
This biographical approach forces Witken unconsciously and by default into the role of answering Adorno, and laying Adorno to rest; Witkin becomes an Adorno antibody in the manner of antibodies to the HIV virus which are the diagnosis of AIDs.
In Adorno's own words and Adorno's own theory (which is almost never self-applied by texts in the Adorno industry) the thing represented is conquered by its representation in a way that has the Tedster, probably, spinning in his grave.
Witkin's Adorno machine is constructed by a scholar who is tone deaf to the music of the dialectic.
Witkin's Adorno machine emits racist music about jazz and Witkin seems to fail to realize that in the 1930s and 1940s, the word "jazz" was coterminous with popular music in an era before Coltrane.
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