Unit 7 Discussion Describe Adorno's views on standardization and pseudo -individualization. According to Adorno, the capitalist character of society encourages individuals to engage in "false needs" the urge to spend money in return for enjoyment. Adorno developed his standardization theory. Following this argument, in a capitalist society, popular culture (and thus, popular music) is standardized and uses a set formula to appeal to the public. Looking at music, for example, Adorno observed that the verse, chorus, and bridge were essential parts of all popular music and could be changed without the song appearing inferior (Darbyshire, 2011). According to Adorno, the music industry encouraged "pseudo-individualism" to conceal the formulaic nature of music from the public. Adorno's criticisms of pseudo-individualization extend to the point that it misleads listeners and consumers into thinking they have various options. The public receives what the music industry wants to market. Adorno's critique suggests that pseudo-individualization may be utilized to cover up conformity (Tappin, 2016). Share a unique example from pop culture (movies, songs, books, etc.) that follows this structure (do not reiterate the same criteria shared by classmates). The songs "Really Don't Care" by Demi Lovato and "I Love It" by the Swedish group Icona Pop are examples of this musical theory. According to Adorno's thesis, the songs' ability to look "fresh and improved" somehow conceals the evident eternal sameness (Darbyshire, 2011). Another example in music could be various country songs that use the same melody throughout the song. A few examples are songs like "Sure Be Cool if You Did" by Blake Shelton, "Drunk on You" by Luke Bryan, or "This is How We Roll" by Florida Georgia Line. Do you find merit in or agree with Adorno's theory of popular culture? Why or why not? I can't say that I concur or disagree with Adorno's thesis. Though I believe the theory had greater significance when it was developed in 1941, I think it still has some relevance from a sociological standpoint when examining the problems with contemporary mass media. It is easy to see that mass media and popular music, as products of industry culture, would exhibit some sign of uniformity and pseudo- individualization. The music industry is making money; therefore, it is plausible that as music has evolved and the sounds of the decades have changed, new songs may adopt a hit song's sound. I like to imagine it as a way for artists to support one another or pay tribute to their inspirations. Because of copyright rules, everything must be done and produced with great care to prevent lawsuits.
References Darbyshire, D. (2011, October 12). Culture Industries and Adorno's Theory of Standardisation. David Darbyshire; David Darbyshire. theory-of-standardisation/Links to an external site. Tappin, V. (2016, June 30). What are Adorno's criticisms of popular music and its role in society? Are they accurate concerning contemporary society? Professional and Academic Development Journal. t-are-adornos-criticisms-of-popular-music-and-the-role-it-plays-in-society-are-they- accurate-in-relation-to-contemporary-society/Links to an external site.
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