STRATEGIC RATIONALITY OF MASS CULTURE
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Keywords:mass culture, masses, strategic and communicative rationality, J. Habermas, T. Adorno
The article deals with a role of mass culture in term of the theory of the culture industry by M. Horkheimer and T. Adorno and the theory of communicative action by J. Habermas, who continues research of the Frankfurt school. It is known that Habermas says about two types of rationality — communicative and structural. The lifeworld and the system correspond them. Usually, culture correspond to lifeworld because it helps people`s socialization. Also it is a place for communication and finding new meanings. However, a place of mass culture is very controver- sial. In particular, it is necessary to distinguish between popular and mass culture, because these definitions have been used as interchangeable for a long time. Popular culture is still an area of meanings. Moreover, it has the potential for protest. From this point of view, it is clearly part of the life world. But mass culture as a «cultural industry» is not so unambiguous. It is worth considering its characteristics and role in people’s life more detail. Above all, one cannot help paying attention to masses. Already in the last century, H. Arendt characterized them as an atomized and isolated group of people, and they are not united by any common ideas. After all, even in the modern world it is possible to see that they do not have and do not want to search for any ideas or meanings. Masses are a direct consumers of mass culture. It is consumerism that the characteristic feature of modernity. Therefore, mass culture is inseparably connected with the market. On the one hand, it sells entertainments, and on the other hand, it generates new consumers, because it is related to advertising. In the same way, mass culture is connected with agitation and propaganda. Thus, it is possible to speak about its connection with politics. The market and politics correspond to the system and are guided by strategic rationality. This fact gives reason to talk about mass culture as a strategic tool. Such culture with no meanings leads to a crisis in society.
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