The Frankfurt School: Introduction and Historical Background



The Frankfurt School mainly followed the tradition of Western Marxism to explain the failure of revolutionary movements in Europe. Therefore, in contrast to orthodox Marxists, who usually emphasize the material and economic aspects of capitalist society and believe that the capitalist system will inevitably collapse by a proletarian revolution, the Frankfurt School theorists emphasize the cultural and intellectual factors which prevent the masses from reaching class consciousness. Thus, studying the problem of cultural domination and distortion of consciousness was one of the main projects of the Frankfurt School. This means that the essence of the Frankfurt School is tied to the issue of cultural domination. But one of the major tools by which the capitalist system creates this domination and distortion of consciousness is the culture industry. So, it can be argued that the theory of the culture industry has a close affinity with the essence of the Frankfurt School.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyFree University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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