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The More We Have, The Less We See

According to Adorno and Horkheimer the culture industry and cultural goods are used to manipulate mass society into docility. I find this idea to be very prevalent in our society today. With the amount of goods we surround ourselves with every day, we are becoming docile. We would rather surround us with things and products that make us happy than argue and stand out against the grain of society. This is clearly shown when George W. Bush spoke about the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. In his speech he told the American public to “go shopping”. He as our current president of the time knew that shopping would calm the nerves of the American people. He knew that it was something that made us a docile society.

With the use of crisis mapping, it is using social media and online web use to show the crises happening in the world. It’s putting into perspective that there are more things going on in the world then we see in our day to day lives. Typically, we see what we want to see. We see the glitz and glam of Hollywood or the terrorist attacks in foreign countries or anything that does not concern ourselves. We surround ourselves with the belief that nothing bad can happen to us. With this mindset, we begin to become desensitized to the atrocities that happen in our world. Because we surround ourselves so heavily with products and surround ourselves in the culture industry, that we begin to become blind to all the issues that are in the world. The products we use, we think things are “proper and right” in our world; however that’s not always the case. More often than not it’s not the case. With the crisis mapping, it is taking a product we use each day and using it to bring out social justice and aid in the world. It puts the issues into the forefront of our minds whenever we come across one of these maps.

A women surrounded by all the products she has obtained through her use of coupons.

I agree with the idea that our culture is one of a cultural industry and has begun to be seen as a one dimensional society. Our society is heavily focused around the idea of consumption. As Americans, we want more and we want as much as we possibly can get. With this mindset, our society can be seen as one dimensional because we are only focused on one thing; that of consuming and obtaining cultural goods. We can see this demonstrated in television programs such as the TLC show “Extreme Couponing” were the people use coupons to buy as many products possible for a small amount. In shows like these, these people aren’t using all of the products they buy, and they buy so many of the products that it wouldn’t be possible for them to use all of it. These people are focused on the product they buy, rather than anything else; they are trapped in the cultural industry. These ideas of the culture industry and the one dimensional society ties in with the ideas brought forth by Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse.

Overall, our society has become desensitized to the problems in our world. We surround ourselves with things that make us happy and that make us forget about the problems in our world.

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