"(...)popular culture is found in all societies in which capitalism has advanced far enough to include the commodification of culture."


Recently I came across a curious excerpt from Harry Potter and the Functions of Popular Culture by DUSTIN KIDD. 


"According to Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s work in Dialectic of Enlightenment, the production and distribution of culture through mechanical processes constitutes a ‘‘culture industry’’ in which culture is reduced from art to business.

Under monopoly all mass culture is identical, and the lines of its artificial framework begin to show through. The people at the top are no longer so interested in concealing monopoly: as its violence becomes more open, so its power grows. Movies and radio need no longer pretend to be art. The truth that they are just business is made into an ideology in order to justify the rubbish they deliberately produce. 

(Horkheimer and Adorno were both founding members of the Frankfurt School, a group of German/Jewish intellectuals operating in the 1920s out of Germany and later from the Institute for Social Research at Columbia University during the 1930s and 1940s.)

Horkheimer and Adorno indicate by their language that they assume art, apart from popular culture, to be an element of the sacred, and business to be an element of the profane. It is clear from their selection of film and radio as examples that Horkheimer and Adorno are referring to popular or commercial culture in their discussion of the culture industry. The notion that popular culture furthers a selflegitimating ideology leads Horkheimer and Adorno to claim that the culture industry becomes a filter for all forms of culture. Eventually, popular culture becomes indistinguishable from other forms of culture— all culture becomes popular culture. We see this today in the popularity of Shakespeare movies, the commercialization of classical music, and the mainstream character of ‘‘alternative’’ rock music."

The paper goes on to analyse 'popular culture', with reference to the Harry Potter books. But the aspect of equating popular culture to a 'common culture' intrigues me. Is our 'like me!' generation eradicating identities?

I say you read the entire text for a little more knowledge.