The Culture Industry

The MUSI 1002b midterm will be held during the first half of class on
It is imperative that students arrive on time with a
sharp pencil for the multiple choice component Scantron form. Note that
we are a bit behind so you are responsible for lecture materials, readings, keywords/
concepts from Lectures 1 to 5B (see CULearn keyword/concept lists up to and
including the point beginning “Later studies, Negus (1992) challenged this view”).
KEYWORDS FROM LECTURE 5A as I mistakenly skipped ahead. We will
cover this material after the break . Your midterm exam will consist of the following:
Part 1: Multiple choice (5 points).
Part II: Definitions/explain the significance (4 questions at 2 points each (8
points); each answer should be approximately 50-75 words).
Part III. Essay Questions (one required essay @ 8 points)/ one shorter own
choice @ 4 points). You will have at least three topics from which to choose the
second shorter essay. Answer essay questions as thoroughly as time permits.
MUSI 1002a Midterm Required Essay Question:
You may prepare in advance for the following question but may NOT bring any
prepared materials into the examination. Doing so will constitute an academic
infraction and will be handled according to Carleton policy.
Adorno’s concept of “The Culture Industry” has shaped critical enquiry of popular
music for decades. Drawing upon examples from contemporary culture, define and
discuss the following: culture industries, structural standardization (origins, features, and
audience effect), and pseud0-individualization. While useful, Adorno’s ideas have come
under criticism in recent scholarship. Offer a criticism of Adorno’s ideas that covers
the notions of functional and textual artifacts, problems with Adorno’s characterization
of culture industries, standardization, and audience response (agency). Finally, discuss
Adorno’s own biases and shortcomings in the four major areas of criticism (immanent
method, historical and social location, innovation, and analysis).

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