A Benjaminian appraisal of mass culture and its technologies of reproduction


  • Mark Jacob Amiradakis University of the Free State




critical theory, Walter Benjamin, mass culture, information communication technologies, technologies of reproduction


This paper reconstructs the views of Walter Benjamin - with particular focus and emphasis on his analyses of mass culture and its reproductive technologies. This reconstruction is intended to highlight how Benjamin managed to develop a powerful, insightful and multifaceted theoretical platform from where the contemporary technologies of mass communication and modern culture can be assessed and understood. This line of ana- lysis and investigation highlights how the first gene- ration of critical theorists found themselves in a particularly nuanced, antagonistic and dialectically laden position with regard to the technologies of mass communication and the mass culture of the 20th century. It is further hoped that this reconstruction will aid us in our attempts to come to grips with the new communicational technologies confronting the society of the 21st century.


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