Mitchell ch 3 the political economy of culture
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Mitchell Ch. 3- The Political Economy of Culture. “ Culture is not a realm, but an industry ” –p.79. Culture Industries. How are images and other cultural materials produced , circulated , and consumed ? How do meanings and values get attached and separated from these materials?

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Mitchell ch 3 the political economy of culture

Mitchell Ch. 3- The Political Economy of Culture

“Culture is not a realm,

but an industry” –p.79


Culture industries
Culture Industries

  • How are images and other cultural materials produced, circulated, and consumed?

  • How do meanings and values get attached and separated from these materials?

  • How are economic values connected to cultural values?

  • Culture as a “system (and product) of production, as a political economy” (p.73)


Mitchell critique of cultural studies
Mitchell- Critique of Cultural Studies

  • “Cultural chaos”– culture viewed as a sphere or realm apart by 1990s cultural geographers

  • unsorted multiplicity of studies and projects of all types of culture

  • Mitchell- to view culture as an autonomous realm is to hide the workings of power and profit in culture

  • Need to pay attention to power to define culture


The frankfort school
The Frankfort School

  • Adorno and Horkheimer studying the “Culture Industry” in the 1940s

  • Culture inseparable from the circulation of capital and commodities

  • Mass media, advertising, target marketing

  • Defining ourselves, differentiating ourselves through the culture we consume

  • “Cultural life is the mediation of production and consumption in everyday life”


The critical infrastructure
The Critical Infrastructure

  • Cultural workers– critics, producers, designers, curators, editors, etc.

  • Producing taste, style, distinction

  • Creating “scaffolding on which ways of life are made and made known”

  • Culture as organized– not just given naturally from tastes and desires

    “Culture is a system of power fully integrated into the political economy” (Or is it? Fully?)


Mitchell preview of chapters to come
Mitchell- Preview of Chapters to Come

  • “Unravel the making of culture”

  • Who makes culture? Who presents it? Who consumes it? How? To what end?

    “The work of culture is to advance social reproduction (or social integration) through the making and marking of differences.” (p.88)


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