Within your breakout room, describe your interpretation of the quote from Schiller’s essay. Assign someone in your room to discuss the interpretation when we rejoin the full class session.
“Productivity is higher and, consequently, the availability of goods is greater. But there is a cost, he notes, a very high cost! ‘The price paid by working people for the 'successes' of capitalism has been in terms of the breakdown of human associations, the loss of solidarity, indifference between people, violence, loneliness . . . and a sense of loss of function and purpose’” (266).
“Still, by the close of the twentieth century, in highly developed market economies at least, most symbolic production and human creativity have been captured by and subjected to market relations. Private ownership of the cultural means of production and the sale of the outputs for profit have been the customary characteristics” (266).
“The great upsurge in the cultural industries cannot be explained exclusively, however, on the basis of improved technical capabilities. Credit also must be given to social developments that the market economy itself has promoted…. Advertising, installment credit, personal finance, banking, insurance, retailing, and transport follow closely the expansion of the manufacturing system” (267).
“In contrast with their willingness to examine individual behavior in microscopic detail, the cultural industries-the mass media in particular-are remarkably reticent to examine their own activities. Commentary on the extensive merger movement in the media is illustrative. It receives substantial but essentially unilluminating coverage” (269).
“Today… a few studios hold about the same proportion of theaters that was ruled illegal a generation or more ago. One immediate, visible effect of this development has been the practical elimination of art theaters that used to show foreign and domestic films that were not likely to be smash commercial hits. The larger consideration, not unrelated to the former, is that commercial criteria now totally dominate the industry” (270).
“Actually, some small-scale production is one means of ‘managing creativity’….In allowing small-scale and relatively independent activity to continue to exist in cultural work, the big cultural firms insure a constant supply of talent and creativity that otherwise might be ignored or even suffocated in their own bureaucratized, symbol-making factories. The ‘independents’ are continually tapped to replenish exhausted creative energies in the cultural conglomerates” (272).
“The corporate ‘voice’ now constitutes the national symbolic environment” (273).