Manufacturing Culture

This research aims to discuss how culture is being manufactured. To support this research, provided are conceptual framework and synthesis of Theodore Adorno & Max Horkheimer andArjun Appadurai journals. Infographics for 1944 and 2017 are also illustrated to support the concept as well as review if they are still applicable to present time.

Culture seems to evolve in an organic way. Layman may say, it changes through time depending on the trend. This common knowledge can be altered if we employed the idea of “Manufacturing Culture.” To manufacture a culture, we can use three frameworks. These are the following:
1. Universo Kubernetes by Javier Livas Cantu;
2. The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception by Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer (1944) and;
3. Disjuncture and Difference in Global Culture Economy by Arjun Appadurai.

According to Cantu, cybernetics is the Big Bang of Information and that data are interconnected. This is the framework used by Information Technology’s digital trend. Technology today is used for publication to sharing of information. But before discussing what is cybernetics, learning the different belief systemsis a pre-requsite.

The three major belief systems are Religion, Science and Government. They tend to monopolize information and public sphere through media. Each belief system may either contradict or support one another. For example, the Vatican’s claim is that the Earth is the center of the universe and that there is only human in the whole galaxy. When Giordano Bruno, contest this dogma by supporting heliocentricity (sun is the center of the universe) and that there are other lives in another galaxy, he was burned at the stake which legal since he moved against the belief system of the church.

Another example is the Nazis. Adolf Hitler’s philosophy about visual arts is that it must portray reality thus confining especially painting to Naturalism and Realism movement. When the German Expressionist movement protested against this, the Nazis held an exhibition and humiliated the expressionist painting. Some were confiscated while other expressionists working as a professor are expelled like Paul Klee.

From these belief systems, deviants from public sphere may intellectually revolt thus creating chaos to the society. And from this chaos, the process will restructure, standardize and become part of the belief system. One example is the Apple Macintosh computer. It was released 1984 equipped with the capability to run graphic design software. This indicates the revolution against the Priesthood of IBM which is designed for large computing and corporations. Mac could have been a deviant at those times but has become part of today’s system especially for multimedia.


From this journal, another belief system can be added. This is what is called as Business – not so dogmatic but definitely exploits media to sell their goods and services not just to the public but in all types of costumers like government and fellow corporations. Which not only impacts the economy but tend to modify th eculture as well.


m culture 1
According to Adorno and Horkheimer, the culture can be modified through:
• Industrialization through advancement of technology wherein the inhabitants are both producers and customers and;
• Mass media such as radio, televisions (commercials and movies) and film shows. There is also mass reproduction of arts thus Fine Arts are being overshadowed.
These methods tend to deceive the public focusing more on their job to support their lifestyle and engage in entertainment.

This journal by Appadurai discusses the changes in India’s cultural landscape that results from emerging business, economy and globalization.
Appadurai formally categorized the factors that modifies a culture.
1. Ethnoscapes – this refers to tourists, immigrants, refugees, exiles, guest workers and other moving group.
2. Technoscapes – this refers mechanical and informational technology.
3. Finanscapes– this refers to the global disposition of global capital.
4. Mediascapes – this refers to image-centered, narrative-based accounts of strips of reality.
5. Ideoscapes – this refers to ideologies of the state.
These tends to deterritorialize India’s culture. Some examples are that their native IT engineers migrate to abroad for greener pasture, Middle Eastern business acquiring lands and establishing hotels designed by their architecture and prostitutes entertaining tourists wearing their national customers.

By applying the Conceptual Framework, the 1944 timeframe was used when World War II is ongoing and the time that Adorno and Horkheimer’s journal was written. The three belief systems are Science, Government and Business while the mass media are radio, television, film and prints spherically newspaper.

The U.S. government needs science and technology systems for manage their weapons and other projects that will make them win the war against Nazi. It also needs business to provide steel and assemble their weaponries like Steeltown in Ohio and General Motors. Working on these factories are promoted to the public especially through televisions. In return, the workers will have a good income to support their lifestyle.


m culture 2

Up to present time, this concept of manufacturing culture is still applicable. There’s more robust technology infrastructure and flexibly designed corporate loans to support businesses of all sizes. Manpower are either being imported, offshored or outsourced from well-developed countries like U.S. and Europe to third world countries like Philippines and India because of high quality of output but with low labor cost. Businesses are using the internet to advertise their products and services through social media at any platform like smartphones and computers. The public then enjoys the use of these online services as well as adapt to the latest trend.The public is more aware of the latest fashion, gadgets and promotions both locale and abroad. Purchasing and delivery where even simplified through credit cards and payment gateways and shipping services.

The difference from now and then is that the data coming from the public are gathered through web robots or system integration. These are being used by the business and government for their business intelligence that study customer behavior as well as directing or designing the culture and future.


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1. J.Cantu,”Universo Kubernetes”
2. T.Adorno, M.Horkheimer, The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception
3. A. Appadurai,”Disjuncture and Difference in Global Culture Economy”


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