an essay on cultural criticism and society - online …
“Cultural Criticism and Society,” in Prisms, ..
Foucault's work has given rise to increased methodological sensitivity of the political dangers associated with traditional qualitative approaches in the social sciences. There is a growing awareness that the widespread use of the research interview is not indicative of a deepening insight into the workings of culture, but is part of a broader social technology for its reproduction. In an effort to re-imagine interview methodology, scholars have read Foucault to suggest the need for greater attention to the active co-construction of research conclusions arising from interview based research. This has led in turn to the view that post modern approaches produce localized, temporally specific knowledge that fails to shed light on deeper, more enduring social structures. This paper questions these interpretations of Foucault's work, arguing that they fail to accurately represent his genealogical method or to consider its implications for research ethics. Foucault rejects a view of knowledge as emerging from the active social constructions of agents or of institutionalised interests. Rather, Foucault sees knowledge as an outcome, often accidental, of interrelated historical practices and discourses that produce the subjects and objects of social science discourse itself. The implications of Foucault's work for thinking about research ethics is not a return to authenticity or to analyses of social structure, but a rejection of the centralised, regulatory claims of an organised scientific discourse. The paper comprises a review of social science responses to post structural insights, coverage of the critical epistemological differences between Foucault's method and other key social theory paradigms, and a discussion of the critical ethical issues these differences raise for the social sciences.
Adorno in his essay 'Cultural Criticism and Society' from Prisms.
Adorno perceived a lack of authentic talent in the popular forms of music which equated singers with the ability to speak and their capacity for performing in front of audiences. The prima donnas and the castrati, with their artistic virtuosity belonged to an earlier epoch and no longer had a place in the music industry. Likewise, Adorno saw a change in the music connoisseur whose reason for attending concerts was the cultural importance of being seen at the 'right' performance rather than the pleasure of listening the musical event was transformed into a means. The fact the price of the ticket could be afforded was far more important and constituted a worshiping of status, over and above the joy and privilege of attending a musical event. Does music even entertain anymore? Adorno certainly believed it no longer had the ability and instead, merely complemented the death of expressive speech and humanity's tendency towards non-communication. He wrote of the "pockets of silence" that are so prevalent in society and admitted that "if nobody can any longer speak, then certainly nobody can any longer listen."