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27 Examples of Culture Industry

 , June 08, 2021
Culture industry is the production of culture at industrial scale. This includes popular culture and mass produced consumer goods that can be considered culture such as food and fashion. The following are illustrative examples of the culture industry.
Affordable Luxury Goods
Chain Hotels
Chain Restaurants
Fast Fashion
Fast Food
Fast Moving Consumer Goods
Footwear (mass produced)
Furniture (mass produced)
Interior Design (mass produced)
Leisure Goods
Manga & Anime
Music Festivals
Popular Fiction
Popular Music
Social Media
Sporting Goods
Streaming Media
Theme Parks
Tour Groups
Video Games
A similar term cultural industry is used to denote the economic activity driven by traditional culture.

Critical Theory

The term culture industry originates with postmodern critical theorists, particularly Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, who portray it as a power structure that pacifies the masses by convincing them to pursue false needs. This is based on a diminished view of the masses whereby individuals have little or no agency. For example, an individual wouldn't watch a television show as a shared experience with their family but rather because they have been tricked by the system into wasting their time. It should be noted that critical theory views almost everything as a power structure including familiar institutions such as family.


Under critical theory, the elite are portrayed as all powerful such that pop culture is pushed onto the relatively powerless masses. This can be contrasted with the traditional view that firms only produce what audiences and consumers want. In other words, firms compete to meet demand driven by customer needs. In the traditional view, consumers shape most things and have high agency.


The term culture industry is used by critical theory to paint pop culture as a false need that is pushed to the masses. High culture is more likely to be portrayed as a priceless element of cultural heritage that is supported by the intelligentsia and upper classes. This resembles elitism whereby the culture of the working and middle class is painted as having negative value and the culture of the intelligentsia and upper class is held in high regard.


This is the complete list of articles we have written about culture.
American Culture
City Culture
Cultural Capital
Cultural Diffusion
Cultural Diversity
Cultural Issues
Cultural Rights
Culture Change
Culture Shift
Culture Shock
Digital Culture
Epic Meaning
Experience Age
Game Culture
Global Culture
High Context
High Culture
Human Behavior
Human Culture
Low Culture
Mass Culture
Material Culture
Modern Culture
Nonmaterial Culture
Performing Art
Personal Culture
Physical Culture
Pop Culture
Rite of Passage
Shared Experiences
Shared Meaning
Social Expectations
Super Culture
Traditional Culture
Traditional Knowledge
Youth Culture
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