Luengo, M. 2011. Filosofía de la Cultura Popular: Una lectura de la teoría crítica desde la perspectiva de Hannah Arendt. Cinta moebio 40: 64-83


Philosophy of Popular Culture: A critical theory reading from the perspective of Hannah Arendt

Dra. María Luengo ( Departamento de Periodismo y Comunicación Audiovisual, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Madrid, España)


The field of popular culture has privileged a technical view of its objects in the sense that Aristotle gave to the term téchne. This approach has prevailed until today in the form of an economic and technological determinism that emphasizes the social structure in front of cultural activity. It is a rationalist presupposition which it is shared by the cultural and sociological theories dominant in the area: critical theory, political economy analysis and, to some extent, cultural studies. This study examines the philosophical assumptions of these current theories in order to understand how they incorporate the same rational and extrinsic explanation which defined the criticism of Adorno and Horkheimer to mass culture at mid-twentieth century. This phenomenon of mass culture gave rise to Hannah Arendt’s alternative reflection, coinciding with the period in which the Frankfurt’s theorists settled the dominant view of contemporary culture. In our view, Arendt offers a non-rationalist and intrinsic perspective that allows an adequate understanding of the cultural and symbolical character of the objects that shape the field of popular culture.

Key words: philosophy of culture, popular culture, Frankfurt’s school, Hannah Arendt.

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Cinta de Moebio
Revista de Epistemología de Ciencias Sociales
ISSN 0717-554X