Philosophy and Social Criticism 24 (5):53-84 (1998)

A critical retrospective of 'The Psychological Technique of Martin Luther Thomas' Radio Addresses' sheds new light on an often underplayed tension in Adorno's thought concerning the capacity of mass culture to express resistance against domination. In 'Thomas' Adorno moved beyond denouncing mass culture as 'culture industry' by approach ing early Christian right radio in a manner consistent (initially) with his defense of the autonomous dimension of culture in general. At the same time, 'Thomas' accomplished groundwork for the culture industry theory, and this theory ultimately guided the study's conclusions. This critique confirms Adorno's ambivalence regarding the negative capabilities of mass culture while suggesting a new way to analyze the contemporary Christian right. This approach, which I illustrate, draws upon both the culture industry theory and a modified version of Adorno's method of immanent, dialectical criticism to identify ideological elements as well as moments of resistance in Christian right radio today
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DOI 10.1177/019145379802400503
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