Culture Industry vs. Fandom Approaches to the American Broadcast Media Case of Professional Wrestling
Keywords: American Broadcast, culture, fandom, Frankfurt School, industry, media, Professional Wrestling, USA, U.S. Media Studies
AbstractImposing feature, “system” (a modern technological society) uses a powerful apparatus of the culture industry. Offering their values and behaviors, the media creates needs and language. In order of mass-distribution the industrial culture creates values and models
which are uniform, amorphous, and primitive. They block the initiative and creativity, and require the audience to adore “the realism”, by passively accepting information. Those ideas were introduced by the members of the “Frankfurt school” theorists Adorno and Horkheimer. The two scholars in their book “The Culture Industry: Enlightment as Mass Deception” were trying to understand the contradictions of the modern culture, especially
- its monotony. For this reason they introduced the concept of “cultural industry.” On the contrary “Fandom” is viewed as a radical opposition to the industrial products. Fans are creating their own cultural products, language and signs. John Fiske in his works criticizes Frankfurt school scholars, showing the fans as being the productive scours of the individual culture which is going along and sometimes even against the official,
industrial one. Using the case of the American Professional Wrestling I want to show the relationship of the two media theories. Its fan base once mainly consisted of closet fans, meaning that they didn’t openly admit to being wrestling fans. That has changed over the past few years, as wrestling has become one of the highest rated shows on television. In
the article will be shown how the broadcasting media is used in the culture industry and fandom, how the fandom radicalism is avoided in the wrestling and what the main tools of the cultural oppression are.