AbstractIn this media activity, students will learn to watch advertisements through the lens of Critical Theory. Students will discover how "the whole world is passed through the filter of the culture industry" and distinguish the fun and amusement of this genre from the cultural messages of inclusion and exclusion it entails.
This media activity is intended...
- Subject Area(s):
- Resource Type(s):
- Class Activity
- Class Level(s):
- College 300
- Class Size(s):
Usage NotesTime frame:
This media activity is intended as an in-class exercise that follows a lecture on Horkheimer and Adorno's text "The Culture Industry. Enlightenment as Mass Deception" (1944). The activity itself can take up to an hour, depending on the depth of the discussion.
Introduction with a word cloud:
It is useful to prompt the activity...
Learning Goals and Assessments
- Critical watching: Students learn to distinguish the fun and amusement of the advertisement art genre from the messages of inclusion and exclusion it entails. They discover how "the whole world is passed through the filter of the culture industry."
- Using (Critical) Theory: Students learn to articulate their analysis of advertisements using the concepts of Critical Theory.
- Students' "critical watching" is assessed through their active participation in the activity. Do students discover culture industry messages beneath each ad's story? With each round of ad analysis, students should expand their analysis to new themes.
- Observe students' level of comfort in using Critical Theory concepts and terminology. The iterative character of the exercise should induce routine in the use of Critical Theory's vocabulary. The activity may be followed up with a written assessment.