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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Seeing Through Adorno's Prism: Adorno, Negative Dialectics, and the 'Creative City'

Durey, Matthew (2021) Seeing Through Adorno's Prism: Adorno, Negative Dialectics, and the 'Creative City'. Geographische Zeitschrift, 109 (2-3). pp. 126-143. ISSN 0016-7479

Item Type: Article


The cultural and creative industries have become a vibrant field of research in recent years. Increasing their contributions to GDP and encompassing a growing share of the labour market, cultural and creative industries have become a common feature in many areas of policy and research, and, especially in urban contexts, have become associated with significant spatial transformations. While the origin of the concept of ‘culture industry’ in the work of Adorno and Horkheimer is often acknowledged, contemporary scholarship in the field of cultural and creative industries has typically paid very little attention to the theoretical work – specifically Adorno’s critique of ‘identity thinking’ and the importance of contradiction and the preponderance of the object which formed the basis of his negative dialectics – which underpinned his arguments concerning the commodification and standardization of cultural products. Consequently, important insights in Adorno’s work are
frequently overlooked in contemporary accounts of cultural and creative industries. This article situates Adorno’s arguments on the culture industry within his negative dialectics, and by applying his ‘logic of disintegration’ – or ‘prism’ – to the ‘creative city’, makes an argument for how Adorno’s ideas continue provide important insights into the geographies of cultural and creative industries in postindustrial society.

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Depositing User: Matthew Durey


Item ID: 13714
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ISSN: 0016-7479
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Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 14:10
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 12:10