Document Type


Publication Date

January 2015


Although Marx himself did not explicitly theorize the media, his postulations and adumbrations about the dialectics of cultural and ideological mediation have provided a robust springboard for a Marxist theory of themedia. In this article, I briefly chronicle the trajectory of scholarship and research on the mass media u,sing the Marxist paradigm and coalesce the disparate corpus of broad research traditions and paradigm shifts thathave occurred within the Marxist critical tradition. I conclude by calling attention to the points of convergence between Theodor Adorno and other Marxist media theorists. I particularly show how Adorno reconciles theculturalist and political economic tendencies within the Marxist tradition of media theory. I argue that the time-honored distinction between the culturalist and political economic traditions in the taxonomies of Marxist media theory ignores Adorno's contributions to media theory, which not only creatively reconcile these tendencies but also represents the closest approximation of how Marx himself would have theorized the media in late capitalism.

Journal Title

Journal of Communications Media Studies



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