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Book, Mass Culture in the 20th Century Neurosis and Necrosis 11/18[LS]

Book, Mass Culture in the 20th Century Neurosis and Necrosis 11/18[LS]

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Mass Culture in the 20th Century – The Spirit of Time, by Edgar Morin, is divided into two parts, brought together in a single volume in this 11th edition. The first, reformulated by the author and called Neurosis, covers the years 1960-65 and analyzes the social, psychological and spiritual consequences of the impact of Tierce Culture or mass culture on social clusters, focusing on the myths that, produced industrially, condition existential values of the consuming public: pleasures, happiness and love, among others. The term neurosis is used here not only in the sense of an evil of the spirit, but of a commitment between this evil and reality, a commitment made and paid for through fantasies, myths, rites, without suppressing the origin of the evil. However, the growing influence of mass culture in everyday life, in homes, in marital life, in the family, gave rise to the transformation of the mythology of happiness into a problematic of happiness. Headquarters of underground movements, of “counterculture”, or even of “cultural revolution”, begin to emerge, on the margins of consumer culture, penetrating it, irrigating it, modifying it. Initially emerging in the form of small disturbances and difficulties, a true cultural crisis erupted in the years 1965-75, causing, in turn, a profound social crisis. The second part, Necrosis, deals with this period. The very notion of mass culture becomes problematic, demanding not only an expansion of its first definition, but also new methodological and epistemological bases for its study, since a true necrosis has occurred in the cultural organism of our Western society. . Necrosis in the sense of decomposition of an organ that belongs to a still living organism. According to the author, if neurosis proposes a stroll through the avenues of mass culture, necrosis invites preparations for a long journey to a still unknown destination, which constitutes a delirious challenge to the reader's epistemological dispositions. NEUROSIS Mass culture, during the years 1960-65, extending its powers over the Western world, industrially produces the myths that condition the integration of the consuming public into social reality. Neurosis here has the meaning not only of an evil of the spirit, but of a compromise between this evil and reality, through fantasies, myths and rites. NECROSIS Development of the themes presented in the first part of the book (Neurosis), through an examination of the disturbances and crises that broke out in the years 1965-75. The problematization of mass culture leads to the problem of cultural revolution; the crisis of culture leads to the crisis of society. Necrosis or decomposition of an organ in a still living organism. This is what caused the crisis of culture during the years 1965-75 in Western society.

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