Marina Spalla – The Culture Industry and Boy Bands

Posted: October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

Our talk in class about the Culture Industry got me thinking about ways in which the idea of a culture industry has really seeped into our everyday lives. In particular, I thought about the points related to pseudo-individuality specifically relating to “boy bands”. In general, the idea of boy bands seems to be a great example of psuedo-individuality, in that each of these boy bands – i.e Backstreet Boys, *NSync, Jonas Brothers, One Direction – all claim to be so different from one another, but really, the message in a majority of their songs in “boy loves girl, boy can’t have girl, boy eventually gets girl,” or something along those lines. Additionally, there is always different “categories” which each of the members is grouped in. The mysterious one, the hot one, the romantic one, etc. Yes, they may all be from different periods of time, but nothing has truly changed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some One Direction, but I definitely realize that they are almost a carbon copy of every boy band preceding them.


  1. Charlotte Bullock says:

    I like this comparison, I think its a great example and is an interesting application of the concept of pseudo-individualism. I feel like its one thing to see the undeniable similarities in products such as cars or shampoo, because as we discussed, at the end of the day they all do the same thing, satisfy some type of need. We really just buy into certain products due to other factors, mainly those presented by advertising .However, when you apply it to boy bands its interesting because its an example of actual people who have been commodified, turned into products to be mass produced. With the case of One direction, I know they are often marketed to be different then previous boy bands, as they do not have choreographed dance routines or dress the same. At the end of the day you’re right they are still a boy band and fit the characteristics perfectly, they have just been portrayed or marketed in a way to make us think differently.

    -Charlotte Bullock

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