Until recently the study of popular culture .was dominated by the perspective of the Frankfurt School. For them all mass culture was identical. Cultural products were 'cyclically recurrent and rigidly invariable types' (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1 977:352}. They were the products of the 'assembly-line character of the culture industry' (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1977:380}. The similarities extended beyond plotlines and genre-types to the consistent promotion of conventional values. This culture was primarily a form of social control. It was, to quote De Tocquevil!e, ·a tyranny (which} leaves the body free and directs its attack at the soul' (Adorno and Horkheimer, 1 977:358}.

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