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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Adorno and Marcuse’s critical analysis of media culture and its implications for media education in China Li, Yue


This thesis explores the educational insights in Adorno and Marcuse’s critical theory and discusses its implication for media education in mainland China. There are three main areas where their critical philosophy can strengthen critical pedagogy and media education in contemporary China: their analysis of the nature and effects of media culture, their critique of the educational system, and their aesthetic educational method with the aim of cultivating critical thinking. Given mass media’s significant role in shaping people’s understanding towards different social affairs, my thesis challenges the current technical mode of media education in mainland China, which stresses too much the teaching of technical knowledge while ignoring the cultivation of the ability to think critically. I also discuss the educational methods that teachers may use to cultivate critical thinking based on Adorno and Marcuse’s philosophy of education. As a philosophical inquiry, my thesis concentrates on theoretical analysis. By applying Adorno and Marcuse’s critical philosophy to contemporary China, I not only analyze the insights of their philosophy for understanding the current society, but also suggest that some opinions in their theory should be changed within the contemporary social and cultural context.

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