It is somewhat ironic that the most famous ideas with which Adorno was associated, namely the theory of popular culture and of the culture industry, should have been promulgated as a central part of a text that is as difficult, complex and unusual as The Dialectic of Enlightenment, written with Horkheimer (Adorno and Horkheimer 1979). The birth of the theory of the culture industry thus emerges in the midst of a ‘grand narrative’ about man’s ‘original’ separation from and domination of nature, the rise of myth and the mythic consciousness, of mankind’s enslavement of itself in the quest to become as strong as the forces of nature, and of the part played by science as a new and totalistic mythology in the development of this self-enslavement, this reduction of men and women to the status of manipulated things, of objects, even to themselves. The culture industry serves the aims of this manipulative life; it undermines all genuine sociality and spontaneity, all expressivity in the subject, and imposes, upon the psyches of individuals, the calculated ‘effects’ of manufactured cultural goods.