Adorno educatore e “fisionomo della radio”: il Radio Research Project

Elena Tavani


The main topic of the article is the reconstruction of Adorno’s claims on edu-cation through the parallel consideration of his analyses of media such as ra-dio and television in their immanent logic. His participation to the Radio Re-search Project (1938-1939) about radio music is also considered with its “dramatic” outcome: the clash of Adorno’s theoretical views and Lazarsfeld’s “educational” program’s empirical impact. I suggest that Adorno’s priority was not to just resist to authoritarian and impositional aspects of the socio- psychological experiments standing behind the project’s attempt to produce educational effects, but to analyze the technological medium itself in its “physiognomy”. My further claim is that Adorno’s critical “mediological” at-tempts to catch the internal qualities of media are analogous to his strategy to “understand” artworks in their specific technique and articulation. In both cases the analysis must also dwell with “historical forces” and “anthropologi-cal changes” in perception and behavior. One of these change is the Halbbildung which has historically replaced the Bildung. The article points out that Adorno does not simply insist on themes such as the standardization of mass media products stressing the ideological presuppositions of their “ubiq-uity”, but looks for the determination, through fundamentally pedagogical means, of a change in the audience’s way to address and experience media, i.e. with a more responsible and free attitude.


Aesthetics; Culture; Education

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