Study Guide

Theodor Adorno - The Authoritarian Personality

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The Authoritarian Personality

As one of the authors of the influential sociological book The Authoritarian Personality, Adorno shares in the controversy surrounding the book's methodology and perceived bias. Christopher Lasch, for example, criticized the book's absence of evidence for its presuppositions, and he also criticized the way the book says that the way to be mentally healthy is to take the liberal political position. He says that Adorno seems to be guilty of the same "identity thinking" he so often abhorred and criticized (source).

Too much smugness, anyone?

Like the rarely-pleased food critic Anton Ego in the Pixar movie Ratatouille, Adorno had no qualms about smugly telling you which art rocks and which art needs to hauled off to the dumpster. Unlike Ego, he never broadened his tastes. In fairness, though, he never met an artistic rat.

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