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Admass is a term coined in 1955 by JB Priestley for a social system based on consumerism, driven by advertising and the mass media. In such a society, great emphasis is placed on the consumption of goods and services as giving meaning and purpose to life. According to Peter Leuner's entry in the Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, admass, beneath its glittering surface, promotes conformism and "distorts human feelings, needs, and emotions."[1]

For a more positive take on mass culture, see thinkers like Susan Sontag and Richard Poirier, who perceive it as having anti-elitist, democratic, and inclusive tendencies which are desirable.[2]

Related topic



  1. Peter Leuner, "admass," and "mass society;" and Oliver Stallybrass, "consumer society," in The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, 1977.
  2. Daniel Bell, "mass culture," in The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought. According to Mr. Bell, Sontag and Poirier frequently expressed their opinion in Partisan Review. He also cites Sontag, Against Interpretation, New York City, USA; 1966; and London, England, 1967.

External links

Neither of these sites mention admass, but they are nevertheless interesting: JB Priestley Society, JB Priestley "official" website.