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The mathematical definition of the twentieth century corresponds to a hundred year period with a strictly defined beginning and an end However the picture differs when we look at the issue in a critical perspective For most historians and social scientists our century is characterized by vast and rapid changes in social economical and political institutions This analysis holds a large amount of validity even when the empirical data of a personal life experience is used Therefore the constraints for the definition of this era shall be closely related to institutional changes At this point two major events turn out to be the yardsticks for a proper periodical limitation The first one being the Industrial Revolution is the innovative locomotive behind the age of mass production the assembly line and the long celebrated monumental factories symbolized by steel It would be hardly possible to call our second yardstick a revolution for it had developed within an evolutionary process that can not be defined by a single technological innovation Nevertheless the globalization of information and communication technologies is regarded to be the beginning of the post-industrial information age the age of the Mass Media This new age that can well be seen as a step into the twenty-first century brought fundamental changes to the classical relations between capital labor and society The industrial production left its place to the production of information and related technologies basically means of communication The blue-collared laborers are replaced with professionals and control of information became the new tool for holding economical and political power Therefore this notion of profiting from information via means of communication let the rise of the phenomenon of culture industries and the idea of an artificially created popular culture Among many definitions of popular culture the one written by Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno seems to be the most compact and suitable one for our purpose According to the two critics popular culture is light entertainment
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