Question: As I read more and more and more Critical Theory, I am bothered by what I see as an equivocal (or just historical?) use of the word “culture.” They seem to use the term for artistic creations (broadly considered) as well in an anthropological sense. Is there a member of the “school” who precisely defines his/her meaning of, or offers more distinctions about, the term culture in relation to anthropology? I don’t recall seeing that turn outlined in Dialectic of Enlightenment*. I am particularly interested in potential definitions by early, or founding, Critical Theorists—i.e. Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin, Fromm, Marcuse, etc. Surely some of them were aware of the work of early anthropologists like Boas, Malinowski, Mead? But I do realize that the field and Critical Theory were developing simultaneously. Finally, if not an early Frankfurt School member, does Lukacs, Habermas, or another provide a thorough definition of culture that considers anthropology?
In sum, is there an equivocation, or am I trying to read Critical Theory through presentist eyes? – TL
*The term “anthropology” comes up nowhere in Dialectic.