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585 Reading Interests of Adults


Methodologies diverse: textual analysis, ethnography, psychoanalysis, survey research, etc. ... role of popular culture in class-based society in England ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 585 Reading Interests of Adults

Image credit Victor GAD
585 Reading Interests of Adults Cultural
Theory and Popular Culture
Marija Dalbello Rutgers School of Communication,
Information, and Library Studies dalbello_at_scils.ru
tgers.edu http//www.scils.rutgers.edu/dalbello
  • What is Cultural Studies?
  • ______________________
  • Study of culture (rather than society)
  • Progressive, radical, and omnipresent in arts,
    humanities, social sciences, science technology

  • What is Culture?
  • ______________________
  • Social behavior material culture cultural
    texts and practices shared fantasies
  • Tylor (1871) Culture is that complex whole which
    includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law,
    customs, and other capabilities and habits
    acquired by man as a member of society.
  • Kroeber lists 300 definitions of culture.

What is Culture? ______________________ Mead
(1960s) Culture is a learned behavior of a
society or a subgroup. Williams (1970s) Culture
includes the organization of production, the
structure of the family, the structure of
institutions which express or govern social
relationships, the characteristic forms through
which members of the society communicate. Geertz
(1980s) Culture is simply the ensemble of
stories we tell ourselves about ourselves.
  • What is the Subject of Cultural Studies?
  • ______________________
  • Subject area not clearly defined all-inclusive
    notion of culture and study of a range of
  • Principles, theories and methods are eclectic
  • Distinct history of cultural studies

  • What is the Subject of Cultural Studies?
  • ______________________
  • Principles, theories and methods from social
    sciences disciplines, the humanities and the arts
    adapted to the purposes of cultural analysis
  • Methodologies diverse textual analysis,
    ethnography, psychoanalysis, survey research,

  • Discipline or
  • Anti-discipline?
  • ______________________
  • Cultural studies impossible to define
    collective term for diverse and contentious
    intellectual endeavors many theoretical and
    political positions
  • Includes established and radical disciplines,
    political activism and modes of inquiry (critical
  • Anti-discipline not institutionalized

  • Historical background
  • ______________________
  • Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS)
    est. 1964
  • Working Papers in Cultural Studies (1972)
  • Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, E.P.
    Thompson, Stuart Hall
  • Working-class background role of popular
    culture in class-based society in England

  • R. Hoggart R. Williams______________________
  • Working class intellectuals
  • The culture of common people (working class
    culture) seen as more authentic than middle- and
    upper-class culture derives from experience
  • Against canonical élitism (high culture)
  • Interest in active appropriation of cultural
    forms class struggle in the cultural arena
  • Mass culture seen as colonizing working class
    culture packaged for passive absorption by the
    cultural industry producers

But what to do?
  • R. Hoggart
  • ______________________
  • Founder of CCCS
  • The Uses of Literacy (1957) programmatic work
    parts of it written as a manifesto
  • Problem working classes excluded from
    participation and dissemination of their cultural
    forms and practices
  • Cultural struggle over legitimacy and cultural
    status of forms and practices
  • Critical reading of art needs to reveal the
    felt quality of life of a society art captures
    the experience of the everyday as the unique

  • R. Williams
  • ______________________
  • Marxist tradition
  • Culture is an expression of the coherence of
    organic communities resisting determinism in its
    various forms
  • Culture material, intellectual and spiritual
    (base and superstructure)
  • Centrality of the culture of everyday life
    (texts that capture the structure of feeling of
    everyday life, the sense of an époque) - not only
    validates such culture and its study but
    validates its production and gives it a status of
    insight into the dynamics of societys struggle

Goals of Cultural Studies ______________________
1. Examine cultural practices in their
relationship to power how power shapes these
practices. 2. Culture is studied in the social
and political context in which its forms manifest
themselves. 3. Culture is both object of study
and vehicle for changing political consciousness
through this understanding (scholarly
pragmatic). 4. Reconcile division between tacit
/ universal knowledge validation of experience
(local knowledge) in addition to generally shared
forms of knowledge. 5. Moral evaluation of
modern society and means for radical action.
  • What is Cultural Studies?
  • Study of relations between social relations and
    meanings (how social divisions are made
  • Culture is terrain on which ideological
    representations of class, gender, race are
    enforced, and contested by social groups
    validating their experience
  • Hegemony
  • operates in the realm of representations and
  • implies power inequality in different segments
    of society
  • naturalizes a class ideology and renders it in
    the form of common sense
  • exercised through authority, not physical
  • operates through institutions (educational
    system, media and the family)
  • Cultural studies focus on analysis of cultural
    forms and their meaning in the context of power
    relations in society

  • Culture as Site of Class Struggle
  • Gramsci (1891-1937)
  • Hegemony how society is bound together without
    the use of force under the moral and intellectual
    leadership of the ruling classes

  • Hegemony ______________________
  • Hegemony relies on negotiation consent
  • Intellectuals forge consent in the interest of
    the ruling class
  • Competing classes achieve a compromise
  • Culture as key site of struggle of competing
  • Popular culture is an arena of resistance but
    also of enforcing hegemony
  • Paradoxically, the sphere of culture perceived
    as non-political although it is a conduit for
    hegemonic representations

  • Theories and Theorists in Cultural Studies
  • ______________________
  • Culture and civilisation (Matthew Arnold
    Leavisism) canon
  • Culturalism (Raymond Williams, E.P. Thompson,
    Richard Hoggart, Stuart Hall) authenticity
  • Structuralism (Ferdinand de Saussure,Claude
    Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes) signs unconscious
    foundations signification
  • Post-Structuralism Jacques Derrida, Jacques
    Lacan, Michel Foucault, Edward Said) meaning is
  • Marxism (Classical the Frankfurt School,
    Althusserian neo-Gramscian Bakhtin) cultural
    texts reflect how society is organized
  • Feminism (Janice Radway) constructing identity
    through consumption
  • Post-modernism (Jameson, Baudrillard) revolt
    against modernism
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