British Culture: An Introduction

British Culture: An Introduction

British Culture: An Introduction

British Culture: An Introduction

Synopsis

British Culture: An Introduction provides a comprehensive introduction to central aspects of culture and the arts in Britain today, and uses a factual approach to place them within a clear, historical context.Topics include:* the social and cultural setting: politics and society 1950-1999, including immigration, feminism, Thatcherism and the arts and the Blair revolution* language and culture: accents and minority languages, broadcasting and public life* the novel, poetry and theatre* cinema: Hammer Horror, James Bond, Ealing comedies, black British film, Trainspotting , The Full Monty and historical epics* television and radio: soap opera, crime series and sitcoms* popular music and fashion: The Beatles, punk, Britpop, subculture and style* art and sculpture: Bacon, Hockney, Gilbert and George and Hirst* architecture and interiors.Each chapter focuses on key themes of recent years, and gives special emphasis to outstanding artists within each area. The book also strengthens study skills, through follow-up activities and suggestions for further reading which appear at the end of each chapter. A real must-read for all students of British history and culture.

Excerpt

Introduction

Precise definitions of the terms ‘culture’ and ‘arts’ have always been elusive and frequently elitist. But current trends point towards a more inclusive notion of culture which embraces a broad range of texts and practices. This is reflected in the renaming of the government’s own Department of Heritage (with responsibility for the arts) as the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, headed by its own Culture Secretary. Similarly, arts comment and reviews within the British media frequently appear under the heading of ‘culture’, and vice versa.

Any text about ‘British culture’ must immediately recognise the problematic nature of a concept containing numerous differences as well as similarities. Since the 1950s the expression and experience of cultural life in Britain has become fragmented and reshaped by the influences of gender, ethnicity, class and region. Moreover, as we enter the third Millenium, with the gradual devolution of power to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, it seems likely that regional cultural identities will be

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