British Cultural Studies: An Introduction

British Cultural Studies: An Introduction

British Cultural Studies: An Introduction

British Cultural Studies: An Introduction

Synopsis

is a comprehensive introduction to the British tradition of cultural studies. Turner offers an accessible overview of the central themes that have informed British cultural studies: language, semiotics, Marxism and ideology, individualism, subjectivity and discourse. Beginning with a history of cultural studies, Turner discusses the work of such pioneers as Raymond Williams, Richard Hoggart, E. P.Thompson, Stuart Hall and the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies. He then explores the central theorists and categories of British cultural studies: texts and contexts; audience; everyday life; ideology; politics, gender and race.The third edition of this successful text has been fully revised and updated to include:* How to apply the principles of cultural studies and how to read a text* An overview of recent ethnographic studies* Discussion of anthropological theories of consumption* Questions of identity and new ethnicities* How to do cultural studies, and an evaluation of recent research methodologies* A fully updated and comprehensive bibliography

Excerpt

If it had been written thirty years ago, a book with this title would almost certainly have been expected to deal with 'high culture': the elite art forms seen to provide the best that has been written, spoken or performed over the ages. An index of how large a shift has occurred in those thirty years is that I will deal primarily not with elite but with popular culture. This book will chart some of the reasons for this shift, while outlining cultural studies as a set of key sites of investigation, key methodologies and theoretical orientations, and a critical practice.

The term cultural studies is now well known as the title for an important set of theories and practices within the humanities and social sciences. As its international journal, Cultural Studies, puts it, the field is 'dedicated to the notion that the study of cultural processes, and especially of popular culture, is important, complex and both theoretically and politically rewarding'. While the field has now achieved recognition, it is not a discrete or homogeneous formation, nor is it easy to define. It is not surprising that, although there had been many readers and collections of articles dealing with specific aspects or applications of cultural theory up until 1990, the original edition of this book was the first to attempt to introduce it accessibly and comprehensively. Since this book was published, however, there has been something of an explosion of such attempts - Brantlinger (1990), Gray and McGuigan (1993), Storey (1994), Tudor (1999) and Mulhern (2000) among them. The need, however, for the particular perspective offered by this book remains. While few outside the US would use the term 'British cultural studies' without at least some of the reservations I will go on to make later in this introduction, the label has become more widely used in recent

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