Feminism and Cultural Studies

Feminism and Cultural Studies

Feminism and Cultural Studies

Feminism and Cultural Studies


Oxford Readings in Feminism provide accessible, one-volume guides to the very best in contemporary feminist thinking, assessing its impact and importance in key areas of study. Collected together by scholars of outstanding reputation in their field, the articles chosen represent the most important work on feminist issues, and concise, lively introductions to each volume crystallize the main lines of debate in the field. This collection, edited by Morag Shiach, brings together exciting work in feminism and cultural studies from different countries and different historical moments. It combines 'classic' articles with more recent work to offer an insight into the challenges and innovations of work within cultural studies. The collection is organised thematically in ways which illuminate the development of theoretical and political debates within feminism and cultural studies. Different traditions within cultural studies are brought into relation with each other to explore areas such as commodification, women and labour, mass culture, fantasy and ideas of home.


'Cultural studies' is an interdisciplinary space whose contours and energies express the complex and shifting relations between cultural analysis and political critique over the last thirty years. It is a field which has grown rapidly in recent years and has developed from the concerns, methodologies, and analytic procedures of a number of disciplines, including literature, sociology, anthropology, film studies, and philosophy.

There is no single story of cultural studies. For an editor of a volume such as this one that fact may be a source of disappointment, even of frustration. Certainly it does seem to have been the aim of many editors of recent volumes on cultural studies to construct a narrative of the true nature and appropriate objects of the field. This desire to fix the discipline, to give it an authoritative source and a simple trajectory, risks distorting the various ways in which the analysis of culture has involved, intrigued, and excited people over the last thirty years.

Cultural studies is marked by the different national contexts in which it has developed. Factors including the forms and languages of politics, the relations between cultural production and the state, or the organization and funding of education will all leave their trace on the kind of work done in the field. For example, the political and cultural meanings of race and ethnicity are a central concern of cultural studies as a whole, but the theoretical terms in which these aspects are understood have been quite varied and can only be interpreted in relation to the different colonial histories of, for example, Britain, Australia, and the United States.

The growth of cultural studies as an academic field also expresses the scale, and the contested nature, of educational changes in recent years. In Britain, for example, cultural studies developed largely in polytechnics and in adult and continuing education. For a number of reasons, these were intellectual spaces where interdisciplinary work could more readily be undertaken. Polytechnics had less of an investment in the sanctity of existing academic disciplines because they had less of a stake in the cultural hierarchies that supported them. They were also addressing a constituency of students who were much more varied in terms of age . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.