This larger take on culture, rather than simply a focus on mass art or popular culture, to which 2 The editorial team the Centre has sometimes been reduced by others, initiated the establishment of the Texts seminar which was to lay the proper foundations for inter-disciplinary research in cultural studies. In theoretical terms, he proposes the combination of Marxism with an existentialist framework Marxism alerting the analyst to the wider, objective structures or determinations, existentialism alerting the analyst to the profundity of the lived. As Hall 1996: 275 reminds us, I do think there is all the dierence in the world between understanding the politics of intellectual work and substituting intellectual work for politics. Rebecca Barden during her time with Routledge never lost faith in the project in spite of quite major set-backs and delays and Natalie Foster picked up the nal stages of its production our thanks to them both. This social group, for Goldmann as for Lukacs, is usually a class. For the later Richards, this dynamic structure, located within the text itself, is found in the interinanimation of words in metaphors10 Similar notions are developed by Empson as ambiguity11 and by Brooks as paradox.
In terms of cultural studies practice this shift is very signicant. Leavis exchange with Wellek provides a locus classicus of this anti-theorising position. In an early Centre report they write, We should like to have the opportunity to make some work operational in the 8 The editorial team eld of education, and to establish rmer links with teachers and educationalists. However, the shift from consciousness to identity occurred through a deeper understanding of the role and politics of culture and this subsequently had great eect on the discipline of sociology. Goldmanns work has as far as I can judge not, since the mid-1970s, been in any way inuential in either the development of Critical Theory within English departments nor in the variety of ways which Cultural Studies has approached literature. Others are concerned with the structuring eect of larger, or more inclusive, codes the larger units of discourse: the novel, science-ction, the confessional novel, even history itself, as a specic kind of discourse. But Leavis, too, acknowledges that if the Marxist approach to literature seems to me unprotable, that is not because I think of literature as a matter of isolated works of art, belonging to a realm of pure literary values.
Characteristically, this has taken the form of criticism, in ethical terms, of a growing cultural diversity and a corresponding decline of a sense of value or discrimination. The Uses of Literacy, London, Chatto and Windus, 1957. He analyses the imagery of the man in the street, so dear to journalists, or the contradictory and complimentary myths of the rustic vigour and feminine gentleness of working class, which are the delight of novelists, moralists, and artists alike; and all the dreadful contributions imbued with the viciousness or else with lyricism which have been made to the mass culture debate a counterpoint to the pastoral nostalgia from which few sociologists are exempt and in each case, Richard Hoggart hints at the extent to which sociologists merely play among themselves when they play with an image of the working-class. We can see that the alienation eect is tied to the rst task of awakening proletarian consciousness. He evaluates how anti-racist campaigns such as Rock again Racism and the Anti-Nazi League were critical spaces where questions of youth, class and race were fused together when the mould of British politics was being broken. Richard Hoggart certainly cant be numbered among those sociologists whom Wright Mills has attacked as bureaucratic empiricists: statistical information, relegated to the notes, is there only to indicate questions of scale; the author uses only the conclusions of surveys and, doubtless caring little for the articial delights of attitude ratings, did not consider it worthwhile to undertake a questionnaire survey in order to give his analysis numerical proof.
Thus literature is regarded, less as a refraction of the base through the superstructures, and more as a specic kind of activity praxis : a certain kind of practice: even, as a form of production. It is neither wholly objective, nor wholly subjective. This collection of classic essays focuses on the theoretical frameworks that informed the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, the methodologies and working practices that the Centre developed for conducting academic research and examples of the studies carried out under the auspices of the Centre. Theirs was an attempt to search for a new critical language for literary studies, which was to be more analytically engaged with the unpremeditated textures of experience in contemporary society. Drawing strongly on the work of the Chicago School and their engagement with youth and deviant behaviours, researchers worked with the notion of sub-cultures and in particular the spectacular expression of sub-cultural identity and belonging through forms of style and music. There is no simple transition to science; knowledge is a long battle with experience.
While this fact may appear to lend some inherent credibility to what follows in this twenty-rst century re-sit, it will soon become apparent to the knowledgeable reader that this Introduction has two considerable limitations. This suggests one possible line of development from this way of thinking of the questions about discourse and code: a revived interest in the whole discussion of genres where genre is dened in terms of the structure of conventions and rules a sort of deep structure which produces a range of surface variants. Each mediation or moment realises itself in some tangible or objective form. Benjamin therefore made a fundamental contribution to our understanding of the basis of artistic production, by giving as much weight to the means of making art to its technics as Lukacs and Goldmann give to its conceptual content or structure its super-structure. This volume is split into seven thematic sections that are introduced by key academics working in the field of cultural studies, and includes a preface by eminent scholar, Stuart Hall. Saussure also developed the notion of signication.
In so far as the work of art has the capacity to resist albeit negatively total incorporation into the world of commodities, it expresses for Adorno a principle of hope, a utopian element, though he resists conceptualising this hopeful side in isolation from its other, fragmented, negative side. In itself, this is the last and basic resort of petit-bourgeois moaning and the legitimation for the housewifes daily indignation at the Introduction to the French edition of Uses of Literacy 31 plumber come to repair the bath One cant get the service these days , but the alternative meaning is apparent when the plumbers attitude towards repairing the tap is seen from the point of the wage earner, and his relation to wages, to the boss, to the work and to the class he serves. It was still possible for the new medium of photography to be so used that it restored the hegemony of bourgeois art and the artist. Helen Wood is Lecturer of Sociology at De Montfort University. However, this chapter will be concerned with herstory rather than history.
However, in his notion of the project and of signication, Sartre comes some of the way towards the position exemplied in the nal group of theorists who see literature as a form of practice, and the literary text as the product of a specic kind of production. For example, philosophers may in their old age reject the theories of their youth, but recognising that they were once their objectications, simultaneously question Reading literature as culture 61 themselves as to their surpassing. Hodges Junior: Characteristics of the lower-blue-collar-class Social Problems X 1963. Three points are of special importance here. Thus the xed proportions of European painting could not, in his view, survive the penetration of the camera, which created a new optics. This collection of classic essays focuses on the theoretical frameworks that informed the work of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of Birmingham, the methodologies and working practices that the Centre developed for conducting academic research and examples of the studies carried out under the auspices of the Centre. He cited favourably David Cautes proposal that playwrights: make the rst target of their commitment, the structure of our consciousness, the way we think, know, feel, listen and respond.
The tendency is therefore always to treat the particular message or the parole of an individual work in terms of the code, or in Levi-Strauss sense, the structure, or in Chomskys terms, the deep structure, which organises the signs into meaningful, signifying relationships. One essential factor in this reading is self-consciousness, involving the ability of readers themselves to place their own readings within the cultural totality that includes the problematic of the text. Challenges from Barthes and others, including feminist engagements, resulted in emerging analyses of the construction of common sense in everyday life. Such cultural phenomena are capable of saying no to this proposition: but they would require the more armative work, which for Marcuse characterises art in the proper sense, to get beyond this simple negative: such more profound work would be marked by a proper and necessary attention to aesthetic form and aesthetic distance. All praxis is thus subject to the determination of its starting conditions: it is limited by the eld of possibles in a historical moment. Signication, he argued, required two planes: the symbol or index within the signifying system which was the mental representation of the concept, object or person the signier: and that to which the signier referred the thing concept, or person signied.
Bloch in Marx and Engels: Selected Works, Moscow, 1951, p. But social science should not be dened, as a certain methodological imperialism would have it, by the exclusive use of a rigid method for the construction and assessment of facts. In the rst, regressive analysis we have two major tasks, to describe the individual psychology of readers, their reading competence, and to describe the social relations of communication starting from the existential encounter with the text. If the prediction is wrong, the readers are held up, and must not only question the text, but also their own strategies. Perhaps the best way of understanding the relationship of theory to research in the Centre was in terms of the perceived requirement simultaneously to work at dierent levels of abstraction.