British Cultural Studies is a comprehensive introduction to the British tradition of cultural studies. Graeme 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: • • • • • • applying the principles of cultural studies and how to read a text an overview of recent ethnographic studies a 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.
Graeme Turner is Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Queensland. He is the editor of The Film Cultures Reader and author of Film as Social Practice, 3rd edition, both published by Routledge.
Reviews of the second edition
‘An excellent introduction to cultural studies … very well written and accessible.’ John Sparrowhawk, University of North London ‘A good foundation and background to the development of cultural studies and its associated theories.’ Paul Rixon, Roehampton Institute ‘A short and good overview of the history of cultural studies and a useful discussion of central categories and seminal texts.’ Udo Goettlich, Universitaet Duisburg, Germany ‘A comprehensive study of the field, easily understood by students …’ Tom Grainger, Faculty of Sciences of Luminy, Marseille, France
British Cultural Studies
First published 1990 by Unwin Hyman Inc. Second edition published 1996 Third edition published 2003 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group This edition published in the Taylor and Francis e-Library, 2005. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.”
© 1990, 1992, 1996, 2003 Graeme Turner All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in an information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested ISBN 0-203-99484-1 Master e-book ISBN
ISBN 0–415–25227–X (hbk) ISBN 0–415–25228–8 (pbk)
First principles 1 The idea of cultural studies
Language and culture 10 Semiotics and signification 13 Marxism and ideology 17 Individualism and subjectivity 20 Texts, contexts and discourses 22 Applying the principles 26
2 The British tradition: a short history
Hoggart and The Uses of Literacy 38 Raymond Williams 41 E. P. Thompson and culturalism 55 Stuart Hall 58 The Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies 62 Other ‘centres’ 65
Central categories 3 Texts and contexts
Encoding/decoding 72 The establishment of textual analysis 77 Dethroning the text 89 Polysemy, ambiguity and reading texts 95 Textual events 106