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By Valda Blundell, John Shepherd, Ian Taylor

Britain is not any longer the only organizing centre for cultural experiences. The individuals to this quantity show how cultural experiences has subtle into different English-speaking nations and the way its unique issues were renegotiated and altered. the result's a landmark booklet which supplies scholars with an unrivalled advisor to the foreign phenomenon of cultural reviews.

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Through a series of lectures (Hoggart 1967, 1969, 1970), as well as the classic if oddly titled study, The Uses of Literacy (1957), he gave cultural studies its first intellectual shape. However great the distance that seems to have been traversed since that early moment, his influence is still strongly present. Hoggart extended and refined Leavis’ notion of literary criticism. He argued that art, if read according to the specific practices of ‘close reading’ that characterized literary criticism (‘reading for tone’), revealed something about society that was unavailable in any other way: what he described as ‘the felt quality of life’ and later, as ‘a field of values’.

Part I WARS OF POSITIONS 1 THE FORMATIONS OF CULTURAL STUDIES An American in Birmingham1 Lawrence Grossberg Any observer of the academic scene in the United States will surely note that there has been a cultural studies ‘boom’ (Morris 1988a). As Allor (1987) notes, the term itself has become a cultural commodity, apparently free to circulate in the global economy of discourse, ideas, and cultural capital. Five years ago, the term functioned largely as a proper name, referring primarily to a specifically British tradition, extending from the work of Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart, through the contributions of the various members of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS) at the University of Birmingham, to the increasingly dispersed and institutionalized sites of its contemporary practitioners.

Even more important, it allows us to see that the identity of any theoretical position within this larger terrain is constituted by a series of differences among the range of possible positions. Thus, to a limited extent, this narrative already suggests that cultural studies is constituted through a series of struggles around certain key concepts and critical strategies. For example, the meaning of ‘hegemony’ within cultural studies cannot be taken for granted. There are significant, and in fact constitutive, differences between its appearance, not only in Williams and Gramsci but in the culturalist and the conjuncturalist positions of the Birmingham group.

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